Divisional debates done for Big 12 after December

When Colorado decided to join the Pac-10 and Nebraska agreed to become a member of the Big Ten last summer, it created some issues for the leagues they were set to join.

Division alignment (maintaining rivalries as well as competitive balance or geography), the concept of a championship game as well as the site of those tilts and the number of league games to play all came to the forefront.

Lots of opinions were lobbied back and forth.

The new Pac-12 eventually separated its LA schools (USC and UCLA) from its northern California members (Cal and Stanford) with the divisional breakdown. The Big Ten split long-time rivals Wisconsin and Iowa, which play a football trophy game and share a common border.

“You weren’t going to make everyone happy,” Badger Coach Bret Bielema said of the division shakedown, which means his current employer and alma mater won’t meet annually.

After 15 years of divisional play in the Big 12, those days will be over after December’s conference title game. The annual debates about schedule balance (based upon who doesn’t play who) or which division is stronger (between north or south) will be a thing of the past for the next generation of the Big 12.

Although there was great unrest this summer with the departure of the Buffaloes and Cornhuskers from the Big 12, we might find out that ten schools is the perfect membership number for a conference. Everyone plays everybody every year. Tough to get much fairer than that.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow


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