The Big Ten's current divisional format for football is completely unbalanced. While playing Purdue every single year may be a great thing for the Fighting Illini, having the conference's top four programs on one side is bad for scheduling. Not only that, but it severely reduces the significance of the title game when only one team has a shot at the College Football Playoff.
So what if the Big Ten decided to completely scrap the current system and start over? What would that look like? SB Nation imagined the scenario while outlining the potential benefits of a division-less league.
The Big Ten’s division format is terrible. So we blew the stupid things up and started over with no divisions.https://t.co/hBlqRh9HKq— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) June 16, 2016
Under this proposed format, each program would have three protected rivalry games that would take place on an annual basis. This approach would guarantee that each team would play the other 10 schools three times every five seasons. That seems pretty fair, and it could set up some truly great Big Ten title matches (i.e. Ohio State/Michigan, Illinois/Wisconsin, etc.).
So what would Illinois' schedule look like in this scenario? Well the protected rivalries would likely be Northwestern, Ohio State, and Purdue because those three games already have shared trophies. The other six contests would obviously be rotating every season, so we wouldn't have any more awkward 4-year stretches without playing Iowa.
Is this something you'd like to see the Big Ten adopt? Let us know what you think down in the comments.
Illinois Fighting Illini News
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