The Big Ten conference has recently announced its football schedules for the upcoming 2024 to 2028 seasons. This announcement comes after the addition of two new teams, Oregon and Washington, to the conference’s ranks. In order to accommodate these new additions, the conference had to develop a new schedule format, known as the “Flex Protect XVII” model.
The new schedule format will include a combination of protected and rotating opponents for each university. The addition of Oregon and Washington necessitated a revision of the rotation plan. However, there are still twelve guaranteed protected matchups that will be played annually, ensuring that traditional rivalries such as Michigan-Ohio State and UCLA-USC continue.
One of the key factors considered in creating these schedules was distance and travel logistics. The conference wanted to ensure that student-athletes’ well-being and budgets were balanced. As a result, the mental and physical well-being of the athletes was prioritized. Teams were carefully scheduled to avoid excessively long travel times and demanding schedules.
Notably, the upcoming 2024 season will mark the first time that the Big Ten will not have divisions. Instead, there will be a total of eighteen teams across the conference. This change will undoubtedly bring about a new level of competitiveness and excitement to the games.
Furthermore, the Big Ten championship game will undergo a significant alteration. Instead of the traditional divisional approach, the top two teams in the standings at the end of the regular season will now face off in the championship game. This change is expected to increase the intensity and competitiveness of the championship, as only the best teams will have the opportunity to play for the title.
Overall, the Big Ten’s announcement of its future football schedules has sparked enthusiasm and anticipation among fans. With the addition of Oregon and Washington and the introduction of the “Flex Protect XVII” model, there is great potential for thrilling matchups and rivalries in the years to come. The conference’s emphasis on the well-being of student-athletes and competitive balance ensures that these schedules will provide an exciting and fair playing field for all teams involved.
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