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B10: East vs West Disparity?

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A lot of discussion this week on the B10 having 'uneven' divisions that is messing up with the winner getting into the CFP. Off the top of my head I always felt that the West has competed well so I went back and looked to see if this narrative was true outside of the B10 Title game where the East is 5-0 since the merger in 2014. I won't argue that the East has more top heavy teams lately. 

 

The facts might surprise a lot of people...Almost dead locked at .500 

 

92 regular season games:

West: 44 wins

East: 48 wins

 

Going forward will the East win more than the West? I believe so. It's hard to overcome the traditional powers in Ohio Sate, Michigan, and Penn State. Michigan St has always been tough under Dantonio as well. I think the West will have some major uptick though with Frost and Brohm. Wisconsin, Iowa, and NW always usually compete as well and will continue to do so. Just thought it was funny because you would think that the East wins 80% of these crossover games if you listen to the media. 

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Definitely agree with this.  I think it's over-blown.

 

I used to keep track of that.  Apparently I haven't gotten around to it the last couple years.  I'd be curious how it breaks down on a team-by-team basis.

 

 

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The east has had it's struggles, let's not forget that.  Michigan wasn't all that with Rich Rod and Hoke.  Ohio State sucked with Luke Ficknell (sp?), and PSU was under investigation or under sanctions. 

 

Throw in a few big time names that are media darlings (good or bad)....(Urban Meyer, Harbough) and a surprising resurgence under PSU (post O'Brien) and what a difference things make for that division and the B1G. 

 

Not saying things became automatic under them, but they sure did get plenty of top recruits, favortism and hype going into every season.

 

Wisconsin and (gulp) Iowa have held their own.  We just need Nebraska to become better than those 2 teams and let's see what happens.  We just need to do our part now.  We gotta get our a$$ in shape and the conference won't appear so lopsided in thought. 

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Whether the divisions top to bottom end up at similar amounts of W-L is pretty irrelevant when one division obviously has the much better top teams that will win almost every single time in a conference championship scenario.

 

Like okay cool we can all beat up on Rutgers to feel better about ourselves before we all get curbstomped by Michigan and Ohio State..?

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Lots of chatter on this all the time by sports pundits, some on the Pac-12 South, but next to none on the worst of them all, the ACC Coastal.  I even tried to engage with a few of them and other than the always excellent, Dave Bartoo, they just ignore it.  Clemson must be the big orange sun that blinds everyone from looking further at how underwhelming the ACC is this year.  ACC Coastal is consistently terrible.  Coastal champ Pitt lost to 2-win North Carolina for crying out loud and Virginia lost to Indiana.  It would be helpful if Nebraska can help bookend the West with Wisconsin but I have a hard time seeing the West as an abomination.  Heck, the SEC East was a trash fire for awhile until UGA elevated their game.

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11 hours ago, Landlord said:

Whether the divisions top to bottom end up at similar amounts of W-L is pretty irrelevant when one division obviously has the much better top teams that will win almost every single time in a conference championship scenario.

 

Like okay cool we can all beat up on Rutgers to feel better about ourselves before we all get curbstomped by Michigan and Ohio State..?


Ohio State 59 Wisconsin 0

Michigan St 16 Iowa 13

Penn St 38 Wisconsin 31

Ohio St 27 Wisconsin 21

Ohio St 45 Northwestern 24

 

3/5 games have been competitive and the West blew two of them. WI and IA have had some good teams, but we need someone to have a GREAT team from the West and get over the hump. AKA Scott Frost will be the first to do this IMO 

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I think media cant freak out over a 5 year span. So Urban Meyer is leaving- so pretty sure Ohio State will still be good but they wont remain on that elite level. Much like when Osborne left they will still have a large talent advantage for the next 3 years but you will start to see them become more "down to earth" after that. Still good- but not superhuman anymore. 

 

Who knows how long the Penn State head coach sticks around. Sounds like Harbaugh would bolt if the right 1 or 2 NFL teams came calling. 

 

So honestly with the rise of Nebraska under Scott Frost I think the whole conversation is a waste. 

 

I also think Frost's presence once he gets things rolling will raise the competition and expectations of some of the west teams. I will use Iowa as the example. They have been happy with being mediocre for the last 25 years. We all know they hate Nebraska. 15 of those years they never played Nebraska- the last 10 they have basically owned Nebraska or the games were close. I think they could live with getting beat down by Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan. But when Nebraska starts beating their a$$ 56-10 year in and year out. I dont see the fan base pressure will stand for that. They will want Ferentz out or his son out- whoever is at the helm at the time. Its just my opinion but I dont think they will be able to stomach Nebraska owning them- so they may elevate their coaching expectations.

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We have to tell ourselves that the divisions are more even than they appear, but the reality is that it's not really close. The B1G West beats up the middle of the B1G East, because that's all they can do.

 

Nebraska is unlikely to be among the best two teams in the conference, so we should all hope the divisions stay the same. 

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9 minutes ago, Dr. Strangelove said:

We have to tell ourselves that the divisions are more even than they appear, but the reality is that it's not really close. The B1G West beats up the middle of the B1G East, because that's all they can do.

 

Nebraska is unlikely to be among the best two teams in the conference, so we should all hope the divisions stay the same. 


Ohio State got WAXED the past two seasons by a West team and that's why they have been left out - Iowa and Purdue. We own Michigan State. I still think the East is better but it's overblown.

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1 hour ago, BIG ERN said:


Ohio State got WAXED the past two seasons by a West team and that's why they have been left out - Iowa and Purdue. We own Michigan State. I still think the East is better but it's overblown.

They've slept on some teams, but they win games that matter. 

 

I don't think the divisions are close,  and recruiting rankings agree with me.  The West is a joke, and frankly it's good Nebraska is in it.  

 

Ask yourself, would Nebraska have a more difficult path to relevancy if it were in the East? I think so, and not just by a little bit. It would be substantially more difficult. 

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While Nebraska's 2018 schedule was touted and ranked as one of the toughest in the country, it didn't look that way at the end of the season, after the games were actually played.  

 

We're told the schedule will get a lot easier next year, but I wouldn't count on that, either. 

 

Up year or down, the Big 10 is going to be tougher to get through unscathed than the Big 8 & 12 from years past.

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Media darlings tend to look more formidable, as we become brainwashed.

 

I agree with the OP. 

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I'm sorry, but I completely disagree.  This year was a perfect example- ohio state, michigan, penn state all finished ahead of the top team from the west.  Having 3 clear superior teams is worse than what we had in the BIG 12 when it was often oklahoma and texas being superior to the best squad in the north.  Factor in that the east also dominates the west in recruiting and its pretty clear that the gap is wide.

 

With urban leaving, perhaps we narrow that gap.  The west is def more balanced, but in terms of national perception and impact on the playoffs, we've literally been a roadblock to an east team not an actual factor in the playoffs.

 

 

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The east teams have no one to blame but themselves.  You can't get blown out by average teams.  The simple fact of the matter is that was not a great Ohio State team.  Even their fans admit so.  The big 10s top end teams were all very disappointing this year.  They don't need to worry about the West... they will have their hands full soon enough. 

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3 minutes ago, melscott62 said:

The east teams have no one to blame but themselves.  You can't get blown out by average teams.  The simple fact of the matter is that was not a great Ohio State team.  Even their fans admit so.  The big 10s top end teams were all very disappointing this year.  They don't need to worry about the West... they will have their hands full soon enough. 

Who's complaining?  I literally have not read one gripe from Ohio state fans 

 

The conference does need to take a hard look at 9 conf games.  Its great from a competition standpoint but until the playoff expands to 8 teams and the champ is guaranteed in there is no point in putting your conference, as a whole, in a situation where its a tougher road to the top 4 than what other conferences have to face.

 

 

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4 hours ago, BIG ERN said:


Ohio State got WAXED the past two seasons by a West team and that's why they have been left out - Iowa and Purdue. We own Michigan State. I still think the East is better but it's overblown.

100% nailed it!

 

Ohio State and the B1G can blame the West Division for keeping OSU out of the playoff.  Just not for the reasons they claim.

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When we belonged to the Big 12, there were three blue blood programs.  With an odd number, it stands to reason why it was lopsided.  In the B1G, there are four blue blood programs.  I've always wondered why they put three in one division and one in the other?  If the B1G is successful in getting OU and Texas, this will all work itself out.  If they don't, then it would stand to reason to move Michigan.  At the end of the day, I'd say we're in a good spot if they leave things the way they are.  Winning this division is easier than the other one.  Take Wisconsin last year.  They didn't even have to play a couple of the better teams in the B1G.  If they would have taken care of business in the title game, they were in the playoff. 

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I don't follow how there's any confusion over this because it's a simple matter of the most talented teams, per recruiting and poll rankings alike, being in the East.  I was tickled to see how the divisions were set up because I assumed we wouldn't be playing those perennial contenders every year.  It felt like we were being given an easier road back to where Nebraska has historically belonged.  Scheduling is another matter, though.  Look at the series with Michigan for one example.  We couldn't simply trade off locations for our games.  They get three home games before we get to host a second time.

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The SEC West won the CCG 8 straight times (with far worse blowouts) from 2009-2016, and they weren't freaking out about balancing divisions.

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The overall record may be comparable between the east/west but there's no debating the balance of power is weighted in the east. The top four programs in the conference (in terms of history, hardware, recruiting, etc.) are tOSU, Michigan, PSU and Nebraska. Those are also probably the four 'best jobs,' in the correct order in the conference, too. Three of them are in the east. Simply put - the east has more programs better positioned to be routine players at the elite level of college football. The west does not.

 

To @Saunders point, I think the difference is partly perception, partly reality. The SEC east has several nationally prominent programs. The B1G west doesn't. And the recruiting rankings are far more comparable in the SEC than the B1G. According to Rivals, and using only these two conferences, here are the best recruiting teams of the past five years:

 

B1G East:

- Ohio State (#2)

- Michigan (T#18 - there's one ranking of 55 here that heavily skews their data - they've had three top 5 classes in the last five years)

- Penn State (#21)

- Michigan State (#27)

- Maryland (#37)

B1G West

- Nebraska (#22)

- Wisconsin (#40)

- Iowa (#49)

 

SEC East

- Georgia (#5)

- Florida (#10)

- Tennessee (#12)

- South Carolina (T#18)

- Kentucky (T#25)

- Missouri (#38)

- Vanderbilt (#45)

SEC West

- Alabama (#1)

- LSU (#4)

- Auburn (#7)

- Texas A&M (#9)

- Ole Miss (T#16)

- Mississippi State (#23)

- Arkansas (T#25)

 

The SEC west is certainly top heavy but they appear to be on a much more fair playing field overall.

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5 minutes ago, Enhance said:

The overall record may be comparable between the east/west but there's no debating the balance of power is weighted in the east. The top four programs in the conference (in terms of history, hardware, recruiting, etc.) are tOSU, Michigan, PSU and Nebraska. Those are also probably the four 'best jobs,' in the correct order in the conference, too. Three of them are in the east. Simply put - the east has more programs better positioned to be routine players at the elite level of college football. The west does not.

 

I think part of this issue is people are arguing two different things - without really realizing it. 

 

People who are saying the East is clearly better are basically pointing to the overall better teams being in the East.  Which is true.  But all that says is that the East is harder to win, which isn't necessarily the same thing as saying it is the overall better division.  The East also has three pretty bad teams which gets overlooked by the East apologists but definitely affects the balance of power between the divisions.

 

The issue is the East is nothing close to a bell curve.  They have four good teams and three really bad teams - Sagarin has the East teams rated 4,5,10,30,57,65,121.  The West is a pretty natural bell curve with teams rated 11,33,36,37,49,56,110.  So the top four teams in the East are rated higher than all but one team in the West.  But there are also three teams in the East that are rated lower than all but one team in the West.  Put another way, six of the West teams are between the East #3 and the East #5.

 

When you actually play that out on the field, the result is that the divisions win a very similar amount of games against each other.  Obviously the match-ups are not balanced so it's not a perfect measure but it gives a decent idea.

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On 12/7/2018 at 12:37 PM, melscott62 said:

Things can change quickly.  Look at our tenure in the big 12. 

 

Look at the entire history of the Big 12. The original dominance of the north was an anomaly/flash in the pan. It quickly corrected itself.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Mavric said:

When you actually play that out on the field, the result is that the divisions win a very similar amount of games against each other.  Obviously the match-ups are not balanced so it's not a perfect measure but it gives a decent idea.

 

Another result is also that all the teams in the West lose almost every game to the top 3 teams in the East. This math might be off by 1-2 on either end but over the last 5 years the entire West is something close to 9-36 vs OSU/Mich/PSU 

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