December 10, 2023

Big Ten expected to change the rule requiring soccer teams to play 6 matches to make the conference title game

Big Ten is expected to change its policy that teams play six matches to qualify for the convention championship match, and will likely pave the way for the undefeated Ohio State No. 4 to face Northwestern on December 19, pending further approval in the league, sources told ESPN.

The sports directors of the Big Ten met Wednesday morning, and while there was support to allow Buckeyes to only five convention matches, the policy change had yet to be voted on by a larger group including female athletes’ directors and senior administrators. Ultimately, it must obtain approval from university presidents and advisors.

Multiple sources told ESPN the meeting was cooperative and said there is consensus that Game Six will not change Big Ten’s East Division’s ranking. If Ohio finds another opponent to replace Michigan, Buckeyes will still win East, win or lose.

Buckeyes’ placement in the posteason became a question Tuesday when Michigan canceled the regular season competition game due to COVID-19 issues within the Wolverines program. It was the third game to be canceled for Ohio state this season, after another against Illinois and Maryland.