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Boilers happy

Rivalries kept intact

Purdue got several of its requests met when the divisions were announced by the Big Ten Wednesday.

The Boilermakers are in a division with Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

Coach Danny Hope said he thought protecting the Boilermakers’ rivalry game with Indiana was key, as well as being able to maintain the rivalry with Illinois for the Cannon Trophy. Both of those things happened.

So, no wonder, then Hope said he thought “the division alignment is great for Purdue football and Boilermaker Nation.”

Athletics director Morgan Burke wanted not only to keep playing the Hoosiers yearly but liked that game at the end of the regular season schedule. He expects that will continue beyond 2012, the latest schedule released by Purdue Wednesday.

Burke was impressed with the league’s statistical data to research the potential divisions, and he said judging by Sagarin ratings since 1993, the divisions are competitive within “the third or fourth decimal point” to find a difference.

The Boilermakers protected crossover game every year will be Iowa, and Burke said it came down to the Hawkeyes or Michigan State.

“I would have been OK with either one of those,” he said during a conference call Wednesday.

“I think what’s important is we will play every Big Ten Conference school at least four times in a 10-year period. If we can find a way by 2015 to get the conference games up to nine – we’re going to look at that over the next year – that number even jumps higher. I wanted to make sure every Boilermaker kid has a chance to play against at least each school, and I think we have that intact.”

Purdue also kept Ohio State as a home game for Nov. 12, 2011. That’s key because the school has plans for a “Mackey dedication” that weekend with men’s and women’s basketball home games sandwiched around the home football game.

-- Purdue's previously scheduled home-and-home with Oklahoma State has been canceled, Burke said. The games were scheduled for 2016 and 2019, and Burke said with the changes to both leagues, the schools couldn't keep their schedules "in sync."

-- Burke said no decision has been made as to whether divisions will be used in other sports. He suspects it will happen in some sports but not all of them.

-- Burke doesn't see an immediate change to the basketball conference schedules. The men play 18 league games, the women 16.

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