Jim Delany and Big 10 AD's have been busy piecing together the divisions for football play. They have also been more vocal with the media this week, too.First, Penn State's AD Tim Curley reiterates what Jim Delany said on Nebraska Sports nightly on Tuesday.
Indiana's AD Fred Glass stressed competitive balance.
Ohio State's AD Gene Smith had the most interesting comments of the three AD's. The biggest being:
But Smith told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch in Thursday's editions that the timing of some of the Big Ten's rivalry games might change, and that could include The Game, which traditionally has been the last regular-season game of the season for Michigan and Ohio State.
"I know one thing for sure, that we're going to play (Michigan every year)," Smith told the Dispatch. "We may end up playing the last game of the year, or not. I just don't know yet."
This leaves the door open for a UM-OSU split and could create a more geographically acceptable split of the 'Big 4" where OSU and PSU are in one divisions and UM and UNL are in the other. Why you may ask? If OSU and UM are in the same division, then they would obviously put that match-up at the end of the season. There is no reason to put it at any other time. If they were in seperate divisions, the general consensus would be that they would not want to see both teams end up playing two weeks in a row. If "the game" was moved to October or early November, then a rematch one month later would be more appealing.
Another thing that was stressed in these articles is that a direct East/West split seems very unlikely. It comes down to whether or not OSU and UM want to be in the same division or not. After that, things should fall into place fairly quickly.
EDIT: Added in the links from below to get them all in once place.
I just found this from Michigan’s AD, Dave Brandon. Things are pointing more and more towards a PSU-OSU divisions and UNL-UM division as far as splitting the big 4 go.
Purdue’s AD, Morgan Burke reiterates competitive balance. Also says that the decision on a 9-game conference schedule won’t come for awhile. This is important to them since their Non-Con schedule is pretty full for a few years.
Wisconsin’s Barry Alveraz notes that each school will get to protect one rivalry.
Delany talks about the future of 9-game conference schedules.
Another great link where ESPN blogger Adam Rittenberg interviews Jim Delany.
Alveraz says that Iowa and Wisconsin will be in separate divisions.
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