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Friday, November 16, 2012
Leaders vs. Legends scorecard

By Brian Bennett

A reader in my Monday chat last week suggested I bring back the Leaders versus Legends scorecard from last year. Since 2011 was the first season of the Big Ten division alignment, I thought it was interesting to keep tabs on how the Leaders and Legends fared against one another in cross-division games.

This year, we went into the season assuming the Legends was the much stronger division. But has it played out that way on the field? Let's check the scorecard:

Legends 9, Leaders 7. Here are the particulars:

Leaders wins over Legends teams:

Purdue over Iowa
Indiana over Iowa
Penn State over Iowa
Penn State over Northwestern
Ohio State over Michigan State
Ohio State over Nebraska
Wisconsin over Minnesota

Legends wins over Leaders teams:

Michigan over Purdue
Michigan over Illinois
Minnesota over Illinois
Minnesota over Purdue
Nebraska over Penn State
Nebraska over Wisconsin
Northwestern over Indiana
Michigan State over Indiana
Michigan State over Wisconsin

Remaining cross-division games:

Michigan at Ohio State
Illinois at Northwestern

Iowa (0-3) and Illinois (0-2) have both dragged down their respective division scores by going winless so far in inter-division play. It's interesting that no team has swept its cross-division games yet, though either Michigan or Ohio State will accomplish that feat next week. The Buckeyes and Penn State will finish with winning records against the other division, but Wisconsin (1-2) has not held up its end of the bargain. Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State and Nebraska will have winning records against the Leaders, while Northwestern (1-1) likely will join that crew with Illinois coming to Evanston next week. That would be five of the six Legends teams finishing with an advantage over their Leaders opponents, while only two of the Leaders teams would say the same.

Overall, this seems to bear out our assumption that the Legends is a stronger division. But maybe not by as wide a margin as we thought.