Build Your Own Big Ten Conference Divisions
According to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, we should know the final division alignment of the Big Ten Conference around mid-September. Already, there has been tremendous speculation as to how this could look. Will it be East/West? Will it be a hodge-podge? Do Ohio State and Michigan need to stay in the same division? Those are just a few of the questions being posed as we near the end result.
What's your ideal scenario? Well, with this handy little 'conference building tool' you can build the divisions yourself!
The tool factors in 3 criteria when assessing the quality of your decisions. Geographic sensibility, rivalries, and overall competitiveness. With that in mind, play around and see how you do.
My scenario rated an 87. I received an A+ for geography, A- for maintaining rivalries, and a B+ for overall competitiveness. Below is my breakdown:
Ohio State - Michigan - Michigan St. - Penn State - Purdue - Indiana
Wisconsin - Nebraska - Iowa - Minnesota - Northwestern - Illinois
One thing to note is that I used a football filter when constructing this...this had nothing to do with basketball or any other sport.
I couldn't envision OSU and Michigan being separated. Nor could I envision a scenario where Wisconsin and Nebraska would be separated...I think this will become an outstanding rivalry. The trick was finding that third quality program to add to each division. From a geographic and competitive standpoint (at least this year), it made sense to lump Penn State with OSU and Michigan and Iowa with Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Left over are a handful of schools that are all capable of being bowl teams in any given year (OK - maybe not Indiana). I kept the Illinois schools together, and I kept the Indiana schools together. That left Minnesota. I lumped them with the Badgers due to the Paul Bunyan Ax rivalry game.
Now it's your turn.