Big Ten Divisions Taking Shape
In college sports, they say you can schedule more wins than you can coach. If that's the case, then Nebraska should be pleased by the divisions that appear to emerging for the fourteen-team Big Ten. It appears that all that remains is a decision on where to put Purdue and Indiana (they will be placed in separate divisions) and the two schools will have the only protected crossover in a new east-west configuration.
Nebraska can now count on annual games with Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Wisconsin and either Purdue or Indiana. In addition, a rotating slate of three games will be added (the conference schedule will be nine games beginning in 2016) with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland and Purdue or Indiana. It's not clear what will happen in 2014 and 2015 though.
You'd have to think Purdue is more likely to join the West division than Indiana. That would be true both because Purdue lies west of Indiana but also to provide slightly better competitive balance. Purdue has generally had a better football program than Indiana.
Losing annual games with Penn State and Michigan may be a bit of a bummer to Husker fans. Picking up one with Wisconsin helps a bit though.