clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A New Idea for B1G Football Scheduling

Let’s try this again, shall we?

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

With the addition of Washington and Oregon into the Big Ten, the conference will need to revisit it’s still-fresh scheduling model that was created for a 16 team conference starting in 2024.

The previous model was called the Flex Protect Plus and features no divisions, 11 protected matchups and rotating conference opponents to ensure a home and home with all teams in a four-year stretch. Obviously, the schedules will need to be tweaked to include two additional teams but there may be another solution that would be kind on travel as well.

Here’s my proposal:

Divide into 3 pods which are as follows:

1. Washington, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Nebraska, Iowa

2. Minnesota, Wisconsin, NW, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana

3. Michigan St, Michigan, Ohio St, Penn St, Rutgers, Maryland

Each team would play all 5 same-pod teams and rotate 2 from each other pod. For example, Purdue would play Minnesota, Wisconsin (shudder), Northwestern, Illinois, and Indiana every year while playing 2 different teams from both pod 1 and pod 3. This means Purdue would play every B1G team at least once in a 3-year stretch (much like the current model).

All but 2 of the current protected matchups are intact (Iowa-Minnesota and Iowa-Wisconsin get the axe) and I’m assuming a 12th protected matchup between Washington and Oregon is added.


The hardest part of this was choosing where to put Iowa and Minnesota as you either lose the Heartland and Floyd of Rosedale trophy games or the Heroes and Paul Bunyan’s Axe trophy games. I kept Paul Bunyan’s Axe and the Heroes trophy games because Minnesota-Wisconsin is the longest rivalry in FBS and it keeps Nebraskas only rivalry game intact.

Now, all of this is made for an 18 team Big Ten, which very well could be added to in the coming 13 months. This system would provide some relief to travel as pods are geographically and rivalry based. In theory, an Oregon team would only have to fly out to Penn St/ Rutgers/ Maryland an average of once every two seasons, which seems to be very manageable. Of course, I’m only taking football into account for now as smaller sports are going to have quite a travel schedule. If nothing else, the Big Ten schedule makers have nice job security right now.