Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, April 13, 2011
Here at BTN, we're constantly looking for ways to help Big Ten fans better understand which schools comprise the new football divisions and which division, Legends or Leaders, the schools call home. Let's start with the teams in your school's division: I like to use the one-division-includes-Iowa-and-all-the-M-and-N-schools approach. That helps break it up, because then you know all the other schools, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin, make up the other division.
As for remembering whether your school is in the Legends Division or Leaders Division, I turn to the good old alphabet. "Leaders" lands ahead of "Legends" in the alphabet, and the Leaders Division features Illinois, the Big Ten's first team in the alphabet. I'm sure there are better, easier ways to remember it, but that's what works best for me.
To further help fans associate the teams and the divisions — not to mention to create some super-early debate — I picked a preseason "fantasy" team for each of the divisions. Which division would win? Who was left off? Feel free to tell me by leaving a comment below.
QB: Denard Robinson, Michigan
RB: Edwin Baker, Michigan State
RB: Marcus Coker, Iowa
WR: Jeremy Ebert, Northwestern
WR: Marvin McNutt, Iowa
WR: Roy Roundtree, Michigan
TE: Kyler Reed, Nebraska
K: Dan Conroy, Michigan State
Toughest pick: Quarterback. The Legends Division is loaded with returning talent under center, and the decision between Denard Robinson, Kirk Cousins, Dan Persa and Taylor Martinez was a very tough one.
QB: Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
RB: Montee Ball, Wisconsin
RB: James White, Wisconsin
WR: Damarlo Belcher, Indiana
WR: A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
WR: Derek Moye, Penn State
TE: Ted Bolser, Indiana
Defense: Ohio State
K: Carson Wiggs, Purdue
Toughest pick: The second running back. Pick a Wisconsin running back, and he could lead the Big Ten in rushing. As good as Montee Ball and James White are, though, Penn State up-and-comer Silas Redd could be poised for a breakout campaign.