Probable realignment scenario per 97.1 WXYT

Submitted by Stephen Y on January 30th, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Per Doug Karsch... EAST Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers, Indiana. WEST Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, Minnesota. Up in the air is where Michigan State and Purdue end up. EDIT: Sorry about the formatting. I started the thread on my phone. Per Doug Karsch, this comes from a source of his.


MI Expat NY

January 30th, 2013 at 12:00 PM ^

I think this makes the most sense from a TV perspective.  There's been lots of questions of whether Rutgers and MD get the BTN into the NYC and DC markets respectively.  One way to help that is to make sure the Big Ten's three biggest east coast fan bases play each school every year in football.  

I don't like having to play MD and Rutgers every year, but if that's the cost of getting Michigan and Ohio State in the same division, I'll take it.


January 30th, 2013 at 5:23 PM ^

I hadn't really thought of it that way, but you are right.  The BTN is the tail wagging the dog in a lot of ways.  Adding Maryland and Rutgers only makes sense if you actually generate interest in those regions.  No question Michigan/OSU/Penn State will always increase interest and TV ratings when compared to other schools that aren't as polarizing.



January 30th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

Michigan, Penn State, and ohio all in the same conference.  That hardly sounds far and balanced.

I still like the idea of ohio being in the other division with them being our pretected cross over game.  I dont care if that means playing them twice. I want to play them in the championship game.  We use to play them every saturday in November in the unofficial championship game, why change it and ruin a good thing.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:15 PM ^

Playing OSU in the B1G championship game in a sterile passionless corporate stadium while fans thow footballs thru giant cans of Dr. Pepper at halftime will be nothing like The Game in the Big House or the Shoe.  I can live without it.

The road to the B1G championship goes through A2 or Columbus.  Win and advance.  One shot.  As it should be.  


January 30th, 2013 at 12:03 PM ^

Put State in our division and Purdue in the other. I'm all for giving Indiana and Purdue the opposite-division-permanent opponent thing. Not like they'll be having any B1G Championship rematches anytime soon...



January 30th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

The East would already be tougher with Purdue instead of Michigan State. If Michigan State were in the East, the divisions would be extremely unbalanced (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State v. Nebraska and Wisconsin). Purdue to the East with Michigan State as our protected cross-over makes more sense to me.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:05 PM ^

Give Purdue and stick Sparty over in the West as our protected game.  We can just make the Brown Jug an every couple of year thing (adding more conference games can mitigate that issue).  the MSU game will continue to revelant as it is for bragging rights in the state.  Meanwhile you'll have Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and MSU all floating around in the same division.  In any given year two of those programs should manage to be good, plus Northwestern is getting better.  

The East division will be fairly stable with Ohio and Michigan ruling it, save for the occasional challenge.  In West, whichever programs happen to have an upperclassman heavy roster will fight it out for control of the division.  I'd hazard to say most years it will be fairly balanced.  Actually the only thing I'd worry about is we might only face two tough games from our divisional opponents whereas in the West teams could face four.  That helps us in that the West teams should be beaten up, but also hurts in that the West team that survives will be the team that is nasty enough to make it through the grinder.  


January 30th, 2013 at 12:05 PM ^

when the B1G was doing the 3 choices , i voted for the inner -outer

that seemed solid to me


I like

Michigan, OSU,MSU,Indiana,Purdue,NW, and Illinois




All 7 schools  on the top line are pretty close to each other,good competitive balance,good for fan travel.. it also groups Indiana and Purdue in state,and NW and Illinois, and keeps Michigan, MSU and Ohio together..


for the bottom, this keeps competitive balance, psu gets rutgers and maryland closer while wisconsin,nebraska,minnesotaand Iowa are all closer.. good for fan travel




January 30th, 2013 at 12:10 PM ^

I teally like Michigan in a division with Rutgers and Maryland.  Rutgers because I can go to a game every other year, and Maryland because it will help with recruiting from Maryland if we play there every other year.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

Much as I like the idea of sticking a finger in the eye of MSU, they should be in the East with us and OSU.  They have more natural ties there.

I like these divisions.  They are sustainable over time, regardless of the whims of "competitive balance".  

The West gets these scenarios.  It will produce a worthy champion each year that will give the East champion a balanced fight.

Of course, this all falls apart again when we go to 16 . . . 


French West Indian

January 30th, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

I don't really have any issues with this realignment proposal.  Granted, Rutgers & Maryland seem a little weak at the moment but I think they'll eventually improve.  The main thing is really keeping Michigan & Ohio State in the same division so that The Game retains it's all-or-nothing, win-or-go-home mystique.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

This is pretty good for Michigan and the B1G and really bad for me. Michigan will get a mix of games in which it should be favored every year, with a couple of conference games that are closer to toss-ups. Having a few games every year that are probable wins in conference is important for the balance of the season--national champions are built on that kind of schedule.

There will probably be at least one non-OSU team in the division every year that is really good and dangerous; then you have the rivalry game with MSU (assuming its a crossover) and the de-facto national quarterfinal against the Buckeyes every November.

This is really bad for me because I live in Minnesota, and Michigan's trips to Minneapolis are my best chance to see them in person. This probably means that Michigan won't come this way more than once every six years.



January 30th, 2013 at 12:20 PM ^

I fear this speculation is meaningless as whatever path makes the most sense to all parties concerned will  be immediately discarded by B1G leadership in favor of something noboby likes or understands.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:25 PM ^

with the current 8 conference games. you have 6 inter division then 2 crossovers for 7 teams meaning that if you protected a crossover you would have 1 game for the other 6 teams meaning you only play each team once in 6 years, unless you make it to the title.

if you go to 9 games, you have your 6 inter division then 3 crossovers for 7 teams, 2 crossovers for 6 teams with the protected crossover, meaning that you play the other teams once every 3 years.

i don't think that the western schools are going to want the3  largest fan bases coming to their stadiums only every 12 years.

all of this leads me to say that MSU gets stuck in the east and there are no protected crossovers. it gets weird with 7 teams for 3 games, but a bunch of engineers can figure that out.


January 30th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

While geographically it sort of makes sense -- it's very clear that Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland will be in the same division, if not, fire everyone running the conference -- I think that putting three of the conference's biggest brands in one division (Michigan, Ohio, Penn State) and only one in the other (Nebraska) is a mistake.

I hate to waste a good spotlight for the Pod-Plan for a 16 team conference:

Western Division:
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa

Central Division:
Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Additional School A*

Southern Division:
Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Illinois

Eastern Division:
Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Additional School B*

Each team plays everyone in their division every year (3 games) as well as everyone in the other division you are matched with, which will rotate each year (4 games).  Assuming 9 conference games, you will then play one game with one member of each of the pods you are not matched up with for the year (2 games).  Total of 9 conference games.

Conference Championship:
Divisional winners will play in a 4-team playoff for the Big Ten championship to begin the week after the end of the regular season.  Divisional winners will be those who have the best overall conference record in each division, in the event of a tie between two division members, tiebreaking procedures will be implemented to determine which team will represent the division in the tournament.

The four teams will be seeded 1-4 (again, based on conference record) and seeds 1 and 2 will receive home field for the semifinal game against the 3rd and 4th seeds.  Winners of each semifinal will meet at a neutral site (unless this continues to be a fail to draw fans) to play for the title.


The biggest downside is that given a Big Ten tournament and a NCAA tournament, the conference champion will likely play 16 games on the season (assuming the Big Ten champion makes it to the 4 team NCAA playoff).  That might not be feasible.  If that is decided to be the case, I'm sure we could work out a procedure to produce only two teams to play for the Big Ten championship each year in just 1 game.  By virtue of having a conference championship game, we would be opening up the possibility to 15 games, though.  In the end maybe it doesn't make that much of a difference.

TL;DR: Pods, four teams of four, four division winners, tournament for the Big Ten championship.

*steps off soapbox*

*Given the uncertainty of the two additional schools, some re-shuffling of the divisions may be necessary to achieve goals of geographical harmony and competitive balance


January 30th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

This certainly makes you realize how uninspiring the addition of Rutgers and Maryland actually is.  Seriously, is there a single team in that alleged Western Division that you wouldn't prefer to play every year rather than Rutgers or Maryland?

This would mean that 25 percent of all of Michigan's regular-season games for the forseeable future will be against Indiana, Maryland and Rutgers.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:29 PM ^

Permanent crossover games suck. They take away the frequency of other crossover games, and I'd to see other teams in our confernce more often than not. Assuming the current status quo for MSU is standard rather than an anomaly for competitive balance purposes won't actually help competitive balance and will just mean we see other teams rarely. Put MSU in the East and Purdue in the West.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

I'll ask my nine year old what he thinks. He know more than anyone on 97.1. That station is terrible. Yeah, Karsh is okay but half the time he's just trying to get callers.


January 30th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

If you add Maryland and Rutgers for TV dollars and they join to get increased money/attendance, then this plan makes a lot of sense.  PSU/UM/OSU will sell tickets in College Park and Jersey and bring fans to the games.  They also provide lots of fans/alums in those valuable TV markets we are supposedly going to take over. 


January 30th, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

That's what's driving this whole re-realignment thing.  The B1G front office did not just all of a sudden start listening to the fans.  This just happens to be one of those unusual instances where what most of us want and what they want happens to be in sync.  

Don't get used to it though.  They'll go to 16 one-team divisions if they think it will make them more $$.


Ali G Bomaye

January 30th, 2013 at 12:55 PM ^

This alignment is freaking terrible.  In my opinion, the most important factor is that Michigan be in a division with OSU, but not at the expense of literally every other important factor.

This would essentially put Michigan in a subconference with OSU and the circa-1990 eastern independents.  Teams like Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Northwestern might not be our rivals, but they were our conference for over 50 years, and I don't see the benefit in trading them for Maryland, Rutgers, and Penn State.

As another side effect, there are more Michigan alums in Chicago than any other city, but depending on where MSU/Purdue end up, this alignment could put the closest four B1G schools to Chicago (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Purdue) in the other division.  Combined that with the end of the ND series, and you're drastically reducing the options for Chicago alums hoping to attend games without traveling 4+ hours to Ann Arbor.  The center of our division would now be Philadelphia instead of Chicago... downgrade.

Ron Utah

January 30th, 2013 at 2:37 PM ^

Philly is the center?  Do you own a map?  The center would be closer to Pittsburgh.  

With Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State in the "East-East", and Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and MSU (I hope)/Purdue (PLEASE GOD NO!) in the "West-East".  Also, this means our fight song is still valid: "The Champions of the West-East!" (The "East" is silent).

While I ceratinly agree that tradition gets slapped in the face here, that's going to happen no matter what we do.  The old conference is long gone, and quite frankly we should be embracing new traditions that will benefit our program.  We get a lot more elite talent out of the east than we do out of Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, or Iowa.

Is it perfect?  Hell no.  Is it far better than what we have now?  Hell yes.

That said...what happens when we add two teams from the Southeast?  


January 30th, 2013 at 12:56 PM ^

It's not exactly scientific to do this, but looking at what the final Massey and Sagarin ratings were for all 14 teams this year, this would be a relatively equitable solution if you consider the averages of the figures - the divisions would come out to being within a point of each other more or less regardless of where Michigan St. and Purdue went, with a slight edge for strength going the East in this scenario.

For example, using the Sagarin numbers - adding Michigan State to the east (which seems a natural, historic fit for them with us and Ohio St. in there) puts the average 2012 rating of the teams at 75.71. That gives Purdue to the West, making the average rating there 74.01. It's similar with Massey's numbers as well.

Again, this is definitely not the most comprehensive or even best way to quantify the proposal, but it is interesting to see that on some measure it would keep some sense of balance.


January 30th, 2013 at 1:01 PM ^

I don't care if it makes the division tougher, because everyone in the division will have to play them. Wash.  And if they're a "protected rival" we had better make sure the rest ends up with "OSU-Wisconsin" and "Nebraska-PSU", otherwise it's a similar problem to having us play OSU every year. Protected rivalries suck. And finding matches for Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois with Indiana, Purdue, Maryland, Rutgers? Good luck with that.

Plus, and I'm surprised no one has brought this up, put MSU in a division with Michigan, OSU, and later on, Penn State, and we've probably heard the last of "MSU Big Ten Title hopes" for the rest of time. Because how many years are they going to be able to beat OSU and us (and it only gets harder if Penn State picks itself back up)?

Drunk Uncle

January 30th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

I like North/South. South would be kind of top heavy and North would be very balanced for the time being.

Big 14 South: OSU,Rutgers,Maryland,Indiana,Purdue,PSU and Illinois

Big 14 North: Michigan,Wisconsin,Nebraska,Minnesota,Iowa,NW,MSU