The picture of what the Big Ten will look like with USC and UCLA as members became clearer Thursday when the conference announced each team’s conference opponents for the 2024 and ‘25 seasons.
Ohio State will face Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan at home in 2024 and play conference games at Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and UCLA.
(Dates for those games will be determined this fall.)
In 2025, the Buckeyes will host Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska and USC while traveling to Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Ohio State is also slated to play Western Michigan, Marshall and Southern Miss in 2024.
In 2025, the Buckeyes have a home date with Texas to open the season and a visit from Connecticut already on tap with a third game still to be determined.
As part of the new scheduling format, the Big Ten is dropping divisions but will maintain a conference championship game.
On top of that, Ohio State’s only designated annual rival is Michigan. That means the Buckeyes’ streak of playing Penn State every year since the Nittany Lions joined the conference in 1993 will end after the ‘24 campaign (unless the teams play in the 2025 Big Ten Championship Game).
The other protected matchups are Illinois-Northwestern, Illinois-Purdue, Indiana-Purdue, Iowa-Minnesota, Iowa-Nebraska, Iowa-Wisconsin, Maryland-Rutgers, Michigan-Michigan State, Minnesota-Wisconsin and UCLA-USC
Ohio State and Michigan have been scheduled to play every year since 1918, but the 2020 matchup was wiped out by COVID-19.
Moving forward, each team will continue to play nine conference games per season, and face every other conference opponent at least twice (once home and once away) in a four-year period.
With the new scheduling format, Michigan will again become the team Ohio State has played in the most consecutive seasons in 2025 when Penn State rotates off.