The staff of Writing Illini gives their opinions about the divisional relignment for the Big Ten Conference and how the relignment will effect the Fighting Illini. The East division is Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers. The West division is Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
Ricky: The division changes look decent for the Big Ten, but better for the Illini. No brainer, the East division is the tougher of the divisions and they will take most (if not all) of the national attention. For Illinois, they are in the weaker division and that should play into their hands nicely. I will say that I am looking forward to see the Illini moving forward in the new West division of the Big Ten.
Austin: I think the new divisions are good for the Big Ten, but clearly one division is much stronger than the other. For instance, the East has Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Maryland, and Indiana. Three of those teams are annually good at football, but all five of them are good at basketball. The West isn’t as difficult, but with Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, it’s no cake walk. All in all, they work out perfect. I am happier to be in the West though, as the East is brutal.
Ryan: I’m not sure that it’s good for the Big Ten as a whole, but the cream inevitably rises to the top, so it’s probably not as big a deal as it may seem on the surface. The East is clearly top heavy with Michigan, Michigan St., Penn St., and Ohio St. all residing in the division. On the plus side, the annual Michigan/Ohio St. tilt will not be played twice at the end of the season as only one will have the opportunity to represent the East in the Big Ten Title Game.
As a fan of the Illini, the realignment could well be a godsend. Nebraska and Wisconsin appear to be powerhouses in the West, but Wisconsin lost Bielema so there may be a return to the middle of the pack in store for them as a result. While it’s true Northwestern and Minnesota are both trending up, they have not had such a sustained run of success that leads one to believe they can’t be overcome in the quest for a West Division crown.
The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs and Ryan Kraemer.
Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.
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