The Big Ten Conference announced Sunday a new divisional alignment that will be based on geography. Starting in 2014, the Big Ten will have an East Division and a West Division. The West Division will include Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin. The East Division will include Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers. In a release, the conference stated:
"Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue.
With the start of the nine-game conference schedule in 2016, teams from the East Division will host five conference home games during even-numbered years, while teams from the West Division will host five conference home games during odd-numbered years. As a result of the nine-game conference schedule and the Big Ten's schedule rotation, every student-athlete will have the opportunity to play against every other team in the conference at least once during a four-year period. The Big Ten is returning to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons."
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