Ohio State and Michigan in the same division?

By Ross Fulton on March 7, 2013 at 11:25a

It appears that Big Ten league meetings in May will produce recommended divisions.  It is expected that Ohio State and Michigan will be in the Eastern Division. They will presumably be joined by Penn State, Maryland, and Rutgers. It is unclear if Michigan State will also be in the Eastern Division.

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DefendOhio's picture

Thank god. I wouldn't enjoy playing them two weeks in a row, thus downplaying the importance of the game.

JeffCoBuck's picture

Yeah, a potential split is potential salve for both schools.  A loss to the other team is supposed to sting for the next 365 days; splitting the outcomes, regardless of the order in which they come, gives both schools an out ("well, at least we won the first one", or, "Who won when it mattered?").  Count me as one of those that are glad they may be in the same division.

OurHonorDefend09's picture

as if this conference needed any more balance problems.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

BROSEPH's picture

Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and possibly Michigan state is a solid Division.  Nwestern Illinois and Purdue Can be dangerous too.  Don't use last season to predict future trends.  

OurHonorDefend09's picture

None of those schools have the pedigree of history that tOSU or Michigan has, and therefore, will not be able to sustain long term consistency in top 10 talent.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Nebraska's history I would make the argument surpasses Michigan.

TMargo's picture

I would take another look at the "history"....
Michigan #1 in wins (904); #1 winning% (.7344) = Total Games played #3 (1254) 
    - claimed 11 National Titles
Nebraska #4 in wins (856); #9 winning% (.7014) = Total Games played #4 (1249)
    - claimed 5 National Titles
You may be letting your hate (which is ok) blind you from the truth.  Michigan's "history" is at the highest level. 


DetroitBuckeye's picture

Yeah but let's look at recent history which has more revelance imo.  Nebraska has 3 heisman trophy winners since 1970, 5 freaking national titles since 1970, 27 times since 1970 they have finished in the top 10 of the ap poll.
Michigan had 2 heisman winners since 1970, 1 national title since 1970 and Michigan in their ENTIRE HISTORY has been an ap top 10 team just 37 times which is a record but in a fraction of that time Nebraska was just ten off.  Nebraska wasn't all that great before Osborne but what he did trumps Michigan's entire history imo.

TMargo's picture

Fair enough.  But I just argue that if a school has true winning history than they are more than just one coach.  They win through the years and with different coaches. 
Bucks: Schmidt, Brown, Woody, Bruce, Cooper( he won a ton), Tressel, Urban.   
Michigan, Yost, Crisler, Bo, Moeller, Carr. 
ND: Rockne, Ara, Holtz, Kelly
Schools like Nebraska, Penn State, Florida State, even though the coach was there forever and the program achieved a tremendous amount of success.  They achieved basically nothing before and since that coach stepped away from the sidelines.  I need to see a resurgence from Nebraska before I put them on Michigan's level. 

TMargo's picture

Conference balance isn't that big of an issue these days.  Just look at the premier football conference.  SEC West dominates SEC East year after year.  The only thing that matters is how your top league representatives perform in bowls. 

DetroitBuckeye's picture

Yeah but that's only recently if you look at what happened say 5 years ago it was all about the east and the west was just playing to get bombed by the gators.

45buckshot's picture

good point. i think these things balance out eventually... probably if the west starts off weak somebody will eventually rise to the top; especially if they're not getting beat up by Meatchicken and tOSU every year. 

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
—G.K. Chesterton

DetroitBuckeye's picture

The biggest thing was that they had the traditional powers Tennessee, Florida, Georgia seperated from Alabama, Lsu, Auburn etc.  Actually if you look at it in terms of historical prestige or traditional powerhouses the east should dominate.  Seriously though, Nebraska has to be in the other division if Mich/OSU stay in the same division.

Dr. House's picture

i was looking forward to kicking their ass on back to back weekends

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

I think MSU should be in the West, but I think they should have a protected game against the team up north every year.  It's too good of a rivalry.

Read my entire screen name....

Maestro's picture

vacuuming sucks

BuckeyeSki's picture

Someone with skill(z) needs to put Hoke's face on this ASAP

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Hoody Wayes's picture

I po'd you - despite disagreeing with you, Bucksfan.
You are a gifmeister.

Bucksfan's picture

I was torn as well.  A back-to-back rivalry game sounded good on one hand, but ultimately I would rather The Game be a one-off.  Changing to a divisional format in general was going to do some damage to this rivalry on some level.  Ultimately it would have served the season and the conference better, had they kept OSU and UM separate, if they moved The Game to October to allow time to develop a rematch.  Unfortunately, this is simply unacceptable.  The Game's character and mystique has as much to do with its finality and cold weather as it does its competitive importance.
With playoffs coming, it is more important to get invited to the playoff or a major BCS game than eyeballing the Rose Bowl as the ultimate prize.  This is a sad reality after almost 100 years of tradition.  However, it's a sadder reality that there is no playoff, and that bowl barrons and ESPN control the outcome of the entire season.  If we expect Ohio State and Michigan to dominate the conference, it actually serves both schools and the conference better to play each other in the final regular season game just to get to the post-season.  Then, the winner of that game will get to play the winner of the other division (probably another highly ranked opponent), which will pad their resume.
Beating the same team in back to back games may actually hurt the other's strength of schedule.  This would be bad.  The rivalry's importance must be maintained.  Making it a play-in for the conference championship is really the best way to do it.
No other conference will boast this type of 2-game season finale, where you may almost surely be playing 2 top-20 teams in back-to-back games.

E2Brutus's picture

Smart move... being in a difficult division can only make the team better and their playoff stock rise.

cinserious's picture

If you put mSU in the east, the west is too weak. The only way to make it work is to split up Um and MSU and give Purdue to the west and take IU. Everything else balances out and let the michigan teams play each other every yr.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Tony's picture

This is kinda silly, in my opinion. Were there that many problems with cross-divisional games?

Dougger's picture


I like football

hail2victors9's picture

I hope that Nebraska and MSU becomes a protected game for both OSU and Michigan.  Sure there is the Illinois and Minnesota "rivalries," respectively, but not many are going to care.  Actually, Wisconsin would be pretty important to protect for you guys.  Maybe more than Sparty.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

Poison nuts's picture

I agree Hail, I'm all for some bigger rivals than Illinois. PSU & UM are OSU's biggest ones, obviously UM being the biggest, but I mentioned below, the Illinois rivalry doesn't do a lot for me. That said, they have played the Buckeyes pretty tough in years past, but on the whole, Wisconsin would be the rivalry to keep on our side of things.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

MN Buckeye's picture

Hey, it's only a matter of time before MN competes for the B1G title!
ok, give 'em about 100 years.

OSUBias's picture

If they are doing East/West, MSU should be in the East so that the dividing line isn't etch-a-sketch style

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

Hovenaut's picture

*in irrefutable and audible Butthead voice*

"So let it be done."

*picks up phone, feigns conversation in progress, ignoring others within earshot*

Poison nuts's picture

This is the right thing in so many ways IMO...Makes sure the winner of The Game means something, protects The Game from being moved to earlier in the year (which was probably coming as a way to keep them from playing in back to back weeks) & doesn't really change other teams OSU plays on a yearly basis....Thanks B1G - this is a good thing. If the Illibuck is lost in the mix, so be it. That rivalry never did a whole lot for me personally...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

MediBuck's picture

As much as I like this alignment, I think one reason the powers that be are so comfortable with this arrangement is the issue looming over everyone's heads that the divisions will be scrapped and reset all over again after another soon-to-be expansion.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

I want them in separate divisions so we can beat Michigan twice in one year, should the Wolverines ever get good enough to win their division.  There's nothing wrong with the teams in separate divisions.

M Man's picture

If Michigan and Ohio State are divided, there is a grave risk that The Game could be moved to October.  That is the scheduling disaster that links the unified interests of UM and OSU fans.  Nobody whom I know wants to see The Game moved.
I continue to think that the only reason that Michigan and Ohio State ever got separated in the first iteration of B1G divisions is that the rest of the Conference demanded it.  They all wanted to be assured of being with one or the other of UM or OSU.  The Northwesterns, the Minnesotas, the Wisconsins, etc.; they all said don't you dare leave us in a division that has neither Michigan or Ohio State.  We could never explain it to our fans, alumni and supporters.
I think that feeling might still exist.  I'd hate to be an Iowa football fan, and be stuck in a football division that no longer had Michigan or Ohio State in it.  It would feel a little like a dressed-up MAC.
But for the sake of preserving The Game as the marquee event of the year in B1G sports, keeping OSU and Michigan in the same division is key.

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

For many years, OSU and Michigan played for the Big 10 title. Keeping them in the same division means they will never play against each other in the championship game. That's what I want to preserve. The Game is bigger than the two teams squaring off in the Big 10 Championship? Both games are big to me and that's what I want to see. Moving The Game is still a far-from-deal. I'll take my chances that it stays where it is.

BuckeyeVet's picture

What about the other possibility? That the other teams in the conference did NOT want the chance of being stuck in a division with BOTH OSU & UM?  One or the other of those 2 teams might have an off year, but odds are they both would not. Which would greatly increase the odds of someone being stuck in a division they had very little chance of ever winning. While the guys in the other division get a relatively easy route to the championship game.

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"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

BucksfanXC's picture

This is the correct move. Congrats B1G on getting this right.

“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

Menexenus's picture


Real fans stay for Carmen.

AndyVance's picture

Gene Smith on WBNS-FM just (more or less) confirmed the geographic divisional split with Ohio State and M*ch*g*n will happen, based on talks at the Tournament over the weekend.