And if ESPN is reporting what's going to happen, I'm joining MGoBlog in the angry mob. The Big Ten Network just announced via press release that at 7pm EST tonight, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany (along with athletic directors David Brandon of Michigan, Mark Hollis of Michigan State, Gene Smith of Ohio State, Tom Osborne of Nebraska) will announce the Big Ten's realignment. I'm still mad about what I've heard so forgive me if some of my rambling doens't quite make sense.
Unfortunately, the rumors swirling about the realignment are not positive. In fact, they don't even make sense. ESPN is reporting the following:
Multiple sources told ESPN.com that the two divisions in the Big Ten will look like:
• Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern and Minnesota.
• And Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois.
No. A thousand times, no. If this is the case hand me a pitchfork and I'm burning this place to the ground. These divisions are NOT competitive. They make no sense. And they do nothing to preserve any of the Big Ten's rivalries or history. This is awful.
Just take a look at the Ohio State division. You are veritably guaranteeing that Purdue, Indiana and Illinois will win one, maybe two games total against the top three every year. Indiana and Illinois will be doomed to the cellar and Purdue, improvements or not, is getting screwed. These are three just about guaranteed victories for OSU, PSU and Wisconsin.
Now look at the Michigan bracket. The only doormat in that division is Minnesota. Otherwise, top to bottom, it's the most competitive division in all of college football. Northwestern won nine games and is on the upswing, just as is MSU. Nebraska and Iowa will remain powers so long as their coaches remain. Then there's Michigan. If the Wolverines return to form you're talking about 5 yearly above .500 teams beating the hell out of one another and disadvantaging the whole Conference.
Geographically this makes no sense. Competitively this makes no sense. I'm totally lost. If this is what we added Nebraska to do, then Jim Delany should be fired. I count two rivalries being preserved, Purdue and Indiana and Michigan Michigan State. Really? I was okay, to an extent, if some things changed within the conference. I was okay, to an extent even if Michigan and OSU were split up.
But this is beyond ridiculous. It is change simply for the sake of stupid, stupid change. It does nothing for the fans, it does nothing for the conference. I was on board if any of this made sense, but it doesn't.
Please, God, let it not be true.