Legends and Leaders, R.I.P.

While the university presidents still have to vote, the new Big Ten division alignment starting in 2014 is being widely reported as official. Gone are the confusing alignment (which never really achieved the competitive balance it was designed for) and the arrogant-sounding division names (which never really gained even the minimal acceptance Jim Delany thinks they did).

Instead, the divisions will be called the “East” and the “West,” and will be made of the eastern-most teams (East) and the western-most teams (West). I know it sounds crazy, but it just might work. Oh, and this might surprise you: The Big Ten will actually be the only conference with geographically-named divisions that adheres completely to the division names. Conference USA comes close, though.

But let’s stop wasting time. The single most important result of this realignment is that Ohio State and Michigan will be in the same division. This means we no longer have to worry about that looming threat of moving The Game to an earlier point in the season, nor the tempting-but-ultimately-terrible prospect of a repeat edition in the B1G title game. (Well, technically we have to worry about that one for one more season.)

So with Ohio State/Michigan as the annual East season-ending showdown (often, one assumes, with a B1GCG appearance on the line), it would be silly for the conference to not attempt to stage a similar battle on the other side. Nebraska/Wisconsin makes the most sense to me at this time, although Iowa could potentially be in that mix if they ever hired a coach that tried a little bit.

Comments

  1. I am probably the only person in the world who thinks putting OSU and TTUN in the same division is stupid. The point of the CCG was to put the B1G in the spotlight and showcase the best of our league. More times than not THE GAME will be the default CCG. Not to mention the completely unbalanced competitiveness of the proposed divisions. Oh well I imagine everything will change again in a couple years when either we expand again or the entire NCAA is disbanded and labeled a terroristic group by the US Govt.

    • In the past ten years the B1GCG would have been The Game 3 times (ignoring absence of Nebraska): 2007, 2006, 2003. That’s not “default.”

      Besides that, having a rematch completely erases the thrill of winning the first one. The entire nature of The Game is altered. I’m open to a lot of things, but that’s not one of them. ALL of the major conference rivalries are/were divisional games. Auburn/Alabama, Texas/Oklahoma, Florida/Georgia, USC/UCLA.

      This way, The Game is one of three things every year: a historic rivalry game for year-long bragging rights (if neither team is great), a final hurdle against a bitter rival who would love nothing more than to play spoiler (if only one team is great), essentially a B1G semi-final (if both are great). All of those are acceptable. A warm-up for the one that matters next week is not.

    • Oh, and competitive balance is nice on paper, but it rarely works out that way & all teams have ups and downs.

    • Actually, SYR:
      1. You probably are, or one of the very few..
      2. The point of the CCG is to determine a league champion.
      3. Like Jason says, “all teams have ups & downs.

      Let’s see how this plays out before you stroke out.

  2. I am appalled at the anti Kirk Ferentz-ism being displayed here.

    http://i.imgur.com/1lLZdx4.jpg

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