According to a story I read on The Athletic by Scott Dochterman, the conference is considering eliminating divisions and reducing conference games from nine to eight. This would take place starting in 2023 since the current media agreements end after 2022 and there would be another schedule shake up in 2023 anyways as we recently learned the 2022 schedule changed.
Part of the reason for talking about the change is to accommodate The Alliance with the Pac12 and ACC. So instead of nine Big Ten games there would be eight plus one game versus either a Pac12 or ACC opponent. The Big Ten schedule would consist of three permanent games (I would think, or more appropriately hope, the Quadrangle of Hate for the Gophers, Badgers, Hawkeyes, and Cornhuskers) and then cycle through the remaining ten opponents on some sort of every other year or two year system.
I'm kind of indifferent on playing the ACC or Pac12. It would be nice to know the Gophers are playing against a big non-conference opponent each year, but each school currently does and could do it themselves anyways.
So here is my idea about all this. Why not have eight scheduled games and then the ninth game being a flex game. In my scenario keep the divisions as is and at the end of eight games, whoever is #1 in the East plays #2 in the West and vice versa. This would be a conference championship semifinal. The winners then play each other in the conference championship game. So yes, it could definitely happen that two teams from the same division play each other for the conference title. So what? It still gives two teams from each division a shot at it and if the final two standing happen to be from the same division, then they earned it.
In addition to adding a semifinal conference championship game played at the better seeded team's home field, the other 10 teams in the division would play each other as well. So #3 in the West would play #3 in the East and then #4 in the West would play #4 in the East and so on down the line to still give everyone a ninth conference game. There may be some rematches, but who cares, it just adds to the hate.
So there are my thoughts on how the conference play could be shaken up a bit and even improved with an exciting two weeks at the end with the conference championship decided in a two round interconference playoff. Theoretically, the Big Ten could still keep The Alliance and still schedule one of its games against the Pac12 or ACC and that would still leave two non-conference games for FCS or MAC, Sun Belt, C-USA opponents. I frankly don't understand why the B1G needs The Alliance, but that is another post altogether.