Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dividing The Big Ten -- Where Do You Put IU?

So now that Nebraska is officially in the Big Ten, which makes it the Big Twelve in everything but name, we get to the detail part, which means dividing the league into two divisions to set up a conference football championship game.

Yes, that means that the league that already pays members about $23 million a year each thanks to the Big Ten Network, will soon be raking in even more money. The Big Ten title game -– how does Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium sound as a permanent site? -- is certain to generate big-bucks interest from advertisers beyond what will be made in ticket sales, concessions, parking (they were charging as much as $45 to park near Lucas Oil Stadium during the basketball Final Four), souvenirs and heaven knows what else.

So how do you divide the league?

Geography makes the most sense. It will help with travel costs and lend itself to rivalries. An east-west split would be a good bet. Here is our unofficial new league look:





Ohio State

Michigan State

Penn State








Teams would play five games against everybody in their division, then rotate three games against teams in the other division. That would still mean eight total Big Ten games, plus a conference title game for the two division winners. Teams would still have four non-conference games.

This assumes, of course, that there will be no more expansion. But in this fast-changing college sports world, nothing should be assumed except more change is coming.

Notre Dame, of course, remains the No. 1 target. And while Kansas isn’t getting much Big Ten play (it doesn’t offer much in the way of big-city markets), it does have a big-time basketball program that would add extra pop there, something Nebraska –- or even Notre Dame -- doesn’t come close to doing in that sport.

Missouri seems to be out of flavor-of-the-week status, but that can change. Rutgers offers East Coast exposure and Pitt would seem to be a natural, although Penn State officials might not think so.

For now, this is our speculation, but as the kids tell us all the time, what the heck do we know? So how do you think the Big Ten should be divided? Let us know and we’ll post the results.


  1. How about Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State as the North; Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, INDIANA, and Ohio State in the South ? Seems logical and geographically reasonable. If ND and Missouri come in, ND to the North, and Mizzou to the South.

  2. I don't think I would want UM, OSU, and Penn State all in the same division. While geography could play a role, I don't think it's as big a deal with the B10. I would do something more like this:

    IU, PU, OSU, PSU, Illinois, Northwestern
    Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, UM, MSU

    I would also like to seem them go to nine conference games so that you only miss two teams each year.

  3. In your alignment, it would be very difficult for Indiana to win a game within the Big Ten East. In the other options listed above, at least IU has a chance for a victory or two.

  4. So that puts Indiana in a football division with 3 of the top 7 or 8 all time powers in the history of college football. That division is the death knell for Indiana football and we have zero chance to ever win or even be competitive. Right now, we're kind of stuck in a pattern of recruiting kids who have choices of a MAC school or Indiana. We get into that division, we'll be lucky to win 6 games every season, and even thosekids will think twice. Who wants to play for a team that has no chance to even win its own division? The Big 10 needs to really think about how it divides divisions. Your scenario absolutely kills Indiana football.

  5. looks like the west division is a lot weeker than the east do we think the geography is the key or should you try balance the divisions based on separating, OSU, Nrbraska ,PSU and Michigan

  6. Maybe Fred Glass would decide to become competitive in Football and get a coach.

  7. OSU and Michigan HAVE to play each other every year. That has to be written in stone. It's the premier rivalry in college sports.

  8. It doesn't matter where they put IU. We have NO chance, NO CHANCE at all of ever being competitive in football. Have we ever beaten the last addition Penn St,? Nope. Last time we played Neb. we got beat 69-17 I believe and it was 35-0 after the 1st quarter. Osborne put in the scrubs the last 3 quarters and we were competitive. We only lost 34-17! Put IU in the MAC for football only. That is where we belong.