The Wolverine

June-July 2013 - Wolverine

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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maize n' view   michael spath I Competitive Imbalance t made sense. Mocked in 2011 when it introduced the Legends and Leaders divisional names and alignments, the Big Ten chose a cleaner approach this time around, splitting the conference into an East and West based entirely on geography. Seven teams from the East play in the Eastern Time Zone, while six of the seven in the West — Purdue is the lone exception — play in the Central Time Zone. From a fan's perspective, keeping track of who is in what division will be far easier now, but in separating the 14 teams, with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland in 2014, the Big Ten threatens its competitive balance, and could end up looking a lot like the Big 12 did during its initial 15-year run from 1996-2010. The Big 12 also chose the geographical divide, splitting its conference into North and South sections. Texas and Oklahoma (the Michigan and Ohio State of the Big 12) went to the South, with Nebraska the only true formidable opponent in a North that also included Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Colorado and Missouri. In the 15 Big 12 championship games played from 1996-2010 before the Cornhuskers left for the Big Ten, the South went 11-4. The Longhorns Head coach Brady Hoke and the Wolverines will reside in the East Division of the newly realigned Big Ten Conference. photo by per kjeldsen and Sooners participated in 13 title games, going 10-3. Only four teams from the North advanced to the final: Nebraska went 2-4, Colorado was 1-3, Missouri went 0-2 and Kansas State was 1-2. In the nine games of the era (2002-10), the South went 8-1, and it's easy to see why. During that

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