Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News - Big 10 Conference Alignment

Today, ESPN reported that the Big 10 conference alignment has been announced. College football fans know, of course, that Nebraska will be leaving the Big 12 conference after the end of the 2010 season, and will be joining the Big 10 conference beginning with the 2011 season. That will make a total of twelve teams in the Big 10, which means they must divide into two divisions, just as the old Big 12 conference is currently divided into North and South divisions.

The two divisions of the Big 10 conference will not be divided up geographically as the Big 12 was, however, so the divisions will probably not have names like North and South. It remains to be seen what kind of names the divisions are given.

So here’s the split: In one division will be Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Purdue. In the other division will be Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, and Nebraska. The alignment is important because the teams that are in the same division will definitely play each other every year, but will not necessarily play all of the teams in the opposing division each year.

Big 10 officials knew that it would be difficult to come up with an alignment that would please everyone. In particular, Ohio State and Michigan have a long-standing rivalry that is in jeopardy now that the two schools are in separate divisions. It was reported, however, that efforts would be made to keep the rivalry alive.

As a Husker fan, it will be interesting, over the next several years, to see who Nebraska’s new rivals will be. Personally, I’m hoping for a Nebraska, Michigan rivalry. Michigan hasn’t had a good team for a few years now, but they will undoubtedly regain national attention again sooner or later. Also, Husker fans will undoubtedly remember the 1997 season in which Nebraska had to share the national championship with Michigan. I was also curious about playing Ohio State. Ohio State has been one of the top teams in the nation for several years and I wondered how Nebraska would match up against them. The two schools will be in different divisions so we may or may not play each other, but if both teams win their respective divisions, they could play each other for the Big 10 conference championship, which would make for a very exciting game. If Nebraska continues to improve as they have in recent years, we may indeed see such a match-up late next season.

Speaking of Nebraska’s improvement, many experts are predicting that the Huskers will have a good season this year, their last in the Big 12. Pre-season polls are showing Nebraska ranked number 7 or number 8. One ESPN analyst has even predicted that Nebraska may go all the way to the national championship this year, although it’s a bit early to be thinking that far ahead. We won’t have to wonder much longer, the football season begins in just three days when Nebraska will take on Western Kentucky on September 4, at 6pm.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.

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