Dear Mr. Delany,

I am becoming very concerned about what I'm hearing in the media about possible realignments of the Big Ten Conference and where that leaves our beloved Golden Gophers. 

I have been hearing how we could possibly lose the annual matchup with Iowa, sacrificing our yearly battle of the Floyd of Rosedale to maintain the (in many minds) slightly less historically significant Heartland Trophy game.  Being one of the founding members of the conference, I believe it's safe to say that one very big thing that this school prides itself on is its rivalry/trophy games.  NO ONE has more historically significant trophy games than we do, and half of those games are already not played annually, but now we might be playing even one less than that?

I understand the competitive balance.  I really do.  However, it's very difficult to predict future competitive balance over only the last 17 years of football records in the conference.  Tradition, something that is supposed to be so greatly valued in this conference, seems like it is falling apart unnecessarily, perhaps partially in the name of TV ratings. 

In a perfect world, I think all would greatly benefit from teams like Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota playing each other on a regular basis. I'm sure you get suggestions all the time, but could you please tell me if my model is even close to what's being considered?

Div. 1  /  Protected X-Overs  /  Div. 2
-Minn  ---------------------------->  -WI
-Iowa  ----------------------------->  -Penn St.
-Mich. ---------------------------->  -OSU
-NW    ---------------------------->  -Illinois
-MSU   --------------------------->  -Indiana
-Neb.  ----------------------------->  -Purdue

I strongly believe that this is best possible scenario for not just us, but EVERYBODY collectively.

-This divides the 4 top teams evenly as well as establishes a general competitive balance, giving both Iowa and Wisconsin two of the best teams to compete with annually.
-All of the most important rivalries of all schools are intact, with many being a protected crossover to possibly add exciting rematches in the title game.
-This alignment actually is somewhat geographical as well, although when I thought of this it was not intended. Geography is still important to all of us because of our ties to the schools in closest proximity with one another.

-Would lose continuity with Heartland Trophy (WI/Iowa) game, but I'd say overall the Floyd of Rosedale is more historically significant.
-Would lose Land Grant trophy game between MSU and Penn State (but many of their fans say its not really a rivalry matchup and is less significant in history)
-The Nebraska-Purdue crossover isn't that sexy of a matchup, but Nebraska does have MN, Iowa, and Michigan every year, and this is the best crossover scenario being that 5 of the 6 matchups are very significant rivalry matchups.

Also, this way the Big Ten has the annual matchups of Floyd, the Little Brown Jug, the Ax, the Illibuck, the Old Oaken Bucket, the in-state rivalries of Mich-MSU, NW-Illinois, Indiana-Purdue, AND of course you get The Game, Mich.-OSU, as well as the blooming rivalry between Iowa and Penn St. and Nebraska with Michigan, Minnesota, AND Iowa

If you could please ease my conscience about what is happening and take my model into consideration, I would appreciate it enormously. We've already lost an annual matchup with the Little Brown Jug; please don't allow us (or any of the other institutions) to lose another of the most important rivalry games in the conference's history.

Best regards,



Am waiting for a response to this..

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