Big Ten settles on divisions for football

While the majority of the University of Maryland's athletic teams will be trekking all over the Big Ten beginning in 2014, the Terps will have a few shorter trips when it comes to football.

As expected, the expanding Big Ten will divide its 14 football teams geographically, according to a report Friday by ESPN.com. Maryland will be in the East division, the report said.


Maryland and Rutgers, the other new conference member, will play in a division with Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana and Penn State.

The West division will be made up of Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern and Purdue.

The Big Ten will play a nine-game league schedule beginning in 2016, ESPN.com reported. The league presidents are expected to vote on the change next week.

A Maryland athletic department spokesman referred all inquiries about the proposed divisions to the Big Ten league office.

According to ESPN.com, the only debate about the new alignment concerned the placement of Indiana and nearby rival Purdue, which first met in 1891 and have played a traditional end-of-season game for the Old Oaken Bucket since 1908. The rivalry will be preserved, ESPN.com reported.

When Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2010, the divisions were based more on gaining competitive balance than making sense logistically.The Cornhuskers joined Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin in the Leaders Division. Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern made up the Legends Division.

The new configuration will preserve two of the Big Ten's longest traditional rivalries, those between Ohio State and Michigan, and between Michigan and Michigan State. All of the West Division teams are in the Central time zone.

Big Ten divisions

East West
Indiana Illinois
Maryland Iowa
Michigan Minnesota
Michigan State Nebraska
Ohio State Northwestern
Penn State Purdue
Rutgers Wisconsin

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