The Big Ten will expand to 18 teams in the 2024 season, and as the conference revealed how it will schedule football games in the future, some intriguing matchups have bubbled to the surface.
While the Big Ten will preserve numerous geographic rivalries, ensuring they will be played each season, the conference also announced that every team will play at least two games against each of their 17 fellow members in each five-year span.
That will get underway with the 2024 campaign, and here are six of the games that caught our eye as we evaluated the year ahead.
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USC at Michigan
Part of the allure of adding USC and UCLA into the fold of the Big Ten was that we would get Rose Bowl rematches with greater frequency, and this may be the most intriguing matchup at the Big House in 2024.
USC and Michigan have plenty of familiarity in the game, with the schools playing a record eight times. USC holds an edge in that rivalry, with a 6-2 record against the Wolverines.
Ohio State at Oregon
Ohio State had a heck of a run against the Ducks, winning nine games against Oregon in the span of 57 years, but that all came to an end in Sept. 2021 when Oregon defeated the Buckeyes in Columbus.
Now, the Buckeyes will head back up to Autzen Stadium to take on the Ducks in a hostile environment, one that will also welcome Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State and Washington next year.
UCLA at Nebraska
It would have been easy to pick one of the matchups in the Rose Bowl next season, with Iowa and Minnesota among the five teams that will play UCLA in California, but the idea of the Bruins heading into Lincoln to take on Nebraska is too good to pass up.
The Huskers’ road slate next season is daunting, with trips to Columbus, Iowa City and Los Angeles all on the docket, but this could be a great chance for Matt Rhule’s squad to make a statement.
Washington at Iowa
Who knows what exactly the future will bring in a post-Michael Penix world, but the Huskies’ offense has certainly put the college football world on notice this season, and if they can even come close to duplicating that style next season, they will be in for a stern test against an Iowa defense that historically has been tough to deal with.
Penn State at USC
USC and Penn State have played in three occasions in the Rose Bowl, with the Trojans earning victories in all three contests.
Now, Penn State will get to head to the LA Coliseum to showcase the work that James Franklin has done to rebuild the program, and they’ll face a group that is humming under Lincoln Riley’s guidance.
Oregon at Wisconsin
Camp Randall is one of the best venues in the entire Big Ten, and it’ll certainly be rocking when the Ducks come to town next year.
If Oregon can continue to build the remarkable offense that they’ve constructed under the regime of Dan Lanning, and if Wisconsin can continue to hone the “Air Raid” style of Phil Longo, then we could see some real fireworks in this one.