When The Briefing and The Take suggested we all write on the topic, I became all about it. Reflecting upon the controversial decision, I am perhaps the least qualified person to post on this topic. Yes, over the past few years I have come to love Indiana sports as well as written on a variety of Indiana sports topics. However, most of my coverage carries a strong persuasion towards professional or semi-professional sports, not college. I am an avid Pacers, Colts, Indians and Ice enthusiast, but my identity in the college sports arena is still a little fuzzy. To be honest the majority of my family resides on the East coast. Despite living in Indiana for most of my life, I grew up cheering for Syracuse University. Although I find myself excited to see Butler beat Gonzaga or Notre Dame in the National Championship, my heart always takes me back to Syracuse.
With that being said, if this post focused on the Big East, rather, what use to be the Big East, I might have some better insight. In any case I will give it a whirl at new division names for the Big Ten. Currently, the Big Ten has two divisions: Legends and Leaders. The Legends division consists of Nebraska, Michigan, Northwestern, Michigan State, Minnesota and Iowa. As a counterpart, the Leaders division consists of Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois. Now two new teams, Rutgers and Maryland, will be joining the ranks of the Big Ten. With the addition of these two East Coast teams, the Big Ten expands from twelve to fourteen teams extending from the Midwest to the East Coast. After weighing the various options, the most simple solution seems clear to me: keep the same names while making slight adjustments to the divisions. Geographically speaking, why not just move Wisconsin to the Legends Division and add Rutgers and Maryland to the Leaders division? Wisconsin shows the most potential to create more meaningful rivalries with Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. Furthermore, the addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the Leaders division could potentially foster exciting rivalries with Ohio State and Penn State.
Another simple solution is the movement of Illinois to the Legends Division instead of Wisconsin. This would allow the Big Ten to build up the Northwestern/Illinois rivalry. Again, then you could just add Rutgers and Maryland to the Leaders division to make the divisions even. I personally do not see the benefit in changing the names. I believe that a simple change in team placement can assure the necessary division alignment in order to achieve Big Ten success. From an outsider’s point of view it appears most of the names have been reviewed and rejected. If a Division name change is truly desired than the Big Ten can utilize the names, "Big West and Big East" divisions; while using one of the aforementioned division alignments. For those who are more graphic learners…here are my four really simple suggestions (but let’s be honest, they make the most sense)...
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