Illini Football Draw Ohio State, Michigan & USC in 2024 Big Ten Football Schedule

Illinois, Iowa and Michigan will be the only programs in 2024 playing road games on both coasts of the new Big Ten Conference by playing at Southern California and Rutgers.

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Football Writer/Analyst

June 8, 2023

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Illinois football team will play on the furthest east and west coasts of the Big Ten Conference in the 2024 season.

The conference office released its scheduling format for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, which will be a flex scheduling procedure that mixes two permanent rivalry games and another non-rival opponent where schools will split a home-and-home series. For Illinois, the two permanent rivals are its closest conference colleagues - Purdue and Northwestern - and the non-rival home-and-home opponent is Ohio State.

The Illini, which is likely to be in the fourth season of Bret Bielema leading the program as head coach, will draw four home games in 2024 against Purdue, Iowa, Maryland and Michigan. The five road games in 2024 for Illinois will be at Northwestern, Ohio State, Southern California, Rutgers and Michigan State. In 2024, Illinois is currently slated to have three non-conference home games against Kansas, Central Michigan and Eastern Illinois.

In the 2025 season, Illinois will have five conference home games against Northwestern, Ohio State, UCLA, Minnesota and Indiana. The four road conference games for the Illini in 2025 will be at Purdue, Penn State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Illinois is slated to play three non-conference games in 2025 that include a road game at Duke and home games against Mid-American Conference foes Ohio and Western Michigan.

Illinois, Michigan and Iowa will be the only Big Ten programs making road trips in 2024 to both USC and Rutgers.

The new scheduling format eliminates the divisional format of the league as it is likely the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in each conference will meet for the conference title game going forward similarly to how the Big 12 Conference organizes its title game now.

The media release sent out by the league office confirms the 2024 and 2025 opponent rotations were approved by the Big Ten Administrators Council after including many factors such as maintaining control and flexibility as the college football postseason format evolves, creating access for programs into an expanded College Football Playoff, an attempt at balance of annual travel by distance, regions of the conference, and time zones, an attempt at balance of historic competitiveness and recent competitive trends, including home/away balance of traditionally competitive schools and a balance and maximization of television inventory each season.

The last time Illinois has played USC in the Los Angeles Coliseum was a 14-13 comeback win for the Illini on Sept. 4, 1989 led by then-quarterback Jeff George as he found wide receiver Steve Williams for the winning score from 20 yards out with two minutes and 19 seconds left in the game - which was broadcast on ABC with the late Keith Jackson doing play-by-play.

 

Illinois 2024 Football Opponents

Home: Kansas, Central Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland and Purdue

Away: Southern California, Ohio State, Michigan State, Rutgers and Northwestern

 

Illinois 2025 Football Opponents

Home: Ohio, Western Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA, Minnesota, Indiana and Northwestern

Away: Duke, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Purdue

 

 

Podcasts

May 24 Weekend (S3,Ep41)

Listen

Illini Legend Stephen Bardo - #363

Listen

Tyler Underwood 1-on-1 #362

Listen

May 17 Weekend (S3,Ep40)

Listen

Illini Legend David Williams & His Charity Golf Outing on June 8 #361

Listen

Huge Portal Kombat Win for Bret Bielema #360

Listen

May 10 Weekend (S3,Ep39)

Listen

Illini Baseball is Heating Up #359

Listen

Illini Add Euro Big #358

Listen

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Interview with Ben Humrichous

Listen

May 3 Weekend (S3,Ep38)

Listen

Portal Kombat - Big Ben Commits & Portals Are Wild #357

Listen

NFL Draft Recap & Portal Kombat (Men & Women) #356

Listen

April 26 Weekend (S3,37)

Listen

Orlando is Back! #355

Listen