Big Ten Alignment: How the New Divisions Change the Conference's Outlook

Collin O'ConnorCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2010

The new alignment gives Ohio State and Michigan the chance to play twice in the same season.
The new alignment gives Ohio State and Michigan the chance to play twice in the same season.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Starting in 2011, a new look will come to the Big Ten, bringing in Nebraska and starting a two division system. While most college football fans have heard about this, it isn't big news. The way they were divided, however, is.

The two divisions look like this:

Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin in one; and Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern in the other.

Some things to point out are the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry. Now, with them being in separated divisions, they still have their game late in the season, but can play twice if both win their division. Whether that' good or bad for the conference is yet to be seen. There are a lot of opinions going either way.

Another one is the Purdue-Indiana rivalry. They are preserved by being in the same division, saving their game every season.

Another thing that I was worried about was the competition on both sides of the conference. However, it evened out pretty well.

The way I look at it is, there are four teams right now that are a head above everyone else in the Big Ten. With those four teams being Nebraska, Ohio State, Iowa, and Wisconsin, the alignment did a great job by splitting them up two on one and two in the other.

Another good point that I think makes a big difference is now there's not that big of a break between the end of the season and the National Championship if a Big Ten team makes it that far. Previously, when Ohio State went to the title game, they had way too much time without playing a game.

This new Conference Championship will at the very least give them more experience and more momentum heading into the title.

All in all, this looks like a good move for the conference as they are becoming more up to speed with the rest of the college football world. Now, all they need to do is start winning national titles. In the end, that's what it's all for. How can the Big Ten win another one?

This is definitely a step in the right direction.