The Big Ten reportedly plans to keep its current divisions for at least another season.
UCLA and USC are slated to join the conference in 2024, and that’s led to some speculation that the conference might drop the divisions completely. The biggest advantage to doing so is that it would allow for the two best teams to make the conference title game.
However, no changes will be until after the 2023 season, according to The Athletic. That means the East and West divisions will hold until at least 2024.
What will the new format look like for the Big Ten?
It’s not entirely clear if the Big Ten will keep divisions at all in 2024 and just swap some teams around, or if the conference will just throw everyone in the same bucket.
An educated guess makes me believe it’s going to be the latter. The B1G and all other conferences want their best teams in the title game. That’s much easier to do without divisions at all.
For example, the ACC has already made the decision to dump the divisions and just throw all the teams into one group.
The ACC definitely won’t be the last conference to make that decision. There’s a very real possibility the Big Ten will do the same once UCLA and USC officially join in 2024.
The last thing the B1G wants is 8-4 Northwestern playing a dominant OSU team again like fans saw in 2018. That’s not going to happen once divisions are eliminated, which is the main motivating factor.
So, enjoy the East and West divisions while you can because once 2024 gets here, it’s almost certainly going to be the end of the road.