The Big Ten will be doing away with divisions starting in 2024. No more Big Ten East and Big Ten West.
Programs with the best records in conference play will meet one another in the Big Ten Championship Game.
This dynamic could make things even more interesting in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. Michigan and Ohio State always play the last week of the regular season. And now there’s the potential of the Buckeyes and Wolverines playing the following week in the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis. The Game could become The Game before The Game. Are you with me so far?
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was asked about this, and he acknowledged that Michigan-Ohio State in back-to-back weeks could happen with the new Big Ten format. It was something that was discussed.
“That is a possibility,” Smith said on Big Ten Network.
Smith said that he had a conversation with Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel and they agreed with what’s been decided upon collectively by the Big Ten.
“We agreed to that for the betterment of the whole,” Smith said. “The betterment of the league relative to our overall scheduling format and our television partners.”
Smith said he and Manuel “needed to accept” playing in back-to-back weeks was a possibility.
Smith also said that he’s excited that there are no longer divisions and believe the best two teams in the conference should meet in Indy — which will inevitably be Michigan and Ohio State at some point in the future.
Michigan’s won the past two meetings in the rivalry, and there’s no doubt the team would welcome playing the hated Buckeyes anytime, anywhere.