Whether or not you like the additions of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten, at least they can produce something that can be good for everybody.
1. The conference can go to football divisions based on geography, not nonsense.
2. The division names can be called West and East instead of Legends and Leaders.
I don’t know how Purdue and Indiana would feel about being in separate divisions, but you have to break a few eggs to make a Bob Evans omelette, and there are 18 Bob Evans locations in the Greater Indianapolis area.
How could things be any more sensible than Iowa being in the same division as Wisconsin and Illinois, and vice versa? Michigan and Ohio State should be in the same division. So should Northwestern and Illinois.
So just do it, Big Ten, and don’t ask questions. Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State need to be together in the East. This couldn’t be simpler. Purdue and Indiana are split up, but you make sure they play each other every year, and everybody’s happy.
The whole thing makes total sense economically from a travel standpoint, for teams and their fans. Basketball should be carved into the same divisions. The fewer trips Nebraska has to make to Maryland, and vice versa, the greater the savings for everyone.
As for Legends and Leaders, I don’t see the Big Ten shedding those names casually. But it should, anyway. If this is a conference based on 14 fine academic institutions, clarity and correctness should be the aim. West is west, East is east.
Plus, the geographic setup would ensure Nebraska wouldn’t play Wisconsin in any Big Ten football title-games after next season. The league doesn’t need any more 70-31 scores in its championship.
Now, if the Big Ten adds schools in California or Texas or Georgia or Guam in the next year or so, well, someone else will have to figure out this important stuff.
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