After months of speculation and leaks from various athletic directors, including the Badgers own Barry Alvarez, the Big Ten made it official earlier today. Yep, the Big Ten is splitting into East and West Divisions starting in 2014 and going to a nine game conference schedule starting in 2014.
Of course the long-rumored divisional realignment happened like we all thought it would and the new divisions will look like this:
East: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
West: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin
In order to make one of the rivalry splits work the Big Ten will protect the cross-divisional game between Indiana and Purdue on an annual basis, meaning those two will only play one other team from the other division for the first two years and two from then on.