A Penn State grad’s view on Big Ten divisions and Ohio State vs. Michigan

I have been pretty nonchalant about the divisional alignment that the Big Ten will rollout for 2012 now that Nebraska is in the conference. I would like to see geography-based divisions, mostly so Penn State would have fewer chances of playing early games in the Central Time Zone. So, here is what it should look like to me:

DIVISION A
PENN STATE
Indiana
Michigan
Michigan State
Ohio State
Purdue

DIVISION B
Illinois
Iowa
Minnesota
Nebraska
Northwestern
Wisconsin

Off the top of my head, that breaks them down by time zone which would be too easy I guess. I am not going to get worked up about it though if they do something else. I’d also make Penn State and Nebraska protected interdivisional rivals. Oh and my trophy idea for that game: a two-sided Interstate 80 shield. One side with have Pennsylvania, the other will have Nebraska. I-80 is about 12 miles way from Happy Valley and goes right through Lincoln.

Of late though, there has been a great deal of anxiety in the Michigan and Ohio State fanbases about their rivalry. They have played each other at the end of the season since before the world turned from black and white to color. I have even dealt with it in my professional life. I remember in 2007 spending 8 days working on a special Web section at work for that game. About half an hour before I wrapped up, I got the call that “Bo Schembelcher just collapsed” and my wind-down was postponed. I got to post the news that Schembelcher had died.

I get the rivalry and while I don’t particularly care for either program, I would occasionally turn on that game if The Game, Yale vs. Harvard was at the half or something. The Buckeyes vs. Wolverines had its appeal back in the day — gray skies with maybe some flurries, grass and mud, plus great contrasting uniforms and Keith Jackson doing the play by play. Of course, the grass at both stadiums was replaced with rugs and Jackson retired so that fun is not what it was. I’d still like to see it played at the end of the season, but the more I see the reaction of both of those fanbases, as seen on Slow States, the more sympathetic/enthasiastic I am to moving it around.

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