Did you happen to watch that bad Saturday night? If you can stay until the end of Iowa’s absentee performance in the 41-3 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten championship game, you deserve a pat on the back. It was terrible, an embarrassment for the conference, and a signal that the Big Ten needed to change. It’s time to remove the divide and put the two strongest teams in the game for the championship title.
Some say I feel this way just because the Ohio State team isn’t the Iowa team. If it were the Buckeyes, they say, instead of the obnoxious Michigan rival, I would feel differently. I doubt it because it was a horrible performance.
Okay, go ahead and say I’m only in favor of the change because the Buckeyes aren’t playing, but then let me know if I’m wrong. Since the Big Ten switched to the current East/West format, the East has won the championship in every game. All of them. Eight consecutive wins. Only three of the games are decided by less than ten points. The average win rate of East in those 8 meetings is 20 points.
The past four years have shown how wide the gap between the two divisions is. Orient won with margins of 21, 13, 12 and 39 points, respectively. However, it is the rankings that really show the widening gap. In the first 4 matches, the Western representative 2 times ranked 13th, 6th, 4th.
Only once in the last four games has a Big Ten West team ranked in the top ten go into a championship match (Wisconsin is eighth in 2019). The other three are 21st, 13th and 14th. That doesn’t help much when you want your grand slam champion into the knockouts.
Historically, the Big Ten have established themselves as the standard of excellence in academics and athletics. The current divisional format that the convention is using for football is not delivering excellence in championship games and needs to be changed.
https://scarletandgame.com/2021/12/08/ohio-state-football-big-ten-needs-change/ Ohio State Soccer: The Big Ten Needs Change