#### BleedGopher

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Big Ten officials continue to discuss three scheduling formats that would end the current two-division format beginning in 2024, but it’s still not clear which option will win out.

Athletic directors and league officials will meet on Monday and Tuesday at Big Ten headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., and the league’s 2024 scheduling model will receive plenty of discussion. Although some officials are optimistic they’ll find clarity this week, it’s possible the decision gets kicked down the road yet again.

“We’ve been talking about this for some time,” Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman said last week. “There’s been a lot of different iterations. There’s been a lot of back and forth. I’m not sure what the timeline will be. We know that we’ve got to make some decisions here at some point, but I don’t know if that’ll happen this next week or in subsequent weeks.

“We’re all motivated to get to some structure in place to get some finality around what ’24 and beyond is going to look like. I’m optimistic we’ll see that done sooner rather than later. But I’m not sure what that exact timeline will be.”

USC and UCLA join the Big Ten in the summer of 2024, and there appears to be very little appetite within the league for the continuation of a two-division structure. As

*The Athletic*first detailed in March, the three scheduling formats under consideration are the following:

•

**Protect 3:**Three permanent protected matchups, with games against six of the remaining 12 Big Ten opponents one year and the other six the next. Every four years, each team would play three teams four times and the remaining 12 teams twice.

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**Protect 2:**Two permanent protected matchups, played four times over four years. Over the course of four years, each Big Ten team would play the remaining league opponents at least twice and two of those teams three times.

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**Flex Protect:**A hybrid model in which each Big Ten team has one, two or three protected opponents. This format allows schedule-makers the most flexibility in terms of competitive balance, home-and-away rotations and the specific challenges around West Coast travel for teams playing USC or UCLA.

### Where the Big Ten schedule debate stands as ADs, officials meet

Although some officials are optimistic they’ll find clarity this week, it’s possible the decision gets kicked down the road yet again.

theathletic.com

Go Gophers!!