Big Ten approves new East and West divisions

by Nickalas Tabbert

The Big Ten Conference on Sunday approved new East and West divisions that will begin in 2014. The conference also approved a nine game conference schedule beginning in 2016, ESPN reported. The new divisions include future Big Ten schools Rutgers and Maryland.

The Big Ten East will include Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. The Big Ten West will include Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany cited geography as the first priority in aligning divisions, the article said. The preservation of rivalries and overall competitive balance were also considering factors.

“It’s good for the fans, it’s good for the players,” Delany said. “It strengthens our schedule from the perspective of the postseason and binds the conference together in a powerful way.”

Purdue and Indiana will be the only teams to play a division crossover game. Under the previous Legends and Leaders division alignment, every team played one crossover game each year. There will be a cross-division rotation schedule.