Winners and losers of Big Ten football schedule decisions

You might have noticed that the Big Ten has released its football schedule for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, offering a framework and the list of opponents. The times and dates aren’t known, and that revelation won’t occur until at least December if not January or later. However, every Big Ten team knows which opponents it will play, and it knows which games will be home and away.

The Big Ten is also doing away with divisions, something the Pac-12 and ACC have recently done. The top two teams in the conference standings are the two teams which will play in the 2024 Big Ten Championship Game in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Big Ten has used a scheduling format called “flex protect plus,” in which not every team gets the same number of fixed annual opponents. Iowa has three fixed opponents — Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin — while USC has only one fixed opponent, the UCLA Bruins.

You can look at USC’s schedule and evaluate it for yourself, but meanwhile, let’s look at the whole Big Ten and see if a few teams gained or lost something in the process of all these changes:


Nov 27, 2021; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) passes the ball over Michigan State Spartans linebacker Cal Haladay (27) during the fourth quarter at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Nittany Lions have had to play Michigan and Ohio State every year in the Big Ten East Division. With divisions being removed, Penn State won’t be playing both teams in the same season on some occasions. Penn State plays USC, Rutgers and Michigan State in both the 2024 and 2025 Big Ten seasons. The other 12 schools will be divided into the two seasons — six in one and six in the other. Penn State will get some schedule relief under the new setup.


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Author : Trojans Wire

Publish date : 2023-06-09 18:00:37

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