Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says the conference will place competitive balance ahead of geography in determining its two divisions. Assuming rivals Michigan and Ohio State are placed in one division, Penn State should be put with Nebraska in the other. . . . How competitive will the newly configured 10-team Big 12 be? Iowa State, Kansas and Missouri, three teams from the soon-to-be-defunct North division, are a combined 0--36 against Texas coach Mack Brown
(below) and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. . . . USC's two-year postseason ban raises the possibility that a low-end bowl could be stuck with a 5--7 team. The NCAA approved 35 bowl games for the next four seasons, despite the fact that just 71 teams reached eligibility in 2007 and '09.