53° F

Big Ten approves new divisions, nine league games

Published On: Apr 28 2013 08:12:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2013 07:58:42 AM CDT

The Big Ten approved on Sunday divisional realignment for the 2014 season and a nine-game conference schedule beginning in 2016.

During a conference call, Big Ten presidents unanimously approved the recommendations of its athletic directors for East and West divisions and to increase the conference schedule from eight to nine games to help accommodate the addition of Rutgers and Maryland.

The Big Ten is abandoning its widely mocked Legends and Leaders divisions, which were configured for the 2011 football season based on competitive balance after the addition of Nebraska, for divisions based on geography.

The West Division will have Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue. The East will be made up of Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland.

"It's pure geography," Delany told "Last time, we were a combination of competitive balance and geography being last. So those names weren't available to us last time. We didn't have a lot of discussion on it.

"We thought the geography was a good way to bind the conference together. We also wanted to preserve as much tradition as we could, and we do that through the protection of the rivalries. Everybody will play everybody at least once in a four-year cycle, even though it's a bigger conference."

The Big Ten considered a 10-game conference schedule but found it too difficult to give schools an opportunity to schedule seven home games a year to generate revenue. Big Ten teams haven't played nine conference games since 1984.

The divisions are for football only and no other sports. The Indiana-Purdue rivalry will be the only protected annual crossover game between the divisions.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting and The Sports Xchange. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Lindsay Lohan in court new

    David McNew/Reuters

    Worst celebrity drivers

    NBA star Dwight Howard's Florida driver's license has been suspended after he failed to pay a ticket for running a red light, Reuters reported. In turns out Howard was ticketed an astonishing 10 times for running red lights in the Orlando area, and received four speeding tickets, 12 citations for failing to pay highway tolls and one citation for failing to change his address on his driver's license. Take a look at the worst celebrity drivers.

  • California fires night firefighters

    Noah Berger/Reuters

    Wildfires rage out of control in California

    Hundreds of homes have been destroyed by wildfires raging out of control in drought-stricken California. Thousands more are threatened.

  • Scotland independence crowd

    REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

    Celebs react to Scotland's independence vote

    Scots head to the polls today to vote on the future of their country. The outcome could end Scotland's 307-year union with England and Wales as Great Britain -- and see it launch into the world as an independent nation of some 5.3 million people. Take a look at celebrity (both Scottish and not) reactions to the referendum.