Saturday, June 19, 2010

How to divide the conferences

Now that the Big Ten has it's 12, decisions need to be made on what to do with dividing the conferences. There is worry about preserving rivalries and even more about making a conference title game watchable. They don't want another Big 12 situation, where the North was always subpar compared to the South. There is worry that combining the likes of Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State will make for a lopsided split.
I have news for those that worry, however. It's not that bad. Sure, Michigan and Penn State were forces about 20 years ago, but since the BCS was introduced, those two schools have 6 appearances (Ohio State had 8 by themselves... putting them anywhere makes this lopsided).
If you look at what is widely regarded as a geographic split, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Indiana in the east, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska in the west. If you want to go at this by appearances in BCS games, then that is 15 to 8, East. The Star Tribune printed Glen Mason's competitive balance version which was Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan State, Michigan and Nebraska and Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois, Penn State and Ohio State. For those that are keeping score, that is 9-14, in favor of the Ohio State division.
It seems like a lot of unnecessary gnashing of teeth, splitting teams up, if that's all the gain you get. Just go west to east. It's not going to be the same as the Big 12, where there were two legitimate powers in Oklahoma and Texas in the south. There is only one real power any more in the Big Ten, and Ohio State is going to continue destroying the Big Ten for the foreseeable future.

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