How will the Big 10 be divided in 2024?

How will the Big 10 be divided in 2024?

How will the Big 10 be divided in 2024?

The Big Ten Conference is set to undergo significant changes for the 2024 football season with the expansion to 18 teams and the elimination of the East and West divisions.

This Fan Arch piece tackles the details of how the division format will be restructured, the primary objectives considered, and the impact of these changes on the upcoming football season.

the Big Ten Division Format Changes

The 2024 Big Ten football season marks a pivotal moment in the conference’s history as it welcomes the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Oregon, University of Southern California (USC), and the University of Washington into its fold.

With these additions, the conference will feature 18 teams and adopt a non-divisional scheduling format, thereby eliminating the East and West divisions that have been in place since 2014.

Flex Protect XVIII Model

The upcoming season will debut the Flex Protect XVIII model, designed to ensure a balance of competitive matchups, travel considerations, and historic rivalries. Under this format, each member institution will continue to play nine intraconference games per season.

Moreover, teams will play every other conference opponent at least twice – once at home and once away – and will play rotating opponents no more than three times in a five-year period.

The primary objectives considered in the development of this model include the balance of annual travel, flexibility amidst evolving postseason formats, and the preservation of historic competitive trends within the conference.

Protected Matchups and Guaranteed Annual Rivalries

A key feature of the new division format is the inclusion of 12 protected matchups that will be played annually. These matchups encompass a combination of historic and geographic rivalries, as well as trophy games.

The finalized protected matchups were determined in collaboration with all 18 member institutions to ensure the preservation of the conference's traditions as it evolves.

Among the guaranteed annual protected matchups are Illinois-Northwestern, Michigan-Ohio State, and Oregon-Washington, among others.

Big Ten Football Championship Game

The 2024 season will culminate with the annual Big Ten Football Championship Game, where the top two teams in the overall conference standings at the end of the regular season will compete for the prestigious title.

Further details regarding tiebreaking procedures will be announced at a later date.

Impact of Changes on College Football

The elimination of the East and West divisions is a significant departure from the traditional divisional format and is poised to have a profound impact on the competitive landscape of college football. 

The Big Ten Conference’s decision to restructure its division format for the 2024 football season represents a bold step towards embracing change and evolution within the realm of college football.

The implementation of the Flex Protect XVIII model, the establishment of protected matchups, and the anticipation surrounding the revamped conference schedule all contribute to an exciting and transformative period for the Big Ten Conference.

As the season approaches, expectations are high for thrilling matchups, intense rivalries, and the crowning of a new champion in the highly anticipated Big Ten Football Championship Game.

 

All in all, as the college football community eagerly awaits the commencement of the 2024 season, the Big Ten Conference's vision for a more inclusive and competitive landscape sets the stage for a compelling and unforgettable football experience for teams and fans across the nation


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