The Big Ten today announced the alignment of its new divisions for the 2011 football season. The currently unnamed divisions will be organized as follows:
Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern, and Minnesota in the first division
Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois in the second division.
The members of each division will play each other every season, as well as three teams from the opposing division. Certain long-standing rivalry games will remain protected including: Michigan-Ohio State, Northwestern-Illinois, Wisconsin-Minnesota, Iowa-Purdue, Penn State-Nebraska, and Indiana-Michigan State.
"Over the past several months, Big Ten staff and directors of athletics have met on several occasions to discuss and finalize division alignments. We focused on competitive equality, traditional rivalries and geography. We considered multiple models and countless permutations in an effort to achieve the most competitively balanced divisions while at the same time respecting our traditions, preserving existing rivalries, and creating opportunities for the establishment and growth of new rivalries. We have listened to the feedback from our institutions, alumni and fans, and while we understand that no final alignments could possibly satisfy all of our constituents, we believe that wehave achieved a very exciting result."
The Commissioner will be answering questions from the media shortly and we will be providing updates.