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The Big Ten Conference will announce football division alignments @ 7pm EST

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The Big Ten Conference will announce football division alignments, beginning with the 2011 season, tonight at 7 p.m. ET, the league said in a press release.

Andy Katz of ESPN reports multiple sources have identified the new divisions as: Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern and Minnesota in one division and Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois in the other.

Sources also say the divisions were decided upon Monday. Preserving traditional rivalries such as Michigan-Michigan State, Iowa-Minnesota, Purdue-Indiana and Indiana-Illinois were key concerns, Katz reports.

In men’s basketball, the sources tell the network the Big Ten will play a 16-game conference schedule, with teams playing the others in their division twice and the teams in the other division once.

Dennis Dodd of CBS has conflicting information, reporting via Twitter: "Latest BREAKING rumor: Mich, OSU in same division. Game moved to earlier in the season."

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Moving Michigan-Ohio State to earlier in the year would destroy the tradition of that game.

Keeping them in separate divisions is the best way to go, because UM won't be down forever and it would allow Nebraska to cultivate a football rivalry with two solid Big Ten schools in UM and Iowa.

The way they have said the divisions are lined up sounds pretty spot on to me. If Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State are all in the same division I will literally laugh at their idiocy. They could call the divisions Big Ten East and Big Ten Nebraska.

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No way, you HAVE to put Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. That'd be like having Florida and Georgia in the separate divisions. Playing that game twice would diminish that absolute mayhem of that one solitary game every year, plus it means so much more when you're basically playing for a spot in the Championship Game.

What happens if the last game of the regular season Michigan and Ohio State have already locked up their spot to play one another in the Championship Game. Then you have a meaningless game for something that is supposed to be the greatest college football rivalry.

You HAVE to put those teams in the same division. That's where the ACC screwed up big time by putting Miami and FSU in different divisions.

As long as FSU or Miami wins THEIR division, it really doesn't matter if they lose to each other. That's stupid in my opinion.

Edited by Testasparo
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Nevermind apparently it's already done.

Division I



Ohio State

Penn State



Division II



Michigan State




Geographically it makes perfect sense, unlike the ACC's ******** alignment, but I still think it's a really bad idea to have Michigan and Ohio State in different divisions, for the reasons I mentioned above.

The Big Ten will have the same conference requirements that the SEC does, each team has to play the 5 teams in their division, along with 3 teams from the other division.

Annual required cross-division mathchups include Michigan-Ohio State, Indiana-Michigan State, Wisconsin-Minnesota, Illinois-Northwestern, Purdue-Iowa, and Penn State-Nebraska.

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I can see your point about them locking up title game bids prior to their season ending game, but I have to disagree based on geography and diversity of the conference. I think they are moving the UM-OSU game to earlier in the season, as well.

If Michigan and Ohio State are in the same conference, they are also sharing that space with Penn State and the often-tough Wisconsin. That's essentially like having Bama in the SEC East with the likes of Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia. Or like having Nebraska in the Big 12 South. There would just be too many of the conferences regular contenders battling for one side of the championship game.

This way they can maintain two divisions with very strong tradition. UM-OSU is the major Big Ten rivalry, but Michigan-Michigan State is also a crazy bitter rivalry that they just made even stronger. Plus this gives Nebraska a division to walk into that, at least by perception, won't be theirs to simply dominate every year. It gives that western division more relevance in the Big Ten conference (even though Big Ten and relevant in the same sentence is funny). :lol:

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