The Big Ten announced several scheduling updates on Thursday for the 2024 and 2025 football seasons, including every team’s home and away opponents and the conference’s new scheduling model.
Beginning with the 2024 season, in which USC and UCLA will begin play in the Big Ten and bring the conference up to 16 teams, the league will be doing away with divisions, which have been in place since the 2011 season. The Big Ten will now feature a nine-game conference schedule with both guaranteed and rotating matchups, of which Ohio State and Michigan is one that is guaranteed every season.
Other protected games include UCLA-USC, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Indiana-Purdue, Michigan State-Michigan, Iowa-Minnesota, Illinois-Northwestern, Iowa-Nebraska, Maryland-Rutgers, Iowa-Wisconsin and Illinois-Purdue, leaving Penn State as the only team without a protected matchup.
In that first season with USC and UCLA in the conference, Ohio State will host Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern and Rutgers while traveling to face Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and UCLA. The Buckeyes also have nonconference matchups scheduled against Southern Miss on Aug. 31, Western Michigan on Sept. 7 and Marshall on Sept. 21, with an off week scheduled for Sept. 14.
The 2025 football season will see Ohio State host Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska and USC, and travel to face Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin, making it so that Ohio State will have played every team in the conference over the two-year period. The Buckeyes also have nonconference games against Texas on Aug. 30 and UConn on Oct. 18, with one conference game still to be scheduled.
The 2025 season will be the first time Ohio State and Penn State have not played since the 1992 season, the final season before the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten.
As for the newcomers to the conference, Ohio State and USC last played in the Cotton Bowl in 2017, with the Buckeyes earning a 24-7 win. The Trojans hold a 13-10-1 lead in the series history, and had won the previous seven games against the Buckeyes prior to the Cotton Bowl. This will be the 10th time Ohio State and UCLA have faced off, with the teams knotted up 4-4-1 in the series history. They last played on Sept. 22, 2001, in a 13-6 win for the Bruins in Pasadena, Calif.