University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema believes the Big Ten Conference's new divisional alignment will help the Badgers in recruiting.

Bielema said the coaches knew about the new alignment two weeks ago and he immediately started plotting how it would impact recruiting.

UW has had a lot of recruiting success in Ohio, especially the last two years under tight ends coach Joe Rudolph. Rudolph is also making inroads into Pennsylvania.

With the Badgers now in a division with Ohio State and Penn State starting in 2011, those two states will become even more important.

One thing Bielema will now be able to guarantee recruits in those states is they will get to face Ohio State and Penn State every year.

"Iowa can't say the same thing," Bielema said.

Bielema mentioned Iowa, which is in the other division, for a reason: UW often goes head to head with the Hawkeyes over recruits.

The inclusion of Nebraska into the conference could open up areas to the west for UW, Bielema said.

"There are benefits there (to the divisions) that are probably way beyond what most people think," he said.

As for the new alignment, Bielema didn't seem to have too many problems with how things worked out.

"I knew, however it panned out, somebody was going to be without probably a traditional rival or a game they've always had," he said of losing an annual game with Iowa. "I'm just excited about the (division) we're in and, obviously, to keep (playing) Minnesota."

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