Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
With a division shakeup coming, let's look how Iowa has done against the teams that will make up the East and West divisions.
We've already established the most important factor in the B1G divisional realignment: keeping the extremely traditional game with OMHR. But the other big story with the reshuffling is the competitive balance (or lack thereof) between the two divisions. With Michigan and Ohio State (and to a lesser degree Penn State and Michigan State) the East looks like a stronger side than the West, especially considering the current state of the Iowa program and the questions about Wisconsin's new coaching staff. So looking forward to the potential schedule starting in 2014 is attractive. Iowa will be able to start rebuilding with what should be an easier conference schedule (provided the cross-over games are against Ohio State and Michigan).
But 2013 hasn't even kicked off yet and 2014 is the distant future. So instead of looking forward, let's look back over the past 10 years (2003-2012) to see how Iowa has fared against the East and West foes. (Why 10 years? Because it's a nice round number.)
Iowa's record against B1G teams: 2003-2012
(Note: Iowa has had the same record (5-3) against Indiana and Purdue over the past 10 years, so it doesn't matter which division they end up in for the above table.)
The results against the two divisions are actually fairly similar. Both sides have 18 losses, with a few more wins against West teams. Against 6 B1G teams Iowa holds a 5-3 record. Then there is Michigan at 4-4 and Minnesota at 7-3. Where Iowa gets the boost on the West side is against Illinois (5-1) and where they are hurt on the East is against Ohio State.
Really the only way things could have worked out better for Iowa in terms of the winability of the division while maintaining rivalries, is if jNW was swapped with Indiana/Purdue.
So count me in as a fan of the new divisional setup. Anything that gives Iowa a greater shot at winning the division, playing the the B1G title game, and getting to the Rose Bowl is a good thing by me.