Big Ten Divisions: Top Storylines Created By the Decision
The Big Ten announced yesterday that it has officially formed two divisions comprised of six teams each. Looking at the new look Big Ten in depth, it appears that Jim Delany and company made an equally competitive conference, which was the main objective.
They also managed to keep classic rivalries intact, while also starting new ones. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the top storylines that were created by this announcement.
No Name Divisions
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The hard part of choosing the two divisions is over. Currently named called the “X” and “O” divisions, the Big Ten needs to name the new alignment in its conference. The Big Ten has had numerous players and coaches that are worthy of naming a division after.
Some obvious names that come to mind are Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes, due to Michigan and Ohio State being in different conferences. The divisions also have a rough geographical orientation of North and South, so although that is not very creative, that could also work in terms of naming the newly formed divisions.
All But Three Rivalries Remain
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The Big Ten used to have 12 games that were considered trophy/rivalry games. The current scheduling eliminates three of them (Iowa-Wisconsin, Michigan State-Penn State, Minnesota-Penn State), but maintains the other nine games.
The scheduling also paves the way for new rivalries to be introduced not only with divisional foes playing each other every year, but also with Nebraska being introduced to the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers are in the same conference as Iowa and Michigan.
Odds are that a rivalry will be born out of games between Nebraska and those two teams alone, not to mention all the other Big Ten teams that Nebraska is going to play on a regular basis.
Michigan-Ohio State Rivalry Remains Despite Different Divisions
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One of college football’s most historic and heated rivalries WILL remain intact. All of the Michigan and Ohio State fans, as well as college football traditionalists, can take a deep breath and relax.
The only issue that arises with these two teams being in opposite conferences, yet still playing the last week of the season is: What is Michigan and Ohio State meet in the Big Ten title game?
That is a question that we may not have to answer for a few years due to Michigan’s fall from prominence, but if it does come up, do those two teams playing back to back weeks diminish the meaning of the rivalry game? We shall have to wait and see how it plays out.
The Battle for the Corn Cup Begins
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The rivalry game that Nebraska and Iowa football fans, not to mention college football fans, have been hoping for will be played annually. Nebraska and Iowa will now have the chance to play each other in a corn themed rivalry.
Both states do not have a professional sports influence and live and breathe their respective University’s football programs. While Hawkeye and Cornhusker fans dreamed of this rivalry, it has now come true. It will more than likely become a classic rivalry not only in the Big Ten, but in all of college football.
Greetings Nebraska, Make Yourself Right at Home
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The Big Ten has been very generous to Nebraska by offering them the chance to play in their conference. Play time is over. The Big Ten came out with the schedules for 2011 and 2012 and it is obvious that Nebraska has the toughest road of any team in the conference.
Welcome to the Big Ten Nebraska Cornhuskers! The Big 12 is probably saying don’t let the door hit you on your way out. Well the Big Ten has definitely said don’t let the door hit you on your way in if that makes any sense.
In their first two years of play in the Big Ten, the Cornhuskers will play these teams both seasons: Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State. Not to mention, Nebraska will also play divisional foes Michigan State, Minnesota, and Northwestern, who all currently have rosters that should make them formidable opponents by the time Nebraska plays its first Big Ten game.
Good thing Nebraska has appeared to right the ship and start playing football the way they have in their past, or else this would be an even rougher beginning in a new conference.