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Report: Big Ten Considering Changing Rule Requiring Nonconference Power 5 Opponent

Erin Walsh

The Big Ten is "strongly considering" doing away with the requirement that schools within its conference schedule games against a Power 5 nonconference team, according to Brett McMurphy of Action Network.

The rule change in consideration would begin in 2024, according to McMurphy. If the change is made, Big Ten schools can still schedule games against Power 5 nonconference opponents, but it wouldn't be required.

The Big Ten began requiring schools within its conference to schedule at least one game against a nonconference Power 5 opponent annually in 2016.

Although that requirement could be removed in 2024, each school within the Big Ten has already scheduled a matchup against a Power 5 nonconference opponent in at least three of the next four seasons, according to McMurphy.

However, schools could opt to alter their future schedules by removing those matchups if the rule change is approved.

Aside from the ACC, Pac-12, Big 12, SEC and Notre Dame, the likes of Army, Navy, Air Force, BYU, Cincinnati and UConn, among others, have counted toward the current Power 5 requirement.

The Big Ten is also set to expand to 16 teams in 2024 with the additions of USC and UCLA, which are currently playing in the Pac-12 Conference.

The Big Ten currently includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin.

While the Big Ten is growing in 2024, McMurphy reported, citing a source, that it is expected to continue with a nine-game league schedule "unless something crazy happens."

With the landscape of college athletics continuing to change, the Big Ten's scheduling change will be one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months.


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