Despite my earlier two posts, i think i finally got it right, after thinking about it more clearly, OSU and UM would need to be in the same division because the game would lose hype if we got to play each other just a week later. Also an east-west split would be a lot more competitively balanced than a north-south split, and 4 way divisions are just too complicated. So i think this time i finally got it right. Here is how the divisions would look.
At first glance it may look like the East is a little loaded. But if you look at the records for the past 10 and 25 years, they are pretty even
Michigan State 60-62 (0.492)
Illinois 45-73 (0.381)
Michigan 81-43 (0.653)
Northwestern 61-61 (0.500)
Penn State 77-46 (0.620)
Wisconsin 86-43 (0.667)
Ohio State 102-25 (0.803)
Iowa 80-45 (0.640)
Purdue 67-57 (.0540)
Minnesota 62-62 (0.500)
Indiana 39-78 (0.333)
Nebraska 84-44 (0.656)
That equals out to be 426-311 (0.578) for the East and 418-328 (0.560) for the West.
If you look at 25 years it comes out to 1074-704-22 (0.597) for the East and 963-812-23 (0.536) for the West.
Every team would play the other 5 teams in their Division. That gives them 5 Conference games so far. That leaves 3 more games to schedule against people that are not in the division.
|Rivalries||Protected / Unprotected|
|Michigan State-Penn State||Protected|
|Ohio State-Penn State||Protected|
All but 5 major rivalries are protected with this setup.
Those 5 are:
Illinois- Ohio State
Minnesota Penn State
With the 3 non-division conference games that are scheduled all of these games could be made. Although Minnesota and Illinois would only have 1 different team to play every year.
Conference Championship Game?
The winner of the East Division and the winner of the West Division would play each other for the Conference title.
Also with this setup, Michigan and Ohio State would NEVER play each other a week later. They would be playing each other for a shot to be in the Big Ten Championship Game, which would give the game more hype, not less, like playing them a week later would (as i have had in my previous posts).
Lets Think Inside The Box Now
I Just posted a diary on having a 2-way divisional setup, after reading it realized i want to design a setup that may actually be adopted. So i studied. A 4 way geographical divisional split, keeping each division competitively sound with the next, and maintaining the chance for a UM-OSU Big Ten Championship Game was hard to come up with, but i think i just did. You have 2 major divisions, and 4 sub-divisions.
These are the two major divisions. The winners from the subdivisions of each will play in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Sub-divisions are listed Below
|Michigan State||Northwestern||Illinois||Ohio State|
If you look at the geographical layout of the big ten schools. This makes sense. All of the teams are in the relative location of the divisions.
This setup is the closest i came to having each division as competitive as the next. I took the records from the previous year and added them together for every division.
|NE 22-14||NW 24-12||SW 24-12||SE 20-16|
|Michigan 5-7||Wisconsin 10-2||Nebraska 10-2||Indiana 4-8|
|Penn State 11-1||Minnesota 6-6||Iowa 11-1||Purdue 5-7|
|Michigan State 6-6||Northwestern 8-5||Illinois 3-9||Ohio State 11-1|
As you can see each division is pretty close to the 22.5 wins that would even out each division.
How Will This Work?
Every team will play the other two teams in there division, along with the other 3 teams from either their Major Division. (ex. UM plays all teams in NE and NW, and OSU plays all teams in SW and SE) That gives you 5 conference games. Assuming they stick with 8, That leaves 3 conference games the teams can schedule with any 3 teams from the other major division. Giving you the OSU-UM finale at the end of the year.
What If Each Team Goes 1-1 In Sub-Divisional Play?
If two or more teams have the same Sub-Divisional record you then look at Major Division record, there are only 5 games so the possibility of both (or all 3) teams going 3-2 are there.
If there is still a tie after that, look at how many points each team averagely won. Whoever won by more points wins that division.
Big Ten Playoffs?
The winner of the two sub-divisions in each Major Division will play in the Semi-Finals. (ex. NW-NE and SW-SE) The winner of those two games play in The Big Ten Championship Game. This way rivalries are all still there (Iowa would have to schedule there 2 big Rivalries as there Out-of-Divisioin games but they could make it happen if they wanted it bad enough), and UM-OSU Championship could still happen.
- Traditional rivalries still kept
- Not too complicated
- Big Ten Playoff / Big Ten Championship Game
- UM-OSU Championship game a possibility
- Keep 8 Game Conference play
- About as fair as you can get for each division
- People will argue about fairness and easy schedules
- Iowa will have to take ALL of there out of division games to schedule rivals
Thinking Outside the Vertical Split
So I'm sitting here reading how the Big Ten is going to split up the conferences and I'm noticing something. The way that most people have it set up is for a east-west alignment. Which makes sense. Its a lot easier to split up. I personally like the 4 division set ups better. But that does get complicated and if the Big Ten will not use a 4 division set up. Why not go North-South? This way, you get to keep the Michigan-OSU rivalry and have a chance at having a UM-OSU Big Ten Championship Game. We all know that would bring in the most money and definitely the most T.V. air time. The way i look at it, we could split the divisions up like this.
Now with this setup, the first thing you will notice is that this is not at all even. North has Arguably 1 mediocre team while the south has 2-3. The only way i can think of to make sure that this evens out is to make each division play the other division. This is very different but could completely even things out. ALL the teams in the North would play ALL the teams in the south, and vice versa.
How Will This Work?
Whoever has the Best record against the other division, is the winner of the division, and will get to play in the Big Ten Championship Game. This way. OSU and Nebraska (the presumable winners of the South) have to play the exact same teams, and you can compare the records equally and will have no dispute over who had a weaker schedule. Now this only leaves 6 games, which means we have 3 left. 3 divisional games, 3 random teams within the division. (Assuming that we move to 9 conference games for this setup)
What If They Both Go 5-1?
If two or more teams have the exact same record against the other division, then we look at record within the division. If that is the same, then we look at if the two teams played each other. If they did, then the winner of that game goes to the Big Ten Championship Game. If they didn't, then we see what the average points that the teams won by was(against the other division). Whoever won by more points is that divisions winner.
In addition this also ensures that UM and OSU play EVERY year, and that UM-OSU Big Ten Championship Game is possible every year..
- The UM-OSU rivalry will take place every year, no matter what
- There is a chance at a UM-OSU Big Ten Championship Game every year
- There will be no reasonable argument for someone winning there division with an easier schedule
- Not too complicated
- The South will more than likely be an easier division every year (if people really want to argue about that)
- Some rivalry's may not take place every year
- People will still argue someone having an easier road to the Big Ten Championship Game
- It is out-of-the-norm for divisional splits
Why Not Have South Play Teams In The South And North Play Teams In The North?
Thats thinking in the box, not out of the box, which is the point of this post.
With last year being Rich Rodriguez' first year with the blue and maize you cant really blame him or be mad about the dismal record of 3-9 with no bowl elegibility. after all, new coach and new place do not combine to be a good combination. with his steller recruiting, getting 4 and 5 star prospects such as Tate Forcier and Je'Ron Stokes, i do not think it will be long before you see michigan back at the top of the rankings. and lets face it, we were ganna have a bad year anyway with offensive starters Henne, Hart, Manningham, and the #1 pick Jake Long gone, along with linebacker Shawn Crable (even though he esentially costs us the 2006 OSU game with that late hit AND blocked th wrong guy on the field goal that made us lose to Appalachian State).
I think that Rich Rodriguez is a nice fit though. although we dont really have a dual threat QB he can obvioulsy get one and even if we dont Tate Forcier will be a good starter next year (assuming Nick Sheridan starts this year)
thats assuming of course.
from the things ive read today it looks like Forcier will be starting though.
guess well have to wait and see.
The 2010 recruiting class is even better than the 09 one
im thinking this year wil be the .500+ year and NEXT year well all get what we wanted.
The Rose Bowl or the National Championship.
and Maybe even finally beating OSU.
and yes Tate Forcier is a dual threat but hes more Pro style than dual threat
-The Young Blue and Maize Fan