Rumors have surfaced that the Big Ten may be considering changing its divisions around.
This could be because the West has been absolutely embarrassed by the East in the Conference Championship Game (the East is 8-0 against the West).
This could be because at least the top three name brands for the conference are all in the East - Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan. Perhaps more, depending on how you value Michigan State vs Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska.
This could be because the East regularly cannibalizes itself, removing virtually any chance for the conference to get two teams into the playoffs a la the SEC.
Whatever the reason, change may be coming for the conference. MMQB asks - how should the Big Ten realign its divisions?
To me, there are a few possibilities:
Admittedly, this was the idea behind East and West, and as far as a map goes, probably makes the most sense. But as we’ve seen, competitive balance is simply not there. Perhaps a North/South split? Maybe a Great Lakes vs Great Plains setup? Something that splits up the quadfecta of OSU-PSU-UM-MSU, has to be priority #1.
This is a bit more outlandish, but the Big Ten could consider expanding again, and if they get to 16 teams, they could split into four pods of four teams each. These would most likely be regionally competitive, and include crossover games against the other three pods. But it all but guarantees that that quadfecta is not all placed in the same pod.
Maybe the most likely scenario is to completely do away with divisions. Simply set up some sort of rotational basis, and at the end of each season, the top two teams play each other. This is what the Big 12 does, and if nothing else, there can be no complaints that some random undeserving team made it, just because they happened to be the best team in a bad division.
What say you? How would you restructure the Big Ten?