Ohio State AD Gene Smith provides update on potential changes for B1G divisions
The B1G and realigning divisions. Though nothing has been done since the league made the swap from Leaders and Legends to East and West in 2014, it’s been a hot-button topic among fans over the past few years.
The argument? The B1G East has never lost in the B1G Championship Game. The East is also home to traditional powers Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State. Over the years, there’s been a call to either eliminate divisions or reshuffle the lineup.
Recently, Scott Dochterman of The Athletic spoke with Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, who said that eliminating divisions in the B1G is a conversation right now. Whether or not it actually happens is another item.
On Wednesday, Ohio State AD Gene Smith spoke with reporters and was asked for an update on talks about division realignment. Smith made it clear that he has no preference whether the league keeps divisions or scraps them moving forward.
That’s not too surprising, as Ohio State would likely benefit from division elimination most (the Buckeyes would’ve appeared in all but 1 B1G Championship Game since the last realignment in 2014). What was more interesting was that Smith stated division reshuffling isn’t really on the table.
According to Bucknuts, Smith says that divisions will either stay status quo in the B1G or be eliminated. There will be no realignment within the league.
Gene Smith said there has been no conversation about reshuffling the #B1G divisions, just whether to keep them status quo or get rid of them altogether.
— Bucknuts (@Bucknuts247) February 16, 2022
Gene Smith said Big Ten ADs have talked about finalizing thoughts about divisions and conference play, but no conclusions have been made.
"I personally don't have a preference. I'm OK with losing divisions."
— Colin Gay (@ColinGay17) February 16, 2022
Smith confirmed that, as of Wednesday’s conversation with the media, no decisions have been made regarding divisions in the conference.
So, those who are in favor of division realignment probably won’t like that comment. Their only hope for now is that the B1G drops divisions entirely.