Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith was quoted saying that in the future, Ohio State and Michigan would be a "strong likelihood” of being in the same division in the Big Ten, according to Chip Patterson of CBS Sports.
This should come as great news to fans of the Buckeyes and Wolverines. With these two prestigious programs in the same division, it would ensure that they would meet only one time each fall.
Some may ask why only meeting one time is the best thing for the rivalry, so here's the answer to that question.
With the way the current Big Ten divisions are set up, Ohio State and Michigan could match up in consecutive weeks. There’s no question, in that scenario, that arguably college football’s top rivalry could lose it’s luster if that were to happen.
I'm sure the Buckeye faithful would love to beat the Maize and Blue twice a year, and vice versa, but there's something about playing once a year that makes this rivalry so special.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines play the whole season, and are always on a collision course to meet up at the end of every year. Being moved into the same division could possibly even make the rivalry stronger.
Let's set the stage—Ohio State comes into the last week of the regular season undefeated in the Big Ten along with Michigan who is undefeated. The winner advances to the Big Ten championship.
There’s already an insane amount of passion and emotion that goes into The Game, and in a scenario like this, the notch would be turned up even higher.
The Big 12 got it right for years, before Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M left. They matched Texas and Oklahoma in the same division, and nearly every year, the winner of that game advanced to the conference championship, and usually won.
It looks as if the Big Ten is headed in this direction, and it’ll be for the better.
It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that Ohio State and Michigan are the top programs in the Big Ten, and always will be. With the recent recruiting dominance of each program, it seems as if they gap will widen as the Buckeyes and Wolverines continue to separate themselves.
From a football stand point, when Maryland and Rutgers were added to the conference it didn’t seem as if the the conference would be strengthened.
However, in hindsight, this move could be what pulls Ohio State and Michigan into the same division, and that will do wonders in the long run for the Big Ten Conference.