Ranking the Big Ten 2024 football schedule by difficulty: Can the Badgers win a title?

The Badgers have a tough 2024 schedule, but how do they rank against the other teams in their conference?
Jan 1, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) waits for a play in the ReliaQuest Bowl against the LSU Tigers.
Jan 1, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) waits for a play in the ReliaQuest Bowl against the LSU Tigers. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin has seen the Big Ten go through so many changes as it was a founding member of the conference back in the late 1800s. The Badgers are about to see the conference go through yet another change as the Big Ten is about to add four teams from the Pac-12.

After going 7-6 overall and 5-4 in the Big Ten with a new head coach, the Badgers are looking to take a step forward under second-year coach Luke Fickell, however, the competition is only going to be tougher.

Oregon, Washington, USC, and UCLA are set to join the Big Ten this upcoming summer to bring the total number of teams to 18, the most of any other power conference. The Badgers are set to take on two of the newcomers in 2024, USC and Oregon, two of the top teams coming from the Pac-12.

So with 18 teams now in the conference, how does each schedule rank against the others? Here is the ranking of each Big Ten Conference team's strength of schedule. Where do the Badgers fall?

18. Indiana Hoosiers
17. Nebraska Cornhuskers
16. Maryland Terrapins
15. Ohio State Buckeyes
14. Illinois Fighting Illini
13. Penn State Nittany Lions
12. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
11. Michigan State Spartans
10. Oregon Ducks
9. Washington Huskies
8. Minnesota Golden Gophers
7. Northwestern Wildcats
6. Wisconsin Badgers
5. Iowa Hawkeyes
4. Purdue Boilermakers
3. Michigan Wolverines
2. UCLA Bruins
1. UCS Trojans

Wisconsin has one of the tougher schedules in the Big Ten and that is thanks to who they play in the conference and also having at least one tough non-conference game.

Here is the Badgers' upcoming 2024 season schedule:

  • Wisconsin vs. Western Michigan: Saturday, August 31
  • Wisconsin vs. South Dakota: Saturday, September 7
  • Wisconsin vs. Alabama: Saturday, September 14
  • Wisconsin at USC: Saturday, September 28
  • Wisconsin vs. Purdue: Saturday, October 5
  • Wisconsin at Rutgers: Saturday, October 12
  • Wisconsin at Northwestern: Saturday, October 19
  • Wisconsin vs. Penn State: Saturday, October 26
  • Wisconsin at Iowa: Saturday, November 2
  • Wisconsin vs. Oregon: Saturday, November 16
  • Wisconsin at Nebraska: Saturday, November 23
  • Wisconsin vs. Minnesota: Saturday, November 30

While Wisconsin has a tough schedule, the good news is that they don't have to play the two teams who have been at the top of the conference for quite a few years in Ohio State and Michigan.

However, the Badgers' home schedule is brutal, and they play three of the five toughest opponents at home. The good news is that they are at home, but the bad news is that they welcome Alabama at the beginning of the season, then Penn State and Iowa towards the end of the season.

The toughest turnaround for the Badgers will be Alabama at home and then thier first away game all the way in California against USC. Luckily they have a bye-week in between those games to rest and prepare, but this is a tough schedule with a lot of quality opponents and Luke Fickell has his work cut out for him in year two.