Over the last few months we've been keeping a close eye on how the Big Ten plans to split up its divisions in football once Rutgers and Maryland join the league in 2014. But could divisions be coming to Big Ten basketball as well?
While talking to the Cedar Rapids Gazette about Iowa's conference basketball schedule next season, Mark Rudner, the man who handles scheduling in the Big Ten, said coaches will meet to discuss divisions next month.
The league could "shuffle the deck" on single- and double-play match-ups beginning with the 2014-15 season, Rudner said, when Maryland and Rutgers join the Big Ten. The league's coaches meet in May and will give input on the future schedules and whether the Big Ten will consider a divisional basketball structure with 14 schools.
Now if the Big Ten did go to divisions, would they break it up that you play everyone in your division twice and teams in the other division once? If so that would make for a 19-game conference schedule. Which would lead to an imbalance of home and road conference games. So maybe the schedule would get shifted to playing your division twice and rotating one opponent from the other division to play twice each season, which would make for a 20-game conference schedule.
Or maybe you just say fuck it and play everybody twice, have a 26-game conference schedule.
Aside from the schedule, I want to know how divisions would affect the conference tournament.
If Illinois finishes second in one division with a 16-4 conference record but Michigan State "wins" the other division with a conference record of 15-5, would Michigan State get the #2 seed in the conference tournament since it won its division?
Or would the conference tournament be broken up by divisions as well?
Odds are there won't be a decision about all of this in May, so I don't think this will be the last we hear about it.