Big Ten Announces New Programming Format for UCLA and USC Membership in 2024

UCLA’s first season in the Big Ten will include games against Michigan and Ohio State.

The Big Ten revealed its schedule format for 2024 and 2025 on Thursday as it adjusts its scheduling model to accommodate the addition of UCLA and USC from the Pac-12. The conference is dropping its divisions after the 2023 season, and team schedules will rotate opponents throughout the conference except for some annual rivalry games.

The Bruins will face Ohio State at home and Michigan on the road in 2024, and USC will face Michigan at home. The Trojans are also attracting Penn State, while UCLA does not have the Nittany Lions on its schedule.

A game against Maryland will be the longest road trip for the Trojans, while UCLA’s longest road trip will be at Rutgers. The shortest route for USC (besides its cross-town game at UCLA) is a game against Purdue, while UCLA’s shortest route is to Iowa.

USC will play four home games and five away games in 2024, while USC has five home games and four away games. Those totals reverse in 2025, as USC has Ohio State on the road and UCLA has neither of the two Big Ten teams that made the college football playoffs after the 2022 season.

The 2024 roster of opponents for every Big Ten team.

The 2024 roster of opponents for every Big Ten team.

The 2025 list of opponents for every Big Ten team.

The 2025 list of opponents for every Big Ten team.

Every team has at least one annual rival except Penn State

Under the current Big Ten format, each team plays its six division opponents and one team from the other division on a yearly basis, and the remaining two games rotate between the other six non-division opponents.

With divisions gone after 2023, the Big Ten decided to protect certain rivalry games for the foreseeable future, such as Ohio State vs. Michigan and UCLA vs. USC. And some schools have more rivals than others.

Iowa, for example, has three protected rivalry games on its schedule starting in 2024. The Hawkeyes will face Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska every year until the Big Ten decide to change the format of the game again. calendar. Penn State, meanwhile, has no protected rival.

Five teams have two protected rivalry games each year, and nine teams have one. Below is the list of matches that will be played each year.

  • Illinois vs. Northwest

  • Illinois vs. Purdue

  • Indiana vs. Purdue

  • Iowa vs Minnesota

  • Iowa vs. Nebraska

  • Iowa vs. Wisconsin

  • Maryland vs. Rutgers

  • Michigan vs Michigan State

  • Michigan vs. Ohio State

  • Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

  • UCLA vs. USC

The Big Ten made it clear in their post that the new format is set for only 2024 and 2025, in case it needs to be changed. He listed the factors below as the main reasons behind the format.

  • Maintain control and flexibility as the college football playoff format evolves, with the goal of creating program access in an expanded college football playoff.

  • Summary of annual travel by distance, conference regions and time zones.

  • Balance between historical competitiveness and recent competitive trends, including the home/away balance of traditionally competitive schools.

  • Balancing and maximizing television inventory in each season.

Additionally, the conference has declared that each team will have three opponents they are guaranteed to play in consecutive seasons. Because Iowa has three rivalry games on its schedule, it won’t play any of the other 12 conference teams in consecutive seasons.

All three teams from each Big Ten team will play in 2024 and 2025.

All three teams from each Big Ten team will play in 2024 and 2025.

All other teams will see their non-rivals rotate in their group of three every two seasons. That means Penn State will have homes and homes with Michigan State, Rutgers and USC in 2024 and 2025 before likely having three new consecutive opponents in 2026 and 2027. Michigan State, meanwhile , will continue to have Michigan on its schedule each year while rotating two new home opponents in 2026 and 2027, assuming the current format remains.

USC has Wisconsin in its pool of home opponents in 2024 and 2025, along with Penn State and UCLA, while the Bruins will face Nebraska and Rutgers in their first two seasons in the conference.

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