Iowa AD Gary Barta prepared to 'fight' to keep annual rivalries intact during realignment
USC and UCLA are joining the B1G for play beginning in 2024, that much we know. What remains unknown is how the conference will schedule games and whether or not the B1G will continue to employ an East-West divisional model.
On Friday, Iowa AD Gary Barta was asked about the outlook for the conference. He began by admitting that the B1G is likely to stay status quo over the next 2 seasons with divisions until the addition of the Bruins and Trojans.
After that – in 2024 and beyond – could be a different story, which brings up the question how to schedule the conference games. With rivalries in mind, Barta said he plans to “fight for as many as I can get.”
According to Scott Dochterman with The Athletic, Barta specifically mentioned the annual rivalry games against Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Northwestern as games he wants to keep on the schedule each year.
Iowa AD Gary Barta said it’s likely the Big Ten keeps status quo (East-West) until USC and UCLA join in 2024.
On rivalries: “I’m going to fight for as many as I can get.” Mentions four in that category: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern.
— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) July 8, 2022
With expanding conferences, it seems inevitable some long-standing rivalries are bound to be removed from the annual schedule. However, it is still hard to envision a B1G season without the Hawkeyes facing the teams Barta specifically named on Friday.