Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible to participate in the Big Ten title game in 2012, and since both of those schools are in the Leaders Division, it leaves the competition between the league's two divisions uneven -- four schools will be competing for one division title/championship game berth, while six schools will be competing for the other.
Northwestern is in the Legends Division, which is still at full strength. When asked about the competitive balance of the league in 2012, Wildcats head coach Pat Fitgerald tossed out a new idea for selecting conference championship game participants:
But from a macro and a big picture standpoint, you know, maybe our division winner should automatically be in the championship, and then you take the other teams that are eligible and we put a committee together, the 12 ADs, and Commissioner Delany as the 13th vote, and kind of how we're doing the playoff. That would make a little bit of sense to me.
I like the idea maybe having two guys from our division in. So who knows? Any way to get to Indianapolis, that's what it's all about, and I think that's what every team's focus is to play for the Big Ten championship.
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