Big Ten expansion: Tell the Big Ten what you think

The Big Ten Conference made a little more news recently when it announced Maryland and Rutgers would become the conference 13th and 14th members, respectively. Now, for the entire month of December, BTN will discuss the very questions stirred up by conference expansion and we want you tell us where you stand, too.

The staff at BTN.com hears about it all the time via our customer service inbox, reader mailbags and comment forums. That’s why we created a Big Ten expansion section on BTN.com/expansion to house all of our latest posts  Some of these new expansion questions will sound very familiar if you have ever kicked the topic around with friends, family and fans. And yes, there’s a question about Legends and Leaders.

They include:

  • Should the Big Ten form new divisions or just add one school to an existing Legends and Leaders division?
  • If the divisions change, how important should competitive equality be?
  • How important is geography when it comes to divisional alignment?
  • How strongly do you feel about keeping rivalry football games? Should they be “protected games” or should they drive divisional alignment?
  • Should in-state rivals be in the same division? Should specific schools be in the same division?
  • What about “Legends” and ‘Leaders” as divisional names? Should the Big Ten keep them, or change them?
  • Where do you stand on the number of conference games a Big Ten football team should play?
  • What is the impact of expansion on basketball?  Should divisions apply to basketball, and should all 14 teams make the conference basketball tournaments?

In short, we want to hear about all of it. So now’s your chance. Why? Because part of the reason the Big Ten Network exists is to give fans of the Big Ten and their member institutions the platform to be heard. So to borrow a phrase used at many press conferences, the microphone is now yours. Give us your answers in the survey below. We’re collecting responses all month and spotlighting selected ones on TV. And please share this post with others via Twitter, Facebook, email or any other means.

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126 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (126 Comments)
dave on 12/1/2012 @ 11:15am EST Said:

eventually, as any business decides to grow exponentially to grow profits, they lose their original identity, focus, quality control, and many traditions. Then they implode, and fragment, close down. How low will attendance be at a big 10 title game if Rutgers is playing Nebraska in Indianapolis? As long as advertisers and TV pay, it will continue. Reminds me of many golf tournaments on TV where the players outnumber spectators. Seems like a sports ponzi.

    BTN.com staff on 12/1/2012 @ 11:17am EST Said:

    Thanks, Dave. Hope you left those same sentiments in the survey above here.

Dave Cooke on 12/1/2012 @ 11:44am EST Said:

Geography makes the most sense of the alignment process. Protecting rivalries are also important, however most rivalries exist because of their geographical relationships, i.e. Minnesota-Iowa, Michigan-MSU, Michigan-OSU. The only rivalry that exists that is not geographic is Michigan-Minnesota and that isn’t played every year anyway. Put MI and OSU in the same eastern division with MSU, PSU, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana. Let the IN-PUR rivalry game be part of their schedule — they will never be at risk for playing a second game in a championship.

    BTN.com staff on 12/1/2012 @ 11:45am EST Said:

    Good stuff. Be sure to let that be known in the survey above. That’s where the feedback gets collected.

Will on 12/1/2012 @ 11:50am EST Said:

I am puzzled with this whole expansion concept as I think in one sense if it continues; it will dilute the meaning of belonging in a specific league. If we are truly going to end up with (4) 16 team leagues, then let’s get it done and while we are at it, let’s bring ourselves to getting the final playoff formula to 8 top teams to play for the brass ring!

One thing I think would draw a lot of views (Television) is, rather than having these all star games where the best of the best are assembled at year’s end from all over the country, we should have the top players from the BIG play the top players from the SEC and the best of the Pac against the best of the big 12. (Pride games). The BIG may not have as many of the elite players they get in the south (as a whole) but I think the best 22 in the BIG would be able to match up with the best 22 in the SEC all day long!

Matt on 12/1/2012 @ 11:50am EST Said:

Rutgers and Maryland? I could see Nebraska and Penn State but to me Rutgers and Maryland make no sense. I”d have rather had Mizzou and Kansas or Kansas State. I agree with Dave (above). The Big 10 is losing its identity as a midwestern conference. Bigger is not always better. I hope that the extra TV/radio revenue is worth all of the extra travel that this causes.

Shoney on 12/1/2012 @ 11:51am EST Said:

Imagine the B1G basketball tourney at Madison Square Garden! Imagine expansion to Oklahoma or KState. Imagine gaining a strong competitive edge against the SEC in football and the ACC in basketball. Imagine a national “super conference…”

    BTN.com staff on 12/1/2012 @ 11:58am EST Said:

    Good feedback from everyone. Be sure to include it in the actual survey. We won’t be monitoring/approving the reader comments section here as closely as we will be looking at the results of the survey. The full survey is above int his post. It is also on this page. It’s not very long and won’t take long to complete. And yes, there is a full open comment question where you cans say anything you want. That’s the place to really sound off if you want your comments to reach the right folks.

Devin tejral on 12/1/2012 @ 12:12pm EST Said:

Geography needs to take precedence. Realign so RU & MD need to be with PSU. Competative balance is not the same in bball as it is in fball. And competative balance can change over time so divide via geography. Lose leaders and legends plz. Arrange so no need for protected game. Leads to unfair scheduling. Play six games in division and rotate two games from other division.

Robert Granville on 12/1/2012 @ 12:41pm EST Said:

Survey stopped working for me at 63%. Tried to refresh to no avail. This is my best case scenario. UM, OSU, MSU, Purdue, Nebraska, Iowa and Maryland form new Legends division. Minnesota, PSU, Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Rutgers form new Leaders division. BTW the division names are terrible.

Protected cross-divisional rivalries are as follows: Michigan-Minnesota (brown jug), MSU-PSU (land grant), OSU-Illinois (illibuck), Purdue-Indiana (oaken bucket), Northwestern-Nebraska, Iowa-Wisconsin (heartland), Maryland-Rutgers

Yearly divisional rivalries: Michigan-MSU (Paul Bunyan), Michigan-OSU (The Game), Nebraska-Iowa (Heroes), Minnesota-PSU (Governor’s Victory Bell), Minnesota-Wisconsin (Paul Bunyan’s Axe), Illinois-Northwestern (Land of Lincoln)

    BTN.com staff on 12/1/2012 @ 1:00pm EST Said:

    Robert, apologies. Issue fixed – might take a moment to flush through. I know how frustrating that can be.

mike gaston on 12/1/2012 @ 2:05pm EST Said:

i would love for powerhouses lie florida st, clemson, or n caolina, even georgia tech to join our great conference. we need to target south next time.

gplamberth on 12/1/2012 @ 2:24pm EST Said:

The divisions should be based on geography and Ohio state and Michigan should be in the se division.

Michael on 12/1/2012 @ 2:25pm EST Said:

For the new divisions, if you’re doing it by geography you have to go:

West: Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Purdue
East: Indiana, Michigan, MSU, Ohio St, PSU, Rutgers, Maryland

If we’re going on competitive balance:

North: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, MSU, Northwestern, Maryland, Rutgers
South: Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, OSU, Penn State

bob sykes on 12/1/2012 @ 2:46pm EST Said:

The logic of expanding the B1G to the East Coast and South for TV audience and recruiting leads to an outright merger of the B1G and the ACC. Twenty eight schools, four divisions, a semifinal football championship game and a large majority of the best basketball schools. Also the academics match up nicely.

bob sykes on 12/1/2012 @ 3:04pm EST Said:

Also, with its current agreements, Notre Dame would play eight of its 12 regular season football games in the merged B1G/ACC, and its long-standing rivalries with Purdue, Michigan, Michigan St and Boston College would be preserved. ND would in fact be a full member of the new conference. Its special TV deal would have to go.

Mark Wentzell on 12/1/2012 @ 3:19pm EST Said:

Enough already

Alec on 12/1/2012 @ 3:49pm EST Said:

I think th divisions should be redone but I still think it should be based on competative balance. I also suggest that if the Big Ten considers further expansion than it should go after football powers like Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State. Please no Georgia Tech or Virginia.

denise mears on 12/1/2012 @ 4:01pm EST Said:

please stop with georgia tech and virginia i would much rather see north carolina, clemson, and florida state in the big ten it will give the conference some football powers and make football and basketball fun again i know florida state and clemson are not aau but there college powers and it would give my family some great places to go and watch football this expansion is watering down are image i will never buy a ticket to rutgers or maryland puke

Seth M. Fisher (@Misopogon) on 12/1/2012 @ 4:04pm EST Said:

Division 1: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue
Division 2: Penn State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Maryland, Iowa.

Protected cross-division games in that order. Every major and trophy rivalry survives, competitive balance is maintained, geography is okay except the Circle-of-Hate-and-Corn and the Atlantic Trio are separated by a lot of states but the only proximate rivalry split up is Wisconsin-Northwestern, and if you’re in College Park, Md., what difference does it make if the next game is in West Lafayette or Iowa City?

Every time I bring these up someone else claims it was their idea. Can we call this a consensus fan opinion now?

denise mears on 12/1/2012 @ 4:16pm EST Said:

all this expansion is about is aau status and markets delaney does not care about making the big ten the best conference in america i want someone to explain to me how rutgers is better than fsu in football. If football is driving the bus how is maryland and rutgers better than fsu i guess its all about markets and being in the aau by the way nebraska was a great addition

Mike on 12/1/2012 @ 5:02pm EST Said:

I appreciate the opportunity to share my opinion but how likely is it that the powers that be are going to take our opinions into consideration. The majority opinion I saw on boards and have heard in conversations the past two years has been for geographic alignment of divisions and simple East and West names of divisions. It seems to me there is a disconnect between the fans and Big Ten leadership.

RCA on 12/1/2012 @ 5:13pm EST Said:

I forgot to add, keep the conference championship at the site of the team with the better record/higher BCS rating. Playing in Indy is ridiculous, for all involved. Keep it on campus. A conference championship game @ Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, even Rutgers would be a way better atmosphere and net better attendance than Indianapolis.

Andrew on 12/1/2012 @ 5:29pm EST Said:

West: East (cross division rivals across from each other):
MSU: UM
Wisc: OSU
Neb: PSU
Ill: Ind
NW: Pur
Minny: Maryland
Iowa: Rutg

9 conf games. Most regional rivalries preserved. MSU adds strength to the weaker West division.

Aaron Weiss on 12/1/2012 @ 5:49pm EST Said:

Jim Delany needs to have enough sense to put Ohio State and Michigan in the same division. Putting them in separate divisions clearly diminishes the significance and importance of the rivalry when they have to play each other twice in the same season. This is the greatest rivalry in college football and one of the things that makes it so special is that it is played only once a year at the end of the regular season and the winning side gets bragging rights the next 365 days. Plus, those who argue that you have to have them in separate divisions for competitive balance just aren’t thinking straight. There are 12 teams(soon to be 14) for crying out loud! We could put Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State opposite the division that Ohio State and Michigan are in and that would even things out just fine. You don’t have to have them in separate divisions for competitive balance. Please Mr. Delany! Make the right call this time around and put Ohio State and Michigan in the same division! This is a no brainer.

Mikel on 12/1/2012 @ 6:07pm EST Said:

This setup is perfect from above . . .

A – B
Ohio State – Penn State
Michigan – Minnesota
Michigan State – Nebraska
Illonois – Wisconsin
Northwestern – Rutgers
Indiana – Maryland
Purdue – Iowa

Also forgot to mention this in the initial survey, but the championship game should be held at the higher ranked opponent’s home field. This neutral site business is ludicrous. Lastly the leaders – legends names are ridiculous as well.

    BTN.com staff on 12/1/2012 @ 6:11pm EST Said:

    Great comments here in the comment forum, and they drive a discussion. Just a reminder: The feedback submitted via the survey are the comments that get sent to the Big Ten Conference.

Mike on 12/1/2012 @ 6:34pm EST Said:

Agree with Aaron about need for Ohio State and Michigan in the same division for reasons he outlined. Agree with Mikela and Seth about division set up if geographic alignment not an option because of “competitive balance” concerns. Definitely want Wisconsin in with Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. These rivalries need played every year. Of course, based on rumor mill, we will probably go to 16 next week, then 18 the week after and on to 20 before new year so we will have to debate it all again.

Mike on 12/1/2012 @ 6:36pm EST Said:

I meant Mikel & Seth. Sorry Mikel.

Mikel on 12/1/2012 @ 6:55pm EST Said:

20 team conference? Big Ten division and an ACC division . . .

93 Hawkeye on 12/1/2012 @ 7:10pm EST Said:

For the love of G-D! It’s not that complicated! Remember Delany’s initial rationale for divisions: to maintain the integrity of the league each division must be anchored by two of the four traditional powers (Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State). This should not change. It addresses the major issues surrounding expansion (competitive balance OVER TIME, rivalries, geography). The UM-OSU game is not bigger than the entire conference and it shouldn’t dictate the long-term health of the other 12 schools. If you want that kind of “Texas treatment”, join the Big 12.

I predicted the scenario below when rumors were flying and only Maryland was confirmed. Plus, I’ve already seen the idea mentioned by Delany…my money is on this:

LEGENDS:
Illiniois
Iowa
Michigan
Michigan Stae
Minnesota
Nebraska
Northwestern

LEADERS:
Indiana
*Maryland
Ohio State
Penn State
Purdue
*Rutgers
Wisconsin

Mike on 12/1/2012 @ 7:29pm EST Said:

It is difficult for me to envision a 20 team conference. Saw it being speculated about on other sites. I do think a move to 16 is likely. I suspect expansion with Maryland and Rutgers was another step in our expansion rather than the end. Imagine a few more east coast schools will eventually join. I would have preferred Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas. Oklahoma, Texas when expansion began last time to get to 16 but Big Ten leadership has sight set on eastward expansion. I am fine with Virginia given excellent academics and pairs well with Maryland. I am having a difficult time making up my mind about a 16th school.

Mike on 12/1/2012 @ 7:45pm EST Said:

93 Hawkeye you are probably right. However, the alternative mentioned above also accomplishes the competitive balance with the four powers divided into two. It provides opportunity for Wisconsin to play Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska yearly and get Ohio State and Michigan together.
Division 1: Ohio State, Michigan, MSU, Indiana, Purdue
Illinois, Northwestern
Division 2: Penn State, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Rutgers.
This gives Penn State eastern rivals as well as east coast exposure for western schools. I believe Wisconsin likes to recruit east coast.

93 Hawkeye on 12/1/2012 @ 8:51pm EST Said:

Mike, too much travel to the far west for Penn State–and Rutgers, Maryland for that matter– in your setup. PSU is clearly an east coast team (as their fans love to remind us) and should be grouped accordingly. Your Division 1 is too Great Lakes centric with Division 2 looking like an island of misfit toys geographically speaking.

Should two out of UVA, UNC, Georgia Tech or Syracuse come onboard as schools 15 and 16 then I say MAYBE shift Wisky to the Legends and put the two newbies in the Leaders. But only if that scenario plays out. But even then the Leaders would look extremely weak…taking into account the historical trends of those four ACC schools.

Paul on 12/1/2012 @ 9:22pm EST Said:

I really don’t care what Delany’s original lame-o rationalization was for treating the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry like a cheap toy. Even if you buy into the notion that OSU, PSU, U of M and NU have to be split up for the sake of “integrity”, there’s more than one way to accomplish that. Yes, the Big Ten is bigger than just that one game, but it isn’t so big that it won’t be hurt by treating long-standing traditions cavalierly.

Jeff in Nebraska on 12/1/2012 @ 10:05pm EST Said:

Nebraska just didn’t show up in the first half and got there tail kick! Who would of thunk it? I thought Nu in a close one would win . Well I hope they finish in good fashion? Not coming back in this one . Down 31 not Nu , Embarrasing loss and play .What the hell happin to defense and I know what the Offense problem .its Beck ? Nebraska plays bad on road and why ? Must Fix something and Bo knows what it is ?

nathan on 12/1/2012 @ 10:21pm EST Said:

Already completed the survey. Expansion has and will dilute the product. The Big Ten leadership has ignored tradition and identity in the quest for the almighty dollar. Expansion/dilution results in unranked 7-5 teams going to the Rose Bowl, an embarrasing half-full stadium for “Conference Championship Game”, “student athletes” from Rutgers playing a volleyball game on a Tuesday night in Lincoln Nebraska, and less “facetime” on the Big Ten Network for all members. Looking forward to 10 members again someday, when this financial “ponzi scheme” eventually comes crashing down.

93 Hawkeye on 12/1/2012 @ 10:51pm EST Said:

Call me crazy, Paul, but I’ll go with Delany’s “lame-o rationalization” and logic over anything you could possibly cobble together. And who said he treated the UM-OSU rivalry like a “cheap toy”? Reading is fundamental, bro.

aps on 12/1/2012 @ 11:46pm EST Said:

Geography should be the key to realignment. Rivalries (Traditions) are based on the cross border rivalries (or in state) each state had with its neighbors. It bothered me (Ohio State alum & fan) that the triorka of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin was split after all of these years. This was wrong.

Back in the late 90’s Ohio State had Penn State added as its second rival. This resulted in the Illinois series being interrupted which had been our longest running series going back to the teens. That was part of our history and tradition that was pushed aside for what? And their has been talk of moving the Michigan game for various reasons, again history and tradition discarded for what? It is our histories and traditions that have made this one of the best conferences in college sports. We need to keep these rivalries and traditions intact.

If we expand, we should be playing more games not less. Barry Alvarez was quoted as saying that the schools wanted to play each other more. Why not go to a 10 game conference schedule. This would make it possible to play all the other teams from the other division in a 4 year cycle vs a 6 year cycle. This also helps to eliminate the problem the schools are having in scheduling.

porcupinefisheats on 12/2/2012 @ 12:21am EST Said:

Keep Penn State and Ohio State together. PA & OH have some of the strongest cross-border rivalries in sports: Browns – Steelers, High School Big 33 game, and yes PSU – OSU. Be sure to retain what has worked in PSU’s time in the B1G: Games with OSU, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. We don’t want to recreate the ACC or Big East. We want to merge into one, more powerful conference. In order to do that, East & West needs to play one another.

porcupinefisheats on 12/2/2012 @ 12:25am EST Said:

Nationally, I fully support the 4 Superconferences model provided a new governance structure is established, and the new conferences can dis-associate from the dysfunctional NCAA…

Andrew on 12/2/2012 @ 1:19am EST Said:

I believe B1G should not change divisions until the latest possible moment. with the possibility that the conference will add two more teams, it doesn’t make sense to change something that will need to be changed again shortly.

Also, the best thing B1G can do is go to a 9-game league schedule. This was discussed before and it allows the teams to play each other more. As a conference, it would better to see fewer games vs. FCS schools, which don’t count towards bowl eligibility. Similarly, playing Non-BCS conference teams at directional state is not as enjoyable then a Big Ten Conference game. Big 12, Pac 12, and soon the ACC will all play 9 league games. Though some schools will get an extra conference home game, those other BCS conferences seem to make it work.

Once Maryland settles its lawsuit with the ACC for less than the $50 million exit fee, B1G should move forward and inquire about Virginia as school number 15. It appears that B1G is not interested in private institutions so Syracuse is out as a target to maintain the contiguous states claim. No Big 12 schools can join because of their Grant of Rights agreement with the conference whereby BTN cannot benefit from their games so that eliminates Kansas. With SEC soon to announce its conference tv network with ESPN that will launch in 2014, the SEC be looking at states of North Carolina and Virginia so B1G should grab Virginia first, and then move north and grab UNC, Commissioner Delany’s alma mater.

Divisions:

West:
Nebraska
Wisconsin
Iowa
Minnesota
Illinois
Northwestern
Indiana
Purdue

East:
Ohio State
Penn State
Michigan
Michigan State
Maryland
Rutgers
Virginia
North Carolina

cross division rivalries

Minnesota – Michigan
Nebraska – Penn State
Wisconsin – Ohio State
Northwestern – Michigan State
Illinois – Maryland
Iowa – North Carolina
Indiana – Rutgers
Purdue – Virginia

or with a 9-game league schedule, we eliminate the cross division rivalries. you play 7 division games per year + 2 intradivision games. In a four year period, an athlete could play all Big Ten schools if the 2 intradivision games are paired together every four years. 10 conference games is not going to happen before 9 is tried first. if a

Paul on 12/2/2012 @ 1:42am EST Said:

Hawkeye,

I’m not going to waste a whole lot more time on this, but Delaney’s only point was that out of the four power teams, two needed to be in one division, and two in the other. I’m not so sure that’s as big a deal as some have made it out to be but if it is there’s a really simple solution to this quandary: U of M and OSU in one, NU and PSU in the other. I have yet to hear an explanation of why this cannot work that holds water for more than three seconds.

Chris DeSana on 12/2/2012 @ 8:29am EST Said:

I have concerns with too many teams leading to the loss of traditional rivalries. That said it can be solved if for example Michigan and Ohio State have a agreement that whenever they are not on the BIG schedule that they schedule each other as one of their non conference games.

Will that be allowed?

Expanding the conference games beyond 8 would mean that teams like Michigan and Michigan State would have to take games against smaller in state schools off the schedule. Michigan playing Western, Eastern or Central is huge for those schools and their economic viability. Hoping those game do not go away as the BIG expands.

Ditto to Michigan and Michigan State playing ND.

Aaron Weiss on 12/2/2012 @ 9:56am EST Said:

Paul you are absolutely right. And 93 Hawkeye, you need to get a clue! Putting Ohio State and Michigan in the same division so that the rivalry stays special and significant does not hurt the Big Ten in any way. As has already been demonstrated by suggestions on this board, you can still have competitive balance in the conference with these two schools in the same division. And the argument about some schools having to travel long distances is neither here nor there because it doesn’t matter how you split the conference up, schools will still have to travel significant distances simply because of the geography that this conference covers. To use your own words, its not that complicated!

Scott on 12/2/2012 @ 10:24am EST Said:

At this point I will only be happy if the expansion continues on to 24 teams (basically two conferences in one) with the ORIGINAL Leaders and Legends divisions and two new divisions (Legacy and Liberty?). I suppose I could settle with a 16 team confernce with 4 team pods as long as the next two teams are in contiguous states. You could use those L names for Pod names.

93 Hawkeye on 12/2/2012 @ 12:21pm EST Said:

Mr. Weiss, Michigan would not get moved to the Leaders without Michigan State going also. If it happened it would create competitive imbalance (based on historical trends/W-L records). That hurts the B1G.
I’m done beating this dead horse. The bottom line is that I trust Delany & Co. to do the right thing–whatever that is–since they’ve been masterful to this point.

reese on 12/2/2012 @ 12:41pm EST Said:

Being a BigTen Alum, I have no Issue with Expansion of the Conference …East or South within reason. What REALLY bothers Me is The Desire of Some People to add schools that are NOT comparable to BigTen Institutions in Academics,Research and Profile. There is a REASON BigTen schools have a Distinguished Reputation. When people talk about adding Florida State , Louisville and West Virginia or Cincinnati I not only want to Throw Out My Diploma, but choke the Life out of Them for even ‘suggesting it”. REALLY, Louisville? These same people need to READ Up on What Criteria the BigTen stands for…..AAU and CIC for starters. Problem is, They look it Up and STILL Do NOT Understand. Academics FIRST, athletics second. We are NOT The SEC and never want To Be. Period.

Greg on 12/2/2012 @ 1:48pm EST Said:

Competitive balance – who cares? Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. Period. Seeing as those two programs are the reason the B1G is in a position to expand and even ponder the question of divisions and championship games, I really don’t care what other schools perceive to be a “competitive balance.” It isn’t exactly balanced now as Michigan draws OSU every year in addition to Nebraska as Penn State gets crippled by sanctions.

Ricky So-Fine on 12/2/2012 @ 2:00pm EST Said:

Divisions need to be done by geography. East & West. Legends & Leaders was one of the dumbest concepts in sports history. Competitive balance changes over time. Geography never changes. If the rumors of Virginia and Georgia Tech are true, I would like the following alignment …
.
B1G EAST
– Rutgers & Penn State
– Maryland & Virginia
– Ohio State & Michigan
– Michigan State & Georgia Tech
.
B1G WEST
– Indiana & Purdue
– Illinois & Northwestern
– Wisconsin & Minnesota
– Iowa & Nebraska
.
I would actually like to see the B1G make a run at grabbing Kentucky from the SEC, rather than Georgia Tech from the ACC, but academics and market will probably rule the roost over good basketball. Anyway the way to go is East & West, with Legends & Leaders becoming history.

Mike Alexander on 12/2/2012 @ 2:34pm EST Said:

I understand the desire for competitive balance but think that, while historical trends can give us insight into future results, these trends are not destined to continue. The divisions, as they are aligned now, are based in part on the historical performance of Penn State. What is the likelihood that Penn State will replicate that historical performance in the near future.

As the conference expands, and I do not think 14 teams is the final number, it seems to me that it is even more important to consider geography and rivalries to maintain a bond among the various teams. As an Ohio State alum, I want Michigan and Michigan State and Penn State in my division. I want to see Ohio State play these teams every year. I enjoy watching Ohio State play Wisconsin and think it has grown as a rivalry but still feel more passionate about games with Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State.

I have spoken with other alums of Big Ten schools who share a similar sentiment. A Nebraska alum I spoke with not only wants annual games with Iowa but also Wisconsin. For any of you Wisconsin alums would you not feel more passionate about annual games with Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska than with Rutgers and Maryland if these two were just placed into the current Leaders division.

I am not certain that a significant change will occur in the divisions but think it is possible.
Quote below from the article at this link:http://thegazette.com/2012/11/30/whats-next-for-b1g-expansion-football-realignment/

Commissioner Jim Delany said last week the conference’s athletics directors will handle reconstructing the divisions in early January. When league administrators crafted the Legends and Leaders divisions in August 2010, they placed a priority on competitive equality. Rivalries and geography played secondary roles, as I documented in this 10-part series in 2011.

But Delany suggested that the tenets in realignment will be different this time around when incorporating Rutgers and Maryland into the league.

“I think it’s realistic to believe that geography will play a bigger role simply because now we span from the ocean to the Colorado border and from the Canadian border to the mid‑South,” Delany told reporters. “So we’re really pushing the limits. We are a national conference in many ways, but even geographically we’re spread, and as a result I think that geography will have to play probably a more important role in the evolution of the next divisional structure.”

Steve on 12/2/2012 @ 3:10pm EST Said:

In response to Dave Cooke on 12/1/2012 @ 11:44am EST. Minnesota and Michigan do share a border. Look at the map. We share a border in the middle of Lake Superior.

Aaron Weiss on 12/2/2012 @ 4:20pm EST Said:

93 Hawkeye. Again, having Ohio State and Michigan in the same division does not create competitive imbalance even if Michigan State is in the same division with them as you suggested. In fact, all we would need to do is move Ohio State and Illinois to Legends and move Nebraska and Iowa to Leaders. There is no way in the world that you can argue that that creates a competitive imbalance. Again, this is a no brainer!

    Jeff in Nebraska on 12/2/2012 @ 5:42pm EST Said:

    Change’s 16 schools by 2014. (West)1.Nebraska Iowa MiNN Wisc / 2.Illini Northwestern Indiana Purd. (East)1. Osu Psu Mich Msu /2. Rutgers Maryl N Caro Virginia that’s if them are the schools? Play your division every year then rotate opposite division foe and no crossover games.3 non conference games as well. Don’t play FCS schools. Maybe some if need play a conference school for non conference game.By doing that then the fans don’t feel cheated. I too like the idea of playin MAC schools.They are good quality teams from a conference that’s in our level(FBS) this is another option. Geographic makes sence a whole lot.

WhatheBuck on 12/2/2012 @ 10:34pm EST Said:

For football, schedule one midlevel and one top level OOC game, then 10 conference games that would have weighted schedules based on how you finished the year before. If you win your division and the CCG, then you start with the last place team in your division and move up in difficulty from there. The schedules would be released upon completion of spring ball practice to create a little buzz.

brad holland on 12/3/2012 @ 4:18am EST Said:

On another note…I believe the NCAA and The Press should give the National Championship Game a moniker like the NFL’s “Super Bowl”. My suggestion would be to name it the NCAA’s “Power Bowl”, because whoever wins the game is college football’s National Power that season. So starting in 2014, we’ll use this year’s finalist as an example: “POWER BOWL I: Notre Dame vs. Alabama”. This would be much more memorable for the fans to be able to remember who played in each Power Bowl in the future, that would have a roman numeral attached to it, because this will be the first year (2014) for the long-sought play-off format. Then each season, all college football teams would be gunning to reach “The Power Bowl”, to win the NCAA Football Championship! I mean you have the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl…why not the Power Bowl? Curious to hear the Big Ten’s thoughts on this matter.

reese on 12/3/2012 @ 10:03am EST Said:

people REALLY Need to READ Up on what an AAU Institution Is and what the CIC is as far as BigTen Expansion. There is NFW that the Presidents, Chancellor’s and Trustees will E-v-e-r allow the Athletic Departments to determine WHO gets admitted to the BIG. Many of these Internet posters either have No Idea what Criteria is Necessary for Admittance or are strictly Fans that have Never attended, let alone Graduate from a BigTen Institution. Just because UKentucky won the NCAA BB Championship doesn’t make it WORTHY of a BigTen invite…….it is NOT a very highly respected school in Academia. And for the Internet posters….Check Out the List of AAU members for a Reference Point, THOSE Are The Schools that the BigTen will consider………..it is More about Academics than Athletics, so DEAL With It.

Doug on 12/3/2012 @ 11:42am EST Said:

Maryland? Rutgers? How will I ever explain to my kids what the Big 10 Conference is? Tradition and history be damned for a few more dollars, eh?

Rational Fan on 12/3/2012 @ 12:06pm EST Said:

It is quite clear that the protected rivalries kill balance. UW plays MiniSoda and OSU plays scUM? That is not even at all.

Doug on 12/3/2012 @ 12:30pm EST Said:

How about we just give up and grow to 20 teams right now. The we can put 10 teams (you know which 10) in one Division and we’ll call it the Big 10. Put the other 10 (I don’t care who they are) in the other and call them something else, say Big East? We can negotiate TV deals together so Delany gets his cash, but we never really have to interact other than that. Maybe we could do something like the Big 10-ACC challenge just to make it look like we are related.

Aaron Weiss on 12/3/2012 @ 1:52pm EST Said:

Rational Fan, protecting traditional rivalries like the ones you mentioned does not kill competitive balance as long as Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State are in one division and Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State are in the other.

dutch1257 on 12/3/2012 @ 2:37pm EST Said:

Should the Big Ten offer Notre Dame what the Big East & ACC did in football? I think its important to have the Irish within the Big Ten fold, in case they ever decide to join…or having a lasting relationship for decades with them. If they play all sports except football, then Notre Dame would not be part of the BTN pie during the 20 weeks (pre-season & post-season included), of Big Ten football coverage, and Notre Dame would be part of that coverage as an associate member in football. Of course, Notre Dame would have NBC for their football coverage.Then Notre Dame would be part of the BTN pie in all other sports for 32 weeks, which covers basketball, hockey, lacrosse and etc. Regardless, having Notre Dame as an Associate Member adds to the Big Ten’s prestige.

If Syracuse & Pittsburgh makes us a 16 member conference, then Notre Dame would make us a 17-member conference in all sports except football. With us having 17 schools, the Big Ten could have potentially 8 Lacrosse programs in Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan. Lacrosse is the sport of the future and the Big Ten should take a serious look at its potential. It could eventually overtake college baseball in Big Ten Country. I believe the Big Ten should go after all 3 of these schools to finish Big Ten membership at 17 schools by going after Notre Dame, Syracuse & Pittsburgh before they are officially ACC! These 3 schools belong to the Big Ten culture, and the Big Ten has been eyeing them for many many years, then to just have the ACC come in and whisk them away!

    reese on 12/3/2012 @ 5:39pm EST Said:

    I have SEVERAL Issues with Your Proposal; No to Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse. SU nor ND are AAU, whereas Pitt is. Neither SU or Pitt really bring anything to The Table, maybe a few potential Rivalries but sorry, We do not need either. Unless Notre Dame is WILLING to Join 100% into The Conference, I hope Delaney will NEVER Waiver on Admitting them. Notre Dame deserves NO “Special Provisions” under A-N-Y circumstance……You are either In or You are Not. They may think They are Special (more like delusional) but this Catholic Hates the continual Bias and recognition Notre Dame gets. And come Bowl Season, I hope Bama slaughters their Irish Hiney to the extent that even Touchdown Jesus sheds a Tear! STOP the concessions to ND……They Do NOT Write The Rules! Go Bama!

Michael Folan on 12/3/2012 @ 3:00pm EST Said:

It’s all about the TV markets. Kudos to JD and B1G. Now go add Atlanta, Texas and South Bend :)
Dump Leaders and Legends, forgettable names.
Keep traditional rivalries
If we cannot beat the SEC with speed, we can go buy it !!!!!

Butch on 12/3/2012 @ 3:57pm EST Said:

The University of Connecticut would be a very wise decision to add for so many reasons. We can deliver more TV sets in New York (UConn alumni and fans) and definitely more TV sets in New England than anyone else. Hartford-New Haven alone is the largest market in the country without a professional franchise. We also have a hockey program that can be added. We can give half the Big Ten a reason to come to NYC/New England every year for football games. In just football, we have more Big East titles in than Rutgers (they have none) and beat UMD this past season. In basketball, the sky is the limit. We have a national brand in basketball, both men’s and women’s.

    reese on 12/5/2012 @ 12:17pm EST Said:

    UConn may be a Traditional Powerhouse in Men’s and Women’s BBall but Football is ‘what DRIVES The Bus’………..these Conference Realignments are about putting Conferences in a position where the Population Is. The B1G is very selective in WHO they would even consider and trust Me there was EXTENSIVE Thought on Rutgers and UMd and there is obviously something that made BOTH Schools stand out amongst the competition. I see great potential for both schools to really benefit from changing Conferences. The B1G is very determined to Position themselves for the Future in both Academics and Athletics.

Sam Cro on 12/3/2012 @ 4:35pm EST Said:

Put UConn and Virginia in a division opposite Rutgers and Maryland, and let those be eachoterhs cross division rivals!!! (RU v. UConn and UMd v UVa)

SeoulMan on 12/3/2012 @ 5:41pm EST Said:

B1G EAST
– Penn State & Maryland
– UConn & Rutgers
– Ohio State & Michigan
– Michigan State & Virginia
.
B1G WEST
– Indiana & Purdue
– Illinois & Northwestern
– Wisconsin & Minnesota
– Iowa & Nebraska

Geographically coherent, adds flagship state schools with most TV sets. This is a kick-a** basketball league as well.

    reese on 12/3/2012 @ 6:00pm EST Said:

    Sorry, do NOT care for This Alignment. Putting OSU,the Michigan Schools and Penn State all in the same Division……….You must be a Wisconsin Fan to Propose such Imbalance. Sure let those Four Power Programs Fight It Out Year in and Year Out and You will Just Breeze Into the CCG Annually. Not going to Happen. UConn…..pleease!

IowaFan83 on 12/3/2012 @ 6:22pm EST Said:

I didn’t really see the option to answer the way I wanted as far as divisional alignment. What I want is to see the games I care about most (Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin) each year. But whether those are within the same division or are crossover games makes absolutely no difference to me. I only care that they are on the schedule. There will always be some games that fans will care about more than others, but I can say that I will care just as much about Iowa’s game with Rutgers or Maryland as I would any of the other “non-rivalries” like Indiana or Purdue. I would not care what upper limit number the league expanded to as long as it adds quality and protects the games I care about. Just please increase the number of conference games, t least to nine and preferably to ten. I have no interest in watching any Big Ten team play against an FCS school or a team from the Sunbelt, Conference USA, or MAC. If a Big Ten team chooses to schedule one of these teams, fine, but I will not watch. Even if it is Iowa.

Andy on 12/3/2012 @ 11:58pm EST Said:

Geographic divsions is not a good idea. With expansion and possible further expansion looking eastward and south a team like Ohio State, the eastern most of the base ten schools, could be put into a division with only one or two of the other base ten, depending where expansion stops. Find a way to divide those base ten schools into two divisions of five and then and the newbies into those divisions. Current alignment may have to be adjusted a little, possibly splitting up Ohio State and Penn State, so that Rutgers or Maryland don’t get put into say the Legends Division as the only eastern team in a division that’s all the western schools.

    reese on 12/4/2012 @ 10:49am EST Said:

    Disagree with Your Idea on No Geographic Divisions. Hopefully some consideration will be given to Region. Putting Rutgers in anything resembling the Legends Division would be ridiculous and fan support would be minimal. Penn State/Nebraska are rare exceptions where a Long Distance CrossOver Game works……they both have HUGE Fanbases that Support Their Programs and travel. Rutgers-Iowa? You have got to be kidding! Schools like Purdue,Indiana,Minnesota and N’western rarely sell out Home Games and really do NOT have the Support that Juggernauts OSU,UM,PennState and UNL have. Even Wisky has shown they do NOT have the backing that Some in Their Fanbase want to brag about. (Look at the recent CCG attendance. Nebraska fans probably didn’t want to waste money on a Rematch against a Team they already beat when a Rose Bowl was the Bigger Prize. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for them. We will see WHAT Kind of Support Wisconsin has in the Rose Bowl, where they will be attending a Third Straight Year……..”If” That Game attracts 90,000 I will be surprised because Stanford is Not a Great Draw either even though it generally has Good Athletic Teams. When it comes to Dollars and Sense, there are Only Certain Schools that are Guaranteed Draws…..and in the BIG it is OSU,UM,PSU and UNL……current,historical and In The Future. And THAT is FACT.

Rob Wilson on 12/4/2012 @ 10:57am EST Said:

Giant conferences = instability…
That being said, the Big Ten is expanding in a much more sustainable way than some others (full disclosure – I HATE the big “east” for stirring all of this realignment, and the general vibe of what they do). What will happen?

We WILL see expansion – am I the only one who sees “B1G” looking like B16?
We WILL see new schools in the geographical area of our conference.
We WILL see AAU schools with competitive athletics fill the next 2 spots, so get ready for Iowa state, kansas, Norte, dame (not actually aau, but…), Pitt, virginia, or missou.

Who has the strongest financial impact once you’ve narrowed to these schools? Just my guess, but ND (but only if they FINALLY agree to a full membership, which isn’t that close to happening) and a missou (don’t know if we could pull them away from the sec), or Pitt would give the BTN and the B1G two solid markets that are in or around the footprint. These are compromises for sure, but probably the best fits that are out there.

    reese on 12/4/2012 @ 11:32am EST Said:

    Should The Conference continue to EXPAND (which is probable) I would like to see Schools Eager to Join…..like Nebraska and Rutgers. Maryland Administrators are Supportive but many in their Fanbase have reservations and still have some misconceived Loyalty to the ACC. Penn State is STILL Not completely SOLD on BigTen Membership. I like UMd as an addition though. I will NOT concede ANYTHING should the Issue of Notre Dame come up again…..You are Either IN or You are Not, and the Arrogance and Attitude need to Be Given a “REALITY Check”. Personally, I always wanted Mizzou and still do NOT see them fitting into the SEC, just do not know how they would reacy if an Invitation was Extended. Kansas has a Storied Athletic History and is a Credible Institution and they have great potential. The ACC invansion….I like UVA ,Carolina and Georgia Tech as Schools but there WOULD Be Issues. Having lived in The South, due to History, they will Never Embrace a Yankee Conference. It is NOT in their DNA, it will never happen and the Culture is very different. UVA could possibly make the transition but Carolina…..No Way. If VA Tech had the academic credentials, I would ask BOTH Virginia schools. Pitt,Syracuse,UConn……..they really are NOT BigTen caliber schools and adding them only expands the Conference but does Nothing to Enhance it.

Rich Kearney on 12/4/2012 @ 11:20am EST Said:

I fully understand the feelings of the BIG fans about their angst at the geographical thing with expansion. As a Rutgers fan, I am certainly happy with what has happened since we were in limbo with the constant raids of the ACC on the BE.
However, if I and many other RU fans had my druthers, we would really have preferred a true Eastern League with PSU, etc. playing. The rivalries did exist many years ago and the league concept was a solid one. Whether we will ever play Syracuse, Pitt is now questionable. Other than PSU, which we played yearly decades ago, we have no rivalries at all with the BIG.
Like it or not, the new plan is one of TV domination and if the BIG had just sat back and watched the other conferences build, they may well have found themselves on the outside looking in.
What I am trying to say is that this is the new world of college football. Like it or not, it has different priorities and the fan’s thoughts may not have much sway in what happens.

    reese on 12/4/2012 @ 12:20pm EST Said:

    As a BigTen Alum, I am Happy to See Rutgers and Maryland added to the Conference. Both are Very Good Institutions and BIG……Big Schools with Lots of Alumni and Lots of Potential. While watching last week’s RU-Louisville Game, and rooting for the Scarlet Knight’s, I Iook forward to seeing WHAT Rutgers can Bring to The Conference. The Interest and Enthusiasm of Rutger Fans will bode well for All Parties concerned and I have a feeling MANY of the Naysayers will be thinking “Who would have Known…..”. Welcome to The BIG and Here’s to BOTH Rutger’s and Maryland making A SPLASH into the Conference. Glad to Have You!

Matt Chelf on 12/4/2012 @ 3:14pm EST Said:

I think above everything, divisional realignment is a must. First of all, one division has 3 perennial conference bottom dwellers in IU, Purdue and Illinois and PSU who is ineligible for 3 more years. In the other division, Minnesota is the only perennial bottom dweller. This means that the winner of the Ohio State/Wisconsin game will be on easy street to get to Indy every year as opposed to the other division who has the likes of Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Northwestern and Iowa to contend with just to get to Indy?! Doesn’t seem like real competitive balance to me?!

Also, when speaking of realignment, I think Ohio State and Michigan HAVE to be in the same division! As a Michigan fan, I hate the idea of having to play them back to back weeks. IMO, that would diminish the significance of the rivalry and The Game. Here is my take on how I think the divisions should be changed including the names:

East – Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers, Indiana, Ohio State
West – Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa

To me, this not only seems more balanced, but it also keeps traditional rivalries in place!

Rob Wilson on 12/4/2012 @ 5:59pm EST Said:

Has there been any serious discussion about B1G adopting/partnering/whatever mid-major or d2/d3 conferences? This doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen before, but I think there is some merit. Academically, it creates ties to many of the students who are going into big ten grad programs, and increases the number of opportunities for grad assistant placement and research work. Athletically, it provides a tie to some schools who are viable competition outside of football/basketball (I’m thinking of Akron soccer, butler, and others). More programming for BTN, and even BTN2. Maybe not, just thinking…

Dan on 12/4/2012 @ 6:32pm EST Said:

Like others have said add some real powerhouses Floridas, even Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (if that is what takes to get Texas), TCU. Lets make sure we can compete with SEC!

Buckeye01 on 12/4/2012 @ 6:41pm EST Said:

Touch the Ohio State and Michigan Rivaly game or date….. and you will have 2 of the largest fan bases in America acting like its the Roman Days screaming war against the Big10/BTN!!!

Buckeye01 on 12/4/2012 @ 6:47pm EST Said:

Hey lets add 4 more Indiana’s to the Conference, that will sure make the Big10 a dynasty, Big and Great. (sarcasm)

Buckeye01 on 12/4/2012 @ 7:08pm EST Said:

With Bielema gone, Hazell jumping from a Kent St one season coached team to Purdue…… How about actually spending money for top football coaches and stop hoarding the money!!! Maybe one day the BIG10 will be relevant again!!!
Stop making goofy names up for Divisions, stop messing with our Rivalry’s, stop making up goofy choices for who’s in what division and if you want to add teams…. stop picking Div.3 caliber teams and go after “Real Teams” that have a legacy behind them and that are actually relevant in the College Football World!!!

Andy on 12/4/2012 @ 9:41pm EST Said:

Reese you say the divisions should be geographic because Iowa and others have trouble selling tickets. Ohio State and one or two others should suck it up and be happy in a division with all the newbies so Iowa and Minnesota can sell tickets to regional games. You should know from what everyone is writing about expansion, it’s not about ticket sales, it’s about tv money. Iowa’s problems is Iowa’s problem, not Ohio State’s, not the B1G’s, and not BTN’s. The new schools joining today and possibly in the future are joining to be a full members of the B1G not an offshoot division of it. Again I’ll say both divisions should have five of the base ten schools and two, or possibly three, newbies. Both divisions will span from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes, and the Great Plains. When I say newbies I am including Penn State since they have only been around since the 90’s. That way we can keep as many old rivalries as possible for all the older schools and intagrate the new ones equally into our great conference.

Mitch Jacobsen on 12/4/2012 @ 11:21pm EST Said:

I want GT or VT and FSU from the ACC. The Atlanta and Florida markets would be a cash cow and both would help with recruiting and football credibility. If we can’t expand with those, UNC is my distant silver medal after any 2 of those three.

jerzeyjon on 12/5/2012 @ 3:24pm EST Said:

I’m a junior at Rutgers University, and I can’t wrap my head around why some people would prefer schools like Virginia Tech, Florida State, Kansas, and Kansas State joining the Big Ten over Rutgers. First of all, Rutgers is a much more prestigious university than any of the aforementioned schools. Other than possibility Penn State, I would argue that Rutgers is the best public school in the entire North East, and the best public school in the Atlantic north of Virginia. Rutgers is one of the oldest, most tradition-rich schools in the country, is a AAU member, and is the only school to ever reject Ivy League membership. If the Big Ten wanted to expand eastward, academically speaking, they could not have done better than Rutgers.

    reese on 12/5/2012 @ 6:20pm EST Said:

    As a B1G Alum, and someone Proud of a B1G Education, WELCOME to The Conference! Pay no attention to some of the rhetoric directed at “Why Rutgers? Maryland, Really?”. These are the same people who wouldn’t understand Credentials or Academic Excellence. Many fear the UNKOWN or Lack the Understanding of WHAT defines a Great University. Athletic Prowess is certainly an attribute, but Championships are just a facet of The TOTAL Picture. Our Conference Leadership, The Various Chancellor’s and President’s of Our Fine University’s certainly feel Rutgers and Maryland are worthy of INCLUSION to Our Conference and the Future is Brighter for Everyone……Our Institutions, The Alumni and Most Importantly Our Students. Welcome and Embrace The Change!

Richard on 12/6/2012 @ 5:32pm EST Said:

My preference is to immediately expand into two new markets to get to 16. But forget going south altogether -FSU? Georgia Tech? Texas? Please. In what universe do those sound like Big 10 schools? Expand to Kansas, UConn, Pitt, Syracuse or even Buffalo and an argument can be made for inclusion due to market or academics. But going south to Virginia, North Carolina, etc. makes no sense to me. Forget the anointed ones in South Bend too. I can’t believe any Big 10 fan would want a school that would be more trouble than they are worth and ND, Texas and North Carolina would be. Ask any ACC or Big XII fan how UNC or Texas handle their conference business. They certainly haven’t learned how to work and play well with others.

Adding two schools to the east would make easily formed east and west divisions (ditch the contrived names). So what if OSU, UM and PSU are in the same division. You don’t see the SEC worried about having Alabama, LSU and Auburn in the same division and I seem to remember something about those teams winning a few national titles in the past several years. Besides, who is to say that Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa won’t have the dominant teams in the conference over the next 10 years; you never know. Set the divisions geographically and compete. The cream will rise.

boyer on 12/6/2012 @ 6:17pm EST Said:

Respect geographic compactness. The B10 is a midwestern-mid-Atlantic conference now. So don’t go adding Georgia Tech unless you can consume the Carolinas and Virginia. You may have to add some more schools based on future potential, not where they are right now with football. So I’d look at Syracuse, UConn, Temple, Pitt and maybe U.Va. because they would give you a second team with ties to the D.C. metro area. Or take another look at Missouri because it is definitely a B10 type school located right in the middle of things.

Andrew on 12/6/2012 @ 10:40pm EST Said:

No UCONN, Pitt or Syracuse, they add nothing. Please add GT, ND, UVA, FSU or UNC. As for alignment tOSU and Mich, should be in the same divisions period.

William Johnson on 12/7/2012 @ 6:10am EST Said:

Would the B1G still be allowed a championship game if we eliminated divisions altogether? I would love to see a 9 (or 10) game conference schedule, where each team has 3 protected rivalry games that they play each year. The remaining 6 games would be rotated each year. Then the top 2 teams would meet in Indianapolis for the B1G Championship Game.

If we continue with Legends and Leaders and eventually have 2 divisions of 7 teams, where each team plays the other 6 divisional opponents, plus 1 crossover game, that leaves essentially nothing left of the schedule. Meaning a player on a Leaders Division team could conceivably go their entire 4 years without ever visiting Michigan Stadium. This is not what the B1G is about. Each team should play the other teams AT LEAST every other year. Eliminating divisions and allowing a maximum of 3 protected rivalries per year would solve that problem.

My other idea is when we go to 16 teams, we could break into 4 divisions of 4 teams each. Example:
1. Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
2. Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana
3. Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State
4. Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia (?), North Carolina (?)

In the above scenario, each team would play their 3 division rivals annually, and play 2 games against each of the other 3 divisions annually. That’s 9 games and would make for a balanced and symmetric schedule. Then we could simply take the top 2 division champs and match them up in Indianapolis. Or better yet, have a 4 team playoff! Are you reading this, Delany? $$$$$ Cha-ching! $$$$$$

    reese on 12/10/2012 @ 2:43pm EST Said:

    Well, I can see YOU obviously have ONE Thing on Your Agenda………put OSU,UM,MSU and PSU in the same division and let them ‘take each other out’ while the other divisions have all the WEAKLINGS/Also rans and HAVE A Chance……….NOT Going To Happen. They call it Competitive BALANCE. Do YOU honestly think anyone wants to see the likes of Indiana,Minnesota or Purdue seriously contend for Conference Championships and Go To Rose Bowls while the Conference Power Teams are relegated to second tier status? You have GOT to Be Kidding! OSU,UM and PSU would go Independent or create their OWN League then let that happen.

joenole on 12/7/2012 @ 8:59am EST Said:

…if you guys have any sense, you’ll add Florida State (ranked higher than Nebraska from an academics perspective) and Georgia Tech. You’ll open up the Florida market to recruiting, grab millions of eyeballs in the Fla & Ga markets and take it right to the SEC, which has dominated your conference in bowl games for the past decade. Furthermore, need I say it, you’d put the screws to Notre Dame after the Irish spurned all your offers.

Don Gorgis on 12/7/2012 @ 1:15pm EST Said:

Pitt has long been considered as a candidate for membership in the Big 10. Market driven selection; e.g., Maryland and Rutgers, shouldn’t be the sole basis for expansion. There is a lot to be said for maintaining natural rivalries and geographical proximity. Pitt is very much like most Big 10 schools, culturally, athletically, and academically. Yes, the Pitt football program has not been prominent in recent years, but these things are cyclical. Pitt has a solid football tradition that is more colorful and memorable than many of the Big 10 schools. If Pitt is motivated to do so, they can again become prominent in football….History has a way of repeating itself. I think Mr. Delaney may be shortsighted just looking at TV markets. In time, this sphere of influence may diminish and football rivalries and traditions will again peak the interest of fans, TV and otherwise. Barry Alvarez is familiar with Western Pennsylvania football, past and present, and if honest, would probably embrace these sentiments regarding further expansion. I feel that Mr. Delaney should not be solely preoccupied with TV markets without considering rivalry, culture and geography. Just my 2 cents worth.

    boyer on 12/7/2012 @ 1:52pm EST Said:

    Of course TV markets are important. But having commonality and geographic contiguity is important too. Part of the ACC’s problem was that it cherry-picked schools — like B.C. and Syracuse — that were geographic outliers. If you added Missouri to the B10, it would immediately seem like they belong. If you add FSU and Ga. Tech but nothing in between, it’s a stretch — literally. Not that I have anything against those schools, they’re both super academic places. But contiguity matters for your brand. It also matters a lot if fans can drive to games. If you have Ga. Tech playing Minnesota you have almost no visiting fans.

Transic on 12/8/2012 @ 2:49am EST Said:

I think the Big Ten could go *really* big and get 4 new universities. My suggestions are as follows: Univ. of Virginia; Duke University; Georgia Tech; and Florida State.

Each of the four bring athletic and academic qualities to the conference. All of them provide East Coast access to the current and future conference members. Duke basketball is legendary. It will be a terrific asset to the Big Ten Network. Florida State football doesn’t need introduction. it speaks for itself. Virginia and Georgia Tech bring quality and also gives the B1G access to the newer demographics emerging in the South.

Divisions would be as follows:

Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Michigan State, Virginia, Michigan

Ohio State, Duke, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Indiana, Purdue

Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska

Delany should go with this idea right away!

Peter on 12/8/2012 @ 2:11pm EST Said:

Divisions should be constructed to give the BIG THE BEST CHANCE OF GETTING AS MANY TEAMS IN THE NEW FINAL FOUR PLAYOFF FORMAT. Does having OSU and MICH play each other twice once during the regular season and once during championship hurt or help the loser of these to also get into the final four? Same goes for Nebraska and PSU or Wisconsin and MSU. IF playing each other twice helps then do it, if it keeps a second or even a third team out then change divisional structures.

Secondly, BIG needs to land some real name football powers like Texas, FSU, Miami, even Tennesee, or Oklahoma if it has to stoop so low academically. I get and support the AAU/ academic advantages and Tv markets. However, we need to balance these wise moves East and South by ensuring we put a great product on the field as well. My fear is if we just add UVa , Ga Tech, UNC etc… we will continue to get bashed in the media (who don”t care about academics). NOW IS THE TIME TO take advantage of the Leagues wealth and of Southern demograghic shifts by snagging a few real name football powers with huge stadiums, AND HUGE FOLLOWINGS like we successfully did with Nebraska and PSU.

THIRD, TEAMS THAT DONT USE ALL THIS TV MONEY FOR TOP FACILITIES COACHES AND OTHER SPORTS, AND CONTINUE TO FINISH LAST FOR OVER 5 SEASONS SHOULD BE RELEGATED LIKE IN THE ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE OR HAVE THEIR FUNDING CUT IN HALF UNTIL THEY MAKE A REAL COMMITTMENT TO WINNING. WE ARE THE WEALTHIEST CONFERENCE AND FINISHING FOURTH OUT OF FOUR ON THE FIELD EVERY YEAR VS PAC, BIG 12 AND SEC IS UNACCEPTABLE.

William Johnson on 12/9/2012 @ 12:23am EST Said:

In my opinion, the best way to do the football schedule with 14 teams (until we get to 16) is to stick with Legends and Leaders but to move to a 10 game schedule. Each team would play their 6 divisional opponents annually, their crossover rival annually, which would then leave 3 games against the other remaining 6 teams in the opposite division. This would create symmetry and allow a more balanced schedule.

Best of all, it would bring a whole new meaning to “BIG TEN.” Since we are no longer 10 teams, we could at least be 10 games. The BIG TEN name would once again have meaning!

Legends Leaders Division
Michigan Ohio State
Minnesota Wisconsin
Michigan State Indiana
Nebraska Penn State
Illinois Purdue
Northwestern Rutgers
Iowa Maryland

Troy on 12/9/2012 @ 7:44pm EST Said:

BIG TEN 16 team conference

Leaders or “East”
Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Indiana
Legends or “West”
Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin

Louis on 12/9/2012 @ 10:18pm EST Said:

I want Florida State and Clemson added to the B1G!

dutch1257BRAD HOLLAND on 12/10/2012 @ 3:38am EST Said:

GO WEST OLD MAN, GO WEST!

OLD MAN DELANY HAS 3 EASTERN SCHOOLS AND 1 WESTERN SCHOOL SINCE HE HAS EXPANDED THE BIG TEN BY 4 SCHOOLS SINCE 1993. NOW HE NEEDS TO PICK UP 2 MORE WESTERN SCHOOLS TO EVEN OUT THE CONFERENCE WITH 8 SCHOOLS WEST OF LAKE MICHIGAN AND 8 SCHOOLS EAST OF LAKE MICHIGAN.

THE BIG TEN NEEDS TO CHALLENGE THE “GRANT OF RIGHTS” OF THE BIG XII AND FORMALLY INVITE KANSAS & OKLAHOMA! THE BIG TEN WOULD ACQUIRE 2 POWERHOUSE SCHOOLS IN FOOTBALL & BASKETBALL.

KANSAS IS AN AAU MEMBER AND OKLAHOMA IS NOT, BUT OKLAHOMA IS A LARGE RESEARCH UNIVERSITYLIKE ALL OTHER BIG TEN SCHOOLS, WHICH IS TIED WITH NEBRASKA AT #101 IN THE LASTEST NATIONAL UNIVERSITY RANKINGS. I’M SURE BOTH NEBRASKA AND OKLAHOMA CAN BECOME AAU MEMBERS IN THE FUTURE, AND I BET BOTH SCHOOLS WOULD LOVE TO RESUME THEIR INTENSE ANNUAL RIVALRY OF 86 PREVIOUS MEETINGS OF THE PAST. I BELIEVE TEXAS WOULD GO INDEPENDENT IF OKLAHOMA LEFT THE BIG XII.

IF OKLAHOMA DECIDES TO STAY IN THE BIG XII, THEN THE BIG TEN SHOULD GO AFTER MISSOURI AND KANSAS INSTEAD. EITHER ONE OF THESE SCENARIOS DESCRIBED ABOVE WOULD BE BETTER THAN GOING AFTER ACC SCHOOLS WHO, I BELIEVE WILL NOT LEAVE, NAMELY VIRGINIA & NORTH CAROLINA. KANSAS, OKLAHOMA OR MISSOURI FIT THE BIG TEN CULTURE THE BEST, AND THE SOONERS AND JAYHAWKS ARE NATIONAL BRAND NAMES.

    reese on 12/10/2012 @ 11:25am EST Said:

    The B1G is NOT going to ADMIT A-N-Y Schools that are NOT AAU members, PERIOD…..so any discussions of “should/would/could” are silly and pointless. The AAU is a PRESTIGIOUS Group of Schools where THAT Organization solicits Membership, NOT the other way around. People seem to forget that Delaney has to work inconjunction with the Goals and Mission of The University’s Administrators …..14 Institutions and the Univ of Chicago. These schools are looking to PROTECT the Reputations and Prestige of these Universities, not dilute or minimize academics. The mere notion of Oklahoma of suddenly ‘snapping their fingers’ to become AAU qualified is as credible as stating “We are Going join the IVY League because We have Ivy growing on several buildings on campus”.. IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Mizzou and Kansas would be Quality additions, OU not so much based on academics. There is A LOT more at play in Conference Expansion than on just Athletic Competition.

jerzeyjon on 12/10/2012 @ 2:32pm EST Said:

I wouldn’t go West. Kansas is not a very good school, and if added would be the worst school in the conference. Oklahoma is even worse, and too down south.

Although I’m in the minority, I value academics and intellectual excellence over AP college football rankings.

If I was to expand the Big Ten I would add Virginia, and Missouri. Virginia is a world class university and a natural rival to neighbor Maryland, while Mizzou is also a AAU school and is of really close proximity to the rest of the Big Ten schools.

Pazman on 12/10/2012 @ 10:33pm EST Said:

Would love to see Georgia Tech and Florida State be a part of further expansion .

Jay Thomas on 12/11/2012 @ 11:49am EST Said:

B1G East and West. Ohio State and Michigan in the same division. They should only play each other once per year. no ties for going 1-1 against each other. I would like to see Pitt and ND as our next 2 teams although it seems unlikely. 2 of UVA, NC, Duke, GT, KS, Iowa State would be next. Keep B1G name.

Jay Thomas on 12/11/2012 @ 11:53am EST Said:

PS- I would also like to see BTN2GO as a pay per month ipad app (that is not tied to a cable or sat provider. A true a la carte, option as a stand alone product) to watch all the B1G teams and games, when two or more games are on at the same time I would also like to see several B1G channels available to watch. I know i am dreaming, but this is what I want.

Ed M. on 12/12/2012 @ 6:14pm EST Said:

Switch Wisconsin and Mich add Illinois to the legends. Although some would say the Legends is weaker, there is bad blood between Wisky, MSU, Iowa, Nebreska and even the little pests NW. We have to keep that group together. Plus by putting UM and OSU in the same division you are almost guarenteed one will make it to the BIG CG and that would give the BIG CG at least alot better attendance. You also eliminate the dreaded scenario of back to back weeks of OSU and UM.

Tom L. on 12/13/2012 @ 9:59pm EST Said:

The geographical division is the one that makes the most sense. Competitive balance is too difficult, since most all teams have their up and down seasons. Are we looking at Nebraska of 2012 or Nebraska from 1993-2001? Will Iowa continue to decline, or rise to the top of the league again? Too many variables with competitive balance; no variables with geographical balance.

McClane on 12/13/2012 @ 10:18pm EST Said:

I think going to a 9 game B1G schedule is necessary to maintain the traditional B1G rivalries. Ideally, I would like to see a 13 game regular season schedule and a 10 game conference schedule, but that is probably a while in coming. Keep the cross divisional protected games. These are important to maintaining rivalries and by going to a 9 game schedule teams in cross divisional games would still play as often as they do now.

Keep rivalry games scheduled for the last game of the year. Ohio State vs Michigan, Purdue vs Indiana, Northwestern vs Illinios, Iowa vs Nebraska etc

As far as divisions, I don’t think it makes much sense to add Maryland and Rutgers to the B1G and them not both be in the same division as Penn State. Ohio State being the next most eastern school makes sense there as well. So the divisions with the best balance long term are:

Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin – Leaders
Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinios, Northwestern – Legends

I do not mind Ohio State and Michigan in opposite divisions and don’t think a rematch is the end of the world, But I think the idea above of swapping Wisconsin and Michigan would work. Michigan could still play Michigan State each year.

Thanks for the programming (The Journey is great), I like being able to watch B1G highlights without having to turn on ESPN and see a bunch of teams I don’t care about. I echo the earlier comment that it would be nice to somehow select the live game you want to watch when multiple games are on at the same time.

Jeff in Nebraska on 12/13/2012 @ 10:47pm EST Said:

Again Fans since 2011(12) Wisconsin(19) is the Top Dog with Nebraska(20 wins) and that’s a fact. Regardless of reason Osu & Michigan has not even been in either Title game but Wolverines been close. As a Nebraskan I know close don’t count. Conference Top are Badgers Huskers Wolverines Buckeyes Nittney Lions Knights Spartans Wildcats(pretty much in that order)subject to change. Yes since Solich left Nu hasn’t been as good but good enough to contend for B10 Title. Bo is winning 10 games a year sometime 9.Bottom line once the Cornhuskers can play better on the road then Championships will follow.This is based on the last 2 years from over all and league play not from bias oppinions. Just straight up facts.Again on the Sanction schools that’s on your Admiistration Past or present(some players) and that why your not contenders(plus player shouldn’t be rewarded as well)Players if you want to be recognize the go to a school that’s not on Probation. Both have different circumstances and I understand that.lol Again,Bottom Line B10 Top Two 1 Wisconsin 2 Nebraska For Now !

Jeff in Nebraska on 12/13/2012 @ 11:18pm EST Said:

An Interesting Fact in the last two season *Ohio State 18 wins 7 losses (11-5) and soon to be B10 Foe (Big East) Rutgers 18 wins 7 losses (9-5). The four teams with 12 conference wins in 2 years are Wisc 12-6 Neb 12-5 Mich 12-4 Psu 12-4 then *Osu 11-5 & Msu 10-7. The Badgers are 3 Time B10 Champs so can’t exclude them until some one beats them.Obviously they get the timely wins…

Tom on 12/15/2012 @ 8:51pm EST Said:

The B1G will never be in the SEC’s league and the gap will only widen…unless it makes a bold move southward and adds FSU, UNC, UVA and GT (if the SEC let’s it happen). The B1G just watered itself down with the latest weak additions. If it goes for more mediocrity (in attractive markets) it will mark the beginning of the slow decline. One NC in football every 50 years in football will be a major achievement, if the B1G doesn’t go “big”.

    reese on 12/18/2012 @ 1:25pm EST Said:

    The B1G is NOT going to add Southern Teams just to ADD them and certainly not under any “If’s” that the Big,Bad SEC will Allow. You have to be Southern to actually believe Such Nonsense. I have lived in the South and can readily attest to the FACT that Many in the Region clearly despise Anything “Yankee Related”……..The South L-o-s-t The War, Many Years Ago….so Get Over It! Yea, We know the SEC has had a Great Run on Football Championships………So WHAT!? When the SEC can MATCH Up in Prestige, Money, Endowments and Credibility, then We Will talk. There is a H-U-G-E difference in attitude, culture and perspective when comparing Northern and Southern Schools. (And some of You will merely fire back ‘yea, it’s cold up there’………..and THAT is the stupidity We are Talking about. The SEC needs to worry about the SEC and not concern itself with ANY other Conference, B1G,Big12, Pac12 etc.

Tom on 12/15/2012 @ 9:44pm EST Said:

“Mizzou and Kansas would be Quality additions”

Reese,

Do you not realize that these 2 schools are rated lower in US News than the Southern schools you’re so worried about tainting the league? Too funny.

Matthew on 12/16/2012 @ 11:48pm EST Said:

Do you realize why the SEC has powerhouses like Bama, Florida, LSU, and UGA? because the rest of their conference isn’t all that great, take UGA’s schedule this year, besides SCAR and UF they played the worst the SEC has to offer, I’m talking Vandy, Ole Miss, UK, Mizzou, Tenn, and AU. The disparity in the SEC is what drives its ability to put out 2 or 3 great teams each year. “Watering down” your conference leads to the powerhouses still looking like powerhouses without running the risk of losing to good teams that end up eliminating each other from title contention.

    Jeff in Nebraska on 12/17/2012 @ 4:52pm EST Said:

    I like to see B10 stay in the region of now 14 schools ? Maybe Iowa State N Dakota State Northen Illinois Cincy K State Ohio Temple Army Navy to name a few?

      reese on 12/18/2012 @ 12:13pm EST Said:

      You MUST be kidding! There isn’t ONE School on that list that is even worth looking at……..North Dakota State? We are looking at MAJOR Universities that are Prestigious Universities……Land Grant Universities or Northwestern caliber schools. What part of AAU ceritified Institutions is giving some of you people an Issue? There is NWinH that the B1G President’s and Chancellor’s would EVER allow such nonsense. Next thing someone will come up with is “let’s add schools with Cute Mascots”. Plain stupidity.

Tom on 12/20/2012 @ 3:21pm EST Said:

The SEC is the best because it has the best talent, from the most fertile recruiting grounds. Unless the B1G expands south, it will be in the SEC’s perpetual rear view mirror.

Tom on 12/20/2012 @ 4:46pm EST Said:

Jeff,

The B1G won’t ever add any of the schools on your list. You went 0 for 9. Truly remarkable.

    Jeff in Nebraska on 12/20/2012 @ 10:41pm EST Said:

    Amazing Tom how you mis read that. I was just giving an example of what area to stay in and a few of them schools are possible? Never know unless you have an inside track who the remaining schools are if any ? Other then that my out take or anyone else oppinion as good as any. So is that ok with you Tom? See I kinda like to stay in the region of the 14 current schools,understand? Merry Christmas

Tom on 12/21/2012 @ 11:37am EST Said:

All in good fun… Merry Christmas Jeff!

Tom on 1/16/2013 @ 11:05pm EST Said:

What a conference it would be with Oklahoma and Texas!!!!

Marc on 1/21/2013 @ 10:40am EST Said:

Kansas and Missouri

Jasomm on 3/5/2013 @ 10:59am EST Said:

Long term solution to completely overhaul the system yet restore almost all tradition:

http://www.city-data.com/blogs/blog35085-super-leagues-ncaa-format.html

Malcolm on 3/7/2013 @ 4:50pm EST Said:

Since the Big Ten seems to be headed for a 14 team conference, a 9 or 10 game conference schedule is necessary in football to preserve the quality of conference play.

Just look at the SEC this year, which has 7 team divisions and plays 8 conference games. Thanks to tie ins with mediocre divisional games, the SEC had only 3 cross divisional games between teams in the top 4 in their division. This translates into roughly half the number of quality conference games that were played in the PAC12.

How many Nebraska vs OSU, OSU vs Michigan, Wisconsin vs Nebraska, and MSU vsOSU type games are we willing to lose?

Bobby on 4/18/2013 @ 9:44pm EST Said:

New Big 10 conference
Legends
Nebraska
Michigan
Wisconsin
Iowa
Kansas
Oklahoma
NorthWestern
Minnesota
Leaders
Indiana
Purdue
Michigan State
Ohio State
Illinois
Penn State
Rutgers
Maryland

Nathan on 10/12/2013 @ 2:48pm EST Said:

Virginia and Virginia Tech as 15th and 16th member. Indiana and Purdue can remain as division rivals by doing so.