2021 Football schedule likely to change

U2Gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
1,209
Reaction score
173
Points
63
According to an article in the Athletic, the Big10 will sit down in the coming weeks to look at adjusting the football schedules for 2021 and perhaps beyond. With the changes that had to be made in 2020, there are some traditional rivalry games that have to be adjusted or those games will end up being played in the same stadium for a third year running. Associate Commissioner Kerry Kenny says that won’t be allowed to happen. If these things aren’t changed, it could lead to some quirks like Nebraska playing at home 5 consecutive weeks. The league wants balance in the schedule. Very long article worth the read if you subscribe. One speculative scenario has the opening game against Ohio State remaining on Thursday but being played in Columbus and our traditional game with the Vadgers being put back to the final weekend. Could be other changes in the scheduling as well as the East coaches, namely James Franklin, complain that the East is too tough and things need to be balanced out. The divisional structure could be scrapped altogether and a new 8 game conference scheduled adopted with three permanent rivalry games for each team, Minnesota’s would be Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. If the league wants to keep 9 games they could find some way to assign that 9th game based on standings much like they did this year. Worth the read but sounds like the schedule is definitely changing over the next month or so.
 
Last edited:

MGGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
663
Points
113
According to an article in the Athletic, the Big10 will sit down in the coming weeks to look at adjusting the football schedules for 2021 and perhaps beyond. With the changes that had to be made in 2020, there are some traditional rivalry games that have to be adjusted or those games will end up being played in the same stadium for a third year running. Associate Commissioner Kerry Kenny says that won’t be allowed to happen. If these things aren’t changed, it could lead to some quirks like Nebraska playing at home 5 consecutive weeks. The league wants balance in the schedule. Very long article worth the read if you subscribe. One speculative scenario has the opening game against Ohio State remaining on Thursday but being played in Columbus and our traditional game with the Vadgers being put back to the final weekend. Could be other changes in the scheduling as well as the East coaches, namely James Franklin, complain that the East is too tough and things need to be balanced out. The divisional structure could be scrapped altogether and a new 8 game conference scheduled adopted with three permanent rivalry games for each team, Minnesota’s would be Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. If the league wants to keep 9 games they could find some way to assign that 9th game based on standings much like they did this year. Worth the read but sounds like the schedule is definitely changing over the next month or so.
Thanks! Definitely some very interesting nuggets there. My Atlantic subscription expired, but they do great work. Appreciate you outlining this one...
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,338
Reaction score
1,611
Points
113
According to an article in the Athletic, the Big10 will sit down in the coming weeks to look at adjusting the football schedules for 2021 and perhaps beyond. With the changes that had to be made in 2020, there are some traditional rivalry games that have to be adjusted or those games will end up being played in the same stadium for a third year running. Associate Commissioner Kerry Kenny says that won’t be allowed to happen. If these things aren’t changed, it could lead to some quirks like Nebraska playing at home 5 consecutive weeks. The league wants balance in the schedule. Very long article worth the read if you subscribe. One speculative scenario has the opening game against Ohio State remaining on Thursday but being played in Columbus and our traditional game with the Vadgers being put back to the final weekend. Could be other changes in the scheduling as well as the East coaches, namely James Franklin, complain that the East is too tough and things need to be balanced out. The divisional structure could be scrapped altogether and a new 8 game conference scheduled adopted with three permanent rivalry games for each team, Minnesota’s would be Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. If the league wants to keep 9 games they could find some way to assign that 9th game based on standings much like they did this year. Worth the read but sounds like the schedule is definitely changing over the next month or so.
To scrap divisions it would require NCAA rule changes.


It will be absolutely stupid if all of a sudden Minnesota opens at Ohio state and instead gets Indiana at home
 

BleedGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
52,099
Reaction score
2,009
Points
113
per the link:


Here’s a look at three primary areas the league needs to address when it reconstructs the 2021 football schedule and what it also should consider for 2022 and beyond:

Rivalry flips and ripples
In 2020, the Big Ten swapped locations on six different divisional series. If those games remain in place for 2021, teams would face off in the same stadium three consecutive years. That’s not going to happen, according to associate commissioner Kerry Kenny.

Considering they are round-robin situations — Wisconsin-Nebraska-Purdue in the West; Michigan-Michigan State-Indiana in the East — the league doesn’t need to make wholesale changes. But it does need alterations when it comes to dates. Otherwise, there’s impending disaster.

Indiana-Michigan State will return to Bloomington this fall after playing in East Lansing for two straight years. If merely the location flipped but the date stayed the same, the Spartans would play four consecutive road games over four weeks. Likewise, the first Michigan-Michigan State game in East Lansing since 2018 would force the Wolverines to play four road games and enjoy their idle date over a six-week period. On the opposite side, Nebraska would play five home games (along with an off weekend) over a six-week stretch with its divisional game against Purdue returning to Memorial Stadium.


Go Gophers!!
 

Taji34

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
2,370
Reaction score
640
Points
113
I think Coyle and Fleck will advocate for keeping the season opener at Home vs OSU. Regardless of our performance this year, the first game vs OSU is likely our best chance of a huge upset win against them.

Plus, the last time we played them it was in columbus, no?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
15,656
Reaction score
2,587
Points
113
I think Coyle and Fleck will advocate for keeping the season opener at Home vs OSU. Regardless of our performance this year, the first game vs OSU is likely our best chance of a huge upset win against them.

Plus, the last time we played them it was in columbus, no?
I'm not sure wholesale schedule changes are needed to fix what is being described.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
4,319
Points
113
The divisional structure could be scrapped altogether and a new 8 game conference scheduled adopted with three permanent rivalry games for each team, Minnesota’s would be Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

False. I won't allow a prestigious high-research school that was a founding member of the Big Ten to be anchored down to some carpetbagging, low-research, wanna-be SEC football school like Nebraska.


The permanent rivals should, obviously, preserve as many of the historical rivalry (trophy) games as possible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Big_Ten_Conference_football_rivalry_games


This is the correct list (trophy listed where applicable):

Minn - Wisc (Axe)
Minn - Iowa (Floyd)
Minn - Mich (Jug)

Wisc - Minn (Axe)
Wisc - Iowa (Heartland)
Wisc - Neb (Heroes)

Iowa - Minnesota (Floyd)
Iowa - Wisc (Heartland)
Iowa - Neb (Heroes)

Neb - Iowa (Heros)
Neb - Wisc (Freedom)
Neb - Rut (they can take over the Victory Bell, if they want it)

NW - Ill (Land Lincoln)
NW - Pur
NW - Ind

Ill - NW (Land Lincoln)
Ill - Pur (Cannon)
Ill - Ohio St (Illibuck)

Pur - Ill (Cannon)
Pur - Ind (Bucket)
Pur - NW

Ind - Pur (Bucket)
Ind - Mich St (Spittoon)
Ind - NW

Mich St - Ind (Spittoon)
Mich St - Penn St (Land Grant)
Mich St - Mich

Mich - Mich St
Mich - Ohio St
Mich - Minnesota (Jug)

Ohio St - Mich
Ohio St - Ill (Illibuck)
Ohio St - Penn St

Penn St - Mich St (Land Grant)
Penn St - Ohio St
Penn St - Maryland

Mary - Penn St
Mary - Rut
Mary -

Rut - Mary
Rut - Neb (they can take over the Victory Bell, if they want it)
Rut -


Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers are the odd men out. If more teams were added, this could potentially be fixed.

Indiana and Purdue send a lot of grads to Chicagoland area, so I think they'd prioritize playing NW every year.
 
Last edited:

U2Gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
1,209
Reaction score
173
Points
63
To scrap divisions it would require NCAA rule changes.
According to the article, the NCAA has already changed those rules requiring division champions. I wasn’t aware of that and the article could be wrong. Just repeating what it says. From the article

.....”The Big Ten currently has schedules set from 2022 through 2025. Yet with the NCAA removing divisional requirements for conference championship games, perhaps the league should re-evaluate its entire structure.”
 

forever a gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
1,547
Reaction score
511
Points
113
2020 was totally f'd. Just pretend it didn't happen, and remain on-course for 2021. Sometimes I think they feel the need to mess with things just to mess with things and look like they're doing something.

They went through blowing up the schedule to go with Legends and Leaders. Then they blew it up again to go with East and West. That lead to numerous scheduling flukes like Indiana not coming to Mpls for 10 straight years (2008 and 2018). You've developed a system now- just stick with it!

The "crossover" games at the end of the season worked for 2020, as there were no fans. However, if they do it going forward, it will be a massive pain in the ass. As a season ticket holder, I start scheduling things (especially with kids) around home football games once the schedule is finalized. If I don't know if there will be a home game or away game on the last week, it will be a massive pain. Not to mention for visiting fans it makes it nearly impossible to get anything lined up in a week.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,338
Reaction score
1,611
Points
113
According to the article, the NCAA has already changed those rules requiring division champions. I wasn’t aware of that and the article could be wrong. Just repeating what it says. From the article

.....”The Big Ten currently has schedules set from 2022 through 2025. Yet with the NCAA removing divisional requirements for conference championship games, perhaps the league should re-evaluate its entire structure.”
The ncaa only removed divisional requirement for conferences playing round robin schedules

I think the ACC was a Covid exception more than a rule change. The big 12 exception is in the rules.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
4,319
Points
113
Going to eight conf games from nine is also a strategic move, aligning with the SEC and SEC-Junior Varsity (ACC).

Those two confs have four pairs of historic cross-over rivalries: Florida-FSU, Georgia-Tech, South Carolina-Clemson, Kentucky-Louisville. So they’ve never gone to nine conf games as that would force those four pairs to play 10 P5 games every year.


Eight conf games does two beneficial things: 1) makes the home/away an even four/four instead of an unbalanced four/five, and 2) it gives the choice to each conf team - if they feel they’re stronger and they want to schedule up to nine or 10 P5 games, go for it, if not and they want to schedule more G5 games or perhaps weaker P5 teams, fine.

Also the potential auxiliary benefit of putting more non-conf datapoints into the schedules each year.
 

GopherPD

Active member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Messages
101
Reaction score
69
Points
28
According to an article in the Athletic, the Big10 will sit down in the coming weeks to look at adjusting the football schedules for 2021 and perhaps beyond. With the changes that had to be made in 2020, there are some traditional rivalry games that have to be adjusted or those games will end up being played in the same stadium for a third year running. Associate Commissioner Kerry Kenny says that won’t be allowed to happen. If these things aren’t changed, it could lead to some quirks like Nebraska playing at home 5 consecutive weeks. The league wants balance in the schedule. Very long article worth the read if you subscribe. One speculative scenario has the opening game against Ohio State remaining on Thursday but being played in Columbus and our traditional game with the Vadgers being put back to the final weekend. Could be other changes in the scheduling as well as the East coaches, namely James Franklin, complain that the East is too tough and things need to be balanced out. The divisional structure could be scrapped altogether and a new 8 game conference scheduled adopted with three permanent rivalry games for each team, Minnesota’s would be Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. If the league wants to keep 9 games they could find some way to assign that 9th game based on standings much like they did this year. Worth the read but sounds like the schedule is definitely changing over the next month or so.
The Season opener on a the Thursday before Labor Day Weekend began, and remains, as a concession to the State Fair. If the opener gets moved to Columbus there is no reason for it to be a Thursday Night game. I have come to enjoy the Thursday Night home opener; take Friday off of work and go for an extra long Holiday weekend!
 

MaxyJR1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
7,610
Reaction score
378
Points
83
Would support going back to 8 games plus, 3 non-conference, and Champions week or are they talking doing 8 conference, 4 non-conference and Champions week?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
15,656
Reaction score
2,587
Points
113
After the chaos of 2020..... I'd be kinda surprised if folks wanted to go through the hell of figuring out wholesale schedule changes like removing divisions and etc.


B1G's strength has always been ... just stability.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
4,319
Points
113
Would support going back to 8 games plus, 3 non-conference, and Champions week or are they talking doing 8 conference, 4 non-conference and Champions week?
Champions week doesn't fit within the rules, in normal years. The rules only allow a conference championship game to be exempt from the 12 game regular season limit, not an entire week's slate of conference matchups.

I think it would be 8 conf games + 4 non-conf. Same as SEC and ACC.

Good for most teams. Potentially not as good for conf TV revenue. But on the other hand, SEC just got record deal from ESPN and they only have eight.

More non-conf games probably means more total Big Ten home games, which the TV deal would get the rights to those extra games ... just the worry is that, depending on how teams schedule, they might not be as valuable of matchups.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,338
Reaction score
1,611
Points
113
Would support going back to 8 games plus, 3 non-conference, and Champions week or are they talking doing 8 conference, 4 non-conference and Champions week?
I don’t think champions week will continue to be a thing. Will be really hard to make money on tickets for a game scheduled 6 days before. Season ticket holders will not have paid for that game (because it is unknown if that game is home or road or in Indy).

if they go to 8 it is because the big ten has realized that the SOS argument isn’t real. The confirmation bias of polls means having teams go 14-0 or 13-1 one extra week compared to 7-7 is more likely to get you in the playoff or New Years 6.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
15,656
Reaction score
2,587
Points
113
I really really really hope they don't mess with the Colorado home and home. PLEASE NO
The B1G promised to fulfill their contractual obligations to the non-con schools for 2020... I read that as they would pay them some amount of money rather than weasel out of the deals entirely, even if that would cost the B1G money.


I can't imagine the B1G wants to force scheduling changes on member schools that means they have to cancel non con agreements and accordingly cost those members even MORE money....

In fact the B1G has regularly adjusted in order to avoid non confrere cancellations / costs if at all possible.
 
Last edited:

MaxyJR1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
7,610
Reaction score
378
Points
83
Would be interesting to see what happens if they go back to 8 games and every team has to pick up a game on this short of notice. Also Maryland would need two games as they only have 11 on the schedule at this point. I would think 8 games wouldn't be until 2022.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
4,319
Points
113
Would be interesting to see what happens if they go back to 8 games and every team has to pick up a game on this short of notice. Also Maryland would need two games as they only have 11 on the schedule at this point. I would think 8 games wouldn't be until 2022.
Big Ten's TV deals go through 2023. Unless they're willing to renegotiate the last three years, then nine conference games per team per year have already been bought and paid for?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
15,656
Reaction score
2,587
Points
113
Would be interesting to see what happens if they go back to 8 games and every team has to pick up a game on this short of notice. Also Maryland would need two games as they only have 11 on the schedule at this point. I would think 8 games wouldn't be until 2022.
It would be really weird to ask teams to do that as at one point when there was an agreement to play non conference P5 teams, Barry straight up said they waved the rule because of the cost involved of finding / paying the price for additional non conference teams / filling those games due to the scheduling complexities.

But do it now, after big athletic department losses?

That would be weird.
 

fmlizard

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
2,562
Reaction score
945
Points
113
The 3 protected rivalry, no divisions idea would be awful for Minnesota. While we would get to play our rivals it would hand one of the toughest schedules to Minnesota year in and year out. Wisconsin and Iowa are usually upper tier teams and both Nebraska (most likely) or Michigan (Jug) also have an awful lot of resources. Wisconsin and Iowa are typically our hardest games, now sprinkle in even more games with Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan than we already have.

When it was Leaders and Legends the protected crossover with Wisconsin was a competitive disadvantage compared to teams who have rivals who typically suck. Of course James Franklin wants that, because his "natural rivals" would be Rutgers, Maryland, and maybe Michigan State.

Also, most B1G teams have anywhere from 0-1 historical rivals. There would be a lot of forced ones like Illinois drawing Northwestern, Purdue, and Indiana every year based on proximity. This season excluded, that would be a cake draw.
 

Oregon Gopher

Guardian of the Western Front
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
3,375
Reaction score
171
Points
63
The divisional structure could be scrapped altogether and a new 8 game conference scheduled adopted with three permanent rivalry games for each team, Minnesota’s would be Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

False. I won't allow a prestigious high-research school that was a founding member of the Big Ten to be anchored down to some carpetbagging, low-research, wanna-be SEC football school like Nebraska.


The permanent rivals should, obviously, preserve as many of the historical rivalry (trophy) games as possible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Big_Ten_Conference_football_rivalry_games


This is the correct list (trophy listed where applicable):

Minn - Wisc (Axe)
Minn - Iowa (Floyd)
Minn - Mich (Jug)

Wisc - Minn (Axe)
Wisc - Iowa (Heartland)
Wisc - Neb (Heroes)

Iowa - Minnesota (Floyd)
Iowa - Wisc (Heartland)
Iowa - Neb (Heroes)

Neb - Iowa (Heros)
Neb - Wisc (Freedom)
Neb - Rut (they can take over the Victory Bell, if they want it)

NW - Ill (Land Lincoln)
NW - Pur
NW - Ind

Ill - NW (Land Lincoln)
Ill - Pur (Cannon)
Ill - Ohio St (Illibuck)

Pur - Ill (Cannon)
Pur - Ind (Bucket)
Pur - NW

Ind - Pur (Bucket)
Ind - Mich St (Spittoon)
Ind - NW

Mich St - Ind (Spittoon)
Mich St - Penn St (Land Grant)
Mich St - Mich

Mich - Mich St
Mich - Ohio St
Mich - Minnesota (Jug)

Ohio St - Mich
Ohio St - Ill (Illibuck)
Ohio St - Penn St

Penn St - Mich St (Land Grant)
Penn St - Ohio St
Penn St - Maryland

Mary - Penn St
Mary - Rut
Mary -

Rut - Mary
Rut - Neb (they can take over the Victory Bell, if they want it)
Rut -


Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers are the odd men out. If more teams were added, this could potentially be fixed.

Indiana and Purdue send a lot of grads to Chicagoland area, so I think they'd prioritize playing NW every year.
You won’t allow ???? How pompous and deluded can you be???
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
8,338
Reaction score
1,611
Points
113
The 3 protected rivalry, no divisions idea would be awful for Minnesota. While we would get to play our rivals it would hand one of the toughest schedules to Minnesota year in and year out. Wisconsin and Iowa are usually upper tier teams and both Nebraska (most likely) or Michigan (Jug) also have an awful lot of resources. Wisconsin and Iowa are typically our hardest games, now sprinkle in even more games with Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan than we already have.

When it was Leaders and Legends the protected crossover with Wisconsin was a competitive disadvantage compared to teams who have rivals who typically suck. Of course James Franklin wants that, because his "natural rivals" would be Rutgers, Maryland, and maybe Michigan State.

Also, most B1G teams have anywhere from 0-1 historical rivals. There would be a lot of forced ones like Illinois drawing Northwestern, Purdue, and Indiana every year based on proximity. This season excluded, that would be a cake draw.
I’ve long said that I don’t know how a decision to scrap divisions would go. But I would imagine it would take at least a majority vote. Here is a list of teams that never want to switch away from divisions:
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Illinois
Northwestern
Purdue
Iowa
Nebraska

those seven teams have more opportunity for upside in the west.

Here is another school:
Ohio state

Ohio state would have many more chances to lose games if divisions were scrapped.
Rather than play Penn State and Michigan for the division plus maybe one tough team from the west every year they’d have locked rival games with those two anyways plus would have to play the top of the west much more often.

There will always be at least 8 votes to preserve the east-west IMO
 

PMWinSTP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
9,943
Reaction score
895
Points
113
Feels like a lot of just plain speculation. Rather see other conferences have to go to nine games than B1G going back to eight.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
4,319
Points
113
Feels like a lot of just plain speculation. Rather see other conferences have to go to nine games than B1G going back to eight.
What is "have to"? As I've explained, four teams in each of the SEC and ACC are locked into yearly in-state, non-conf rivalry games, which defacto gives them +1 P5 games above the conference minimum requirement. That's why the SEC and ACC have always resisted going from eight to nine.

The ACC also wants to leave the door open for Notre Dame, and they likely could never play more than eight conference games, "needing" to maintain so many critically important yearly rivalries.


So long as it doesn't cost us TV money, going back to eight has far more positives that outweigh the negatives. I support it.
 
Top Bottom