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Major Advantage to B1G Flex Schedule: Expansion

DuckTownHusker

Blackshirt Sith Lord
10 Year Member
I posted this over on Reddit, but it's worth a share here, too.

One wrinkle I'm not seeing discussed is that this B1G Flex scheduling is HIGHLY adaptable to future conference expansion.
  • In a divisional model, you have to balance/rearrange the divisions as you add teams. You get into the battles of geography versus competitive balance, and of course the problem of a #1 Ohio State playing a 6-5 Northwestern for the Championship because the West is crappier than the East in a given year.

  • In a pod model, you still have to balance the pods. Pods are nothing but mini-divisions, so unless you add a whole block of teams who are already rival-ish (see: CU, Utah, AZ, ASU) you'll still have to rearrange everything to balance your pods. It's why we've historically seen conference expansion in pairs (Maryland/Rutgers, Mizzou/A&M, Colorado, Utah). The only reason Nebraska went solo was because the B1G was already sitting at 11 with Penn State.

  • In a 3-6-6 / protected rival model, every team has the same number of protected rivals. If you added Notre Dame, for example, you'd likely want to match them up with Michigan, Michigan State and USC, but this necessitates UM, MSU, and USC to rearrange their protected rival games since everyone already "has" three rivals.

The genius of this Flex model (although it's a bit clunky) is that each team has a different number of protected rivals. This allows the Big Ten to just add Miami or Notre Dame or Oregon and simply give the new teams a few protected rivals. The existing B1G teams are not "at capacity" of protected rival games.

Imagine the B1G ten added Oklahoma (not happening). It would be super easy to just make an annual NU-OU game without burdening anyone. Nebraska only has Iowa as a protected rival, so what's one more? We still have seven other B1G games to be able to play a variety of conference teams. There's no divisions to realign, and no rivalries to untangle to make sure that everybody has three-and-only-three protected rival games.

The Big Ten can now add just... one school. Or four. Or whatever. It doesn't matter. Divisional balancing and alignment is a thing of the past. We could literally just add Notre Dame and call it a day. We're not sandbagged with having to take Notre Dame AND Iowa State, or something goofy. Just add high caliber teams and don't saddle yourself with baggage.
 
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With three protected rivals IA will never have a season like we have in 25. Those numbers should be the same no matter what. They only have 6 remaining games to build the unprotected.schedule from. Do you think that will ever be MI, OSU, AND USC lile our 25?

They'll regret that decision once Rhule and Fickel start beating them into the turf annually.
 

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With three protected rivals IA will never have a season like we have in 25. Those numbers should be the same no matter what. They only have 6 remaining games to build the unprotected.schedule from. Do you think that will ever be MI, OSU, AND USC lile our 25?
Yes I do think they could add as many of the top teams as possible in that remaining six games. But what does it matter? No divisions. Why hung up on Iowa. If everybody feels Nebraska is a better part of a premier matchup over an Iowa participation I’m good with that.
 
Yes I do think they could add as many of the top teams as possible in that remaining six games. But what does it matter? No divisions. Why hung up on Iowa. If everybody feels Nebraska is a better part of a premier matchup over an Iowa participation I’m good with that.
It’s still about balance and fairness. In comparison to Iowa or NW or Minnesota they will have an overall easier schedule over time … there is inherent bias in this schedule.

Go look at Alabama … they haven’t played Georgia any more frequently then they’ve played Vanderbilt. They are not willingly chasing tougher schedules than their peers.

In the decade plus we’ve been part of the B1G we’ve played Indiana 3 times (we are 2-1 against them). During that same period we’ve played tOSU 8 times going 1-7. These aren’t your ‘90s Huskers. We aren’t going to win by showing up. Schedule fairness should be important.
 
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It’s still about balance and fairness. In comparison to Iowa or NW or Minnesota they will have an overall easier schedule over time … there is inherent bias in this schedule.

Go look at Alabama … they haven’t played Georgia any more frequently then they’ve played Vanderbilt. They are not willingly chasing tougher schedules than their peers.

In the decade plus we’ve been part of the B1G we’ve played Indiana 3 times (we are 2-1 against them). During that same period we’ve played tOSU 8 times going 1-7. These aren’t your ‘90s Huskers. We aren’t going to win by showing up. Schedule fairness should be important.
I’m so tired of the whining about imbalance of schedule. It HASNT mattered. A loss to Michigan/Ohio state/Penn state and the exposure we get from it is much better than 11:00 losses to Illinois. I wish people would figure out the B1G isn’t screwing us over. They have set us up with more high exposure games than we deserve. They are being more than fair to us considering what we have brought to the table.

I hate this vanilla schedule this year.
 
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With three protected rivals IA will never have a season like we have in 25. Those numbers should be the same no matter what. They only have 6 remaining games to build the unprotected.schedule from. Do you think that will ever be MI, OSU, AND USC lile our 25?

Never is a pretty strong theory.

Iowa's 2024 Schedule has road trips to Ohio State, USC, and Rutgers (from a travel difficulty standpoint).
 
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I’m so tired of the whining about imbalance of schedule. It HASNT mattered. A loss to Michigan/Ohio state/Penn state and the exposure we get from it is much better than 11:00 losses to Illinois. I wish people would figure out the B1G isn’t screwing us over. They have set us up with more high exposure games than we deserve. They are being more than fair to us considering what we have brought to the table.

I hate this vanilla schedule this year.
Agree with the first part, but this year’s schedule is much appreciated for a new staff who are establishing their culture.
 
The SoCals showing up for their B1G road games:

AdeptGregariousAlbacoretuna-size_restricted.gif

20242025
USC@PSU, @Purdue@Minn, @Wisc
UCLA@Iowa, @Mich, @Indiana@Illinois, @MSU, @Nebraska, @PSU

The specific weeks aren't announced yet, but decent chance at least some of these games will be late October / November times.
 

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I’m so tired of the whining about imbalance of schedule. It HASNT mattered. A loss to Michigan/Ohio state/Penn state and the exposure we get from it is much better than 11:00 losses to Illinois. I wish people would figure out the B1G isn’t screwing us over. They have set us up with more high exposure games than we deserve. They are being more than fair to us considering what we have brought to the table.

I hate this vanilla schedule this year.
Exactly. Plus in the 10 years since Rutgers and MD have been in the B1G we have played OSU 6 times and Rutgers 5 times. Us crying about how mean the B1G schedulers are to us is silly.
 


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