Talking new Big Ten division names, realignment

The rapidly evolving Big Ten is considering remaking its divisions and, according to an interview with commissioner Jim Delany by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, that includes dumping the names of its divisions.

The former has been a topic since November, when Delany said as much after the announcement of the addition of Rutgers and Maryland in 2014. Having the Scarlet Knights and Terps (and two more teams at some point in the near future) all but forces the Big Ten to revisit its divisional alignment.

As it stands, Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern make up the Legends Division, with Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin in the Leaders.

At 14 and eventually 16 teams, it’s likely the divisions would extend beyond football, which could prompt the Big Ten to consider geographic principle in dividing its teams, with East and West making the most sense (though not necessarily as names).

You could have one division with Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State and Ohio State, and then Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska in the other. This would require splitting up either the Michigan or Indiana schools, with three going east.

Of course, the next two teams to join the Big Ten will impact this, as well, regardless of whether geography is considered.

As for the division names, Leaders and Legends didn’t roll off the tongue at first, but I got used to it. Given that’s what the Big Ten came up with the first time, I have very little faith any new names would be an improvement.

How would you divide the divisions? And what would you name them?

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25 Responses to Talking new Big Ten division names, realignment

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Couch hunters and HeyJoers

  2. avatar Jeffrey Lubeck says:


    Is Iowa out of the B1G in your future? Will the B1G need to be adding three teams in 2014?

    Perhaps it was simply an oversight or a fat-finger. Perhaps you do not follow B1G sports on a regular basis and are unfamiliar with the teams. Perhaps you and or your copy editor simply do not check much other that hooking up links and providing 227 words of introduction?

    Option A – Geography based

    East (or South)
    Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois.

    West (or North)
    Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

    Comment: Geography works for the most part. Based on the last 20 years, poor competitive balance for football. Excellent competitive balance for basketball. People that make deals, smoke cigars and wear bespoken suits (which notwithstanding are ill fitting) will like this lineup UM/OSU in separate Divisions.

    Option A – Name based

    Leaders (or Job Creators)
    Michigan State, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Northwestern, Indiana and Illinois.

    Legends (or Talking Points)
    Rutgers, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

    Comment: Historically names simply do not work. The NHL had great names to draw from, but the general public does not known all the teams, let alone the names or the meaning behind them. This appears to be the case with some sportswriters as well. Based on the last 20 years, some competitive balance for football and basketball. This lineup could serve MSU well as OSU will be on probation every five years (as scheduled).

    • avatar Graham Couch says:

      Fixed. Thanks, Jeff. I can only surmise that I was trying to block last weekend’s trip to Iowa from my mind before this morning’s trek to State College, Pa.

      Good analysis. I think Michigan and Ohio State are going to wind up in the same division.

      • avatar Jeffrey Lubeck says:

        I figured as much. Winter travel in the Mideast, Midwest can be brutal especially if you are going to cover what turns out to be a glorified mud-wrestling match and does not include members who’s gender is of interest. Was phrased so as to be politically correct?

        Ohh…Gulos and Acorns in the same division? Do you think the Suits will let that happen? Or is it your feeling the PowersThatBe want UM/OSU as an outcome?

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      If Couch was working for your father would he get a Mulligan and a brew at Lindys AC for the Iowa oversight or would your Dad have called him out and put Joe Falls number on his speedial?

      • avatar Jeffrey Lubeck says:

        Newspaper Editor with initials REL: sends Couch to Lindell AC with beer money and maps of teams and locations for both the B1G college conference and State of Michigan Prison Guard League (MPGL) with a note: “learn the first one or plan on getting to know the other.”

        Newspaper Publisher and Syndicate Principle with initials JHL: drives with Couch to Lindell AC with beer money and maps of teams and locations for both the B1G college conference and State of Michigan Prison Guard League and says “Let’s make sure we both learn these – you missed it on the story, but I filled in as copy editor last night and missed it as well.”

        I miss the Lindell AC.

  3. avatar Mr. Cresote. says:

    Split them North and South?
    South: Md, U-Ind, U-Ill, PSU, OSU, Iowa, Neb.
    North: MSU, um, Wis, Minn, NW, Pur, Rut.
    I think that spreads the talent out a bit better then East and West.
    East and West would be;
    East: MD, Rut, PSU, OSU, um, MSU, Pur.
    West: Ind, Ill, NW, Wis, Minn, Iowa and Neb.
    Name them Tanner and US Marine, Ret.

  4. avatar SpartyOn says:

    Simply no way they put Michigan and Ohio State in the same division and avoid the potential cash cow Michigan-Ohio State B1G Championship game. That would be like the ACC eliminating the possibility of a Duke-UNC championship basketball game.

    • avatar AAsparty says:

      hows about The Great Lakes Division and The Great Plains Division? don’t know where you’d stick the Terps and Rutgers, but hey, they’re late-comers, they’ll have to make do….

    • avatar Mr. Cresote. says:

      Can’t stand the thought of those two playing each other consecutive weeks.
      Delaney would wet his pants in excitement if it happened though.

      • avatar witless chum says:

        He should attend to how much people liked the UCLA/Stanford repeat bowl. They didn’t like it at all. No one wanted to see a repeat OSU/U of M in the national title game in 2006, either.

  5. avatar Mr. Cresote. says:

    The freep is reporting that Drake Harris, a 2014 commit in both BB and FB has been offered a scholarship by OSU. And he planning to visit Columbus. Urban is sucking up to him. He is Izzo’s only 2014 recruit at this point and only 1 of 3 for Dantonio I gather.

  6. avatar griff325 says:

    That’s classless, but apart of the game. Jabrari did it, so will this guy. We always lose the recruiting battles and it’s not because of how we recruit or that Dantonio is a bad recruiter, it is because of the press that we get. Lamestream media says it all.

    • avatar Mr. Cresote. says:

      It’s the brand. MSU is a good brand, but Duke, OSU etc are considered better by the Media. That is why MSU is rarely, if at all, in the mix for that top 5 recruit.

    • avatar witless chum says:

      Oh, cry me a river. We don’t always lose the recruiting battles. Who wanted Gholston? Everyone. Lawrence Thomas? Also everyone. You win some, you lose some.

      Drake Harris, if he even switches, is one player who might never even suit up for Urban Meyer, given his penchant for retiring. And I’m sick of fans peeing down their legs about the great and powerful Meyer. His undefeated Buckeyes beat a Spartan team with almost no offense by one point and needed the assistance of a bad call negating an MSU touchdown to do so. And don’t tell me about how he’s going to be so much better when he has his recruits. You can’t recruit much better than the Vest did at OSU.

      And also, can we not whine about Meyer flipping a recruit, if it even happens? Dantonio’s done it to other schools before and has an Illini commit visiting this January, presumably not so they can talk about scowling technique.

  7. avatar witless chum says:

    Just do east/west

    Maryland, PSU, Rutgers, OSU, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue

    MSU, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois

    Give us a protected rivalry with U of M and away we go.

  8. avatar Jalen Rose says:

    MSU has no brand!?! Unless you think Mississippi, Toledo and Utah also have brands??

    Harris ends up at Michigan.

    Must stink to always be a bridesmaid like Sparty. Much like Saban, Sandandontonio will grow weary of being such, and move.

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