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Report: Big Ten Is Considering A Change To Divisions

Joshua Perry and Vonn Bell raise a Big Ten sign after the conference championship win for Ohio State over Wisconsin in 2014.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 06: Vonn Bell #11 and Joshua Perry #37 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate after their team defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 6, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

This month, the Division I Council is expected to pass a resolution saying conferences no longer need to have divisions to hold a conference championship game.

The Big Ten is among the leagues contemplating scrapping divisions in the future, which Minnesota AD Mark Coyle confirmed at the conference meetings this week.

Coyle also expressed a desire to protect longstanding rivalries should divisions be removed. 

The Big Ten has had East and West divisions since Maryland and Rutgers entered the conference in 2014. The unbalanced nature of the two groups has been the topic of debate for some time.

The Big Ten East champion has won all eight conference title games since 2014, with five of those wins coming via double digits. The East features Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State, while the West has struggled to find its footing outside of Iowa and Wisconsin, though Northwestern did win the division in 2018 and 2020.

Should the Big Ten do away with divisions--or alter them to make them more balanced--it should not be too hard to maintain rivalries like Ohio State-Michigan, Iowa-Nebraska, Iowa-Wisconsin, Penn State-Michigan and Michigan-Michigan State on a yearly basis.

The Athletic recently posted its take on restructuring the Big Ten, which you can check out here.