Potential Quad Division Setup for a 16 team B1G

gobucks214's picture
November 21, 2012 at 3:43p

Even though I personally hate the idea of a 16 team B1G, if Emperor Delaney has decided it has to happen, Quad divisons could keep us from basically becoming two conferences where you play one team from the other side occasionally (like, every 8 years kind of ocasionally). 

With the addition of, say, UNC and Duke it could look like:

(West)               (North)
 Nebraska             Michigan
 Purdue                Minnesota
 Iowa                   Illinois
 Wisconsin           Michigan State

(Central)            (East)
 Indiana                Maryland
 Northwestern        Rutgers
 Ohio State            UNC
 Penn State            Duke

With a Nine game conference schedule meted out as such:
3: Teams from your division
4: Teams from rotating other division
1: Protected rivalry
1: If not in B1G contention, games chosen from teams also not in contention (Basically, an extra wildcard game to give teams on the edge a shot at bowl eligibility)

With a groundbreak "B1G Championship Series" 
West v. North Semifinal (Hosted by school with better record)
Central v. East Semifinal (Hosted by school with better record)
Winner v. Winner Championship Game (In Chicago for Rose Bowl Bid/Playoff Spot/E.T.C)


Heres how it could play out, in a hypothetical 2014 season:

OHIO STATE (Central)                  Maryland (East)

OOC                                             OOC
OOC                                             OOC
OOC                                             OOC
Indiana                                         Rutgers
Northwestern                                 UNC
Penn State                                    Duke
Nebraska                                      Michigan
Iowa                                            Minnesota
Wisconsin                                     Illinois
Purdue                                         Michigan State
Michigan (The Game)                     Penn State (Maryland needs a rivalry)
B1G Championship Semi (Duke)       Iowa (Out of B1G Contention)
B1G Championship (Wisconsin)

Michigan (North)                           Wisconsin (West)

OOC                                               OOC
OOC                                               OOC
OOC                                               OOC
Minnesota                                       Nebraska
Illinois                                            Purdue
Michigan State                                 Iowa
Maryland                                         Indiana
Rutgers                                           Northwestern
UNC                                               Ohio State
Duke                                              Penn State
Ohio State (The game)                      Minnesota (Battle for the Ax)
BIG Semi (Loss to Wisconsin)             B1G Semi (Michigan)
                                                     B1G Championship (Ohio State)


This format limits travel to somewhat reasonable levels, allows all schools to see the others at least every couple of years, protects a relatively good number of the rivalries that make the Big Ten so great, and actually could make a little bit of naming sense. Which of course means we'll end up with three unbalanced divisions called Legends, Leaders, and Champions, but I digress. It's obviously not perfect by any means, and that wildcard game needs some work to hash out, but as a first stab at it, it could work. 

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Nick's picture

B1G wouldn't take Duke but the pod system would work. I would put scUM and OSU in the same side I don't like the idea of them playing twice in a year 

gobucks214's picture

Yeah, I just went with Duke because the rivalry is such a big deal to them. GT, UVA, VT, BC, or even Lville could really slot in there in the same spot. And that's true, that could be weird as well. I was trying to balance it a little though, keeping the 800 win programs somewhat apart.

NilesPacMan's picture

It's an interesting idea for a quad-divisional set-up. I'd tweak your divisions a little (switch Indiana or Illinois with Michigan State) because even though The Game is the most important rivalry, I'm sure that Michigan State/Michigan wouldn't be too pleased not playing every year.
I had originally thought up a sixteen team conference with a mere 3 divisional games and 6 rotating games (so you can play everyone else twice every four years), but I had trouble making the divisions balanced with this set-up. My divisions (due to rivalries were)...

East Central
Ohio State
Michigan State
Penn State
West Central

...which is terribly unbalanced (especially in the two central divisions). However, it would be pretty good for Ohio State in terms of strength of schedule (assuming Penn State comes back from their sanctions eventually). Plus, I didn't have room for semi-finals.
So, overall, I like yours a little better with the whole semi-final idea, but the only thing I'm not too big of a fan of is there are still certain schools you're going to play once in a blue moon.


gobucks214's picture

The Indiana/Illinois switch makes a lot of sense, I had just completely forgotten about that rivalry when I was pounding this out. I may go ahead and edit that in. And as to the not playing more than once in a blue moon, I honestly don't think that there is any system that fixes that effectively. A pod system feels like the best way to do that, with a little bit of tweaking to the scheduling rules to maximize the variation.

btalbert25's picture

If they do Quad Divisions, expansion doesn't stop at 16 for the B1G.  I honestly don't think it does anyway with different rumored teams jumping on and everything else.  I wouldn't be shocked to see a B1G with 20 teams and some combination of Ga Tech, UNC, UVA, Syracuse, BC, Notre Dame, and Texas.  Maybe not next week, but eventually. 

gobucks214's picture

That would be, in my mind, awful. That's no longer even a conference as we know it today. I personally feel like 12 teams, where we were, was a sweet spot. At 20 it becomes completely unwieldy, with the end result of basically having two "Big tens" that share a league office and a championship game. If they get up to that point, it would eventually almost have to split back in half.

NilesPacMan's picture

Completely agree with this post.
I think that 16 is the maximum size before you set-up yourselves for future splits. (and even that is pushing it). 12 is just perfect; I just wish we would have had a 9 game conference schedule.
However, I don't mind the 16 if we do a pod system. I want to play every team as much as possible while maintaining our traditional games. If we are able to do that in addition to setting up the conference well for the future, I'll be okay with the expansion.

gobucks214's picture

Going to nine feels like it's inevitable if we want to go to 14/16. Missing literally half the league each year with 16 teams would just be a bit silly. Not that missing seven is that much better, but it's a step in the right direction. 

btalbert25's picture

I'm not saying it's a great idea, I just think that's the way it's going to go.  I also don't believe the superconference thing is going to last forever either.  There will be a tipping point where I believe conferences will contract.  I just wouldn't be so shocked if the PAC 12, B1G, and SEC absorb the ACC, Big East and Big 12 one day.

gobucks214's picture

Oh, I wouldn't be shocked either, I just hate hate the idea. 

BoFuquel's picture

Most likely next will be BC and Pitt.Remember this is a baskeyball conference now and for the forseeable future.Futbaw gonna play 2nd fiddle fer a long time round here.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

gobucks214's picture

Haha if its about money like MD and RU were, BC (gag) mighttt bring in enough for a golden ticket out of the ACC, but Pitt isn't going to move the needle enough to overrule a Penn State veto, imo. And if we're gonna be a basketball conference, I'll take Duke/UNC over BC/Pitt any day of the week.

Nick's picture

The only religious school the B1G would take would be Notre Dame. The expansion schools have to be big AAU state flagship schools like Maryland and Rutgers so expansion to the east is done. There isn't another school over there that would be worth adding to the mix so you have to look farther south or ND.

gobucks214's picture

South, to ND, or to Kansas are pretty much the only options by the usual B1G rules, but I'd just seen Boston College in some rumors and such. 

JoeinCbus's picture

Is there an NCAA rule about playing the same team twice?  Obviously not, since it could happen in a conference championship game.
What about home-and-homes with all teams in your division, then one at-large game, either home or away, with one team from each of the other divisions?  Protected rivalries could be factored into those three at-large games.  That gives you nine games, right?
Wanna break some ground?  Break it all the way?

Nick's picture

That would be interesting but you play the other teams less

gobucks214's picture

Haha definitely groundbreaking right there. I personally would want to see teams in other divisions more often then that would allow though. Competitive balance would also be incredibly hard to balance with, say, OSU playing scUM twice and PSU twice, while another division gets IU/Northwestern/Take your pick twice. 

Hoody Wayes's picture

Nice work. Maybe do one for twenty teams, huh? 
Delany used the word "demographics" a lot, in his pressers. Does that make a B1G move to Atlanta, Miami and Dallas, plausible? I think so.
I think this is about getting as many television sets as possible and transforming the B1G from a regional - to a national - conference. I think this about FOX vs. ESPN, too.
And I wouldn't be surprised if we see two B1G semifinal games, before the B1G Championship Game.

gobucks214's picture

Haha I may do just that when I get some time later. And considering recent moves, I could definitely see Delaney chasing the money to Atlanta, but Dallas and Miami strike me as highly unlikely, unless he against all odds gets Texas. And that's a concept that I really like, especially since it gives the B1G two more marquee games each year. 

Menexenus's picture

No Duke or UNC in the Big Ten!  Ever!  (See my recent Blog Post: "Is the Big Ten a Union conference?")

Real fans stay for Carmen.

gobucks214's picture

Hmm.... it's a good point, but on the other hand, what exactly do Pitt, Kansas, Syracuse bring to the B1G? Maryland has a solid basketball program and could easily become Oregon east with that Under Armor money, and both football programs have been written about as sleeping giants with B1G money providing the wake up call. Notre Dame would be, as a always, a slam dunk. But changing demographics seem to force a move southeastward. 

jarheadbuckeyefan's picture

The only reason i would want to see Pitt join would be to watch Mark May cry more every time we'd beat the piss outta the panthers

"The only meaningful statistic is number of games won."~ Woody Hayes

BuckeyeinExile's picture

^^^^^^^^^^ This makes my heart warm on Hate Week Thursday Jarhead!