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Big Ten Football Divisions Starting To Shake Out

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez let slip the first note on Big Ten divisional alignment, and near as I can tell, we're in for the single most confusing divisional split that we could possibly have. From Adam Rittenberg at ESPN.com:

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Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez tells the Wisconsin State Journal that Wisconsin and Iowa will be placed in different divisions when the plan comes out.

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Alvarez didn't reveal more specifics but said it's pretty obvious to decipher the divisions based on the selection criteria, which examines performance since 1993, the year when Penn State began competing in the Big Ten.

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I think we all expected that the divisions would be based on something other than common sense, but this may be taking it to a new level. Rittenberg thinks he has some idea of what the divisions will look like: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, and Northwestern in one, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, and Purdue in the other.

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If he's right, what do you even call those divisions? No geographical markers of any kind make sense, although I guess we're talking about a twelve-team conference called the Big Ten, so you might as well call them "East" and "West" anyway.

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Oh, no. I just realized what's going to happen here. Ro-Tel is going to sponsor these divisions, aren't they?

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Well, I guess we can all look forward to the Big Ten Championship game, when the winner of the Tomatoes division meets the winner of the Green Chiles division for the Ro-Tel Cup. Only on the Big Ten Network!

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.