The Big Ten is doing away with Legends and Leaders next season after Maryland and Rutgers join the conference. Obviously, nobody except university presidents and accountants are happy with the addition of the two schools to the Big Ten. It weakens the overall football product by introducing two less talented teams in Rutgers and Maryland, while eliminating Rutgers and Maryland’s rivalries in their former conferences and diluting the ones in the Big Ten. Still, the addition of the two east coast schools brought about common sense divisions and division names.
As a Purdue fan, I was initially a little worried. The east-west alignment worked out nicely until you got to the state of Indiana. Indiana University will be in the eastern division, whereas Purdue is now in the west. The worry was alleviated when it was announced that Purdue and Indiana would maintain a protected rivalry, the only one left in the Big Ten. This is great for Purdue Every year they get to play a weak opponent from the opposite division. Awesome!
It’s too bad the teams will be so separated, into the two divisions, but at least the dividing line makes sense now. There was never a distinct advantage that east had over west, so it’s nice that all pretense of “competitive balance” was eliminated for the sake of geographic sanity.