Cory Giger recently wrote an article voicing his concerns about the new Big Ten divisional alignments.
One of his complaints was that Penn State was placed in the same division as the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Giger points out that Penn State will have to compete against Ohio State every year, with the winner almost always likely to win their division and earn a berth into the conference championship game.
As Giger mentions, Penn State has had marginal success against Ohio State, but I think that's exactly why it is good for Penn State to be in the same division.
Ohio State and Penn State are considered by many to be the top two teams in their division, with Wisconsin being an occasional darkhorse. The Buckeyes have had an incredible streak of success this decade.
Had Penn State and Ohio State been placed in separate divisions, based on the Big Ten rule that each team would have a protected opponent, Ohio State would be guaranteed to be Penn State's protected crossover game.
That would mean that Penn State would face the Buckeyes twice, if they both won their divisions, which is likely. That would require Penn State to win both games in order to garner much attention for a national championship spot.
A split against Ohio State would send us to the BCS, but not a national title most likely.
Since the BCS was formed in 1998, Penn State has gone 4-8 against Ohio State.
Excluding the "dark years" (2000-2004), Penn State is 2-3, winning by just a touchdown in 2005 and 2008.
In both years, they each lost one conference game, and shared the Big Ten championship.
Penn State struggles to win one game against the Buckeyes on a yearly basis, let alone having to win twice.
Having them in the same division was the best scenario for Penn State.