Huge 10 reveals brand-new football sked model for 2024
Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Senior Citizen WriterJun 8, 2023
, 03:58 PM ET Close College football press reporter.
- Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
- Graduate of Northwestern University.The Big Ten in 2024 will
introduce a football schedule design that consists of 11 safeguarded matchups across the conference, gets rid of divisions and targets a robust total rotation as the league expands to 16 members with USC and UCLA.The” Flex Protect Plus”model keeps a nine-game league schedule and contains both ensured yearly matchups and rotating ones. Beginning in 2024, every conference pairing will occur at least twice in a four-year period, when at each member school’s house stadium.The list of annual secured matches, which includes historical competitions and prize games, differs in number among Big Ten teams.The protected games are: Michigan-Ohio State, UCLA-USC, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Indiana-Purdue, Michigan State-Michigan, Iowa-Minnesota, Illinois-Northwestern, Iowa-Nebraska, Maryland-Rutgers, Iowa-Wisconsin and Illinois-Purdue. The Big Ten on Thursday revealed all challengers for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, although specific dates will be settled later.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Teams also will have opponents they play in both 2024 and 2025–
that will change for the 2026-27 cycle. For instance, USC and Penn State will play in both seasons, as will UCLA and Nebraska.Big Ten chief operating officer Kerry Kenny informed ESPN that overall flexibility ended up being the biggest priority with the schedule model, which generated about a year of conversation. The conference considered models that consisted of no safeguarded annual games, or 1-3 protected games per school, prior to choosing that a diverse approach might preserve the most crucial pairings and produce the best rotation so players could compete in every arena. According to Kenny, the Big 10 examined 171 versions within the Flex Protect Plus design. “It’s performed in two-year increments, so that allows you to be a bit more responsive to competitive patterns, responsive to modifications in the postseason model,
“Kenny stated.” Look, we don’t understand how the CFP committee is going to examine teams in this broadened playoff, but we’re quite darn sure that this design that we’re advancing and the depth of the games and the quality of games, that’s going to send out a quite strong and substantial message.” The division-less model will include the top 2 teams competing in the Big 10 championship game. Tiebreaker specifics will be announced at a later date. Because the Big 10 implemented the East and West divisions in 2014, the East division winner has won every conference title.Kenny said that although divisions had benefits, they likewise limited the frequency of compelling matches. Under the current division design, Indiana-Purdue is the only safeguarded yearly cross-division matchup. Kenny said the Nebraska-Michigan series, in which Michigan visited Nebraska in 2012 however did not return up until 2021, frequently came up in conversations.” That’s a nine-year gap for two traditionally competitive, some of the winningest programs in the history of the sport, and Michigan fans and Nebraska fans only got to experience that game in Lincoln twice
given that Nebraska joined the league, “he stated.”So competitive is necessary and postseason access and TV, however it boils down to asking the question:’What makes us a conference? What makes us feel like we’re truly tied together in a meaningful way?'” Playing each other more and not less has some effect.”When examining various schedule models, the Big 10 asked its schools to note the most essential matches– historical rivalries, regional games, prize games– they would desire safeguarded each year in a non-division format. The schools then were asked about their “nonnegotiables, “Kenny stated, as well as games they wish to play frequently however not annually.Iowa, which first played both Minnesota and Wisconsin in the late 1890s, maintained both games, together with Nebraska, a local series that has actually been played the day after Thanksgiving considering that Nebraska joined the Big Ten.Penn State, meanwhile, has absolutely no yearly safeguarded opponents in the new model. The Penn State-Ohio State game has actually frequently shaped the league and CFP race, however will not be played in 2025 after taking place at Beaver Arena in 2024.”The more protected matchups you’ve consisted of in the model, the less flexibility you needed to create a really balanced design for everyone,” Kenny stated. “So 11 was where we topped it. Penn State doesn’t have any secured matchups, however they see more groups 3 out of four years, the manner in which the design will be constructed moving on, that may be a little more geographic to them.” USC’s initial Big Ten schedule in 2024 will feature Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin at home, and Maryland, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and UCLA on the roadway. UCLA’s first Big Ten slate includes Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State and USC in the house, and Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Rutgers on the road.Both newbies will play every
Big 10 school a minimum of when by the end of the 2025 season, and every existing Huge Ten group will play either at UCLA or at USC during the exact same span. Kenny said increased travel and a 3rd time zone factored into the 2024 and 2025 challengers, as did preventing repeat websites from the 2023 schedule and preserving the rotating five-four split– five league home games one year, 4 league home games the next.”We needed to make certain that we did a good job of stabilizing not having really severe travel distances for them, of one school having to go to their 5 outermost possible challengers in Year 1,”Kenny said.”You have to stabilize Eastern time zone schools, Central time zone schools.”Michigan’s 2024 trip to USC will mark its very first considering that 1958. USC will go to Penn State
for the very first time given that 1994. UCLA will check out Michigan Stadium for the first time because 1996 and host Ohio State for the first time given that 2001. The Big Ten very first presented departments in 2011 when Nebraska joined the league as its 12th member. The preliminary divisions, called Legends and Leaders, were formed to accomplish competitive balance based on team efficiency data. Certain yearly competitions were compromised, like Wisconsin-Iowa. But the division names drew widespread mockery, and the league scrapped them in 2013 and then chose the geographical designations, which started when Maryland and Rutgers got in the league in 2014.