Big Ten reveals future scheduling model with UCLA, USC in fold

Jul 29, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A detailed view of UCLA Bruins helmet during Pac-12 Media Day at Novo Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten on Thursday revealed its new football scheduling model for 2024 and onward, incorporating future members UCLA and Southern California into the mix while protecting many traditional rivalries.

The formula is being called “Flex Protect Plus” and described by Big Ten COO Kerry Kenny to The Athletic as “a 3-6-6, maybe with a twist because those three aren’t staying rigid the entire time.”

Eleven rivalries are being permanently protected, with some teams having more than others. The 11 games are:

–Michigan-Ohio State
–Michigan-Michigan State

Penn State was the only school not to have a rivalry protected.

Regardless of the number of permanent rivalries, every team will now play three opponents in back-to-back seasons. In 2026, after the first two seasons of the format, all non-permanent “two-play” opponents will rotate.

The conference also revealed all conference opponents for the 2024 and 2025 seasons on Thursday. Game dates were not yet scheduled.

In Southern California’s first year in the league, the Trojans will fly east to face Maryland and Penn State as well as play road games at Northwestern and Purdue. UCLA has the farthest road trip with a date at Rutgers, along with visits to Indiana, Iowa and Michigan.

–Field Level Media

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