Big Ten To Announce Football Divisions

The Big Ten will announce its divisional alignment from 2011 forward at a press conference tonight at 6 p.m. ESPN's Andy Katz has reported that multiple sources have leaked the divisions:

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• Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern and Minnesota

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• Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois

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Each school would have a yearly rivalry game with a school from the other division, with Minnesota and Wisconsin meeting every year and Michigan and Ohio State doing the same.

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No word on what the divisions will be called, though Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi hinted in a Monday conference call with fans that the divisions would not have traditional geographic names.

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If the reports are accurate, the Gophers would play all three of their long-running trophy games each year, as their schedule would include annual matchups with Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan. The trophy game with Penn State, which dates back to 1993, would be marginalized.

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Minnesota would also renew its rivalry with Nebraska, a game that was played 51 times between 1900 and 1990, but never since. The Cornhuskers are by far the Gophers' most-often-played nonconference opponent; Minnesota has played Nebraska more times than it has played Michigan State, Penn State, or Ohio State.

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