Conference Opponents Announced for 2024, 2025 Seasons
The Big Ten announced today the conference opponents that Minnesota will play in 2024 and 2025. The 2024 season will be the first that will feature UCLA and USC as Big Ten members in the soon-to-be 16-team conference. It will also be the first season that will feature no divisional format.
In 2024, the Gophers will play Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State and Rutgers at home and will travel to Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, UCLA and Wisconsin. Minnesota’s 2024 nonconference schedule, which was previously announced, consists of three home games against North Carolina (Aug. 29), Rhode Island (Sept. 7) and Nevada (Sept. 14).
In 2025, Minnesota will host Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, USC and Wisconsin and will play at Illinois, Iowa, Penn State and Purdue. Minnesota’s 2025 nonconference schedule, which was previously announced, consists of home games against Buffalo (Aug. 28) and Bowling Green (Sept. 6) and a road contest at California (Sept. 13).
The 2024 season will also debut the Flex Protect Plus model, which features a combination of protected opponents and rotating opponents for universities. Each member institution will continue to play nine conference games per season, and teams will play every other conference opponent at least twice – once home and once away – in a four-year period.
Conference schedules will include 11 protected matchups that will continue to be played annually and feature a combination of historic and geographic rivalries, as well as trophy games. These matchups were finalized in conjunction with all 16 member institutions to ensure the traditions of the Big Ten Conference remain strong as the conference evolves.
The guaranteed annual protected matchups include two games that feature Minnesota as the Gophers will continue to face both Wisconsin and Iowa every season. The Minnesota-Wisconsin game is the most played game in Big Ten history, while the Minnesota-Iowa game is tied for the fourth-most played game in conference history.
The other nine protected league matchups are Illinois-Northwestern, Illinois-Purdue, Indiana-Purdue, Iowa-Nebraska, Iowa-Wisconsin, Maryland-Rutgers, Michigan-Michigan State, Michigan-Ohio State and UCLA-USC. The other two-play opponents for each member institution will change every two years.
The 2024 season will conclude with the annual Big Ten Football Championship Game, which will feature the top two teams in the overall conference standings at the end of the regular season, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship. Tiebreaking procedures will be announced later.
The game dates for the 2024 football schedule will be announced later this year.
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)