Old 12-04-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
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B1G Realignment

I took this from MgoBlog, which obviously is a Michigan slanted perspective. But I thought it was a pretty thorough analysis on how and why the B1G should be be realigned when Rutgers and Maryland enter the conference.


The thick dark blue lines are the rivalries that ought to be protected within divisions and played every year. The light blue are old trophies and close non-trophy rivalries you keep if you can. The little green ones are those with the recent derived trophies or a proximity thing that isn't yet a full thing. Divisions then ought to pair one of the threesomes with one of the foursomes. Since one of the foursomes has Nebraska and Wisconsin in it and the other doesn't, the divisions ought to be obvious:

Division A
Michigan
Michigan State
Northwestern
Purdue
Indiana
Illinois
Ohio State

Division B
Minnesota
Nebraska
Wisconsin
Iowa
Rutgers
Maryland
Penn State

The reason is because our conference is clustered in groups of three or four. Minnesota-Iowa-Wisconsin always had their circle of hate that has just enough room to add Nebraska. Illinois-Northwestern and Purdue-Indiana are an intermingled Chicagoland group that shouldn't be separated. Our block is the Michigan schools and Ohio State. Penn State could attach to that except it throws parity off, their awful thing be damned. Maryland and Rutgers turn the eastern part of the conference into two groups of three to match the west's groups of four:

You'll note the other division has some very long drives. Minnesota to anywhere is starts at four hours and goes to 18 (to Rutgers). Lincoln and New Brunswick are literally half the country away. How can Rutgers be in a division with Nebraska that's a 20-hour drive away? Well…

[JUMP]

City Distance from Rutgers in driving hours
College Park, MD 3:09
State College, PA 3:53
Columbus, OH 8:12
Ann Arbor, MI 9:21
East Lansing, MI 10:24
Bloomington, IN 11:39
West Lafayette, IN 11:48
Evanston, IL 12:27
Champaign, IL 12:40
Madison, WI 14:31
Iowa City, IA 15:06
St Paul, MN 18:02
Lincoln, NE 19:24
AVERAGE 11:35

They're all that far away. Ann Arbor is the fourth-nearest by car; I've done that drive and it is far longer than is worth it for Saturday or even just a weekend. Five hours away is really the outer limit for expecting fans to drive into town the day of the game, or even stay Friday night and drive home afterwards. Six hours from Ann Arbor is Wisconsin; you may do that once in your lifetime. For a Rutgers fan anything past Pennsylvania is a flight, at which point it hardly matters if your destination is Detroit Metro or MSP International. The two debtors and Penn State go together; after that it doesn't matter who they're in a division with. Penn State gets mildly screwed however the Michigan schools are still six-and-a-half or seven hours away and Chicago is eight or nine; fly to Lincoln and you'll get there faster and spend less than you would have on gas.

Competitive Balance: This is such a moving target this is far harder to do than it would seem. A week ago you might have said Nebraska belongs with Michigan and Ohio State but Wisconsin isn't on that level. Having seen USC weather huge scholarship losses I don't think Penn State is guaranteed to be awful for the duration of this alignment (which will be two weeks) unless they come out hiring Tommy Amaker. Here's these schools in the BCS era (SRS = Simple Rating System by Sports Reference and measures how much better than an average FBS team you were based on margin of victory, win totals and SOS):

Tastes Great Division:

School Cumulative SRS Wins Losses % BCS appearances
Ohio State 214.83 149 40 79% 9
Michigan 157.52 127 60 68% 5
Michigan State 87.81 104 81 56% 0
Purdue 70.56 100 86 54% 1
Illinois 2.31 72 107 40% 1
Northwestern 0.34 89 94 49% 0
Indiana -66.12 57 118 33% 0
TOTAL 467.25 698 586 54% 16
Less Filling Division:

School Cumulative SRS Wins Losses % BCS appearances
Nebraska 162.18 134 60 69% 2
Wisconsin 146.67 137 56 71% 5
Penn State 142.70 120 66 65% 2
Iowa 86.77 103 82 56% 1
Maryland 35.55 94 88 52% 1
Minnesota 26.4 87 96 48% 0
Rutgers -33.28 86 94 48% 0
TOTAL 566.99 761 542 58% 11

Slanted to the other guys. Our side edges out in BCS appearances thanks to being heavy at the top but their total SRS is higher because they've got three teams in that top tier to our two. I figure if you take the deltas it's pretty even; I expect Michigan, Illinois and Northwestern will outperform the last 15 years, while most of the other division is trending down.

Protects Traditional Rivalries. The rivalries have all been saved. The Floyd of Rosedale? Check. The Not the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk Anymore Trophy? Check. The Purdue Cannon. The Illibuck. The Oaken Bucket. The Heartland Big Brass Bull Trophy. The Old Brass Spittoon. The Heroes of Corn. Paul Bunyan. Paul Bunyan's Axe. Paul Bunyan's Giant Slab of Bacon. Paul Bunyan's bunion. We even saved the contrived trophy they made for Penn State and Minnesota under the 11-team system. Illinois plays their rivals Indiana every year. Illinois plays their biggest rivals Michigan every year. Michigan and Ohio State meet every year on the last game of the season, probably with Indianapolis on the line.

The only trophies broken up are the Little Brown Jug and the Land Grant, which is a horrible thing the participants do not wish to be associated with anyway. We can safely bury the latter, as to the former the question comes to protected cross-division rivals.

Protected rivalries? As long as the Big Ten stays at eight conference games there shouldn't be protected cross-divisional rivalries. After six division games there's room for just two on the other side so it's a matter of seeing non-protected opponents twice every seven years (about three times per decade) or once every six. That sees Michigan playing six of our "conference rivals" just 16.7 percent of years. Worse, because those series will have to be home-and-homes you're looking at 11-year intervals between meetings; at least that absence can be broken up if there's two rotational schools.

I think if the conference goes to nine or 10 games the last ought to be the protected rivalry. Nine is more likely and keeping the Brown Jug an annual thing is the difference between seeing (for example) Penn State 43 percent of years or 33 percent of years—a casual acquaintance either way. Ten games is unrealistic (never should have let our AD taste eight home games) but that's the minimum to make the other division feel anything like conference mates.

http://mgoblog.com/content/hokepoint...consensus#more
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:51 AM   #2
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This is complicated, I say throw Maryland in with the M's and N's and call it a day
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:06 AM   #3
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The idea makes some sense, but I think it'd be a hard sell. The teams out on the geographic edges of the conference are not going to want that much travel, and there's obviously still some stupid sentiment about having Michigan and OSU in different divisions. I can't see this round of realignment leading to drastic changes in the current divisions.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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That's pure insanity. Who thinks it's smart to put all the teams from as far away as possible into one division and all the teams that are in the middle in another division?
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:24 AM   #5
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I'm not sure about those divisions but I would really like to have Wisconsin in the Legends division. Nebraska and Wisconsin should play every year.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geigerm View Post
The idea makes some sense, but I think it'd be a hard sell. The teams out on the geographic edges of the conference are not going to want that much travel, and there's obviously still some stupid sentiment about having Michigan and OSU in different divisions. I can't see this round of realignment leading to drastic changes in the current divisions.
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Originally Posted by desertrat218 View Post
That's pure insanity. Who thinks it's smart to put all the teams from as far away as possible into one division and all the teams that are in the middle in another division?
It says in the article that for Rutgers (and Maryland), anything past Pennsylvania would need to be a flight. So what is the difference if they fly to Ann Arbor, Madison or Minneapolis"?

I would imagine the same is true for Nebraska and Minnesota, going East. What is the difference if they are flying to Columbus, Maryland or NJ?

And remember, we are all in this stupid thing together. Just because Nebraska and Maryland could be in seperate divisions, it doesn't mean that they will never play. There will be years that they need to travel to one and other, regardless of alignment. And that doesn't even take into account Basketball (and other sports), that will have no divisions and they will play each other every year!
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bighouseblue View Post
It says in the article that for Rutgers (and Maryland), anything past Pennsylvania would need to be a flight. So what is the difference if they fly to Ann Arbor, Madison or Minneapolis"?

I would imagine the same is true for Nebraska and Minnesota, going East. What is the difference if they are flying to Columbus, Maryland or NJ?

And remember, we are all in this stupid thing together. Just because Nebraska and Maryland could be in seperate divisions, it doesn't mean that they will never play. There will be years that they need to travel to one and other, regardless of alignment. And that doesn't even take into account Basketball (and other sports), that will have no divisions and they will play each other every year!
It's ridiculous for any of those schools to be in our division when schools like Illinois and Wisconsin are within a days drive.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertrat218 View Post
That's pure insanity. Who thinks it's smart to put all the teams from as far away as possible into one division and all the teams that are in the middle in another division?
Meh. With air travel, mileage is overrated. You're getting some area rivals and a pretty soft division with PSU bound to be down for several years.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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Meh. With air travel, mileage is overrated. You're getting some area rivals and a pretty soft division with PSU bound to be down for several years.
No thanks, I hate flying.
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