The IU football program’s current challenges extend well beyond their schedule at the moment, but they won’t get any relief from a new Big Ten scheduling format in 2023 as previously hoped.
Rather than try to weave in what would effectively end up being an interim solution for the 2023 season, the conference will instead wait until substantial change arrives in 2024 to restructure its approach to scheduling.
According to a report by Scott Dochterman of the Athletic, the Big Ten is going to keep the current East and West divisions until the league expands in 2024. That’s when USC and UCLA will join the conference, and a new media rights deal takes full effect then as well.
Multiple Big Ten coaches and administrators hinted over the spring and summer talks were well underway to change the scheduling approach in 2023. Indiana and other schools removed the Big Ten portion of the 2023 schedule from their website.
But that was all before the stunning July news the Big Ten would expand to 16 teams in 2024 with the addition of the two California schools.
Now it appears another year of the Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State gauntlet is back on the IU docket for 2023, although nothing has been formally announced. According to Dochterman’s report, the Big Ten will release an updated 2023 schedule this week.
Indiana fans have long been frustrated with the current East-West divisional format since it was implemented in 2014, and the inequities between playing in the East vs. the West have been obvious due to those four traditional powers in the East. The East has won all eight Big Ten championship games.
But over the last two seasons, IU is 0-4 against fellow second-tier East squads Maryland and Rutgers, signaling they have much more to contend with than the schedule in this brave new world of college football that now includes mega-television deals, the transfer portal and name, image and likeness.
The 2024 schedule, whenever it is released, is expected to see teams face all 15 fellow conference members on a predictable rotating basis, save for protected rivalries that will continue every season.
Indiana’s 2023 schedule previously appeared as follows. It is unclear how much of the conference portion of this will stand when the league makes an announcement this week:
Sept. 2 – Ohio State
Sept. 9 – Indiana State
Sept. 16 – vs. Louisville (Lucas Oil Stadium)
Sept. 23 – Akron
Sept. 30 – at Maryland
Oct. 7 – at Penn State
Oct. 21 – Rutgers
Oct. 28 – at Illinois
Nov. 4 – at Michigan State
Nov. 11 – Wisconsin
Nov. 18 – Michigan
Nov. 25 – at Purdue
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