The tyranny and evil that was Legends and Leaders will soon be banned from the fair lands of the B1G. Soon we will be able to bask in the light and truth of a geographic alignment! In what can only be described in an odd move, the Big Ten chose to release this information in a Friday night news dump...on the same Friday night that the final marathon bomber was about to be apprehended. I don't know why the B1G felt the need to bury this joyous news, but frankly I don't care because they're also burying Legends and Leaders.
Legends and Leaders are no more, as the Big Ten will use geography to determine its new divisions and division names beginning in the 2014 season.
The Big Ten will replace Legends and Leaders with East and West when Maryland and Rutgers join the league in 2014, league sources told ESPN.
"Just take a ruler and a map [and split the 14 teams]," a source said.
Here are all the reasons I absolutely LOVE this move:
- It makes sense!
- NO STUPID NAMES THAT NO ONE REMEMBERS.
- Protects the two most important rivalries for Minnesota.
- Gives Gopher fans closer road trips for much of the B1G season.
- Purdue and Indiana are the only two protected crossovers. This means that with the likely adoption of a 9 game conference schedule, the longest break between the Gophers and a team from the East should be 5 years (correct me if my math figuring is wrong).
Here are some potential outcomes of the move that I also like a great deal:
- Makes it much more likely that we'll get to end the season with Wisconsin. Rivalry week at the end of the year? What a concept!
- With every school in the West besides Purdue being from the Central Time Zone, it might not be far fetched to see the B1G move to noon (local) kickoffs. Since these things are almost wholly determined by what the TV folks want I'm not holding my breath. But it is interesting to ponder.
- At least at this time, Minnesota has a slightly more favorable draw in terms of divisional strength. That may or may not always be the case of course.
- Changes coming in 2014 mean that A) the B1G has another chance to fix the absolute crock of a home/away schedule imbalance that Minnesota has (i.e. WI/IA/NE all home or away in the same season) and B) the murder's row schedules in 2015 and 2016 might soften somewhat.
Reasons to dislike the move:
- Michigan is no longer on the schedule every season. I'm ok with this because it's the 3rd most important rivalry to me and all the other benefits far outweigh this loss IMO. Additionally, the lack of protected crossovers plus the coming 9 game conference schedule mean we'll avoid losing Michigan to a once a decade schedule situation (at least until the B1G expands again).
- Um...that's all I've got.
I hate geography. What will this look like?
Some handy B1G fan put this together just for you my map challenged friend!
It's clear that I love the move, but what do you think?