Report: MSU in Big Ten East division

Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

The Big Ten picked a fabulous time to leak this. So much #B1G

The Big Ten will move to East/West divisions in 2014, and MSU is in the East, according to ESPN.

East:

Indiana
Maryland
Michigan
Michigan State
Ohio State
Penn State
Rutgers

West:

Illinois
Iowa
Minnesota
Nebraska
Northwestern
Purdue
Wisconsin

From ESPN:

Big Ten presidents and chancellors are expected to approve the divisions and division names, along with a move to a nine-game conference schedule beginning in the 2016 season. The presidents and chancellors are expected to vote next week, a league source told ESPN.com.

This was expected after a report a bit back from ESPN about Purdue/Indiana being the divide. That game will be the only protected crossover. I, and many other smart people, thought MSU and Purdue should be switched, as to even out the divisions, but that didn't happen.

Instead, MSU will, every year, be playing three schools that weren't even in the conference when I was born. Of course, MSU joined in the 1950/53, so U-M, OSU and Indiana will be playing four schools that joined the conference after World War II.

What does it mean? Well, it means it's going to be incredibly difficult for MSU to win the Big Ten. It would have to finish ahead of both Michigan and Ohio State, which would be hard for anyone. U-M and OSU are typically going to be the best teams in the conference. That doesn't mean another Ten Year War, because I think MSU will still field good teams, but the chances of finishing ahead of both of them are typically going to be low. Throw in a Penn State program that is dealing with sanctions, but still recruits well, and MSU is going up against some of the biggest programs in the sport. Time to become a big boy program.

As for recruiting, MSU should hit Pennsylvania harder, which they've been doing, as well as New Jersey. MSU has been recruiting Wisconsin hard recently, but they might need to pull out a bit and redirect that east. They no longer can sell to kids in "West" schools that their parents will be able to see them play there twice. It might help in Ohio, though, where MSU has found some good players, but now Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas are hitting that state harder. MSU doesn't beat U-M and OSU for recruits often, and that's going to hurt a little more.

In the other division, Nebraska is probably the most solid program, and Wisconsin should generally be good, even with a new coach, but outside of that, there's a lot of mediocrity and inconsistency.

Farewell, #BorderBattle. We hardly knew you. Time to dust off the Land-Grant Trophy, I guess.

Is it too late to back out of this expansion?

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