It looks like 2013 will be the final year of the Legends and Leaders divisions. Starting in 2014 when Maryland and Rutgers officially join the conference the B1G will be divided geographically. East and West. Simple. Clean. Easy to remember. Better?
The B1G caught a lot of flak over the names. Nobody seemed to like Legends and Leaders. I must admit that it was a bit clunky and it was a year before I had a good grasp on who was where. But what did make sense to me was the attempt to create a equality. The divisions were balanced based on historically great, good and okay at best teams. I wouldn’t be able to say that one division was better or more difficult than the other. Sure, in any given year one might be loaded up or totally weak depending on who’s hot, who’s cold, who’s dealing with NCAA sanctions or scandal, coaching turnover, etc. But average it out and they seem pretty even.
The new geographical division approach is mostly based on time zones. With the exception of Purdue, if you’re in the Central your West and if your in the Eastern you’re, yep, East. Here’s how that shakes out:
Does that look even to you?
The B1G-West has Wisconsin and Nebraska who are pretty darn good most years, plus Iowa who rises up from time to time. I would bet that Wisconsin or Nebraska win the West nine our of 10 years.
The B1G-East on the other hand has Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State who are always really good plus Michigan State who has been much more competitive in the Dantonio era. The B1G-East will be the harder division to win simply based on the powerhouse schools residing in the Eastern time zone.
All you need to balance it out is to move Ohio State over to the West but that opens a can of worms that leads to things like Legends and Leaders.
So I’m glad it’s logical and simple and I’ll deal with it not being balanced. When Michigan State wins the B1G it will be just that much sweeter.