Big Ten Football Division Alignments Announcement Tonight

By Jason Priestas on September 1, 2010 at 1:45p

Per a release from the conference, the new divisions will be announced tonight at 7pm ET. No word on whether the Big Ten Network will carry the announcement live, but I have to imagine it will. Update: Confirmed - the Big Ten Network will carry the announcement live.

Word leaked about a half hour ago that OSU and Michigan will, in fact, be placed into separate divisions, but will maintain their annual season-ending meeting, setting up the potential for a rematch in the conference championship game whenever the Wolverines feel like playing elite football again. While splitting the two will still rankle some, the conference appears to have heard the backlash over the proposal to move the date of The Game.

Also on the rumor front, the divisions are expected to be:

X Division: Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern and Minnesota

Y Division: Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Purdue.

Assuming the above comes to fruition, I guess the only thing left to find out is the name of the divisions.


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BucksfanXC's picture

Anything less than this will now disappoint me RE:The Game.

Also, State Penn hate needs to rachet up a few notches if they are our division rival.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Poe McKnoe's picture

Good new for us traditionalists... is registered.

Jason Priestas's picture

At least they spelled Delany correct. I think I spelled it "Delaney" for the first two years of this blog's life.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Wow. Our new division is tough.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

E-roc's picture

Cupcake Division: Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Minnesota (+ Nebraska, Iowa)

Beefcake Division: Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Purdue (+ Indiana)

Kinda sorta interesting that scUM & baby scUM are in the same division...


BucksfanXC's picture

Poor Michigan will have to beat Iowa, Big Red, in-state rival MSU, and us (at least once) to win the Big Ten? That seems tougher than our road to me.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Another Jason's picture

You forgot the part about how awesome that is.

BucksfanXC's picture

No I didn't, but I did forget to point it out.


“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Buckeye Ben in Tampa's picture

yeah, but you can't fault us for not having to play us. it is always going to be tougher for a team that isnt the best, they will have to play the best. the best doesn't have to play themselves.

Kyle's picture

Jim Delaney should cut off his pinkie Yakuza style for dishonoring a tradition much bigger than his own ego (hard to imagine, I know).  He is a walking penis with a perpetual hard-on for cash money.


Don't like it.... OSU and Mich should not be able to play again... that cheapens the rivalry

BucksfanXC's picture

I disagree with this line of thinking. Sure the bragging rights will be short lived when a rematch game turns out a different result, but do you think the players are gonna try any less? Or are you gonna be less interested watching? Or would you not buy tickets to the championship game even when if we ran them into the ground the week before? Or, heaven forbid, get run into the ground the week before?

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Agree. If they have to be in different divisions, this is the best possible alignment, no doubt. We should rejoice because it's not in the middle of the season!   

btalbert25's picture

A conference championship cheapens it already, I'm not happy at the prospect of playing twice, but would say this will probably only happen  1 or 2 times in a 20 year stretch.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I'll take this over the game in october or only playing if they both make champ game.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

osujake9's picture

Couldn't have said it any better. I'm not super happy about the split but as long as its the last game then I'm not going to go too crazy.

Another Jason's picture

Good enough for me.  I'm glad The Game isn't moving, even though I understand the argument for it once the decision to split the teams was made.  I don't expect there to be too many "instant rematches," and when they do happen, it will likely be in years like '06 when Another Game wouldn't be so bad.  (Seriously, how awesome would it have been to beat Mike Hart AGAIN???)

Right now, I'd expect Nebraska to quickly become the Ohio State of The Bad Division, with Iowa serving as their Penn State.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

H20-5, haha

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

builderofcoalitions's picture

"...setting up the potential for a rematch in the conference championship game whenever the Wolverines feel like playing elite football again."

Gotta love that little jab. After they fire DickRod and start over with Harbaugh, it will be a while before that happens. Here's finishing the season with a good challenge every year.

Because we couldn't go for three.

Johnny Ginter's picture

this is probably the best possible outcome we could've realistically gotten from the powers that be, not wild about the possibility of a rematch but thats what we've got

BucksfanXC's picture

I'm not gonna be upset about a rematch until it turns out to bite us in the ass. I'll reserve judgment til then.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Irricoir's picture

That would simply intensify the rivalry. I am of the mindset that you can take no days off in college football and I'd rather be beat in conference than by the SEC or USC again if we don't have it in the tank to play every day.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Irricoir's picture

Great Woody quote BTW!

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Irricoir's picture

I can live with this. I wouldn't hate to see a rematch the following week. You can't tell me you wouldn't tune in? I am just glad they kept it at the end of the year. The simple fact that it is back to back would be enticing to some folks. Can you imagine the amount of publicity that would generate? Either way, this is the best thing that could have happened next to us remaining in the same division. In reality, I am glad they are in another division. I don't want to share a daggone thing with them.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

BucksfanXC's picture


“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Johnny Ginter's picture

the only thing that bothers me about a rematch is that if both teams are undefeated in big ten play leading up the the game and are therefore assured of meeting again the in the championship game, then there's really no reason for either team to play anything but pattycake that week

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

le's say that in that sceanrio, one team wins the reg season matchup and in the championship the other wins. That's the only case I can see where the S will hit the fan.


best 2 out 3 or what?

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Irricoir's picture

I see your reasoning behind that question, but if we can't get up to beat them a second time then I don't see us being able to get up for the Rose Bowl, USC or the SEC. I puke every time I type those letters in that particular order. I get laughed at at work because I always say less than a minute, just to avoid saying ---ond! My ---retary isofficialy call administrative assistant! That is hate my boys! Pure unbridled hate!

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I agree, just playign devil's advocate as it's the only "flaw" i can see in this system.


however, i think UM is a logn way away from making it to that point.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Another Jason's picture

Wouldn't BCS positioning be enough?  I guess if they aren't entirely undefeated, it may not matter, but chances are that teams that are better than Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Penn State are probably in the title game hunt.  A loss in The Game, even if followed by a win The Other Game, could cost the Big T12n champ its spot in the BCSCG.

joemaster's picture

Except for maybe a chance at a  national championship (if that means anything).

gravey's picture

dumb. dumb. dumb.  UM and MSU should be with OSU, Steel division and Illinois and Wisky should be in the Corn division.  It does cheapen our rivalry...

btalbert25's picture

If this is correct, I'm glad that they are splitting they won't be putting OHio State, Penn State and Michigan on one side.  I never did like that idea too much, it's nice to balance the 2 divisions with 2 whales on each side.

dmurder's picture

wow, can't belive people think we will be facing missagian twice?

That divison is really tough... Look for Neb, Iowa, and Mich St to own that championship game for a long time.

Missagain, won't be revelant for at least another 5 years!

But, honestly you have to go through a gauntlet of Iowa, Neb, Mich St, Northwestern, and then top it off play us every year.


Forget about it

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

Irricoir's picture

I thought the same thing about Bama even after their 6-6 start i think it was under Saban, his first year. I even lost a bet that Bama wouldn't win the -.E.C. Championship for at least 5 years. Saban did that with a rich in pride, and historically strong Alabama team. Look what Harbaugh did for Stanford who had not been relevant in quite some time. It is ridiculous to think that he couldn't turn Michigan around and bring them back to greatness. I don't think it would take him 3 years. He recruits really good and has a history of good coaching to boot. 

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

PF_Flyers22's picture

With how horribly wrong this could have turned out...this isn't too bad. 

It's also important to remember the position we are in as Bucks fans. We've had the pleasure of being on the winning side against Michigan for the better part of a decade and God-willing, that doesn't change. But in the event that they actually get their crap together and scrounge up a win in the regular season, we'll be chomping at the bit and thankful for another shot.

yrro's picture

I honestly wonder how much they floated the original idea of moving the game just to make this seem more palatable.

Also, I'm 90% sure that Penn State is the reason that Michigan and OSU aren't in the same division. You can't do Michigan/OSU/Penn in the same division for balance reasons, and PSU doesn't want to have to travel to face Nebraska, nor lose it's yearly game with OSU.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

nor lose it's yearly game with OSU.


Unless you mean lose like LOSE instead of NOT PLAY. hahah

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Do division alignments effect (affect?) basketball?  This sucks for us if it does.

BucksfanXC's picture

Rumor has it only football will have divisions.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Another Jason's picture

Delany said early on that the splits might be different for football vs. all other sports.

Bucksfan's picture

It's still fucking terrible, end of the season or not...they needed to be in 1 division AND play at the end of the season.  I hate this if it's true and hope Jim Delany rots in hell.

Buckeye Ben in Tampa's picture


play them every year? check.

play them at the end of the year? check

after that does it really matter? i don't think the rivalry is affected in any way by the chance to play them again. except for, as mentioned a few times above, the chance to beat the again.

M Man's picture

All that I wanted was for them to keep The Game where it is.  Everything else pales in comparison.

When the story of this deal gets finally written, I will bet anybody that the real reasoning was that the rest of the Conference was demanding that OSU and M be split up; none of them wanted to be in a dvision that lacked both.  Traditional Big Ten fans of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, NW, Purdue, Indiana and MSU would not tolerate it.

If we get out of this general mess, with The Game intact and on the last football weekend in November, I think we can probably thank Brandon and Smith and Gee and Coleman for having done some rather effective lobbying.  They may have wanted to please their respective constituencies and may have tried, early on, to keep OSU and Michigan in a single football division, but I got the impression that there was a solid if not overwhelming majority in the conference to out-vote us.

BucksfanXC's picture

If you were trying to put logic to the decision, this would be the best way to do that. If only the people making the decision used such a strategy.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Run_Fido_Run's picture

M Man, I'm guessing that you believe that other conference members did not want to lose the attendance (gate) dollars and prestige associated with being in the same division as one of the big 2? That makes some sense.

But I also think it was partly because the league did not want Nebraska in one division and the other big 3 in the other division and therefore not taking full advantage of the new Husker brand. PSU might have balked at being shipped west by themselves; hence, Michigan gets placed with Nebraska. The Michigan v. Nebraska game will be a valuable product.  

M Man's picture

Yeah; I think that's mostly true.  But I also think that there were a number of ways to make up competitive and geographic balance.  But we clearly don't have an "East" and a "West."  And you could easily maintain competitive balance with OSU-M leading one division and Neb-PSU leading another, all other things being equal.  I think one plane-trip/road trip is pretty much the same as any other in the Big Ten.

I was at a luncheon recently where David Brandon spoke, and he strongly hinted that an OSU-Mich division was a complete non-starter for the rest of the Conference.  He said something along the lines of, "We just don't have the votes" to keep OSU and Michigan together.

At that time (about a week ago), it was thought that if M and OSU couldn't be in the same division (that was the prime directive), then they'd have to move The Game to October to avoid a final game/Big Ten Championship rematch scenario.  It now seems that they could compromise their principles on the "rematch" possibility.  But they could not compromise on the divisional split-up of M and OSU. 

bdegroff's picture

The interesting thing about the rematch is that it wont happen for quite awhile. Quite honestly, I dont see Michigan finishing above 4th or 5th in their division. In fact, I wouldnt be surprised if they bottom fed for awhile. Until Michigan is relevant I will not be worried about a rematch. I am more concerned about Nebraska coming in next season. I am not going to be one to take them lightly. I beleive they will contend right away.

Another Jason's picture

Imagine this:

Ohio State and Nebraska meet in the BCSCG this year, and then in the B10CG next year, with the winner going on to slaughter some hapless ESECPN team.  The Southeastwide Leader starts investigating whether the new B10 is a monopoly.  LeBron James returns to Cleveland just to avoid guilt by association.  Cancer is cured, world peace is achieved, and somebody figures out what Lost was about.  World promptly, predictably ends on 12-21-12.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

you just blew my mind.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

SouthPlainfieldNut's picture

As long as the game stays where it is, I honestly do not care. A rematch will rarely occur as it is, and even if it does, I can't lie and say that I won't be extremely excited to watch it.

goodlifesean's picture

Yep way to go Delaney with the ACC/BigXII model and not the SEC model of keeping huge rivals in the same division. That seems to work out just great. 

Delaney can kiss my ass.

Always prepare for and expect victory, don't brace for defeat. If defeat happens learn and never let it happen again.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Let's all cry about this and the uniforms and thursday games right now. Just one big bitch-fest. I'm sure DElany will hear us and change his mind.


WHO'S COMING WITH ME!!!!!!!!???????

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

btalbert25's picture

Careful, sarcasm toward tradition will get you crucified.  I agree with you though.  I don't care for the Red helmet on the uniform, but I see it for what it is, a chance to sell more stuff, not a great throwback to honor the past.  I do complain about Thursday night games, but it's for selfish reasons.  I don't get much time to get home in time for the game after work, and don't like watching til midnight when I have to work the next day.  Plus it doesn't give me adequate time to earn the propper gameday buzz.

Brady's picture

Amen to that brother!  Proper time to achieve a gameday buzz is essential to watching the Buckeyes.


nedutton's picture

Good luck convincing me that Michigan State isn't going to win the regular season basketball title for the rest of time. If the 16-game model holds (and I understand it may not), they'll be playing two games a year against Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, and Minnesota. In my eyes, that's a minimum of 8 wins EVERY YEAR...where Ohio State/Purdue/Wisconsin (and maybe eventually Indiana, and sometimes Illinois) will be beating themselves up in the other division. Sure, we'll get to beat up on Nebraska/Northwestern/Iowa without thinking too...but only once a year. I don't know, everyone's focused on the football side, but the real winner in all this may be the Michigan State basketball team.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

they haven't said anything about divisions for basketball...........


convinced now?

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

matti's picture

delany screwed this up big time what a horse's ass way to sell out for the cash. if u look at the potential lock in cross overs iowa really lucks out assuming neb and wiscy play and they keep that stupid lansing vs crazy old man thing together. Prof Charles Csuri should have been in the room when asshole delany made this i know one would not come out alive and my money is on  Csuri

Brady's picture

I still think they should be in the same division and play for the right to go to the championship game.  However, if they HAVE to be in different divsions, this is the best way to go.  Playing in October would have been a huge mistake and could have damaged the rivalry.  At least this way there is still the chance to play spoiler if one team is out of the race by the end of the year.


KenK's picture

I doubt that you'll see a three-hour game of patty-cake. Both teams will come out smokin' to establish Alpha Male.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

O-H Kee Pa's picture

From a friend in Philly:


"Also, the new conferences elicited a collective grown from all the PSU fans who had hoped, somehow, that OSU would be with Michigan and not in their conference, or, that Michigan would be in their conference. Anything but Ohio State was the general theme. They are disappointed and resigned to finishing in 2nd every year now."


Gotta love it.

ballgame's picture

Living in Philly myself, that's not what I'm hearing from Penn State fans at all.  The PSU fans here seem to be extremely pleased to have OSU in the same division.  What they're unhappy about is the Michigan game being Ohio State's last one of the season instead of Penn State.  They're still holding on to this strange belief that they should be our biggest game every year.

Jason Priestas's picture

Per the Twitterwebs, here are your cross-divisional, protected rivalries:


  • PU-Iowa
  • Ill-NW
  • IU-MSU
  • OSU-Mich
  • PSU-Neb
  • Wis-Minn

btalbert25's picture

Quite a bum deal for Iowa on the cross divisional rivals.  They lose their big rival in Wisconsin, and the fan favorite Penn State too.  Then get Purdue.  Kinda feel for them there.

Bucksfan's picture

I see it another way.  Iowa gets to play Nebraska every year, which is now a border state rival.  I know they're new, but Nebraska deserves some catering and respect, can't just treat it like the red-headed step child.  Iowa might roll their eyes at having to play Purdue in October every year and missing out on the bacon slab, but they're probably jacked about potentially concluding their season with the coveted new bad boy every year.  So, I think they're set.  Plus, Wisconsin will roll back onto the schedule every two years or so.

btalbert25's picture

Yeah, but isn't that kind of the same thing that we bitch about with Penn State.  It's not a real rivalry just because the states are next to eachother and they will play every year.  I think Iowa and Wisconsin is an actual rivalry game in the eyes of their fans.  I could be wrong about that, but I know a lot of Iowa fans and the game they always bring up is Wisconsin.   I guess splitting up rivalries is only and outrage when it's our team they are talking about messing with.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

as long as everything you've said comes true...i can sleep tonight

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

BigRedBuckeye's picture

SCORE!!!! My favorite scenario seems the most likely!!!! Hope this is what happens!!!!!!!

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

gbm's picture

I think our division is a lot tougher. Look at the top. Granted this is completely subjective but..

1. OSU vs. Neb = tOSU

2.State Penn vs. Iowa = SP

3. Wisco vs. scUM = Wisco

I'm sure those could be arranged in any order and we still come out on top. I say switch Wisco for MSU and switch Indiana for NW. That seems to me to be a little better balance of power. Well who knows what I'm saying because scUM should be in our division any ways and no other rivalry really matters that much after that.

btalbert25's picture

I can agree that right now Ohio State is better than their top 3 or on our side for right now but that's looking at things through a pretty recent lens.  Nebraska is on their way back, and could prove that this year.  Is Penn State really greater than Iowa?  recent history in their series suggests not.  We all know Michigan is down, but it's pretty likely they will be back, and perhaps it won't be long before they are.  I personally wouldn't mind seeing a Nebraska or Alabama sized fall from grace but just don't think their irrelevance will last that long.  2 seasons ago we were all talking about how much of a terrible coach Bilema was and how Wisconsin has underachieved or just wasn't that good.  After the top 3 on both sides, in my opinion it's kind of a push.  Each of those teams, Indiana excluded, is capable of having a good year once in a while and they all have. 

Bucksfan's picture

Alright, I've let this marinate for a few hours, and I'm quickly accepting the reality.  1) Ohio State-Michigan will be the only interdivisional rivalry played the last week of the year in the country.  FSU-Miami, the SEC doesn't do this, no yearly rivalries in the doesn't really happen anywhere else.  So, it will be the first, and is therefore unprecedented...which gives it a new definition of "awesome." 

2) There's actually a strong possibility that one could knock the other out of their respective divisional race by dealing a final loss, and that this scenario could happen almost every season.  Because of the relative balance of the two divisions, where Iowa, Nebraska on one side and Wisconsin, PSU on the other are always going to be vying for that champ spot with only 1 or 2 losses, that final loss could be SUBSTANTIAL.  It subsequently makes it very difficult to rematch.  I guess I hadn't thought of that possibility before, which makes me mad that I'm stupid.  I still don't like the idea of a rematch the next week in Indy, but I think it's going to be rarer than I thought.

Then that makes all the other rivalries played in the final week very important for some teams to actually win.  Iowa-Nebraska might become a final game,  Penn State-Wisconsin would be huge.  Going to be very very interesting what that final Saturday looks like, and Ohio State-Michigan looks like it will still play a major role.

741's picture

I like your positive spin on the potential badassedness of the late inter-divisional rivalry that "The Game" may become.

RBuck's picture

A partial victory for the fans; IF The Game is indeed the last of the regular season. I'm not counting on it yet until I hear it from Delaney.

Long live the southend.

Natty Light's picture

currently (last/this year)

strength is something like this...well balanced. 


W Iowa

W Nebraska

E Wisky



there is a lot of potential for the East division to  be a lot better than the west, based on recruiting potential.  order for how this looks in the future is probly




Wisc (close to Milwakee, chicago, GB)

...everybody else.  Nebraska and Iowa have very little in stateor nearby talent.