If that happens, we'll likely see
Louisville --> Big 12
Boise St --> MWC
SDSU --> MWC
Which sets up the bigger conferences as follows for their football divisions:
* BIG TEN - Wisconsin can move to the Legends where they belong. Flipping the Michigan & Indiana schools leaves two more competitively balanced divisions that also fit better geographically:
Leaders - MD, MI, MSU, NC, OSU, PSU, RTG, VA
Legends - IL, IN, IA, MN, NW, NE, PUR, WI
I think you get better balance keeping the MI schools in the west and the Indiana schools in the east. Nebraska, and to a lesser extent, Wisconsin, are the only teams that are a good bet to be consistently strong in your proposed west. After that it's Iowa, and then a bunch of programs that are no stranger to spending multiple seasons at or near the bottom of the conference. That's not to say that the Cats, Illini and Purdue won't have their good seasons, but I think there'd be a lot of seasons that would spark the dreaded "well, the 3rd/4th place team in the east could've won the west easily."
Keep the MI and IN schools where they are, and unless all of the new entrants fall flat on their face, I think you've got better balance. The Indiana schools probably don't offer much to the east, but you've got a professional franchise plus PSU holding down that division, in addition to whomever steps up out of the new guys.
Only problem I could see is OSU not being happy about being lumped into what probably is a more legitimately 'eastern' division than anyone imagined would exist at this point last week, and also being stuck with the two Indiana schools. Indiana shouldn't mind because their football is irrelevant anyway and the prospect of conference hoops games against UNC and Maryland should keep them satisfied (especially if the conference goes to divisions for basketball as well). Purdue may not care for it, but they still get their in-state rival, and also have the basketball considerations.
I love the prospect of playing divisional games every year against the Goofs, Hawkeyes, Cats, Huskers and Illini, with the occasional road game down at UVA or UNC. I still think there are alot of dominoes that need to fall before something like this goes down. But while it would overhaul the face and character of the Big Ten, not hard to see some real positives in it. Especially for Wisconsin.
Oh yeah, and we can ditch the absurd division names and just go with West and East.
Edited by OnWisc, 21 November 2012 - 12:08 PM.