Home Sports Big Ten discussing potential elimination of divisions as part of future football scheduling plans – The Athletic

Big Ten discussing potential elimination of divisions as part of future football scheduling plans – The Athletic

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Big Ten discussing potential elimination of divisions as part of future football scheduling plans – The Athletic

By Scott Dochterman
January 26, 2022 3:23 PM EST
167 Comments

The future College Football Playoff format could have a major impact on whether the Big Ten eliminates divisions or changes the number of its annual conference games, Iowa athletics director Gary Barta told The Athletic.

The Big Ten currently has East and West divisions and plays a nine-game conference schedule that includes three cross-divisional games. Big Ten administrators have discussed dropping to eight games beginning in 2023 so it can create matchups with teams from the Pac-12 and ACC conferences, with which the trio has a working arrangement called The Alliance.

There also are serious discussions about the Big Ten ending divisional play with schools playing three opponents annually and cycling through the other 10 teams either every other year or two years on, two years off.

"We've had several conversations," Barta said. "One of the things that we're watching is whether it's related to The Alliance, which we're talking through and/or, what gives us the best opportunity to have the most success in the College Football Playoff format?

"We’re wondering if we're going to know what the format is before we have to make that decision. So, we're kind of waiting to see where that lands. But we have had active conversations about the schedule beyond 2022."

The Big Ten released a revised schedule for 2022 earlier in January, accommodating six location switches and balancing and dispersing its marquee matchups throughout the season.

(Photo: Jeff Hanisch / USA Today)
Scott Dochterman and The Athletic Staff
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An inside look at the complicated process of rapidly creating the third version of the Big Ten's 2020 football slate.
Scott Dochterman
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Media rights deals, future game contracts and varying conference schedule structures are all issues the alliance must address.
The Pulse newsletter delivers the day's top sports stories straight to your inbox.
Sign Up Now
Knicks head into the All-Star break by blowing another big lead in loss to the Nets
Pacers waiving Tristan Thompson; center will sign with Bulls after clearing waivers, Rick Carlisle says
Saints stick with Pete Carmichael as offensive coordinator: Sources
Bulls guard Alex Caruso could resume training in 7 to 10 days; suffered wrist fracture Jan. 21
Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken receives raise
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan agree to 5-year extension after College Football Playoff appearance
Sean McVay wants Aaron Donald to 'Run it back!' All-Pro DL says 'Why not?' at Rams' victory parade
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High Point coach Tubby Smith to step down for rest of season; son will take over as coach

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