Ok, ever since the Big Ten Conference announced it's new divisions back in April of 2013, I've been confused, misinformed, intrigued, and uninterested all at the same time. We all knew what a flop (B1G commish) Jim Delaney's 'Legends and Leaders' divisions were going to be as soon as we heard those pompous-ass names. It was, however to serve the purpose of competitive balance, but besides the crappy names, people were annoyed with the lack of geographical value in the divisions. When the new divisions came out, I was excited about the geographical split and the 'normal' names.
Recently, as the 2014 season draws nearer, I've been becoming more interested in exactly who is in what division (and to a lesser extent, why?) My confusion is waning as I grasp the geographical idea of Eastern teams/Western teams. However, the teams in the middle where the Northwest Territory/ Great Plains/ and Midwest all meet are still a little fuzzy. All the recent coaching changes in the B1G has renewed my interest lately. James Franklin who held his own in the mighty SEC takes over at Penn State; UM hired Alabama's OC in Nussmeier; Dantonio and Narduzzi just won the Rose Bowl; Urban Freakin' Meyer.
First of all, we all know the East Division is stacked: OSU, UM, MSU, PSU, IU, Rutgers, and Maryland.
The West Division, not so much: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa.
I'm all for this new alignment geographically but I feel it would have been more competitive with Michigan State in the West and Purdue in the East to be with IU. MSU would then be a 'protected' game with -Ichigan. I ran across an article from the Detroit Free Press today about the new divisions and how they seem to think the inequity is more like the old Big-12 conference with all the good teams in the South like Texas, Oklahoma, Okie St. Texas A&M, Texas Tech, etc. and really only Nebraska in the North Division. I don't know if there will be that much disparity in the B1G but clearly, the East has more strength and historical value.
My question is what does this division inequity do to the Buckeyes national championship hopes? I think the strength of the East Division means whoever survives that gauntlet would be well suited to defeat the West Division champ and make it through the CFB Playoff and survive. I know the B1G is not too close to the SEC yet but I believe if we keep hiring (and keeping !$!$!$) high quality coaches we are gaining ground on them. The way the B1G East is looking, it could eventually be our version of the SEC West Division with so much power loaded up on one side, tough to survive but like Alabama, LSU, and Auburn it will leave the championship battle-tested.