Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Report: Big Ten to vote on new football divisions next week; proposal would split conference into East and West

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers spring football, The Big 10 Updated: April 19, 2013 - 8:44 PM

Big Ten presidents and chancellors will vote next week on a proposal to adopt new East and West football divisions for 2014, when Rutgers and Maryland join the conference, ESPN.com reported Friday night.

The proposal would scrap the current Legends and Leaders divisions and divide teams by geography.

The Gophers would be in the West, along with their two closest rivals -- Wisconsin and Iowa -- as well as Nebraska, Illinois, Northwestern and Purdue.

The East division would have Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers.
There has been speculation for months that the Big Ten would divide into eastern and western divisions, but the one question was whether Indiana or Purdue would be the team moving west.

By 2014, the conference will have eight schools in the Eastern time zone and six schools in the Central time zone, so one Eastern team had to flip, and under this proposal it will be Purdue.

Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez also told CBSSports.com that the Big Ten is expected to approve a nine-game conference schedule for 2016.

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