The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced a scheduling partnership on Wednesday encompassing football and basketball with plans to apply it to other sports.  Starting in 2017, each Big Ten school will play a Pac-12 counterpart annually in football.  In a shocking development, this pretty awesome setup was the brainchild of former Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther, who butchered Illini football schedules for close to two decades.  (Why would a Big Ten team ever schedule a neutral site game in Detroit against Western Michigan 4 weeks after they visited Ann Arbor?!  Why?!)

All orange-and-blue-tinged befuddlement aside, the Big Ten and Pac-12 entering into a scheduling arrangement is a natural extension of the link that they have because of the Rose Bowl and a way to add some high profile games to their respective football and basketball schedules without further expansion.  Some thoughts:

1. TV Advantages – Having all teams participate in one inter-conference football game per year is a way to build a critical mass of quality games during September that can be guaranteed to the conferences’ TV partners while still giving each individual school enough flexibility to maintain rivalries (particularly Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, USC and Stanford with Notre Dame) and schedule the requisite MAC-rifice games.  Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany indicated that the Big Ten/Pac-12 games would likely be played during 2nd, 3rd and 4th weeks of the season.  That would provide 4 “challenge” games during each of those weeks where one could be placed into every time slot.  This can provide some real value to the respective TV packages of the Big Ten and Pac-12, as at the very least ABC/ESPN would avoid getting stuck with a Michigan/Ohio State vs. Random MAC School game in the 2:30 pm Central Time national window during the third week in September.  The Big Ten Network and the nascent Pac-12 Network would also likely get multiple inter-conference games per year for both football and basketball, which could help each network get penetration into the other network’s home region.

2. More Big Ten/Pac-12 Bowls? – The Rose Bowl is obviously of critical importance to both the Big Ten and Pac-12, but the two leagues don’t play any other bowl games against each other unless it’s by accident.  (I’m certainly spending my New Year’s Eve afternoon watching the Kraft Fight Hunger and Interim Coaches Bowl between Illinois and UCLA.  Who’s with me?)  The issue from the Big Ten perspective is that the West Coast bowls involving the Pac-12 (besides the Rose) have low payouts compared to the Florida-based bowls with SEC tie-ins (and even the Texas-based bowls with Big 12 tie-ins).  The Pac-12 Rose Bowl tie-in largely masks the fact that the conference otherwise has the weakest bowl lineup of the AQ leagues (outside of the Big East) as its even its most desirable members, such as USC, don’t have good traveling reputations.  Personally, I’d love for the Big Ten to mix in another bowl or two against the Pac-12, but I can’t see those New Year’s Day games against the SEC in Florida going away.  For bowl purposes, nothing is more attractive than a Big Ten vs. SEC matchup (and they pay accordingly).  As a result, any new bowls arrangements between the Big Ten and Pac-12 would likely need to be lower in the bowl selection order and require some significant payout offers out there.  If the new 49ers and downtown Los Angeles NFL stadiums actually get built, they would have the potential to host new bowls that could pay enough to entice the Big Ten.

3. Improvements for Non-revenue Sports – On the whole, the Big Ten is probably bringing more revenue and brand name power to the table in this partnership compared to the Pac-12.  However, the Pac-12 overall has extremely strong top-to-bottom athletic departments in all sports, which can potentially aid the Big Ten significantly.  For instance, the Big Ten is a massive underachiever in baseball considering the conference’s resources and facilities.  If each Big Ten school starts playing a couple of series every year against Pac-12 opponents (who make up an extremely strong baseball league), that can bring up the RPI numbers for all Big Ten teams, which could then result in more NCAA Baseball Tournament at-large bids and higher seeds.  I’ve long thought that improving baseball ought to be a top non-football/basketball priority for the Big Ten and this Pac-12 partnership could be a way to kick-start it.

There could also be some phenomenal non-conference women’s volleyball matches.  The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already solidified themselves as the top two volleyball conferences in the country year-in and year-out.  In this year’s NCAA Volleyball Tournament, 8 of the Sweet Sixteen and 3 of the Final Four were members of either the Big Ten or Pac-12.

4. Notre Dame Rivalries and ACC/Big Ten Challenge Staying Alive – The indications from Jim Delany point to this partnership not having any effect on the Big Ten’s other relationships, such as the traditional Notre Dame football rivalries and the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for basketball.  It’s telling that Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said that he was actually kept apprised of the discussions between the Big Ten and Pac-12 and his relationship with Delany is characterized as “close”.  While a lot of fans like to jump to conclusions that conferences will act in a manner to “force” Notre Dame to do something (whether it’s conference realignment in general or a scheduling arrangement), commissioners such as Delany and Pac-12 boss Larry Scott are much more pragmatic.  As long as Notre Dame is independent, it’s ultimately extremely beneficial for both of their leagues to maintain high profile rivalries with the Irish if only because it helps out their TV packages quite a bit.  Think about it: the Big Ten guarantees 1 or 2 Notre Dame games to its TV partners every September, while the Pac-12 always has an Irish game to offer in prime time on Thanksgiving weekend (and these include marquee matchups such as Michigan-Notre Dame and USC-Notre Dame that TV networks pay a heavy premium for).  Delany and Scott don’t want to mess with that at all, which is why every time that a move that appears on its face might apply pressure on Notre Dame (such as the Pac-12 instituting a general rule last year that non-conference games should only be played prior to conference play) is explicitly caveated where it doesn’t end up affecting the Domers (where in the Pac-12 non-conference scheduling case, an exception was made for pre-existing contracts).

5. 8 Conference Games for Big Ten and 9 for the Pac-12 – Not surprisingly, the plans for a 9-game conference schedule for the Big Ten got nixed as a result of the new partnership.  Having every school be able to play at least 7 home games per year has become sacrosanct to the Big Ten, which would’ve made it impossible to have a 9-game conference schedule plus a Pac-12 game plus allowing other existing rivalries (such as the Notre Dame matchups described above) to continue.  The Pac-12 schools generally don’t have the same steadfast need to play 7 home games per year since they aren’t able to sellout their stadiums with Eastern Podunk State Polytechnic U coming into town the way a lot of the Big Ten schools can.  On the West Coast, higher quality opponents are required to draw attendance, which is why even USC has long scheduled 2 major non-conference opponent every year (Notre Dame and a power conference team) despite with the 9-game Pac-12 conference schedule.  As a result, it doesn’t surprise me that Larry Scott is indicating that the Pac-12 will maintain the 9-game conference slate for the long-term.

All-in-all, the Big Ten and Pac-12 partnering together is innovative in its simplicity.  They are adding on higher quality games without taking away existing rivalries while creating better inventory for their TV partners.  Both conferences have similar views toward academic excellence and maintaining strong top-to-bottom athletic departments.  With the two leagues already linked in the general public’s mind due to the Rose Bowl tie-ins, the partnership announcement makes sense at the end of a year where conference realignment didn’t make sense at all to a lot of people (unless you’re one of the commenters on this blog).

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

(Image from Los Angeles Times)

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Comments
  1. Adam says:

    I was hoping you would focus more on the ‘blank canvas’ part of the Pac/Big Ten deal.

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  2. duffman says:

    Well that was an ugly collapse

    20-0 run
    5-9 from the charity stripe
    4pts from CZ

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  3. Big Ten Jeff says:

    It will be interesting to see if and when the statute of limitations expires on ND’s hold on all things football, including the B1G, recruits, independent TV contracts and perceived prestige. Clearly, its current receipt of alumni dollars fuels the fire, but it’s ongoing failure on the field, aging of the alumni/fan base that remembers its glory/relevance and diminishing ratings make you wonder. It really was shocking that the B1G would proactively discuss its affairs with ND in the absence of them joining (which I am increasingly disinterested in). Although I still acknowledge (perhaps even moreso now) the potential value of locking up the east coast via ND now that the west and midwest are secure, but barking up that tree clearly isn’t bearing fruit.

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    • Richard says:

      It doesn’t hurt either the B10 or P12 to let ND know what they’re up to.

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      • Big Ten Jeff says:

        Acknowledged on the national scope of things (certainly our schools benefit from a scheduling standpoint), but you might disagree if you’re Purdue or Indiana competing for in-state recruits…

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        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Purdue, Indiana, and Notre Dame each compete for recruits primarily outside the state of Indiana. I recall reading that Purdue has hit Florida hard for its past several recruiting classes, and ND has players from all over the place.

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          • Big Ten Jeff says:

            I don’t want to get too far away from my primary point about ND’s hold on college football, but Purdue and Indiana had better be able to recruit OOS because they can’t compete with a national football ‘king’ residing in-state. Purdue has (had?) done quite well for awhile positioning itself at the ‘aerial attack team’ in the B1G; Indiana just hasn’t done well.

            The point remains the pragmatism of our engaging ND has some negative consequences on some schools in the B1G. Purdue and Indiana will never compete to the level they might with ND as prominent as they are, and that part of the equation clearly gets short consideration by TPTB. Apparently, maintaining a strong ND partnership for the greater good is more of a priority than knocking them off to the potential benefit of a few member schools.

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          • @Big Ten Jeff – Of course, the flip side is that Purdue uses its annual series with Notre Dame as a big-time recruiting tool. So, the Boilermakers are getting quite a large benefit from playing ND on that front. I’m not an ND fan at all, but I’ve been hearing for 20 years about how their power is going to wane and I haven’t seen it happen yet. In fact, ND is arguably even more valuable today in a relative sense because it’s so much harder to build a sustainable nationally-recognized brand in such a fragmented media marketplace today. Therefore, it behooves the Big Ten to play nice with them. The Big Ten is much better off with ND as an independent rather than sending them off to the ACC by taking draconian scheduling measures.

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          • Big Ten Jeff says:

            @Frank – I had the same thought when noticing how well Indiana football was doing financially (from the Forbes data). If each conference needs a bottom tier and this is the reward received for such, so be it. I just think it’s a fascinating paradox to observe in action.

            One could actually now argue that we now have ND exactly where we want them – in limbo. Not with us as a cultural misfit and not with the ACC as a competitor, but propped up and collaborating with us in the most productive way possible. I get it.

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          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            Purdue, Indiana, and Notre Dame each compete for recruits primarily outside the state of Indiana.

            Not really true. PU recruits from all over (IN, FL, TX and IL mostly, with OH, PA, CA, NJ and GA next) – call it 16% in state. ND recruits everywhere, maybe 6% in IN. IN recruits IN and OH mostly, with about 26% from IN. For a smallish state with 3 AQ schools, that’s pretty good. FL is the only distant state IN gets many players from. Where the three do battle a little is over the top IN players, like Gunner Kiel this year. Generally ND (and others like OSU, MI, etc) gets who they want while IN and PU fight over the rest, though.

            I recall reading that Purdue has hit Florida hard for its past several recruiting classes, and ND has players from all over the place.

            PU is big on FL now, but they hit TX about as hard or at least they used to. They get just as many in IN and IL, you just don’t hear about it because of all that southern SPEEEEEEEEEED.

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          • duffman says:

            Big Ten Jeff,

            They have football at IU, but you may know it as soccer. In the state of Indiana round balls take precedence to oblong ones. With the endowment and alumni at Notre Dame I think they go beyond just being a football school. I think they look more and more like Stanford every day, and the Cardinal has a presence well beyond football. MiR is correct about recruiting, in that some states are exporters like Texas, and some are importers like PU and IU. Notre Dame is not a regional name but a national one, so they can operate in a totally different sphere.

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        • Richard says:

          Don’t see how telling ND that the B10 and Pac are partnering up would hurt recruiting. What’s ND going to tell a recruit? “Don’t go to that Big Ten school; they’re going to start playing more Pac12 teams! Come to us because we play 2 Pac teams and 3 B10 teams annually instead!”

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    • Marc Shepherd says:

      There IS no statute of limitations on Notre Dame’s appeal. I mean, think about it. Do you abandon your favorite team, just because they lose? Of course not. And Notre Dame has the advantage that practically all Catholics root for them, and religious loyalties are the most durable of all. The fact that they almost never play up to their fans’ expectations is irrelevant.

      Conference commissioners and athletic directors are, as Frank explained, pragmatic. It doesn’t matter to them WHY Notre Dame has such a mystique, only that they have it. Most of the teams that play Notre Dame annually could not replace them with an equally desirable opponent. You can hate the Irish all you want, but it shouldn’t blind you to the facts on the ground. They are one of the most valuable properties in all of sports.

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      • metatron5369 says:

        I could be wrong, but I’ve always considered their base of power to be in the East Coast. That’s not exactly a bastion of loyalty, especially in college football, and they’re no longer the “national” school they say they are.

        We’re in a world where the power conferences exist well beyond their traditional markets; the Big Ten has fans all over the country because of migration and the SEC has been in the national spotlight for a decade.

        My point is, Notre Dame has always relied on the bandwagon fans around the country to support them. They no longer have them, and their hardcore fans are diminishing. I won’t say they’re dead or dying, but they’re a shadow of their former selves.

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      • frug says:

        I mean, think about it. Do you abandon your favorite team, just because they lose? Of course not

        I agree to your overall point, but it is worth noting that the TV ratings for Notre Dame’s home games have dropped sharply in each of the past two, and last year hit a record low. Heck, NBC has now said they are going to start putting a couple games a year on Versus/NBC Sports Network.

        Now, Notre Dame does still have a sizable following, but if they don’t start competing it will continue to shrink, which could cause major problems when it comes time to renegotiate their TV deal.

        And Notre Dame has the advantage that practically all Catholics root for them

        Maybe in the Midwest and Northeast, but that isn’t really true anywhere else. Most Hispanic Catholics (who are by far the fastest growing population of the Church) have no particular interest in an Irish Catholic school* and first and second generation Latino Americans have no memory of Notre Dame being a title contender.

        *This is one the main reasons the school is so desperate to start making in roads in the SW.

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  4. zeek says:

    The practical effect of this is basically going to look like a 24 team conference along the lines of the original Pac-16 proposal (split into 2 divisions with round robin and 1 cross-over).

    I much prefer this “interconference game” to the 9 game conference slate, although I can see why some schools might complain over competitive equity (Ohio State-Michigan as a protected crossover versus Wisconsin-Minnesota seems to give Wisconsin a long-term edge in terms of scheduling obviously, and that’s only exacerbated with 8 conference games versus 9).

    Outside of that, the benefits to the TV packages are obvious over the 9th game, and the advantages to every other sport are going to be fairly big.

    A relationship where 8-10% of the Big Ten and Pac-12 schedules across all sports are interconference matchups is the most realistic way of solving the typical long-term problems that we discuss face both conferences (Big Ten’s need to go to where the population is growing, and the Pac-12’s need for Eastern exposure via the Big Ten’s big name brands).

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    • Brian says:

      zeek,

      The practical effect of this is basically going to look like a 24 team conference along the lines of the original Pac-16 proposal (split into 2 divisions with round robin and 1 cross-over).

      No, it isn’t like that. Even assuming you are only talking about football, it isn’t like that. Crossover games matter for the conference race in FB, but B10/P12 games wouldn’t. That’s a huge difference. The winners of each conference actually both hope not to make the Rose Bowl, while I’m pretty sure the P16 teams would have wanted to make the CCG. That’s kind of significant as well.

      I much prefer this “interconference game” to the 9 game conference slate,

      Why? (honest question)

      Because a fifth road game wouldn’t impact the conference race? Divisional games are still split 3-2, making an imbalance.

      Because you don’t want to see IA/WI played 6 out of 10 years instead of 4 out of 10? Because you’d rather travel 2000 miles for road games than 500? Because you like to watch games at 10pm? Because you’d rather play WSU than IN?

      although I can see why some schools might complain over competitive equity (Ohio State-Michigan as a protected crossover versus Wisconsin-Minnesota seems to give Wisconsin a long-term edge in terms of scheduling obviously, and that’s only exacerbated with 8 conference games versus 9).

      It doesn’t seem to do anything, it definitely give WI an edge. So do MSU/IN and IA/PU (to a lesser extent) versus OSU/MI and NE/PSU. A 9 game schedule is closer to a round robin and thus more fair, but it does have the 5 road games issue.

      Outside of that, the benefits to the TV packages are obvious over the 9th game

      How so? Without knowing any of the details (especially the scheduling and how the BTN and PTN will work together), it’s hard to argue this topic well. Still, it’s trading 6 conference games for 6 AQ home games for the TV package. How is that an improvement? The B10 is just as likely to add OSU/NE as OSU/USC. The B10/P12 game will gain west coast fans, but lose regional interest. The package also may lose other marquee OOC games depending on how this is handled.

      the advantages to every other sport are going to be fairly big.

      I don’t see that either. Cross country travel is bad for the athletes, and I don’t see why most sports would benefit from an extra P12 game or two instead of playing the ACC, SEC, etc.

      A relationship where 8-10% of the Big Ten and Pac-12 schedules across all sports are interconference matchups

      Are they really talking that many games, though? My interpretation was more like 1 per sport per year. That’s 8% in FB, but more like 3% in hoops. Even a series in baseball would be less than 10%.

      is the most realistic way of solving the typical long-term problems that we discuss face both conferences (Big Ten’s need to go to where the population is growing, and the Pac-12′s need for Eastern exposure via the Big Ten’s big name brands).

      I don’t believe either of those problems are real or significant. The P12 largely solved their problem by finally signing a modern TV deal instead of the crappy ones Hansen always got. It’s not to say that B10 games wouldn’t help them, but I think the TV deal was the big problem. As for the B10, the whole population shift/demographics issue has always been overblown in my opinion. The footprint is well populated and growth will resume as the economy improves and unions lose their power. Most of the west isn’t growing too fast anymore, and population shifts change direction all the time. Besides, playing a few games out west wouldn’t solve the problem if it was real. You won’t gain any significant number of players or students from this.

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      • Rich says:

        The population shift is very real and a trend that has been happening for decades. People like to live in warm weather. Loss of union power with accompanying lower wages will only serve to push more people to the Sun Belt. Why put up with the cold weather if wages aren’t appreciably better?

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        • Brian says:

          Rich,

          The B10 footprint is big and the population is still growing. It’s much bigger than the SE. The shift used to be in the other direction and that was also a very real trend. Things change. A loss of union power would drive more businesses to locate in the north, and people will go where the jobs are. Companies went south because they are right to work states so labor was cheaper. As for weather, climate change is leading to more severe droughts, especially in the SW. Heat and water restrictions may well drive out some people.

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          • Rich says:

            The SEC isn’t in the SW. The shift from South to North was driven largely because of job opportunities in manufacturing. Those jobs aren’t plentiful anymore in the Rust Belt.

            Here is some demographic information for states in the footprints of the two conferences:
            From 2000-2010, SEC states added 11.3 million people (+14.4%), Big Ten states added 2.3mm (+3.4%). The US overall grew at 9.7%. Five SEC states outpaced that growth. No Big Ten states did. One Big Ten state, Michigan, actually lost population during that span. Six Big Ten states were at 4.1% or lower. Only Louisiana was lower than 4.1% and despite Katrina it managed to grow at 1.4%.

            The 2010 Census showed the SEC states with 90.1 million people. Big Ten = 69.3. The Census Bureau projects those populations in 2030 as: SEC 104.3mm, Big Ten 72.4mm. The SEC is going to add over 14mm people to its footprint while the Big Ten only adds 3.1mm.

            Three SEC states saw positive employment percentage growth from 2000-2009 including two with double-digit increases. The Big Ten had three states grow employment, but none larger than 3.8% (Nebraska, the smallest by far of any state in either conference). The Big Ten saw two states with double-digit employment losses (Ohio at -10.8% and Michigan at -16.9%). Worst SEC performer in this measurement = Mississippi (the smallest SEC state) at -5.5%.

            One other measure of comparison: in Big Ten states, there were about 101k building permits in 2010. In SEC states there were over 227k.

            The demographic data and population trends do not favor the Big Ten. More people = more money and this probably translates into larger booster contributions as well as more recruits from which to choose players. More people also equals more eyeballs and this translates into more TV viewership and more TV money.

            If you don’t think these issues are serious challenges to the Big Ten overall, then you are not being honest with yourself or you don’t understand the implications of such challenges. I love the Big Ten and despise the SEC. But the conference will have to continue innovating if it wants to compete with the SEC in football.

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          • bullet says:

            What your stats don’t show is a hidden factor, the aging of the population. Ohio has grown since 1980, but has 25% less high school students. The whole country is aging, but the impact is more pronounced in the midwest than the South as younger people are moving south for jobs.

            Trends continue for a reason, but a favorable job & tax climate is continuing in the most of the South (unlike California which has become very business unfriendly and didn’t gain a congressional seat for the 1st time since they entered the union). The one real positive trend for the midwest is that housing costs are dramatically lower than the coasts and the cities are pretty affordable.

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          • Brian says:

            Rich,

            The SEC isn’t primarily in the SW (TX, especially the western part) is. The P12 certainly is.

            You completly inflate the numbers by including TX and FL (and GA, SC and KY to a lesser extent) as if the SEC owns those states completely. TAMU is #3 in TX for recruiting. UF shares FL with 2 other AQs that take serious talent away, and every other school in the ACC, SEC, BE and B10 recruits there too. What do those SEC numbers look like if you don’t count TX and FL, or only a small percentage of them? Not so threatening anymore?

            Everyone knows the SE has been growing lately. What none of us knows is if or when the trends will speed up, slow down or change. I see no reason to freak out about it. Plenty of schools have been successful recruiting nationally, and I’m supposed to worry about possibly getting a few recruits from outside of the footprint? Besides, I don’t think the demographics have been the B10’s problem.

            The rampant oversigning, especially by the SEC West, has been a much bigger problem. The 95 scholarship limit started in 1978 and it reduced to 85 in 1994. This coincides with the rise of FSU and Miami. These changes hurt the kings and helped everyone else, as did recent gains in TV exposure. B10 teams were still really good through the 90s and early 2000s. Since then, the SEC has been on the rise and magically the recruiting numbers show many of them (not UF, UGA or VU) getting an extra 4-5 players a year since the early 2000s. Coincidence?

            The other major problem was the collapse of MI and the dwindling success at PSU. The B10 wouldn’t seem as down if multiple kings playing well. That always pushes everyone to be better. Hopefully the new regimes at MI and PSU plus the addition of NE will spur everybody to improve. As is, I think the B10 was deeper than the SEC this year, it just hasn’t had a truly elite team for a while. I’m guessing 2013 will see a return to an elite top team. Let’s see how even the modest recruiting rule changes the SEC coaches had forced down their throats by the presidents, and the SEC then forced on everyone else, impact the success of some schools.

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          • Rich says:

            Brian,

            Whether or not you think including TX and FL is inflating the numbers, the fact is that both those states are in the SEC footprint. And both those states regularly produce the most football recruits (along with California). There are some years when TX and FL produce more FBS signees than all the Big Ten states combined. There are plenty of recruits in Florida to go around between the three FBS schools. Additionally, Miami is not a statewide recruiter. They get most of their players from the greater Miami area and that is almost exclusively where their support comes from. FSU is the little brother relatively speaking to Florida. Yes, FSU and Miami are blue chip programs in the state of Florida, but the University of Florida is the flagship school in that state and it gets by far the largest amount of support from within the state. Florida is solidly an SEC state and it is preposterous to exclude Florida while comparing the SEC and Big Ten.

            If you want to exclude Texas, the SEC would have 4 million fewer people but would hold the growth edge at 12.2% to the Big Ten’s 3.4%. The growth trend holds. But excluding Texas is not valid. TAMU is not the top school in Texas. But TAMU is clearly strongly positioned as the #2 school in the second-most-populous state. There are plenty of recruits to go around between Texas and TAMU and Oklahoma. Moreover, TAMU is now a much more attractive destination for good players simply by being in the SEC. That is a fact. Good players in Texas are going to be increasingly likely to go to TAMU so they can stay in state and play in the premier conference instead of leaving the state to go to OU and play in a weaker conference. Texas has been a very open state for schools like Oklahoma, Nebraska, even Colorado. Arkansas, too. But I would argue that is largely because the SEC outside of LSU and Arkansas wasn’t really working Texas that hard. With TAMU in the league now, that is going to change. If you are from Texas and Nick Saban or Les Miles wants you, it’s not an automatic decision to go to Austin.

            Missouri is now also much more attractive by virtue of SEC membership. Those two schools will pull some players that they would not have signed as members of the Big 12. Most players want to go to schools that have prestige and are fairly close to home.

            Furthermore, the Big Ten has lots of recruiting pressure from other conferences in their footprint. The Big East has a school in Pennsylvania (soon to be an ACC school). The Big 12 is in Iowa. Notre Dame goes after most of the same guys as UM, OSU, MSU, ILL, etc. Oklahoma and Texas battle Nebraska. Missouri recruits against Illinois and Nebraska. PSU has to battle against both the Big East and the ACC in its primary recruiting areas like Penn, Maryland, NJ, and DC. The arguments you make about Florida and Texas can be applied to all of these areas. The only difference is that Florida and Texas produce many, many, many more FBS players.

            A quick look at the Rivals Top 100 for the class of 2012 shows that half the players come from states within the SEC footprint and only 11 from the Big Ten footprint. Even if you discount by half the players in Texas (11) and Florida (20) because there are other conferences recruiting heavily in those states, that still gives the SEC an edge of 34 to 11. Remove Texas and Florida from the equation altogether and the SEC still leads 19 to 11. And that doesn’t factor in the Big Ten states where other conferences recruit like Pennsylvania and Ohio (three each in the Top 100).

            Alabama is Rivals’ current #2 recruiting class. All the players save one come from SEC states. LSU, #3, all from SEC states except one from Indiana. Michigan is #4. Four guys from SEC states but one is from Kentucky, one from Tennessee, and the other two are from Missouri. None from Florida or Texas or Georgia. Most of Florida’s #5 class comes from the South but they got a guy from Illinois and one from Penn. OSU has no recruits from SEC country. Arkansas has 9 or 10 signees out of Texas and Oklahoma. The point there is that SEC schools can reach into other conferences’ areas more than those conferences can in the SEC footprint. Most of the top players in the south are staying there for school. The guys leaving for the Big Ten are generally second-level recruits; three-star guys and lower. When you see Purdue sign guys from Florida, they are not beating out Florida and Alabama but rather Florida Atlantic and Georgia Tech and other second-string football schools. For example, in the 2010 and 2011 classes, Purdue signed 14 guys combined from Florida and Texas. But only one of those guys was higher than a 3-star rated player. Many were 2-star players. These guys simply are not on the recruiting lists of most of the SEC schools. To Purdue’s credit, they are making excellent recruiting inroads in Florida and if the coaching regime remains and can produce winning seasons, that pipeline may start brining better recruits and more wins. That’s a long way to go, however.

            The vast majority of football recruits come out of the South, including Texas, and California (mostly Southern California). That actually does present a problem for the Big Ten from a depth point of view. The Big Ten schools are forced to leave their areas to get the best players. The SEC schools are not. That’s a pretty significant advantage. The best coaches have always gotten the best players and the best players are in the SEC area. You’re right that the demographics are not the only problem. Coaching salaries is another problem. A lot more money to be made in the SEC right now. That’s changing incrementally, but many coaches see the SEC jobs as more attractive. The SEC has 8 of the top 20 coaching jobs in the country while the Big Ten has only five.

            The oversigning certainly is a competitive disparity. However, I believe the SEC recently voted to eliminate that practice. I could be wrong about that. If not, I do believe that will be disallowed for all sometime soon by way of rule change at the national level. Regardless, I find that to be an excuse and not a reason. The scholarship restrictions following 1978 also immensely helped schools like Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern. Those programs were complete jokes during OSU/UM’s dominance with Woody and Bo. The scholarship reductions spread the talent around more evenly. Before the 80s, nine schools pretty much dominated college football for decades. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Alabama, Texas, Southern Cal, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. Sports Illustrated even called them the “Gang-of-Nine”. These schools stockpiled players sometimes sporting over 140 players on scholarship and they consistently finished high in the ratings and won lots of conference titles.

            Another huge change that occurred that you must acknowledge was the elimination of segregation at the Southern schools. Before the mid-70s, black players had two choices to play in college: go to a black school or go North. The Southern schools didn’t fully recruit black players until well into the 80s and the perspective of many black players well into the 80s was that the SEC schools were not a welcome place for them. Those restrictions, real or perceived, no longer exist in any form at SEC schools. That is a very significant change. It’s even more important than oversigning or scholarship reductions. That change along with the population shifting coincides perfectly with the rise of the Southern schools.

            With Michigan’s and PSU’s collapses, where was the school to step into those voids? In the SEC, when Alabama stumbled, Florida and Tennessee stepped up to fill that void and produced elite teams. When Tennessee fell back, Alabama stepped back in as an elite team. The Big Ten hasn’t had that. The fact is that in the BCS era, the SEC has had five different schools finish #1. The Big Ten just one. Two if you count Michigan’s split title in ’97 but that was pre-BCS. Ten SEC schools have finished a season in the Top 15 during the BCS era, only eight in the Big Ten (not counting Nebraska, TAMU or Missouri).

            Another point, the SEC schools generally field fewer varsity sports. This allows them to devote more money to football, which they do. That philosophy isn’t going to change and that is one more thing that puts the Big Ten at a disadvantage in football.

            I agree with you that the Big Ten is probably deeper this year than the SEC (regardless of bowl outcomes). But will that continue? We’ll have to see.

            My main point is that demographically, the Big Ten is facing a growing disadvantage. It will have to be creative in its approach to overcoming that.

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          • Rich says:

            A little more from: http://www.omaha.com/article/20111231/SPORTS/712319797

            “During a 10-season span from 1985-94, the SEC produced one team — one! — that finished top-3 in the AP poll. The past five years, it has produced eight; all other conferences combined have seven. And that’s before LSU and Alabama finish top-3 this year.

            Never in college football history has one league been this good for this long. It’s not just postseason rankings and honors.

            Look at budgets: Last year, 13 college football programs generated revenue exceeding $50 million. Seven were from the SEC. Ten programs had expenses exceeding $20 million. Six were from the SEC.

            Look at coaching salaries: In 2006, five of the 20 highest-paid coaches in the country were SEC coaches. In 2011, the SEC has 10 of the top 20 — and seven of the top 11. Eight college football assistants made $700,000 or more this season. Seven coached in the SEC.

            Look at crowds, both in the living rooms and the stadiums: The three highest-rated college football games of 2011 were SEC games: LSU-Alabama, LSU-Arkansas and LSU-Georgia. And six of the top 11 attendance leaders in the country are SEC schools.

            Look at talent: Per capita, all nine SEC states are among the top 20 nationally in Division I-A football recruits. Four (Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Georgia) are top-5. Those kids generally stay home. Each of the last five years, the SEC has led all conferences in NFL Draft picks.”

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          • Brian says:

            Rich,

            Say whatever you want. Counting all of TX and all of FL is silly and you know it. Nobody is arguing that those are 2 big states with a lot of HS FB talent. Does the B10 get to count all the eastern states where PSU dominates the locals? What about all the northern retirees in the south?

            The oversigning certainly is a competitive disparity. However, I believe the SEC recently voted to eliminate that practice. I could be wrong about that. If not, I do believe that will be disallowed for all sometime soon by way of rule change at the national level. Regardless, I find that to be an excuse and not a reason.

            The SEC voted to cap annual recruiting classes at 25, down from the limit of 28 they imposed just two years ago because Houston Nutt signed 37 players (the NCAA limits it to 25 by a different date). Considering you are capped at 85 at a time and players have 5 years, you’ll see that isn’t much of a restriction. They can still churn through 125 signees to find 85 players while the B10 can’t by internal rule (because they actually care about the players somewhat).

            http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/06/sec_adopts_roster_management_r.html

            [quote]
            No other conference oversigns more in football than the SEC. The adopted rules stopped short of the Big Ten Conference’s model, which was not considered by the SEC.

            Big Ten schools are allowed to sign no more than three over their 85-man scholarship limit. The SEC cap will allow 25 signees from Dec. 1 to Aug. 1, a change from the current practice of counting scholarship numbers beginning from the February signing day.

            The Big Ten model “sounds pretty good in a sportswriter’s office,” Florida President Bernie Machen said. “But since we really didn’t have full roster management until now, that wasn’t something you could really get to with all the data that we have today.”

            Machen, who has called grayshirting “morally reprehensible,” conceded the proposals aren’t a “lockdown 85.” But he said he believes it’s the best approach any conference has taken.

            The SEC plans to sponsor national legislation on several of the proposals, including the 25-player cap. Two years ago, the SEC adopted a signing cap of 28 that later became a national rule. SEC coaches had wanted the limit to be 30 and some found loopholes — such as counting signees forward and backward — to get around the 28-signee cap.
            [/quote]

            Even with the new 25 cap, that’s still a huge difference. That’s up to 125 signees (4 years + 1 redshirt year) to find 85 players while the B10 muddles along at 88 max (must be down to 85 by the fall).

            From oversigning . com:
            2002-2010 recruiting classes, average total per school
            SEC – 227
            B12 – 219
            BE – 215
            P10 – 208
            B10 – 199
            ACC – 199

            That’s on average, and nobody accused Vandy, UF or UGA of oversigning. Skip them, and the average is 235. Conversely, if I skip the 3 lowest in the B10 and add NE it only rises to 207.

            Average class size 2002-2010 per school
            Auburn – 28.1
            MS St – 27.4
            SC – 26.9
            AR – 26.6
            MS – 26.3
            AL – 26.1*
            KY – 25.1
            LSU – 24.9**
            TN – 24.0
            FL – 23.3
            GA – 23.0
            VU – 21.2

            * – AL only had 19 in 2002 (Franchione’s last year) and 2003 (Shula’s first year after the Mike Price fiasco). Ignoring that, they averaged 28.1 and were below 27 only twice (23, 25).

            ** – LSU had only 13 in the February just after hiring Les Miles. Ignoring that year, they averaged 26.4 and below 26 just the one year they took 24.

            PU – 24.2
            MN – 24.1
            MSU – 24.0
            IL – 23.8
            NE – 23.3
            WI – 22.7
            IN – 22.4
            IA – 21.9
            MI – 21.7
            PSU – 20.3
            OSU – 20.0
            NW – 18.9

            That’s 7 SEC schools averaging more than they are allowed to sign in any one year, 8 if you ignore LSU’s one half sized class. The top 9 in the SEC are all higher than #1 in the B10. No B10 school averages above 25. The bottom 7 of the B10 schools are lower than all but Vanderbilt. This is not a level playing field. If you don’t believe LSU and AL having 5-8 more signees per year gives them a significant advantage in fielding deeper teams, then we see the world so differently there is no point in discussing anything. Every player that fails to meet expectations can get cut and replaced with a new 5 star freshman.

            On top of that, Saban has more medical hardship cases at AL than the rest of the SEC combined. That frees up more space to churn players. AL also has the Bryant scholarship for children of Bear’s players (not just athletes can get it, to be clear). As long as they don’t play for their first two years, a player can get that scholarship and not count against the 85 limit. Once he plays, he counts against the 85 but after the two years he isn’t counted against his signing class, meaning they can essentially sign 26 and have an 86th player as an insurance policy. The NCAA outlawed all such program later, but this one is grandfathered into the rules.

            The scholarship restrictions following 1978 also immensely helped schools like Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern.

            I said as much. All the non-kings benefit every time the limit is lowered. They also benefit every time there is more TV exposure available. That doesn’t change the B10/SEC or north/south dynamic, though.

            Another huge change that occurred that you must acknowledge was the elimination of segregation at the Southern schools. … That is a very significant change. It’s even more important than oversigning or scholarship reductions. That change along with the population shifting coincides perfectly with the rise of the Southern schools.

            Of course that was important. But the SEC didn’t start to get good until much, much later.

            I don’t agree it is more important than oversigning now, but it was 30 years ago. The SEC didn’t emerge as superior until 2006. Before that, the FL schools all took turns being dominant as well as some of the other kings. How do the runs of Miami, FSU, NE, OU, USC, UT, etc fit into your theory?

            With Michigan’s and PSU’s collapses, where was the school to step into those voids?

            In Columbus, OH, and Madison, WI and Iowa City, IA to a lesser extent. Only OSU was truly elite, but WI and IA helped fill the void. WI even managed to win Rose Bowls, something MI always struggled with. The kings have a built in advantage that makes it hard for others to surpass them for long. But this is why Delany wanted to expand with another king, which he did. If MI went through a RichRod type collapse now, NE and MSU would step up and take advantage. MSU wasn’t ready last time, and NE wasn’t around.

            In the SEC, when Alabama stumbled, Florida and Tennessee stepped up to fill that void and produced elite teams. When Tennessee fell back, Alabama stepped back in as an elite team. The Big Ten hasn’t had that.

            See above. But also understand that OSU served the role that passed around the SEC. In part, that’s because of divisions. Every time a B10 king slipped, OSU stepped up. That resulted in 1 national title and 2 NCG losses. Only OU and FSU (and LSU now) can match that. And TN wasn’t that elite. They only made the NCG because of a freak fumble by AR that year. Then they lucked out and played FSU while their starting QB was injured. OSU was better that year and should have played for the title instead of FSU, but choking away the MSU game in November cost them a shot.

            The fact is that in the BCS era, the SEC has had five different schools finish #1. The Big Ten just one. Two if you count Michigan’s split title in ’97 but that was pre-BCS. Ten SEC schools have finished a season in the Top 15 during the BCS era, only eight in the Big Ten (not counting Nebraska, TAMU or Missouri).

            Nobody disputes that the top of the SEC has been better lately. There are many reasons for that, but I don’t buy demographics as a major one. 8 of 11 versus 10 of 12 isn’t that much different to me. I’m not losing any sleep over MN and IN not making the top 15, although I’d love to see them do it. But counting the last 20 years and including NE since they are B10 now and were always a northern school and PSU should have split the title, that’s 4 B10 titles. It’s not as many as the SEC, but it’s better.

            Another point, the SEC schools generally field fewer varsity sports. This allows them to devote more money to football, which they do. That philosophy isn’t going to change and that is one more thing that puts the Big Ten at a disadvantage in football.

            You’re changing your argument. Before it was all about demographics. Now you are just pointing out every reason the SEC might do better. I certainly wouldn’t deny they are more football focused in the SEC. They spend more on coaches, especially assistants, and more on everything FB related. The football fervor also leads to quicker firing of coaches that don’t win big, leading them to have better coaches on average than the B10. They also play spring football while many northern states don’t (OH just voted it down again, for example). The rumor mill and a few NCAA investigations indicate they pay a lot more for their players, too (Albert Means, Cam Newton, etc). But none of that is demographics.

            I agree with you that the Big Ten is probably deeper this year than the SEC (regardless of bowl outcomes). But will that continue? We’ll have to see.

            Who knows? The point is, you’re ripping the conference based on a few years and ignoring any positive signs. The SEC is very top heavy this year. It looks like they might be next year, too. Beyond that, nobody knows.

            My main point is that demographically, the Big Ten is facing a growing disadvantage. It will have to be creative in its approach to overcoming that.

            That used to be your point, but you went off on several tangents here. I fully agree that the current trends are no favorable to the B10. I don’t agree that the sky is falling and the world is doomed. Things change. Maybe all the illegals out west will take up football and the P12 will surge. Maybe climate change will drive people out of the arid southwest. Maybe economic changes will lead to a regeneration of the midwest. Nobody knows what will happen in the next 25 years.

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          • Rich says:

            I’ll ignore reality and I won’t count all of Texas and Florida if you won’t count all of Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio.

            You have a good handle on the over signing issue and I think you’re right about it. But they aren’t breaking any rules. It’s a great example of the difference in culture between the two conferences. I prefer the culture of the B10 to the SEC. But, one of those cultures produces better football programs. Over signing may produce an unlevel playing field in recruiting. But that is a self-inflicted wound the B10 is dealing with. Moreover, it’s not like those extra players would suddenly go to B10 schools. More likely, they would stay somewhere closer to home. Most players stay close to home. Please don’t try to deny that.

            The point I was trying to make with the segregation was that the affects of that were long lasting and important and became fully extinct only around 15-20 years ago.

            You talk about how OSU served the role that was passed around in the SEC. Yeah, that’s the point. Only one B10 school has been able to consistently perform at the elite level nationally. The SEC has several each year. What difference does it make if they are different? That makes it even more impressive.

            Ten of twelve is 15% better than eight of eleven. That seems significantly better to me.

            Going back 20 years is pointless. And how can you count Nebraska? Does PSU’s 1982 national title count as a B10 title? How about 1986? Hell no. Also, the conditions are not the same. The demographics are different. The money is different. The TV contracts are different. Conditions 20 years ago favored the Big Ten. Not anymore. We are in the BCS era and the fact is that of the 14 BCS titles played for, the SEC will have won eight of them. That is really impressive and it is unprecedented in football.

            Brian, you moved off the demographic discussion when you brought up over signing and the collapse of the “kings”. My original point still holds: the demographics matter and they are moving in favor of the SEC. Lots of other factors make the SEC the top football conference right now, not simply the demographics. If the Big Ten wants to viably compete against the SEC in football, they will have to find ways to combat those other elements.

            Because players generally prefer to stay close to home to play football, demographics do matter. I’m not sure why that is so controversial to you. I’m not saying the sky is falling. What I am saying is that the B10 has to change some things if they want to compete with the SEC in football. I’m not sure how that isn’t clear. As far as things changing, there is nothing to indicate that any of the advantages enjoyed by the SEC are going to change anytime soon.

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          • Brian says:

            Rich,

            I’ll ignore reality and I won’t count all of Texas and Florida if you won’t count all of Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio

            That’s not ignoring reality, it’s acknowledging it. Every state should be split proportionately based on how powerful each AQ is locally. OSU dominates OH, UT dominates TX, PSU dominates PA, UI dominates IA for what that’s worth, IN and PU are little brothers in IN but to OSU and MI as much as ND, UF and FSU split northern FL while Miami is strong in the very south.

            You have a good handle on the over signing issue and I think you’re right about it. But they aren’t breaking any rules.

            They aren’t breaking NCAA rules by oversigning, no, and I didn’t say they were. Other rules, I’m not so sure they follow. Abusing medical hardships actually would be breaking the rules, but it is virtually impossible to prove. AL suffering more than the other 11 SEC schools combined is certainly suspicious, though.

            It’s a great example of the difference in culture between the two conferences. I prefer the culture of the B10 to the SEC. But, one of those cultures produces better football programs. Over signing may produce an unlevel playing field in recruiting. But that is a self-inflicted wound the B10 is dealing with.

            I prefer it too, and I agree it is self inflicted. But it makes a major difference on the field, and that’s the point. I was offering a plausible alternative explanation for the rise of the SEC to your singular focus on demographics.

            Moreover, it’s not like those extra players would suddenly go to B10 schools. More likely, they would stay somewhere closer to home. Most players stay close to home. Please don’t try to deny that.

            They don’t need to go to B10 schools to level the playing field. The change in depth would mean the SEC schools are no longer immune to the effects of injuries, transfers, academic ineligibility, off field transgressions and other sources of losing players, especially starters. B10, and SEC East, teams suffer when they lose a starter. The oversigners just plug in someone just as good and move on. Depth is hugely important.

            You talk about how OSU served the role that was passed around in the SEC. Yeah, that’s the point. Only one B10 school has been able to consistently perform at the elite level nationally. The SEC has several each year. What difference does it make if they are different? That makes it even more impressive.

            I don’t think it is more or less impressive, personally. It’s harder for 1 team to stay that good than for several teams to take turns as they recruit the right guy to make a difference.

            Ten of twelve is 15% better than eight of eleven. That seems significantly better to me.

            Yes, but 9 of 11 would be better than 10 of 12. That’s my point. You’re argument is one team.

            Let’s see: OSU, MI, PSU, WI and IA are gimmes. PU, IL and MSU. MN was #17 twice, and was #12 before the bowl once. NW was top 15 in 1995 and 1996. IN is the only team that hasn’t sniffed that level in a while.

            Going back 20 years is pointless.

            How is that any more arbitrary than 14 years? 20 is a nice round number and traditionally represents one generation. 15 years adds MI, 17 adds NE, and 18 adds NE again. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were cherry picking a cutoff that helps your argument.

            And how can you count Nebraska?

            I explained that before.

            Reasons:
            1. NE is now a B10 team
            2. NE is also a northern team, so all the same demographic arguments should apply

            Does PSU’s 1982 national title count as a B10 title? How about 1986? Hell no.

            I agree, but only because that is too big of a time window (1986 = 26 years)

            Also, the conditions are not the same. The demographics are different. The money is different. The TV contracts are different. Conditions 20 years ago favored the Big Ten. Not anymore.

            So everything changed in those 6 years and that makes your time window valid and mine not?

            We are in the BCS era and the fact is that of the 14 BCS titles played for, the SEC will have won eight of them. That is really impressive and it is unprecedented in football.

            It is impressive, but not really unprecedented.

            Independents won every title from 1943-1947 plus 1949. That’s 6 in 7 years from 2 teams. The Ivy League won all the early titles (1869-1900) and a bunch more through 1913. The B10 won 7 in 10 years from 1933 through 1942 (only talking consensus titles). The B10 won 6 in 10 years from 1952-1961.

            Before that we were in the Bowl Alliance era (1995-1997) and before that the Bowl Coalition era (1992-1994). The old bowl system ended in 1991, which I didn’t include in my window.

            Brian, you moved off the demographic discussion when you brought up over signing and the collapse of the “kings”. My original point still holds: the demographics matter and they are moving in favor of the SEC. Lots of other factors make the SEC the top football conference right now, not simply the demographics. If the Big Ten wants to viably compete against the SEC in football, they will have to find ways to combat those other elements.

            Because players generally prefer to stay close to home to play football, demographics do matter. I’m not sure why that is so controversial to you.

            It isn’t controversial and I didn’t say it didn’t matter. I said you are blowing it way out of proportion.

            I’m not saying the sky is falling.

            That’s how it sounds.

            What I am saying is that the B10 has to change some things if they want to compete with the SEC in football.

            You may be saying that now, but that isn’t what you were saying before.

            I’m not sure how that isn’t clear.

            Because you know what you mean, but you aren’t editing your comment to make sure your point comes across clearly? I can’t hear your tone of voice in this, so I may read your words with a completely different emphasis than you intend them to carry. Such is life on the internet.

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          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Brian & Rich,

            This is a very interesting topic you guys are discussing. Big Ten vs. SEC is nothing new, but always interesting.

            My take: I’m very suspicious of the correlation between the SEC’s nearly-unprecedented string of success and the amount of oversigning committed within the league. Alabama and LSU are two of the worst in the country about greyshirting and, lo and behold, they’re the top two teams in the country. Until oversigning is curbed, I will find it hard to buy the argument that the SEC’s on-field success isn’t owed in huge part to oversigning. Moreover, there is a culture in the SEC where huge portions of all 12 fanbases in the league look the other way when Nick Saban hands out medical redshirts to underperforming players. The attitude where those kinds of practices are justified because “everyone else is doing it” makes me suspicious of what other dubious practices the schools ignore. Not that the Big Ten is a gleaming light of innocence (i.e., Jim Tressel), but the SEC (and many of its fans) do seem to blur the line between passion for teams and a win-at-all-costs attitude.

            At the same time, I won’t discredit the SEC to the point where I’d argue it wouldn’t be the best conference. I’m just saying that without oversigning, the league wouldn’t be winning national championships year after year after year. It would still win titles. Florida, for example, went 13-1 three out of four years from 2006-2009, with a Heisman trophy-winning season in the “off” year, and they did it without oversigning.

            I do not think the demographics issue is a small issue, but I see it more having to do with how much local talent is around than with states’ population growth rate. Big Ten schools have and will always have enormous alumni bases. Those alumni are concentrated well enough within the Midwest to provide huge crowds in the stadiums yet spread out well enough throughout the country to ensure significant interest at a national level. So even if Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc., struggle to grow in population, the popularity & support for the college football teams are very secure for the long term. I also don’t buy the idea that the SEC, other than with Georgia or Florida, has benefited all that much from the South’s growing population because the rest of the states haven’t grown all that much and aren’t very big states.

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          • @Michael in Raleigh – That’s a good point about the more nationalized alumni bases of the Big Ten. It’s the silver lining of the migration out of the Midwest. Also, the Midwestern states aren’t necessarily growing fast, the Big Ten schools themselves are in higher demand than ever for enrollment slots. The one state that has lost population since 2000 (Michigan) is simultaneously home to the school that gets the most student applications in the Big Ten (U of M). So, the Big Ten alumni bases continue to grow quickly and, from a TV perspective, it’s actually a good thing that they are migrating in great numbers to the Sun Belt.

            Now, I agree with some of the others that it’s not necessarily a good thing from a recruiting perspective. The sweet spot for any football program is to get players within 3 or 4 hours of campus.

            For the SEC market discussion, I’d say that Florida is unequivocally SEC territory. While there’s strong ACC competition, there’s still a very large cross-section of alums from all of the SEC schools that live there on top of the Gator fans. You can also see the overall SEC recruiting strength in that state. I’d see Texas as being an SEC market on paper as a result of the adding of Texas A&M, but not clearly SEC territory. A&M is strong enough to carry that state market, but interest in the SEC beyond the Aggies won’t be that strong, especially compared to the Big 12. It would be similar to how Philadelphia is a Big Ten market on paper because it has the most popular football school (Penn State) in that area, yet Philly’s interest in the conference doesn’t really go beyond the Nitanny Lions.

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          • Rich says:

            Brian,

            I’m not going to address your lack of understanding of what I wrote originally, just chalk it up to a misunderstanding, but I will touch on a couple of points you made in your last post.

            Fourteen years is not arbitrary or cherry picking. Fourteen years encompasses the length of time college football has been operating under its current system. To compare years that operated differently seems pointless to me. If you don’t agree, so be it.

            None of Nebraska’s or Penn State’s accomplishments before they joined the Big Ten should be counted as Big Ten accomplishments. Why would anyone say Nebraska’s titles in the 90s were Big Ten titles? I don’t get that at all.

            The SEC accomplishment of winning six straight national titles is unprecedented because no football conference has ever done that before. Independent schools being crowned champs from ’43-’47 is not the same thing as members of the same conference doing so. Why does this distinction matter? Because independent schools do not act in concert the way that schools in conferences act. Some independents in fact had loose agreements in the past regarding scheduling and other considerations. But no group of independent football schools ever operated in concert the way a conference operates. It’s apples and oranges.

            Regarding the Ivy League, they were not a conference from 1869 to 1900. Those schools were all independent schools. You can’t count those as Ivy League championships. They are championships awarded to schools that now play in the Ivy League. That is a big difference. They Ivy League itself makes this distinction. Furthermore, in 1869, Princeton’s 1st “National Title”, there was a total of two schools playing football. Both Princeton and Rutgers were 1-1 splitting a pair of games in November. Does that truly rise to the level of champion that we have today? Is it really a national championship when nobody outside of New Jersey is playing the sport? Is it a true championship when some writer simply declares one team is champion because they scored more points in the two games? Moreover, there was not even a system of any kind in place that was picking champions back then. All those championships you see in Wikipedia before 1905 were picked retroactively. Same thing for most of the titles listed through 1925. That is not legitimate in any way whatsoever and people who think those are real championships display a level of naïveté that is truly stunning.

            The Ivy schools never operated with any joint agreements or common purpose until 1945 and they didn’t form the Ivy League as a conference until 1954 and didn’t start official league play until the 1956-57 academic year.

            1870, three schools played football.
            1872-1874, five.
            It wasn’t until 1881 before even ten schools were playing football. It took another 15 years to get to 30 schools. That’s a lot different than what we have today.

            Seven in 10 years for the Big Ten was really good, but that isn’t even close to six in a row. Same for 6 in 10 years (five of which were shared-none of the SEC’s last six have been shared). One of those Big Ten championships, Minnesota in 1960, was awarded before they lost their bowl game. Remember, the AP and United Press didn’t take a vote after the bowl games as is done now. Another example of comparing apples and oranges. We are under a different system now than at any previous time in college football.

            Personally, I don’t think there has ever been a legitimate national champion at the top level of college football because it’s never been fully decided on the field. The BCS title is played for on the field, but they still rely on polls to determine the participants; the same polls that are filled with all the same old biases and conflicts of interest. Furthermore, how can a system be legitimate when there are multiple schools “claiming” championships in the same year? Some years as many as SIX different schools were awarded “championships”. Alabama added five pre-Bear Bryant national titles to its media guide in the 1980’s. The sports information director decided that the dubious titles awarded earlier should be counted because he wanted to put 11 national titles on the school’s stationary instead of the widely recognized six. So now Alabama claims it has 13 national titles instead of the widely accepted 8. Other schools have pulled similar shenanigans. What a joke.

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          • Brian says:

            Rich,

            I’m not going to address your lack of understanding of what I wrote originally, just chalk it up to a misunderstanding, but I will touch on a couple of points you made in your last post.

            Which post is “originally” in this context? There are way too many to keep track.

            Fourteen years is not arbitrary or cherry picking. Fourteen years encompasses the length of time college football has been operating under its current system. To compare years that operated differently seems pointless to me. If you don’t agree, so be it.

            Well, the system hasn’t been constant since 1998 either. I don’t see what the BC and BA eras are so different that they can’t be included, especially since NE was part of it, not isolated with the B10 and P10.

            None of Nebraska’s or Penn State’s accomplishments before they joined the Big Ten should be counted as Big Ten accomplishments. Why would anyone say Nebraska’s titles in the 90s were Big Ten titles? I don’t get that at all.

            I don’t count them as B10 accomplishments. I count them as accomplishments of current members of the B10. Since the SEC had 12 members to the B10’s 11, it didn’t seem unreasonable to me to consider how another northern school that has since joined the B10 did since you were comparing the north to the south. Don’t the same demographic issues apply to NE?

            The SEC accomplishment of winning six straight national titles is unprecedented because no football conference has ever done that before. Independent schools being crowned champs from ’43-’47 is not the same thing as members of the same conference doing so.

            Everything is unprecedented if you define it narrowly enough. I just showed there were several significant NC winning streaks/eras for other groups. You didn’t mention just 6 straight, but also 8 of 14. That’s what I was comparing to.

            Why does this distinction matter?

            Because if you don’t make it I would be right and you would be wrong?

            It was two schools dominating CFB, and they played each other every year. That seemed to be your point about the SEC. I’m sorry I didn’t realize how vital KY, MSU, Ole Miss and Vandy were to the SEC’s recent dominance.

            Regarding the Ivy League

            I only threw them out to show yet another precedent of ridiculous success. Nobody takes those years seriously or believes it was the same game. It was basically rugby.

            Seven in 10 years for the Big Ten was really good, but that isn’t even close to six in a row. Same for 6 in 10 years

            You cited 8 in 14 years. I find 7 in 10 and 6 in 10 reasonable comparisons.

            Another example of comparing apples and oranges. We are under a different system now than at any previous time in college football.

            You restrict the time frame to the BCS era, exalt the SEC’s accomplishments over that entire era and then declare it is unprecedented. How can there be a precedent when you have dismissed everything before 1998? It’s like saying the history of the world in unprecedented. It’s pointless. Nobody has argued that the SEC hasn’t had the most success in the BCS era at winning national titles.

            Personally, I don’t think there has ever been a legitimate national champion at the top level of college football because it’s never been fully decided on the field.

            And I think that is a ridiculous position. Just in the only era of CFB you seem to acknowledge, these were games between the only two undefeated teams that matter (I don’t count Marshall in 1999).

            1999 – FSU over VT
            2002 – OSU over Miami
            2005 – UT over USC

            The BCS title is played for on the field, but they still rely on polls to determine the participants; the same polls that are filled with all the same old biases and conflicts of interest.

            You would prefer a 128 team playoff instead, so nobody is snubbed?

            Furthermore, how can a system be legitimate when there are multiple schools “claiming” championships in the same year?

            Because there isn’t always one best team? Real life has shades of gray.

            Some years as many as SIX different schools were awarded “championships”.

            Weren’t you talking about the BCS two sentences ago? You’ve already dismissed the entire of history of CFB so why are you bringing it up again?

            Like

          • Rich says:

            Brian,

            I’ll try your style. Looks like fun.

            >Which post is “originally” in this context? There are way too many to keep track.
            >>Well, if you scroll up to your first posting in this thread, you talk about how you don’t believe the population shift is real or significant. Directly below that I posted a reply stating that the population shift is real. Pretty much all I had to say on the matter. But you felt the need to contradict this. Don’t know why other than you are a fact denier or you simply like to argue. So I felt compelled to respond with some hard data. And from there the discussion splintered beyond the demographic discussion. For the record, I never claimed the demographic issue was the most important issue or the primary problem. Just because that was the only issue I mentioned initially does not mean I see it as the only problem. You were making a conclusion there that I meant something I did not state.

            >Well, the system hasn’t been constant since 1998 either. I don’t see what the BC and BA eras are so different that they can’t be included, especially since NE was part of it, not isolated with the B10 and P10.
            >>Like I said, if you don’t agree, so be it. But the system has been constant in so far as it includes all the conferences and it purports to match 1 v. 2 at the end of the season. They have made minor adjustments from year to year but the system as a concept remains unchanged since 1998. You can include the BA & BC if you want. I wouldn’t though since neither included the B10 or Pac10.

            >Don’t the same demographic issues apply to NE?
            >>Sure. And adding Nebraska just makes the demographic challenge that much bleaker.

            >Everything is unprecedented if you define it narrowly enough. I just showed there were several significant NC winning streaks/eras for other groups. You didn’t mention just 6 straight, but also 8 of 14. That’s what I was comparing to.
            >>Fair enough. But as I pointed out in my follow up, That B10 streak you cite was riddled with shared championships. The SEC run is not (only LSU had to share one in 2003)

            >Why does this distinction matter?
            Because if you don’t make it I would be right and you would be wrong?
            >>You conveniently left out my own answer to that question. Bravo for doing the exact same thing of which you accuse me.

            >It was two schools dominating CFB, and they played each other every year. That seemed to be your point about the SEC. I’m sorry I didn’t realize how vital KY, MSU, Ole Miss and Vandy were to the SEC’s recent dominance.
            >>You may have thought that but that would be because you didn’t read it carefully or decided not to think about what I was writing. Notre Dame and Army dominated for six seasons, that’s true. But they never worked together as partners. They were completely separate entities. The power is concentrated in one conference, or set of close-working partners, right now. That is a completely different dynamic.

            >You restrict the time frame to the BCS era, exalt the SEC’s accomplishments over that entire era and then declare it is unprecedented. How can there be a precedent when you have dismissed everything before 1998? It’s like saying the history of the world in unprecedented. It’s pointless.
            >>Not quite. See, what you are doing is conflating two separate discussion points in an attempt to weaken my points. I restrict the time frame in context of discussing the competitive atmosphere of contemporary football. I contend that what happened pre-BCS is irrelevant in discussing the current competitive nature of college football. On the other hand, I talk about precedent in context of the SEC accomplishments of the BCS era in comparison to accomplishments of other conferences in any era and any system of competition. I know that is a subtle distinction, but if you take a deep breath and think about it for 30 seconds, I’m confident you’ll understand it.

            >Just in the only era of CFB you seem to acknowledge, these were games between the only two undefeated teams that matter (I don’t count Marshall in 1999).

            1999 – FSU over VT
            2002 – OSU over Miami
            2005 – UT over USC
            >>Is it really that impressive that a system has supposedly worked three times? Is that something to be praised? Was VT clearly the 2nd best team in 1999? Take a look at their schedule. One of the weakest schedules of any high-ranked team that season. Other than FSU, they only played one team that finished ranked. Nebraska by contrast played a total of three schools before their bowl against another that finished in the rankings and played a demonstrably better schedule than VT. But we’ll never know which of those two conference champs was better because they didn’t play it out on the field. As you point out with Marshall from ’99, being undefeated does not conclusively mean you are better than a one-loss team or deserving of playing for the national title. In ’02, OSU and Miami were the only undefeated teams at the end of the regular season. But there were a few others who, if a real playoff existed, would have had legitimate chances. Iowa lost only once in the regular season and went undefeated in the Big Ten, a conference rated higher that season than Miami’s Big East. Iowa played a SOS equal to Miami’s. Miami beat its opponents on average by about 21 points, Iowa by 18. A field goal’s difference? Not very big. USC had by far the strongest schedule of any of the top teams that year. They tied as champs of the Pac10 which was the best conference that year. Their only loss was on the road to a Kansas State team that would finish 11-2. Miami’s toughest road test that year was probably 9-4 West Virginia. SEC champ Georgia would have had something to say in a real playoff. 2005 was about the only example where the two teams that played in the championship game were clearly the two best. USC and UT spent the entire season at 1 and 2. Most seasons end with multiple schools having good arguments for inclusion in the BCS game but getting left out. This is the worst kind of system: one that professes to produce a true national title pairing but rarely does so in actuality.

            >You would prefer a 128 team playoff instead, so nobody is snubbed?
            >>Oh, yes. That is obviously what I am advocating. Don’t be ridiculous. If you really want to know what I think should be the system, then I’ll be happy to share that. However, I don’t need you to go through it line-by-line and nit pick it and take most of it out of context.

            >Because there isn’t always one best team? Real life has shades of gray.
            >>Right. You seem to be a master of grasping the shades of gray. If you can show me another sport that has regularly crowned its champion by awarding multiple claims to the championship, then this statement of yours will make some sense in the context of this discussion. How many teams claim the NFL championship from 1964? Now go look up how many teams claim the NCAA football championship from that year.

            From the NCAA’s official Football Records:
            “During the last 142 years, there have been more than 30 selectors of national champions using polls, historical research and mathematical rating systems.”
            That has to be one of the dumbest situations in all of sport ranking right up there with home field advantage in the World Series goes to the league that wins the All Star Game.

            >Weren’t you talking about the BCS two sentences ago? You’ve already dismissed the entire of history of CFB so why are you bringing it up again?
            >>Once again, I am not dismissing the “entire history of CFB.” See above. I included that point to illustrate how truly absurd the entire history of crowning football champions has been. And the practice is not a relic of your grandpappy’s era. As recently as 1994 and 1995, the NCAA lists national championships awarded to four schools and three schools respectively. And we had a championship as recently as 2007 that is listed in the NCAA record book as split between three schools as chosen by “Major Selectors.” They even list USC as getting a championship from one of those major selectors in 2005. Yes, the same year that Texas beat USC in the BCS game. That is absolutely laughable.

            Now, go ahead and tear it all apart line-by-line.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Rich,


            >>Well, if you scroll up to your first posting in this thread, you talk about how you don’t believe the population shift is real or significant.

            No, I didn’t. I said the problem wasn’t real or significant. That’s very different. Perhaps that is the root of the misunderstanding here.



            >Why does this distinction matter?
            Because if you don’t make it I would be right and you would be wrong?
            >>You conveniently left out my own answer to that question. Bravo for doing the exact same thing of which you accuse me.

            Your answer is sitting in your comment. Why would I repeat it? I provided my answer instead.


            >Just in the only era of CFB you seem to acknowledge, these were games between the only two undefeated teams that matter (I don’t count Marshall in 1999).

            1999 – FSU over VT
            2002 – OSU over Miami
            2005 – UT over USC
            >>Is it really that impressive that a system has supposedly worked three times? Is that something to be praised?

            You said, “Personally, I don’t think there has ever been a legitimate national champion at the top level of college football because it’s never been fully decided on the field.”

            I provided 3 games in 14 years that paired the only 2 undefeated teams in the nation, ignoring Marshall in 1999 because they had no argument for being as good as the other 2.

            If you don’t believe any of those 3 were legitimate national champions, you are being intentionally ridiculous. Just as a note, regular season games count as part of deciding it on the field to normal people. Playoffs games don’t have magic powers to discern the truth.

            Was VT clearly the 2nd best team in 1999?

            Yes.

            2005 was about the only example where the two teams that played in the championship game were clearly the two best. USC and UT spent the entire season at 1 and 2.

            So you admit you were wrong?

            >You would prefer a 128 team playoff instead, so nobody is snubbed?
            >>Oh, yes. That is obviously what I am advocating. Don’t be ridiculous. If you really want to know what I think should be the system, then I’ll be happy to share that.

            It sounds like what you want. You seem to be dismissing regular season games as capable of determining which teams are better. You only give credit to postseason results, and even then you are busy critiquing who didn’t get to play in those games. If everyone plays, then even you can’t complain about leaving someone out who had a chance to make a run. It would also mean the season was meaningless which seems to be your position anyway.

            If you have a plan, feel free to share it. Please include an explanation of why those who are left out don’t deserve a chance but the last team in clearly does, what system will pick the included teams that is completely unbiased, the logistics of how the system works (dates, locations, travel concerns, etc), and why this championship system is any better than the current or previous systems in your opinion.

            However, I don’t need you to go through it line-by-line and nit pick it and take most of it out of context.

            I respond to different parts separately so you know what I am responding to exactly. I quote only what is necessary because you presumably know what you wrote. I’m not sure how parts of a playoff plan could be taken out of context.

            >>Right. You seem to be a master of grasping the shades of gray.

            Thank you. Anyone can deal with black and white.

            If you can show me another sport that has regularly crowned its champion by awarding multiple claims to the championship, then this statement of yours will make some sense in the context of this discussion.

            First, the fly diet argument is stupid. Why should I care what any other sport does? Why does someone else doing it mean it is better than anything else?

            Soccer teams generally play a regular season and tournaments and crown champions of both. Track just awards meet champions, with no overall season champion. Boxing has no season. Different sports are different.

            CFB has a playoff right now. For all your big talk about how bad the current system is, you just want to expand it. I fail to see how it suddenly becomes deciding it on the field because you included 4 teams instead of 2. What if the AP or some web site doesn’t vote your playoff champ the winner? Does the whole thing crumble as an equally terrible system?

            Like

      • Rich says:

        Big Bri,

        The reason I believe there has never been a legitimate football champion is because the participants are voted into the game. It’s not my idea of how to find the best team. We don’t know unless they meet on the field of play. How can you say with a straight face that a playoff game doesn’t, to put it your way, determine the truth? One team beating another head-to-head isn’t the truth? What planet do you live on?

        Saying college football has a playoff right now is either disingenuous or stupid. Which are you?

        Why would you care how another sport does it? Because maybe, just maybe, the possibility exists that there could be a better way. Can you see that from your myopic throne of authority?

        Track champions aren’t decided by a poll. They actually get out on the track and give the medal to the person that crosses the line first. And they have a little thing called the Olympics where they determine champions on the track. They have another little thing called the World Championships where they determine the champions on the track. Don’t you see the difference?

        You’re right that soccer leagues have a regular season champion, which is the team that wins it on the field, not who gets the most media votes or coaches votes. And you are right that they have additional tournaments. But guess what? They don’t vote on the European Champion from teams that play in different leagues. They have a playoff to determine the European champion.

        I guess you like the idea of deciding a champion by voting. I despise it. By your logic, there isn’t any need to have a playoff in any sport. Why bother? Just have a vote at the end of the regular season. Great idea! I guess the Packers didn’t deserve that championship last year because they weren’t the best regular season team. Just because the BCS lucks its way into getting the two best teams, allegedly, on rare occasions, doesn’t make it a good system. Most of the time they either get it wrong (example: Nebraska getting to play in the BCS game after getting creamed by Colo.) or there is no clear-cut 2nd best team. If you think that is the best way to determine a champion, then then you have revealed yourself to be an idiot and I don’t argue with idiots. Have a nice life.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Rich,

          The reason I believe there has never been a legitimate football champion is because the participants are voted into the game.

          If the two best teams are playing, how that is achieved should not invalidate the legitimacy of the championship. How does voting in 4 teams make it better?

          There is a difference between disputable and illegitimate. CFB has lots of disputed champions, but very few (if any) illegitimate ones in modern times.

          It’s not my idea of how to find the best team.

          Just because it isn’t your idea of the best system doesn’t make every champion illegitimate, either.

          We don’t know unless they meet on the field of play.

          They do meet on the field. Teams get 12-14 games to establish their credentials and then two play for the title.

          How can you say with a straight face that a playoff game doesn’t, to put it your way, determine the truth?

          I said they don’t have special powers to determine the truth above and beyond regular season games. If AL beats LSU 9-6 in the NCG, why is that result more correct than LSU beating AL 9-6? The Patriots beat the Giants during the 2007 season on their way to 16-0, but lost a rematch for the title. The Giants finished 10-6 and didn’t win their division. I’m supposed to believe they were better than the Pats? Everybody knows that if two teams are anywhere near equivalent, either team can win the game if things go their way. It’s harder to luck into a great season.

          One team beating another head-to-head isn’t the truth? What planet do you live on?

          The one that knows that no one game can 100% determine which team is better. MSU beat WI, but WI beat MSU in the CCG. Is WI absolutely for sure the better team because they won in the postseason?

          Saying college football has a playoff right now is either disingenuous or stupid.

          Actually, it is 100% correct. I’m sorry you have a hard time accepting that reality.

          Why would you care how another sport does it? Because maybe, just maybe, the possibility exists that there could be a better way.

          There could be a better way, or the current way could be better than the others. The fact that another sport does it differently doesn’t mean much. Every sport has different needs and restrictions. Basketball and baseball and hockey play series – does football have to switch to that because the other sports do it?

          Track champions aren’t decided by a poll. They actually get out on the track and give the medal to the person that crosses the line first.

          Sort of like giving the title to the winner of the NCG?

          I guess you like the idea of deciding a champion by voting. I despise it.

          I don’t necessarily like it, but that’s beside the point. The point that you are intentionally missing is that CFB doesn’t do that. It has a 2 team playoff to determine the winner.

          By your logic, there isn’t any need to have a playoff in any sport.

          You don’t need to, no. The pros do it for money, mostly.

          I guess the Packers didn’t deserve that championship last year because they weren’t the best regular season team.

          That’s correct. They deserved a tournament championship trophy.

          Just because the BCS lucks its way into getting the two best teams, allegedly, on rare occasions, doesn’t make it a good system.

          I never said the BCS was a good system.

          Like

          • Rich says:

            You’re defending the BCS. The BCS title game is not a playoff. It’s a game between two teams voted into the game and they call it a national championship. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

            How would MLB determine their champion without a playoff? They’d have a National League and an American League champ and leave it at that. You can criticize the merits of the playoff system, but it seems implausible that they could determine a champion without a playoff system (unless they radically restructured their set up).

            You can have a true champion one of two ways. One way is to play everybody in your league. Kind of like the college conferences do, well, used to do. At least the teams in divisions play all the other teams in their divisions. The team with the best record is the champ. The other way is needed when you have too many teams to make playing all the other teams possible. This is what most leagues do. They divide the teams into divisions and have the champions compete in playoffs to determine the overall champion.

            You’re partly right that the pro leagues have playoffs for money. They started playoffs to determine champions. The NFL, for example, instituted a one-game playoff when two teams tied at the top of the standings.

            Leagues expanded playoffs for money. No doubt about that. That doesn’t make the concept of a playoff wrong. College football could have a great playoff if they did it right by including only conference champions; the top four or top eight. Allowing non-champions would ruin it in my opinion and that is a true risk if a playoff is ever instituted. I’ll grant you that.

            Like

          • Rich says:

            Don’t forget that there is still a vote after the so-called championship game. The coaches are obligated to vote for the winner of the BCS game. But the AP voters are not. Great system.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            “You’re defending the BCS.”

            Oh no! Call out the Ministry of Truth! Someone dares to question the big-tournament stance! They must be made an example of!

            “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

            What’s that you say? You are from the Ministry of Truth? And you’re already on the scene?

            Good job Sir!!

            “The BCS title game is not a playoff. It’s a game between two teams voted into the game and they call it a national championship. ”

            It’s a tournament at the end of the season. Just like any other form of playoffs. Single elimination, just like many of the other NCAA tournaments. The fact that it has less teams than you would like doesn’t mean it’s not a playoff.

            Of course, in other NCAA tournaments, voters have even more power to choose the teams involved. The computer polls in the BCS actually make it more impartial than other NCAA tournaments, though voters still can override the computers (and do). The fact that the votes are often publicly revealed, instead of hidden by special committees, makes it by far the most transparent of the NCAA post-seasons.

            “Don’t forget that there is still a vote after the so-called championship game. The coaches are obligated to vote for the winner of the BCS game. But the AP voters are not. Great system.”

            Yes, exactly like all the other NCAA sports. The AP can vote a basketball team #1 who did not win the tournament at the end of the year. If the voters were sincere about their votes, they would do it regularly (though not every year). Sadly, they don’t; that would require going against the playoff myth.

            Sports reporters (most of the time they really should have the title storytellers) like the playoff myth…the team who won the last game is the greatest ever!! What happened last week wasn’t random chance, it was ‘clutch!’ Never mind every last game that came before!!! It’s a simple story, easy to write and requires little analysis. Which is perhaps a good thing, given the quality of our sports storytellers.

            All titles for best of the year are mythical. Whether they involve a tournament or not. Any extended playoff system would not be more ‘fair’. A tournament title does not equal ‘best team’, and any sincere analyst should be willing to vote #1 a team who lost the last game if the season taken as a whole indicates that. I for one object to the BCS Champion having to be #1 in the Coaches poll. If the AP picks a different #1 I would support them, as long as it was done with sincerity and not to mindlessly ‘stick it to the BCS’.

            Like

          • Rich says:

            The coaches’ votes are not public until the final poll unless they choose to reveal their votes. And it’s common knowledge that many coaches let somebody fill out their poll. And the coaches that do fill out their own can’t possibly have an informed opinion on any team not on their schedule. If they do, then they are doing their own team a disservice.

            Unfortunately, we don’t know how impartial the computer polls are because they don’t reveal their formulas (I think one does, but I don’t remember which). Blindly trusting a computer poll because some guy who developed it promises that it’s impartial is naive.

            The playoffs are a myth. That is a new one. Random chance? You think the Broncos winning today was random chance or is it possible they played better than the Steelers? Winning a tournament championship is not mythical. Pretty twisted logic there. Why bother with any games after the regular season? Why bother with your little so-called playoff BCS championship game? Just have a subjective vote because there is a clear-cut best team every year. There’s never been a difference of opinion on that. Better yet, they could give out participation ribbons to every team and not declare a champion at all. No need for polls or playoffs. Everybody wins and we all feel good about ourselves. Yaaay.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            “The BCS title game is not a playoff. It’s a game between two teams voted into the game and they call it a national championship. ”

            It’s a tournament at the end of the season. Just like any other form of playoffs. Single elimination, just like many of the other NCAA tournaments. The fact that it has less teams than you would like doesn’t mean it’s not a playoff.

            Of course, in other NCAA tournaments, voters have even more power to choose the teams involved. The computer polls in the BCS actually make it more impartial than other NCAA tournaments, though voters still can override the computers (and do). The fact that the votes are often publicly revealed, instead of hidden by special committees, makes it by far the most transparent of the NCAA post-seasons.

            You’re comparing 68 out of 300+ to 2 out of 120. That’s a considerable difference. Such malarkey is one of the problems with college football, where “brand name” trumps all — and if you don’t have a brand, forget it. As I’ve stated elsewhere, such situations give the benefit of the doubt to an Oklahoma over an Oklahoma State, to a Texas over a Texas Christian. The deck is stacked against you, unlike in other sports where you can actually play for a title (and don’t give me that “more power to choose the teams involved”; being the #3 football team unable to play for it all is a far cry from being the #69 basketball team). However, since most of the people on this board root for “brand” teams, why should they want a change from the status quo?

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            “The playoffs are a myth. That is a new one. Random chance? You think the Broncos winning today was random chance or is it possible they played better than the Steelers? ”

            The playoffs aren’t a myth. They exist. The ‘playoff myth’ is the idea that the team that won the last game was the better team over the year. It’s an idea for those with short attention spans, and that pretty much defines our society. And yes, since your asking, Denver (barely) defeated Pittsburgh yesterday, but Pittsburgh was better than Denver over the year. You can belittle that all you want; you can deliberately garble what I’m saying; but it doesn’t make you right.

            Like

          • Rich says:

            So, what’s your vested interest. Because you couldn’t possibly be an imbecile.

            Like

          • Rich says:

            “The BCS is designed to give some indication of a champion,” said Gus Bailey (Texas Tech President).

            Like

        • Rich says:

          And we are supposed to buy the stinking fish that a team that is .0086 points higher in the BCS rankings is clearly the 2nd best team from the regular season. On top of that, Oklahoma State is ranked 2nd in 5 of the 7 sacrosanct computer rankings and it is pretty clear that subjective voting is more important than any objective criteria. The 2nd best team in the SEC must be better than the champion of the Big 12 because, well, it is the SEC. The voters’ buy-in to the brand name myth is self-perpetuating.

          Like

          • Rich says:

            Since when were playoffs intended to determine the “better team over the year”? They are not, obviously. Playoffs are intended to determine a champion when all the teams can’t play each other enough times. Pretty simple concept.

            The BCS is rank an defenders of it are imbeciles or they have a vested interest in its corruption. The BCS sanctions opinion polls as a way of legitimately determining not only the “title” game opponents but the actual “champion”.

            The winner of the polls used to by called the mythological national champion for a good reason.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            “Playoffs are intended to determine a champion when all the teams can’t play each other enough times.”

            They determine a tournament champion, which doesn’t mean anything special. You could run 2 more tournaments and have 2 more ‘champions’. And they could all be different teams! But that might be too much for you to comprehend.

            Your name calling throughout this thread is vile.

            Like

          • Rich says:

            m (Ag):

            Declaring a tournament champion as nothing special is one of the more dumbfounding statements I’ve ever seen on a board like this. Do you just like to argue or are you truly stupid? Or do you have a vested interest in the BCS or a bowl game? If you’re stupid, then I apologize. Otherwise, you, pal, are the one who is vile.

            Like

  5. Michael in Raleigh says:

    RE: New B1G/Pac-12 bowl games

    I suspect the Big 12 is going to lose its tie-in to either the Alamo or the Insight Bowl. A league that has replaced A&M and Nebraska with TCU (a small school) and West Virginia (far away from Texas & Arizona) is simply going to lose some value when competing with other leagues in the next cycle of bowl tie-in negotiations.

    So, if the Alamo drops the Big 12, the Big Ten will likely fill that spot, with the Pac-12 keeping its tie-in. If the Insight drops the Big 12, the Pac-12 would be a perfectly sensible replacement.

    In other words, Delany and Scott may just work within the existing system to create more Big Ten-Pac-12 bowl matchups rather than create new games at the new NFL stadiums.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I think the Holiday Bowl is actually more likely. The Alamo now as Big 12 #3 vs. PAC-12 #2 and is located in Texas (obviously). They have a good match-up already and they are going to want Big 12 to remain a local anchor. The Holiday Bowl though has already moved down the pecking order and was a bowl the Big Ten was once affiliated with. I could see them getting on board.

      (I could see Insight too).

      Like

      • @Eric – I’m a big fan of the Big Ten getting the Holiday Bowl tie-in again, although they’re an example of the lower payouts for the West Coast bowls. They’re quite a bit behind the Gator Bowl in terms of payout despite featuring what would typically be a much tougher opponent (Pac-12 #3 in the Holiday compared to SEC #6 in the Gator). The San Diego location can’t be beat, though.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      The Alamo Bowl????? Why would a bowl in San Antonio want anyone as its anchor other than a Big 12 school? They might as well shut the bowl down.

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        To get northerners to come to town… buy tickets… stay at hotels.. eat at restaurants, etc. Don’t need regional folks driving in for the game only.

        Like

      • @bullet – True. For all of the Big 12’s problems, they’re still solidly the #3 conference for bowl tie-ins after the SEC and Big Ten (although not quite as attractive now without Nebraska and Texas A&M). The Alamo and any other Texas-based bowl want Big 12 tie-ins as much as Florida-based bowls want SEC tie-ins.

        Like

    • Mack says:

      At most 1 added B1G:PAC bowl matchup since the $EC bowls pay too much to drop and I doubt the B1G will drop both Texas bowls for PAC matchups. The best option is the Holiday Bowl using the #6 B1G pick now in the Texas bowl. The B1G will try to keep the Texas bowl at the same payout with the #7 pick dropping Ticketcity-Dallas. The ACC will take a hit since the B12 is likely to replace the ACC in the Sun bowl changing this to a B12#5:PAC#4 matchup, just 1 down on the PAC side from the current Holiday matchup.
      :
      An alternative is upgrading the Kraft bowl (ESPN owns it) by moving it to the new NFL stadium and doubling its payout for a matchup between the #7 B1G pick (from Ticketcity-Dallas) against the #5 PAC team with current #5 PAC (Las Vegas) and below getting pushed down.
      :
      The Insight Bowl is owned by the FIesta Bowl so unless the Fiesta drops its tie to the B12 the B12 Insight bowl tie should be safe…one advantage the Fiesta has over the Cotton.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’m not so sure the Fiesta people wouldn’t rather have the P12 for the Insight. That gives them a shot at the 2 in state teams, and they can match them with all the B10 transplants and traveling hordes. The new leadership may take a different approach than the previous regime.

        I’d like to see the B10 pick up a Pinstripe Bowl match up with the ACC to replace the Gator Bowl. It pays better, the location is nicer (colder, but nicer), and it would provide an ACC game and east coast access. How much would they pay for a shot at PSU vs Pitt/SU rather than B12/BE?

        I fail to see why the B10 should want another CA game. Upgrade the Pizza Bowl a little and make that the other B10/P12 game and make a new game in Chicago for B10/MAC.

        Like

        • Mack says:

          I am sure the Orange Bowl (or Cotton Bowl if this becomes BCS) will be glad to pick up the B12 tie if the Fiesta does not want it. The Fiesta providing two bowl ties to the B12 is its advantage; therefore, if the B12 goes away from the Insight it will also go away from the FIesta. It is not like the PAC or B1G is going to move its BCS champ from the Rose bowl to the FIesta, so the Fiesta will try to keep the B12 happy.
          :
          The Pinstripe is an option for the B1G#7 slot against either the BE or ACC. I do not see the Pinstripe payout increasing much if any for this matchup, but it is already a lot higher than the Ticketcity.
          :
          Traveling from west coast to Detroit in January for the Pizza Bowl? I don’t think so. I think the MAC tie has more value for this bowl.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            The Orange isn’t a factor. The B12 will be in either the Cotton or Fiesta due to proximity. The B12 could choose to move back to the Cotton anyway, now that Jerryworld can provide a big payout. The B12 may not even really want 2 games in Phoenix.

            The Pinstripe could move up with that payout, and they would pay a little more for better teams, especially getting the B10.

            Few fans travel for the bottom bowls. You depend on locals and ESPN. There’s no reason a P12 #8 can’t come to Detroit.

            Like

  6. frug says:

    One reason the PAC might stick to a 9 game schedule; their shiny new media deal. When ESPN and Fox gave the PAC all that money they were expecting a certain inventory of conference games, and the PAC may not be able to provide it with an 8 game schedule. (Though if they can I wouldn’t be shocked if they do drop a conference game)

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Other thing is, who would want to change it? Would they still keep 2 crossover locked games if they went to 8 total? Cal/Stanford want to play both USC and UCLA every year. USC and UCLA probably feel the same way about Cal/Stanford.

      Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State all get the advantage of more games in South California through the 9 game conference slate.

      I’m not sure where the momentum would come from to reduce it back to 8…

      Recruiting and the California school rivalries were the reason to go to 9 with 2 fixed cross-overs. Hard to see how you’d go back down to 8 without creating serious issues over access to USC and UCLA.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Good point. They need that good inventory for their Tier 3 networks.

      Like

  7. Sportsman says:

    Go Hawkeyes, Cyclones, Big Ten… & LSU Fightin’ Tigers!!!!

    Like

    • greg says:

      Go Hawks!

      Sportsman, big day for Iowa football. Hawks go for their 4th straight bowl win, and Cyclones go for their 4th bowl win all time.

      Like

  8. Brian says:

    Reposted from previous blog:

    We are 14 games into bowl season. Here’s the stats as we start heading into the bigger games and busiest days:

    My predictions 12-2

    B12 3-0 (3-0 vs AQ)
    B10 1-0
    ACC 2-1 (2-1 vs AQ)
    SEC 0-0
    BE 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ)
    P12 0-3 (0-2 vs AQ)
    ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ)

    CUSA 2-0
    MAC 3-1 (0-1 vs AQ)
    MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ)
    WAC 0-3
    SB 1-1

    Next up are 15 games in the next three days of games (Sunday 1/1 is a day off) before the last 6 games in 6 days.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      UPDATE

      We are 18 games into bowl season. Here’s the stats so far. I’ll track the big games (BCS, 1/2, Cotton and Chick-fil-A) separately.

      My predictions 14-4

      SEC 1-0 (1-0 vs AQ) – 8 left (8 AQ)
      B12 4-1 (4-1 vs AQ) – 3 left (3 AQ)
      ACC 2-2 (2-2 vs AQ) – 4 left (4 AQ)
      BE 1-1 (1-1 vs AQ) – 3 left (2 AQ)
      B10 1-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – 8 left (7 AQ)
      P12 0-3 (0-2 vs AQ) – 4 left (4 AQ)
      ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ)

      MAC 3-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – 1 left
      CUSA 2-1 – 2 left (2 AQ)
      SB 1-1 – 1 left
      MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ) – done
      WAC 0-3 – done
      BYU 1-0

      Next up are 11 games in the next two days of games (Sunday 1/1 is a day off) before the last 6 games in 6 days.

      Saturday – B10/B12, ACC/P12, BE/SEC, B10/P12, ACC/SEC
      Monday – 3x B10/SEC, B10/CUSA, B10/P12, B12/P12

      Tuesday – ACC/B10
      Wednesday – ACC/BE
      Friday – B12/SEC
      Saturday – BE/CUSA
      Sunday – MAC/SB
      Monday – SEC/SEC

      Like

  9. Brian says:

    Reposted from the previous blog:

    Let’s look at some big picture issues with the B10/P12 collaboration from the B10′s POV:

    SOS

    I’ve seen many people touting an increase in SOS because of this. However, the P12 game is replacing a B10 game since Delany has said this will eliminate the ninth B10 game. The net result is no big change in SOS for 9 games. Some teams will gain in SOS and others will lose, but it should roughly balance (it will actually drop if you believe B10 > P12 in FB). If they pair teams by success, it increases SOS for the top teams and drops it for the bottom teams.

    Because the P12 game is replacing a ninth B10 game, there shouldn’t be a change in the other OOC games as planned for each school. However, the scheduling philosophy for these games will have an impact on the other OOC games. If the schools can’t plan way ahead, they will schedule even fewer elite teams and thus may lower their SOS.

    http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2011/12/big_ten_pac-12_ok_nonconferenc.html

    1. Delany said “competitive equity” could play a role in how the football games are scheduled, but Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said the schools actually asked for what the first 20 years of the matchups will be in order to help schedule their other nonconference games. Why? Because Smith said Ohio State’s plan is not to play two major nonconference games each year. For instance, the Buckeyes have scheduled three major nonconference series, which will not be changing: California in 2012-13, Virginia Tech in 2014-15 and Oklahoma in 2016-17. For instance, Ohio State would not be looking to play a traditional powerhouse like Southern Cal in 2017 with Oklahoma already on the docket. But if one year in the future Ohio State was scheduled with a Pac-12 team with less traditional success, like Washington State, then the Buckeyes would know they could schedule another big-time game like Texas or Oklahoma.

    Regardless of how this works out, the B10 will be trading games against the other AQ leagues for more P12 games. Personally, I prefer more geographic diversity rather than less.

    Recruiting

    I’ve seen many people tout the increased access to SoCal recruits. I don’t understand that theory. If the games are a full rotation, that’s 2 SoCal games every 24 years. Big deal. If they schedule based on success, that means more SoCal access for some B10 schools than others but no net gain overall. The distance to CA means it will never be a prime source of recruits for the B10. FL will always be the out of the footprint hotbed that provides the most B10 recruits. I don’t see getting a few more games on TV in CA making a major impact.

    Major TV

    I see many different theories here. There will only be a few top games each season. To be clear, by that I mean top 10 vs top 10 or king vs king. No other games will draw national attention unless it is a very slow week. Since they intend to spread this out over 3 weeks, they’ll lose any momentum for a B10/P12 conference challenge outside of the two fan bases. On the other hand, it also guarantees at least 4 AQ games for the B10 in each week of the match ups (I’ve heard weeks 1-3 and 2-4 mentioned) and may improve the chances of each week having a game that gets some hype. There could still be 1 bad weekend OOC, either week 1 or 4, so I’d make the deal for weeks 2-4. Fans are more understanding of a weak week 1 schedule than a weak week 4, and having at least one tune up before getting USC would be nice. Plus, you can generally count on at least one school scheduling a good week 1 game anyway.

    Considering this replaces a ninth B10 game and may prevent some schools from scheduling another elite team, I really don’t see much gain. Intersectional games will draw a little more national attention, but usually only the top games get noticed. ESPN won’t be talking about MN/OrSU unless they have to broadcast it. I think many people forget how many of these games will be just as dull as what they replace. I’d guess maybe 1-2 a year on average are really prominent if they fully rotate opponents, and 2-3 if they match up based on success. There will be plenty of solid but unspectacular games, but that’s also the type of game these will replace.

    BTN

    This is where the gain is. Presumably this helps get the BTN available in LA and drives a few more subscriptions nationally. The BTN should get slightly better games those weeks, but not by much since they still get third or fourth choice at best. It is unclear how the deal with the PTN will work and exactly what games each network will have and how much cross-promotion there will be, but any little bit helps. This does add 6 more games to the B10 schedule versus a ninth B10 game, but half of them will be road games so the total inventory stays the same. There may be extra replay rights for these games if the B10 and P12 choose to do so.

    Academics

    This would be the real benefit, if somehow this collaboration extended to the CIC. Getting Cal and Stanford involved, among others, would be huge for everybody. It would certainly dwarf any athletic benefits.

    P12 POV

    Most of the same applies, but I think the P12 benefits greatly from the greater interest in FB in the midwest. The P12 teams already play tougher schedules and travel nationally OOC, but more B10 opponents will get them more coverage. The PTN should get a boost from B10 fans wanting to see games, too.

    Like

  10. Brian says:

    Frank,

    All orange-and-blue-tinged befuddlement aside, the Big Ten and Pac-12 entering into a scheduling arrangement is a natural extension of the link that they have because of the Rose Bowl and a way to add some high profile games to their respective football and basketball schedules without further expansion.

    I don’t see this adding much at all. Remember that this costs the B10 the ninth game. Right now OSU/NE and MI/PSU play 4 of 10 years. The ninth game would have made that 6 of 10, so that’s 4 king/king games gone in a decade. The same is true for MI/WI, NE/WI, WI/IA, WI/MSU, OSU/MSU, PSU/MSU, OSU/IA and PSU/IA. That’s 16 more games of interest in 10 years, or 2 games per year in total. Will the B10/P12 slate replace that? If they match teams by recent success, they may well match or even beat that (I could see 3 good games per year possibly). Will the lesser programs accept never seeing the big boys, or will they demand an equal rotation? Until that detail is announced, I don’t see how you can possibly say the B10/P12 game will be higher profile. It may just trade some regional interest for adding some west coast interest.

    1. TV Advantages

    Other than gaining the 10pm time slot (which is worthless for most B10 fans), how is this an improvement over the ninth game? You trade more regional interest for some west coast interest instead. The quality of games won’t be better as far as we know now.

    The Big Ten Network and the nascent Pac-12 Network would also likely get multiple inter-conference games per year for both football and basketball, which could help each network get penetration into the other network’s home region.

    I see this advantage, certainly, but I’m not sure how much it’s really worth. How many people at west will add the BTN because of this? Will it force the BTN into LA finally (the only top 20 market without it IIRC)? Wouldn’t conference games draw better BTN ratings than a P12 game?

    2. More Big Ten/Pac-12 Bowls?

    I’ve heard both variations of this. Are we talking more pairing in the existing games or the conferences creating new games for themselves? Since there isn’t room for a new bowl, I’m not sure how it would go over to basically force one to die to create a new one. I’m not even sure if they are allowed to, since the NCAA has to approve all new bowls.

    The issue from the Big Ten perspective is that the West Coast bowls involving the Pac-12 (besides the Rose) have low payouts compared to the Florida-based bowls with SEC tie-ins (and even the Texas-based bowls with Big 12 tie-ins).

    Data:
    Cotton – $6,750,000
    Capital One – $4,250,000
    Outback – $3,400,000
    Chick-fil-A – $3,350,000
    Gator – $2,500,000
    Holiday – $2,350,000
    Alamo – $2,250,000
    Champs Sports – $2,125,000
    Pinstripe – $2,000,000
    Sun – $1,900,000
    Music City – $1,700,000
    Meineke (TX) – $1,700,000
    Liberty – $1,350,000
    Insight – $1,200,000
    TicketCity – $1,200,000
    Independence – $1,100,000

    The rest are $1M or less.

    The western bowls probably pay less because their local fans are less enthusiastic and the P12 teams don’t travel all that well. They would pay more for a B10 team, but can’t match the SEC games.

    Personally, I’d love for the Big Ten to mix in another bowl or two against the Pac-12, but I can’t see those New Year’s Day games against the SEC in Florida going away. For bowl purposes, nothing is more attractive than a Big Ten vs. SEC matchup (and they pay accordingly). As a result, any new bowls arrangements between the Big Ten and Pac-12 would likely need to be lower in the bowl selection order and require some significant payout offers out there. If the new 49ers and downtown Los Angeles NFL stadiums actually get built, they would have the potential to host new bowls that could pay enough to entice the Big Ten.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to add more P12 games, especially not out west. I’d rather add an ACC game (instead of the Gator, probably) for variety, but probably still in Florida unless the Pinstripe would pair B10/ACC. I could see trading one of the TX B12 bowl games for a P12 game, but converting the Insight to B10/P12 instead of B10/B12 makes the most sense to me (AZ is more P12 than B12 country anyway). Beyond that, the B10 has 8 bowls and that’s 9 with 2 BCS teams. My ideal mix would be 2 SEC, P12 and B12, 1 ACC and 1 MAC.

    How about getting the P12 to come east for a bowl? TX is as far as they go right now. Could the Pizza Bowl step up to a mid-level game and we make a new low level game to play the MAC, perhaps in Indy or even Chicago (the P12 isn’t playing in Chicago in January I don’t think)?

    3. Improvements for Non-revenue Sports – On the whole, the Big Ten is probably bringing more revenue and brand name power to the table in this partnership compared to the Pac-12.

    I totally agree. I’m not sure how the B10 really benefits unless Delany can use this to get the BTN on in LA.

    For instance, the Big Ten is a massive underachiever in baseball considering the conference’s resources and facilities. If each Big Ten school starts playing a couple of series every year against Pac-12 opponents (who make up an extremely strong baseball league), that can bring up the RPI numbers for all Big Ten teams, which could then result in more NCAA Baseball Tournament at-large bids and higher seeds. I’ve long thought that improving baseball ought to be a top non-football/basketball priority for the Big Ten and this Pac-12 partnership could be a way to kick-start it.

    B10 baseball is a lost cause right now because they use different recruiting rules than everyone else. Until that changes, they can’t compete. One or two series a year with a P12 team isn’t going to fix anything. The P12 will just crush the B10 teams. Besides, those games will just replace games in FL and such at the start of the year when B10 teams play the first month or so on the road. I’m not sure traveling 3 time zones is going to help anything.

    5. 8 Conference Games for Big Ten and 9 for the Pac-12 – Not surprisingly, the plans for a 9-game conference schedule for the Big Ten got nixed as a result of the new partnership. Having every school be able to play at least 7 home games per year has become sacrosanct to the Big Ten

    It’s important to the big schools to play 7, but several of the smaller schools play 6 even now. I don’t think the big schools could drop to 6 without cutting some sports teams since each home game is worth $5-10M (depends on how you count). The P12 draws a lot fewer people, so home games are worth much less.

    For example, in 2010 attendance ranks:
    B10 – 1, 2, 3, 11, 16, 19, 21
    P12 – 15, 23, 28, 29

    That’s 7 B10 schools above P12 #2, and 4 above P12 #1. Just to be clear, #1 = 111,800, #15 = 79,900, #21 = 70,600 and #29 = 59,400. That’s 7 B10 schools above 70,000 versus 1 P12 school.

    Top schools with 6 home games in 2010:
    #7 UGA – plays UF in Jacksonville
    #12 OU – plays UT in Dallas
    #15 USC
    #22 AR – plays TAMU in Dallas
    #23 UW

    The Pac-12 schools generally don’t have the same steadfast need to play 7 home games per year since they aren’t able to sellout their stadiums with Eastern Podunk State Polytechnic U coming into town the way a lot of the Big Ten schools can.

    It’s not just needing better opponents. They have smaller stadiums, too. Maybe if they sat more people for big games, they could afford another home game against a lesser team?

    All-in-all, the Big Ten and Pac-12 partnering together is innovative in its simplicity. They are adding on higher quality games without taking away existing rivalries while creating better inventory for their TV partners.

    I agree that it’s innovative. I won’t agree that they get higher quality games or better inventory until someone shows it to me.

    The FB games will replace B10 games, so there is no inherent improvement. Delany talked about using success to match pairs, but Gene Smith said ADs asked for 20 years of games up front so they schedule their other OOC games. Does that mean they’ll will match brands? Will the lesser brands accept that rather than an equal rotation? I can’t imagine bringing in IN or MN helps with attendance out west. To me there is no net change, but a good chance teams drop some other good OOC games in case so B10 fans lose overall.

    For other sports, what games will get replaced by P12 teams? Will it be cupcakes or will it be other top conferences instead? I expect the SOS will stay about the same and the B10 will lose national exposure for more western exposure.

    Like

  11. Brian says:

    So, is FSU preseason top 10 again next year? Do they just keep getting it until they live up to it?

    Like

    • duffman says:

      ESPN has to tout somebody from the ACC to make them seem necessary and Florida State is the safe call. No broker is going to get busted for selling Microsoft, even if it is not a great stock, yet jobs can be lost if less known stock is touted and it goes south. Next season they can tout the West Virginia and Florida game, and USF if they are good.

      Short answer : pretty much

      Like

  12. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX #1 LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  13. Brian says:

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Article/Boarding-House-Thursday-Edition-54807

    [start quote]

    There are rumblings out of Big Ten headquarters in Chicago that the conference will choose to play the Ohio State-Michigan game sometime in October each year when the next set of schedules are released in 2015.

    That’s right, “The Game” might no longer be the final game of the regular season for both schools. And while we despise the idea of the Buckeyes and Wolverines not playing the last game of the regular season, this move was inevitable when the Big Ten made the foolish decision to put OSU and UM in separate divisions. If “The Game” was kept as the final regular-season tilt of the year, there would be a good chance each season that Ohio State and Michigan would meet exactly one week after “The Game” to play in the Big Ten Championship Game.

    According to sources, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany thinks there is nothing wrong with moving OSU-UM to October. In fact, the one thing he wants to avoid is a rematch the following week. Could one make the argument that Delany is devaluing the best rivalry in college football? Yes, quite easily. However, Delany is a North Carolina alumnus who has never shown the proper amount of affection for the OSU-UM game.

    Also, you have an athletic director at Ohio State that is a Notre Dame alumnus (translation: doesn’t care about “The Game” enough) and an AD at Michigan that is fresh out of the pizza business. Gene Smith and Dave Brandon were ready to allow Delany to move “The Game” to October beginning in 2011 until OSU and UM fans flooded the Big Ten offices will letters and emails.

    Now, is this move official? No. But we have people we trust telling us that it’s eventually going to happen.

    [end quote]

    Wasn’t fighting this battle once enough? This is just like Delany putting off the decision on the division names for a year hoping people would give up and just acquiesce to him.

    If Delany moves The Game to October I will wish serious personal ill on him, and probably the OSU and MI ADs and presidents unless they fight it a lot. I certainly will never watch it if it isn’t the last game of the year. I won’t watch any other non-OSU B10 games either. Maybe that will just signal the time for me to stop following CFB entirely. Then people can have their playoff and I won’t bitch about it.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I don’t know why they’d make this an issue again.

      To me the answer is simple:

      Just put Ohio State-Michigan and Illinois-Northwestern (no rematch potential + makes sense as a final week of the year game) on the final week of the year.

      Have the other 8 teams play division games that weekend. I really don’t know why that isn’t the obvious answer to this question of scheduling the final week.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        And if you really want to have a permanent final week:

        Nebraska-Iowa and Indiana-Purdue also make perfect sense in the final week.

        Wisconsin-Penn State is a natural result for that weekend, and the only other game left is Michigan State-Minnesota.

        So you end up with 5 really sensible (4 rivalry games + Wisconsin-Penn State) games and Michigan State-Minnesota…

        Like

        • Eric says:

          If you moved Ohio State-Michigan (and thus also Illinois-Northwestern), the final week games are hardly rivalrly ones at all. They’d probably rotate, but if they wanted to keep a steady set it would probably be:

          Ohio State-Penn State
          Michigan-Michigan State
          Nebraska-Iowa
          Indiana-Purdue
          Minnesota-Northwestern
          Wisconsin-Illinois

          This set-up has 4 natural games (but with 2 of the teams being furious to be in them) and 2 completely arbitrary games. The current set-up (once Illinois-Northwestern returns to a season ending game next year) with 5 sensible ones as you said is much better.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            5 teams end up worse off, and I guess you could argue that 2 end up better off (although Michigan State’s is the big one).

            Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Northwestern would probably all prefer the fixed games with the 2 cross-over rivalries.

            The other 5 teams end up the same either way. I really don’t get why they’d even consider anything other than leaving Ohio State-Michigan and Illinois-Northwestern to the final week.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        zeek,

        The only reason I can think of to stir it up again is Delany’s ego. There won’t be a rematch in the first 2 CCGs, but if one happens in 2013 or beyond I can see the discussion happening. Until you see how it goes over once, though, there is no reason to mess with it.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          But, this is the height of silliness when you consider that the BCS NC of all things is a rematch this year…

          I mean if that can handle a rematch without college football collapsing, I’m pretty sure we can all handle Ohio State-Michigan twice in a span of weeks every 10 years or so.

          Heck, we just saw a rematch in the Big Ten CCG. A few less weeks wouldn’t have undone the build up.

          Like

    • Eric says:

      I like Delany, but if Ohio State-Michigan is moved even one week early I will officially no longer be a Big Ten fan. I’ll root for Ohio State still, but I’ll root against all other conference teams and hope the Buckeyes leave the conference at some point. There’s still one or two traditions in college football that are worth fighting for and worth more than conference pride.

      Like

      • greg says:

        The OSU cry babies come out of the woodwork. I doubt it would be moved without UM/OSU signoff, so you can blame your own institution.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          If it’s moved I’ll blame them just as much. I have disagreement with directions on a lot of things, but very little can actually hurt my love of the game. This is one of them though. Ohio State football is defined by its season ending game with Michigan more than any thing else including the Big Ten. I’m a huge conference homer, but if they lessen the build-up to the game anymore than they already have my days of conference pride will be over.

          I can just about guarantee OSU isn’t going to sign off this though. It will impact donations if the AD/President support this.

          Like

        • zeek says:

          I think that last point is a good one.

          There’s honestly no way that this is done without Michigan and Ohio State signing off on it.

          Brandon and Smith would be the ones backing this move even if its the Big Ten office leading the charge.

          Like

        • Rich says:

          It’s not just OSU fans. I am a MSU grad and I think moving OSU/UM is the worst idea ever.

          Like

          • greg says:

            This Iowa fan also wouldn’t like the OSU/UM game moving. But I’m not going to stomp my feet, hold my breath and claim I’m not going to be a fan of the Big Ten. I’ve already begrudgingly accepted Leaders/Legends and losing the Wisconsin game.

            The OSU/UM game will still be huge if played in October, although it would be unfortunate that a little tradition would be lost.

            Like

          • jj says:

            Make it the first big 10 game.

            Like

          • rich2 says:

            Brian, are you serious? OSU and UM own the Big 10. A 10-2 vote is just “advisory.” And actually, in this instance, it is a good thing since the alternative is horrifying: OSU and UM would be forced to move the “The Game” because a majority of Big10 members decided to ruin one of the greatest brands in college football in order to curry favor from ESPN and thereby gain a few million dollars. It is 12-31-11, there is still time to make a charitable gift. Every school in Big 10 (except NU and maybe UN) has 500,000+ living alums — find a way to increase their participation rate in charitable gifts from 50 to 60% and then ask each new donor to give $50 apiece and you will not have to worry whether to sacrifice “the Game.” for a couple of million.
            I thought that the midwest was chock fill with rugged individualists, not collectivists.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            rich2,

            Brian, are you serious?

            You do know you replied to Rich, not to me, right?

            OSU and UM own the Big 10. A 10-2 vote is just “advisory.”

            Bullshit. Based on what? The uneven TV revenue that favors OSU and MI since they bring in the most money? No, they share equally. The lack of revenue sharing that serves as welfare for the smaller schools? No, they each give $4M a year to other schools. Moving the HQ from Chicago to Detroit or Cleveland? No, it’s always been in Chicago. Locking in easier schedules to make it easier to win the conference? No, they each have to play the other while WI locked in MN and MSU locked in IN.

            I think you are confusing the B10 with the B12 and UT.

            And actually, in this instance, it is a good thing since the alternative is horrifying: OSU and UM would be forced to move the “The Game” because a majority of Big10 members decided to ruin one of the greatest brands in college football in order to curry favor from ESPN and thereby gain a few million dollars.

            I agree it would be a bad thing, and I’m not saying the B10 would do it, especially not right now. But if the other schools start to believe playing The Game last is really hurting the league, they would and should vote to move it. It wouldn’t be ESPN so much as the CCG broadcaster (Fox) and the first tier rights holder (ABC) that would lose value. And it isn’t currying favor but trying to make a better deal for themselves in the future. I’d hope it would take more than $2-3M per year, but many schools are pulling more than that from student fees or the academic side of the school. How much should they make their taxpayers or students pay to preserve tradition at other schools?

            Like

        • Brian says:

          greg,

          The last time I checked, a 10-2 vote would sufficient to make it happen. Any OSU or MI people that supported it would be run out of town by boosters and fans.

          Like

          • frug says:

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Tressel who first floated this idea a couple years ago?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I have no idea who first said something. I remember him saying something about it, but I don’t recall the words or the context. It didn’t gain any serious traction until late in the process, and then people made their stance clear.

            Like

          • greg says:

            The COP/C isn’t going to vote on the placement of the OSU/UM game. Its a decision that will be agreed upon by the Big Ten office and the athletic departments. The Iowa/Nebraska game moving to Friday was a decision by the B10 and the Iowa and the Nebraska AD, and they ALL had to agree for it to happen. No one was forced into anything.

            There is no f’n way that the other 10 conference members are going to vote the game moved over the wishes of OSU/UM.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            greg,

            The COP/C isn’t going to vote on the placement of the OSU/UM game. Its a decision that will be agreed upon by the Big Ten office and the athletic departments.

            I wasn’t thinking about a COP/C voter per se, but I think they would want input on a decision this big. Gee and Coleman certainly would have to have it explained to them, since they will become vilified if they let it happen. They may rubber stamp most decisions, but the ADs have very limited official power on things that could get a president run out of town.

            The Iowa/Nebraska game moving to Friday was a decision by the B10 and the Iowa and the Nebraska AD, and they ALL had to agree for it to happen. No one was forced into anything.

            As I recall, it was more NE asking for it, IA agreeing and the B10 saying fine. The other schools could have prevented it if they had a good reason, but why would they care if the game is on Friday?

            There is no f’n way that the other 10 conference members are going to vote the game moved over the wishes of OSU/UM.

            If the other 10 really believe it is in the best interests of the B10 and their school, then of course they would vote to move it. They’d have to, or they wouldn’t be doing their jobs. The issue is that they would need a compelling reason to think moving The Game to October was important enough to override OSU and MI and infuriate their fan bases. Since a rematch hasn’t happened yet, there is no way they would do it now after all the uproar after mentioning it before.

            If there were 2 or 3 rematches in a row with bad ratings right before negotiating the new TV deal and all the networks said keeping it the last game would cost the B10 millions of dollars every year, then the others would consider it. It is certainly possible the B10 has already heard some feedback from networks and/or consultants on the issue and it costs the B10 some money to have a chance of a rematch the next week, but until it happens they can’t project a big enough loss to force the B10 to move it. Besides, the obvious solution if it becomes a problem is to make The Game an elimination game. Tell OSU and MI the price of keeping it the last week is that the loser can’t play in the CCG. In reality, a loss in The Game will often eliminate that team anyway. For the years when it doesn’t, the stakes for The Game just get higher. I’d actually prefer that to a rematch anyway.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            greg,

            Are you saying the B10 wouldn’t use a 10-2 vote to do things, or just that they wouldn’t do it with OSU and MI as the 2?

            If it’s the first, I’d point out that the divisions and refusal to lock WI/IA (even with 9 games) got approved over the objections of WI and IA.

            As for the latter, I don’t buy that OSU and MI have special rights beyond those earned by their financial value to the B10. That said, they have more FB value to the B10 than anyone else (PSU would be close with NE next, but The Game gives OSU and MI the edge) so it might appear they get special treatment when it really is the B10 doing what is best for everybody. If their was a valid argument for why moving The Game was much better for the B10, I think they would do it. You certainly didn’t hear any of the other ADs speaking out against it when it came up last time.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            Brian, why would the vote be 10-2 though?

            I can see why Michigan State and Penn State might vote for that, to get those two as opponents in the final week…

            But Northwestern? Northwestern should want to play Illinois in the final week. And given the alternatives, Illinois should prefer Northwestern as well as opposed to the other scenarios. That’s been the final game for both more often than not.

            As for the others, I don’t see how it affects Nebraska-Iowa or Indiana-Purdue in any meaningful way. I don’t see why they’d vote to railroad those who would prefer to keep two cross-over rivalries in the final week.

            Maybe Delany can convince everyone to vote to move it up, but I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as just Ohio State-Michigan.

            FWIW, I hated that Illinois-Northwestern was the first game of the Big Ten season.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            zeek,

            Brian, why would the vote be 10-2 though?

            I’m not saying it would necessarily be 10-2. It’s just a hypothetical. As for a reason it could be 10-2, how about several rematches in a row that don’t sell out and get low ratings before negotiating the TV deal and the networks saying it will cost them $36M per year (number chosen for easy math) to not move The Game. Would the schools value tradition and the anger of OSU and MI over $3M per year?

            I can see why Michigan State and Penn State might vote for that, to get those two as opponents in the final week…

            But Northwestern? Northwestern should want to play Illinois in the final week. And given the alternatives, Illinois should prefer Northwestern as well as opposed to the other scenarios. That’s been the final game for both more often than not.

            I’d expect OSU/PSU, MI/MSU, NE/IA, IN/PU, NW/IL (rematch odds are much lower), MN/WI (rematch odds are much lower).

            As for the others, I don’t see how it affects Nebraska-Iowa or Indiana-Purdue in any meaningful way. I don’t see why they’d vote to railroad those who would prefer to keep two cross-over rivalries in the final week.

            The impact would be a loss of value of the TV contracts and a loss of national interest in the CCG. There is also the Big 2, Little 10 effect if several rematches happen in a short span that hurts the perception of the conference.

            Maybe Delany can convince everyone to vote to move it up, but I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as just Ohio State-Michigan.

            It might not be, but money could do strange things to a vote.

            FWIW, I hated that Illinois-Northwestern was the first game of the Big Ten season.

            It makes no sense, even though IL and NW fans don’t always make a big deal out of the rivalry. Major rivalries should be played late in the year (sorry MSU, but OSU/MI > MSU/MI in this case).

            Like

          • Craig Z says:

            Smith and Brandon could support it behind closed doors, but appear to fight it publicly. If the rest of the conference votes to move the game, they can say they tried but they have to go along with the majority.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Craig Z,

            Smith and Brandon could support it behind closed doors, but appear to fight it publicly. If the rest of the conference votes to move the game, they can say they tried but they have to go along with the majority.

            They could try that, but I doubt the other 10 would let that hypocrisy slide. Someone would leak it.

            Like

          • rich2 says:

            I am trying to respond to Brian and here is the only “reply” button in sight.

            A theme for the string of posts to which I am responding is that the Game would be moved to October if member schools voted in favor of this move by a 10-2 tally over the UM’s and OSU’s dissent in order to generate a few more million dollars per school in tv fees. First, anyone who believes that UM and OSU would have their preferences for The GAME overruled by the Collective is totally out of touch with reality. Second, if this fantasy was achieved and a 10-2 vote led to OSU – UM being moved to Oct 1, then the result would be that: a group of ten schools want more money and in order to do so,
            voted to diminish something that someone else (UM and OSU) built over decades and against their wishes in order for the remaining schools to make more money. It is the worst form of collectivism — there are not even competing goals or visions — simply a few dollars more. Fortunately, The Game will never move at 10-2.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            rich2,

            First, anyone who believes that UM and OSU would have their preferences for The GAME overruled by the Collective is totally out of touch with reality.

            Fortunately, The Game will never move at 10-2.

            I keep hearing people say that. What is the evidence that OSU and MI win a 2-10 vote on anything?

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Craig Z,

            That’s kind of my worry. I didn’t get the impression either AD had a problem with OSU/Michigan being in opposite divisions (a very early decision, that didn’t sound contravention in what’s come out so far). I think they were both thinking the schools should compete for the Rose some time and were more than willing to accept the game moving up some (probably still November) for that to happen. What they didn’t realize was the fan reaction. I could definitely see them telling Delany “go for it, just realize we are going to voice displeasure publicly”.

            This is honestly the biggest reason I’ve wanted Smith gone even more than all the NCAA stuff. That stuff will resolve itself eventually, but this has the potential to be permanent. I really hope the divisions are altered at some point because of that.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            I doubt the ADs opposed the split either, but that isn’t a problem for me. Even among the fan bases their is no consensus on the issue. Some want the same division so they compete for a title every year, and others wanted the split so they could compete for the B10 title. The TV people, Delany and the other schools may have expressed a strong preference for a split for varying reasons and OSU and MI went along because there wasn’t a clear reason not to agree.

            I don’t assume that they thought separate divisions had to mean moving the game up earlier. Until I have evidence to the contrary, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they assumed The Game ending the year was a given. Certainly they assumed that if they were in separate divisions that they would still play every year, and that proved to be true.

            I have bigger issues with Smith’s handling of the NCAA. PR is part of his job, and it was bungled multiple times. Oversight of the players was part of his job, and the was bungled. Anticipating the NCAA penalties was part of his job, and that was bungled. How is it that almost every fan and every reporter knew the NCAA would add scholarships and a year of probation but Smith didn’t? How is it that everyone expected a bowl ban after the FTM charge was added on top of the Tressel stuff, but Smith didn’t? I also have huge issues with Smith letting Nike ruin OSU’s uniforms for pocket change, and even more problems with letting them do it for The Game. That, to me, was enough to run him out of town. I have no idea how good Smith is at the rest of his job, but these are the visible aspects of it and none of it impresses me.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      If they had gone with KISS, 8 games vs 9 wouldn’t be that big a deal. There would be no need for a cross-division rival so you would play everyone every other year. Scheduling would be very simple.

      Like

      • frug says:

        KISS was never a realistic option. It would have concentrated too much money in the East and everyone wanted to be in a division with either UM or OSU so they could have an annual “rivalry” game with the conference’s traditional anchors. It also would have required splitting UI and NU, and while that is not a huge rivalry, it was still an in state one and I doubt they would have gone along since it gets both schools big exposure in Chicago.

        Like

        • @frug – Agreed that KISS, for various reasons (some justifiable and others lame), wasn’t palatable to the university presidents. However, Northwestern and Illinois would’ve stayed together:

          EAST
          Michigan
          Michigan State
          Ohio State
          Indiana
          Purdue
          Penn State

          WEST
          Illinois
          Northwestern
          Nebraska
          Wisconsin
          Iowa
          Minnesota

          Like

        • frug says:

          A more realistic option would have been this:

          X O

          Penn St ——-Ohio State
          Nebraska——Michigan
          Northwestern–Illinois
          Minnesota—–Indiana
          Wisconsin—–Michigan St
          Iowa————Purdue

          This gets everyone in a division with 2 of the glamor programs, makes better geographic sense and preserves the most important rivalry games (Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa would probably prefer OSU or Michigan but would take PSU and UNL in order to preserve their triangular rivalry).

          Unfortunately, it puts Iowa and Wisconsin in the same division meaning it fails the conference’s competitive balance test, and would put Penn St on an island which infuriate a fan base that already feels isolated and unappreciated in a Midwestern conference.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            It does leave Michigan State in the the opposite division though and Michigan State wasn’t far from Iowa when these decisions were made and is probably fairly close to the same record since Penn State joined now. Illinois also also probably has more potential for growth than any of the other remaining 5.

            Biggest issue this way would be that Illinois-Northwestern couldn’t be a season ending game given the crossovers and remaining teams. Other than that though, I think the set-up would have been ideal. I also think this would have worked well:

            Ohio State——Penn State
            Michigan——–Michigan State
            Wisconsin——-Iowa
            Minnesota——-Nebraska
            Illinois————Northwestern
            Purdue———–Indiana

            The season ending games would have been Ohio State/Michigan, Penn State/Michigan State, Wisconsin/Minnesota, Iowa/Nebraska, Illinois/Northwestern, Purdue/Indiana. The only one not completely natural is Penn State/Michigan State and at least it has some history now and has become a little more interesting in recent years.

            Biggest downside to this arrangement is that Iowa-Minnesota is lost, but at least with this, Iowa plays 2 of the 3 teams it really wants to (Wisconsin and Nebraska, but not Minnesota) and Minnesota plays 3 of the 4 (Michigan,Wisconsin, and Nebraska, but not Iowa).

            Other downside is competitive balance, but I’ve always interpreted that to be more within division than all the scheduling being completely balanced. As long as Nebraska plays one of Ohio State, Michigan, or Wisconsin every year, it’s not much different than what we have now with Wisconsin’s permanent game being Minnesota.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think KISS had a reasonable competitive balance and kept the rivalries together better than anything else.

            What they ended up with was almost a North/South (except for WI/NW) and was probably the best alternative other than KISS. Flipping WI/NW for a true North/South would have been more imbalanced than KISS. Splitting the Big 4 seemed to be the most important factor.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            It does leave Michigan State in the the opposite division though and Michigan State wasn’t far from Iowa when these decisions were made and is probably fairly close to the same record since Penn State joined now.

            Conference W% (1993-2009)
            WI – 0.592
            IA – 0.526
            PU – 0.474
            MSU – 0.467
            NW – 0.434

            BCS bowls (1993-2009)
            OSU – 10
            NE – 7
            MI – 5
            PSU – 4
            WI – 3
            IA – 2
            IL – 2
            NW – 1
            PU – 1
            IN – 0
            MN – 0
            MSU – 0

            Adding in 2010-2011 (no CCG for W%)
            WI – 0.605 (sizable jump), 5 BCS bowls
            IA – 0.520 (small drop), 2 bowls
            MSU – 0.510 (big jump), 0 bowls
            PU – 0.454 (small drop), 1 bowl
            NW – 0.428 (small drop), 1 bowl

            MSU got pretty close in conference W%, but they still lack a major bowl which was another factor they looked at. MSU is trending up, though, so they may get one soon. MSU has pulled away from PU.

            If the current trends hold for a few years, WI will join the top tier for success and their brand will keep growing although it will lag the big 4 for a while. Then IA and MSU would make a clear tire 2. Of course, a few down years could change thing, too.

            Illinois also also probably has more potential for growth than any of the other remaining 5.

            people have been saying that for a very long time, but eventually you have to accept that IL is what it is until it proves otherwise. IL is much closer to MN in terms of recent success than they are to NW.

            I also think this would have worked well:

            Ohio State——Penn State
            Michigan——–Michigan State
            Wisconsin——-Iowa
            Minnesota——-Nebraska
            Illinois————Northwestern
            Purdue———–Indiana

            The season ending games would have been Ohio State/Michigan, Penn State/Michigan State, Wisconsin/Minnesota, Iowa/Nebraska, Illinois/Northwestern, Purdue/Indiana. The only one not completely natural is Penn State/Michigan State and at least it has some history now and has become a little more interesting in recent years.

            Biggest downside to this arrangement is that Iowa-Minnesota is lost, but at least with this, Iowa plays 2 of the 3 teams it really wants to (Wisconsin and Nebraska, but not Minnesota) and Minnesota plays 3 of the 4 (Michigan,Wisconsin, and Nebraska, but not Iowa).

            IA/MN is a more important rivalry to the B10 than IA/WI. It has more history, and MN needs their rivalries since they don’t have the success of IA or WI to draw fans. The current system has 2 of 3 for IA and 4 of 4 for MN.

            Other downside is competitive balance, but I’ve always interpreted that to be more within division than all the scheduling being completely balanced. As long as Nebraska plays one of Ohio State, Michigan, or Wisconsin every year, it’s not much different than what we have now with Wisconsin’s permanent game being Minnesota.

            Their main goal seemed to be balance between the divisions. Schools would like to see balanced schedules, though, especially for the top teams. Both for balance and for TV, there is no way they were going to a set up that didn’t have each king playing 2 others every year. OSU and especially PSU fans would scream bloody murder about OSU having PSU and MI and PSU having OSU and NE, while NE gets PSU and MN. That schedule would cost PSU division titles, and thus B10 titles. Fans complained about WI/MN, but they also understood the need to protect that rivalry. Fans also complained about MSU/IN, especially since MSU and IN fans don’t seem to care about that rivalry in FB despite it having a trophy.

            The problem is KISS had a lot going for it except for three kings in the east. That was a deal breaker for many reasons.

            Like

    • @Brian – I really hope that this is just some alarmist rumor-mongering. After everything that the Big Ten went through last year with scheduling the Ohio State-Michigan game, it makes no sense to open that discussion up again.

      Like

      • jj says:

        But the blogs need drama.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        I hope so too, but there has to be a little truth for them to have mentioned it as coming from a reputable source. It may be as little as Delany or someone said they’ll look at it again before doing the next schedule, but I don’t see how the rationale has changed unless they just hoped to outlast the resistance.

        Like

      • Eric says:

        I hope so too Frank and for all my quick writing now, I think it’s fairly likely. The fact the rumor says October and not November makes me think that even more.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      I think the author of this article needs to seriously rethink his characterization of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon:

      http://www.mgoblue.com/genrel/brandon_dave00.html

      I suspect Brandon (and even Smith) put up trial balloons the last time the scheduling for the Michigan-Ohio State game was being discussed by the Big Ten in order to gauge the fan reaction. They might even have opted to leak it so that they could get public opinion against the idea last time.

      I imagine they’ll both continue to oppose moving the game, but as others have noted, having Michigan and Ohio State both in the same division makes having a season ending game potentially problematic. Unless they rearrange the divisions, the only option may be to move the game into the month of October.

      As a Michigan fan, I’d actually be okay with it. This isn’t 1971 where the Big Ten had one bowl and the conference was called the “Big Two, Little Eight”. The last four decades have markedly changed the stakes of the game. In fact, if you look over the past 15 years, the Wolverines have beaten OSU and gone to the Rose Bowl, lost to OSU and gone to the Rose Bowl (twice), beat Ohio State and gone to the Orange Bowl and this year, beat the Buckeyes and went to the Sugar Bowl. If that doesn’t illustrate how much the relative stakes of the UM-OSU game has changed, then I don’t think much else will change anyone’s mind.

      I’d also add that if there’s a year end game against a team other than Ohio State, it’d better be against Nebraska. Michigan State is still little brother, and giving them the season ending game would make this Wolverine fan (and others) very unhappy.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        cutter,

        I think the author of this article needs to seriously rethink his characterization of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon:

        I agree that as a former player and former trustee he understands The Game. The only small point I could possibly support is that a career in business could have skewed his priorities too much towards money versus the intrinsic value of tradition in CFB. I don’t think that’s true for him either, but I could see it as a valid opinion.

        I suspect Brandon (and even Smith) put up trial balloons the last time the scheduling for the Michigan-Ohio State game was being discussed by the Big Ten in order to gauge the fan reaction. They might even have opted to leak it so that they could get public opinion against the idea last time.

        I doubt Brandon needed a trial balloon to know how fans would react. Even Smith probably didn’t, and he’s pretty clueless about the world. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they leaked it when they saw the decision might go against them. I think Delany was surprised the fans wouldn’t just blindly trust him to decide what is best.

        I imagine they’ll both continue to oppose moving the game, but as others have noted, having Michigan and Ohio State both in the same division makes having a season ending game potentially problematic. Unless they rearrange the divisions, the only option may be to move the game into the month of October.

        First, I assume you meant having them in different divisions. No problem, it happens to all of us.

        Second, I’ll wait for a rematch to happen to see what impact it has on ratings, emotions, PR, etc before thinking it is problematic and thus might needs fixing, but the potential for problems is there I suppose. Nobody knows how big the problems would be or what they would be, exactly, though. That’s why a change now seems premature.

        Third, why would October be necessary when they discussed early to mid November before? Three weeks between games (1 or 2 other games in between) seems like plenty, maybe even just 2 weeks (play the weekend before Thanksgiving like they did for so long, then a division game T-day weekend).

        As a Michigan fan, I’d actually be okay with it.

        That certainly puts you in the minority, but you’re not alone.

        This isn’t 1971 where the Big Ten had one bowl and the conference was called the “Big Two, Little Eight”.

        It was mockingly called that because nobody else would step up and compete with OSU and MI. Starting in 1968, OSU or MI went to 13 straight Rose Bowls (through 1980). They went to half of the next 18 (through 1998) before the BCS started to mess with things. Adding PSU and now NE ended any chance of the “Big 2, Little 8″ days returning, as did the changes in scholarship limits and TV that helped other schools improve. Not only did OSU and MI go to the Rose Bowl a lot, but they were also both in the AP top 5 a lot when they played from 1968-1980. At least 1 team was in the AP top 5 in 12 of 13 years when they played (MI was #6 that year), and both were top 5 in 6 of 13 years. The other team was in the top 10 in 4 of those other 7 years, so 10 of 13 years it was 2 top 10 teams.

        The changes in bowl policy* in the 70s have had an impact, though. Having multiple games to go to has changed the impact of losing The Game somewhat, but the desire to win is still really strong. A bigger impact is how many years both teams were elite since then. One has been good in many years, but both haven’t been top 10 very often. A loss always means more when you are an elite team.

        *For those who don’t know, the B10 allowed no bowls after MI’s early Rose Bowl until 1946. Then the Rose Bowl was the only bowl allowed until 1975. From 1946-1971, the same team couldn’t go to the Rose Bowl twice in a row either (except 1961 when OSU ‘s faculty refused the bid so MN went again). These rules are why B10 teams have so many fewer bowl games than teams of equivalent success in other conferences.

        The last four decades have markedly changed the stakes of the game. In fact, if you look over the past 15 years, the Wolverines have beaten OSU and gone to the Rose Bowl, lost to OSU and gone to the Rose Bowl (twice), beat Ohio State and gone to the Orange Bowl and this year, beat the Buckeyes and went to the Sugar Bowl. If that doesn’t illustrate how much the relative stakes of the UM-OSU game has changed, then I don’t think much else will change anyone’s mind.

        It all depends on how you view the stakes. Yes, the bowl impact is less than it used to be. Yes, the conference title has been on the line a little less often. But it’s still an entire off season of shame and anger and taunting and then waiting for the next season to reach the end so you can get revenge. A bowl win never completely soothed those feelings, but having multiple B10 games afterwards to improve your final standings and then a bowl would.

        I’d also add that if there’s a year end game against a team other than Ohio State, it’d better be against Nebraska. Michigan State is still little brother, and giving them the season ending game would make this Wolverine fan (and others) very unhappy.

        Don’t count on it. NE/IA is a natural rivalry, and so is MI/MSU. It would probably switch to OSU/PSU though, plus IN/PU, WI/IL and MN/NW. That’s a lesser slate of games in my opinion, but not horrible except for the lack of OSU/MI.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          With them in different divisions, the importance of having the game at the end of the season is lessened. They’ve split them up and already diminished the most important tradition since they are no longer directly competing with each other.

          Moving it makes sense given they’ve already messed with things. TX/OU is in early October, GA/FL is Halloween weekend at the end of October, and Miami/FSU is early in the season. They should play a division rival in the final game of the season.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            With them in different divisions, the importance of having the game at the end of the season is lessened.

            I disagree. The importance of the game in determining the B10 champ is lessened both by going to divisions and by having them ins separate divisions. The importance of having it as the last game is unchanged because the tradition and the rivalry is much more important than the B10 race.

            They’ve split them up and already diminished the most important tradition since they are no longer directly competing with each other.

            I’m torn on that. They aren’t fighting for the division title, but they can play in the CCG. Would it be better if they played for the division title but could never compete for the B10 title? I think I prefer having a few chances to play for the B10 title head to head versus playing for the division title more often but never for the B10 title. They also get the potential chance to spoil the other team’s bid for a division title every year, which is a good thing.

            I don’t think you can say they aren’t directly competing.

            Moving it makes sense given they’ve already messed with things.

            I don’t get that at all. They changed one thing, so it makes sense to screw up more things? If you were arguing for moving it at the same time as going to divisions, I’d at least agree that the timing would make sense. No part of moving it now makes sense.

            TX/OU is in early October, GA/FL is Halloween weekend at the end of October, and Miami/FSU is early in the season.

            Rivalries generally have a traditional time they are played. UT/OU is at the state fair, so it’s earlier. GA/UF, Miami/FSU and AL/TN are earlier. Most rivalries are season enders (GA/GT, UF/FSU, UT/TAMU, OU/OkSU, AL/AU, OSU/MI, etc). Note that every team you mentioned has another major rivalry to end the year. OSU/MI has been the season ender since 1935 with three exceptions (1942 – next to last for both, 1986 – MI played at HI later, 1998 – MI played at HI later). Moving it doesn’t make sense.

            They should play a division rival in the final game of the season.

            In an ideal world, they would. If you were creating a conference and a schedule from scratch, that would be the plan. In this case, I think it would be the wrong decision. Once or twice a decade there will be a rematch. That’s not enough to justify screwing up the rivalry even more.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            I actually feel completely opposite. With them in different divisions, the importance of it being the last game is far more important.

            By putting them in opposite divisions where they don’t directly complete you have already taken away a little of the importance. As the last game of the year though, it can still easily directly effect the CCG in visible ways. Ohio State can know they can stop Michigan from making it some years and vice-versa. If you move it to October or early November, the conference stakes become much smaller even if they technically count the same. They have already done one of the two things they could do to hurt the game. That makes it more important than ever that they don’t do the other.

            Like

        • cutter says:

          I gladly admit that I’m in the minority of Michigan fans concerning the timing of the UM-OSU game. I didn’t really have a problem with them moving up the game to October or early November. I actually prefer seeing the game played earlier because the likelihood of those two teams being undefeated or having a single loss would have been greater.

          My freshman year at Michigan was in 1978–the last year of the “Ten Year War” and the first season of the renewed series with Notre Dame. While most UM fans would put Ohio State as Michigan’s Number One Rival, I would say that ND is certainly 1A in the rankings. During the intervening years, I’ve seen most everything you’ve described above and have noted it on other posts on this board.

          On the final point, while Michigan/Michigan State might be considered a “natural” rivalry to some in B10 territory, it’s not a national game in the same sense that Michigan-Nebraska would be perceived. If the UM-OSU game is moved up and Ohio State ends the season with Penn State or Wisconsin (who might be a better choice given the problems at PSU right now), then if the conference is looking at maxing out its explosure, they’ll couple that game with Michigan-Nebraska and perhaps couple Iowa with Michigan State on that final Saturday.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I agree the MI/MSU isn’t a national game, but most in-state rivalries are the final game of the year. It is clearly MI’s next best B10 rivalry. Certainly MI/NE would be bigger nationally, but I think Delany would lean towards the two rivalries (MI/MSU and NE/IA) instead. OSU doesn’t have another rival, really, but PSU is the closest thing. I’d expect the B10 to go all rivalries that week – WI/MN, IN/PU, IL/NW, MI/MSU, NE/IA, OSU/PSU.

            Like

          • Will (USMC from SCS, MI) says:

            I’d expect the B10 to go all rivalries that week – WI/MN, IN/PU, IL/NW, MI/MSU, NE/IA, OSU/PSU.
            I would say this is the most ideal end of season match ups… if the UM/OSU game were to be moved… honestly, as big of a Michigan fan as I am, that line up of games for the final weekend of regular season play would be incredible. I would love to watch all those match ups! (the only downside would be the lopsided WI/MN game… but, I could deal with that as a fan of the B1G)

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Will, They could do that will, but it would be really hard for the Big Ten to on the one hand say Ohio State and Michigan had to play divisional games the last game of the year and then also say 4 other teams can play inter-divisional games. It would actually be punishing the two for success.

            Like

  14. Denogginizer says:

    Go B1G Red

    Like

  15. Mike says:

    I’ve long thought that improving baseball ought to be a top non-football/basketball priority for the Big Ten and this Pac-12 partnership could be a way to kick-start it

    I agree. Last season Pac 10 regular season champ UCLA came to Lincoln to play (a mediocre) Nebraska baseball team the first week of March in the cold and ended up losing two games.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s hard to fix B10 baseball until oversigning gets adjusted nationally. That on top of the weather, forcing lots of road games early and keeping players away, is a killer.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        All the reasons the B1G has hockey, duh!

        Like

      • Mike says:

        @Brian – I agree the over signing rules need to be fixed. It would be nice if MLB and the MLBPA would take an interest in growing college baseball since the draft is what causes the need to over sign. I wonder if a system similar to hockey would work better?

        I would also like to see a later start date, and fully funded scholarships for players.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          College baseball is doing just fine in the south and west, so why would MLB worry?

          The B10 suffers because they limit themselves to oversigning by 1 scholarship over 2 players (BB only gets 11.7 scholarships for a roster of 35ish, the lowest ratio of any NCAA sport) while everyone else oversigns with no limits. The main problem is that players can go pro after their junior year, so most programs oversign in case their best players leave and then dump players or drop their funding if they hit the limit. The B10 makes teams wait for the players to leave.

          Northern schools would be helped by a later start date and more tournament access, but southern schools see no need to change anything. Starting later causes issues with the end of the season, too. I think the oversigning issue needs to be fixed, but then the B10 needs to either compete or drop BB to a club sport. Why waste money on a sport you can’t compete in?

          Like

        • Brian says:

          As for fully funded scholarships, don’t hold your breath. Title IX prevents it. Schools are already scraping the bottom of the barrel to find excuses for women’s scholarships. How many more fake sports can they create?

          Like

      • bullet says:

        There’s traditionally been plenty of MLB talent that came from Big 10 country. Cincinnati used to really be a hotbed.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Yes, but they tend not to play at B10 schools if they are really good. They either go pro or go south. It’s sort of like golf, where players go to where they can play all year.

          Like

  16. Chas. says:

    Frank you are not alone. I’ll be participating in the previous channel bowl watching both the Kraft Bowl and the Illinois-Purdue basketball game on ESPN and the Deuce respectively. If the Big Ten is looking to more bowl games with the Pac-12, then Northfield-based Kraft should be begging the Big Ten for them to be part of an annual clash in the Bay Area. It certainly beats Detroit and Little Caesars.

    Like

  17. duffman says:

    Hawkeye Nation do your part for the B1G tonight!

    4-0

    Like

  18. frug says:

    I guess it’s worth reposting this interview where Larry Scott talks about his goal of eventually creating a single 72 team (at most) conference at the top level of college sports:

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/head-of-the-pac-12152011_page_2.html

    Like

  19. wmtiger says:

    B10 has a massive competitive disadvantage in college baseball. All the baseball talent is in the south helped mostly by the 12 months a year they can play the sport; California, Texas, southeast. That is a huge disadvantage in itself but its compounded by B10 should be able to recruit that talent BUT NCAA rules dictate not that many baseball recruits get full scholarships…

    You have B10 universities offering partial scholarships to recruits in the south, no chance a kid pays half his way to M (40k a year out-of-state), Ohio State, PSU, etc when he can play close to home, pay in-state tuition rates. These B10 universities can afford excellent baseball facilities (they don’t) but it won’t happen till the B10 can offer every baseball recruit a full scholarship and has a chance at the better baseball talent in the south.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Nebraska has done well. Big 10 schools used to do well (back in the 50s-60s). I don’t know much about B10 baseball facilities, but there’s definitely been an arms race there and it would be easy to be left behind.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Nebraska’s RPI ranked 8th in the B12 last year. That RPI was still better than every B1G team. I doubt Nebraska can maintain this level over the next 10 years playing in the B1G since top prospects are likely to go to other B12 or SEC schools to play in warmer weather with better competition.

        Like

  20. jj says:

    Great news on the alliance. I’ve long been a proponent of such a maneuver. Pat myself in the back.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I like it a lot better than 16 team conferences. I noted that Delany said they looked at 14 and 16 team models and it diminished them, not enhanced. Barring some new king developing, I don’t see the B1G expanding unless Notre Dame wants in. I don’t see Texas wanting to join.

      16 teams is really just an alliance and 14 diminshes the rivalries. DeLoss Dodds said of the Pac 16 summer before last, that the potential new members and Scott were looking at reducing travel and they realized they were basically doing the same as in the Big 12 without moving, so why move? I think this will make people re-think the inevitability of 16 team conferences.

      Like

  21. bullet says:

    The anti-Alamo Bowl looked like it was going on in the 1st Q of MSU/WF. The 1st 6 drives were for a net -25 yards and a turnover. They are scoring some points (there was a brief stretch where both seemed to develop a Bear/Huskie defense, but they seem to have reverted to form late in the 2nd):
    MS ST. drives in order:
    3 plays, -4 yards
    3 plays, -17 yards
    2 plays, 3 yards, fumble
    2 plays, 18 yards, fumble
    3 plays, 67 yards, TD
    2 plays, 58 yards, TD
    12 plays, 55 yards, FG
    8 plays, 51 yards, interception

    WF drives in order:
    3 plays, -4 yards
    3 plays, -1 yard
    3 plays, -2 yards
    6 plays, 38 yards, TD
    10 plays, 58 yards, FG missed
    5 plays, 15 yards
    8 plays, 22 yards
    1 play, -1 yard

    Like

  22. curious2 says:

    Question for Big 10 fans:

    Put away your caps as network executive, business executive, conference or university president:

    As a fan: simple question:

    Is an 8 game Big 10 schedule with PAC 12 addition preferable to a 9 game Big 10 schedule, either as a fan of your team or fan of the conference?

    Like

    • frug says:

      I say yes. Better variety teams.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      As a fan, it’s not even close. 9 B10 games is much better than 8 B10 games and 1 P12 game, especially when you can’t pick the P12 team. I have next to no interest in playing WSU, OrSU, SU, Cal, AZ, ASU, CO or Utah. USC, UCLA, OR and UW are more interesting. Since I can’t be promised only those 4, I’ll take 1 of NE, IA, MSU, NW or MN instead.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      As a fan of a team and the conference, I’d want 9 Big Ten games.

      But, I can see why this is a viable alternative from the other perspectives.

      Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      I have to say the Pac game is much better than the additional Big.

      Sure it’d be nice to see another Big on the schedule, but in the end I (as a PSU season ticket holder) get to see the same number of Big games as now and one less “crap-tastic” OoC game since this will most likely replace one of the MAC or lower sub-division games on the schedule.

      When you add in the possibilities of what could happen in the future (removal of the BCS structure with inclusion of RPI-like standings, Big/Pac joining together to push NCAA wide rules changes *cough*Over-Signing*cough*, conference network expansion, etc) it goes from being a “wash of better” to an outright win.

      Like

    • cutter says:

      As a Michigan fan, a nine-game conference schedule would have meant the following:

      1. Annual games with Ohio State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern, plus;

      2. Games agains three of the following five teams: Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois.

      If the Big Ten was planning on rotating PSU and UW two-on/two-off and having a rotation of Purdue, Indiana and Illinois as the other two opponents, then I would have preferred the nine-game conference schedule.

      But if Wisconsin and Penn State weren’t going to be on Michigan’s schedule on a regularly rotating basis, then I like the idea of an eight-team conference schedule with one Pac 12 team on a permanent basis. The big question is this–which Pac 12 team will be on Michigan’s schedule?

      If UM keeps playing Notre Dame on a regular basis (with the next break in the series scheduled for 2018/19), then I suspect most of Michigan’s Pac 12 opponents will be of the mid- to lower-tier variety. Certainly more interesting and providing greater variety than Indiana, Purdue or Illinois, but not up to par with Penn State or Wisconsin. By mid-teir teams, I’m essentially talking about programs like Arizona and Arizona State, UCLA, California, Utah, Colorado, Washington State and Oregon State.

      In UM doesn’t keep playing ND or puts more breaks in the series, then I would expect to see teams like USC, Oregon, Washington and Stanford to be on the schedule as a “replacement” for Notre Dame. It’s going to be interesting to see how much the two conference offices are going to coordinate all these schedules, because those seasons where WIsconsin and Penn State (assuming PSU gets back to its normal status) will make the conference schedule that much more difficult.

      We’ll see what happens, UM AD David Brandon has indicated that there are openings on the 2014 and 2015 non-conference schedules and that he may look to put a Pac 12 team on it. Michigan is opening next season with Alabama (in Dallas) and will be playing at Notre Dame, at Nebraska and at Ohio State, so he isn’t shy about upgrading the non-conference portion of the schedule. It might turn out to be pretty interesting.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        cutter,

        As a Michigan fan, a nine-game conference schedule would have meant the following:

        1. Annual games with Ohio State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern, plus;

        2. Games agains three of the following five teams: Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois.

        All true.

        If the Big Ten was planning on rotating PSU and UW two-on/two-off and having a rotation of Purdue, Indiana and Illinois as the other two opponents, then I would have preferred the nine-game conference schedule.

        Clearly they weren’t going to do that. It had to be an equal rotation of all 5 teams or else it doesn’t work for everybody else. Still, in each decade you’d get PSU and WI twice, PSU only two times, WI only two times, and neither 4 times. That’s not bad.

        But if Wisconsin and Penn State weren’t going to be on Michigan’s schedule on a regularly rotating basis, then I like the idea of an eight-team conference schedule with one Pac 12 team on a permanent basis. The big question is this–which Pac 12 team will be on Michigan’s schedule?

        But they aren’t gong to lock one P12 team. Delany talked about matching teams by success, but others talked about rotating through all 12 teams. Gene Smith said ADs asked for the first 20 years in advance so they can do the rest of their OOC scheduling. That tells me you’re trading B10 games for WSU, OrSU, Cal, Stanford, AZ, ASU, CO and Utah most of the time. You really prefer that?

        If UM keeps playing Notre Dame on a regular basis (with the next break in the series scheduled for 2018/19), then I suspect most of Michigan’s Pac 12 opponents will be of the mid- to lower-tier variety.

        Yes, but I think you have that reversed. MI will ask for breaks when the P12 team seems difficult perhaps, but they don’t get any real say in who they play from the P12.

        Certainly more interesting and providing greater variety than Indiana, Purdue or Illinois, but not up to par with Penn State or Wisconsin. By mid-teir teams, I’m essentially talking about programs like Arizona and Arizona State, UCLA, California, Utah, Colorado, Washington State and Oregon State.

        In 24 years (long enough for a home and home with all 12 P12 teams), you’ll miss roughly 5 games against each B10 team. That’s 10 PSU and WI games for 8 USC, Oregon, UW and Stanford games. It’s also 15 PU, IL and IN games for 16 UCLA, Cal, CO, Utah, ASU, AZ, OrSU and WSU games. I’d rather play the B10 games, but I can see the allure of diversity. What about a loss in diversity of other AQ OOC games as a result? Does that worry you? With ND and a P12 team, will MI play an ACC, BE, B12 or SEC team again? Diversity is a double edged sword.

        In UM doesn’t keep playing ND or puts more breaks in the series, then I would expect to see teams like USC, Oregon, Washington and Stanford to be on the schedule as a “replacement” for Notre Dame. It’s going to be interesting to see how much the two conference offices are going to coordinate all these schedules, because those seasons where WIsconsin and Penn State (assuming PSU gets back to its normal status) will make the conference schedule that much more difficult.

        I think the coordination will be limited. I think they will plan way in advance, and try to spread the top games (OSU/MI/PSU/NE/WI vs USC/OR/UW/UCLA/Stanford) out pretty evenly. If they bunch them up early, then you’ll have years without them. I’d suggest they make a staggered schedule where you rotate through 1/12/6/7/2/11/5/8/3/10/4/9 and then repeat. That keeps you from having a long string of good or bad teams. After that, I don’t think the B10 will factor the P12 game into their scheduling decisions. They will presumably set up a rotation and keep it for the foreseeable future.

        We’ll see what happens, UM AD David Brandon has indicated that there are openings on the 2014 and 2015 non-conference schedules and that he may look to put a Pac 12 team on it. Michigan is opening next season with Alabama (in Dallas) and will be playing at Notre Dame, at Nebraska and at Ohio State, so he isn’t shy about upgrading the non-conference portion of the schedule. It might turn out to be pretty interesting.

        As you say, we’ll have to wait to see what happens. I’d really like to hear more details about how they will schedule teams (who and in what weeks).

        Like

    • SideshowBob says:

      “Is an 8 game Big 10 schedule with PAC 12 addition preferable to a 9 game Big 10 schedule, either as a fan of your team or fan of the conference?”

      It’s not remotely close for me. I love sticking with 8 conference games and adding the Pac-12 game. I was annoyed at the plans to go up to 9 games and am so thankful that it isn’t happening.

      I just would much rather see a variety of teams on the schedule. I also think it’s awesome for fans in the western half of the country, who will actually have much more frequent opportunities to see their favorite team live.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I understand the variety argument, but why doesn’t that apply to OOC games too? By playing the P12 game, most schools will play fewer other AQ teams instead. Or would you prefer 8 B10 and no P12 commitment over the current plan, too, but that just wasn’t an option? Do you car e about the travel or the late night west coast games or the number of boring P12 teams you’re team will have to play?

        Like

        • SideshowBob says:

          I understand the variety argument, but why doesn’t that apply to OOC games too? By playing the P12 game, most schools will play fewer other AQ teams instead. ”

          The variety argument does apply to all OOC games in my mind. But rotating through 12 Pac-12 teams is going to be a hell of a lot more variety than rotating through 5 Big Ten teams (whom you play some of the time already). It’s not even close. That’s (part of) the beauty of this deal to me — it adds automatic variety while still leaving 3 OOC slots available.

          I don’t think this agreement will lead to Big Ten teams scheduling fewer BCS conference teams though. Whether it’s 8 + 1 Pac-12 or 9 conference games, you have 3 OOC games to work with. It’s the same limitations so I don’t think the scheduling of those 3 OOC games will be impacted much, if at all.

          “Or would you prefer 8 B10 and no P12 commitment over the current plan, too, but that just wasn’t an option?”

          I’d prefer that, but it would depend on how the teams schedule OOC games. It probably wouldn’t be drastically different in terms of overall OOC scheduling and Big Ten teams schedule Pac-12 teams a lot already.

          “Do you car e about the travel or the late night west coast games or the number of boring P12 teams you’re team will have to play?”

          No. Boring Pac-12 teams are better than playing boring Big Ten teams. Because at least it’s someone different. Playing Washington St once in a while is better than an extra game against Minnesota (no offense to any Gopher fans). As for late night games, what do you mean? 8pm ET? I’m cool with that. I’m actually fine with 10pm games, because I like to watch college football late, but I think we’ll see few such games (if any).

          As others have said, it also allows for different/various places if you are a traveling fan. That’s a great thing.

          Ultimately,I think it’s a simple question of whether one prefers to play more Big Ten teams or not. For me, it’s not a question: 8 is plenty of games against Big Ten teams. I don’t really care about “only” seeing some teams 4 out of 10 years.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          To each their own. There nothing unreasonable about your position, I just disagree.

          My reasons, in no particular order:

          1. I care more about B10 games for my team than OOC games, especially OOC games against mediocre teams. I’d rather have 9 games a year I care about than 8.1 (some P12 teams I would care about).

          2. I prefer more balanced schedules in conference. It bothers me that WI has MN locked and MSU has IN locked, especially since they aspire to be at the top. It should really bother all OSU, MI, PSU, NE, IA, NW, PU, IL and IN fans, too. The ninth game provides more balance.

          3. I like seeing more OSU/NE, OSU/IA, MI/PSU, MI/WI, PSU/IA, NE/WI, WI/IA, OSU/MSU, PSU/MSU and WI/MSU games.

          4. I like 12 pm games a lot more than 10 pm games (more than 3:30 or 8 pm, too).

          5. I don’t like skewing the OOC schedule so much towards one conference. I’d rather see B10 teams play all the other AQ leagues equally.

          6. I prefer road games that fans can drive to.

          7. I don’t like that certain teams miss out on playing all the top teams in the other division. The ninth game makes that less likely each year, so it provides more balance.

          8. Playing the P12 more won’t help the B10’s reputation unless the P12 gets better. If they have a down period, it hurts the B10 to be tied to them.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            As for the variety argument, it’s trading playing 5 teams more often for playing 12 teams much more often (most B10 teams play a decent number of P12 teams already).

            P12 games currently scheduled for B10 teams:

            2008 – MI/UT, MSU/Cal, OSU/USC, PSU/OrSU, PU/OR
            2009 – IA/AZ, MN/Cal, OSU/USC, PU/OR
            2010 – IA/AZ, MN/USC, NE/UW
            2011 – IL/ASU, MN/USC, NE/UW, OSU/CO
            2012 – IL/ASU, NE/UCLA, OSU/Cal, WI/OrSU
            2013 – IL/UW, NE/UCLA, NW/Cal, OSU/Cal, WI/ASU
            2014 – IL/UW, NW/Cal, WI/WSU
            2015 – NW/SU, WI/WSU

            That’s 30 games in the past 4 and next 4 seasons combined, or 3.75 per year.

            0 – IN
            1 – MI, MSU, PSU
            2 – IA, PU
            3 – MN, NW
            4 – IL, NE, WI
            5 – OSU

            1 – CO, UT, SU
            2 – AZ, UCLA, OR, OrSU, WSU
            3 – ASU
            4 – USC, UW
            6 – Cal

            B10 game rotations:
            Plan 1 – rotate 2 on every 2 years and play home and homes
            1 – A, B
            2 – A, B
            3 – C, D
            4 – C, D
            5 – E, A
            6 – E, A
            7 – B, C
            8 – B, C
            9 – D, E
            10 – D, E

            Plan 2 – rotate 1 on every year and play home and homes
            1 – A, B
            2 – B, C
            3 – C, D
            4 – D, E
            5 – E, A

            Plan 3 – rotate 2 on every year and don’t play home and homes
            1 – A, B
            2 – C, D
            3 – E, A
            4 – B, C
            5 – D, E

            The B10 has used Plan 1 for the first 4 years, and presumably will for 2 more (through 2016). Once everyone has had a chance to play NE home and home, I hope they switch to Plan 3 but I expect they’ll switch to Plan 2 or even stay with Plan 1. Plan 3 gets you the most variety and gives every player the best chance to play against each team.

            Similar plans could deal with the ninth game. The B10 could rotate 2 on every 2 years (4), rotate 1 new team on every 2 years (5), rotate 1 on every year (6), or rotate 2 on every year (7).

            Plan 4 – rotate 2 on every 2 years and play home and homes
            1 – A, B, C
            2 – A, B, C
            3 – D, E, A
            4 – D, E, A
            5 – B, C, D
            6 – B, C, D
            7 – E, A, B
            8 – E, A, B
            9 – C, D, E
            10 – C, D, E

            Plan 5 – rotate 1 on every 2 years and play home and homes
            1 – A, B, C
            2 – A, B, C
            3 – B, C, D
            4 – B, C, D
            5 – C, D, E
            6 – C, D, E
            7 – D, E, A
            8 – D, E, A
            9 – E, A, B
            10 – E, A, B

            Plan 6 – rotate 1 on every year and don’t play home and homes
            1 – A, B, C
            2 – B, C, D
            3 – C, D, E
            4 – D, E, A
            5 – E, A, B

            Plan 7 – rotate 2 on every year and don’t play home and homes
            1 – A, B, C
            2 – D, E, A
            3 – B, C, D
            4 – E, A, B
            5 – C, D, E

            I would like to think the B10 would have used Plan 4 (Plan 5 has 4 years between games), but I would have preferred Plan 7 to see every team at least once every other year.

            Like

          • Tom says:

            I love the idea. I have been calling for an ACC – B1G type challenge in football for a couple of years now. I envisioned a football version of the challenge with the ACC, since the basketball challenge has been very successful for both leagues, but I welcome the deal with the P12.
            I am a Michigan and B1G fan, but I’m also a college football fan. I started following Michigan football as a 6 year old in 1988, so I remember a time when Michigan did not play MAC or 1AA schools during the non-conference schedule. I was going through some old schedules and I was stunned to see the schedule strength. For example, in 1985 Michigan played Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Maryland. In 1986 they played Notre Dame, Oregon State, and Florida State. This was par for the course for many programs. I remember the day when Memphis appeared on Michigan’s schedule in 1995. I was like, Memphis? What are they doing on the schedule? Little did I know but that’s where college football was heading. Simply play two MAC opponents, a 1AA team, beat a decent BCS program in your one “marquee” OOC game, and you’re good to go as long as you finish conference play unbeaten or with 1 loss, since strength of schedule does not determine who plays for the BCS title.

            Michigan AD Dave Brandon, when asked if next year’s neutral site game with Alabama was something that would occur more often in the future, basically said “no, it would not be happening.” With the then move to 9 conference games, plus the annual series with Notre Dame, Brandon had no plans to schedule another challenging home and home non-conference game. Why? To make it harder to get to the BCS title game? He also wanted at least 7 home games every year. Therefore, as long as Notre Dame was on the schedule, and Brandon made it clear that they would be (and I must admit, I love the Michigan – Notre Dame game and would hate to see it stop,) Michigan was never going to play Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Florida State, Georgia, or insert whatever team of interest. It would have been two MAC schools plus Notre Dame, every single year. That would have been awful. Eight B1G games is enough. As a Michigan fan the teams that really get me excited are Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Penn State. The rise of Wisconsin and Iowa has made these two games more interesting to me but they still don’t get me going like the above four do. I’m certainly going to be excited for the now annual Nebraska contests, but other than these 7 games, I could care less about the rest of the B1G. If Michigan never played Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, or Northwestern, I would be fine with it. Yes, I would prefer playing Oregon State, Utah, and Washington State just to see some variety.

            As long as we don’t have a playoff, it is good for college football to stage these types of matchups just so we can get an idea of the relative strengths of each conference. Moving to nine conference games would have been bad for college football since there are already so few data points to compare each league. It would have also been bad for the B1G in my opinion, considering the perception of the league right now. Is the P12 the toughest league out there? No. Are they struggling right now bowl wise? Yes. Would I have preferred a challenge with the SEC? Yes. I still think that the two leagues are roughly equal football wise, and they are certainly two of the top four leagues in college football. There will no doubt be a good amount of interesting matchups each year.

            I remain curious to see how the matchups are made though. I know people have indicated otherwise, but I do believe that we are going to see more USC – Michigan, than USC – Indiana. It just doesn’t make sense to stage games that will end in blowouts. I realize that schools have season tickets to sell and that a big lure is a potential big name OOC opponent, however an interesting way in determining matchups would be leaving one schedule slot blank each year, and then waiting until around the time when preseason rankings are released to setup the “challenge.” Based on the preseason rankings, (whether it’s the AP, Coaches, or some other ranking,) I would then seed each B1G and P12 team heading into the next season. 1 plays 1, and so on. This will most likely result in more Ohio State – Oregon type games, but also allows for the occasional Iowa – USC type game, when Iowa is projected to be a stronger team.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Tom,

            Wow. I think you wrote a longer comment than I did. Impressive.

            I love the idea.

            I don’t hate it, but I think people are too enamored with the shiny new bauble and not examining it closely. Of course, it would help to have the details.

            I am a Michigan and B1G fan, but I’m also a college football fan. I started following Michigan football as a 6 year old in 1988, so I remember a time when Michigan did not play MAC or 1AA schools during the non-conference schedule.

            I think most of us miss those days. That’s part of the downside of the current focus on national championships. Teams schedule for wins now. Back when the regular season was the whole point and the bowl was a bonus, schools took more risks. The greater money involved now is also a factor.

            Therefore, as long as Notre Dame was on the schedule, and Brandon made it clear that they would be (and I must admit, I love the Michigan – Notre Dame game and would hate to see it stop,) Michigan was never going to play Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Florida State, Georgia, or insert whatever team of interest. It would have been two MAC schools plus Notre Dame, every single year. That would have been awful.

            From a MI perspective, I can see how it would be a good thing. If this is the only way you’ll get to see another non-ND AQ team OOC, that is very alluring. On the other hand, only playing 8 games gives MSU a decided schedule advantage over MI since they play IN while you play NE. As I mentioned in another comment regarding OSU, adding a ninth game probably means another division title per decade for MI at the expense of MSU. Did you factor that into your thinking? Is it worth it to you to see MSU win another division title? Watch MSU or OSU get a B10 title that could have been yours?

            Eight B1G games is enough. As a Michigan fan the teams that really get me excited are Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Penn State. The rise of Wisconsin and Iowa has made these two games more interesting to me but they still don’t get me going like the above four do. I’m certainly going to be excited for the now annual Nebraska contests, but other than these 7 games, I could care less about the rest of the B1G. If Michigan never played Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, or Northwestern, I would be fine with it. Yes, I would prefer playing Oregon State, Utah, and Washington State just to see some variety.

            I understand your feelings about only the top teams being interesting. Are you factoring in the feelings of the other schools in your opinion, or just looking at it as a MI fan? Games against MI and OSU are really important for IL, PU, IN, MN and NW. They also provide MI and OSU with some less strenuous games, which is important as the season wears on.

            As long as we don’t have a playoff, it is good for college football to stage these types of matchups just so we can get an idea of the relative strengths of each conference.

            I think most fans would agree we need more AQ OOC games. I just would prefer a variety of conferences rather than just the P12. What about this idea?:

            A B10/BE Challenge, but MI, MSU and PU play ND and IA plays ISU instead of a BE team. That gets everyone a ninth game, and then you could keep the ninth B10 game. That also leaves everyone 2 OOC games to play with, so everyone is equal. In addition, the B10 gets some eastern exposure.

            Consider:
            MI/ND, MSU/ND, PU/ND, IA/ISU, OSU/UC, PSU/RU, IN/UL, IL/UH, NE/BSU, MN/UCF, WI/USF, NW/SDSU

            The games aren’t as sexy as the P12 might be, but more schools might be willing to schedule another AQ on top of this. You could rotate among a set of 3 or 4 schools or fully rotate. I’m guessing PSU would prefer the eastern schools while many teams would want to play the TX and FL schools for recruiting purposes. A trip to San Diego is always nice, too.

            Moving to nine conference games would have been bad for college football since there are already so few data points to compare each league.

            That has one major assumption behind it. If the ninth game was replacing a MAC or I-AA, it would be an improvement, wouldn’t it? You’re assuming it replaces an AQ opponent. There’s no reason they couldn’t play 9 B10 games and then an AQ OOC (or 2 or 3). My assumption is that MI, MSU, PU and IA complained about having 11 locked games essentially, since all but PU need 7 home games.

            How about this instead?:

            Just like the BE/B10 challenge above, but with the P12 instead. MI and MSU can play ND 4 of 6 years and the P12 the other 2 (or 2 of 4). PU and IA can opt out to play ND and ISU instead. That leaves everyone with 10 home and homes set and 2 OOC games to play with.

            Or ACC/B10, with the same 4 opting out. That leaves 8 B10 teams to play 14 ACC teams, or 9 if MI or MSU isn’t playing ND. That could rotate through for variety.

            It would have also been bad for the B1G in my opinion, considering the perception of the league right now. Is the P12 the toughest league out there? No. Are they struggling right now bowl wise? Yes.

            So how does playing the P12 more help? The B12 and P12 get praise for playing 9 conference games. Wouldn’t the B10 get some of that too?

            Would I have preferred a challenge with the SEC? Yes. I still think that the two leagues are roughly equal football wise, and they are certainly two of the top four leagues in college football.

            I wouldn’t. I actually think the B10/SEC focus is bad for the B10. Games in September favor the SEC, and I don’t like the SEC’s treatment of academics. I would prefer the ACC for proximity over the P12, though.

            I remain curious to see how the matchups are made though. I know people have indicated otherwise, but I do believe that we are going to see more USC – Michigan, than USC – Indiana.

            It depends which source you believe. Delany said competitive equity would be key. Delany also said TV would have less influence than they do on the ACC/B10 Challenge, telling me it won’t be all about playing OSU./USC and MI/OR. Gene Smith said the ADs wanted 20 years advance notice, so it would be harder to balance success. I think Scott indicated it would rotate through all 12. It is a detail that has a huge impact on the plan.

            Would your opinion change if it was an equal rotation?

            I realize that schools have season tickets to sell and that a big lure is a potential big name OOC opponent, however an interesting way in determining matchups would be leaving one schedule slot blank each year, and then waiting until around the time when preseason rankings are released to setup the “challenge.” Based on the preseason rankings, (whether it’s the AP, Coaches, or some other ranking,) I would then seed each B1G and P12 team heading into the next season. 1 plays 1, and so on. This will most likely result in more Ohio State – Oregon type games, but also allows for the occasional Iowa – USC type game, when Iowa is projected to be a stronger team.

            The problem is that schools need to know way in advance what weeks they have locked games and where they are so they can schedule other OOC games. If they want to play a really good team, they need to know that their P12 opponent won’t be too tough. If you schedule by rank against rank, you will probably end B10 schools scheduling other elite teams. I also think it will be hard to convince IN they should play WSU every year while MI gets USC and OR.

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Brian – “What about this idea?”

            ——Quite frankly that lineup stinks. Where is the increased eastern exposure? TSUN, Sparty & Purdue already play ND and Rutgers is the only other team that comes close to bringing views on the east coast…but Penn State already generates as much or more interest in those markets than the Scarlet Knights.

            Louisville, the Bearcats, Houston, BSU, two mid major FL teams & the Aztecs?!?! Are you freakin’ kidding me? Nobody in NY, Boston, DC (or anywhere else for that matter) gives two squirts about any of them.

            Playing UC does not benefit Ohio State in any way. Nebraska gets stuck traveling to a HS stadium. Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin & Northwestern end up on the BTN because no network will pay for those games.

            That is just awful no matter how you try & spin it. It’s essentially playing the MAC with much larger traveling costs.

            The bottom line is that the Pac agreement is by far the best available option (if you’re going to enter into such an agreement). The Big East is terrible, the Big 12 is a dead man walking and SEC schools are unwilling to travel.

            The ACC is the only other halfway compelling option but in general it’s schools garner even less attention than those in the Pac…despite the advantage of actually being on the east coast.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Scarlet_Lutefisk,

            ——Quite frankly that lineup stinks.

            Mostly, yes. But the extra games level the playing field for everybody and let everyone choose a variety of OOC opponents if they want to play a big name or good team. ND and ISU aren’t great, so why should the rest of the B10 lock in a power?

            Where is the increased eastern exposure? TSUN, Sparty & Purdue already play ND and Rutgers is the only other team that comes close to bringing views on the east coast…but Penn State already generates as much or more interest in those markets than the Scarlet Knights.

            I picked for geographic diversity, showing that teams could get exposure in OH, TX, FL and the northeast. Teams would rotate, so you get a bit of everything. I could have added UConn, and possibly Nova in the future. PSU gets eastern exposure now, but playing at Rutgers would be helpful for some other schools

            Louisville, the Bearcats, Houston, BSU, two mid major FL teams & the Aztecs?!?! Are you freakin’ kidding me? Nobody in NY, Boston, DC (or anywhere else for that matter) gives two squirts about any of them.

            I didn’t mean to imply that they did. I also didn’t mean to imply it was only eastern exposure.

            Playing UC does not benefit Ohio State in any way.

            No, but any time you mention playing the BE someone brings that game up. Besides, other schools would like to play in OH more often.

            Nebraska gets stuck traveling to a HS stadium.

            Yes, but it’s a chance for family of a TX player to see him live. That means something to some people.

            Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin & Northwestern end up on the BTN because no network will pay for those games.

            As opposed to all those B10/P12 games involving IN, MN and NW that will be the primetime ABC game?

            That is just awful no matter how you try & spin it. It’s essentially playing the MAC with much larger traveling costs.

            BE is much better than MAC. You missed my point I think. I wasn’t trying to portray these as the marquee OOC games. These are a ninth AQ game (barely) that balances out the ND and ISU games. Then everybody can choose their own 10th AQ game that is exciting.

            The bottom line is that the Pac agreement is by far the best available option (if you’re going to enter into such an agreement). The Big East is terrible, the Big 12 is a dead man walking and SEC schools are unwilling to travel.

            The ACC is the only other halfway compelling option but in general it’s schools garner even less attention than those in the Pac…despite the advantage of actually being on the east coast.

            The SEC would be a bad choice for many reasons. The ACC would be better than the P12 because of the locations (MD, VA, NC, SC ,GA, FL) and lesser travel (same time zone or 1 off, not 2-3) in my opinion. I understand having ties to the P12, and there may be extra benefits for the BTN this way, but I’m just looking at the FB right now. As for exposure, who outside of USC and OR gets any play from the P12 lately? Would that trump FSU and VT or whoever else is hot lately? Would it beat regional match-ups like PSU/Pitt or PSU/SU in the east?

            I used the BE above because I only wanted 8 games, and I didn’t think any other AQ would say yes to that. Maybe if the ACC grows to 16 we could have the best of both worlds. I’d be OK with doing both.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Scarlet – SEC teams ARE willing to travel. In the last decade my Tigers have travelled to Morgantown, Seattle, Tempe, Tuscon, and Blackburg, in addition to nuetral site games in Atlanta and Arlington. Bama went to Happy Valley this season. Off the top of my head recent SEC H&H series include Tennessee/UCLA, Tennessee/Cal, Arkansas/USCw, Arkansas/A&M, Auburn/USCw, Auburn/Clemson, UGa/OkSU, and Miss State/WVU, in addition to annual H&Hs between UF/FSU, UGa/GA Tech, and USCe/Clemson.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            Scarlet – SEC teams ARE willing to travel.

            Ignoring bowls, and since 1920:

            AL has played B10 teams 3 times (PSU in 2010-1, WI in 1928).
            AR played 3 B10 teams, NW in 1981 is the only one since 1931.
            AU played WI in 1931.
            LSU hasn’t scheduled the B10 since 1988, and has only played B10 teams 7 times.
            MS played 3 B10 games, the last in 1932.
            MSU played 5 B10 teams, IL in 1980 is only one since 1932.

            FL hasn’t played the B10 since 1967, and only 5 times total including U Chicago in ’26 and ’30.
            GA has 3 B10 games, last in 1965, including UC in 1922.
            KY has played IN 29 times since 1967 but no other B10 teams since 1935.
            SC has played the B10 4 times, the last in 1985.
            TN has NEVER played a B10 team in the regular season.
            VU has played 18 B10 teams.

            TAMU has played 9 B10 teams, none since 1977.
            MO has played 74 B10 games against a variety of teams.

            FL hasn’t left the state for an OOC game since playing at Syracuse in 1991 I believe.

            Please forgive B10 fans for having a jaded view of the SEC traveling.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Brian – it takes two to tango. Many SEC schools have shown that they are willing to travel across multiple time zones for H&Hs, as I have shown from the examples above.

            How do you know that the SEC is unwilling to schedule B1G teams? It could just as easily be that B1G teams don’t want to schedule SEC teams. I believe you even stated in an earlier post that it would be a bad idea for many (unspecified) reasons for B1G teams to schedule SEC teams in the regular season. Maybe its mutual, due to the post-season matchups in the CapOne, Gator, and Outback.

            Personally, I travelled to the 1988 LSU game in Columbus and would look forward to LSU playing H&Hs with B1G schools.

            Back to the main point

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Alan,

            Brian – it takes two to tango. Many SEC schools have shown that they are willing to travel across multiple time zones for H&Hs, as I have shown from the examples above.

            That’s true. I also didn’t include future schedules since they may change, but there are some B10/SEC games supposed to happen in the future. I note that most of your examples include middle teams from other conferences but not kings.

            How do you know that the SEC is unwilling to schedule B1G teams?

            Because the B10 plays everyone else, and UF never leaves their state.

            It could just as easily be that B1G teams don’t want to schedule SEC teams.

            That’s one way to view it.

            I believe you even stated in an earlier post that it would be a bad idea for many (unspecified) reasons for B1G teams to schedule SEC teams in the regular season.

            Not quite. I said it would be bad to do a B10/SEC challenge type of arrangement. I think there is already too much focus on the B10 versus the SEC and it’s unhealthy for the sport.

            Maybe its mutual, due to the post-season matchups in the CapOne, Gator, and Outback.

            It’s possible, but as you saw in my data it’s been a really long time since many SEC teams have played a B10 team. Long before those bowls existed for some. Most of the teams had at most one game against the B10 in the past 60 years.

            Personally, I travelled to the 1988 LSU game in Columbus and would look forward to LSU playing H&Hs with B1G schools.

            Tell your AD that. OSU has been scheduling home and homes with elite teams for quite a while. If they’ll play TX, OU, USC, VT, Miami and others (TN was on the schedule but then got dropped, UGA is loosely planned for 2020-2021), then I doubt OSU is ducking LSU.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      As a fan, I much prefer having the Pac game rather than another B10 game. There’s more variety, but NU also has a national alumni base and recruits nationally (well, more nationally than most of the B10; we have the second most recruits from CA after UNL, I beleive, for instance).

      Like

      • I prefer a Pac-12 game as opposed to a 9th Big Ten game, as well. From a fan standpoint, a greater variety of opponents over time is more interesting to me. It will also help the non-upper tier programs with their non-conference scheduling greatly. We haven’t been seeing lots of SEC opponents scheduling home-and-home series with Big Ten teams, so I don’t buy the notion that we’d somehow be limiting ourselves with non-conference scheduling with the Pac-12, either. With the Big Ten’s non-Rose Bowl bowl lineup concentrated with SEC and Big 12 opponents (and as those are the leagues that garner higher payouts due to better traveling fan bases, the Big Ten is going to continue to gravitate toward tie-ins with them), non-conference games with Pac-12 teams make even more sense.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Frank,

          I prefer a Pac-12 game as opposed to a 9th Big Ten game, as well. From a fan standpoint, a greater variety of opponents over time is more interesting to me.

          By default, 12 new teams is more variety. How many schools will not schedule other AQs because they already have 9 (or 10 for IA, MI, MSU and PU) set? That means losing ACC, BE, B12 and SEC games, or less variety.

          It will also help the non-upper tier programs with their non-conference scheduling greatly.

          That’s a little unfair. Of course the P12 helps more with OOC games than a ninth B10 game. beyond that, though, I don’t see the big help. The little guys have no problems scheduling AQs OOC if they want, they just all have different philosophies about it.

          We haven’t been seeing lots of SEC opponents scheduling home-and-home series with Big Ten teams, so I don’t buy the notion that we’d somehow be limiting ourselves with non-conference scheduling with the Pac-12, either.

          Vanderbilt. UGA. TN. Not the rest, but those are SEC teams. There are also lots of ACC and BE games on future schedules, as well as some B12 games. There would be more if schools wanted to play more AQs OOC, but they don’t. Few schools will end up with more AQs on their schedule as a result of this, they’ll just have more P12 teams and fewer others.

          With the Big Ten’s non-Rose Bowl bowl lineup concentrated with SEC and Big 12 opponents (and as those are the leagues that garner higher payouts due to better traveling fan bases, the Big Ten is going to continue to gravitate toward tie-ins with them), non-conference games with Pac-12 teams make even more sense.

          Except for the travel, the P12 is fine OOC. That’s not the problem. But there’s nothing wrong with the ACC either, or even the BE. Those leagues provide even more variety as well as FL access, which is much more important for recruiting than CA access.

          I think part of the problem is this topic conflates multiple issues:
          1. A ninth B10 game
          2. A forced P12 game
          3. The P12 game replacing other AQ OOC games
          4. The P12 game replacing the B10 game
          5. B10 OOC scheduling strength
          6. Lack of national games for AQ teams anymore
          7. The B10’s national reputation
          8. The interests of one’s favorite B10 teams versus the B10’s overall best interests
          9. Other?

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        As a fan, I much prefer having the Pac game rather than another B10 game. There’s more variety, but NU also has a national alumni base and recruits nationally (well, more nationally than most of the B10; we have the second most recruits from CA after UNL, I beleive, for instance).

        You’re close. From 2002-2011:
        NE – 40
        MN – 17
        MI – 14
        NW – 14
        PU – 13

        That’s less than 1.5 kids per year, hardly a pressing concern. NW gets a lot more from IL (39), OH (27) and TX (21), and 1 more from FL and just 1 less from MI. NW does recruit from everywhere, which also means that having to play out west makes it a little harder to play in other places where NW recruits.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I suppose that’s true, but we already play in the Midwest plenty, and having an annual Pac game rather than another B10 game isn’t going to impact the rest of our OOC schedule. We could still play Rice every so often to visit TX, and unless Miami is willing to have HaH series with us again, we don’t have a peer school to play in FL anyway.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            What? NW doesn’t consider UCF a peer? Then how does NW feel about having OrSU, WSU and other such schools forced on their schedule? It’s not like you’ll only get Stanford and Cal.

            In all seriousness, they could play GT and at least get GA access (FL people can get to Atlanta fairly easily).

            Like

  23. Brian says:

    http://www.blackshoediaries.com/2011/12/28/2665938/penn-state-coaching-search-wag-the-dog

    A post from Wednesday about the PSU coaching search on a PSU blog polling their writers. To be clear, this was before Munchak issued his denial.

    Coach they want
    Petersen 3
    Cristobal 1
    Gruden 1
    Kelly 1
    Richt 1

    Coach they expect
    Clements 4
    Munchak 2
    Golden 1
    Johnson 1

    Some of the comments added Bradley as their want, but no writer did.

    Are these people in touch with reality with their wants? Cristobal is reasonable, but stealing Kelly or Richt? Petersen has said no to everybody. Gruden would already be hired if he had any interest.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I think a good candidate for the Penn State job would be Jim Grobe. This is a guy who made Wake Forest–Wake Forest!!!–into a major conference champion. Given the academic restrictions and other competitive disadvantages, he’s made that program into perhaps the most consistently overachieving team among all AQ schools. In addition, he has run a squeaky clean program and holds his players to a high standard of personal conduct, which are the kinds of qualities Penn State really desires right now.

      I would argue that if Grobe can make Wake Forest into a consistent 9-4, 8-5 type of team, fluctuations down to 5-7 but up to 11-3 or 9-4, he could do great at a power like Penn State. Plus, he has ties to Ohio and the Midwest, which would make him a great fit in the Big Ten. Certainly, Grobe would make more sense that Mangini.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Is age a factor? He’s 59 already, almost 60. This recruiting class is going to suffer even if he’s hired today. He’s never had to compete with the big boys for the top level recruits. Can he recruit elite players, or will he take the next tier that aren’t as talented but also aren’t prima donnas? Can he recruit well enough to make up for a down year this time around? Does he want and can he handle the media spotlight at an elite program?

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Brian, those are good questions. I’m not suggesting that Grobe would be a home-run candidate, just that he’s a good coach that may be what PSU needs right now.

          Keep in mind, though, there are no home-run candidates. Urban Meyer has already been hired by a conference rival. So have Mike Leach and Rich Rodriguez. Craig Petersen and Gary Patterson don’t seem the types to uproot their careers to a completely different part of the country, even for better jobs. Other solid coaches within the conference (Dantonio, Hoke, Ferentz, Fitzgerald, Pelini, Beliema) are happier where they are than they would be at Penn State.

          I think PSU needs a “safe” hire more than gambling on an NFL coach with little experience recruiting or working with 18-22 year-olds.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I read a rumor today (not no a PSU site) that someone has a source that says PSU has a big name college coach lined up, but they can’t say anything until he coaches in his January bowl game. I don’t believe said rumor, but I guess we’ll see in a week or two.

            Like

        • acaffrey says:

          Penn State hasn’t had a 60-year old coach since 1986.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            There’s a huge difference between having a 60 (or 70 or even 80) year old legend of a coach and hiring a 60 year old coach with less of a pedigree on the heels of a major scandal that may set the program back for years.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            There’s a big difference between Sean Payton and Bill Parcells. Both won Super Bowls.

            No matter who they hire, the legend is gone. No matter who they hire, they are on the heels of a major scandal. No matter who they hire, he is going to be younger than Joe Pa. Chances are they will hire someone close to 65 than 35.

            I really don’t care who they hire. But worrying about age when you are replacing an 80-year old seems silly. This is the 2010’s. 60 is the new 50.

            If Grobe is the guy, then age shouldn’t matter too much.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I’m not saying they need to go for a 35 year old, but it’s natural to wonder if a 60 year old new head coach has the fire and the energy to weather the storm and rebuild the program, especially when he has never coached at that level before. Recruiting is a high energy business at the top level. I’ve never met Grobe, so I don’t know how energetic he is or how much he likes recruiting. I’m just saying that has to be a concern on paper.

            Like

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      “Are these people in touch with reality…”

      —If you’ve been perusing Penn State blogs/boards you already know the answer to this question.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Granted, BSD is not a bastion of reason sometimes. Still, people might think their coaching preferences are reasonable. At least most of them expected a reasonable choice.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        I just asked a PSU fan online about the coaching search. Here is his response:

        “As for the Head Coach search, it’s *Supposedly* down to:

        Nick Saban, Les Miles, Mark Richt, Bo Pelini, David Shaw, Bret Bielema or Mike Gundy.

        You can eliminate Richt, Bret, & Gundy because they don’t have any NFL experience.

        Which leaves you with Saban, Miles, Pelini, or Shaw

        Now, multiple PSU (And I emphasize PSU, not national, PSU) sources say it’ll be ground shattering. Huge, y’know? These are also the more realist people. Basically, most of them wanted Joe gone, and they’re less biased than I am.

        So, following the ground shattering comment, that leaves it with Saban or Miles.

        So, who knows, Joyner has been sending out oodles of smoke screens and things to throw people off. Nobody really knows anything. Just most connected to the program think it’ll be big.

        On a side note, most of the search committee is on vacation, which gives Creedence to the notion that we have our man”

        He honestly believes Les Miles will leave for PSU when he wouldn’t go to UM (his alma mater) or that Saban wants to return to the B10 rather than stay at AL. He may be right, but it seems unlikely to me.

        Like

        • joe4psu says:

          That list comes from someone going by the handle @sekrah on twitter. He may or may not be a PSU fan but there is no evidence that he knows anything more than you or I about this search. If this guy believes that Miles is headed for PSU he is the first person that I have heard of with that opinion. There is A LOT of speculation on message boards, that’s what they’re for. As for what we actually know from the AD and search committee itself, this is the latest:

          Texas two-step – Nate Bauer, BlueWhiteIllustrated.com

          http://bwi.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1312438

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I have no faith in sekrah either, but I didn’t know that’s where the list came from. I just copied the comment because the guy seemed reasonable when discussing other CFB topics. I thought it showed a perhaps slanted view of reality in the fan base. It’s not like many PSU people have been saying anything here, especially since PSU seems to be the only school in the country that can keep a coaching search quiet.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Brian,

            Since the school has been able to keep things so quiet there hasn’t been much to say. Or worth saying anyway.

            There have been hints from very respected “insiders” that they have their guy and it is a big fish but no one has been dropping names or giving any information that can be verified. At this point, I won’t be surprised by anyone they come up with. The most interesting thing to me is how excited people are about this and how many people thing the hire has to be someone of a certain level. It seems to me that hiring head coaches is a crap shoot and the least significant candidate could end up being the next Urban Meyer.

            The effect of the scandal and the prolonged search on recruiting hasn’t been too bad so far. We’ve had three recruits decommit and picked up one commit since this all began. As long as the new coach is named in the next week or two he’ll have a chance to round out a decent to good class. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t end up with a top 20 class considering we have quite a few openings left. The biggest news has been Schutt switching to OSU and Spence selecting OSU. Schutt chose us after being turned down by ND and Florida, IIRC, so that really wasn’t a huge surprise. Losing Spence hurts but that may have happened anyway. (I’m trying to stay positive :))

            Like

          • Brian says:

            If PSU does have a big name in the bag, then your AD has been blatantly lying. Would that bother you? If they don’t have one, all the insiders have been misled. Would that bother you?

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            No and no.

            An insider saying that a coach is in the bag and the AD saying that nothing has been finalized, no contracts negotiated aren’t mutually exclusive statements. The insider may have heard that there is an agreement in principle while the AD states that nothing is final.

            I’m an adult. I know that the bigger the stakes the bigger the games that are played.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The AD said interviews aren’t done and he hasn’t made a decision yet. That’s hard to reconcile with having a coach in hand, isn’t it?

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            The insider that seems to receive the most respect has said that PSU has the guy they want, in so many words. When he said that it may have been true. With people continuing to contact the AD and the search committee, plus situations evolving, the guy they want may have changed. I don’t know. I will never know. And I’m not losing sleep over it.

            Like

        • Ross says:

          Miles wasn’t offered the UM job, so, it’s not like he’d be choosing PSU over UM. That being said, no way he leaves a great position to coach that disaster.

          Like

  24. Brian says:

    Duffman,

    The B12 is 2-0 against the B10 now (5-1 overall). Neither win was super impressive, but both teams won handily. Iowa was a big underdog (9-3 vs 7-5), but NW and TAMU were both 6-6 (B12 #7 vs B10 #7 or 8). Maybe the B12 was a little better than you thought?

    Like

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      So half of your argument is based on the performance of the #4 team in the B12 against the #6 team in the B1G (that was missing it’s top 2 RBs)?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It’s not much of an argument. I think the regular season already showed the B12 to be good. Duffman doesn’t, so I thought maybe games against the B10 would be more persuasive. If the B12 was as overrated as he said, IA/OU should have been an IA win (IA was down RBs, but OU was down WRs). As you point out OU was #4/10 while IA was #6/12, so a pretty close match. TAMU was #7/10 while NW was #7 or 8 of 12, so NW should have been better.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Ok. St. and KSU are still to play, but so far the Big 12 is 5-1. The MAC is 3-1, CUSA and Big East 2-1 and everyone else .500 or worse.

          Texas, Missouri & Texas A&M played teams with identical records from the Pac 12, ACC and Big 10 and won each game by double digits.

          Baylor and Oklahoma played teams with 2 less wins from the Pac 12 and Big 10 and won by double digits.

          In all of those games except Baylor, the Big 12 team was pretty much in control the whole way and it “felt” like it was theirs to lose. With Baylor, they were in control the 1st Q, stalled the 2nd and had to come from behind, but UW couldn’t really stop them. UW basically had to score every time and they didn’t.

          ISU played Rutgers in New York, a Big East team with two more wins and lost by double digits.

          Interesting that newcomer Utah with 2 TDs in the last 5 minutes has saved the Pac 12 from an ignominious 0-5 start.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            ISU played Rutgers in New York

            I don’t think the B12 can play the home field advantage card. Baylor loses if that game isn’t in TX. Matching records also don’t mean equal teams. Baylor was ranked. TAMU was ranked much of the year. So were TX and MO. Not so much UW, NW, Cal and UNC.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You kind of made the point. The Big 12 teams with the same records were viewed as better teams.

            Baylor didn’t play well outside of Waco all year. They were 8-0 at home and 1-3 on the road, with the lone win 31-30 over Kansas (although they outgained KSU and OSU in losses). But typically, a home field advantage (and this was semi-home field-the fans were overwhelmingly Baylor but it wasn’t a familiar field) isn’t worth 11 points.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Bullet,

            I agree with you that the B12 teams were good this year. You don’t need to convince me. I just don’t think the B12 can use the home field card when talking about Rutgers in NYC considering the B12 plays 5 games in TX and 1 in AZ against the B10. Baylor was just a good example, especially the way the game went.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Big 12 had 2 basically at home and 1 on the road. Those 3 all went to the “home” team.
            A&M and Baylor had semi-home games. Iowa State had a semi-road game.
            Sites were realtively neutral for the other games. KSU (Dallas vs. Arkansas) and OSU (Tempe vs. Stanford) have to travel a little further, Texas (Cal in San Diego) a lot further, OU (Iowa in Tempe) and Missouri (UNC in Shreveport) were closer, but the crowds weren’t (or won’t) be totally one-sided.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Big 12 had 2 basically at home and 1 on the road. Those 3 all went to the “home” team. A&M and Baylor had semi-home games. Iowa State had a semi-road game.

            Semi-home games? Rutgers in NYC (49 miles) versus ISU is a home game. TAMU in Houston (95 miles away) versus NW is a home game. Baylor in San Antonio (183 miles) versus UW is a home game.

            That’s 3-0 for home teams, and 2 home wins for the B12.

            MO in Shreveport versus UNC was neutral. Cal in San Diego (494 miles) versus UT was neutral since Californians don’t rally behind in state teams, especially Cal, all that much. OU in Tempe versus Iowa was neutral.

            That’s 3 neutral sites, and 3 B12 wins.

            KSU and OkSU also have neutral sites.

            Now, the quality of match-ups is a different story, but since the B12 is a net beneficiary of home cooking I stand by my opinion that the B12 shouldn’t complain about home field advantage for Rutgers (ISU fans can, but not other B12 fans).

            Like

  25. Brian says:

    Shockingly, UW has fired 3 defensive coaches including the DC. Something about the worst defensive performance in UW history, I believe.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Purdue’s rivals.com site is saying there will be a major shake up of the defensive coaching staff. Has the D really been PU’s problem? I thought it was ACLs and the O.

      Like

  26. Brian says:

    Wow. IA went into the Kohl Center and upset #11 WI. I did not see that coming. How did this same IA team get crushed at home by Campbell?

    Like

  27. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7408041/tennessee-titans-coach-mike-munchak-not-dead-set-penn-state-nittany-lions-sources-say

    More PSU rumors from Joe Schad. Now it’s that Munchak is changing his mind and might try to fix PSU after all. If not, other new candidates (from PSU’s POV, anyway) are Patriots OC Bill O’Brien and Greg Schiano.

    Like

    • acaffrey says:

      Schiano makes a ton of sense, IMHO.

      Local and can recruit NJ. Team does well academically. Built Rutgers slowly and deliberately. Can establish a Florida to PA connection.

      Most importantly, with the ACC moves by Syracuse and Pitt, this might be the time to leave Rutgers. It might be a while before the next conference addition.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        He’d been rumored as the replacement for JoePa for a long time, so I understand it from that POV. The lack of recent success at Rutgers would concern me, though, since the BE has been weak. I wonder whether Schiano wants it, or if he would rather wait and hope to replace the replacement for Joe in another 3-5 years.

        Like

  28. Brian says:

    IL is a juggernaut all of a sudden. They have an untouchable 13 point lead based on how the UCLA offense and IL defense have played.

    It may have been ugly, but how much would NW or MSU fans like to have an ugly bowl win right now?

    Congrats to the Illini on setting a school record with 2 bowl wins in 2 years. Shame on IL for having that be a record.

    Like

  29. Brian says:

    I was looking at bowl losing streaks. Some other B10 teams should be very thankful that NW has given them cover by setting the all time record (tied at 9 with ND). I updated the stats through today’s games.

    http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/games_preview.html

    Longest Active Bowl Losing Streaks (last season of a bowl win in parenthesis)
    Northwestern, 9 (1948)
    Georgia Tech, 7 (2004)
    Ball State, 5 (Never)
    Michigan State, 5 (2001)
    UTEP, 5 (1967)
    Western Michigan, 5 (Never)
    Minnesota, 4 (2004)

    TAMU was at 5 before beating NW today. Certain programs need to step up (looking at you, MSU).

    Like

    • BigTen Jeff says:

      At year’s outset, I really thought this was the year for NU to break that streak. The combination of Persa coming back with the protective cover provided by being pushed down a notch in the B1G bowl hierarchy with the entry of Nebraska should have been enough. Alas, we had to face a preseason Top 10 team… Still, love the heart of the Wildcats to death.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It’s a Chicago thing. Wait ’til next year.

        Like

        • BigTen Jeff says:

          Lol. I’m a south sider and thus Sox fan (yes, redundant). We don’t buy into that North Sider accepting losing stuff. Good thing I went to NU for the academics…

          Like

          • Brian says:

            If it helps, NW has much better odds of ending their streak next year than the Cubs do. Eventually they’ll get a good matchup and the breaks will go their way. Perhaps Fitz could learn how to get the team to show up for the first 3 quarters?

            Like

          • BigTen Jeff says:

            I’ve been going to most of the NU bowls, and you’re right. The theme is usually the same: slow, tentative start, then comeback when you get loose and/or have nothing to lose. It’s sad when you’re so scared of returning to the ‘Stop State at 28′ days that Fitz is above reproach, even though there’s plenty of improvement to be had…

            On to getting in the NCAA Bball tournament!

            Speaking of basketball, HEY Frank, one of these days when you’re not so busy (lol), I would love to see you do an alternate universe blog and focus on the overall effects of realignment on the basketball world. After all, you were once a self described hoops guy.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Jeff

            Here’s the Cliff Notes version:

            The ACC will make a notable improvement
            The SEC and Big XII will improve slightly
            The Big 10 and PAC-12 will decline slightly
            The Big East will take a major hit

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            Of some interest may be how the FB only members in some AQ conferences impacts the smaller leagues that picked up their other sports, and how that impacts the other D-I leagues that didn’t gain anyone.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Granted it has not been a tough schedule, Missouri is still undefeated, and TAMU has been upgrading their basketball power with their last 2 coaches. Will they do as well next year in the SEC? Utah has fallen off the map, but historically they have had good basketball and are currently sitting at #12 all time, so that is a plus for the PAC. The ACC getting Syracuse and Pitt is a plus, but will Duke and UNC remain dominant? If the B12 expands to get UL and UC they would go up quickly, but trading WVU + TCU for TAMU + UNL + CU + MU may wash out as the 4 departing schools take recruiting with them. It will be interesting to see what happens to the B1G, as UNL may advance their sports other than football. Okay, that will not happen, so the B1G stays the same accounting for IU getting back to normal. The Big East is hurt, but if Uconn, UL, and UC depart the damage will be worse.

            Like

  30. zeek says:

    Crazy day for Big Ten hoops.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Other than IA over WI @ WI, what was crazy?

      IN won at home over a team still fitting Sullinger back into the mix. I was expecting IN to win.

      IL lost @ PU – no shock.

      MSU won @ NE – no shock.

      Like

  31. duffman says:

    Brian,

    Good game, probably goes your way on the return trip on the 15th. Losing to Sparty may have helped this win. #1 and #2 is pretty sweet after wandering the desert the past few years.

    .

    Frank,

    Did not see the game, but congrats on the win. Means you guys get a winning season, and something to build on going forward.

    .

    NU fans,

    Thought it was a good game, and it would end on a FG when it started, but zip in 3rd quarter did not help. Thought you guys won in the class division tho with the thing for the TAMU kid that died over Christmas.

    .

    Iowa fans,

    They had you out gunned from the start. 3 ranked non AQ’s played before Christmas, and 3 ranked B12 teams played in the week in between. The other 5 AQ conferences with ranked schools get rolling on Monday (#25 Auburn is technically tonight) so how is the B12 good, if all the similarly ranked schools do not play till Monday? PAC is 1-4 so far, and Utah had to go OT for the win, so not like all those PAC OOC games the B12 played regular season were big wins. Texas was #24 and beat Cal who was NR. Baylor was #12 and beat Washington who was NR. Oklahoma was #14 and beat an unranked Iowa. Not one of the 3 played a ranked team, so as predicted in the last thread, they won. At least the Fiesta gives us #3 oSu vs #4 Stanford, and the Cotton gives us #6 Arkansas vs #8 Kansas State.

    .

    Big East is 2-1 with West Virginia and Pitt still to play !

    Like

    • Brian says:

      duffman,

      Good game, probably goes your way on the return trip on the 15th. Losing to Sparty may have helped this win. #1 and #2 is pretty sweet after wandering the desert the past few years.

      I didn’t watch a second of it and couldn’t care much less than I do. I’d prefer a win, bu it’s essentially meaningless thanks to the tournament. It means more to IN fans, so you’re welcome to it in my book.

      3 ranked non AQ’s played before Christmas, and 3 ranked B12 teams played in the week in between. The other 5 AQ conferences with ranked schools get rolling on Monday (#25 Auburn is technically tonight) so how is the B12 good, if all the similarly ranked schools do not play till Monday? PAC is 1-4 so far, and Utah had to go OT for the win, so not like all those PAC OOC games the B12 played regular season were big wins. Texas was #24 and beat Cal who was NR. Baylor was #12 and beat Washington who was NR. Oklahoma was #14 and beat an unranked Iowa. Not one of the 3 played a ranked team, so as predicted in the last thread, they won. At least the Fiesta gives us #3 oSu vs #4 Stanford, and the Cotton gives us #6 Arkansas vs #8 Kansas State.

      You’ve spent the past 8 weeks decrying the rankings of the B12 being inflated so you don’t get to use them in your argument now. You said the B10 is better than the B12, so 6-6 NW should beat 6-6 TAMU. #4/10 OU shouldn’t have been better than #4 or 5/12 IA, either. The point is, you seem to have an excuse for every game the B12 wins. If OkSU beats Stanford, will you point to the P12’s bowl record and Stanford’s lack of quality wins? If KSU beats AR will you point to AR not beating anyone other than SC? Is there anything the B12 could actually do that would get you to respect them this year? Isn’t it possible they are 5-1 because they are actually good?

      Like

      • duffman says:

        If Kansas State beats Arkansas I will give them all the credit in the world! I was prepared to do the same for Oklahoma State, but the PAC and WAC are not looking good so far in the bowls. I still think Stanford is good, but are they great? I said the NU vs TAMU was pretty balanced going in and would be a close game, and it was. No shame for either side, and I enjoyed the game because there was offense and defense. Sure Baylor vs Washington scored a bazillion points, but where was the defensive side of the game? Oklahoma was #1 in both the AP & USA preseason and the best they could play was Iowa who was not ranked in either preseason? In the postseason Oklahoma was ranked with votes in all polls including the BCS, while Iowa did not even get 1 vote in any of them.

        The B1G plays 3 SEC teams, 2 PAC teams, 2 B12 teams, 1 ACC, 1 CUSA, 1 MAC
        The B12 plays 1 SEC team, 3 PAC teams, 2 B12 teams, 1 ACC, 1 BE

        The B1G has 5 ranked teams playing 5 ranked teams
        The B12 has 5 ranked teams playing 2 ranked teams

        This seems a bit unbalanced does it not?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          duffman,

          If Kansas State beats Arkansas I will give them all the credit in the world! I was prepared to do the same for Oklahoma State, but the PAC and WAC are not looking good so far in the bowls. I still think Stanford is good, but are they great?

          So the B12 could go 6-2 in bowls but you’d give them no credit if KSU was one of the two? That seems a bit extreme. I understand their bowl slate isn’t the hardest, but if they are as overrated as you say then that makes the slate harder than it appears.

          I said the NU vs TAMU was pretty balanced going in and would be a close game, and it was.

          Was there any point after the first quarter when you thought NW would win? It felt like TAMU was in control the whole game to me. They won by 11 (50% more points than NW). That’s not all that close.

          Sure Baylor vs Washington scored a bazillion points, but where was the defensive side of the game?

          Nobody ever claimed that Baylor had a defense. They won easily, though, and that’s the goal.

          Oklahoma was #1 in both the AP & USA preseason and the best they could play was Iowa who was not ranked in either preseason? In the postseason Oklahoma was ranked with votes in all polls including the BCS, while Iowa did not even get 1 vote in any of them.

          OU had a lot of injuries. It happens. The preseason ranking doesn’t change how good they are now, though, just how disappointed the fans are. Since you think all the polls are wrong, why are the votes in them suddenly germane now that they help your argument?

          The B1G plays 3 SEC teams, 2 PAC teams, 2 B12 teams, 1 ACC, 1 CUSA, 1 MAC
          The B12 plays 1 SEC team, 3 PAC teams, 2 B12 teams, 1 ACC, 1 BE

          So the B10 plays more SEC schools and more non-AQs while the B12 plays more P12 schools . It is reasonable that the B12 would play their western neighbors (the P12) more than the B10 does while the B10 plays their southern neighbor more than the B12 or P12. Nothing there seems outlandish to me.

          The B1G has 5 ranked teams playing 5 ranked teams
          The B12 has 5 ranked teams playing 2 ranked teams

          This seems a bit unbalanced does it not?

          I never said the B12’s bowl slate was as tough as the B10’s. That doesn’t change how good the teams are, though. The Packers wold be just as good as now if they played in the B10, they just wouldn’t be as tested.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The SEC West got a bit of a break on their bowl schedule. They faced each other or 3 over-achievers. Wake Forest, Virginia and Kansas State played above their talent level this year. MSU managed to muscle their way to 6 point win over WF. Auburn was just too fast for UVA.

            It will be interesting to see KSU/Arkansas. Arkansas hasn’t played well on the road and has played 3 good teams, beating S. Carolina, but getting stomped by LSU and Alabama. Its hard to judge them. KSU is well coached and they just find a way to win. Will Bill Snyder be able to do as well when he has a month to prepare instead of the typical 1 week period of preparation? In one week he can outwork the other coaches, but in a month they have time to come up with lots of new ideas. It should be close, but I think Arkansas’s talent with a month to prepare wins.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            If UVA played solid special teams the game would at least have been closer. 2 blocked punts, the bad fake field goal, the onside kick and at least 1 big return killed them.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            UVA also had a turnover. But they still would have won if their lineman and linebackers could have finished the plays. They chased the Auburn QBs all over the field and stretched out the runs well, but simply got out-quicked. Their defense just wasn’t fast enough. Time and again they had the Auburn QBs for big losses, at least a couple for 15+ yards, but couldn’t quite catch them.

            Like

  32. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7409639/clemson-tigers-dabo-swinney

    Dabo Swinney won the Bobby Dodd COTY award. Really? Beating VT in a big game gets you a coaching award? Since when?

    Like

  33. Brian says:

    UPDATE

    We are 23 games into bowl season. Here’s the stats so far.
    I track the big games (BCS, 1/2, Cotton and Chick-fil-A) separately.

    My predictions 18-5
    My preferences 10-13

    SEC 2-1 (2-1 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – 6 left (6 AQ)
    B12 5-1 (5-1 vs AQ) – 2 left (2 AQ)
    ACC 2-4 (2-4 vs AQ) – 2 left (2 AQ)
    BE 2-1 (2-1 vs AQ) – 2 left (1 AQ)
    B10 2-2 (1-2 vs AQ) – 6 left (5 AQ)
    P12 1-4 (1-3 vs AQ) – 2 left (2 AQ)
    ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ)

    MAC 3-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – 1 left
    CUSA 2-1 – 2 left (2 AQ)
    SB 1-1 – 1 left
    MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ) – done
    WAC 0-3 – done
    BYU 1-0

    Next up are 6 games on Monday before the last 6 games in 7 days.

    Monday – 3x B10/SEC, B10/CUSA, B10/P12, B12/P12

    Tuesday – ACC/B10
    Wednesday – ACC/BE
    Friday – B12/SEC
    Saturday – BE/CUSA
    Sunday – MAC/SB
    Monday – SEC/SEC

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Atl least Florida State did its part for the ACC. Man, did Georgia Tech blow a big lead in that Sun Bowl game yesterday or what? But Utah’s running back (White) sure had a nice game!

      I had no big expectations out of Wake Forest or Virginia. I picked UNC, but they let me down. Par for the course.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It’s pretty rare for GT to blow a big late lead like that. Usually their running game eats the clock. They could use some pass D improvement, though.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Big 10 has taken over New Year’s Day. 5 of 6 games-and they’ve been in the Fiesta.

      It also sets the Big 10 up for being over-rated or laughed at. They are on the schedule 5 times on the highest profile day. If they do well on that one high profile day the pollsters think they are really good. If they fail, the media laughs at them and the pollsters drop them all drastically in the rankings.

      Like

  34. Pat says:

    Interesting matrix from Michigan blog on frequency and last meetings between B1G and PAC-12 teams. Michigan hasn’t played Stanford since ’76 and Cal since ’80. Need to change that. Michigan State hasn’t played UCLA since ’74 and Arizona since ’49. Enjoy!

    http://hooverstreetrag.blogspot.com/2011/12/b1gpac-12-matchups-matrix.html

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Nice.

      Not surprisingly the most games involve USC/UCLA/UW (except for NE/CO of course) and the fewest are with the relative newcomers (AZ, ASU, CO and Utah). MI and OSU both have high numbers.

      Surprises:
      1. IL has a lot of games with all the CA schools (only B10 school with 10+ games against 4 P12 schools).

      2. IN has never played 2 of the P8 schools (Stanford and UCLA). The only other missing game is Stanford/IA.

      3. Stanford has never played 2 of the original B10 schools (IN, IA), either, obviously. They also have only played MN once.

      4. UW/MN is the second most common B10/P10 game, after OSU/USC (only 1 of 20+ games).

      OSU/USC – 23
      UW/MN – 17
      IL/USC – 13

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Games against the P10 through 2010:
        OSU – 77
        IL – 70
        MI – 65
        IA – 59
        NE – 57
        MN – 48
        MSU – 47
        WI – 42
        PSU – 34
        PU – 33
        NW – 30
        IN – 18

        Like

    • duffman says:

      Nice find, but it would be interesting if it was 3 charts

      1) covered regular season matchups only
      2) covered post season matchups only
      3) covered both – the one in the link

      I say this as most near the top are regular Rose Bowl schools, and those near the bottom are not there as often.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        http://football.stassen.com/records/opponent.html

        Help yourself. Most of the games aren’t bowls, though.

        For example:
        OSU/USC = 23 games, 16 regular season (8 H, 8 A), 7 Rose Bowls
        MN/UW = 17 games, 16 regular season (8 H, 8 A), 1 Rose Bowl
        IL/USC = 13 games, 12 regular season (6 H, 6 A), 1 Rose Bowl
        MI/USC = 10 games, 2 regular season (1 H, 1 A), 8 Rose Bowls

        Like

        • duffman says:

          Brian, thanks for the link, just did Ohio State

          Arizona : 4 season : 0 bowl
          Arizona State : 1 season : 1 bowl
          Cal : 4 season : 2 bowl
          Colorado : 1 season : 0 bowl (3 season, 1 bowl prior to PAC)
          Oregon : 6 season : 2 bowl
          Oregon State : 2 season : 0 bowl
          Southern Cal : 16 season : 7 bowl
          Stanford : 4 season : 1 bowl
          UCLA : 8 season : 1 bowl
          Utah : 0 season : 0 bowl (1 season, 0 bowl prior to PAC)
          Washington : 11 season : 0 bowl
          Washington State : 7 season : 0 bowl

          Of course it was Ohio State, so outside of the Rose Bowl they did not play a PAC school, Duh! 44 bowls = 14 in Rose vs PAC + 30 not in Rose vs non PAC teams

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Pretty much, yeah. Like I said, OSU/USC was much more about regular season games. I was a little surprised MI had so few regular season games against USC with 9 against UCLA (+ 2 bowls).

            Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/boston/ncf/story/_/id/7410374/penn-state-nittany-lions-want-hire-new-england-patriots-bill-obrien-sources-say

    Now ESPN’s NFL reporters are getting in on the PSU game. They are a lot more credible than the previous sources we’ve heard from. If they say an NFL guy is talking with PSU, I believe them. It doesn’t mean they’ll hire him, but I believe Schefter has a source.

    Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      Other than that one blogger guy that covers the Big Ten I don’t trust much that comes from ESPN and haven’t for years (basically since they stopped being a news source and started being a talk show).

      If anything the last couple months have taught the world, PSU knows how to keep its mouth shut when it wants to…ESPN is just like the rest of the sports world right now, throwing $h!t against the wall and hoping it sticks so they can say “they were there first”.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Their NFL guys are pretty good at getting tips. All I’m saying is there is something to the O’Brien being interviewed story. I don’t put stock in more than that.

        Like

        • acaffrey says:

          I worked on a list of those speculated, rumored, wished for, etc., for the PSU job. Am I missing anyone? Also, maybe I am wrong, but I cannot believe that the PSU fanbase would be happy with O’Brien.

          http://atlanticcoastconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/the-penn-state-coaching-search-really/

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I think the fan base is divided enough that they won’t be happy with anyone (maybe Bill Belichick). The most unifying candidate might be Bradley, but then they’d get a shitstorm from the media. Some of the alums would complain too.

            Like

          • SideshowBob says:

            I think the fanbase would collectively be happy with either Nick Saban or Les Miles. Beyond that, yeah, there’s going to be grumbling about anyone. Note: I’m not saying they are candidates, just talking about what it would take to make everyone happy and on board.

            Personally, I think Chris Petersen would be pretty much an idea hire: college head coach, great success, high graduation rates/emphasis on academics, no real scandals (yes, there was NCAA violations, but it was minimal stuff and isn’t the kind of stuff that would be repeated with a more vigilant compliance dept). But I don’t think he’s interested.

            Like

  36. Brian says:

    A look at the impact of the loss of the ninth B10 game.

    What follows is a lot of numbers, but I summarize at the end.

    OSU W% (1993-2010)
    Locked opponents

    PSU – 0.667
    WI – 0.607
    PU – 0.786
    IL – 0.750
    IN – 1.000
    MI – 0.611
    Average – 0.737
    Expected record: 4.4 – 1.6

    Rotating opponents
    MSU – 0.833
    IA – 0.917
    NW – 0.917
    MN – 0.929
    NE – 0.500 (pure unknown, so I took the split)
    Average – 0.819
    Expected record: 1.6 – 0.4 or 2.5 – 0.5

    Overall
    Average – 0.758 (8) or 0.764 (9)
    Expected record: 6.0 – 2.0 or 6.9 – 2.1
    Round robin = 0.774 = 8.5 – 2.5

    Not a huge difference in W%, but noticeable. The ninth game looks like an almost sure win for OSU in the past (except NE), so not playing that game hurts OSU.

    WI W% (1993-2010)
    Locked opponents

    OSU – 0.393
    PSU – 0.500
    PU – 0.679
    IL – 0.750
    IN – 0.857
    MN – 0.778
    Average – 0.660
    Expected record: 4.0 – 2.0

    Rotating opponents
    MI – 0.429
    MSU – 0.571
    IA – 0.500
    NW – 0.571
    NE – 0.500 (pure unknown, so I took the split)
    Average – 0.514
    Expected record: 1.0 – 1.0 or 1.5 – 1.5

    Overall
    Average – 0.624 (8) or 0.611 (9)
    Expected record: 5.0 – 3.0 or 5.5 – 3.5
    Round robin = 0.594 = 6.5 – 4.5

    That’s more than twice the difference, and in the opposite direction from OSU.

    PSU W% (1993-2010)
    Locked opponents

    OSU – 0.333
    WI – 0.500
    PU – 0.833
    IL – 0.786
    IN – 1.000
    NE – 0.500 (pure unknown, so I took the split)
    Average – 0.659
    Expected record: 4.0 – 2.0

    Rotating opponents
    MI – 0.375
    MSU – 0.722
    IA – 0.357
    NW – 0.786
    MN – 0.667
    Average – 0.581
    Expected record: 1.2 – 0.8 or 1.7 – 1.3

    Overall
    Average – 0.640 (8) or 0.633 (9)
    Expected record: 5.2 – 2.8 or 5.7 – 3.3
    Round robin = 0.624 = 6.9 – 4.1

    PSU would lose what OSU would gain from the schedule change, and half what WI would lose. It seems counter-intuitive since they have NE locked, but they have terrible results against IA and MI.

    Combined
    OSU + 0.006
    PSU -0.007
    WI – 0.013
    Difference = 0.019

    OSU 6.0 – 2.0 or 6.9 – 2.1
    PSU 5.2 – 2.8 or 5.7 – 3.3
    WI 5.0 – 3.0 or 5.5 – 3.5

    Going to nine games means OSU can afford an extra loss more often. With 8 games, an extra loss drops them behind PSU and equal to WI. With nine games, OSU would still be in front. That extra margin is probably worth at least a division title per decade for OSU, and that’s important. The numbers from 1993-2010 say division titles would have split like this in a decade:

    OSU – 5.3
    WI – 1.9
    PSU – 1.7
    PU – 0.6
    IL – 0.6
    IN – 0

    Looking at more history, but assuming PSU’s new coaches aren’t quite Paterno at his best and WI being better than they were 20+ years ago, this seems more likely:

    OSU – 4
    PSU – 2.6
    WI – 2.4
    PU – 0.5
    IL – 0.5
    IN – 0

    Now factor in the change in schedule helping OSU and hurting PSU and WI. The net result:

    OSU – 5
    PSU – 2.2
    WI – 1.6
    PU – 0.6
    IL – 0.6
    IN – 0

    Summary
    Going from 8 to 9 games provides a more representative outcome. In the Leaders, that could result in an extra division title per decade for OSU at the expense of PSU and especially WI. In the legends, MI and NE will be in a similar situation with MSU playing IN every year. I think it is better for the B10 to play the extra game and get the most representative winners of each division rather than letting the schedule skew the results.

    Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      Its better to play another conference game, which wreaks a lot of havoc with “fairness” in any given year (who had more home games, etc), so that traditional powers can win a little bit more than it is to diversify OoC scheduling (while establishing strong partnerships in a cross-continental collaboration) and help develop its second tier brands to make the conference as a whole better?

      IMHO, I don’t think so.

      Someone said on here a long time back, the entire college football scene is playing checkers and Delaney is playing chess and I can’t help but think how true that is (only now he’s got the Pac on board). By the time 2015-2016 comes around (tv contract time) The Big Ten (and Pac) will have year round coast to coast college sports exposure (ok, summer will be dead, given) and quite possibly conference network exposure to match.

      That’s very much worth giving up an extra Big Ten game a year.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        PSUGuy,

        Its better to play another conference game, which wreaks a lot of havoc with “fairness” in any given year (who had more home games, etc),

        If that were true, then no. But the unfairness is built into the system with 5 division games, forcing 3 teams to have 2 home games in division and 3 having 3 games. The ninth game gives everyone an equal split for their crossover games 2-2. That’s more fair, to me, since division games count more than crossover games.

        so that traditional powers can win a little bit more

        It turns out that’s who it helps, but I’d argue it the same regardless. Note that it didn’t help PSU. It would also help several of the lesser programs on the field, especially IN and MN. It also has a lot of financial implications for the smaller programs.

        than it is to diversify OoC scheduling (while establishing strong partnerships in a cross-continental collaboration) and help develop its second tier brands to make the conference as a whole better?

        I wasn’t arguing anything about the P12 games here. This was just a look at the impact of the ninth B10 game in islotaion. On that topic, however, I don’t believe the P12 deal diversifies OOC scheduling at all. It shifts AQ OOC games to be from the P12 rather than ACC, BE, B12 and SEC. How many schools are playing 4 non-AQs/I-AAs now? IN and who? How many schools already play 9 AQs? How many play 10? I think people are exaggerating the impact this will have.

        Looking at future OOC schedules:
        IL – 1 AQ, likely to drop that for a P12 game
        IN – 1 AQ, likely to drop that for a P12 game
        IA – 1.5 AQ, likely to drop that 0.5 for a P12 game (keep ISU)
        MI – 2 AQ, likely to drop 1 for a P12 game (keep ND)
        MSU – 2 AQ, likely to drop 1 for a P12 game (keep ND)
        MN – 1 AQ, likely to drop that for a P12 game
        NE – 1 AQ, likely to drop that for a P12 game
        NW – 3 AQ, likely to drop 1 for a P12 game
        OSU – 2 AQ, likely to drop 1 for a P12 game
        PSU – 1 AQ, likely to keep that and add a P12 game
        PU – 1.25 AQ, likely to drop that 0.25 for a P12 game (keep ND)
        WI – 1 AQ, likely to drop that for a P12 game

        You’ll see a small increase in AQ OOC games for the B10, but mostly a shift to P12 games.

        IMHO, I don’t think so.

        The purpose of scheduling shouldn’t be to develop the brands of any tier of teams. The ninth game is more representative of a round robin (the ideal schedule if the size is right), and that just happens to hurt some teams relative to the 8 game schedule. As it turns out, building the second tier brands at the expense of the first tier is actually bad for the B10 as the first tier teams are the ones that drive the B10’s reputation nationally.

        Someone said on here a long time back, the entire college football scene is playing checkers and Delaney is playing chess and I can’t help but think how true that is (only now he’s got the Pac on board).

        It’s arrogant to think Delany is that much better than Slive or Scott. I don’t agree that he is on a higher level than them.

        By the time 2015-2016 comes around (tv contract time) The Big Ten (and Pac) will have year round coast to coast college sports exposure (ok, summer will be dead, given) and quite possibly conference network exposure to match.

        Note that the B10/P12 football schedule won’t start until the new TV deal does. It will just be potential when the deal is negotiated, although the details will be known. I don’t think it will have a major impact on the value of the deal for 1st and 2nd tier rights..

        That’s very much worth giving up an extra Big Ten game a year.

        No offense, but that’s probably easier for a PSU or NE fan to say than for old school B10 fans.

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          “But the unfairness is built into the system with 5 division games”

          And having another cross division game helps this how? I simply cannot see another in division game being the “1 extra”.

          “It would also help several of the lesser programs on the field, especially IN and MN. It also has a lot of financial implications for the smaller programs.”

          Agreed under the traditional method of increasing funds, ie: selling out your stadium. However the real money “made” in that scenario is more likely money “saved” by not having to pay $1million to bring a MAC or I-AA school to town. Facts are there are many more Indiana’s than tOSU’s in the Big Ten and having one more game doesn’t immediately mean a sell-out since the odds are are second (or third) tier program will be having another second (or third) tier program come to town. On the other hand, having a week (or two if they break up the games) of Big/Pac games is a pretty nice sell or inventory increase for the tv networks no matter who plays where.

          “This was just a look at the impact of the ninth B10 game in islotaion. ”

          Fair enough.

          ” On that topic, however, I don’t believe the P12 deal diversifies OOC scheduling at all.”

          That may in fact happen, however I point to PSU’s schedule for next year: Virginia, Navy, Temple. In 2008, we actually had Oregon St., Syracuse, & Temple. Point being, there is precedent in having multiple higher profile games. Combine that with Delaney’s comments on RPI like OoC scheduling in the future and the desire to have more desirable content for the BTN and I believe OoC will become much less “low-profile”.

          “As it turns out, building the second tier brands at the expense of the first tier is actually bad for the B10 as the first tier teams are the ones that drive the B10′s reputation nationally.”

          The SEC built its current “status” as the best in college football by building its secondary teams so that in any given year it could say “not only are our power teams great, but so is the rest”. Didn’t seem to hurt Bama or LSU any.

          “It’s arrogant to think Delany is that much better than Slive or Scott. I don’t agree that he is on a higher level than them.”

          You don’t have to be on another level to be looking at something completely differently. The SEC added two medium level teams and opened up a financial bonanza by being the first conference that could hold, televise, and advertise as having a conference championship game. The Big Ten was the first conference to recognize the value of its non-marquee content and is now pushing to maximize it. At first it thought going to 9 conference games was the best method to do so, but now it appears the Big schools believe the Pac collaboration is the way to go. I happen to agree.

          “Note that the B10/P12 football schedule won’t start until the new TV deal does. It will just be potential when the deal is negotiated, although the details will be known. I don’t think it will have a major impact on the value of the deal for 1st and 2nd tier rights.”

          Perfectly valid points, except for the last. People didn’t think the BTN was going to have a major impact and yet now it is pumping cash to such an extent the Big Ten, with its almost finished old tv contract, makes just about as much as the SEC with its brand new one. Sure, for now what could or would happen is just conjecture, but I think the Big Ten has shown amazing foresight with all things conference marketing-wise in the past 10 year or so.

          “No offense, but that’s probably easier for a PSU or NE fan to say than for old school B10 fans.”

          Non taken. But I’d argue if that’s the case why don’t we just play 12 times a year and be done with it? (With the obvious understanding that contrary to what some fans want another course of action may in fact be a better one for the Big Ten and the schools therein.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            PSUGuy,

            “But the unfairness is built into the system with 5 division games”

            And having another cross division game helps this how?

            It doesn’t help it or hurt it. That was my point. The big imbalance is in division games, and those matter more, so 8 or 9 doesn’t much matter to fairness in that sense. But 9 does add to fairness in terms of schedule difficulty.

            I simply cannot see another in division game being the “1 extra”.

            No, clearly not. If the schedule was much longer, I wouldn’t be against 10 division games but you have to play a multiple of 5.

            “It would also help several of the lesser programs on the field, especially IN and MN. It also has a lot of financial implications for the smaller programs.”

            Agreed under the traditional method of increasing funds, ie: selling out your stadium. However the real money “made” in that scenario is more likely money “saved” by not having to pay $1million to bring a MAC or I-AA school to town. Facts are there are many more Indiana’s than tOSU’s in the Big Ten and having one more game doesn’t immediately mean a sell-out since the odds are are second (or third) tier program will be having another second (or third) tier program come to town. On the other hand, having a week (or two if they break up the games) of Big/Pac games is a pretty nice sell or inventory increase for the tv networks no matter who plays where.

            When they do the revenue sharing, generally 8 schools pay and 4 schools receive (NW, IN, MN and PU I believe), so there are more OSU’s than IN’s in that sense.

            “As it turns out, building the second tier brands at the expense of the first tier is actually bad for the B10 as the first tier teams are the ones that drive the B10′s reputation nationally.”

            The SEC built its current “status” as the best in college football by building its secondary teams so that in any given year it could say “not only are our power teams great, but so is the rest”. Didn’t seem to hurt Bama or LSU any.

            No it didn’t. It built it on it’s main brands – AL, LSU, AU, UF, UGA and UT. Those 6 are all in the top 23 of all time wins (top 13 except UF). MSU is #31, WI is #32 and IA is #40. Ole Miss has more wins than Iowa.

            “It’s arrogant to think Delany is that much better than Slive or Scott. I don’t agree that he is on a higher level than them.”

            You don’t have to be on another level to be looking at something completely differently.

            When you say he’s playing chess and they’re playing checkers, it implies that he is on another level. If that’s not what you meant, may I suggest using a different metaphor next time?

            The SEC added two medium level teams and opened up a financial bonanza by being the first conference that could hold, televise, and advertise as having a conference championship game. The Big Ten was the first conference to recognize the value of its non-marquee content and is now pushing to maximize it.

            And the P12 went a step farther by wholly owing their network. How does this make Delany better than them?

            At first it thought going to 9 conference games was the best method to do so, but now it appears the Big schools believe the Pac collaboration is the way to go. I happen to agree.

            That assumes that financial reasons were the sole driver here. We don’t know all of their reasons.

            “Note that the B10/P12 football schedule won’t start until the new TV deal does. It will just be potential when the deal is negotiated, although the details will be known. I don’t think it will have a major impact on the value of the deal for 1st and 2nd tier rights.”

            Perfectly valid points, except for the last. People didn’t think the BTN was going to have a major impact and yet now it is pumping cash to such an extent the Big Ten, with its almost finished old tv contract, makes just about as much as the SEC with its brand new one. Sure, for now what could or would happen is just conjecture, but I think the Big Ten has shown amazing foresight with all things conference marketing-wise in the past 10 year or so.

            I was talking about the ABC and ESPN equivalents in the next deal. I think the value added is more to the BTN with this. Of course, I may well be wrong.

            “No offense, but that’s probably easier for a PSU or NE fan to say than for old school B10 fans.”

            Non taken. But I’d argue if that’s the case why don’t we just play 12 times a year and be done with it?

            Because most schools want/need 7 home games. I could actually live with 10 B10 games, but all the OOC games would be MAC or I-AA. That would get old after a while. Maybe if they add a 13th game.

            (With the obvious understanding that contrary to what some fans want another course of action may in fact be a better one for the Big Ten and the schools therein.

            I’ve been trying to look at it from a big picture perspective and considering all 12 schools. It’s not clear to me that there is a clear majority that benefit from this decision.

            Regardless, the decision has been made and I’ll live with it. I’m not foaming at the mouth mad about it or anything. Since they are forcing a P12 game on everyone, I wish they would reconsider keeping the ninth conference game. But maybe that’s just too much change all at once for the B10. I understand why MI, MSU, PU and IA would have an issue with it, and maybe that was the trump card.

            Like

          • PSUGuy says:

            My eyes are bleeding…

            Like

    • SideshowBob says:

      If fairness was ultimately the goal, then just determine division winners based on the 5 game division record, using head to head and overall conference record as a tie-breakers. That solves the problem better than what you are suggesting.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I disagree. That might be a better way to determine divisional champ, but it’s a worse way to decide conference champ which is the primary reason for divisions to begin with.

        For instance if you have:

        Team A: 5-0 in division, 5-3 overall
        and
        Team B: 4-1 in division, 7-1 overall

        Unless the schedules were super different, then while Team A more deserves to be called divisional champ more, team B is the one that has earned the right to play for the conference championship.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          With that in mind, I’d actually switch CCG tie-breakers. A CCG isn’t about who is the division champ, it’s about who is the conference champ and thus should be designed to award the team in the division with the best CONFERENCE achievements rather than the best divisional achievements.

          Rather than the tie-breaker being head to head against just divisional teams, I’d make it head to head against all teams with the same or better record (including in other division) and only go to direct head to head if that didn’t settle anything. For instance, let’s pretend these are the results:

          East:
          Ohio State 6-2
          Wisconsin 6-2

          West:
          Michigan 7-1
          Iowa 6-2

          In this made up case, Ohio State beat Wisconsin, but lost to Michigan and Iowa. Wisconsin lost to Ohio State, but beat Michigan and Iowa.

          Under current rules, Ohio State would go to the CCG because of head to head. Since Wisconsin was better against top competition however (and thus had better conference achievements even if not better divisional ones), this proposed rule change would put them in over Ohio State.

          Like

          • Cliff's Notes says:

            Obviously this is a made up example, since Wisconsin never has the tougher schedule, and has enjoyed stupid tie breaker rules to get to the Rose Bowl.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        SideshowBob,

        If fairness was ultimately the goal, then just determine division winners based on the 5 game division record, using head to head and overall conference record as a tie-breakers. That solves the problem better than what you are suggesting.

        I’d be all for that except for one glaring problem. It makes too many games only count for national rankings and bowl seeding.

        I disagree that it makes things more fair, too. It accentuates the difference between 2 and 3 home games in the division, which is less fair.

        Like

  37. Christian in Texas says:

    add

    Like

  38. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/01/02/notre-dame-coaches.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a5

    Coaching shake up at ND. The DB coach will become the new OC. That seems odd.

    Like

  39. Brian says:

    Ugh. Happy New Years, B10 fans.

    UH 27 – PSU 7 late 3rd
    UGA 16 – MSU 0 half
    UF 14 – OSU 10 half
    SC 16 – NE 13 half

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Last year’s New Year’s Day bowl games and this year’s (so far), compared with the ACC’s complete absence from New Year’s games, are a microcosm of those two leagues. When the Big Ten stinks, the whole world knows about it. When the ACC stinks (or even when it has a great day), no one notices.

      Like

    • zeek says:

      New year, same story.

      Michigan State looks outclassed again. Not as outclassed as last year, but outclassed nonetheless.

      And what is going on with special teams. Was no one prepared on that front for today?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No, they weren’t. Obviously.

        At least PSU and OSU have the interim coach excuse. MSU? I’ve got no idea.

        NE is keeping it close and MSU got back within 8. That’s something.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          It seems like every team in the Big Ten gave up points at the end of the 2nd quarter for no reason on top of all the other problems.

          Michigan State at least made a game of it, but that’s really all I can say about today.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          MSU pushed it to OT. They blew the first OT, but UGA gave them a second chance.

          It’s sad that IL has the best B10 performance so far in a bowl. Please do better WI and MI, and MSU win the damn game.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            SPARTY YES.

            Honestly, I can’t think of any other way for Michigan State to win a bowl game. That was as crazy a bowl game finish as I could think of…

            Triple overtime with just 9 points scored during 6 overtime drives…

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Helped by Richt’s bonehead lose 3 yards to have his 60% FG kicker try a 43 yard FG in 1st OT. Did he have so little faith in his player’s ability to avoid turnovers? If they hadn’t lost the 3 yards, it might have been good. It curved at the end. UGA also didn’t try to tackle guys in bounds. They had a couple of chances, but just pushed the guys out on MSU’s last drive. And a bonehead facemask-stopping the clock after a run. Not sure about the timeout with 26 seconds left-after a penalty does the clock stay stopped? If it runs, he shouldn’t have called time unless there were 10 players on the field. Then a bonehead offsides. Really just bad decision making by UGA in that last 2 minutes.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            The radio waves will be heated tomorrow. Why not try to gain yards on 2nd and 3rd down? Why settle for a long field goal?

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Glad I am not the only one who thought that was absurd. Have SOME balls. Just a little. I could see if they got 12 yards on 1st down. But a 43-yarder?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Walsh was one of the top kickers, if not the top kicker in the country last year. But he has had problems this year. Richt got caught in last year. Even last year, you don’t force a kicker to do a +40 yard kick unless you have to.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            UGA is deep into its running backs. I think its into walk-ons who have had fumble problems. Still, have Murray throw a safe pass on 2nd and a QB sneak on 3rd to setup the hash.

            Like

  40. duffman says:

    jj, Sparty gets it done, hang on to Dantonio

    Like

  41. Brian says:

    WOOT!

    MSU pulls it out in 3 OT. Their bowl streak is over and the SEC didn’t sweep the B10.

    GA fans are going to kill Richt for not trying to gain yards on their first OT possession. MSU threw a pick, so all GA needed was a FG. Richt ran it twice, the second time just to center the ball, and kicked on third down and missed from about 41 yards.

    SEC 2 – B10 1

    SC 30 – NE 13, but it was close in the first half
    UF 24 – OSU 17, ugly all game long with UF getting 2 special team TDs
    MSU 33 – UGA 30 in 3OT, MSU tried to blow it but UGA choked worse

    UH 30 – PSU 14, the game was worse than the score as Keenum threw for over 500 yards

    Like

  42. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/42873/video-jeffery-named-capital-one-mvp

    Alshon Jeffrey got kicked out of the game for throwing a punch but was named player of the game. Stay classy, Cap 1.

    Like

  43. Brian says:

    Frank,

    Rumors say that IL will get Jon Tenuta as DC. I think IL fans will enjoy his aggressive style if it’s true.

    Like

  44. Brian says:

    http://www.statesman.com/sports/9-things-and-1-crazy-prediction-for-this-2073971.html?viewAsSinglePage=true

    UT is going to study the Saints for offensive tips. That leaves me with 2 questions:

    1. Wasn’t UT supposed to be focusing on a downhill running game?

    2. Who in the hell is supposed to be Drew Brees?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      UT hardly threw any screens or flares. They had a hard time with 3rd and 4 or 5 (and even harder with 2nd and 4 or 5-it often turned into 3rd and 10). Of course, the problem is who is reliable to catch the ball. McCoy is pretty reliable on short throws, but Mack Brown has been hung up on putting the more talented QB (Ash and Garret-now at SMU) on the field instead of the more successful one. Cost him a shot at a national championship when he put Chris Simms in instead of Major Applewhite. Didn’t put Applewhite in until the 2nd half of B12 CCG and they lost 39-37 to a Colorado team they had beaten 41-7 earlier in the year. As a result Nebraska got the privilege of getting stomped by Miami that year.

      Like

  45. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Question for Penn State fans or anyone else who can provide insight: Why does Jay Paterno refer to his dad as “Joe?” Ive never met anyone with a good relationship with their father who wouldn’t call them “Dad,” whether in public or in private. It’s just bizarre to me, as though he’s distancing himself.

    Like

  46. bullet says:

    More brain freeze today. Spiking with 2 seconds left-call sandlot, anything. It looked like it was about 1.1 seconds. It would have been very close even if it was a full 2.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, that was just boneheaded.

      With 9 seconds left on the previous play, you have to have 2 plays ready to go. Just run the first and then get back to formation and run a hail mary.

      What in the world was going on there…

      Like

    • Brian says:

      It would have been nice to have a TO left, perhaps the one he wasted on not getting a review or the other one he wasted with about 15 seconds on the play clock. I believe NCAA rules would allow Toon to have stayed down for his injury so WI could get a play called and be ready when the whistle is blown to run a good play.

      Like

  47. Brian says:

    Defenses don’t appear to be the strengths of the BCS teams so far. Can the Sugar and Orange keep this up? How big of a culture shock will the NCG be for everybody?

    Rose 45-38 (almost 45-45)
    Fiesta 38-38 in regulation

    Like

    • Brian says:

      OkSU 41 – Stanford 38 OT

      How sick is Stanford’s freshman kicker after missing the game winner from 35 yards and a 41 yarder in the first OT? I guess it helps that OkSU could have scored a TD, but he still has to feel like this loss is on him.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Probably like the OkSt kicker did when he missed a 37 yard FG attempt with 1:17 left in the Iowa State game.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Even if it was like an extra point, I still try to run it in from a half yard out. Is the probability of a fumble greater than missing an extra point?

        Luck was impressive, as was the Stanford offensive line. They gave him time all game long, and the few times they didn’t he had time to find the outlet receiver.

        I wonder if the OSU defense were the only ones who didn’t know the play on Stanford’s last TD on that 3rd and 5. They’d been doing the same thing all night on 3rd and medium and the D back played off him (didn’t help that he slipped, but it was still at least a 1st down and probably still a TD).

        Still, once OSU’s offense warmed up, I felt like the only way Stanford wins was if they did what they did at the end and hold it until the last second.

        Georgia’s kicker, a senior who had a great career, missed a 43 yarder in the 1st OT that would have won it and got another blocked at the end that lost it.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          Even if it was like an extra point, I still try to run it in from a half yard out. Is the probability of a fumble greater than missing an extra point?

          I’d try to punch it in too, but the numbers probably favor the kick. I’d at least have tried a QB sneak, which has a very low fumble rate.

          Luck was impressive, as was the Stanford offensive line. They gave him time all game long, and the few times they didn’t he had time to find the outlet receiver.

          Safe to say he’s ready for the NFL.

          I wonder if the OSU defense were the only ones who didn’t know the play on Stanford’s last TD on that 3rd and 5. They’d been doing the same thing all night on 3rd and medium and the D back played off him (didn’t help that he slipped, but it was still at least a 1st down and probably still a TD).

          They sure seemed confused. maybe they just couldn’t believe he’d keep making some of those throws. It’s so frustrating watching a team with no deep speed just pass all over you with skill.

          Still, once OSU’s offense warmed up, I felt like the only way Stanford wins was if they did what they did at the end and hold it until the last second.

          It felt like the Rose Bowl.

          Like

  48. Brian says:

    I think we can safely say that OkSU blew any shot at a split title with their performance, but I still would have liked to see them play LSU.

    Well, Duffman? OkSU proved they have no D, but we already knew that. It would have been fun watching LSU stop that offense, though. Stanford looked a little better than I expected, but they just aren’t quite there yet.

    OkSU’s QB: “That’s one of the best defenses I’ve faced all year.”

    That’s a sad statement since OkSU put up 399 yards passing.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Remote that OSU wins the AP now if AL wins close even in an ugly game, but Penn St. (Alabama’s signature win) didn’t do Alabama’s cause any good and Arkansas has yet to play. Big 12 could still go 7-1 and SEC 5-4 if KSU defeats Arkansas. If Arkansas wins, that remote chance totally goes away. I don’t see any chance LSU wins with a loss, but they would have a good argument if it was another close game-much tougher schedule, win on the road, loss in neutral site.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Exactly. If OkSU won easily, AL won 9-6 and KSU beat AR, I think the AP might have voted for OkSU. Now, I just don’t see it unless KSU crushes AR and AL win 2-0 with about 17 punts.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          Brian,

          This year as a plus 1 would have been :

          LSU vs Stanford
          Alabama vs Oklahoma State

          Two defensive teams vs two offensive ones. I still think neither oSu or Stanford faced a good defense this year which made their QB’s look good (same with Baylor) and points, points, points. I have a strong feeling both SEC teams win their game, and you still have LSU vs Alabama. I believe this was a year we just did not need a MNC game, because LSU proved they were the best team heading into bowl season. While not happy with the B1G’s place in the bowl outcomes, they have at least beaten an SEC team, which the B12 can not claim so far. I still stand by the B12 is not as good because they racked up 3 wins (Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas) against teams they had decided advantage over. 3 ranked teams playing early against 3 unranked teams is stacking the deck in my book.

          On your Buckeyes, save that Gator run back, you have a tie game at the end of regulation. Sparty beat the Bulldogs, and Top 10 South Carolina beating Top 20 Nebraska should be expected. No major blowouts like last year and 3 B1G playing 3 SEC shows me at least the B1G is willing to play the teams the B12 will not. Considering what went on off the field with Ohio State and Penn State, I still think the B1G did pretty well for the season.

          .

          So far

          Purdue beat a good MAC team. The MAC is 3-1 in bowls
          Iowa was overmatched going in. OU should have played a ranked team
          Illinois beat a fairly even matched UCLA team
          Northwestern lost to a fairly even matched TAMU team
          Penn State lost, but held Houston (averaging 53 PPG) to only 3 touchdowns
          Nebraska was overmatched, but led 2 TD’s to 1 TD at halftime
          Ohio State was a kickoff return away from OT
          Michigan State roared back in the second half, and won in OT
          Wisconsin was 1 TD away from overtime

          Michigan plays Virginia Tech later today

          Sure the B1G went 3-6, but at least they were not playing the cupcakes the B12 was to get to 6-1. While the media may ridicule the B1G, I think they are better than the record shows, and I think they showed they can compete with anybody. Penn State only allowed Houston 3 touchdowns, and all of those were in the first half. Iowa should have gotten a 7-5 Texas to play instead of a 9-3 Oklahoma. Even if Michigan falls to VT, the B1G will still finish better than the PAC. The B1G did not get destroyed this bowl season like Michigan and Michigan State last year, and it was UNL 13 – USC 16 through 3 quarters.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The 3 SEC games were competitive, but Penn St. got stomped. They did manage to hold Houston to 3 FGs. PSU has a good defense, but UH still gained 600 yards.

            The Big 12 would love to play in $3 million bowls in Florida, but the matchups are based on making money for the bowl cities, not on matching teams. Still, OU would have gotten PSU or Michigan St. if not for the scandal. Pac 12 bowl teams weren’t very deep after top two with USC on probation. So Baylor got 7-5 UW instead of USC. UT got a Cal team with the same record as UT and same number of votes in the polls (UT was ranked in BCS solely because of the computers). In any event, 6 of the 8 Big 12 schools will play teams with the same or better overall record and all AQs. OU and Baylor didn’t because of scandals in the Pac 12 and Big 10. You can’t blame the Big 12 for failings in the Rose Bowl conferences.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            Baylor may be a once in a generation team, and oSu has T Boone money to build a future fan base, I get that. The ones that get me are UT and OU because they do have MEGA fans that can support a “brand” stadium (80,000 +) and should have fans to travel for bowl games. Texas vs Auburn has got to sell more seats than Texas vs Cal because of their respective fans travel habits. I have a feeling Oklahoma vs Nebraska would have more traveling fans than Oklahoma vs Iowa just based on the history of that rivalry.

            B12 Bowls
            Cotton vs SEC
            Fiesta vs BCS
            Alamo vs PAC
            Insight vs B1G
            Holiday vs PAC
            Texas vs B1G
            Pinstripe vs Big East

            Granted Kansas State vs Arkansas is higher than Texas vs Auburn, and the B12 has just 1 SEC affiliated game. Oklahoma vs Nebraska had two that fit the B12 vs B1G slots in the Meineke and Insight. The Insight got Oklahoma vs Iowa instead. If Missouri could get bumped down even tho they beat Texas, you can’t tell me Oklahoma could not have gotten Nebraska? If the B12 wants to remain in the hunt in the future maybe they need to drop a PAC or BE bowl opponent in favor of an SEC one?

            Say

            Cotton vs SEC
            Fiesta vs BCS
            Alamo vs B1G
            Insight vs SEC
            Holiday vs PAC
            Texas vs B1G
            ???? vs AL (ACC/BE/OTR)

            That should give UT and OU two shots each at conference’s with similar fan support and make for better match ups if UT and OU are not in the MNC game. Colorado and Nebraska are gone, so why would they want to keep 2 PAC games? With A&M and Missouri in the SEC now, it is not improbable to think a UT vs TAMU matchup would sell well for a bowl game. With West Virginia entering the B12, that would sell an SEC vs B12 matchup better than a PAC vs B12 matchup.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The Big 12 is not deep in teams that bring massive fan bases. The SEC and Big 10 are. So the SEC and Big 10 have 3 matchups, SEC and Big 12 1 and Big 10 and Big 12 1. Now when you get down to #5 or 6 in the Big 12, its Baylor, KSU, KU, ISU or TCU. With the Big 10, its Michigan St., Iowa, Illinois or Purdue and the SEC its Georgia, Auburn or South Carolina. From a bowl standpoint, its not even close. The traveling fan bases of the SEC and Big 10 are vastly bigger. So the bowls are picking SEC or Big 10 teams. The Big 12 would take better matchups if it could get them.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            This year as a plus 1 would have been :

            LSU vs Stanford
            Alabama vs Oklahoma State

            A 4 team playoff would probably be that (unless they don’t just take BCS top 4, or make conference foes play each other first, or whatever). A plus one doesn’t have semifinals.

            Two defensive teams vs two offensive ones. I still think neither oSu or Stanford faced a good defense this year which made their QB’s look good (same with Baylor) and points, points, points.

            Neither faced many good defenses. Their QBs looked good because they are good, though, and in good systems with some talent around them. LSU and AL couldn’t put up those sorts of passing numbers against B12 or P12 defenses, and OkSU and Stanford couldn’t have put up the same numbers against LSU and AL. Note that the rest of the SEC, while good, was not nearly as elite on D in the bowls.

            I have a strong feeling both SEC teams win their game, and you still have LSU vs Alabama.

            I would favor them both, but either one could get upset. A few bounces go the wrong way, a player slips in coverage, etc. things happen. The question is how many points LSU and AL would score.

            I believe this was a year we just did not need a MNC game, because LSU proved they were the best team heading into bowl season.

            But you know it doesn’t work that way. You have to decide on a postseason format in advance and stick to it.

            While not happy with the B1G’s place in the bowl outcomes, they have at least beaten an SEC team, which the B12 can not claim so far. I still stand by the B12 is not as good because they racked up 3 wins (Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas) against teams they had decided advantage over. 3 ranked teams playing early against 3 unranked teams is stacking the deck in my book.

            Why does beating lesser teams make a team less good? Would the Patriots be less good after playing the Colts this year?

            On your Buckeyes, save that Gator run back, you have a tie game at the end of regulation.

            Didn’t watch a second of it. From the articles, OSU stunk and deserved to lose. Special teams are part of the game. You can’t give the other team 14 points in a defensive struggle.

            Sparty beat the Bulldogs, and Top 10 South Carolina beating Top 20 Nebraska should be expected.

            One could argue Mark Richt beat the Bulldogs, but MSU did manage to choke less than UGA in OT. NE played SC even for 29:50 seconds. They never came out for the second half. NE needs a passing threat to compete against good teams like SC.

            No major blowouts like last year

            Yes, it was certainly an improvement. Nobody got embarrassed and 1 team won.

            and 3 B1G playing 3 SEC shows me at least the B1G is willing to play the teams the B12 will not.

            You make it sound like it’s totally up to the B12. They do play the Cotton Bowl with B12 #2 against SEC #3/4. It’s equivalent to the Outback Bowl (B10#3 vs SEC #3/4), but more prestigious and much better paying. The FL bowls prefer B10 teams to B12 teams, though, and none of the other TX bowls pay as much, so they don’t get the other SEC teams. The SEC also chooses to play the ACC twice and CUSA once, which makes sense based on geography but takes 3 more SEC teams away. The SEC also plays the BE in a bottom tier game, leaving no SEC teams left. It takes two to tango. Now that MO and TAMU have joined the SEC, I expect to see them add one more B12 game next time around.

            Considering what went on off the field with Ohio State and Penn State, I still think the B1G did pretty well for the season.

            If you pay attention to details, unlike most media members, then yes. OSU under Tressel would have beaten that UF team (they wouldn’t have been in that bowl IMO, but you get my point). PSU under Paterno would have beaten UH, I think.

            Purdue beat a good MAC team. The MAC is 3-1 in bowls

            So what? It’s the MAC. There are no bragging rights there.

            Iowa was overmatched going in. OU should have played a ranked team

            Blame the BCS for skipping KSU and taking MI. Swap that, and the bowls are much better.

            Illinois beat a fairly even matched UCLA team

            In the nobody cares bowl.

            Northwestern lost to a fairly even matched TAMU team

            And got non-stop coverage of their bowl losing streak, making the B10 look bad.

            Penn State lost, but held Houston (averaging 53 PPG) to only 3 touchdowns

            Only by the grace of God. Keenum had 533 passing yards. There are no defensive bragging rights for that.

            Nebraska was overmatched, but led 2 TD’s to 1 TD at halftime

            Best I recall, 16 is bigger than 13.

            Ohio State was a kickoff return away from OT

            Or a punt block. Or an actual offense.

            Michigan State roared back in the second half, and won in OT

            Yes they did. Richt’s coaching helped them in OT, but they came back from getting embarrassed again to winning.

            Wisconsin was 1 TD away from overtime

            And about 17 tackles away. Or two TOs.

            Sure the B1G went 3-6, but at least they were not playing the cupcakes the B12 was to get to 6-1. While the media may ridicule the B1G, I think they are better than the record shows, and I think they showed they can compete with anybody.

            When push comes to shove, the media agenda is what America remembers. The story is the B10 went 1-4 on 1/2 after going 0-5 on 1/1 last year.

            Penn State only allowed Houston 3 touchdowns, and all of those were in the first half.

            Do they want a cookie? They got crushed.

            Iowa should have gotten a 7-5 Texas to play instead of a 9-3 Oklahoma.

            Probably so, yes. There’s no guarantee Iowa beats UT in TX, though.

            Even if Michigan falls to VT, the B1G will still finish better than the PAC.

            Both have terrible records and the P12 won the Rose Bowl. Advantage P12.

            The B1G did not get destroyed this bowl season like Michigan and Michigan State last year, and it was UNL 13 – USC 16 through 3 quarters.

            That’s all true, but the B10 should be above moral victories. The fans and media want some actual victories.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            As long as the SEC gets both $$$ and wins from the B1G matchups, the SEC has no incentive to play a second bowl with the B12. The Alamo bowl pays enough, but the #2 PAC pick sells better in Texas than the #6 SEC (Gator) pick they would get if the SEC wanted another B12 bowl. The B12 used to have the Independence bowl with the SEC, but in the last round the SEC pulled that slot and did a pick pushdown to get the SEC Gator bowl pick. The B12 then moved itspick to the Pinstripe. The SEC sticks to its footprint for non-BCS bowls, so will not play the Insight (AZ).
            :
            What everyone will remember is that the B12 was 2-0 in its two bowls with the B1G. The picks (after BCS) for these bowls are #4/#4 for Insight and #6/#6 for Texas. From a contract standpoint, it does not get more even, and the matchups are decided by contracts years before the game. The Insight would have taken NE if they were available, but WI, MI, NE, MSU were all gone when it got its pick. The Insight did pass on PSU as did the #5 and #6 B1G picks. As far as the Gator bowl and tOSU, they will be kicking themselves next year for not imposing a bowl ban this year like Miami did.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Mack,

            As long as the SEC gets both $$$ and wins from the B1G matchups, the SEC has no incentive to play a second bowl with the B12.

            They have incentives. They have 2 new teams that are much closer to TX than FL, and have more ties to the B12 than the ACC or B10. They’ll add another bowl with 2 new teams, so why not a TX bowl this time that will free the FL bowls to take more eastern SEC teams? All TX bowls prefer to have a B12 tie in, of course. They have a TX team now and want to show the brand to them. They also want to recruit in TX and more exposure there for SEC teams helps them steal from UT and OU. It’s just my opinion, but I look for the SEC and B12 to get another bowl match up next time around.

            What everyone will remember is that the B12 was 2-0 in its two bowls with the B1G. The picks (after BCS) for these bowls are #4/#4 for Insight and #6/#6 for Texas. From a contract standpoint, it does not get more even, and the matchups are decided by contracts years before the game.

            The counter argument is that the B10 put 2 in the BCS and the B12 didn’t, shifting all the slots. The Insight actually matched B12 #4 versus B10 #6 (division #4). The MCC actually matched B12 #7 versus B10 #9 (division #5).

            As far as the Gator bowl and tOSU, they will be kicking themselves next year for not imposing a bowl ban this year like Miami did.

            I think they should have done it, especially after the FTM charge, but there is no guarantee they wouldn’t have added a second year. Seeing how late in the season (and the process) it would have been added, I could easily see the committee saying skipping a bowl you know won’t be good isn’t much of a punishment. If OSU had done it before the season, then it might have worked. Adding it in November was unlikely to appease them in my opinion. The problem is that before the season, there was no FTM charge and even a FTM charge had not drawn a bowl ban before. It was just bad timing. Missing the 2012 bowl was almost inevitable.

            I think 2012 will be a good year for OSU, but borderline BCS quality at best. I hope I’m wrong and they go 12-0, but 10-2 seems more like the ceiling with a new coach and some personnel issues.

            Like

  49. Brian says:

    UPDATE

    We are 29 games into bowl season. Here’s the stats so far.
    I track the 11 big games (BCS, 1/2, Cotton and Chick-fil-A) separately.

    My predictions 22-7
    My preferences 12-17

    B12 6-1 (6-1 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – 1 left (1 AQ)
    SEC 4-2 (4-2 vs AQ, 3-1 in big games) – 3 left (3 AQ)
    BE 2-1 (2-1 vs AQ) – 2 left (1 AQ)
    ACC 2-4 (2-4 vs AQ, 0-1 in big games) – 2 left (2 AQ)
    B10 3-6 (2-5 vs AQ, 1-3 in big games) – 1 left (1 AQ)
    P12 2-5 (2-4 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games) – done
    ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – done

    CUSA 3-1 (1-0 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – 1 left (1 AQ)
    MAC 3-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – 1 left
    SB 1-1 – 1 left
    MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ) – done
    WAC 0-3 – done
    BYU 1-0 – done

    Next up are the last 6 games in 7 days.

    Tuesday – ACC/B10
    Wednesday – ACC/BE
    Thursday – withdrawls
    Friday – B12/SEC
    Saturday – BE/CUSA
    Sunday – MAC/SB
    Monday – SEC/SEC

    Like

  50. Brian says:

    Duffman.

    What’s the local feeling about the Colts firing the Polians? Shock? Anger? Relief?

    I don’t follow the NFL anymore, but I always thought Bill had a great reputation.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Some are still mad about the perfect season, and hiring Tressel probably did not help. I have the feeling some more heads will roll before this thing is done. This season may have been the final issue that made the ouster more real. I am like you though, I stopped following pro football with the rise of free agency and the rise of fantasy football just sealed the deal. I am still old school and think the team is the factor, not the individual. Too many commercials, too much money, too many games, too many egos, and a host of other issues just enhance my desire not to watch.

      On a related note (pun intended) how many times does parent – child work in sports? look at college basketball and how the kids affected Knight, Smith, Sutton, Pitino, and others in how coaching decisions were made that affected their careers.

      Like

  51. jtower says:

    So the left for dead xii and pitiful east battle it out for the best bowl record.

    Like

  52. Brian says:

    Tough question:

    Who was the best player on 1/2?

    QB
    Keenum – 45/69, 533 yds, 3 TD, won
    Luck – 27/31, 347 yds, 2 TD, 1 Int, lost
    Shaw – 11/17, 230 yds, 2 TD, 19 runs, 42 yds, 1 TD, won
    Weeden – 29/42, 399 yds, 3 TD, 1 Int, 2 runs, -7 yds, 1 TD, won
    Wilson – 19/25, 296 yds, 2 TD, 1 Int, 6 runs, 18 yds, 1 TD, lost

    RB
    Ball – 32 runs, 164 yds, 1 TD, 4 catches, 51 yds, lost
    James – 25 runs, 159 yds, 1 TD, won
    Taylor – 35 runs, 177 yds, 2 TD, 3 catches, 21 yds, lost

    WR
    Abbrederis – 4 catches, 119 yds, 1 TD, 10 returns, 227 yds, lost
    Blackmon – 8 catches, 186 yds, 3 TD, won
    Edwards – 10 catches, 228 yds, 2 TD, won
    King – 6 catches, 205 yds, 1 TD
    Montgomery – 7 catches, 120 yds, 1 TD, 2 returns, 48 yds, lost
    Toon – 9 catches, 104 yds, 1 TD, lost
    Tuinei – 8 catches, 158 yds, 2 TD, won

    ST/Other
    Boykin – 2 runs, 8 yds, 1 catch, 13 yds, 1 TD, 5 returns, 162 yds, 1 TD (91 yds)
    Debose – 2 returns, 128 yds, 1 TD (99 yds)
    Sadler – 8 punts, 401 yds (50.1 ypp), 4 <20
    Thomas – 2 runs, 155 yds, 2 TD, 4 catches, 34 yds, 5 returns, 125 yds, won

    I'll go with Luck, Ball, Blackmon, Thomas and Sadler. Overall I guess I'd say Luck, but it's tough.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      As an addition, Boykin also made a tackle for a safety.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      QB-Luck definitely. Keenum wasn’t quite as accurate as usual.
      RB-James. Made lots of big plays
      WR-Edwards (tough choise over Blackmon)
      Other-tough call-I’ll go with Boykin

      Overall Luck. He kept connecting on 3rd down. If he was merely 23-31, they might have been blown out.

      Like

  53. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/42960/another-strange-finish-haunts-wisconsin

    Bielema explains the 2 early times out and the spike:

    Head coach Bret Bielema said there was no thought to try and run a play instead of going for the spike. Wisconsin put itself in a tough position by calling two timeouts early in the third quarter, something Bielema could get criticized for.

    The first timeout was called on first down from the Oregon 14 in the first few minutes of the second half. Bielema ran down the sidelines and onto the field screaming for the timeout there. Bielema said that was a busted formation where a wide receiver lined up on the wrong side. The Badgers ended up settling for a field goal on that drive.

    The second timeout came with 10:45 left after Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas hesitated on whether to bring a kickoff return out of the end zone before kneeling down very close to the line. Replays showed that Thomas’ foot was on the goal line, though the ball never completely crossed the plane. A replay reversal could have pinned the Ducks inside their own 1 or even ruled the play a safety.

    “I was trying to get a read from my sideline official if we could review forward momentum,” Bielema said. “He didn’t understand the question where I was at, and that’s why they charged me a timeout.

    I don’t really understand either one of them. It’s first down. So what if a WR lined up wrong? At worst, Wilson throws it away. For the return, just accept the call and move on. If it’s a bad call and can be fixed, trust the booth to do it. As for not running a play at the end, that’s just dumb. How many times do coaches have to see a team fail to get a play done in time to realize you need at least 3 seconds for a spike, preferably 4? The players have to react to the clock starting, snap the ball, spike the ball, and then the refs have to react to the spike and stop the clock. That’s not going to get done in 2 seconds. Teams are lucky to get the snap off, since that never happens in 1 second. The players also need to be educated that if they are injured, they should stay down and wait for the trainers. Toon got up but was clearly limping. If he stayed down or went back down, the team gets time to call a play and he has to sit out the play.

    Like

  54. Brian says:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1144572.html

    A good article on WI and the Rose Bowl.

    Some excerpts:

    “But the Ducks could’ve been nailed with at least 15 more holding calls. Oregon’s backs were fast enough to get to the outside and fly up the gut, and the Badgers missed too many stops, but the UW defensive line was getting tackled.”

    This was frustrating me all game. Officials need to be more consistent about calling holding.

    “- But that’s on the officials. Especially in college, if the offense does everything right to get to the line and get everyone set in hurry-up mode, it’s up to the official to make it absolutely, 100% crystal clear when the clock is started. The timekeeper did his job going on the official’s whistle, but that was a quick wind of the arm.

    – It doesn’t take 1.8 seconds to spike the ball.”

    It seemed like the whistle, the arm motion and the clock starting were out of sync to me. Still, I blame WI for not having a play ready or a TO left to call.

    “- If you’re Wisconsin, you need to have a State of the Program meeting and learn from the Nebraska model. The Huskers had won year after year, had Big 8 titles galore, and went to the big bowl games on a regular basis – and got smoked. Tom Osborne and company realized something had to change, and all of a sudden, Nebraska got faster, stronger, and more athletic in a big hurry. The program might have sold its soul for the Lawrence Phillips’ of the team, but the national titles started to come. Wisconsin has to get it through its head that this is the ceiling. This is about as high as the program can get doing things the Wisconsin way – which entails recruiting a certain type of player that fits the mold. Instead, it’s time to stop thinking of itself as a Little Engine That Could, and start going after the big-time recruits. The Badgers can absolutely play with anyone in the nation, but more speed is a must for the defensive back seven.”

    I’ve thought this for a while. There is a hard ceiling to the farm boy approach. NE needs to get bigger at LB right now, but WI needs to get faster in the back 7. The elite teams give them fits on D.

    “- Don’t worry, Badger fans. Penn State won’t come within ten miles of the Leaders title next year, and Ohio State is ineligible. Wisconsin could pull a UCLA and play for the Big Ten title game by default. Then it’ll be a one game shot to get back to Pasadena for a third straight year.”

    This is also very true. PSU looks inept on offense right now, and a new system won’t help much. They also lose a lot of players on offense. IL has a coaching change, too. PU is PU and IN is IN, so they can’t step up either. I expect a P12 South situation where OSU has the best record but WI gets the division title.

    I think WI’s offense will be off a little losing Wilson, Ball and some linemen on top of Chryst and the OL coach. I think they’ll step back to a more typical WI caretaker QB model with a power running game.

    Leaders:
    OSU – @MSU, NE, @IN, PU, @PSU, IL, bye, @WI, MI
    WI – @NE, IL, @PU, MN, MSU, bye, @IN, OSU, @PSU
    PSU – @IL, NW, bye, @IA, OSU, @PU, @NE, IN, WI
    PU – MI, WI, @OSU, @MN, PSU, @IA, @IL, IN
    IL – PSU, @WI, @MI, bye, IN, @OSU, MN, PU, @NW
    IN – @NW, MSU, OSU, ooc, @IL, IA, WI, @PSU, @PU

    Predictions (+/- 1 win):
    OSU 6-2
    WI 5-3
    PSU 4-4
    PU 4-4
    IL 3-5
    IN 1-7

    I think 6-2 is pretty much the ceiling for the winner, but you never know what can happen if a team gets hot. WI could certainly win 6, and OSU could lose 3 or even 4.

    Legends:
    MI – @PU, IL, MSU, @NE, @MN, NW, IA, @OSU
    NE – WI, @OSU, bye/ooc, @NW, MI, @MSU, PSU, MN, @IA
    MSU – OSU, @IN, IA, @MI, @WI, NE, bye, NW, @MN
    IA – MN, bye, @MSU, PSU, @NW, @IN, PU, @MI, NE
    NW – IN, @PSU, @MN, NE, IA, bye, @MI, @MSU, IL
    MN – @IA, bye, NW, @WI, PU, MI, @IL, @NE, MSU

    Predictions (+/- 1 win):
    MI 6-2
    NE 6-2
    MSU 5-3
    IA 5-3
    NW 3-5
    MN 1-7

    I think there is a good chance MI, NE or MSU goes 7-1, I just don’t know which one. I give the edge to MI for now since they miss WI. Regardless, I think the division winner will be favored in the CCG and beat WI. There’s no rematch if it’s MI/WI, which will be nice to help build the game.

    That figures to mean MI/USC in the Rose Bowl which would be huge. NE or MSU could get a second BCS bid, but the B10 might be better without a second bid since OSU can’t fill any bowl slot.

    Like

    • I’m not sure I agree with this assessment of Wisconsin. Certainly Wisconsin has had a tough run of late (they’ve lost 6 of their last 9 bowls), but the last two have literally been decided by one or two plays. Nebraska, meanwhile, lost 7 straight bowls from ’87 to ’93, and most of them weren’t even close.

      Don’t forget, Wisconsin won three Rose Bowls in the 90’s. Has something in their strategy changed radically in that time? Despite their struggles they do have two wins over SEC teams in the Capital One Bowl in recent memory (’05 and ’06). The last two years they’ve lost by one possession to teams that will wind up finishing in the top three nationally. It’s disappointing to be sure, but certainly not a sign of a program that needs to make major changes.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It all depends on their goals, I suppose. If they want to win national titles, then they probably need to make some changes. If they want a couple of Rose Bowls a decade, they can stay as is. At least, I think that was his point.

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          As much as I hate to say it, I don’t think Wisconsin strives to win National Titles. They refuse to recruit borderline academic issued kids and kids with slight unsavory backgrounds anymore.

          Bielema admitted doing it with a few players in his first 2 or 3 recruiting classes and it came back to bite him. Most of the those kids were eventually kicked off the team etc… But given Wisconsin’s huge recruiting base disadvantage if you want to win National Titles you have to be willing to compromise for certain recruits. I believe that is what Michigan State does on occasion and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

          Wisconsin can recruit to their strengths on offense but defense is a whole other issue. The program has to become more National if wants to improve recruiting.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            And you know what? That’s OK. Sacrificing your integrity for a chance at winning a national title may not be something you’d be comfortable with in the long run. Just ask a few programs.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      However, the farmboy approach, if you do it well, can consistently get a team like Wisconsin, Iowa, UNL (and I would add, Minny) double-digit wins and challenging for a conference title virtually forever. We saw what happened with UNL under Pederson when they decided that that wasn’t enough. In other words, you won’t win national titles with that approach, but if you get it going, it’s less volatile and you won’t dip to losing seasons either.

      Personally, I think that that approach is what UNL should aim for, because the glory days of the later Osborne years isn’t going to come back in today’s environment, at least not for a B10 team. For one, there’s no way any B10 team can accumulate kids like Lawrence Phillips. For another, UNL pioneered strength training, and for a while, they really had an edge with their muscle, but nowadays, everybody builds strength. FInally, virtually everyone gets on TV these days, so while back 2 decades ago, a TX kid who got overlooked by Texas may choose UNL over Baylor, these days, a kid like RG3 decides to stay close to home.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        However, the farmboy approach, if you do it well, can consistently get a team like Wisconsin, Iowa, UNL (and I would add, Minny) double-digit wins and challenging for a conference title virtually forever. We saw what happened with UNL under Pederson when they decided that that wasn’t enough. In other words, you won’t win national titles with that approach, but if you get it going, it’s less volatile and you won’t dip to losing seasons either.

        I agree. Maybe not 10 wins every year, but 8-10 certainly. It’s getting 12-14 that’s tough for that system.

        Personally, I think that that approach is what UNL should aim for, because the glory days of the later Osborne years isn’t going to come back in today’s environment, at least not for a B10 team. For one, there’s no way any B10 team can accumulate kids like Lawrence Phillips. For another, UNL pioneered strength training, and for a while, they really had an edge with their muscle, but nowadays, everybody builds strength. FInally, virtually everyone gets on TV these days, so while back 2 decades ago, a TX kid who got overlooked by Texas may choose UNL over Baylor, these days, a kid like RG3 decides to stay close to home.

        They may never get back to back titles again, but I disagree that they can’t compete for titles on a fairly regular basis. They need the right coach and the right system, but they can do it.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          National titles or conference titles?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Both. NE got good recruiting in TX and CA. There’s no reason they can’t replicate that, with a little less from TX and more from FL and OH and IL. It’s not easy, and they may not be dominant, but I think they can do it. NE has the brand that will excite recruits when they are winning a lot again. Pelini just isn’t as good of a coach as Osborne in my opinion.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Nebraska really didn’t do a lot of recruiting in Texas before the Big 12. They got a few, but it wasn’t a focus area. They’ll just have to go back to doing what they did before.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Recently, UNL has been losing out on head-to-head recruiting battles; certainly to other brand name powerhouses (likely because most recruits are closer to those powerhouse schools UNL does battle with), but also to schools like Iowa. M has the data somewhere.

            It’s going to be tough for Nebraska to regain it’s former glory. Sure, they could try to recruit FL & OH (as well as TX & CA), but most of the time the powerhouses local to those states get the pick of the litter first. They’re left battling schools like USF, Iowa, TTech, and Washington for the leftovers. They’ll also get their fair share from Chicagoland, but Chicagoland just doesn’t have the quantity of top recruits as those other states, plus, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan (and NU, I hope) will do just as well in Chicagoland as UNL, so they can’t depend in Chicagoland as a pipeline.

            Rich mentioned the “gang of nine” traditional powerhouses, which we can divide by local recruiting grounds:
            Very good: Texas, ‘Bama, USC
            Pretty good: PSU, OSU, OU (close to TX), Michigan
            Poor: ND, Nebraska

            We then could add UF & FSU to the powerhouse list as well as Miami, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, & Washington to the “marginal powerhouse” list. Of these schools, the first 6 are in the “very good” recruiting grounds category while the last 2 are in the “poor” category.

            The last 9 schools to win or share national titles all had very good local recruiting grounds. Before that were FSU, OU, Miami, & OSU. That was a transition period; the last time schools from “pretty good” recruiting regions won a national title (but no more schools from poor recruiting grounds winning). Before that, from 1984-1998, 8 schools from poor recruiting regions won national titles, 3 schools from pretty good recruiting regions won titles, and 7 schools from very good recruiting regions won national titles.

            The point is, times have changed (for the reasons I listed above), and in today’s environment, I just don’t see schools like UNL or ND (or Tennessee or Washington) realistically contending for national titles any more.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Recently, UNL has been losing out on head-to-head recruiting battles; certainly to other brand name powerhouses (likely because most recruits are closer to those powerhouse schools UNL does battle with), but also to schools like Iowa. M has the data somewhere.

            Everybody loses more battles than they win in recruiting. It’s pretty hard to quantify it since every schools has a different approach (carpet bombing with offers, highly selective offers, etc).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            ??? The way M did it, average is a .500 record. Say a hotshot recruit gets 12 offers. Then the school that wins is 11-0 and everybody else is 0-1. Recently, Nebraska has been worse in recruiting than Iowa & Michigan (and far worse than OSU and PSU).

            Like

          • Richard says:

            BTW, on second thought, I’d bump up PSU to “very good” local recruiting (that I-95 corridor from greater DC through greater Philly through all of NJ is as fertile as all but a few places in the south) and bump Tennessee to “pretty fertile” (eastern TN is a desert for football talent, but they’re close to numerous hotbeds, albeit all out of state). VTech, TAMU, and UCLA, of course, all sit in very fertile recruiting grounds

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            ??? The way M did it, average is a .500 record. Say a hotshot recruit gets 12 offers. Then the school that wins is 11-0 and everybody else is 0-1. Recently, Nebraska has been worse in recruiting than Iowa & Michigan (and far worse than OSU and PSU).

            Not having seen his work, I can’t comment on it. I will say that some schools give 30 offers a year to get 20+ signees while others give 100. Those are different strategies, but his system would punish one of them and exalt the other. What matters is how good the players are.

            Like

  55. Brian says:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1144534.html

    A great comment on the B10 that I think many of us agree with:

    “- Everyone likes to point to speed being the determining factor between the Big Ten and the teams from the south and west. After watching games over the last couple of years, it appears to have more to do with the aggressive play calling tendencies. Both Ohio State and Penn State showed conservative mindsets. Aggressive teams play faster and therefore look faster. This has to change if perceptions are going to change in the Big Ten. Maybe Urban Meyer can bring a step on the neck approach.”

    Amen, brother. Bollman can’t get his butt out of Columbus fast enough for me.

    Like

  56. herbiehusker says:

    add

    Like

  57. Carl says:

    PSU???

    Like

  58. Bo Darville says:

    Is there anybody out there with any insight as to how they’re going to determine which Big 10 team plays which Pac 12 team? Is this going to be an Indiana-Utah, Ohio St-USC type of thing or a Ohio State-Utah, Indiana-Ohio State one?

    Like

    • Bo Darville says:

      I meant Indiana-USC. Too many bowl games yesterday, if you know what I mean.

      Like

    • Pat says:

      @Bo
      Larry Scott said they may split each conference into three pods based on won-loss records in recent years; Top four, middle four and bottom four. The top four in each conference would be matched against each other, possibly over four years, which means no home-and-home. ie: Ohio State could play at USC the first year and home against Oregon the second year, etc. He didn’t indicate how many years in advance they would schedule the games. Delany used the phrase “competitive equity” when referring to future schedules. Stay tuned.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Bo Darville,

      Is there anybody out there with any insight as to how they’re going to determine which Big 10 team plays which Pac 12 team?

      The short answer is no.

      Several people have said things about it, but they mostly conflict. The one thing they all agree on is that it hasn’t been settled yet.

      Like

  59. Richard says:

    One thing I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet. If the Pac and B10 combined their TV package together, they can offer a contiguous swath of the country that literally goes from coast-to-coast (you can sail from Marcus Hook, PA to the Atlantic down Delaware Bay) & half of the country’s population.

    I have to think that ESPN (and Comcast/NBC & Fox) are paying attention.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      $1B in TV money a year (a little over $41M a school) just from the primary rights would not be out of the question.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        As any combined TV contract would be negotiated about a decade from now, it would probably be $2-3B/year by then (conservative estimate).

        Like

        • zeek says:

          I’m not sure they’d ever be offered as a combined package for first tier media rights, but I do think that they might try to market them together with a result similar to how the Big Ten and Pac-12 title games ended up on Fox.

          Fox advertising the week before the CCGs focused on both of them and the Rose Bowl relationship among other things.

          I think that if the Big Ten was contemplating a move off of ABC/ESPN to Fox/ESPN (similar to the SEC’s CBS/ESPN situation) that the Pac-12 might follow suit.

          Say a primetime national game on Fox for the Big Ten followed by one for the Pac-12. I don’t know what it would look like but that’s probably something.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Didn’t the Pac 10 and Big 10 do a joint TV deal for a while after pulling out of the CFA TV deal?

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            The CFA was started to combat the B1G and PAC broadcast monopoly in the NCAA. No schools from either conference was ever a member that I am aware of. I think Notre Dame and Penn State were CFA members, but PSU was an independent at the time.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Duff:

            I wasn’t aware that the B10 and Pac ever had a “broadcast monopoly”.

            The B10 & Pac indeed were never part of the CFA. From what I understand of the history, once NCAA wasn’t allowed to regulate college football on TV appearances any more, the B10 and Pac both negotiated TV contracts for themselves while a bunch of other schools (comprising the SEC, B8, SWC, ACC, and major independents) formed an alliance to increase market power called the CFA.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman, Richard

            So the Pac 10 and Big 10 each did their own separate deal? I remember them being together separate from the CFA, but maybe they were together in the sense that each had an individual conference deal. So there was CFA, Pac 10, Big 10 and the rest (MAC, Big West, minor indies) who were left out after the NCAA TV monopoly was rejected.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bullet:

            Pretty certain the B10 and Pac each had their own separate TV deal, but they were always together on the same network.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Lord, am I the oldest person on this thread?

            In the late 40’s to early 50’s the NCAA was empowered with the sole broadcast rights for what we now know as college football. The guy that ran the NCAA with an iron fist was one Walter Beyers and when 2 schools (Notre Dame and one up east I think) bucked the system, they learned the hard way that Walter was in charge. During the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s the B1g and PAC were the beneficiary of Walter’s largess. This was also when the Big 8, SWC, SEC, and IND’s rose in power, and they were not real happy with said arrangement. The CFA was formed by these conferences to combat the deal the B1G and PAC had. I think the current interim B12 commish was on the old CFA board.

            The B1G and PAC TV deals were carried over from the original Beyers deals when he was head of the NCAA. The competing deals were handled by the CFA which had gained teeth after Oklahoma and Georgia sued the NCAA and won. The ACC and Big East gained their foothold from the rise of cable, and specifically ESPN, and the end of the ABC, NBC, CBS monopoly. I know I am old, but you guys do know that FOX and ESPN are the new kids on the broadcast block. If anybody can source a list of the full membership of the CFA it would be appreciated.

            CFA broke up when the top conferences in the CFA started getting top dollar for their TV deals, and the CFA became redundant.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            CFA broke up when Notre Dame and the SEC cut their own TV deals and sent the rest of the CFA scrambling. The demise of the SWC, creation of the B12, and a lot of imdependents joining conferences directly related to CFA end.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Duff:

            Here’s the broadcast schedule for 1978:

            http://www.myspace.com/bringabcsportsback/blog/518872415

            The national broadcasts were
            Sat 9/2, Nebraska vs Alabama
            Sat 9/9, UCLA @ Washington
            Sat 9/23, USC vs Alabama
            Sat 10/7, Oklahoma vs Texas
            Sat 10/14, Pittsburgh @ Notre Dame
            Sat 10/21, UCLA @ California
            Sat 11/4, Maryland @ Penn St
            Sat 11/11, Oklahoma @ Nebraska
            Fri 11/24, Pittsburgh @ Penn St
            Sat 11/25, Michigan @ Ohio St
            Sat 11/25, Notre Dame @ USC
            Fri 12/1, Texas A&M @ Texas

            I certainly don’t see a bias towards the Big10 there. In fact, of the 13 weeks when a game featuring a B10 team could have been shown (even regionally), only 6 weeks had B10 games.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            Lord, am I the oldest person on this thread?

            Most likely. Or you at least have the best memory of these events.

            If anybody can source a list of the full membership of the CFA it would be appreciated.

            Well, it was the ACC, SEC, Big 8, SWC and WAC plus many independents. It was basically everybody important minus the B10 and P10, plus the WAC. There were 62 members at first but it grew to about 70 I think. The membership changed over the years and I don’t know of a complete list since it dissolved before the internet was popular.

            And to answer something else you wrote, Chuck Neinas (B12 commissioner) was the head of the CFA.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            CFA membership-as I recall most of what became CUSA were members-Tulane, Louisville, Cincinnati. But I know the MAC wasn’t.

            I’m old enough to keep books. From 1991 Information Please Sports Almanac:

            12/19/89-Big 10 announced it was admitting Penn St.
            2/5/90-Notre Dame signed a 5 year $38 million deal with NBC
            “Expansion and TV money were suddenly the talk of Division I-A football schools.”…. “What the leagues will look like five years from now is something noone can envision at this point,” said NCAA excecutive director Dick Schultz. “We could have super-conferences.”
            CFA broke up at this point as ABC/ESPN told them their brand new $335 million 5 year deal (for 60+ schools) was now worth $35 million less.

            8/1/90 Arkansas accepted the SEC’s offer which was $1.6 million in pooled revenue vs. $700,000 in SWC.

            “Potential Big 10 candidates range from Eastern Independents Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Syracuse to Nebraska of the Big 8, while the SEC is said to be eying three teams-Texas and Texas A&M of the SWC and Independent Florida State. Meanwhile, the SWC, determined to keep Texas and Texas A&M in the fold, might go after Oklahoma of the Big Eight, a possibility that moved Big Eight commissioner Carl James to suggest that the two conferences merge in a ploy to ward off raiders from the south and west.”….Elsewhere, the Atlantic Coast Conference…earnestly began inspecting independents like Miami, Florida State and Rutgers as possible recruits. ”

            Also in March 1990 I celebrated as CBS fired Brent Musberger. But a month later it was worse as ABC hired him and college football got stuck with him.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Richard, can you go all the way back year by year to the first contract? The CFA formed before they actually did the first negotiation in 1977 maybe? I want to say the “storm clouds” started in the late 60’s and / or early 70’s. I can not remember the other school in the 50’s but Notre Dame was the other one, and they got blacklisted that year by the NCAA so they caved in. Where are the ND guys on here when you need them. Since the first dispute involved them, they probably know the full story.

            Brian, you bring up an interesting point. So much history is out there, but is not online, and getting harder to find.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          As any combined TV contract would be negotiated about a decade from now, it would probably be $2-3B/year by then (conservative estimate).

          It’s going to go from $1B/year ($42M per school) now to $2-3B/year in 10 years?

          That seems too high and growing too fast to me.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Dang it.

            “That seems too high and growing too fast to me.” was me, not Richard.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Well, 4% inflation over 10 years gets you a 50% increase right there. Granted, I’m not sure we’re going to get 4% inflation (Japan-style deflation is more likely than runaway inflation, in my view).

            Like

        • aps says:

          Who better than Larry Scott and Jim Delaney to put a combined squeeze on the media for those kind of dollars.

          May not be a monopoly but sure could be a cartel.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            They have the advantage of totally owning their territories (MAC doesn’t count). The high population SEC and ACC states are mostly shared.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Richard,

      One thing I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet. If the Pac and B10 combined their TV package together, they can offer a contiguous swath of the country that literally goes from coast-to-coast (you can sail from Marcus Hook, PA to the Atlantic down Delaware Bay) & half of the country’s population.

      I have to think that ESPN (and Comcast/NBC & Fox) are paying attention.

      Do you believe that would be better financially for the B10 than going it alone? The B10 is a much bigger TV draw, and western fans aren’t as fervent.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        That’s a tough one. Western fans aren’t as fervent, but there are a heck of a lot of people in SoCal, and TV is more about getting bandwagon fans. There’s a reason why the Laker’s local TV deal will get them $150M a year.

        I believe the B10 can get $40M/school annually right now, so combining TV deals, monetarily, probably benefits the Pac schools more (but it wouldn’t hurt the B10 as combining market power raises more money than going to the TV networks piecemeal). However, the B10 has bigger brands to leverage on a national platform. Plus, on NCAA governance issues (playoffs, oversigning, etc., this would tie the Pac closer to the B10). Also, such a media alliance has the means to project the school brands internationally as well.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I have no idea if it would help or not. There are just too many variables for me to judge. At the least, I would think the B10 would need to get some more BTN penetration as part of the deal to really justify it. Maybe a BTN/PTN package instead of the PTN being available solo, or pressure on the cable carriers to bump the BTN to a lower tier or something. Another option would be to not split the money completely equally with the P12. Maybe the Tier 1 splits 50/50 and the tier 2 is 60/40 or something like that.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            I was thinking the national (“tier 1″) contract shared and the separate conference channels (and internet content) still separate.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Yes, but the cost of the B10 doing that could be something to help the BTN is all I was thinking.

            Like

        • Eric says:

          I can see the conference negotiating together and offering incentives to help the other one in their region, but not completely combining. The Big Ten won’t agree to an even split, if the total amount people are paying for the Big Ten Network is significantly higher than the PAC-12 Network and it probably will be.

          Beyond that, there is the issues of FOX being a part owner and of the rights being different between the networks (meaning one conference might be contributing more).

          Like

  60. The Sooner Network is about to launch. It will be aired on Fox Sports Okla, and Fox Sports SW in OK, TX, AR, and LA.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/01/02/Colleges/Oklahoma.aspx

    Like

  61. Pat says:

    Michigan vs Ohio State not moving!
    The Detroit News beat writer for UofM football, Angelique Chengelis, just tweeted that she talked with Michigan AD Dave Brandon before the Sugar Bowl game and he stated that there is “No Truth” to the rumor that the big game is moving. @chengelis

    Like

  62. Pat says:

    Not much new, but a nice article in Forbes Magazine about the Pac-12 and Big Ten alliance.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/sportsmoney/2012/01/03/how-the-pac-12-and-big-ten-plan-to-change-college-sports/

    Like

  63. bullet says:

    Michigan seems to have the officials in its pocket even in bowls. On that roughing the kicker, the guy slid about 5 yards and barely got him. Should have been 5 yards running into. Then on the fake FG, the whole Michigan line was nearly 10 yards downfield before the throw. That’s why the center caught the ball, 5 ineligible receivers downfield.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      AND the replay officials!!!! That interception call could have gone either way, but I disagree with the announcers. It wasn’t clear that the ground helped him hold that ball. It looked to me like he had control and it touched the ground instead of the other way around. Didn’t seem like enough to overturn.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Go right back and Michigan gets two more breaks. Pass interference wasn’t a bad call, but they were both pushing each other. Easy to make a no call. They blow the whistle and the MI player flattens the VT player with the ball after he stepped on the out of bounds line. Usually a personal foul, but, of course, no call.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          So VT lost two interceptions on that drive and Michigan avoided a personal foul that would have set them well back even if you call the pass interference.

          Like

          • jj says:

            You seem really upset about this.

            Those weasels get all the calls. See, e.g., getting invited to this game.

            Get used to it.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And the replay official questionably overturns VT’s TD. Unreal.

            MSU and UM both got the benefit of some bonehead kick or don’t kick calls.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m not particularly a fan of either, but its pretty ridiculous. Sometimes teams get breaks, but all of them?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            All the calls were correct. In the pass interference, the WR was dragged down by his jersey. The balls judged not to be caught all touched the ground before the catcher secured possession. In the punt, yes, he rolled in to his plant leg. Actually, there were a couple pass interferences (one where a Michigan WR was tackled) that weren’t called on VTech. Say Michigan is lucky if you want, but those calls were all correct.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Two of the catches were overturned on replay. In each he seemed to have possession. In one of those two the announcers agreed with me. Michigan player wasn’t pulled down by his jersey. He slipped after pushing VT player. Both were pushing each other with one arm. I didn’t say that was a bad call, but it could have been skipped or even been offensive pass interference. On the roughing, I’ll bow to Brian. It was a very light incidental hit, but was to the plant leg.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet: The ball touched the ground in every case. In my opinion, that’s always an incompletion. Plus, in that OT almost-TD, the WR actually came down out of bounds first.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Its not an imcompletion by rule if it touches the ground. The question is whether the ground helped them make the catch.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        AND the replay officials!!!! That interception call could have gone either way, but I disagree with the announcers. It wasn’t clear that the ground helped him hold that ball. It looked to me like he had control and it touched the ground instead of the other way around. Didn’t seem like enough to overturn.

        So MI also has the announcers in their pocket? Because ESPN is well known for their pro-B10 tendencies.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      Michigan seems to have the officials in its pocket even in bowls. On that roughing the kicker, the guy slid about 5 yards and barely got him. Should have been 5 yards running into. Then on the fake FG, the whole Michigan line was nearly 10 yards downfield before the throw. That’s why the center caught the ball, 5 ineligible receivers downfield.

      He hit his plant leg. That’s always roughing.

      Like

  64. jj says:

    Nice win for Izzo tonight. Bo’s kind of his bugaboo.

    Good week for state overall, notwithsting that we got robbed in the GLI.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Games like that hurt the B10, though. Would it kill both teams to score 60 points in regulation? This just perpetuates the stereotype of the B10 being big and slow from September all the way through spring.

      Like

      • jj says:

        WI has a knack of slowing things way down.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Yes, WI is much worse about it than MSU. But Izzo doesn’t exactly dislike the black and blue game.

          Like

          • duffman says:

            Brian,

            Many fouls, but not enough for anybody on either side to foul out. Low games may not be exciting, but Izzo has put how many teams in the sweet 16? Michigan beating VT should help get the B1G some good press this week.

            jj,

            A win is a win. Izzo loses those early games, but comes back as the season goes on. Good win to keep you rolling on. On the football front UM and MSU both win in the south on FG’s in OT, could we see some extra from both side when they meet next fall?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I’m not saying it doesn’t work. But the media types and casual fans hate it, so it just brings more negative talk about the B10.

            Like

          • jj says:

            Hey Duff,

            I think the UM crowd will be pretty riled up at the next football game. I don’t need any extra motivation, I hate them enough already. I tried to dial it down a bit last night and then noticed one of their idiots holding up a sign mocking MSU. We’re not even at the game and just beat the SEC runner up.

            Like

  65. Brian says:

    Sugar Bowl stats before OT:

    . . . . . . . . . . . MI . . VT
    First Downs . .12 . . 21
    Total Plays . . .52 . . 75
    Total Yards . . 179 . 372
    Passing . . . . .128 . 214
    Rushing . . . . . 51 . 158
    Possession . 23:12 36:48
    Turnovers . . . . 1 . . 3

    MI is so lucky to be in this, and VT needed a last second FG to get to OT.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Michigan completes the BCS cycle.

      But this game doesn’t make me say “Michigan is back”…, I mean that was an ugly offensive game for Michigan, and their defense was mostly making red zone stands because of Va Tech’s conservative play-calling.

      Really glad they eked this one out because the Big Ten needed it, but that was just an ugly game.

      Va Tech looked dominant but kept making mistakes. That’s just how it goes I guess.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        I mean, 184 yards of offense?

        Clemson destroyed this Va Tech offense/defense twice; just totally exposed them.

        Either way, Michigan really needs to go back to the drawing board on offense especially before getting to Alabama next year…

        Like

        • Brian says:

          They only have 1 year in the system. They’ll leap forward next year in terms of execution, but personnel losses will hamper them.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            I think Hoke’s personnel, on average, will be better than RichRod’s personnel.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The problem is I think graduation will leave some holes that they don’t have any experienced talent ready to fill. They have experience or talent, but not both. Another recruiting year and off season of coaching such take care of it, but RichRod left some issues for him because of his idiosyncratic personnel choices.

            Like

      • Mack says:

        Much better than a loss, but it is hard to say Michigan is back with a OT win over VT given it has a 1-5 record in BCS bowls from a conference that is 2-12.in BCS bowls. The VT win was over Cincinnati and the other ACC win was over VT when it was still in the BE.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Mack,

          Much better than a loss, but it is hard to say Michigan is back with a OT win over VT given it has a 1-5 record in BCS bowls from a conference that is 2-12.in BCS bowls. The VT win was over Cincinnati and the other ACC win was over VT when it was still in the BE.

          Only the ACC could find a way to have it’s best team hurt their BCS stats even more by losing one of the only two BCS games the ACC has won.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        zeek,

        Michigan completes the BCS cycle.

        How many teams have done that now, about 10? Getting the Rose is usually the sticking point for obvious reasons.

        But this game doesn’t make me say “Michigan is back”…, I mean that was an ugly offensive game for Michigan, and their defense was mostly making red zone stands because of Va Tech’s conservative play-calling.

        Exactly. It said MI is who we thought they were. A good team with a soft schedule so they got a very good bowl. I expect they will be similar next year, as they know their systems better but have to deal with some personnel gaps. 2013 should be the next big year for them (and OSU and NE and maybe WI and MSU).

        Really glad they eked this one out because the Big Ten needed it, but that was just an ugly game.

        Losing to an ACC runner up that beat exactly nobody would have been the cherry on the crap sundae that was the bowl season for the B10. People will forget how ugly the game was, but they’ll remember the B10 won.

        Va Tech looked dominant but kept making mistakes. That’s just how it goes I guess.

        Win by Beamer ball, lose by Beamer ball. Special teams worked to the B10’s advantage for once.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Hoke (and Mattison; according to a UM fan I talked to at work, UM got a bunch of defensive recruits just because of Mattison’s reputation and how well his guys have done in the NFL) have recruited well. You’re probably right that next year they’re still not going to be better, though. 2013 should be big years for UM & tOSU, but I don’t see UNL being better. Bucky will keep on being Bucky so long as they roll their assembly line of O-Line behemoths (and much less impressive secondary) out there. I actually expect MSU to regress by 2013. Dantonio picked up a bunch of D-Line studs from MI and environs back when RichRod concentrated on recruiting waterskimmers from FL and neglected his own backyard. Hoke is not making that mistake. Finally, I expect 2013 to be the nadir for PSU, but I also expect them to be back full force by 2015.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            Hoke (and Mattison; according to a UM fan I talked to at work, UM got a bunch of defensive recruits just because of Mattison’s reputation and how well his guys have done in the NFL) have recruited well.

            Yes, they have. Much better than RichRod ever dreamed of doing.

            You’re probably right that next year they’re still not going to be better, though.

            Yeah, I just think they need another year to patch all the holes RichRod left. They are definitely on the way back to their usual level.

            2013 should be big years for UM & tOSU, but I don’t see UNL being better.

            I was thinking that NE will benefit from playing in the B10 and understanding how they need to change their team to do even better. I expect some system adjustments as well as recruiting slightly different player types than they did in the B12 (bigger LBs for example). 2013 will be year 3 so the changes should have had time to kick in.

            Bucky will keep on being Bucky so long as they roll their assembly line of O-Line behemoths (and much less impressive secondary) out there.

            My thinking is WI steps back next year because of the QB, but they’ll have a veteran QB for 2013. WI is a much scarier offense when the QB is a serious passing threat.

            I actually expect MSU to regress by 2013. Dantonio picked up a bunch of D-Line studs from MI and environs back when RichRod concentrated on recruiting waterskimmers from FL and neglected his own backyard. Hoke is not making that mistake.

            It’s true RichRod was dumb enough to ignore the local talent. The recent success should help MSU stay more competitive in recruiting with MI than before, though. I don’t think MSU regresses to pure little brother mode. Dantonio is a better coach than they’ve had since Perles, and I think he keeps them in that WI/IA territory.

            Finally, I expect 2013 to be the nadir for PSU, but I also expect them to be back full force by 2015.

            It’s hard for me to predict PSU right now. If they don’t get a coach really soon, this recruiting class will be a wasteland. That takes 4 years to really fix. If they have one in 7-10 days, the resurrection could happen much faster. It also depends on their coach, of course. I never know what to expect from an NFL assistant as a college head coach. 2012 should be bad, especially if Bolden is QB. They might be better in 2013 but do worse as OSU and WI improve and MI is back on the schedule. IL could factor in as well if Beckman is the right guy for the job. 2015 could be the year to fully return.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Going through the rest, I’m quite high on Jerry Kill and believe he’ll get the Gophers back to Glenn-Mason level sooner than expected. Danny Hope’s small speedy FL guys should also keep PU around .500. I don’t think IU will improve much. Hard to project Illinois (or Iowa; Ferentz seems to pull a big year out of the hat when least expected but also underacheives when you expect the Hawks to do well). I’m actually rather pessimistic about NU.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      Greg Mattison is a genius. Yes, he was helped by VTech stubbornly trying to run the ball even though they were shredding the Michigan secondary through the air and not getting much on the ground, but he took a bunch of guys who couldn’t stop either the run or pass last year (and still can’t tackle well), and put them in position to stuff a bunch of VTech runs. I also have to credit him for Michigan’s terrific red zone defense. In the red zone, with a shorter field, pure athleticism/speed can be negated by good schemes, and that’s really where he shined.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        VT had 158 rushing yards in regulation. How is that not getting much on the ground?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          . . . on 48 carries. They averaged 3.4 yards a carry. VTech averages 4.5 yards. That would be less than 100 teams in the NCAA in rushing average.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Well, you expect the better teams to keep your numbers down a little. MI is a lot better than most of the teams they played this year. 3.4 isn’t great, but it’ll get you a first down.

            Like

  66. Brian says:

    UPDATE

    We are 30 games into bowl season. Here’s the stats so far.

    My predictions 22-8
    My preferences 13-17

    B12 6-1 (6-1 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – 1 left (1 AQ)
    SEC 4-2 (4-2 vs AQ, 3-1 in big games) – 3 left (3 AQ)
    BE 2-1 (2-1 vs AQ) – 2 left (1 AQ)
    B10 4-6 (3-5 vs AQ, 2-4 in big games) – done
    ACC 2-5 (2-5 vs AQ, 0-2 in big games) – 1 left (1 AQ)
    P12 2-5 (2-4 vs AQ, 1-1 in big games) – done
    ND 0-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – done

    CUSA 3-1 (1-0 vs AQ, 1-0 in big games) – 1 left (1 AQ)
    MAC 3-1 (0-1 vs AQ) – 1 left
    SB 1-1 – 1 left
    MWC 2-3 (1-0 vs AQ) – done
    WAC 0-3 – done
    BYU 1-0 – done

    Wednesday – ACC/BE
    Thursday – withdrawals
    Friday – B12/SEC
    Saturday – BE/CUSA
    Sunday – MAC/SB
    Monday – SEC/SEC

    Like

    • Andy says:

      You’re counting Mizzou and A&M in the wrong category. Big 12 is 4-1, SEC is 6-2.

      If the Big 12 wanted to claim Missouri they shouldn’t have unceremoniously dumped them in the Independence Bowl.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        A&M did not slip, so it have more to do with Mizzou than future SEC membership. The Holiday Bowl wanted Texas rather than Mizzou and the Texas bowl wanted A&M. Even the Pinstripe bowl preferred Iowa State. The SEC can count these teams next year if they are bowl eligible, but except for A&M’s loss to Arkansas what connection did they have to the SEC in 2011? Future SEC members are 2-0 and future B12 members are 1-0 this bowl season.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Oh, please. The B12 bowls screwed MO all the time, not just this year. I’m sure NE feels bad for you.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          True, but it has to do with fan support. Bowls are about travelling fans and Mizzou hasn’t convinced anyone. And this year, the bowls were more likely to want someone with a continuing relationship.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I’m not saying it wasn’t the right choice, I’m just saying he can’t blame this year on the move to the SEC since MO has a history of getting jumped.

            Like

  67. bullet says:

    Interesting article on players and school de-committing. Tennessee seems to be particularly bad about breaking committments. A change of coaching staff often seems to mean all offers are up in the air.

    http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2012/01/03/de-committing-the-dark-side-of-college-football-recruiting-12-and-counting-for-2012/?cxntfid=blogs_recruiting

    Like

    • rich2 says:

      Another interesting article about PSU and the shameful decision to participate in a meaningless bowl (with the full support of the BIG10 and this board). When the books are written and films produced in the next few years on this era at PSU, I can anticipate the narrative that will negatively frame the decision by PSU to go to the TaxCity bowl (and for the Big 10) to support it. I can’t imagine the narrative that frames participation in the bowl as a “good thing.” Still, I guess it is time to “move on” and stop being a “negative Nellie” and talk about potential Tier 1 cable dollars — important stuff that really reflects what the Big 10 represents.

      http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/page/macgregor-120103/penn-state-awkward-appearance-ticketcity-bowl-was-ill-advised

      Like

      • Andy says:

        I fail to see what good it would have done. They’re completely screwed no matter what at this point. There’s nothing they can do to fix it.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        rich2,

        Another interesting article about PSU and the shameful decision to participate in a meaningless bowl (with the full support of the BIG10 and this board).

        I didn’t think it was interesting or well thought out. He had an agenda and wrote the article from there. Sort of like you. There’s no shame to be had for the bowl game decision. Raping kids, covering it up, not going to the police, etc yes, going to a bowl, no.

        When the books are written and films produced in the next few years on this era at PSU, I can anticipate the narrative that will negatively frame the decision by PSU to go to the TaxCity bowl (and for the Big 10) to support it. I can’t imagine the narrative that frames participation in the bowl as a “good thing.”

        I think they’ll focus on raping kids and covering it up as well as how the iconic status of a coach can lead to bad things. Skipping the bowl wouldn’t have helped anything and that narrative won’t change. I think history will note that the future players would look very negatively on the players being punished for a, ex-coach and some of the coaches and administration making bad decisions. That would have made the result even worse.

        Still, I guess it is time to “move on” and stop being a “negative Nellie” and talk about potential Tier 1 cable dollars — important stuff that really reflects what the Big 10 represents.

        How about rather than whining about bowl games you focus on how the replacement personnel go about restoring what people loved about PSU and how the alumni, students and fans can help with that?

        Like

          • Brian says:

            Exactly. I’m not saying other people aren’t doing that, but rich2 and the world would be better served by him pouring his energy into that than whining about the decision to play in a bowl.

            Like

          • PSUGuy says:

            Agreed.

            Like

          • rich2 says:

            “whining” is one of the easiest terms to toss out in the internet. Next you will be saying that I am a “hater.” These terms are used when there are no ideas to supply in their place.

            Overarching concern, as evidenced by this board in general and by responses to this thread in particular, is that Big 10 athletics views itself as revenue-generating entertainment with increasingly fewer connections to the educational mission of the member institutions. Soon, athletics will be a profit-making spin-off of the university — similar to the University Small Business Incubators or Tech Parks that every school in the Big 10 operate.

            I would expect sports fans and sales execs at the BTN and ESPN to worry about the impact of a self-imposed bowl ban on their narrow interests — not leaders of educational institutions.

            The “U” is not an exemplar, yet at least they had the sense to self-impose a bowl ban this year. PSU cannot shine above the “U”? That is a sad state of affairs.

            The “show must go on” or “this will hurt recruiting” or “the boys deserved a bowl experience” is not leadership and does not reflect what PSU aspires to be.

            Embedded in the story listed is a link to memos that AP obtained from PSU — one of the key items discussed in the memos was the decision to remind donors that “PSU does not return donations.” PSU still does not get it.

            The individuals who have been fired, retired, placed on leave or are providing evidence for the state are not a few rogue elements. They are representatives of PSU. This is an institutional failure that has lasted at least 14 years. It took at least a decade to dig this hole at PSU. Why do you expect it to be fixed in a few months? You begin the process by unwaveringly taking the highest road whenever you can. Going to the bowl game was a terrible decision and a missed opportunity — and you don’t receive many opportunities to demonstrate to those who have been injured that you “get it.” The Big 10 missed an opportunity to provide an easy out for PSU.

            If this crisis occurred at Auburn and Slive said something that the SEC Commissioners office is helpless in university decisions about the “internal affairs” of a member SEC school, this board would have howled in derision at the hypocrisy. Outside of the Big 10, that is how we are viewed.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            rich2,

            “whining” is one of the easiest terms to toss out in the internet.

            Because people like you wildly overreact to things.

            The “U” is not an exemplar, yet at least they had the sense to self-impose a bowl ban this year. PSU cannot shine above the “U”? That is a sad state of affairs.

            Miami committed blatant violations of NCAA rules that will inevitably lead to harsh punishment including bowl bans. A former coach and emeritus professor at PSU committed crimes and the institution reacted poorly. Those aren’t remotely the same thing, so the reactions to them should be different.

            The “show must go on” or “this will hurt recruiting” or “the boys deserved a bowl experience” is not leadership and does not reflect what PSU aspires to be.

            So PSU aspires to be a draconian institution that punishes people for others’ misdeeds and teaches the students not to persevere in tough times but to quit as soon as there is adversity?

            Embedded in the story listed is a link to memos that AP obtained from PSU — one of the key items discussed in the memos was the decision to remind donors that “PSU does not return donations.” PSU still does not get it.

            No, you don’t. Nobody returns donations and for good reason. First, it would be a kneejerk reaction to demand your money back right now so they are letting cooler heads prevail. Second, this is one former coach and some fired/on-leave administrators. Aren’t people donating to something bigger than that when they give to PSU? Third, once you set a precedent of refunding donations, people will try to leverage that to get a say in decisions or get something for free. The only way it can work is for a donation to be permanent.

            The individuals who have been fired, retired, placed on leave or are providing evidence for the state are not a few rogue elements. They are representatives of PSU. This is an institutional failure that has lasted at least 14 years.

            Yes and no. A problematic culture slowly developed, but few people knew anything that was actionable until 2002. Then it was 4 or 5 people that screwed up. That’s not the whole institution. Hindsight always makes things seem worse than they were. They didn’t know enough in 1998 to do much about Sandusky, and you have to be very careful about accusing someone of child molestation and punishing them for it with no real proof. You could very well be wrong and ruin a man’s life since you never can get out from under an accusation like that.

            It took at least a decade to dig this hole at PSU. Why do you expect it to be fixed in a few months?

            I’d say it took 10-20 years to make Paterno the untouchable icon that ran the school. that was the root of the problem, in my opinion. People became too busy trying to protect Joe and the football program to pay attention and do what was needed.

            Nobody expects this to be fixed in a few months. It’s a process, just like grieving. You can’t stop your life until it’s fixed.

            You begin the process by unwaveringly taking the highest road whenever you can. Going to the bowl game was a terrible decision and a missed opportunity — and you don’t receive many opportunities to demonstrate to those who have been injured that you “get it.”

            That’s ridiculous. There is no moral high ground to skipping a bowl. You do that to avoid NCAA penalties or because you are too arrogant to go to a lesser bowl (ND). PSU wouldn’t show that they “get it” by skipping a bowl. They’ll show that by changing the bad parts of the culture while keeping the essence of PSU.

            The Big 10 missed an opportunity to provide an easy out for PSU.

            The B10 had no place telling PSU not to go. If they had investigated and found violations of NCAA and/or B10 rules, then they might have the right. Otherwise, no.

            If this crisis occurred at Auburn and Slive said something that the SEC Commissioners office is helpless in university decisions about the “internal affairs” of a member SEC school, this board would have howled in derision at the hypocrisy.

            No, it wouldn’t. A few extremists might have, but that’s true anywhere. Most of us would acknowledge that there are things outside of the B10’s purview and this is one of them.

            Outside of the Big 10, that is how we are viewed.

            No, you’re viewed as a bunch of child rapists and people who hide child rape from the police. Hope that helps.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      A lot of those players sounded like divas. How dare the schools actually recruit other players, too? How dare a school take you at your word when you say no thanks. How dare an elite academic school move on when you can’t get a high enough test score?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Some did. I imagine basketball recruiting is even worse in dealing with divas. But some of those players got the shaft, although it happened early enough, most still have options.

        Like

      • rich2 says:

        Needed to reply here, no reply button available for your earlier post.

        I don’t completely understand your response . “Outside of the Big 10, that is how we are viewed — No, you’re viewed as a bunch of child rapists and people who hide child rape from the police. Hope that helps.”

        But to summarize: you disagree and you believe my perspective is wild and extreme. Ok. There is not much sense in continuing this “dialogue.” However, two things you suggest are obviously not true: Development Offices at a University have much more flexibility in dealing with donors than your response indicates (what is your direct experience in University Development and Major Gifts? In my two decades of experience, what you write as “either – or” is often more nuanced) and that the Big 10 office does not define its “purview” to be whatever the office believes it should be involved in. The Big 10 operates more like the MLB commissioners office “the best interests of the game.”

        Finally, a major difference between your “temperate” response versus my “extremist” position is largely based on how the issue is framed. You believe that the President, AD, Head Football Coach and at least two other coaches represents a “few people [who] knew anything that was actionable until 2002. Then it was 4 or 5 people that screwed up. That’s not the whole institution”
        That is a very generous interpretation of the events and assessment of the role of the President, AD and Head Football coach at PSU — I am certain it is an egalitarian community where the President and groundskeeper are equal contributors to how PSU operates.

        Again, until October 2011, JS was part of the recruiting itinerary for PSU football players. You say that only 4-5 knew from 1998 to 2002 – as if the number who knew matters. What happened from 2002-2011?

        The upside risk in this situation is almost incalculable. If there is a hint of a “sweetheart deal” in 1998 by PSU for JS (and there are already many questions) then the narrative is that from 1998 to 2011, PSU willingly and systematically tried to keep a potentially embarrassing situation hidden from public view — resulting in the physical and mental harm of an unknown number of children. This narrative will bury PSU for decades.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          You’re right, rich. I thought it was morally upright and commendable of ND to ban itself from a bowl in 2010 when it was discovered that not only was a girl sexually molested by an ND player and then threatened about reporting it (driving her to suicide), but that the ND campus police covered that incident (and several others) up (and as far I as know, the player wasn’t punished in any way) + another young person died because ND football was negligent and cared more about furthering the glory of ND football than about his safety.

          Oh wait.

          Like

        • joe4psu says:

          You’re interpretation of events seems to be off. All I know for a FACT is that in 2002 McQuery informed Paterno that he saw something in the shower that led Paterno to speak to the Curley and Schultz. That led to a meeting being set up between McQuery and the latter two. It is a FACT that the AG’s office praised Paterno for his actions at that time and during the recent investigation that led to the charges against Sandusky. See this article:

          Penn State coach Paterno praised for acting appropriately in reporting Jerry Sandusky sex abuse suspicions – http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/paterno_praised_for_acting_app.html

          It is also a fact that the AG was surprised, if not upset, that Paterno was fired after the GJ Summary was released. In case you missed this interesting “fact”, Curley and Shultz were charged with perjury. No one else, other than Sandusky, was charged with a crime. That could change but if it does I would expect the charges would lead up the chain of command in the administration, not down to Paterno or anyone else involved with the football program.

          I inferred from what you said that you may be among the “cover up” conspiracy theorists. If there was a concerted effort to cover up the Sandusky issue it obviously did not include McQuery and Paterno. The first thing they did was report the incident to multiple people. That would seem to be a stupid thing to do if you’re trying to cover something up. Paterno surely has many faults but being stupid isn’t one of them.

          I’ve seen this accusation that Sandusky was part of the recruiting itinerary for PSU recruits up until October 2011 before but don’t recall seeing any proof. I would find it odd if that were true. Supposedly, the current players had no idea who he was other than the guy some had seen lifting weights occasionally.

          As for the hint of a “sweetheart deal” in 1998, there is no hint. It was a “sweetheart deal.” Sandusky took advantage of a limited time “sweetheart deal” for state employees to retire with extraordinary benefits. This was after being informed by Joe that he would not be the next head coach.

          There is much that we don’t know about who knew what and when, and what they did with the information. We’ll know more after the upcoming trials. The whole point of trials, not grand jury investigations, not mediastorms and certainly not the twitterverse, is to find out all the facts.

          Like

  68. Great Lake State says:

    I love to hear all you guys whose teams embarassed the Big Ten talk about how Michigan’s ‘not really back’ after doubling their wins and winning a BCS bowl. For Hoke (& company) to put together the season they have with the players they inherited is miraculous. Ohio State and Penn State are a disgrace to the Big Ten. Nebraska folded like a cheap suite after a single ‘Hail Mary’ fluke. MSU, Wisconsin and Illinois all represented the conference well, but the rest of you should hold your heads in shame. By claiming that a BCS win is ‘not really being back’ you’ve set a pretty high bar for your own teams relevancy. Based on that standard only a National Championship will signal a teams real return. Look forward to Ohio State, Nebraska and Penn State being relevant again in the near future.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      If lucking into a BCS win by getting a bid you didn’t earn, playing another team that didn’t earn their bid, being completely outplayed and only winning by fluke plays and multiple borderline referee’s calls is what you consider back for UM, then I guess the rest of us just have higher standards for UM than you do. UM is back in my opinion when they are a regular top 5 -10 team and in serious contention for national titles. That’s where they used to be, so how can they be back until they reach that same position again?

      Like

    • zeek says:

      I don’t think we’re questioning that “Michigan is back” in terms of national relevance in the football discussion. That much is clearly certain after an 11-2 season with a Sugar Bowl victory.

      The question is whether they’re back to being a football team ready to compete for national championships with a cupboard full of top-flight talent.

      They may still be another year or two away from that. Hoke has them pointed in the right direction for sure. And the work that Mattison did with RichRod’s “talent” on defense was nothing short of miraculous.

      I don’t think anyone here is raining on Michigan’s parade though in saying that they still need to build an actual offense outside of Hemingway’s miracle catches on jump balls, and that they need to get a lot of legit NFL talent on that defense if they want to go back to being the Michigan of old.

      The standard is naturally going to be much higher for Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Penn State.

      What did you expect? I would say that Michigan is as close to Ohio State though in terms of being back as it’s been the past 5 years. Nebraska still hasn’t managed to put together a legitimate offense under Pelini and that defense looks like it’s going to take a step back. Penn State is going to be down for at least a few years after this year’s debacle.

      Michigan and Ohio State look like they’ll both be beastly in 2013 though…

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Last night made me wonder if the NCAA should ban long dreadlocks (not that they are likely to do that). All season long, those guys keep getting their helmets knocked off. It seems like the majority of helmets flying off during plays are from players with dreadlocks. One guy this year lost his helmet about 5 times in a game. And as a coach, I wouldn’t want the opposition to be able to tackle my players by the hair. I don’t know why they lose the helmets more often, but they do.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          It’s because they are idiots. Helmets are supposed to fit tightly and use the curve of the skull to stay on, so they should require pulling out on the ear holes to get off. Notice that the players now can just push on the bottom of the facemask and pull it off instead. I think the dreads just accentuate the problem because the guys are too worried about looking cool to wear their gear properly. It just like all the players failing to wear knee, thigh and hip pads because it doesn’t look cool, or kickers with their pants stopping well above the knee.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Functionality, not looking cool. Pads slow you down. I imagine not having something on your knee helps in kicking as well.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Charlie horses, hip pointers and bruised knees slow you down a lot more. I don’t really care if a kicker’s pants cover his knees, but that is the rule. Failing to wear a properly fitted helmet because it is less comfortable or uncool is much worse.

            Like

    • jj says:

      Back? They’re better than ever!

      A typical UM team rattles off 9 or 10 wins, on occassion voluntarily leaving ann arbor for a game, and then loses its bowl game.

      They blew that standard out of the water!

      Like

  69. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Last night I attended the Sugar Bowl. From my view, it looked like two teams that did not deserve to be in a BCS bowl game and that neither team really wanted to win the game. For a team that prides itself on special teams, multiple special team blunders cost the Hokies the game. The crowd was the smallest I’ve ever seen in the Superdome, outside of Tulane games when LSU was not the opponent. On the street, prior to the game, it was definately a buyers’ market.

    Other random observations:

    1. The sale of alcohol in the Superdome ceased at the end of half-time.
    2. The “Marching Virginians” actually do “do the Hokey Pokey.”
    3. Thanks the Michigan band, I can now say that I have witnessed the performance of a male baton twirler.
    4. Mercedes-Benz is getting their money’s worth from the naming rights deal.
    5. I saw an older Michigan fan urinate in the sink. Good thing for him that alcohol sales stopped at the end of halftime.
    6. Michigan brought more fans than VA Tech, but the Hokies were just as loud, which is to say not very loud.

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      With all that said, congratulations to Michigan for a great ending to an 11 win season and most likely a top 10 finish.

      Like

    • jj says:

      Number 3. Lol.

      Like

    • Mack says:

      The problem is that the Sugar bowl sold out but wanted to appear not to sell out so they got the worst of all situations. The mistake was not going all the way and inviting a B12 team. The place would have been packed and rocking if they had matched up #13 Michigan with #14 Oklahoma (Kansas State could not whine any lower than they did with VT sleection) for the first meeting since the 1976 Orange Bowl. Both the ACC (2-13), and VT (1-5) have dismal records in BCS games. VT got blown out twice by ACC champ Clemson which is being blown out now by WVU of the BE.

      Like

  70. zeek says:

    I know the national media is really harping on the Sugar Bowl matchup. And with a somewhat justifiable premise.

    But the South Florida media has been hammering the decline of the Orange Bowl the past couple of years.

    The Sugar Bowl gets its first matchup without a Top-10 team since 1945 (we’re talking about 11 vs. 13 so that’s a bit of a marginal tweak), and since media favorite Boise State gets left out, the whole thing is back to being about smoke room deals and unfairness, etc.

    In South Florida, the media would love to have two tradition-rich (well one is for sure, the other has gotten to a lot of big bowls in the past 15 years and underperformed) programs in the Top-14 for the Orange Bowl.

    Instead, we’re getting two 3-loss teams outside the Top-14. Compare the past couple of Orange Bowls to the Orange Bowl in the 80s, and the Orange Bowl matchups look consistently worse than the Capital One, Cotton Bowl, and even Outback Bowl are getting nowadays.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I wonder if the Orange is going to look for the freedom to choose a team instead of getting the ACC every year.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Well a lot of the editorials down here seem to favor keeping the ACC Champion (on the hopes of a Florida State/Miami resurgeance as well as the decent draws that Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech are).

        The problem that most point out is the BCS selection process for the opponent…

        I think the Orange Bowl would easily take Big Ten #2 (behind Rose) or SEC #2 (behind Sugar) if they could remove the whole BCS selection process and just have a guaranteed contract like that.

        My guess is that the Orange Bowl pushes either for the semifinals +1 approach or for a full removal of BCS designation with the BCS just covering the championship game or +1 seminfinals and final game or whatever the system ends up looking like.

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          I fully expect the removal of the “BCS System” and a single game to determine a NC with a return to how bowl games used to be implemented as the course of action many (including the Big Ten) will try to enact after 2013. To counter claims at “fairness”, the polls will be abolished (or removed from consideration), and an official RPI-like system will be implemented.

          The big conferences will go along with it because it allows them to continue to monoplize the bowl system, and the large sums of $$$ it creates.

          The “mid” conerferences (BigEast, Big12, etc) will go with it becuase they will still have dedicated bowl match-ups and (most likely) won’t be harmed by the RPI-like system.

          The networks will go with it because it minimizes small schools with poor national followings playing in mid and low level bowl games (where high profile schools are needed to ensure viewership).

          The small conferences will be forced to go along with it because there’s still a “clear” path to the NC game which will be open to any team that comes into the No 1 or No 2 ranking in the RPI-like system.

          Then again…I’ve known to be wrong.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Do you mean an RPI-like system just for the NCG? That I could potentially see. The other bowls would have zero interest in it.

            Like

          • PSUGuy says:

            Basically for the entire ranking structure, but yes in the end it would only matter for the NC game since all the other bowls would nominally be tied to conferences like they’ve always been.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        The ACC isn’t the problem as much as their opponents, not that the ACC champ has been great. Somehow the Orange has the bad luck to keep getting teams nobody cares about (KU, UC, bad WV, etc) while the Sugar usually has a good match up or at least 1 good team. Just like switching lanes in traffic, though, you know FSU and/or Miami will get back to the top as soon as the Orange drops the ACC. They have 2 more years of this deal anyway, so maybe they wait to see how bad Miami gets hit and if Fisher can get FSU on the right track.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      The ACC isn’t the Big 8. There isn’t much you can do about that. They also have less scheduling flexibility than they used to. I can easily see them hoping the BCS ends.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        “The ACC isn’t the Big 8.”

        I’m curious what you mean by that, Brian.

        Don’t take that as being an overly sensitive ACC fan. I just wonder if you could elaborate a little more on what that means. ACC brings smaller crowds? Less emotional attachment to the OB than the old Big 8 had? Something positive, such as the ACC coming from a more populated part of the country? etc…

        BTW, I, too, can easily see the OB getting on board with an ACC #1 vs. B1G #2 or ACC vs. SEC #2 mathcup instead of the BCS. Over the past several years, the OB still would have been stuck with repeated trips from VT and with small crowds from Wake Forest and GT, but the opponents would have included teams like Ohio State, Penn State, maybe Michigan State OR teams like LSU, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama. With a Big Ten tie-in, the 2009 season’s GT-Iowa matchup would have been no different, but all the other matchups would have been improvements over opponents like Stanford (based on TV ratings, not team rankings), Kansas, Cincinnati, and even West Virginia.

        And, yes, I agree that the OB would try to retain the tie-in to the ACC champion. Any Miami or Florida State team is very alluring, and Clemson would have been capable of producing a lot more buzz for this game had it not stumbled down the stretch so much. 10-2 or 11-1 Clemson would have been a surefire sellout and a top 5-10 ranking.

        Giving up the ACC tie-in would also mean the Orange Bowl is resigned to permanent second-tier status, and bowls don’t set themselves up for that if they can help it. Even strong tie-ins (like Cap One-style SEC #2 vs. B1G #2) would make the OB become like the Cotton of the past 15+ years, with all of its glory days in the past.

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