Big Ten Conference Announces Future Football Schedule Formats for 2024-28

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference today announced league football opponents for the 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 football seasons. With the additions of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Oregon, University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Washington into the conference, 2024 will be the first season with 18 teams and no divisional format.

The 2024 Big Ten football season will debut the Flex Protect XVIII model, which features a combination of protected opponents and rotating opponents for universities. Each member institution will continue to play nine intraconference games per season, and teams will play every other conference opponent at least twice – once home and once away – and will play rotating opponents no more than three times in a five-year period.

Primary objectives considered included the following:

  • Balance of annual travel by distance, regions of the conference, and time zones.
  • Maintaining control and flexibility as the college football postseason format evolves, with the goal to create access for programs into an expanded College Football Playoff.
  • Balance of historic competitiveness and recent competitive trends, including home/away balance of traditionally competitive schools.

Conference schedules will include 12 protected matchups that will continue to be played annually and feature a combination of historic and geographic rivalries, as well as trophy games. These matchups were finalized in conjunction with all 18 member institutions to ensure the traditions of the Big Ten Conference remain strong as the conference evolves. 

The guaranteed annual protected matchups are Illinois-Northwestern, Illinois-Purdue, Indiana-Purdue, Iowa-Minnesota, Iowa-Nebraska, Iowa-Wisconsin, Maryland-Rutgers, Michigan-Michigan State, Michigan-Ohio State, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Oregon-Washington and UCLA-USC.

The 2024 season will conclude with the annual Big Ten Football Championship Game, which will feature the top two teams in the overall conference standings at the end of the regular season, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship. Tiebreaking procedures will be announced later.  

The game dates for the 2024 football schedule will be announced at a later date.