Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wisconsin Benefits From Big Ten Breakdown!


Not only did the college football season kick off today, but the Big Ten Conference also crashed the show with the revealing of two separate divisions to take effect in 2011. The two divisions creates the opportunity for a Big Ten Championship Game which will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium (Home of the Indianapolis Colts) next season. Here's the breakdown of the two divisions:

Division 1 (no names for the divisions yet)
Michigan
Nebraska
Iowa
Michigan State
Minnesota
Northwestern

Division 2
Ohio State
Penn State
Wisconsin
Illinois
Purdue
Indiana

Initially, I wasn't sure about the breakdown of two divisions in the Big Ten. However, after a closer look, I've decided it's actually a good thing for the Badgers. Here's what I like:

1.) Wisconsin hasn't been to a BCS-esque bowl (didn't have BCS back then) since their Rose Bowl win over Stanford in 2000. The establishment of a championship game eliminates the possibility of the Badgers being left out like they were in 2006 after they finished the season 11-1.

2.) In my opinion, the Badgers are in the much better conference when it comes to football and basketball. Ohio State is always a perennial powerhouse in football and that shouldn't change anytime soon. Joe Paterno and Penn State usually put forth a solid team as well. In basketball, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State will all have solid teams for the next ten years.

Note: At this time, it hasn't been determined if the divisional breakdown will translate to basketball.


3.) Kudos for the Big Ten for scheduling Nebraska's first-ever conference game in Madison, WI next fall.

4.) The Badgers' historic battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe was conserved as they will play Minnesota in a cross-rivalry each season. However, the rivalry with Iowa will be distinguished as they will not play each year (no more Heartland Trophy). I feel this was a great compromise and they chose the correct rivalry to keep alive.

Let me know what you think about the divisional breakdown by commenting below!

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