So now that Nebraska is a Big Ten school the speculation machines turn from who will be in the conference to how will it be split? First of all we need to slow down because there is still a chance that more teams will be added and the geographic splits may change.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a division suggestion based on Jim Delany's three factors of rivalries, geography and competitive balance. His split is basically the same as the East/West split and then swapping Wisconsin and Penn State. That may be well and good but here is my problem with Doug Lesmerises's analysis (say that 5 times fast).
Not all rivalries are created equal, so not all will be considered with the same weight. Here are the five that are protected, with the rivals placed in the same division, in this scenario: Ohio State-Michigan, Michigan-Michigan State, Nebraska-Iowa, Purdue-Indiana and Northwestern-Illinois. And Minnesota, which has rivalry games with Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, will have at least one of the games protected each year.
So the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry isn't a top 5 rivalry in the Big Ten? I know that depending on which Gopher fan you talk to, you may get three different answers as to which rivalry is the biggest. But the Gopher-Badger rivalry is the MOST PLAYED RIVALRY IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL! Are you going to tell me that we may only play Wisconsin every couple years after playing them 119 times since 1890? Does he really believe that Northwestern-Illinois is a bigger rivalry? Or that a rivalry that has not even begun is more significant because the media wants it to be?
Lesmerises should say his divisions are based on competitive balance with a tip of the hat to geography and if we can keep some rivalries alive that would be nice.
- The Astros are reportedly about to sign former Gopher, Mike Kvasnicka to a contract.
- The Orlando Sentinal ranks the Gophers 79th heading into the season.
- Presnapread.com has the 5 things they like and 5 things they don't like about the 2010 Gophers. His five likes are almost like I wrote them, I 100% agree. He expects improved OL, a solid secondary (assuming safeties return), likes the decision to back Weber, DL has some real potential and likes Brewster's willingness to make changes even if it's unpopular.