Recently there has been much ado made regarding the potential move of "The Game", that is the OSU vs. Michigan football game to October, and the potential separation of the two schools into different divisions within the Big Ten. There seems to be a widespread consensus among Ohio State fans that either move is sacreligious; among Michigan fans...wait, does anyone really care what Michigan fans think? Just kidding, I know you guys are actually more concerned that Rich Rod deserves a lifetime contract if he can beat Notre Dame again this year while going sub-500 in the Big Ten. I'm joking! Lighten up. Even Hitler seems to be weighing in on the subject of the Big Ten realignment and how it will affect OSU and Michigan, albeit posthumously: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/8153883/21627589. This is a big deal. Or is it? Decades of tradition to go by the wayside because of the almighty dollar. But does this necessarily have to be a bad thing? I mean c'mon people, they said the addition of Penn State would never fly, yet here they stand today as a pillar of the conference. So while there might be many grumblings by OSU and Michigan supporters that the athletic directors of those respective schools have sold out, it might also be possible they are on to the start of something big.
Detractors of the realignment plan will say that moving the game to October reduces its importance in the conference schedule, thereby lessening the relevance that the game has had for more than half a century. Supporters of Ohio State would argue that the Michigan game not only has proven who is the conference champ more than any other game, but it is also an effective barometer as to how far their team has progressed(or regressed) that year. Of course Michigan fans, having had to endure their team losing five straight season finales to the Buckeyes recently, might relish the chance to play OSU at the beginning of October, as it appears the Wolverines have started a trend of peaking right around mid-October. Even those fans might be considered in the minority, as I would have to believe that many UM fans are still fond of Bo(Schembechler) and Bo would have wanted "The Game" played as the season finale as well. Placing Ohio State and Michigan in the same Big Ten division allows for the rivalry to remain intact as it has been for quite some time.
Proponents of the realignment argue that, Michigan's current ineptness (sorry UM fans, haha) notwithstanding, Ohio State and Michigan have historically been the two best teams in the conference, and it is only fair that they be split in such a manner that allows them to compete for the Big Ten Title at the end of the season. The thinking here is that, if OSU and Michigan are the two best teams, then by playing each other at the end of the season one will eliminate the other, and thus the Big Ten Championship will not be decided by no.1 vs. no.2. There is also the added bonus of a potential second matchup between the schools each year should they be in different divisions; while purists would argue once is enough I can't believe that too many OSU fans would argue beating Michigan twice a year would get boring.
So, having heard the pros and cons of the conference realignment, where exactly does that leave us? I myself am a firm supporter of conference realignment. There is something to be said for tradition, for sure; the potential change in the OSU-Michigan dynamic initially led me to be opposed to the thought of Big Ten expansion. However, aren't old traditions supposed to eventually give way to new ones? When we learned that we could cover great distances faster in a fuel-injected automobile, did we still want to travel by horse and buggy? This may take some getting used to, and no one said conference expansion would be easy. But, at the end of the day, I believe if the Big Ten does separate Ohio State and Michigan into different divisions, not only will it re-energize the rivalry it will help put the conference on equal footing with that league down south I will refrain from mentioning.