Thursday, September 2, 2010

Big 10 Sets Conference Divisions for 2011

The Big 10 on Wednesday announced the how the conference will be broken up into divisions once the two new teams are added in 2011. The two conferences will breakdown like this.

- Michigan   - Ohio State
- Nebraska   - Penn State
- Iowa   - Wisconsin
- Michigan State   - Illinois
- Minnesota   - Purdue
- Northwestern   - Indiana

The most interesting part of the decision is that the conference decided to put Michigan and Ohio State into different conferences. The first reason  would be so that the two could meet in the new conference championship that will be created now that the Big Ten will have the 12 teams necessary for the championship game. This makes sense with the rivalry as big as Michigan and Ohio State, and we have seen conferences do this before like the ACC did when they put Florida State and Miami in opposite divisions.

But, one big problem is created, much like the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn is the last game of the season for the two. However, with the two in different divisions, what happens if they both enter that game already set to play in the Championship game the next week. Granted, a lot of things will have to happen for that to be the case, but the question will still come up and have to be asked.

The main concern would be that if that were the case, would the rivalry game mean the same if both teams knew they would be playing each other the next game as well. Either way, only time will tell whether or not the decision will have an effect on the rivalry.

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