The Big Ten will reportedly change their divisions' names to East and West when Maryland and Rutgers join the conference in 2014, according to ESPN. The conference has been using the dubious and confusing titles of Leaders and Legends for their divisions since Nebraska joined the conference, which has drawn no shortage of jokes and wisecracks.
University presidents and chancellors are expected to approve the new divisions next week, as well as a nine-game conference schedule. The expanded conference schedule would begin in 2016.
The new divisions will break down like so:
The geographic split makes sense and should actually be pretty easy to remember, which is a huge step up from the current divisions. I'm a fan of a Big Ten program, and I still have problems knowing which teams are Leaders and which teams Legends.
However, in terms of competitive balance, it would seem that the East is a much tougher draw than the West. If Penn State wasn't going through their issues, that division would be a total meat grinder compared to the West, which is Nebraska, Wisconsin and then the rest. Northwestern should be very good in 2013, but they aren't exactly a perennial contender. That said, competitive balance can be a fluid thing, so it's unlikely things will stay as lopsided as this for long.