Park Ridge, IL (Sports Network) - The Big Ten on Sunday announced a new
divisional alignment for football, set to begin in 2014 when Maryland and
Rutgers join the league.
The names of the divisions were also changed from the sometimes ridiculed
"Legends" and "Leaders."
Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and
Rutgers will play in the East Division, while the West Division will feature
Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.
For the 2013 season, the divisions will remain: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State,
Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin in the Leaders; Iowa, Michigan, Michigan
State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern in the Legends.
"Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and
deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that
preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of
East/West geography," said Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany in a statement.
"The directors of athletics also relied on the results of a fan survey
commissioned by (the Big Ten Network) last December to arrive at their
recommendation, which is consistent with the public sentiment expressed in the
All of the teams in the East play in the Eastern time zone, while all the West
participants -- with the exception of Purdue -- are in the Central time zone.
Under the new format, each school will play the other six schools in its
division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will
serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-
game conference schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three
teams from the other division as part of its nine-game league slate. The
cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis
between Indiana and Purdue.
The Big Ten is returning to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for
the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
The Sports Network