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  • Going the distance in the new Big Ten

       September 02, 2010

    So, did you hear that the Big Ten established two football divisions? We have some opinions about that.

    Basically, I hate it. HATE. I hate that my Wisconsin Badgers were placed in a division without our two closest rivals and most popular road trips. Sure, we get a crack at Ohio State and Penn State every year, but we won't play Iowa or Nebraska annually either. In fact, after this year, Badger fans won't see the Hawkeyes again until 2013 (or never if the 2012 doomsday predictions come true).

    The Big Ten claimed that geography was the number one factor in creating the divisions. I call shenanigans on this statement. The number one factor in creating these divisions was to give Ohio State and Michigan the opportunity to play each other in the conference championship. That's it.

    Because I'm a huge nerd, I created this spreadsheet that shows the distances between Big Ten schools. Some interesting geographical facts:

    • Wisconsin is not in a division with either of the two teams located within 200 miles of Madison.
    • Nor is Wisconsin guaranteed a yearly game with either of these two teams
    • The "Wolverine" division teams are an average of 426 miles away from their opponents, while the "Buckeye" division is 351. If Wisconsin and Illinois were logically substituted for Michigan & Michigan State the divisions would be a far more manageable 303 and 330.
    • For Wisconsin, the change is more dramatic. In the current set up, Wisconsin is, on average, 426 miles from its division opponents. That's a flight. In an East/West setup, it's only 262 miles away - that's a four-hour car ride.
    • And it's not just about Wisconsin. In that east/west setup, the only teams on average more than 400 miles away from their division opponents are, logically, the two teams on the east/west extremes: Nebraska & Penn State. In the actual setup, 6 teams have to deal with distances at least that far.

    To me, the Big Ten thought a lot about Ohio State and Michigan and a lot of current competitive football balance. They didn't think about geography. They didn't think about the fans. And I don't think they thought at all about Wisconsin.


    Posted by kris at September 2, 2010 10:52 AM

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    Comments

    #  September 6th, 2010 7:51 PM      themandownthehall
    Well, our conference did ok this weekend! Some really good wins (including from my team). Here's hoping it continues this weekend when we have several huge games against quality non conference foes.  
     

     

     


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