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  1. #1
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    Extended Big Ten separates Ohio State and Michigan

    The expanded Big Ten will place Ohio State and Michigan into different divisions.

    The conference announced its divisional breakdown Wednesday night, though neither division has been named.

    Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern will make up one division when the league grows to 12 teams in 2012. Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana are in the other.

    The Big Ten wanted to preserve a number of traditional rivalries such as Michigan-Michigan State, Iowa-Minnesota, Purdue-Indiana and Indiana-Illinois, multiple sources told ESPN.com's Andy Katz.

    Ohio State and Michigan will play each other every year on the last day of the Big Ten season, and could conceivably play each other twice in one season. Because they are in different divisions, the Buckeyes and Wolverines could play in the new Big Ten championship game.

    The Big Ten is also expected to announce a consistent crossover game in football similar to Ohio State-Michigan that will be played each year. Expect to see longtime rivals Wisconsin and Minnesota playing every season.
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  2. #2
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    that would be so cool to have osu-mich the final regular season week, then a rematch in the conference championship game the very next week
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  3. #3
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    Is it just me or does Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern seem like it's much tougher than the other half of the conference as a whole?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityroller View Post
    Is it just me or does Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern seem like it's much tougher than the other half of the conference as a whole?
    I disagree. Michigan is down right now and Nebraska has been pretty mediocre over the past 10 seasons. Iowa is really the only solid team right now. In the other conference you have OSU who have been the class of the big ten for quite some time. PSU and Wisconsin have been two really good teams lately.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerbang View Post
    I disagree. Michigan is down right now and Nebraska has been pretty mediocre over the past 10 seasons. Iowa is really the only solid team right now. In the other conference you have OSU who have been the class of the big ten for quite some time. PSU and Wisconsin have been two really good teams lately.
    Nebraska was in the Big 12 championship with Texas last year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bucktownanalyst View Post
    Nebraska was in the Big 12 championship with Texas last year.
    I'm aware but they still went unranked the three previous seasons. I'm a PSU fan and I'd rather be in the other division. Just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerbang View Post
    I disagree. Michigan is down right now and Nebraska has been pretty mediocre over the past 10 seasons. Iowa is really the only solid team right now. In the other conference you have OSU who have been the class of the big ten for quite some time. PSU and Wisconsin have been two really good teams lately.
    Nebraska is anything but mediocre. They would arguably be the 2nd best team in the Big 10 going into the season this year.

  8. #8
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    Looks good to me, had to put OSU and Michigan in different divisions.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityroller View Post
    Nebraska is anything but mediocre. They would arguably be the 2nd best team in the Big 10 going into the season this year.
    You bolded the sentence, but did you read it? I specifically said over the past 10 seasons. They haven't finished inside of the top 10 since 2001. They also haven't won a BCS bowl since 2000. Their preseason ranking is simply a preseason ranking. I definitely think Nebraska is turning it around but I'm not blind to their recent teams.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerbang View Post
    You bolded the sentence, but did you read it? I specifically said over the past 10 seasons. They haven't finished inside of the top 10 since 2001. They also haven't won a BCS bowl since 2000. Their preseason ranking is simply a preseason ranking. I definitely think Nebraska is turning it around but I'm not blind to their recent teams.
    you should be blind to the previous nebraska teams you are referring to. they look nothing like the program the past 3 seasons under pelini. It's nothing compared to the crap callahan had going. pelini has already pushed nebraska past every program in the big 10 except osu.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayJoe View Post
    that would be so cool to have osu-mich the final regular season week, then a rematch in the conference championship game the very next week
    No, it wouldn't. But you wouldn't understand, so I'm not going to explain it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TunTavern View Post
    No, it wouldn't. But you wouldn't understand, so I'm not going to explain it.
    c'mon... no need to get testy like that. i'm genuinely curious as to why a fan of one of these two teams wouldn't be for it.

    as an outsider to this rivalry, i would love to see this... but i'm sure as a fan of one of the two teams involved, your perspective is a little different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancelot View Post
    you should be blind to the previous nebraska teams you are referring to. they look nothing like the program the past 3 seasons under pelini. It's nothing compared to the crap callahan had going. pelini has already pushed nebraska past every program in the big 10 except osu.
    and Iowa?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayJoe View Post
    c'mon... no need to get testy like that. i'm genuinely curious as to why a fan of one of these two teams wouldn't be for it.

    as an outsider to this rivalry, i would love to see this... but i'm sure as a fan of one of the two teams involved, your perspective is a little different.
    Very well,

    You have to understand that this rivalry is more than just a sports rivalry. The rivalry existed before there were football teams to contest it (see: Toledo War). The annual meeting of the Maize & Blue and Scarlet & Gray is as much a cultural tradition as Christmas in the region. Not only does the game happen once every year, but it happens at the same time every year, as most great traditional holidays and rituals do.

    The Game is as much about the 364 days in between the meetings as it is the meetings themselves. It is about the preparation, it is about winning so the people of Ohio can make it through the winter on a positive note and not bear the shame under the gray skies of the heartland after a loss to the Wolverines.

    No other single game is more important. The most important thing to most Buckeyes and Wolverines going into conference division was preserving not just the rivalry - which, no doubt would be preserved - but preserving the culture and tradition of the rivalry, which meant:

    1. Make it the same time every year - the last game of the regular season (most often the third Saturday of November), and more importantly:
    2. It only happens once a year.

    Having it in October would have been nuts. It's a good thing the Big Ten understood this as well. This game is the hardest hitting game of the season and too much hype goes into it. Not only would it have destroyed tradition, but it would be the most physical game of the season in the middle. Not very desirable.

    So they kept it where it was. Good. They jacked up the next part:

    Make sure it only happens once a year. They decided separate the schools (), so we now have a championship game for the two divisions, which could potentially pit the two schools together in back to back games.

    What if Thanksgiving was back to back? It would be kind of unusual, right? You wouldn't have energy the second time, right? The preparation that went for the first time probably wouldn't be revisited the second time, or vice versa. The fact that it happens twice makes it less important on a cultural level. Also, for the sake of the rivalry, if they split it 1-1, it is very anti-climactic. It isn't something that would sit well.

    These games are very, very special. NFL players from the teams who have played in Super Bowls have said that this game is more exciting and more hard hitting. Nothing is like it. To repeat it is like a slap in the face of tradition.

    That's how the majority of the fan bases feel. The fans who like it are probably younger folks who don't understand the tradition as much, or are not natives who never set foot in Columbus or Ann Arbor on game day, or never grew up in the region. They're people who don't get it (yet).

    Now, on a more practical level, the rivalry game has become the least important conference game on the schedule now. Less than Penn State. Less than Purdue. This will only dilute the rivalry. Why?

    Because a win for Ohio State against Penn State also means a loss for Penn State, and that tremendously affects divisional standing. A win for Ohio State against that state up north means a win for Ohio State, but doesn't mean anything else. Once people start doing the clinch math as the season goes on, they'll realize this. It is something that hasn't sunk in yet.

    The SEC understood all of this. That's why they put Alabama and Auburn, Georgia and Florida, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Louisiana and Arkansas, in the same divisions. They didn't want repeats. They didn't want to cheapen the rivalries. But the Big Ten was driven by television revenues. It's damn shame.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerbang View Post
    I disagree. Michigan is down right now and Nebraska has been pretty mediocre over the past 10 seasons. Iowa is really the only solid team right now. In the other conference you have OSU who have been the class of the big ten for quite some time. PSU and Wisconsin have been two really good teams lately.
    While Michigan may be down, Nebraska was only mediocre for about 5 seasons. They played in the BCS Championship game in 2001. With Bo Pelini running things, expect to see Nebraska remain among the elite. (Who is ranked higher right now; Nebraska, Penn State, or Wisconsin?)

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