Divisions debate down to Indiana, Purdue

Submitted by Cold War on March 19th, 2013 at 9:24 AM

The Big Ten's future division alignment is taking shape. Barring a late shift in the discussions between athletic directors and league officials, the only question to sort out is: Will Indiana or Purdue move West?

League sources have told ESPN.com that the Big Ten, as expected, will go with a geographic split for its divisions in 2014. As we first reported last month, time zones are expected to divide the divisions. The only problem: eight Big Ten schools are located in the Eastern time zone, including future members Maryland and Rutgers, while just six are located in the Central time zone.

"East" division

Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State
Purdue or Indiana

"West" division

Purdue or Indiana




March 19th, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

I think the Big Ten East will be similar to how the SEC West has been the last few years. It will be stacked compared to the other division and will win the championship game most years. Moreover, with the way Michigan and Ohio State have been recruiting, I could see The Game having national championship implications many years similar to Alabama and LSU the last few years.


March 19th, 2013 at 9:30 AM ^

The East is brutal compared to the West.  That being said, we were going to be playing OSU and MSU every year anyway.  I personally don't think Penn State is going to be as down as long as everyone thinks.  They held on to some nice pieces of a recruiting class that can get them through the NCAA santions.  There coach is doing a pretty nice job over there.


March 19th, 2013 at 1:21 PM ^

I wasn't a dick about it. It's not a hard thing to take a few minutes of your (not your life, but you know) life and learn the proper usage of a few of the most commonly used words in our language. It's how we communicate, it's kind of a big deal.

Again, I wasn't dickish at all and I usually am not. I will continue to address the most egregious mis-spelled words and poor grammar, as I always have. In a non asshole/douchebag way, though my sig would say otherwise.

Have a nice day.

West German Judge

March 19th, 2013 at 3:07 PM ^

 I'm certain that swalburn knows the difference between "their" and "there".

We subvocalize when we read and write.  You're hardly doing anybody a favor by correcting them from writing the homonym of a word they had said aloud in their mind while typing.  

Correcting somebody that clearly doesn't know how a word is spelled or used is a completely different story, and I'd support and join you on such endeavors.

SC Wolverine

March 19th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

I agree with all this.  Plus, Penn State has a recruiting situation in PA much like OSU's situation in OH.  Only big time program in a football rich state.  Then throw in New Jersey, which also belongs to them.  Then throw in massive regional sympathy.  Penn State will be back sooner than people think.  That  will be good for the Big Ten.  And we will still beat them virtualy every year.  So that will be fun.


I also agree that the brutal portion of our conference is mainly composed of teams we were playing anyway.  This is good stuff.

Ali G Bomaye

March 19th, 2013 at 12:07 PM ^

Perhaps recruits had problems relating to a geriatric head coach that didn't actively do any recruiting near the end of his tenure.

There is no doubting that Paterno was an all-time great coach (as far as the football side of things - not trying to discuss the other stuff here), but there is also little doubt that he wasn't as good at coaching and recruiting during his last 15 years or so as he was during the 70s and 80s.  Penn State is a program with a lot of cachet, and I think that under a good coach they could quickly regain their status as the dominant program in the northeast.  I see them as a program like Texas from 1984-97 (overall record 92-68-3) or USC from 1991-2000 (65-52-3).  At the end of those runs of mediocrity, Texas brought in Mack Brown and USC brought in Pete Carroll, and those coaches almost immediately restored those schools' historical dominance.

SC Wolverine

March 19th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^

These are fair criticisms, so let me adjust.  Historically, New Jersey has been PSU country.  Not the best state for recruits, but not terrible either.  And while Pennsylvania is not Ohio, it's pretty good, too.  I was not predicting that PSU would be at OSU's level, but that they will bounce back better and quicker than people think.


March 19th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

Penn State is a sleeping giant.  They are the headline program in the talent rich area of PA, NJ, and DC/Baltimore.

He was a legend, but people do not realize how much JoePa held that program back his last decade or so.  Unshackled, they will become a national power again with a top-level coaching staff and aggressive recruiting.  We have seen the last of 9 straight wins over them.

What does help mitigate this in our favor is the sanctions and Michigan and Ohio State now being in the East.  It buys us just enough time to get ourselves positioned as an "Eastern" program in the minds of PA, NJ, and DC/Baltimore recruits.




March 19th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^


Penn State is, by far, the biggest program east of Columbus and north of the SEC.  Paterno wasn't coaching, recruiting, or doing home visits anymore.  He was a massive boat anchor for that program.  Larry Johnson Jr, Rod Vanderlinden, and Tom Bradley basically dragged it as far as it could go.


March 19th, 2013 at 12:29 PM ^

Having lived on the east coast (near Penn State territory), I can tell you that they are just about the only major college football program with any semblence of winning tradition in the whole northeast section of the country. They pretty much have PA, NJ, NY, New England, and a good stake in Maryland all to themselves.

They're also really the only school with a devoted following / a following that actually cares. No one cares about Rutgers, no one cares about Syracuse or UConn football, and Maryland football sucks. And that's the entire story of college football over there


March 19th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

I think people cared about Syracuse when they were good, but they're dropping into the "haven't been good for so long they might as well never have been good in the first place" category that Washington is occupying, that Pitt is close to, and that Tennessee is getting nervous about.

For Penn State, its biggest drawback is that it's a total PITA to get to and relatively "country" as Terrelle Prior said in, perhaps, his most lucid statement. It doesn't hurt them much in football recruiting because of the lack of competition in the Northeast, but it kills them in basketball.


March 19th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

He wasn't running the program in the last decade as much as Tom Bradley was.

And if Penn State was being "held back" from 2005-2009 (58-13, two Big Ten titles, 4-1 in bowls), I'd hate to see them unfettered. But they were obviously maxing their potential.


March 19th, 2013 at 11:33 AM ^

This helps us.  We are no longer the team playing the toughest schedule in our Division every single year while our Divisional competition skates by 4 out of 6 years.  If Penn State gets good soon, OSU and MSU will have to deal with it the same as we will.



March 19th, 2013 at 9:31 AM ^

Easy. Purdue has a rivalry with Iowa, Indiana has a rivlary with MSU. Plus these divisions are already competitively skewed eastward (especially if MSU stays decent). The only reason not to put Indiana in the east is they'll never win another conference game.


March 19th, 2013 at 6:47 PM ^

In the the 50s and 60s, Purdue/MSU, not Indiana/MSU, was the big rivalry.  I don't believe that has really changed through the years.  Purdue would regularly beat a much better MSU and/or Notre Dame team.  Hence the moniker, the Purdue "Spoilermakers".    If you ask  II I The


March 19th, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

I think they want Northwestern in the west for media reasons, ie, the east has teams in both the New York and Chicago media markets, they fear the west will receive even less coverage than it already will with the league's three biggest brands in the east. 


After all, Chicago's Big Ten team and everything.


March 19th, 2013 at 9:37 AM ^

...outcome, IME. Keeps things geographically simple. Preserves Michigan's rivalry with State without use of a protected crossover game. Purdue should go west due to rivalry and competitive balance considerations.

As an East Coaster, still looking forward to one or two games per year in College Park, Piscataway and State College.


March 19th, 2013 at 9:37 AM ^

Geez.....Just glad we're in the East.  Teams in the West will only get regular exposure in Chicago, as far as dense recruiting hotbeds go.  Seems like the alignment heavily favors East teams from a recruiting standpoint...which....Yea for us!!!   Wonder if Nebraska is pissed?


March 19th, 2013 at 11:09 AM ^

Why?  If Wisconsin reverts back to their old ways, then Nebraska will play in the B1G championship game almost every year.  If they need more spice to their schedule in years they don't play UM, Ohio and/or PSU in crossover games, they can schedule an SEC team or another football power in a non-conference game.


March 19th, 2013 at 9:42 AM ^

None of this really matters, since it seems almost inevitable that we're expanding by at least another 2 teams and those teams are in all likelihood coming from the East.  The time zone split isn't going to hold up long term.

A year from now, we'll be back here debating this all over again.


March 19th, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

I don't think we get UNC without Duke.  Those two schools define each other in athletics the way Michigan and Ohio State do.

If we only go to 16, I think it will be VA and Ga Tech.  If we get UNC, it will be because we addeed Duke and probably some other schools to go to 18 or 20.