Last night, various sources were reporting that the Big Ten had reached an agreement with Pitt to join (eventually) the conference. Never mind the fact that the rumors have been debunked since then, it’s still fun to think about. The main thing to think about is what it would do to the conference.
First, Pitt is essentially the same school as Purdue. They will often be near the top of the conference, but would rarely win in either of the primary sports (football and basketball). They would automatically boos the overall strength of the conference in both sports, and that can’t be a bad thing.
The thing that really peaked my interest was the idea of division in the Conference. You couldn’t split it East-West because it would break up a rivalry (Purdue-Indiana, by my estimation). I thought of a possible rearrangement, preserving all of the current rivalries. Here’s what I thought…
Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota in one division and Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern and Illinois in the other.
Steve and I have been at odds over this, as he thinks it would be more likely that the conference would want to jerryrig a Michigan-Ohio State conference championship every season. Given that it hasn’t happened yet, it’s just empty bluster and just more talk for around the water cooler.
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