September 2nd, 2010
01:16 PM ET

Big Ten divides, U.S. Open heads into second round

University of Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini giddy after accepting an invitation to join the Big Ten.

Ohio State and Michigan fans can breathe a sigh of relief that the teams' epic end of season battle remains in tact after the Big Ten unveiled its new divisional breakdowns Wednesday night. With a focus on competitive parity rather than geography, the conference opted to include Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin in one division and Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern in another for the 2011-12 season.

While not everyone was happy about their new place in the Big Ten, particularly Wisconsin, SI.com's Stewart Mandel contends that the conference generally achieved its goals and maintained a healthy balance between promoting competitive fairness and maintaining traditional rivalries. But more than anything, the conference got one step closer to making the Big Ten Championship Game the season's marquee, be all and end all event.

But for college football fans, you won't have to wait much longer for the season to officially get underway as a batch of games are lined up for tonight, while tennis enthusiasts can bask in the glory of U.S. Open action.

U.S. Open: Second-round action in Flushing Meadows continues, as Caroline Wozniack and Maria Sharapova both take to the court.

Southern Miss vs. South Carolina: College football season officially kicks off with tonight's season openers. One marquee matchup to watch: Southern Miss taking on Steve Spurrier's South Carolina. QB Steven Garcia and RB Brian Maddox will start for the Gamecocks.

BY THE NUMBERS

5 - The number of final game minutes football umpires will be able to return to their old positions. Originally they were only allowed to return to the middle of the defense during the last two minutes of game time, but complaints, most notably from Colts QB Peyton Manning, prompted the change. SI.com's Peter King tackles the issue in this week's Monday Morning Quarterback.

12 –Number of points Team USA player Kevin Durant scored in a blow out victory against Iran on Wednesday. Team USA will have three days off before their quarterfinal matchup on Monday.

$11 million - approximately half of Yankees captain Derek Jeter's 2010 salary. It was also the total budget for the Somalian government in 2009.

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Filed under: Football • Michigan • Ohio • Sports
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