You’ve probably already heard that the Big Ten West narrowly edged out the Big Ten East, 11-10, in the 21 cross-divisional games. You’ve likely also heard it postulated that the East is top heavy, while the West is far more balanced. You’ve heard these things, nodded quickly, and moved on to find something on the innerwebs that you didn’t already know.
Net yards is the thing you didn’t already know, and it’s pretty hilarious.
The Big Ten East outgained the West by 1,749 yards. That’s 83.3 ypg on average.
Michigan State and Rutgers - yes, Rutgers - outgained their 6 West opponents by 245 yards, and lost all 6 games.
The Inviting Illini dropped 640 net yards to its three East division brethren (Michigan, Sparty, and Rutgers), never getting closer than the (-65) difference to the moribund Knights. They went 2-1 anyhow. That’s insane.
What a crazy season.