This weekend the Big Ten approved new East and West divisions for the 2014 college football season as well as a nine-game conference schedule beginning in 2016. This, according to what YouWager experts have learned.
Big Ten’s officials voted unanimously to approve the recommendations from the athletic directors yesterday morning during a conference call.
The division realignment is in agreement with the arrival of new conference members Maryland Terrapins and Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
The names that won’t be part of the Division anymore include Legends and Leaders, the controversial names the Big Ten adopted in 2011, as the league went with a clear geographical model and geographic names for its new alignment.
The Big Ten East will include: Indiana, Hoosiers Maryland, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions and Rutgers. The Big Ten West will include: Illinois Fighting Illini, Iowa Hawkeyes, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Northwestern Red Raiders, Purdue Boilermakers and Wisconsin Badgers.
Online sports betting fans must be aware that every East division team is located in the Eastern time zone, while every West division team excluding the Boilermakers that are located in the Central time zone.
According to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, geography was the first priority in aligning divisions, followed by preserving rivalries and then competitive balance. The Big Ten used competitive balance as its top priority in aligning the Legends and Leaders divisions in 2011.
League athletic directors had to meet six times to discuss the divisions after Maryland and Rutgers joined in November. Yesterday, the presidents and chancellors spent 15-20 minutes discussing the moves before voting.
The Big East considered the results of a Big Ten Network survey back in 2012, asking fans about the new division alignment.