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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Big Ten officially adopts new East and West football divisions for 2014

Posted by: Joe Christensen under The Big 10 Updated: April 28, 2013 - 1:38 PM

The Big Ten officially announced today that it will scrap its Legends and Leaders football divisions for 2014, and split into East and West. And beginning in 2016, each Big Ten team will play a nine-game conference schedule.

The Gophers will play in the Legends Division for just one more season, along with Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Northwestern.

Beginning in 2014, the Gophers will be in the West Division, along with Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.

The East Division will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers.

As written here last month, the new format should make things easier for the Gophers.

The conference's presidents and chancellors voted unanimously today to approve the new division format, along with the nine-game conference schedule for 2016 and beyond.

“Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of East/West geography,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in the press release. “The directors of athletics also relied on the results of a fan survey commissioned by BTN last December to arrive at their recommendation, which is consistent with the public sentiment expressed in the poll.”

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