ESPN college football senior writer Adam Rittenberg recently spoke with Big Ten representatives about protecting the longevity of the annual Oregon-Washington football rivalry.

With Oregon and Washington set to join the Big Ten in 2024, Big Ten chief operating officer Kerry Kenny told ESPN that the Ducks and Huskies will play annually as “a 12th protected game” for the league.

According to Rittenberg’s article on, the Big Ten is focused on its 2024 and 2025 football schedules. The Big Ten is still finalizing details of the “Flex Protect Plus” plan and indicated there could be additional games protected.

The league will maintain the “Flex Protect Plus” model that was announced in June. Based on a previous article written by Rittenberg, the model maintains “a 9-game league schedule and contains both guaranteed annual matchups and rotating ones.”

“Beginning in 2024, every conference pairing will take place at least twice in a four-year span, once at each member school’s home stadium,” Rittenberg said in June.

Rittenburg’s article from Thursday noted that the Big Ten will soon announce home-and-home opponents for the 2024 schedule. It will be followed by finalizing specific dates.

“We’re making sure that we don’t have outliers in terms of the hardest schedule or the easiest schedule for any of our teams, and working through how to balance the competitive tiers,” Kenny said. “You’re going to see a lot of what people seemingly liked with the Flex Protect Plus. We’re going through different options of what that could look like to see how we balance not just the travel component of our Eastern and Central time zone schools but also the frequency of how we can get everybody to play both at those four [West Coast] schools.”

Oregon and Washington are set to square off for the last time in the Pac-12 on Oct. 13. Both are currently nationally ranked, but a start time for the contest in October has yet to be determined.