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.



January 30th, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

Death to Delaney if this happens. I don't ever want to play Rutgers or Maryland, let alone every season. We are no longer in the Big 10 if this happens. We are in some weird hybrid monster that pretty much sucks.

And I'm sorry but being in the same division with Ohio does not make this in any way better. I've never cared if we were in the same division or not so long as we always played them in the last game of the year.


January 30th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

No those programs arent the sexiest but At least there is some tradition there, particularly with Illinois and Purdue. And they are all close enough for convenient road trips.

Rutgers and Maryland are complete shite in every way imaginable.


January 30th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

In the same division it's guaranteed to be the last game of the year.  If UM and OSU are in separate divisions, at least imo, it's only a matter of time until the game gets moved.  If there's back to back years or 2 out of 3 years where UM/OSU play the last game of the season and then a week later play in the conference title game, there would probably be a strong push to move the game to the middle of the season.


January 30th, 2013 at 1:07 PM ^

The West needs Sparty, I get that the Michigan game would be protected game every year, the only thing I disagree with is the MIDDLE portion of the East division is pretty weak...

Wolverine Devotee

January 30th, 2013 at 1:27 PM ^

That really sucks. Long, historic series that have been played since the 1800s like minnesota, illinois, purdue, wisconsin won't be seen much if this happens. 

I don't care about penn state. Michigan has only played them 13 times officially. 

Frank Drebin

January 30th, 2013 at 1:42 PM ^

I am curious to why everyone thinks that expansion should be decided as we stand right now. I still have a feeling that come the start of the 2014 season, the B1G will have 16 teams. I think the 3 most probably schools are UVA, GT, followed by UNC. While UNC would be the prize, I just don't think they will be able to leave without NC State. So assuming that UVA and GT join the B1G in 2014, neither of these alignments may be in play. I guess you could move both Staee and Purdue into the West, and then the East would have UM, OSU, PSU, RU, Maryland, GT, UVA, and IU. Talk about new rivalries. Even PSU still seems like a new rivalry, or at least a one sided one in UM's favor save the last few years. I would love having UM be able to travel to the East coast and the south each year, as it would be great for recruiting, but it would suck losing the majority of our rivals from the past. I do think this is the most logical alignment, however, and we would just have to figure a way to keep the rivalry with MSU relevant.


January 30th, 2013 at 1:51 PM ^

They are doing this now to set the table of having the big brands of Michigan and Ohio State play frequently in the east to make the MD/Rutgers thing pan out.  

This has nothing to do with "geography" or "competive balance".  It has everything to do with "$$".



January 30th, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

Just for the sake of discussion, let's imagine a scenario where the ACC would be just fine if Virginia and Georgia Tech stay. I think that could happen even if Florida State/Clemson were to leave and join the Big 12.

In the long run, it remains to be seen whether the money will be hugely better in the B1G, because much depends on the cable markets in NYC and DC, and as I understand it, those things are still to be negotiated. I realize that the projections are what they are, but sometimes things don't work out as planned.

It's possible that Va and GT will be just as well off staying put, and certainly more competitive in the ACC than they would be in the B1G. I haven't seen any reports that they are in dire financial shape, like Maryland and Rutgers.

If those two schools stay in the ACC, where does the B1G go to expand further? Kansas is locked into a Grant of Rights with the other Big 12 schools. Missouri is unlikely to leave the SEC. Texas isn't coming, and they're not worth the politics and headaches they bring (the Texas legislature is now considering a bill mandating an annual Texas-A&M game, for example).

I'm not going to assume that every school along the East Coast wants to be in the B1G. Maybe they do, maybe not.


January 30th, 2013 at 1:47 PM ^

Hope this is true, because as a DC resident, a UM game just a few metro stops away in College Park, MD every other year is fairly woo-hoo!  Even trekking up the coast to Joisey would be fairly convenient.  Crummy for traditional matchups against legacy B1G teams, I'll admit.  Also, College Park is a true crime-ridden hell hole.  But still... woo-hoo!


January 30th, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

I like the idea of Michigan in the West with Nebraska and Wiscy for better balance.

In any case, I worry about Michigan (or OSU for that matter) leaving it all on the field in The Game, and then playing in a CCG only a week after the most mentally and physically exhausting game they play all season. Does this create an inherent disadvantage or greater injury risk?

I'm not saying it does, but maybe it is a concern worth thinking about.


January 30th, 2013 at 2:13 PM ^

People keep looking at it very short term looking at tradition for entertainment. Winning is entertaining. Thus the E/W is the best way to go. It makes Michigan and OHIO quality destinations for the high population coast. Michigan/OSU/Penn State/Rutgers/Maryland all benefit in the long run. Us from recruiting, Rutgers and Maryland will get the bump from the consistent high profile matchups. If anyone should be upset it should be the West teams, they would be at a severe competitive disadvantage. But my concern is Michigan winning BIG titles and challenging for national titles. E/W would lead to perennial contention.


January 30th, 2013 at 11:40 PM ^

a team finishing with 1 (or 2?) loss(es) -- assuming that loss is to the eventual winner of the league championship game -- can still be a pretty reliable ticket to a BCS berth.

Compare this to the chance of losing to OSU in consecutive weeks and losing any chance at BCS (or new playoff system) contention.  This should end any consideration of OSU and UM in separate divisions.

This move is ALL about championships, prestige, and $$ for the B1G by giving the best chance for both UM and OSU to make the BCS/Playoff each year.  (oh...or I suppose Wisconsin or Nebraska if they actually happened to beat the East division champ by some fluke.)


January 30th, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

It seems to me the national brands are Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Nebraska.  It makes sense for two of them to be in each division.  It would be great for both Michigan and Ohio State to be in the same division would to me would force Nebraska and Penn State to be in the same division.  Then from there the second tiers are Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Illinois, which again should have two in one division and two in the other.  Beyond that as long as we get in the same division as at least one of the east teams (Rutgers or Maryland) I don't really care about the rest.  This is only for recruiting awareness.  Obviously from our perspective we don't want a protected crossover game (if they exist) that is overly difficult, which is why a rivarly game like Minnesota would be a great one for us.  So, if we get OSU and MSU in our division to maintain our rivalries without forcing a hard protected crossover game and Neb, PSU, and Wisc in the other division that seems best for UM, no?


January 30th, 2013 at 2:22 PM ^

It may have already been said but one major benefit for Michigan in realigning this way is the opportunity to balance the home-away schedule. With ND falling off the schedule if M did wind up in a division with OSU and Penn St. I'd assume they would rotate those home games each year which is much better than Michigan currently playing Notre Dame, Nebraska and OSU away in the same year. 


January 30th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

I don't think Rutgers will be a cupcake. I doubt they will be where Michigan or Ohio are on a consistent basis, but I think they can be a tier below that. I haven't looked at the final rankings or bowl games over the last decade or so, but they have the raw materials to be better than a lot of teams that are in the Big Ten now and joinging the Big Ten will help them with recruiting, and other areas too.

One could argue that they have been a better team than at least half the Big Ten during the last half of the Schiano years. They also have a better upside. I think they could be better long term than , Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern ( and till the end of the decade Penn State) that is half the league right there and Iowa, and Michigan State aren't exactly juggernauts either so they could be passed too. So I wouldn't mind playing Rutgers and I think it could help our strength of schedule over the long term. Maryland is another matter altogether.

I will be pretty happy as long as we don't end up playing Ohio twice a year, I think that is just a nigtmare scenario.


January 30th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

I'm OK with that if OSU's crossover game is Nebraska or Wisconsin.  MSU will be an absolute requirement for a crossover game if they are not in our division, which gurantees we will have a tough crossover game.  I just want to ensure that if we have a challenging crossover OSU has an equal difficult one so they don't gain a clear scheduling advantage to the B1G championship game.  If they get Illinois, Minnesota, or Northwestern I will not be happy.  Iowa would be fine I guess.


Although I'm not totally sold on having 3 of the 4 national brands (OSU, PSU, UM, and Neb) in the same division.


January 30th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

I am not trying to get anyone pissed. I just want to know. Why do we care where state is? This puts us and Ohio in the same division, which is what we all wanted. They are our rival. State thinks we have a rivalry with them. Speaking for myself, the only thing that makes them mean anything is that I live in close proximity to so many state fans. I think it would be great if they were in the other division and the B1G did away with protected rivalries. Why give then the respect of being our yearly rival? Keep the "rivalry" in their imagination where it belongs. If our rivals consisted of every school that considers us a rival, then we would have to play like 5 protected rivalry games every year.


January 30th, 2013 at 5:34 PM ^

Most Michigan fans get a kick out of beating State. Or, to put it the opposite way, aside from Ohio, there is no more annoying loss—which, by the way, has happened four years of the last five. Empirically, the game does well on TV, and fans in the stadium consider it a premium game the years it's played in Ann Arbor.

Moreover, the Big Ten is an "all for one, one for all" league. Whatever you may think of them, Michigan is the #1 rivalry on State's schedule. The Big Ten is not going to roll out a system that screws any team out of the #1 game they want to play. They might not get their second or third choice, but every team will at least get their first.

A similar example is the Illibuck trophy (Illinois/Ohio State). Illinois fans would like to preserve that game annually, but they're not going to get their wish. But there's no way they'd do away with the Illinois-Northwestern game. No. Way.


January 30th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

I always like the inner/outer divisions.  Gotta keep Michigan's brand Midwestern.  And if Nebraska and Wisconsin can travel to the east coast it will improve their recruiting out there and possibly grow their alumni base. 

UM, OSU, MSU, Indiana, Purdue, NW, Illinois

PSU, RU, MD, Neb, Wis, Minn, IA


Balanced and no need for permanant crossovers, plus you can rotate the championship game between east coast and chicago every other year to get midwest teams on the east coast and east coast teams in the midwest.


January 30th, 2013 at 5:52 PM ^

1) They want the eastern teams to see a heavy diet of Michigan and Ohio State, because of the comparatively large number of alumni those schools have in that region.

2) Travel: fewer games that fans of the eastern and western teams can drive to

3) They were burned by the generally negative reaction to Leaders/Legends, and they want something with simple, non-gimmicky names: East/West, not Inner/Outer or "Eye of Sauron"

Ron Utah

January 30th, 2013 at 5:55 PM ^

But let's be realistic, the "eye" or inner/outer probably isn't happening.

If you look at the situation purely from the standpoint of what benefits Michigan the most, these divisions look pretty good.  We'd love to have Northwestern on our schedule to help with our Illinois pipeline, but we get more value out of recruiting the east, IMO.

Adding Rutgers and Maryland gives us a footprint on the east coast without sacrificing our midwestern heritage.  Are they the best, most tradition-laden opponents?  Of course not.  But they're going to screw-up conference tradition no matter which division they're in.

I have enjoyed our match-ups with Penn State more than Iowa, Minnesota, or Illinois.  They're a real team with real credentials and a strong history.  We should embrace that, and start to get more of their recruits while we're at it--there are some darn good players in PA.

And on the money side, adding the east coast pocket books can't hurt.  The Michigan brand would now be in the New York and DC markets; that is money in the bank for the conference and for Michigan.

The BIG downside, IMO, is losing the Chicago market, but we'll still be there for crossover games.

I am AGAINST protected crossovers, and the more I think about it, the less I care about having Sparty in our division.  Ohio is the real rival, and we should be building a rivalry with Penn State.  The MSU-Michigan game will never be a big deal outside of Michigan; battles with Ohio and Penn State have national appeal because each game features huge fan bases with strong tradition and historical success.

So yeah, I want the eye.  But I'd be happy with W/E, and I really don't care if we get Purdue or MSU...I guess I'd prefer Sparty for the fun of beating little brother, but I would also delight in seeing all of the energy sucked out of Dantonio if he lost the only game on his schedule he cares about.

As for competitive balance--as many have noted--that's likely to play itself out.  While the Michigan, Ohio, Penn State, and Nebraska names are the strongest and ideally are split 2/2, that probably means Ohio and Michigan are split as well.  So l'd rather embrace the challenge and opportunity created by the W/E alignment.

Quite frankly, the West division should be pissed...they lose big in this scenario, IMO.


January 30th, 2013 at 6:17 PM ^

This would enable the conference to set up these annual crossovers:

* Indiana-Purdue (Old Oaken Bucket)

* Michigan-Minnesota (Little Brown Jug)

* Ohio State-Illinois (Illiniwek)

* Penn State-Nebraska

* Michigan State-Northwestern (MSU likes its ties to metro Chicago)

* Maryland or Rutgers-Wisconsin or Iowa

With MSU in the west, several trophy games (Jug, possibly Illiniwek, Purdue vs. Illinois for the Cannon) go by the boards.

If the Big Ten goes to a 9-game conference schedule (possibly in 2016), two other crossover games can be played, alternating those six teams over a 3-year cycle (six years for home-and-home). For example, Michigan could see:

* 2016 -- Northwestern, home; Nebraska, away

* 2017 -- Iowa, home; Illinois, away

* 2018 -- Wisconsin, home; Purdue, away

* 2019 -- Nebraska, home; Northwestern, away

* 2020 -- Illinois, home; Iowa, away

* 2021 -- Purdue, home; Wisconsin, away

This plan won't satisfy everybody, but it will satisfy more of them than any other plan will.


January 30th, 2013 at 10:50 PM ^

If Maryland and Rutgers had trouble filling their stadiums, whoever is visiting from UM/OSU/PSU are going to fill it for them.  SVP (Maryland alumnus) was on the local radio show today and said he expects UNC and UVA to be 15 and 16.  I don't know how likely that is - Swofford is a UNC alumnus - but if things start to unravel here with FSU or Clemson bailing - it will be interesting to see what the ACC flagship schools do to preserve their self interests.  UNC and UVA meet the academic / CIC potential as well - CRex?


January 30th, 2013 at 11:31 PM ^

Only if we get to keep our last rivalry game with OSU!  But playing OSU twice would be fun. Years like 2006, Michigan would probably beat OSU a second time in the B1G championship game.

North:  MN, WI, UM, MSU, NU, Rutgers and IA.

South: OSU, IL, NE, PSU, Indiana, Purdue, MD

My guess is that UM and OSU will once again become the dominate teams in the B1G. I could see in an east west division the winner of the Michigan vs OSU game having a cupcake game in the B1G championship game.


January 31st, 2013 at 2:16 AM ^

Guyz, as long as the Indiana - Rutgers rivalry is protected, I'm good with this. 

aka what the hell do they say on the Indiana football msg board about such topics.