Earlier today, Jon Rothstein reported that the Big Ten coaches voted in favor of a 20-game conference schedule, up from the current 18-game conference schedule for each team, as soon as the 2018-19 season. This is not a surprising move, as these rumors were first reported on back in June.
Teams will now have to schedule two less non-conference games, and will instead gain two conference foes that could help boost their tournament profile. Mike DeFabo talked with Purdue head coach, Matt Painter, about the possible shift this summer, and he was in favor of a 20-game schedule:
“I kind of like it, to be frank with you,” Painter said. “I think it can really help our league.
“It helps finances. It helps your fans. It helps from an exposure standpoint. And hopefully it helps us get an extra team or two extra teams in the NCAA Tournament.”
The new format would replace two non-conference games with two conference games.
The ACC recently shifted from 18 to 20 conference games each season, making the Big Ten the second major conference to increase the amount of games in their conference slate.
This is a move that most fans, including myself, are in favor of. While some schools may drop tougher opponents from their non-conference slate, most schools will end up replacing weak RPI team with fellow conference foes.
Additionally, it allows teams to move from five home-and-home conference series each year to seven. This would allow more flexibility for protected rivalries (*hint hint*) and create more balanced schedules throughout the conference.