On Wednesday night the commissioner of the Big Ten, Jim Delany, announced that the conference will realign with the arrival of Nebraska in 2011 and begin a divisional format. This arrangement will consist of two six- team divisions that are proposed as follows:
Division 1: Division 2:
Iowa Ohio State
Nebraska Penn State
Michigan State Wisconsin
Details seem to still be in the works but each team will play eight conference games, which will then be made up of five games within the teams division, two games against opponents in the other division and a “rivalry” game against the same opponent every year. As previously stated, Unique-Sports headquarters is in the heart of Iowa Hawkeye country and we tend to take our football quite seriously. As a Hawkeye fan myself, I am happy with these new “divisions” within the Big Ten as well as the arrival of Nebraska to the conference. It seems to me that Jim Delany’s efforts to balance the power between the conferences was rather unsuccessful in that our “Division 2” is much stronger. With that said, I cant really blame him for this because the power will shift from year to year and for the time being my Hawkeye’s will have an easier schedule. This new format could possibly hurt some historic rivalries within the conference such as Iowa vs. Wisconsin and of course Michigan vs, Ohio State but it also allows the possibility for these teams to meet twice in one year. This new-look Big Ten conference could also lead to more high profile match-ups and nationally televised games. It will be interesting to see how it all works out but as a fan of the Big Ten Conference I am pleased with the realignment and look forward to seeing it in action during the 2011 college football season.