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Big Ten announces new divisions, nine-game conference slate

Jim Delany AP

Depending on how offensive/hilarious you found “Leaders” and “Legends” to be as division names, today was possibly a long time coming.

The Big Ten announced on Sunday a new divisional alignment — a much simpler “East” and “West” — that will become effective in 2014 in time for the additions of Maryland and Rutgers. The membership of the two divisions will be as follows:

East Division
Indiana
Maryland
Michigan
Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State
Rutgers

West Division
Illinois
Iowa
Minnesota
Nebraska
Northwestern
Purdue
Wisconsin

In 2014 and 2015, each school will play the other six members in its division plus two teams in the opposing division. Beginning in 2016, the number of conference members each team will play from the opposing division increases to three as part of a new nine-game schedule — the first since 1984. In the new setup, only the Purdue-Indiana game will be considered a protected crossover game, but the new alignment does preserve 10 of the 13 trophy games in the conference. Perhaps most importantly to many, Michigan and Ohio State will now be in the same division.

Teams from the East Division will host five conference home games during even-numbered years, with West Division teams hosting five conference home games during odd-numbered years. Each school will play each other at least once every four years.

“Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of East/West geography,” said Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany.  “The directors of athletics also relied on the results of a fan survey commissioned by BTN last December to arrive at their recommendation, which is consistent with the public sentiment expressed in the poll.”

Considering the criticism the Big Ten was taking from “Legends” and “Leaders”, the conference did a decent job this time around.  The East definitely looks like the more top-heavy division, but there’s always going to be at least one gripe.

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27 Responses to “Big Ten announces new divisions, nine-game conference slate”
  1. huskerguy says: Apr 28, 2013 2:45 PM

    This is now exactly the way most everyone thought it should be. Sure the west seems weaker but I think in the long run it will even out just fine. I’m excited!

  2. polegojim says: Apr 28, 2013 3:15 PM

    Hated leaders and legends… well done.

    Nice correction B1G.

  3. vincentbojackson says: Apr 28, 2013 4:04 PM

    Call it whatever you want, just improve the product on the field. The top half of the MAC is better than the bottom 2/3 of the Big 10 lately.

  4. bdnnbd says: Apr 28, 2013 4:09 PM

    I like the name change, dislike adding the two east schools in the first place, and love the annual relative cakewalk the Badgers have to the conference title game.

  5. drummerhoff says: Apr 28, 2013 4:32 PM

    When is Purdue and Michigan State playing Notre Dame?

  6. huskerzfan says: Apr 28, 2013 5:26 PM

    @ vincentbojackson

    Call it whatever you want, just improve the product on the field. The top half of the MAC is better than the bottom 2/3 of the Big 10 lately.
    __________________________________

    You knew it wouldn’t take long before a team SEC fan tried to come in and crap all over this thread.

    Well done.

  7. operwapitsai says: Apr 28, 2013 6:06 PM

    as a Michigan State student from Maryland this is sweet! go green

  8. imaduffer says: Apr 28, 2013 6:08 PM

    To qualify for the “College Football Playoffs” all conferences should have to play 9 conference games.

  9. barkleyblows says: Apr 28, 2013 6:21 PM

    All the good teams in one division and all the crap teams in the other division!

  10. thefiesty1 says: Apr 28, 2013 6:24 PM

    The B1G will be lucky to,place one team in the CFP.

  11. canetic says: Apr 28, 2013 6:26 PM

    Will they continue the tradition of losing every big game outside their conference? Because that is fun to watch.

  12. barkleyblows says: Apr 28, 2013 6:31 PM

    I still can’t figure out how or why Wesconsen Skunk weasel fans can talk crap. Unreal. Your team has never one anything significant. When your team becomes as good as Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State then you can start talking crap. Wesconsen had it’s best team ever a couple years ago and lost to a terrible Ohio State team, Michigan State and TCU hahaha. 3 straight Rose Bowl losses. I would definitely be embarrassed being a skunk weasel fan.

  13. huskersrock1 says: Apr 28, 2013 6:50 PM

    Logical, but I am going to miss the yearly crossover game with Penn State.

  14. thefiesty1 says: Apr 28, 2013 7:24 PM

    @huskersrock1…. Like they miss their annual game with Oklahoma when they blew the big 8 for the big 12 for the B1G. No tradition. Give it up. Oh yea, and couldn’t beat Texas and bolted from the Big12.

  15. auburntigers34 says: Apr 28, 2013 9:07 PM

    imaduffer says: Apr 28, 2013 6:08 PM

    To qualify for the “College Football Playoffs” all conferences should have to play 9 conference games.

    yeah….because playing 9 conference games in the weak B1g would be such a challenge.

  16. huskersrock1 says: Apr 28, 2013 9:27 PM

    Tfirsty1 – Yea the same way I miss the games against OU and games against UT. Exciting games are what college football is all about. Regarding your obvious butt hurt over us joining the B1G, the opportunity was too good to pass up, the B1G is the best research conference in the country.

    Cheers and stay classy

  17. imaduffer says: Apr 28, 2013 11:40 PM

    @allburntiger,

    Last season you Tigers wouldn’t have made the D-3 playoffs.

  18. metalhead65 says: Apr 29, 2013 7:33 AM

    who is the genius that thought of this? how can you put all the big schools in 1 division and essentially give the other division to nebraska or wisconsin every year? how is a program like IU which is trying to become a respectable football program ever suppose to make the next step having to play the powerhouse teams every year? but you stick nebraska which has done nothing since joining the conference in a division that is theirs to lose?

  19. auburntigers34 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:19 AM

    imaduffer says: Apr 28, 2013 11:40 PM

    @allburntiger,

    Last season you Tigers wouldn’t have made the D-3 playoffs.

    in other words, they had enough talent to win the Western division of the “B1G” .

  20. gripless says: Apr 29, 2013 10:28 AM

    Poor alignment of talent. The East will win nearly every year we just need to figure which red will show up and play the game.

    If this is the work product of hard work, hate to see a casual day for these great planners.

  21. imaduffer says: Apr 29, 2013 10:31 AM

    Hey, burnt tiger,

    Just checked your schedule. I see the Warden is only allowing the inmates to leave town four times this season. Eight home games, really?

  22. timmons94 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:57 PM

    Sec fans with no life attack. Sec is a joke. Ole miss. Miss state. Tenn. auburn and their tainted title, arkansas. Kentucky. A and m who couldn’t compete in big 12. Misery aka mizzou. Vanderbilt all stink. Carolina will never win. Gators have a horrible coach. Georgia and lsu coached by most overrated coach in history if sports are solid. An bama wins. And leads in arrests. Sec is a joke. 3 or 4 good teams. The rest are a joke ESP auburn. But at least they have a good hoops program.. Hahaha

  23. deadeye says: Apr 30, 2013 9:58 AM

    It’s good for the BIG10 that they changed that moronic naming of “Leaders” and “Legends”.

    But the fact is that someone thought it was a good idea for it to be adopted in the first place. I want to know who that person was, they deserve public derision.

  24. 8to80texansblog says: Apr 30, 2013 2:34 PM

    Some people may think this is heresy, but wouldn’t it have been nice to see them split up UM and OSU? Then you have the opportunity to see them in the title game. You could still set it up where they play every other year.

    Maybe not, but we’ve seen the defacto Big Ten title game so many times between Michigan and Ohio State that it would be nice to see them play with so much on the line.

  25. florida727 says: May 2, 2013 10:47 AM

    “The East definitely looks like the more top-heavy division, but there’s always going to be at least one gripe.”

    Sports is cyclical, we all know that. Eventually, things will balance out. Ohio State will always be Ohio State, and Michigan will always be Michigan, but in the end, the B1G will still always send its best representative to the major bowl games and/or the new playoff system, and that’s what matters most.

    I’m an SEC fan, but I sure do enjoy watching B1G football. Having grown up in Chicago, you can take the boy out of the B1G, but you’ll never take the B1G out of the boy. Good luck, B1G fans. Glad to see traditional rivalries will (mostly) be held intact. You guys produce some awesome games.

  26. packerbadger says: May 6, 2013 2:36 PM

    huskerzfan says:Apr 28, 2013 5:26 PM

    @ vincentbojackson

    Call it whatever you want, just improve the product on the field. The top half of the MAC is better than the bottom 2/3 of the Big 10 lately.
    __________________________________

    You knew it wouldn’t take long before a team SEC fan tried to come in and crap all over this thread.

    Well done.
    ==================================

    Other than Vanderbilt, no SEC school would be let into the Big 10 for academic reasons. Translated for you SEC folks….you’re too stupid to get into the Big 10.

  27. packerbadger says: May 6, 2013 2:41 PM

    Btw, the last two times Wisconsin played Auburn in bowl games, Wisconsin won.

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