If you’re a Wisconsin Badger fan, you probably aren’t a fan of the
Big Conference’s new divisional alignment. The Badgers no longer play Michigan every year and they lost their rivalry match-ups with Iowa and Minnesota.
Now, because every Big Ten school can protect one rivalry, the Badgers had to make a choice. They took Minnesota over Iowa. For the Badgers and Hawkeyes to play now, at least for the first couple of years, is for both teams to advance to the Big Ten Championship game.
Teams in the same division with the Badgers are Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana.
Wisconsin be a part of Big Ten history however. Nebraska’s first Big Ten game will be played Oct. 1, 2011, against the Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin will make a return trip to Nebraska the following year.
You can’t make everyone happy, but the Big Ten certainly could have done a better job than this. I wasn’t in the room when the different model’s were being worked on. But there doesn’t appear to be any solid explanation for why the divisions ended up the way they did.
The Divisions must be named yet, and will the Big Ten, with 12 teams, remain the Big Ten? They certainly can’t go with Big Ten East and Big Ten West. It looks to me like the conference did everything it could to secure a potential Ohio State vs. Michigan championship game, and to do that, other schools had to be willing to take a hit.
I think it’s a shame that the Big Ten couldn’t find a way to keep Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota in the same division!