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What Big Ten divisions might look like

Jun 17, 2010, 12:44 AM EDT

Like the Pac-10, the Big Ten is weighing several issues by expanding to 12 teams. Yes, a new name is one. More pressing are scheduling and division alignments.

The conference athletic directors meet in about six weeks, which means we could have six weeks of chatter and arguments regarding divisions. And that’s a scary thought.

Or we could settle it right now. How about some Big Ten divisions? This FanHouse story from Bruce Ciskie offers four options, two for East-West divisions and two for North-South.

My favorite is North-South option 2 (sounds like an audible).

North                 South
Iowa                   Illinois
Michigan           Indiana
Michigan St.     Northwestern
Minnesota        Ohio State
Nebraska         Penn State
Wisconsin        Purdue

Perhaps the geography’s a bit off, but I like the balance, both in basketball and football. It pairs Indiana and Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State, and while the North may be a little weaker in basketball for now, once John Beilein has Michigan up to snuff, it’ll even out.

Then again, maybe it’s best to take some advice from The Only Colors, and keep it simple: East-West divisional alignments.

That means Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin in the West; Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue in the East.

This maintains natural rivalries and keeps competitive balance – but sucks for basketball. Nebraska, Northwestern and Iowa in the same conference? Yeesh.

Maybe you just scrap the divisions for hoops.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.

  1. John Beilein - Jun 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Mike, but we REALLY suck. I forgot to plan for recruits after Manny and Sims were done. The budget is all screwed up, so we can’t get any good freshman Michigan-style and Jalen Rose said he wouldn’t come back, not even for a million dollars.
    This whole Izzo thing makes me nervous too. I paid all of the Detroit/Cleveland papers to spread rumors about him leaving in hopes that the frenzy would encourage him to do so… Man, did that backfire! Looks like it’ll be another 900 days or something until we beat them in either sport.
    Long story short, we won’t be back any time soon. Maybe I should hire Amaker back as an assistant…
    Johnny B.

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