The Big Ten East is better than the Big Ten West at this moment.
But commissioner Jim Delany said Tuesday during his state of the union address at Big Ten Media Days that there’s no plans to alter the conference’s divisions for competitive balance.
Delany said he expects that over time there will be parity between the divisions. Obviously, the East is much stronger now.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) July 26, 2016
Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State top the East, with Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana behind. The West is made up of Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota and Purdue.
SB Nation’s Bill Connelly’s S&P+ statistic, an advanced metric that determines the true quality of a team based on play-by-play data, rated the East at +8.9 and the West at +6.3 in 2015. They were the third and fourth ranked divisions in the country.
But the conference’s traditional powers are all housed in the East, and at least for the foreseeable future, it looks like Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State will be the league’s three best teams.
Each year, the winners of the two divisions meet in the Big Ten Championship Game, so only one of those three schools has a chance to play for the conference title.
Big Ten schools play all six teams in their division every year and three crossover games against the other.