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Big Ten Division Debate Continues

In the Tribune, Teddy Greenstein reports that Big Ten honchos are trying to figure out how to split up the ten twelve teams. They’re using many criteria:

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“You have six teams that have separated themselves,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez told the Tribune. “You can’t have four in one division.”

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That thinking could pave the way for having Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State anchor the east (with Michigan State, Purdue and Indiana) and Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa man the west (joined by Northwestern, Illinois and Minnesota).

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Alvarez said that Big Ten officials and athletic directors have been analyzing “everything – overall record, conference record, opponents, opponents’ records, BCS ratings, Sagarin ratings” in an effort to achieve what commissioner Jim Delany calls “competitive fairness.”

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That’s the first criteria the Big Ten will use. Second is preserving rivalries. Third is geography, though Delany did acknowledge travel concerns at Big Ten media days.

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The article says the divisions will be decided “by early-to-mid September,” but The Deep Dish can save them the time. Here’s how it should look, just as in the box above:

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Big Ten East: Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State
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↵Big Ten West:
Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nebraska

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