B1G Divisions to End Time Travel?
It's been no secret that the Big Ten is in favor of a geographical East-West split. It seems likely that the Western division would include Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, and Minnesota. Those six schools all share a time zone. It's the seventh team that is the question mark.
The four schools that are furthest west are Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State, and Michigan. Sadly, sending one of these teams west will break up a rivalry. Aside from preserving a single cross-rivalry, there doesn't appear to be any other matchup that truly matters. Manufacturing a half-dozen new rivalries doesn't seem all that appealing or particularly fair.
There seem to be a couple ways to handle that. First, is just to end one of those rivalries as an annual event. Ending Michigan-Michigan State would seem like a crime. As for Indiana-Purdue? Eh, who really cares. Those are primarily basketball schools. Another way to handle it would be to preserve a single cross-rivalry. While other schools rotate, the one rivalry that matters would be preserved (this would have been a good option for Nebraska-Oklahoma in the Big 12, by the way).
The least disruptive split would seem to be sending Purdue (or Indiana) to the West. One curious fact about the state of Indiana is that there are still a handful of counties that observe Central time. Neither Big Ten school sits in one of those counties, but presumably they'd have some fans that do. Purdue is slightly closer to those counties but Indiana may have more fans statewide.
Those most concerned with competitive balance may think that adding Michigan State to a group that includes Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Rutgers would create a bit of an East-West imbalance. Also, Michigan State apparently likes playing in the Chicago market against Northwestern. You could also argue that the Spartans have a nice rivalry emerging with Wisconsin. All of those arguments are valid. But ending the annual Spartan-Wolverine game seems like a deal-breaker.
The Athletic Directors could still throw us a curve. Some would argue that Nebraska and Penn State have both some history and perhaps the genesis of a good rivalry across divisions. It's hard to come up with other cross-division games that are all that meaningful. You could pair Ohio State with Wisconsin. And perhaps the Indiana schools with those in Illinois. But putting Iowa or Minnesota with Rutgers or Maryland just seems random and pointless.
Shipping Purdue west and ending the designated cross-division rivalries would probably be the best thing overall. Hopefully, the AD's see it the same way.