As the dust settles on the announcement of the Big Ten's new divisions, SB Nation's Big Ten bloggers have some strong opinions about the realignment of the conference:
My first reaction as a Penn State fan is: Awesome. We all know the bad blood between the Huskers and Nittany Lions from years ago, so it won't take long to revive those feelings again. And the national implications of this game will ensure there is usually something on the line when these two teams get together.
From the standpoint of competitive balance, these divisions fall in line with the idle chatter of the divisional alignment intelligentsia of the past few weeks. [...] It preserves geographic and traditional ties, for the most part; Michigan State will still play Michigan, Iowa will still play Minnesota, and Purdue will still play Indiana in what I assume is a shirts-versus-skins basketball game in the parking lot outside Ross-Ade.
I don't like it, but Ohio State vs. Michigan will remain at the end of the season. Small win. Michigan is in a much tougher conference, at least at first glance.
In our first two years, we'll skip Ohio State - meaning the class of 2013 will graduate college without ever having seen the Buckeyes play the Wildcats, which is a real shame for kids who love seeing their team lose violently in football. I certainly won't miss them - as I'll always say, Ohio State is the one school whose name I see and it makes my bowels loosen a bit, in both basketball and football. I've seen too many terrifying things happen to Northwestern teams in too little time.
I think one of the things that has bothered me in this whole divisional process is that people act like only six teams matter when it comes to the divisions. All the talk was how Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin would be divided. It was as if Purdue, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, and Indiana were going to be relegated as afterthoughts that had no hope of contending no matter what. It was all about separating the "traditional" powers properly.
From day one Jim Delany has said competitive balance would play a big part in forming the divisions. Well, it certainly did. Lindsey Willhite from the Daily Herald did the math and found that the two divisions' winning percentage since 1993 ARE BOTH .580. Talk about even. But did they really need to be even? The conference sacrificed rivalries and lower travel costs for both teams and fans by organizing the divisions the way they did.