Big Ten Divisions

Submitted by Sven_Da_M on September 1st, 2010 at 11:38 AM
From WDFN Detroit via Tim Staudt (E Lansing).

Michigan and tOSU to play on last Saturday)...

Div 1 UM MSU Neb Iowa Minn NW

Div 2 tOSU Penn State Wisc Purdue Illinois Indiana

Sorry for the crappy formatting



September 1st, 2010 at 12:21 PM ^

Am I missing something?  I think that their division looks as hard, if not harder.  Iowa is not this good.  Neb will be solid, but a top 3 of OSU, Wiscy, PSU is not peanuts.  Our third best team is Iowa, theirs is Wisconsin.  MSU and Purdue will become a push once Sparty is smacked down like always.  Then you're left with 2 scrubs for each side.

The only thing that sucks is our protected game is against the vest.  But that being said, would you prefer that game not being protected?


September 1st, 2010 at 1:12 PM ^

Just think about normal years in the Big Ten:  we contend with our full system and good depth (9-11 wins). Nebraska will contend under Pelini, even without an offense (8-10 wins). Iowa will be that wild card thats good for 6-8 wins with an upset that no one saw coming. MSU claims to have momentum for the following season and brutally underachieve (4-7 wins). Minny and NW seem to have a season once or twice a decade with 7 wins, but are usually good for five.

In the other division, OSU always contends with 9-11 wins. Penn State is sporadic but have shown they are good for 8-11 wins any given year, Wisconsin has done nothing but succeed under Brett B (except for the anomaly in '08.) they're good for 9 or 10 wins. This division is also guarenteed to hit a cycle of at least one of three between Purdue, Illinois or Indiana to have a 7 or 8 win year, well, excluding Indiana. They never win anything but play teams tough yearly.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

hehe.  But to be fair, it's probably skewed a little because we've struggled, and OSU has been totally on top. You'd have to account for us playing OSU every year too.

But I think you'll still find that they probably come out pretty close.  It's not like the Big Ten doesn't own a calculator.


September 1st, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

ala the ACC.  Over time, I think it's a fool's errand.  How's it working out for the ACC?

I would much prefer the SEC model that keeps key rivals together in the same division.  This would be a natural fit for the B10, keeping the big rivalry pairs - Mich/OSU, OSU/PSU, Mich/MSU, Wisc/Iowa, Pur/Ind, Ill/NW, (Neb/Wisc, Neb/Iowa) - in the same division as each other.  

BUT . . . if they are going to roll the dice on "competitive balance", they did a good job based on history since PSU joined.  I think they are doing the wrong thing, but they are doing it the right way.

The most important thing is that they've backed off the cliff of moving the Mich/OSU game from the last game of the season.  Yes, some years we will play each other back to back, but the 2nd game in the B10 championship in a netural site NFL dome at night will not just be a repeat experience of the 1st game.


September 1st, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

...what his source is? Though it seems as predicted. Seems pretty balanced.

And at least we might have gotten a compromise on the LAST GAME thing.  I'd like to think that all our screaming and emailing changed their mind (because I truly believe they weren't going with that model at first). 

Though if it's true, it will have been "saved" before I even got my T-Shirt from the MGoStore.


September 1st, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

if true, thats not bad at all. i like playing MSU and minny every year, and as long as UM OSU play the last week, i can deal with them not being in the same division (although i still want them in the same division).


September 1st, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

I don't know... the problem is still there.  What makes the date important isn't that "it's the last game".  It's that it's the last game AND therefore, your season has been established, this is the one last obstacle between you and your goal (e.g. Rose Bowl, Nat'l Title game.)

Separate divisions removes this urgency to some extent. 


September 1st, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

I like the divisions here.  We're still playing Ohio State in the last game of the regular season.  I like that.  And of course Division 1 is ALOT better than Division 2.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:22 PM ^

And of course Division 1 is ALOT better than Division 2.

Based on what? I'm not buying that argument:

  • UM < OSU (at least, we will eventually)
  • Neb = PSU
  • Iowa = Wisky
  • MSU = PU
  • Minn = Indy
  • NW = UI

Obviously right now Nebraska is > PSU, but you could also argue that Wisky is > Iowa. And Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, and Purdue are typically meh teams who occasionally put together competitive squads.

I just don't think these divisions are incredibly uneven, like a lot of people are saying.

Edit: Crap, trickydick said the same thing as me. I didn't read down far enough to see his. But I second his opinion.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:31 PM ^

It is definitely Minn > Indy.  Not even close.  They've made a bowl every year since 2002 except for one time, while IU has gone to only one (an L in the Insight Bowl in 2007) in the last ~20 years.

You could also easily argue, that at least for the past 2 years and for the next 3 years or so (i.e., until the Zooker departs) that NU is easily better than the Illini, though over time (last 20 years), certainly they are about equal.

So that makes the divisions, at least for the next ~ 3 years, difficult for U of M.  Minn > Indy and NW > Illini, and we play the best team in the other division (which, of course, we should play OSU - but it does put us at a disadvantage to say, Nebraska, who won't play OSU certain years).


September 1st, 2010 at 12:58 PM ^

I think the point with the lower-tier teams like Indy, Illinois, NW, and Minnesota is that they fluctuate a lot in terms of their success. So Minnesota may be better than Indiana right now, or NW may be better than Illinois right now, but that could be completely the opposite by next year. So I think those four teams are a wash; it doesn't matter which division they go to.

So that leaves you with us, OSU, Neb, PSU, Iowa, Wisky, MSU, and PU. I definitely think MSU and PU are washes: typically mediocre with an occasionally good team. And Wisky and Iowa are both good teams right now; though they tend to fluctuate a bit, too.

Which then leaves you with us, OSU, Neb, and PSU. Right now, I'd say the most fair comparison would be OSU and Neb, and us and PSU; and with that, OSU > Neb, and I'd say we're even with PSU right now. I say the divisions are fair.


September 1st, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

No kidding, those years are going to be some extremely tough schedules.  Especially so, if that Michigan - Alabama game goes through and we have Wisconsin and Penn State on our schedule.  I know by that point our team will be more than good enough to make it through those schedules undefeated.


September 1st, 2010 at 1:51 PM ^

Would you rather play PSU and Wisc every year instead of Neb and Iowa?

I'm kinda of torn, with a lean toward wanting to trade places with OSU.

When we were good, we dominated PSU, Wisc, Iowa all about the same.  Nebraska is the big unknown here.


September 1st, 2010 at 11:55 AM ^

Seems fair to me:

Michigan = OSU

Nebraska = PSU

Iowa = Wisconsin

MSU = Purdue

Minnesota = Illinois

NW = Indiana


Historically speaking (last 20 years or so), Minn, MSU, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, and NW have taken turns being bad.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:13 PM ^

Though I would probably move NW and Minn. Though they had a few good years there, Minnesota has been pretty rancid for like 50 years. Much like Indiana (which had a few good years back in the late 80s-early 90s). And Northwestern has been consistently good enough lately to move them up to up and down Illinois level.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

Jesus.  Last week it was "all that matters is that we play tOSU the last week of the year".  Now people want to complain because our division is "too tough".  Our division may be tougher today but it may not be in 5 years.  If you want to be the best you have to beat the best.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:02 PM ^

If this is really and truly it - including the Game on the last Saturday of the year - then I'm positively ecstatic.  I'd MUCH rather have MSU-Neb-Iowa than PSU-Wisc-Purdue.  I'll take that all day.  I don't care about the bottom group, they is what they is.  The only problem is that our cross-division rival is way, way harder, but this is Michigan, we should get a tougher schedule.

Edit: plus we get the Brown Jug game back to every-year status.  Don't know how that could be a bad thing.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:22 PM ^

We were going to have to play MSU anyway. And up until the last two years, where it has been equalized, Purdue has given us just as many headaches. Nebraska may be on a bit more of an upswing, where as PSU may be headed for a minor downswing, but over the last 20 some years Wisconsin has been consistently good, and Iowa has been a lot more up and down.  And historically, they were both pretty awful before that, so not much more tradition on Iowa's side.  A decade, maybe.

And Minnesota is a good thing. And frankly, I think Northwestern, the trip to Chicago (rather than all the way to Bloomington or Champaign), and "Academic rivalry" is a funner fit, if a bit tougher. Though the Illni faithful will be crushed when they find out we're not their rivalry crossover game.

Edit: And I think Wisconsin give OSU fits, so I'm glad they have to play them every year.


September 1st, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

I'll take it.  If we're in a different division from Ohio State, there's simply no getting around the fact that we'll have a tough schedule.  So will OSU.  But you know what?  Screw it.  We're Michigan.  We should play a tough schedule.  That's why we want OSU every year, and at the end of the year, isn't it? 


September 1st, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

I lived in Lansing for two years and Tim Staudt is a pretty reliable journalist.  He doesn't usually report something like that (or anything for that matter) if there is any doubt.  In other words, he's no professional hotty or anything.