Dienhart: Big Ten should put Purdue in 'West'

It looks like we are getting closer to divisional realignment in the Big Ten in anticipation of Maryland and Rutgers joining in 2014, according to an ESPN.com report. The big remaining question: Will Indiana or Purdue have to play in the West Division?

Yes, “West” division. It appears the Big Ten likely will dump the “Legends” and “Leaders” monikers and go with the more clear and descriptive “East” and “West” tags. That should please the public, but there is no official word on division names yet.

[ FACEBOOK POLL: Which team should be put in the West Division? ]

The reports says time zones will be the demarcation in determining which schools are in what division. The rub: There are eight Big Ten schools in the Eastern Time Zone—Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue–and six in the Central Time Zone—Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern. Seven and seven balance is needed.

The most likely schools to make the move from East to West are Purdue or Indiana, splitting the rivals. But don’t fret, Boilermakers and Hoosiers fans. The rivalry—per the report–would be the only protected crossover game, meaning the schools still would meet annually for the Old Oaken Bucket.

So, here is how the divisions could look.

EAST
Purdue/Indiana
Maryland
Michigan
Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State
Rutgers

WEST
Purdue/Indiana
Illinois
Iowa
Minnesota
Nebraska
Northwestern
Wisconsin

If it was up to me, I’d put Purdue in the West, as it has a long rivalry with Illinois (the Cannon). And West Lafayette and Champaign are just 90 miles or so apart. And Purdue is just a two-hour or so drive from Northwestern. Wisconsin and Iowa also are doable day-trip drives from Purdue. I know, because I have done them. My point: Purdue has better geography for West division schools than Indiana. And, honestly, isn’t this divisional realignment about geography?

Just a thought.

But this fuss over if Indiana or Purdue should move West could all be moot if the Big Ten adds two teams to grow to 16, as many speculate. And, if two more schools are added, most feel they will be Eastern schools, with speculation focusing on North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia Tech.

So, if two “eastern” schools are indeed added one day, wouldn’t it then make sense to push Indiana to the West division with Purdue? Sure it would.

Stay tuned.

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35 Comments

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ryan eaton on 3/19/2013 @ 5:34pm EDT Said:

i just hope maryland and rutgers don’t get beat by fifty every game. nobody wants to watch that.

Tim. on 3/19/2013 @ 6:36pm EDT Said:

So the logic is to put four of the top five programs the East an allow Nebraska to skate to the B10CG? Please spare me the Wisconsin is elite as they have no chance of matching a full strength Nebraska… You absolutely cannot out three of the four Bluebloods in one division an then also throw in Michigan State.

Will be great in years a Osu,UM or Psu get Nebraska an Wisky from the west an the other two get Indiana and Minnesota…

This alignment is really unfair

Rob on 3/19/2013 @ 7:12pm EDT Said:

This set up would more than likely put nebraska in the B10CG most years. Wisconsin would be the only one standing in nebraskas way and althought they seem to have nebraskas number, i dont see nebraska losing to wisconsin much anymore.

Tom Clark on 3/19/2013 @ 7:33pm EDT Said:

Those who argue the East is far superior to the West are forgetting how good Iowa has been over the years

David Puckett on 3/19/2013 @ 8:14pm EDT Said:

works for me..

Darrell Bickford on 3/19/2013 @ 8:56pm EDT Said:

I really hope they dont do that for B1G football championship games’ sake. Football powers Ohio State, UM, Michigan State, AND Penn St all in one side to get to the championship game and only Wisconsin and Nebraska as real year in and year out (although who knows about Wisconsin with the coaching change) contenders for the other side? This would be the worst change the B1G could go with. They need to keep the legends and leaders and just have a plus one with Maryland and Rutgers. I don’t care if it’s not fair for one, they arent traveling to the west coast.

Ed N Jan Buchanan on 3/20/2013 @ 9:57am EDT Said:

Come on Nebraska fans. Really? You feel like you are going to dominate the west? Now you sound like Penn St. did when they joined. Time will tell. What was that score with wisc. ? Something like 70-31. Sounds like a BB score.

NebraskaGuy on 3/20/2013 @ 11:46am EDT Said:

This divisional alignment is absolute trash. Zero competitive balance between the two divisions. As a Nebraska fan, I would rather be back in the Big 12 North than in this joke of a division.

When Nebraska joined the Big Ten, all of the talk in support of the move was the great matchups that Nebraska would have by playing schools like Michigan, Ohio St, Penn St, and Michigan St annually, but now Nebraska plays none of these teams on an annual basis and has zero divisional matchups that will draw even a hint of national attention. Welcome back to the Big 12 North Nebraska. But at least in the Big 12 North, Nebraska had decades of history between the teams on their lack luster divisional schedule. Now in the Big Ten West Division, Nebraska has no history with these teams…they just have a lack luster divisional schedule.

It’s clear that all it took was Michigan and Ohio St to say what they wanted in the divisional realignment and surprise…Jim Delany popped out of his magic lantern saying “your wish is my command!”. I could not be more disappointed that I am now with this alignment. Disappointed with the Big Ten conference. Disappointed with Jim Delany. Disappointed that Nebraska left the Big 12 for this.

NebraskaGuy on 3/20/2013 @ 12:55pm EDT Said:

@ Ed N Jan Buchanan
Wisconsin hasn’t had the longterm success that Nebraska, Penn St, Ohio St, and Michigan have had. Wisconsin won’t last. I’m not saying that they will drop off to the level of Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, etc, but they will drop down. Don’t act like Wisconsin’s rise wasn’t directly related to the fact that their best years happened at the same time that Michigan, Ohio St, and Nebraska have been in rebuilding cycles. And Wisconsin still has zero national championships to show for their little run.
I’ve seen Colorado have a lucky stretch of success and they actually won the national championship. I’ve seen Colorado have a stretch of years where they caught lightning in a bottle and beat down Nebraska for a short stretch of years…Where are they now? I’ve seen Missouri have a lucky stretch of success. I’ve seen Missouri have a stretch of years where they caught lightning in a bottle and beat down Nebraska for a short stretch of years…Where are they now?
There is a reason that certain teams are among the top 5 or top 10 winningest programs of all time. It’s because they have a fanbase that is 100% committed and will accept nothing less. It’s because their fans/boosters have the sustained dedication to the programs and the checkbooks to spend on the resources it takes to be consistently great. It’s because they have a different mindset than most other schools when it comes to winning.
Wisconsin fans: Don’t forget it took a someone who was a part of Nebraska’s winning tradition (Barry Alvarez) to get Wisconsin to the level they have been at for the last decade. Alvarez modeled Wisconsin’s football program from Nebraska’s blueprint. It is just a different level of support, dedication, and commitment that people outside of these historically successful programs can’t fully appreciate, because they have never really seen it up-close.
This alignment is a joke.

Alyssa on 3/20/2013 @ 1:51pm EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy
Seems to me that Nebraska might want to concentrate on being able to get past Wisconsin or at least not embarrass themselves and the league in big games. If Nebraska had to run through MSU, PSU, OSU and MI yearly in addition to Wisconsin, NU and Iowa they would be looking at a lot of .8-4 and 7-5 records. Keep thinking the west is going to be won by Nebraska yearly. The Big 10 West will NOT be like the Big 12 North. The schools in the Big 10 have larger fan bases, are in more populated regions and play in larger stadiums in addition to having larger athletic department budgets. There is much more opportunity for high profile match-ups in the Big 10 West division than there ever could have been in the Big 12 North. Nebraska will have at least two national match-ups in division, which is 2 more than they had in the Big 12. The league is also moving to 9 or 10 games which would mean Nebraska would play at minimum one other high profile match-up and most likely 2. Not really understanding your complaint as the alignment appears to be based on geography more than capitulation by Jim Delany to the perceived wishes of OSU and MI. This is the Big 10, not the Big 12 – everyone has a voice. I am certain the new AD at Nebraska had opportunities to express his views. In fact I know he did because I read an article in which Tom Osborne said so. If you have complaints, call your AD. I am sure Tom Osborne would laugh at the thought of trading money, prestige and exposure for regional, non-televised match-ups against Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and WVU.

NebraskaGuy on 3/20/2013 @ 2:58pm EDT Said:

@Alyssa
“Nebraska will have at least two national match-ups in division, which is 2 more than they had in the Big 12.”

Wrong.
I think you are confusing “division” and “conference”. While Nebraska may have 2 high profile “conference” match-ups each season, they will not have two high profile “divisional” match-ups each season. Will Nebraska play teams like Michigan, Ohio St, and Penn St in their crossover games? Obviously, yes. But there is a big difference between playing a team every single season and playing a team every 4 years. Not sure what your definition of a “high profile match-up” is, but high profile match-up to me means a game that networks will broadcast in the nationally televised primetime slot (nationally televised night game) and/or a game that is eligible to host ESPN College Gameday. Nebraska vs Michigan is a candidate. Nebraska vs Penn St is a candidate. Nebraska vs Ohio St is a candidate. Nebraska vs Minnesota/Illinois/Iowa/Northwestern/Indiana/Purdue is not a candidate.

@Alyssa
“If Nebraska had to run through MSU, PSU, OSU and MI yearly in addition to Wisconsin, NU and Iowa they would be looking at a lot of .8-4 and 7-5 records.”

Wrong.
Nebraska is 1 of 4 teams to win at least 9 games per season since 2008. The other 3 teams are Alabama, Oregon, and Boise St. Even when the Big Ten threw the hardest possible schedule at Nebraska over the last 2 seasons (Nebraska played Ohio St, Michigan, Penn St, Michigan St, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Iowa both seasons), Nebraska went 9-4 (5-3 conference) and 10-4 (7-1 conference). Not sure where you are coming up with the “8-4 and 7-5 records” part of your statement, because it’s flat out wrong.

@Alyssa
“I am sure Tom Osborne would laugh at the thought of trading money, prestige and exposure for regional, non-televised match-ups against Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and WVU.”

Wrong.
Annual match-ups against Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, and either Purdue or Indiana do not bring any more national “prestige and exposure” than annual match-ups against Missouri, Colorado, Kansas St, Kansas, and Iowa St. It’s pretty much a push. And that’s why I said “Welcome back to the Big 12 North Nebraska. But at least in the Big 12 North, Nebraska had decades of history with the teams on their lack luster divisional schedule. Now in the Big Ten West Division, Nebraska has no history with these teams…they just have a lack luster divisional schedule.”

huskerred on 3/20/2013 @ 3:27pm EDT Said:

@Alyssa seems to me Neb has played Mich, MSU, Penn St, and Wisc the last two seasons and during regular season games is above the 500 mark, Split games with Mich, OSU, and Wisc and won both against Penn St (not bad for being the “new team”); did we get embarrassed at the CCG game yes we got man handled; but how many schools leave a conference for a new one and are competing in the CCG their 2nd year? No team in the country has a better record the last 50 years than Nebraska does that includes the Michigans, Michgan States, Wisconsins, or Ohio States….looking at the so-called West Division……

Nebraska All-time record 856–353–40 (.701)
38 Conference Championships
5 National Championships and three Heisman

Wisconsin: All-time record 644–476–51 (.572)
14 Conference Championships
0 National Championships and two Heisman

Iowa: All-time record 598–530–39 (.529)
11 Conference Championships
1 National Championship and one Heisman

Delaney brought Nebraska in as their a top 5 national brand and a cash cow. No way can one justify paying Maryland a bigger piece than Neb (except the B1G); nor pay Marylands travel expenses on top of that. Why? Its about $$$ and TV rights; not making the conference better just more lucrative. You use the word “prestige.” Thats a long shot seemings that their are three conferences more relevent than B1G currently in the football arena (SEC, Big 12 and Pac 12). My guest the B1G loses the contract to the Rose Bowl it would become the next ACC.

Kevin Hornbeak on 3/20/2013 @ 3:39pm EDT Said:

Maryland has sucked last few years, but it’s last game with Purdue MD won in the Champs Bowl. Rutgers although historically a dud isn’t going to be embarrassed. You basically added two football schools that are like Purdue at worst and Michigan State at best. Rutgers basketball is what is embarrassing.

Josh on 3/20/2013 @ 4:01pm EDT Said:

I love Nebraska Guy. Not so much Alyssa. That is all.

Kevin Hornbeak on 3/20/2013 @ 4:04pm EDT Said:

@huskerred No way can one justify paying Maryland a bigger piece than Nebraska?

Ok let’s break this down. Maryland is not losing its AAU status. Something Nebraska promptly did joining the B1G. That’s like gaining 50 lbs right after marriage. Maryland is going to pump so much money into the CIC it’s not funny. Maryland may not fill up stands like Nebraska, but Maryland has a ton of fans who watch games. Anytime Maryland does well you have two major TV Markets DC and Baltimore (Yes they are two separate markets one blue collar one white collar) all over Maryland. #1 Maryland traditionally was a football school (two national championships). #2 Maryland is a basketball school (one national championship). So it’s not like we have no history of succeeding in the big sports. There are a ton of B1G alumni living around MD and NY who want to see there teams. Finally Maryland was in a pretty good conference in the ACC. Nebraska was in a dying conference desperate to leave. The B1G had to ask Maryland to come and entice them. Maryland was in a position of strength to negotiate. We didn’t want to leave ACC for the most part, but seeing how the ACC is turning into the Big East 2.0 it was in our better interests.

Nebraska offers what? Just on the field football play. That’s it. You don’t offer media markets, academics, basketball or any other sport. Try to remember it is a Academic/Athletic conference. You have very little to offer but basically what Tom Osborne accomplished. Since he left you’re no different than Wisconsin. I know the East looks very stacked right now, but let’s see you win a few conference titles before we anoint Nebraska Jesus of the Western conference.

Joe Black on 3/21/2013 @ 2:22am EDT Said:

@Kevin Hornbeak, awwwwww snap!!! Fear the Turtle!

Ms.B1G on 3/21/2013 @ 7:21am EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy
I am not confused. I think Nebraska will have two high profile divisional match-ups most years. We may differ on the definition of high profile but I consider Iowa and Wisconsin versus a program the caliber of Nebraska to be the type of game that would be selected by the conference’s media partners for national TV in prime time when both are winning. The same way Iowa vs PSU, Iowa vs Wisconsin, Illinois vs OSU, Illinois vs Wisconsin, NU vs MI have been high-profile and/or prime time night games in the past. In fact if Illinois or NU is winning as they did during their Rose Bowl runs, they will be on national TV. Illinois, Iowa and NU on their own won’t bring you a national match-up like OSU, MI or Penn State – but if Nebraska is claiming to be a national program on the level of OSU, PSU or MI isn’t that what they are for? Gameday has been hosted by NU, Purdue and Iowa multiple times in the past, not sure why they wouldn’t again in the future. Gameday is based on winning.

Year 1 in the Big 10 Nebraska lost 3 big ten games in which two were blow-outs and one you lost at home to NU. You beat PSU by a field goal and a depleted OSU team by a touchdown. In Year 2 you won 3 games by 4 points or less and you were blown out in your only loss. And then was blown out again in the conference title game by a 4 loss team. While a good team, you were hardly world beaters and more than likely will have 5-3 or 6-3 conference records going forward – the same as your actual conference record in Year 1. If you lose one OOC game like you did to UCLA your record would be 8-4. And with the required OOC schedule upgrade like Wisconsin playing Alabama, a loss like the one Nebraska suffered at the hands of UCLA would not be out of the realm of possibilities.

I am not sure what metric you are using to judge this. I looked at all of the following data points and it is not a wash.

Football Revenue – http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/12/04/4460673/texas-football-leads-the-way-among.html

Fan Base size – http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/the-geography-of-college-football-fans-and-realignment-chaos/

Football Team Value – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324391104578225802183417888.html

BCS Bowl Births – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowl_Championship_Series

Population Footprint – http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/26/sports/la-sp-0726-pac-12-chart-20110726

Recruits produced – http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1182411

I could go on with stadium size, face book likes, student body size, alumni chapter size, ESPN/ABC Televised Games, tweets, conference distributions, media contracts, etc. In virtually every measurable area, Big 10 schools rate higher. These directly translate to media exposure, prestige and revenue.

Traegan on 3/21/2013 @ 9:10am EDT Said:

Put Indiana and Purdue together in the east divison then put Michigan State to the west division. new cross road reverly is wisconsin and Ohio State, Northwestern vs Rutgers, Illinois vs Michigan, and Maryland vs Minnsota. stay the same is Nebraska and Penn State, Michigan State vs Indania, and Iowa vs Purdue

Ms.B1G on 3/21/2013 @ 9:32am EDT Said:

@huskerred

Again, year 1 in the Big 10 Nebraska lost 3 big ten games in which two were blow-outs and one you lost at home to NU. You beat PSU by a field goal and a depleted OSU team by a touchdown. In Year 2 you won 3 games by 4 points or less and you were blown out in your only loss. And then was blown out again in the conference title game by a 4 loss team. While a good team, you were hardly world beaters and more than likely will have 5-3 or 6-3 conference records going forward – the same as your actual conference record in Year 1. If you lose one OOC game like you did to UCLA your record would be 8-4. And with the required OOC schedule upgrade like Wisconsin playing Alabama, a loss like the one Nebraska suffered at the hands of UCLA would not be out of the realm of possibilities.

Penn State won the Big 10 their 2nd year in the league going undefeated.

I am not debating Nebraska’s football prowess. Nebraska no doubt is one of the all-time great football programs. I think college football fans especially those in the Big 10 know that. It’s not something you have to state. However, 50 years was a long time ago and is ancient history considering:

Minnesota All-time record 661–491–44 (.571)
18 Conference Championships
7 National Championships and 1 Heisman

Illinois All-time record 572–529–50 (.519)
15 Conference Championships
5 National Championships and 0 Heisman

Nebraska was invited to submit an application to the Big 10 for a variety of reasons including the historic prestige of the football brand as well as not wanting to risk being left behind if Texas and friends moved to the Pac 12. However, if you view the document, “Making Nebraska into a Big 10 University”, you know that Nebraska moved to the Big 10 to enhance the stature of the University, increased opportunities for research and increased University exposure in high population areas. Maryland was invited to apply for different reasons including academic prestige, research funding, population as well as AAU status that Nebraska now lacks. The conference is definitely better with the addition of Maryland. No one in the Big 10 gets more money than the other schools. This is not the Big 12. Maryland is getting a travel subsidy – likely a draw against future distributions to help them out. Jim Delany even said that while the deal is structured differently for each new team, they are all getting the same amount of money over time that will make them whole. In the past ten tax filings for the Big 10 they have yet to distribute significantly different distributions to conference members. Further, there is nothing unfair about the Big 10 helping out a fellow member school. The same is true of putting all the easternmost teams in the east to help build up the Rutgers and Maryland brands in addition to exposing new recruiting grounds to the Big 10 brand. That benefits UNL as well as all western programs. With Penn State expected to be down, we need to rally behind that region until Penn State recovers and Rutgers/Maryland build up.

I have met a lot of great Nebraska fans but when it comes to decorum and truly understanding some aspects of Big 10 culture, some of you don’t get it. You have been members for less than 3 football seasons and are offending fans of nearly half the conference with denigrating statements about playing them. That is a slap in the face to those who accepted you as family upon your acceptance in the conference. The Big 10 is a, “What’s good for the conference is good for the school”, type of league in which ALL of the schools WANT to play each other as often as possible, value academics and approach conference decisions in an egalitarian democratic way in which everyone works towards common goals not the goal of Nebraska. We support each other – is there any wonder why you are on your third league while most schools in the Big 10 have known only one. Money is needed to drive the athletic department bus. All current Big 10 schools are in the top 50 in revenue generation – the only conference that can say that. You see 10 Big 10 programs, before Kansas, KSU, Colorado, Baylor, TCU, WVU and Missouri show up with 5 of those programs also ahead of Nebraska including projected division rivals Iowa and Wisconsin. While there may be some conferences more relevant than the Big 10 on the football field (although I would argue it depends on how you define relevant), none are more relevant than the Big 10 in the metrics that matter most. The Big 10 who took 1 member from the Big 12, 1 from the ACC and 1 from the Big East is going to suddenly become the conference it poached? Depending on how “better” is defined; the conference is becoming better as it relates to football as well as academics. Maryland and Rutgers offer access to fertile recruiting grounds, increased revenue from new media contracts and exposure via BTN in NJ and DC/Maryland. You have no idea what you are talking about. The Big 10 will never become the ACC or lose the Rose Bowl contract – the structure of each conference is too fundamentally different and the Rose Bowl is the Big 10 and Pac 12. Besides a couple more of those schools are likely to find their way in the Big 10.

NebraskaGuy on 3/21/2013 @ 9:41am EDT Said:

@Alyssa
“I am certain the new AD at Nebraska had opportunities to express his views. In fact I know he did because I read an article in which Tom Osborne said so. If you have complaints, call your AD. I am sure Tom Osborne would laugh at the thought of trading money, prestige and exposure for regional, non-televised match-ups against Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and WVU.”

Wrong.

Since you brought up having read an article that talked about Tom Osborne’s “views”, I will include an excerpt from an article written today by Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star. (He actually has a personal relationship with Tom Osborne, so forgive me if I take his insight on the matter a little more seriously than I do yours):

“Tom Osborne chuckled as he thought back to a Big Ten meeting he attended after Nebraska first became part of the conference.

The topic of discussion was division alignment.

‘They said their No. 1 principle — they always had principle — was competitive balance,’ the former Husker athletic director said Wednesday.

Big Ten officials analyzed team records over a period of several years and determined the big dogs were Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska.

‘They wanted to make sure those four teams played a maximum number of times,’ Osborne said.

So much for principles.

In college football, principles tend to take a back seat to lucrative television deals.

Principles, in many ways, have become something of a whimsical notion.

So, hello Maryland and Rutgers. And goodbye to the ‘principle’ of competitive balance in the Big Ten divisional structure”.

Joe Black on 3/21/2013 @ 11:11am EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy
Good points on long-term competitive balance but you must acknowledge the strong points of @Alyssa & @Ms.B1G.
Nebraska can sit at the B1G’s round table or sit at the kids table in Texas’ & Oklahoma’s dining room.

NebraskaGuy on 3/21/2013 @ 12:37pm EDT Said:

@Ms B1G
“These directly translate to media exposure, prestige and revenue.”
Wrong.
Selecting a game for the nationally televised primetime slot is not just about football revenue, fan base size, football team value, population footprint, recruits produced, stadium size, face book likes, student body size, alumni chapter size, tweets, etc. It’s about two nationally relevant teams being matched up with eachother. To use your own words “Gameday is based on winning”. There is a difference between local/regional media exposure and national media exposure. That’s why the SEC owns the market on nationally televised night games. They have more nationally relevant matchups every week, so their games are chosen for the nationally televised primetime tv slot.

And that’s why I said “Welcome back to the Big 12 North Nebraska. But at least in the Big 12 North, Nebraska had decades of history with the teams on their lack luster divisional schedule. Now in the Big Ten West Division, Nebraska has no history with these teams…they just have a lack luster divisional schedule.” From the information you provided, yes Nebraska’s Big Ten West divisional opponents do rate slightly higher than the old Big 12 North divisional opponents. But not by alot. The point is both divisions are bad. So while you are making the case that the Big Ten West is less-bad, I am saying that’s not the point. Both are bad. And while slightly better, the Big Ten West division is not nearly enough of an improvement to offset the fact that Nebraska had decades of history with the teams in the Big 12 North.

And please people, quit using the argument of “well they will play teams like Michigan, Ohio St, Penn St, Michigan St in the crossover games”. That’s obvious and my issue throughout all of this has been with the divisional alignment, not with the conference as a whole. The fact that Nebraska will play Ohio St, Michigan, Penn St, and Michigan St in crossover games, doesn’t change the fact that the Big Ten West is a joke. Nebraska played crossover games every season in the Big 12 against teams like Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma St, but that didn’t change the fact that the Big 12 North division was a joke. Yes they will play the crossover games, but there is a big difference between playing a team every single season and playing a team every 4 years. Nebrakska has been through divisional alignment that is not competitively balenced previously. It is not good for Nebraska and it is not good for the Big Ten.

People that are not Nebraska fans probably cannot fully appreciate this, because they have not gone through this transition. Realize that Nebraska gave up being in a conference with Oklahoma to join the Big Ten. Throughout the history of college football, the Nebraska vs Oklahoma rivally has been just as nationally relavant as the Ohio St vs Michigan rivalry is. If one of those schools was going to give up playing that game, they would undoubtedly expect to be playing games against some pretty legit football teams on a consistent basis. I mean, it’s not even enough for them to continue playing each other on an annual basis in a protected crossover game, but they think they have to be in the same division. As a result, Nebraska gets to play their 6 divisional conference games vs teams they really don’t care about, with whom they have zero history with, and more times than not, will not be relavant on a national level. Nebraska fans get to wait for the 1 or 2 games that they get to play against Ohio St, Michigan, Penn St, or Michigan St in a divisional crossover game.

Alyssa on 3/21/2013 @ 1:15pm EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy

And here is something written yesterday that considers different positive view points by Sam McKewon of the Omaha World Herald. I bet he has a relationship with Tom Osborne.

sports.omaha.com/2013/03/19/huskers-headed-for-big-tens-western-division/

“PROS

>>Easier travel: For everyone. The team. The media. The fans.

>>Easier long-term road to the Big Ten title game: Don’t kid yourself. Being on the other side of Michigan and Ohio State, the league’s two undisputed recruiting powers, is a luxury. Not because teams in the west won’t ever be good — Wisconsin, after all, has attended three straight Rose Bowls for a reason — but because, historically, teams with better recruits and more talent are tougher to beat.

>>Regional rivalries: Nebraska playing Wisconsin annually is a really good thing. The Badgers have been on the better end of it so far, but the passion and relative good cheer of the fan base will quickly become something NU connects to. Meanwhile, continuing series against Minnesota and Northwestern — two road games that Nebraska can stuff to the brim with fans — is another positive. Having been to Illinois, Husker fans will love visiting there, as well. Lots and lots of tailgating room there. Maybe the problem in the Big 12 was Nebraska not wanting to do whats in the best interest of the conference and pouting when it can’t get it’s way”.

Just because you have disrespect for half the conference members does not mean that the Big 10 is lacking principles. Commissioner Delaney mentioned three criteria for divisional alignment; geography, competitive balance and rivalries. They did not say how they were going to weigh each criterion. Your definition of competitive balance may not fit the proposed divisional alignment but that in no way means it won’t be competitively balanced. History shows that it will be more competitive than you are giving it credit for. Last season shows that UNL could have just as easily been 3-5 in league play instead of 7-1. If that had transpired, UNL fans would have been crying that the Big 10 was being unfair. The Big is expecting OSU, MI and MSU to carry the east while Penn State is in transition. Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa is expected to carry the West. The West will be very competitive in this context especially with vaster recruiting territories. The problem isn’t that the West will be weak – it’s that Nebraska needs to rise up to the level of UM and OSU in recruiting and start being a KING like OSU and UM. With newer recruiting territories, the expectation is that Nebraska will return to it’s glory days, Wisconsin will continue to roll and Iowa will rebuild back to 10 win seasons ensuring fierce battles to represent the division in the conference championship game. Maybe the underlining issue is that Nebraska wants what is best for Nebraska while the rest of our merry band wants what is best for the collective.

http://thegazette.com/2011/05/07/nebraska-isnt-the-big-tens-green-bay-packers-because-the-packers-are-league-champions/

Joe Black on 3/21/2013 @ 1:30pm EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy
Ok point taken. Lets increase the number of conference games to 9. And you are right N vs. PSU OSU UM UW MSU every single year is good for Nebraska good for B1G and good for college football. Therefore lets consider granting guaranteed crossover games to N every year vs. UM OSU and PSU. Maybe it should be entertained to have MSU in the West.

Joe Black on 3/21/2013 @ 1:33pm EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy
Who wants to see 4 nonconference games against the MAC anyway?

Joe Black on 3/21/2013 @ 1:54pm EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy
And N staying in a West Division with proximate members that N fans can drive to vs. Quality programs allows them to build new rivalries in a conference that values them and emphasizes academic excellence for ALL its members.

NebraskaGuy on 3/21/2013 @ 2:15pm EDT Said:

@Alyssa
McKewon doesn’t have the relationship with Osborne that Sipple does. Sipple’s office is 1 block away from Memorial Stadium in downtown Lincoln. And those are some of McKewon’s opinions in his column. The only reason that I brought up the article in which cotained Tom Osborne’s comments, is because in your preceding post you inaccurately presumed to know Osborne’s thoughts on the matter. Also, McKewon’s view on Wisconsin is biased, because he has been pushing for Nebraska to develop a rivalry with Wisconsin, because he does not take Iowa seriously as a rival to Nebraksa, even though people are trying to cram the “Nebraska vs Iowa” “rivalry” down Nebraska’s throat. He has been lobbying for Nebraska to play Wisconsin on the Friday after Thanksgiving, rather than playing Iowa on that day.

@Alyssa
“Just because you have disrespect for half the conference members does not mean that the Big 10 is lacking principles.”
Those weren’t my words. They were the words of Sipple and Osborne, that’s why they were within quotation marks. And there is a difference between “disrespect” and recognition of the fact that these schools have not set the precedent with the product they have put on the field in the past, that should lead anyone to believe that they will suddenly become a nationally relevant football program.

@Alyssa
“Commissioner Delaney mentioned three criteria for divisional alignment; geography, competitive balance and rivalries. They did not say how they were going to weigh each criterion.”

That’s interesting, because:
“Tom Osborne chuckled as he thought back to a Big Ten meeting he attended after Nebraska first became part of the conference.

The topic of discussion was division alignment.

‘They said their No. 1 principle — they always had principle — was competitive balance,’ the former Husker athletic director said Wednesday.

Big Ten officials analyzed team records over a period of several years and determined the big dogs were Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska.

‘They wanted to make sure those four teams played a maximum number of times,’ Osborne said.”

@Alyssa
“Last season shows that UNL could have just as easily been 3-5 in league play instead of 7-1. If that had transpired, UNL fans would have been crying that the Big 10 was being unfair.”

It didn’t happen. If Alabama wouldn’t have scored more points than Notre Dame in the national championship game, then they wouldn’t have been crowned national champions. It’s hypothetical and irrelevant. Just like if Iowa would have won more than 4 games, then they would’ve been bowl eligible this season.

This isn’t something that is just not good for Nebraska. It is something that is not good for the Big Ten West as a whole. Which in turn is not good for the Big Ten conference as a whole.

NebraskaGuy on 3/21/2013 @ 2:20pm EDT Said:

@ Joe Black
I would be 100% satisfied with that. If Nebraska had 1-2 protected crossover games vs Michigan, Ohio St, Penn St, or Michigan St then that is fine. The important thing that I have been trying to stress is that they play 1-2 of these games on an annual basis, not just every 4 years or so. They need to play these 1-2 games every year, not just on a rotating schedule.

Alyssa on 3/21/2013 @ 3:35pm EDT Said:

@NebraskaGuy
I agree that playing any of the schools in the east once in 4 years is unacceptable, however giving Nebraska 1-2 protected crossovers is also unacceptable as it would mean all other schools would see those 2 schools less often. In an 8 game conference schedule you would play 6 against your division and 2 against the other division. In that scenario you would probably face 1 of OSU, PSU, MSU and MI every year and one new recruiting area school yearly. But we know the conference is moving to 9 games allowing the ability to have 1 protected cross division rival while rotating the other 6 teams over three years. It could also coincide with further expansion to 16. If set up as 2 divisions of 8, with 9 conference games, that probably means 7 division games and 2 cross division games rotated over 4 years. You could also have 4 Four team divisions where you play 3 teams in your regional division and 2 teams from all other divisions so you play twice in 4 years. Of course that may require a rule change. Whatever way it ends up, two things will definitively be clear, 1. The Big 10 will maximize exposure for Nebraska with the premium brands while helping to build Rutgers and Maryland and 2. The Big 10 will make sure all schools in the Big 10 play as much as possible as the schools in the Big 10 actually like and want to play each other.

JPatrick on 3/21/2013 @ 6:56pm EDT Said:

@Alyssa
your comments of “The problem isn’t that the West will be weak – it’s that Nebraska needs to rise up to the level of UM and OSU in recruiting and start being a KING like OSU and UM.” I believe are incorrect. Nebraska hasn’t had recruiting problems since 1969. they had a coacing problem in Bill Callahan and that has been fixed. Please help me understand why Nebraska is not “a KING” like OSU and Michigan? are you basing that purely on recruiting scores or win/loss percentages, or bowl game appearances or championships won, or all americans or what exactly? Fact of the matter is that Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska are all Dynasty programs of the B1G and three of those four are in one division including Michigan State. It is majorly out of balance competetive wise. You can say all you want about ease of access to closer teams being great for fans in the West division. That has absolutely no bearing for a Nebraska fan. I gaurantee you we travel better than any fanbase in the B1G. We don’t care about distance, we care about quality of opponents and I have to imagine that Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State fans will say too. Somebody made a point that it’s about “Student” atheletes and having less impact on them. I don’t believe putting Michigan State in the West division and Purdue/Illinois in the East would have any impact at all. Since somebody also brought up Nebraska not bringing anything academically to the table for the B1G, Nebraska puts the ‘Student’ in ‘Student Athelete”. This taken from Huskers.com, “The Nebraska football team leads the nation (all teams, all sports, all divisions) with 104 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, while the Nebraska volleyball team leads all women’s teams all-time across all sports with 37.The Nebraska softball team is second among all women’s programs with 29″

JPatrick on 3/21/2013 @ 7:09pm EDT Said:

I love that we’ll be able to play Wisconson every year, they have been a solid team since 1993, built up a solid fan base and will probably become somewhat of a dynasty themselves. That depends on their new head coach though, could be good, coud be Bill Callahan… Northwester is good competition as well but it is no Wisconsin. I don’t think the SEC would put Alabama, LSU, Florida and Georgia all in the same division, that would be just ridiculous for the conference and that is basically what the Big Ten is doing now. I guess we’ll see how it works out down the road, it might be great or not.. I love the way the conference is setup now because we get to play Michigan and Michigan State every year and I feel it is competetivly balanced fairly well. It is going to suck to lose that. Realistically, when we go to the playoff model and strength of schedule becomes a major factor, a Big Ten East conference champion will have a major advantage over Big Ten West one. All in all, I’m still glad to be in the Big Ten, as a fan, this whole realignment thing just sucks…..

topher1229 on 3/30/2013 @ 6:22pm EDT Said:

The only schools which benefit from this are Purdue or Indiana if they go West. Think about it………the Nebraska or Wisconsin game will be tough anually, but their protected cross over game is a cake walk, especially for Purdue. Just another dumb move for the Big 10. Let’s let everyone beat the hell out of each other and we will never have another football national champion. Highly unlikely anyone in the East can go undefeated! I guess you could think Nebraska or Wisconsin could do it, but you are almost assured 1 tough cross over game. All to change the names of Leaders and Legends and to make Penn State happy so their fans can travel???? How about figuring out how you can align teams to win national championships, not to make maps pretty!

huskerred on 3/31/2013 @ 10:46am EDT Said:

@Alyssa

I am glad you’re a great fan of the B1G. Two years ago I was excited; not so much now-a-days. You throw out the AAU fiasco as if somehow Nebraska is a lesser academic school than the rest of the B1G. Please! Here is an article about your AAU’s beliefs http://journalstar.com/news/local/education/emails-wisconsin-and-michigan-opposed-nebraska-s-aau-membership/article_19188dda-afe7-57c8-aa2c-c1939ec5acb4.html . A much different scenario than what you stated. Understand what a land-grant state is and you begin to understand that the University had no say as to where their medical school would be built. So the AAU says since the University built their medical school fifty miles off the Lincoln home campus; that somehow or someway their medical school becomes a separate entity and is separated from the University and therefore all the research done in Omaha does not count. Really? A very stupid technicality. Not to mention the charge was lead by two B1G schools (or at least their Presidents/Chancellors).

Kind of shoots a hole in that warm and fuzzy feeling of just how the schools like to lend a helping hand to their fellow conference schools. You should have stated B1G schools love to lend a helping hand when it profits their school as well.

As of today, as a fan, I see the B1G now nearly as relevant as it once was in the colligate sports arenas. The SEC, Pac 12 and Big 12 are milestones ahead of the B1G. I’m sure I will hear about the B1G makes more revenue than any other conference; but become less relevent competitively. The confernce makes all this cash but in the same breath hear it costs too much to travel? Really?

What does the B1G have going for it today (in sports; as this about sports not academics). Well they have BTN that generates lots $$$ for them; therefore, I agree with opening up the east coast for television by allowing Maryland and Rutgers in. Football is the “cash-cow” in colligate sports, not basketball, hockey, baseball, girls volleyball etcetera. The B1G has three teams in the top six for all time most wins. Until the PSU controversy the conference had four; but due to the vacating wins on PSU recently now has dropped them to number 10 (not my judgment). In any business class across the country students are taught that companies need to highlight their strengths. By not highlighting all four dynasty schools of the B1G as “competitively balanced” the conference is not doing what is in the best interest of the conference as whole.

As far as Nebraska being in the “west” but getting cross-over games with two in the east is yet more rhetoric. Anybody who follows college football understands that cross-over games are not weighted the same as “in-division” games; henceforth, why the big three fight to keep the east as proposed. I am also sure that someone will be claiming another “raging whining Nebraska fan.” However as I have stated it is about the conference as a collective whole not just 25% of the conference as this new “east-west alignment” will.

MichiganMan on 4/21/2013 @ 9:39am EDT Said:

@JPatrick
I feel you man
@huskerred & @NebraskaGuy
I agree that the divisions aren’t competitively balanced, but in the coming years will Penn State have enough depth? Will Michigan State be able to improve after a disapointing 6-6 regular season and an unnoticeable recruiting class? I agree that the West division without Nebraska is the laughable. Wisconsin with the new coach is unpredictable and Northwestern’s 10 win season last year is very misleading. Iowa is still trying to recover after losing almost 3/4 their starters post the 2009 Orange Bowl game. I can see where you Nebraska fans are coming from and as a Michigan fan im sad that we wont get to play you every year. i just hope that when the B1G expands to 16 teams we’ll be moved to the West.

Travis on 4/22/2013 @ 4:37pm EDT Said:

MSU should be in the WEST and PUR/IND both in the EAST.

it’s that simple. it’s that easy. keep the MSU-MICH game annual and you’re done…