Big Ten Divisional Alignment
Yesterday the Big Ten Conference announced the divisions they will be using for football starting next season when Nebraska joins the league.
Division 1 - Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue.
Division 2 - Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern.
On first glance, the divisions look a little unbalanced and certainly not particularly based on geography. However, a closer look reveals that Division One has seven national championships (OSU 3, PSU 2, MSU 1) while Division Two has six (Nebraska 5, Michigan 1)
The biggest disappointment for Badger fans is the loss of a rivalry game with Iowa.
Coming in close second is that fans will find traveling to away games a big more difficult.
The biggest challenge will be facing Ohio State every year. They have won the conference five years running and have lost just four conference games over that stretch.
The flipside of the Ohio State coin is that you have to play (and beat) great teams to be considered great. If Wisconsin can’t consistently compete against the likes of Ohio State and Penn State, they don’t deserve to be credited with a top-tier program.
The splitting into divisions brings about a league championship game. It will be held on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.
Along with yesterday’s announcement came the release of the 2011 conference schedule.:
UW's 2011 league schedule:
Oct. 1 vs. Nebraska
Oct. 8 (bye),
Oct. 15 vs. Indiana
Oct. 22 at Michigan State
Oct. 29 at Ohio State
Nov. 5 vs. Purdue
Nov. 12 at Minnesota
ov. 19 at Illinois
Nov. 26 vs. Penn State.
Nebraska will play its first ever Big Ten game at Camp Randall Stadium in 2011.