It's something that we've been waiting for since the announcement was made early this summer that Nebraska would be leaving the Big 12 and entering into conference play in the Big Ten in 2011.
Conference divisions. Would they split up Michigan and Ohio State? Would it be geographical? If so, north to south or east to west? Or would they base it on keeping rivalries together like Michigan and Ohio State?
All of our questions are soon to be answered. The Big Ten, around noon today on September 1st has released the divisional break up of the Big Ten conference in 2011, and it's much different than I had anticipated!
First, the noticeable factor is that Michigan and Ohio State will be split up in two separate divisions, which leads one to conclude that the scheduling would feature a permanent crossover game, much like the SEC has.
Without further ado, these will be the final divisions for the Big Ten from here on out:
It should be stated that the Big Ten will not officially release this line up until the evening of September first, but reliable sources, namely Andy Katz, has released that these will be the divisions come 2011. Andy Katz states that rivalries in football had more to do with the divisions than geography or basketball rivalries.
This means that there is a high chance of a permanent crossover game between divisions. What those are remain to be seen, but some possibilities are:
Ohio State vs Michigan
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
Nebraska vs. Penn State
Northwestern vs. Illinois
Michigan State vs. Purdue
Iowa vs. Indiana
Again these matchups are this author's opinions, not the opinions released by the Big Ten or ESPN. Whatever they are it seems that Big Ten 2011 is about ready to become even more of a reality.