As you probably have heard by now, the Big Ten Conference announced on Thursday the conference opponents for the 18 schools in the B1G for the next five seasons in football (2024-28).

As part of that announcement, it was revealed that a number of future conference games will be protected so that those games will be played every year.  In fact, there are twelve of them.  They are:

  • UCLA vs. USC
  • Oregon vs. Washington
  • Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
  • Minnesota vs. Iowa
  • Iowa vs. Nebraska
  • Iowa vs. Wisconsin
  • Maryland vs. Rutgers
  • Indiana vs. Purdue
  • Illinois vs. Purdue
  • Northwestern vs. Illinois
  • Michigan vs. Michigan State
  • Michigan vs. Ohio State
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The only issue I have with this list is that Michigan State will no longer play Penn State every year, as it is a trophy game (The Land Grant Trophy).  And that Michigan doesn't play Minnesota every year for the same reason (They play for the Little Brown Jug).  Other than those two omissions, no problem with the list.

So what are the potential effects?  There could be several...

COULD MICHIGAN PLAY OHIO STATE TWO WEEKS IN A ROW?

Theoretically, that's possible.  As long as Michigan (with the Big Ten title Trophy above) plays Ohio State in the last game of the regular season (which they've done since 1935, with a handful of exceptions).  There won't be divisions in the league starting next year, so they could play back-to-back weeks.  In the regular season, and in the Big Ten Championship Game.  I don't think that's a good thing.

There's been talk about moving the game to earlier in the season.  But I'm not sure that's a good thing either.

WILL IT MAKE FOR A BIGGER CHASM BETWEEN THE HAVES & HAVE-NOTS?

This is what I'm worried about.  If you have 18 teams in a single division, there's going to be a majority of them with basically no chance to win the Big Ten title.  At least on paper it'll be Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon, & USC in the haves.  Washington, UCLA, Michigan State, and Wisconsin kind of in the middle.  And then there's everyone else.

You don't want the Big Ten to become like Major League Baseball, where about 15-20 teams have no chance to compete for the World Series or to compete to sign top free agents to make their team better.  You want each team with a fair shot.  I'm not sure the conference additions and the schedule helps out ALL of the schools.  Just some of them.  That's not good.

WILL THIS NEW SCHEDULE MATTER IF THE B1G ADDS MORE SCHOOLS?

NO!!!  They'll just have to revise it like they already have done.  Remember earlier this year when the B1G released the 2024 conference schedule?  They had to scrap it and start all over when the league added Oregon and Washington.

If they add two or more schools (which some feel will happen eventually), they'll have to scrap the list again and start all over.  It's stupid to do schedules five years in advance for that reason. Just do it two years at a time and go from there.

OVERALL

We're not going to know for sure the effects of the new football schedules for a couple of years.  The league tried to make sure that each school plays everybody else over a five-year period.  We'll see how that goes.  I think going division-less could be a bigger problem than the revised schedule.  That may get revisited down the road.

What do you guys think?  Let us know!

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