The biggest argument against a geographic split in the B1G has been balance. The most frequently cited example has been the old Big 12 North-South.
This compares the records from 2000 to present including games when they weren't in the same conference.
If you place an asterisk by 2012 Wisconsin (you don't expect the Rose when you are division 3rd) and 2010 Wisconsin (many tie breakers would have given the title to Sparty) and note 2000 Purdue was a 3 way tie (not a lot of confidence for a CCG outcome) the results aren't that different than the Big 12.
Like the B12 South, the East has the top team, 2 of the top 3 teams, and 3 of the top 5.
You can reason for more balance projecting forward, but it is easier to reason the division imbalance will widen (few would project Sparty to average 9th).
The winning percentage is 58% to 42% - a far cry from the 2 out of 3 record the Big 12 South posted over the North.
The problem with only looking at the 58/42 record is threefold:
1. Only 1 East team has a losing record against the West.
2. Only 2 West teams have a winning record against the East.
3. Indiana accounted for over 35% of the East's losses. Beating up one of the worst majors over this time frame isn't going to be given much weight by the fans.
The imbalance extends thru most of the division teams.
A sub average performance by the noobies would help balance the divisions, but they would both have to finish around Indiana's past levels to balance the divisions.
A projection either of these programs won't improve would be a prediction made in a vacuum.
Rutgers has been in a conference where every member and every coach wished they were someplace else.
In the "We're all about the same" world of ACC football, at 1 point Maryland had a 9-4 season sandwiched between 2-10 seasons. With this variation it is hard to know where they really are in the ACC pecking order.
The ACC shared much of its foot print with the more popular SEC, while teams left the East as soon as they developed - there isn't a lot of brands to attract attention those conferences. The B1G should be able to provide the brands to give these programs more exposure.
Both have been facing budget problems which make it hard to provide top facilities and other perks to attract the best recruits - problems which will disappear in a few years.
Both are in talent rich regions of the country. I would agree the ranking services have a bias that favors MD, but I think we've been beaten up enough to know recruiting does matter. Rutgers has been recruiting in or just outside the B1G top half for 7 straight years. Even with allowance for the recruiting site biases, Maryland has been recruiting in the B1G top half at least ½ of the time.
My guess is that after a rough 2 years, both programs will average around 7-5 to 5-7 records, around conference 7th thru 11th.
The fan's view
The divisions won't be balanced - you can't expect to balance
Ohio State, Michigan, PSU, and Sparty with
Nebraska, Wisconsin, NW, and Iowa.
I doubt it is sufficiently close enough to ignore, and I looked at it from several angles, from just the top to the entire conference.
...but something else caught my attention. 2 fan bases are excited to have Minnesota on their yearly schedule - a program that has finished in the bottom 2 of the conference 4 of the last 6 years.
Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota are all excited to play each other and Nebraska yearly.
Some Huskers are concerned that East-West is the new South-North, others look forward to establishing regional rivalries.
Sparty sees a conspiracy is to make it impossible for them to win the B1G.
Indiana, RU, and Maryland look forward to an attendance boost from the schedule.
PSU has long claimed they want more opponents from the east on their schedule.
tOSU and tSUN don't seem to care as long as they play each other at the end of the season.
Sure, there's an imbalance, but if you can find fans excited to play Minnesota, fill the stadiums of Indiana and Rutgers and Maryland, and cut travel expenses, then good work Delany.
If most of the fan base isn't concerned with an imbalance, who am I or anyone else to tell them who they should want to play? Go B1G.