Like the Pac-10, the Big Ten is weighing several issues by expanding to 12 teams. Yes, a new name is one. More pressing are scheduling and division alignments.
The conference athletic directors meet in about six weeks, which means we could have six weeks of chatter and arguments regarding divisions. And that’s a scary thought.
Or we could settle it right now. How about some Big Ten divisions? This FanHouse story from Bruce Ciskie offers four options, two for East-West divisions and two for North-South.
My favorite is North-South option 2 (sounds like an audible).
Michigan St. Northwestern
Minnesota Ohio State
Nebraska Penn State
Perhaps the geography’s a bit off, but I like the balance, both in basketball and football. It pairs Indiana and Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State, and while the North may be a little weaker in basketball for now, once John Beilein has Michigan up to snuff, it’ll even out.
Then again, maybe it’s best to take some advice from The Only Colors, and keep it simple: East-West divisional alignments.
That means Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin in the West; Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue in the East.
This maintains natural rivalries and keeps competitive balance – but sucks for basketball. Nebraska, Northwestern and Iowa in the same conference? Yeesh.
Maybe you just scrap the divisions for hoops.
Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.