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Three-Point Stance: Big Ten changes, Ryan Wingo, more

Rivals national analyst Greg Smith has thoughts on the new Big Ten scheduling model, Ryan Wingo's potentially wide recruitment and Big Ten teams staying hot on the recruiting trail.

MORE THREE-POINT STANCE: East's two five-stars, June recruiting, more



Sunday: Who should be No. 1?

Monday: Five-star countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals 250 released | Ten prospects on the verge of five-star status | Gorney's thoughts

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | QB rankings spotlight

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released | Who will finish as top RB?

Saturday: Rankings Roundtable


1. It's a whole new Big Ten world. 

UCLA and USC will join the Big Ten in 2024.
UCLA and USC will join the Big Ten in 2024. (AP Sports Images)

The Big Ten unveiled its newly revised schedule model recently to account for the additions of USC and UCLA in 2024. The league will grow to a 16-team conference that spans from coast to coast, which ensures that tweaks need to be made.

It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but the model is named “Flex Protect Plus.” The nine-game conference schedule is intact, but divisions are gone after this season. So long, East and West, even if we like "Legends and Leaders” better. The top two teams in the conference standings will play for the Big Ten Championship game. There are protected rivalry games and “two-play” opponents. Those are not protected, but games that will be played back-to-back seasons and rotate.

The big (pun intended) thing I like here is that flexibility stayed at the heart of the Big Ten’s approach. The league actually went out of its way to ensure teams play each other more often. That's interesting as we inch toward the College Football Playoff being expanded. That’s in stark contrast to the SEC, which shrunk at the idea of increased competition recently.

There are bound to be drawbacks to the new format, but overall I like where things are headed for the Big Ten. We’ll see if a semi-regular Ohio State versus Michigan game in the Big Ten Championship game happens. Something tells me the television networks wouldn’t mind.


2. Ryan Wingo's recruitment could be a wild ride. 

Ryan Wingo
Ryan Wingo (Nick Lucero/

Five-star recruitments that have the potential to go all the way to signing day offer a lot of intrigue. That’s exactly what I think we are going to get with St. Louis University (Mo.) wide receiver Ryan Wingo. Things seem to be very wide open for the wideout, even through June official visits. So far, he’s taken a trip to Georgia (June 2) and Michigan (June 9). There are still trips planned to Texas on the weekend of June 16 and Missouri on the weekend of June 23.

Wingo doesn’t seem to have any favorites and did tell me that he plans to take his recruitment to signing day. He’d like to take in some game-day atmospheres at his top schools. If he sticks to that plan, we could be looking at a heavyweight fight until the end for his signature. Don’t discount the chances of another team swooping in, either, now that prospects can take unlimited official visits. Buckle up, college football fans.


3. Big Ten teams are making noise on the recruiting trail. 

Illinois commit Tysean Griffin
Illinois commit Tysean Griffin

The Big Ten is having a heck of a week on the recruiting trail. The conference is paced right now by Michigan, which is aiming for the No. 1 team ranking spot this cycle. As always, Ohio State is right there in the mix as well.

But this last week has seen several Big Ten schools gain momentum on the trail. Illinois picked up six commitments in the last week, including a pair of four-star players in athlete Tysean Griffin and defensive end Eddie Tuerk.

Minnesota landed four commitments in the last week, including three-star Iowa tight end Jacob Simpson. Rutgers landed four verbals over the span of three days. Three-star Michigan linebacker Montele Johnson was the headliner.

Maryland also picked up a trio of prospects. Nebraska gained a pair of 2024 commitments and a 2025 pledge as well.

It's been a busy first half of the month in the Midwest for commitments – with plenty more to come.

RELATED: Big Ten team rankings | Latest recruiting buzz