Big Ten Conference Announces Expansion Into Two Divisions, Ohio State And Michigan Separated
September 2nd, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

There is a shift in the Big 10 Conference, as they announced their new make up for the 2011 season.  After Nebraska joins the ranks, it will allow for two divisions and a conference championship game.

Most notably, Ohio State and Michigan will be in separate divisions, and could potentially play each other twice.  Once during their annual rivalry, and again if the two each win their respective divisions.

The two names for the conferences have not yet been announced, but the conference make up.  Along with Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State Minnesota and Northwestern will be in one division.  In the other in addition to Ohio State will be Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana.

“We felt like we could do equal competition and tradition with this move,” said conference commissioner Jim Delany.

The conference made the decision to keep the tradition held since 1943, in which Ohio State and Michigan will be in the last game of the Big 10 season.  Thus, the rivals would be able to meet in the regular-season finale, and then meet up against one another in the Big 10 conference championship game that next week.

“Basically, we decided to go with the final season date because that was a way to maintain the tradition,” Delany added. “The conference has a wonderful history of not only rivalry games but also trophy games.”

As it is set now, each of the Big 10 teams will play eight conference games.

“The athletic directors have the intention of exploring a ninth conference game in 2015,” Delany remarked.

The Big 10 conference had been trying to add a conference championship game for some time now, believing that a lack of one was holding them back from conferences such as the SEC and Big 12.

“I’m very pleased that we came out of this with protected rivalries that will go on permanently with Ohio State andMichigan State,” remarked Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon. “We’ll play Ohio State in the last game of the regular season, following a tradition that has lasted for decades. And if we both earn the right, we can play the Buckeyes again in the Big Ten championship game.”

For the 2010 College Football season, Ohio State is a heavy favorite on USA Online Sportsbooks, like Bodog, to win the Big 10 Conference.  They have currently been installed at 4/9.

Big 10 Betting Odds Courtesy Of Bodog-

Illinois 40/1
Indiana 50/1
Iowa 4/1
Michigan 12/1
Michigan State 15/1
Minnesota 50/1
Northwestern 30/1
Ohio State 4/9
Penn State 15/2
Purdue 30/1
Wisconsin 9/2

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