As Penn State fans form their opinions about the new Big Ten divisions, fans of the other teams across the league are offering up their assessments as well. Let's take a tour and see what everyone is saying.
Black Heart Gold Pants likes the lineups, and considers them sensible.
From the standpoint of competitive balance, these divisions fall in line with the idle chatter of the divisional alignment intelligentsia of the past few weeks. Ever since word leaked that Ohio State and Michigan could be split up, this Northwest/Southeast split -- with the exception made to get Wisconsin into an otherwise top-heavy division -- made the most sense. It preserves geographic and traditional ties, for the most part; Michigan State will still play Michigan, Iowa will still play Minnesota, and Purdue will still play Indiana in what I assume is a shirts-versus-skins basketball game in the parking lot outside Ross-Ade.
More reactions after the jump.
ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg thinks Michigan's division is a little tougher than Penn State's.
My main concern with this setup is what happens when Michigan gets back to being Michigan. You've got three potential powers in Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa, alongside two programs in Northwestern and Michigan State that are finding consistency under relatively new coaches. Minnesota needs to step up its game in a hurry.
Eleven Warriors is a little miffed that "The Game" is cross-divisional, but is content so long as it remains at the end of the regular season.
Thanks to scheduling being an imperfect art, Penn State will travel to Columbus next season as well, making two straight road appearances against the Buckeyes. A little bit of payback for the sweetheart deal Penn State received upon entering the conference that saw the Buckeyes travel to State College in '94 and '95
MGoBlog is also glad "The Game" is staying mostly intact, but doesn't like the cross divisional games.
Obviously those protected rivals are thoroughly stupid, and Michigan's going to have a tough hill to climb most years, but at least the other historical heavyweights have guaranteed matchups. Iowa and Wisconsin should have been paired with each other to make things even. I guess the MSU-Indiana game is slanted towards MSU but is that ever going to be relevant?
If all this stuff is true, and it's coming from so many different directions now that it almost has to be, Michigan and Ohio State fans can declare Mission Accomplished. At least 80% of the mission.
The guys at The Only Colors are very pleased with the setup, and no, it doesn't look like they're going to miss the Land Grant either.
So, like, smashing success, boys. So much more interesting (and revenue maximizing!) than a simple geographic split.
Moving right along: Within the context of the jury-rigged framework Jim Delany et al. have created, MSU comes out looking pretty good. Our primary rival is in our division, Nebraska and Iowa are somewhat less frightening than Ohio State and Penn State as divisional foes, and fixed cross-divisional rivals don't come much friendlier than Indiana (as artificially-generated as that rivalry may be, Brass Spittoon or not). (Bonus: Mark Hollis gets his regular trips to Chicago to play Northwestern.) If/when MSU puts itself in a position to make a run at a Big Ten title, odds are we won't be able to complain about schedule imbalances as a major obstacle.
Off Tackle Empire, formerly known as The Rivalry, Esq. is very pleased with the divisions, and has some words for those who are upset some tradition might have been messed with.
Sure the nostalgic may continue to bemoan the loss of the "tradition," but many of these fans are the same people who carried the torch for expansion when the conference announced last December its intention to study bringing new teams on board.
If you're one of the few traditionalists who opposed expansion, then I have no problem with the argument that the league has violated its most sacred covenant. But if, more likely, you applauded the addition of Nebraska, only to now appeal to some rigid adherence to the status quo, you're guilty of failing to see the forest for the trees.
With expansion, change is inevitable. Don't blame the Commissioner for your own nearsightedness.
So there you have it, folks. Seems like most people, even some Ohio State and Michigan fans, are pleased with the splits. It should be interesting to hear their thoughts when the games aren't played on paper anymore, though. I think there will be some whining down the road of the divisions don't stay balanced like they are on paper at the moment....