Divisions of Labor: Frank the Tank’s Big Ten Expansion Survey Responses and the Classic Music Video of the Week

Posted: December 20, 2012 in Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
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Big Ten Map

I have been meaning to post my responses to the Big Ten Network’s conference expansion survey, but so much realignment news (such as the 7 Catholic schools in the Big East deciding to split off) has intervened that I’m only getting a chance to fill it out now.  Here are my thoughts:

1. My favorite school is _____.

The University of Illinois, the ultimate drinking school with a football problem.

2. My favorite school is in the _______ Division.

The Leaders Division… I think.  Let me Google this.

3. As the conference expands beyond 12 teams, should the new teams be added to an existing division or should new divisions be drawn from scratch?

These need to be blown up like the 2 versions of the Death Star.

4. What do you think of “Legends” and “Leaders” as division names?  (Strongly Like to Strongly Dislike.)

Please see the answer to Question #3.

5. Should the B1G change or keep the current division names?

Please see the answer to Question #3.

6. If you think the division names should be changed, what should they be changed to?

Assuming that logic prevails and the Big Ten has something close to a geographical alignment (a very large assumption when dealing with university presidents and athletic directors that have managed to turn what ought to be a simple exercise into a massive internal political debate), it should be East-West or North-South.  If an obsessive Big Ten sports fan like me still needs to stop and think about which school is in which division after two years, then the conference made a mistake.  The theme, as I argued over and over again back when the Big Ten added Nebraska, should be K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid.

7. If divisions were to be changed, what criteria should be used to determine them? (Rank by importance Competitive balance, geography, protect traditional rivalries.)

The #1 consideration by far should be to protect traditional rivalries, as those are at the heart of what makes college sports great.  Close behind that should be geography, as that is a factor that will never change, whether it’s one year from now or two decades down the road.  Competitive balance is honestly a minor factor for me.  All programs inevitable go up and down on-the-field over time, so attempting to gerrymander divisions based on historical records virtually always ends up backfiring (see the Leaders Division this past season and numerous occasions with the ACC divisions).  The Big Ten made a massive mistake in overweighting what it believed to be competitive balance in constructing the current divisions and I hope that they see the light this time around.

8. How important is it for IN-STATE rivals to be in the same division? (Very important to not important.)

It’s important, but there can be exceptions provided that those rivals are still playing each other annually.

9. How important is it for TRADITIONAL rivals to be in the same division? (Very important to not important.)

As with the answer to Question #8, it’s important, yet workarounds can be accommodated as long as the rivals continue to play each other on an annual basis.  The main problem with the way that the Big Ten constructed the Leaders and Legends Divisions is that most of the Big Ten schools have multiple traditional rivals, which means that many of them inherently need to be in the same division in order for the maintenance of those rivalries to work.  Wisconsin is getting completely screwed by not getting to play traditional rival Iowa and the Badgers are a natural school to help further integrate Nebraska into the conference.  In my opinion, the Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota trifecta should have never been split up and Nebraska fits in there as the fourth wheel of that western flank perfectly.

10. Currently, the number of conference games the B1G plays is 8. Should this increase?

Yes, the number of conference games absolutely needs to increase to 9.  This is even more important if the Big Ten continues to designate cross-division annual rivalries, where schools would only play their counterparts in the opposite division (excluding designated cross-division rivals) only 2 times in a 12 year period without a 9th conference game.  That extra conference game at least turns it into a more tolerable 2 times in a 6 year period cycle (which still isn’t exactly optimal).  While every school in the conference wants to maximize home game revenue by playing more MACrifice games, the Big Ten isn’t like the SEC, which has a history of having conference members going very long periods of time without playing each other and doesn’t think much of it.  That won’t (or at least shouldn’t) fly in the Big Ten.  The fact that the Big Ten had agreed to go to 9 conference games in a 12 school alignment prior to the now-defunct Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance gives me optimism that they’ll do so when it’s even more critical.

11. What is your preference on a B1G Basketball Tourney? (Every team qualifies, or 12 of 14 teams qualify.)

I’m a very large believer that every conference should have all teams qualify for its basketball tournament.  Unlike the football conference championship game that only involves 2 teams, the basketball tournament is the one major conference event where the teams, fans and alums from all of the schools can gather together as a shared experience.  For those that say that the conference tournament should be about merit, I would reply that leagues should eliminate conferences tournaments all together if people want to be truly merit-based (as the performance over the course of 3 months of regular season games should trump what occurs in 3 days of a conference tournament).  Basketball tournaments are purely money-making machines for the power conferences, so you might as well let everyone participate.  Plus, there’s the romantic idea that every single school still has one last shot to make it into the NCAA Tournament, which is inherently a more interesting aspect of watching conference tournaments compared to how they’re really just seeding exercises for the teams that already know that they’re going to make it to the Dance.

12. Currently, the B1G has no divisions for basketball. Should this be changed?

I don’t believe that basketball divisions are necessary as long as each school has at least 2 or 3 locked-in annual rivals (e.g. Indiana-Purdue, Michigan-Ohio State, etc.).

13. If yes, why should there be divisions for basketball?

Please see answer to Question #12.

14. If no, why shouldn’t there be divisions for basketball?

Please see answer to Question #12.

15. When people reference “B1G”, do you recognize that to be the Big Ten Conference?

Yes, I do.  At first, I wasn’t a large fan of the new Big Ten logo, but that has grown on me (unlike the division names).  In the social media context, being able to refer to #B1G on Twitter and have people generally know what that means is extremely useful.  That’s not a minor point in today’s world.

16. With 14 teams currently, should the B1G remain the “Big Ten”, or should its name be changed?

It should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be the Big Ten, even if it ends up with 16 schools or more.  If the Big Ten didn’t change its name back when it added Penn State over two decades ago, it certainly shouldn’t do it now.  There’s way too much name recognition and brand value with the conference name.

17. Do you have any further thoughts on B1G expansion?

Well, I’ve provided my thoughts on Florida State here.  Otherwise, I don’t have a preternatural desire to see the Big Ten expand further.  The 14 schools that the conference will have going forward fit together well academically and institutionally with geographic continuity across the Northern half of the United States.  If there’s a legit football power in a top market such as Florida State available, then I think the Big Ten ought to be aggressive.  However, there isn’t an overall need for the conference to expand for the sake of expanding.  I’d be perfectly happy with staying at 14 members.

As for how the divisions should actually look, as I’ve stated before, I favor the K.I.S.S. approach.  Realistically, I believe that the Big Ten will need the following requirements in any divisional structure at a minimum:

(a) Ohio State and Michigan must play annually – This is pretty obvious.

(b) Ohio State and Penn State must play annually – This might be less obvious to people outside the Big Ten (or even with some fans within the Big Ten), but trust me, this is a non-negotiable game.

(c) Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland must be in the same division – The entire crux of the Big Ten expansion to 14 is to solidify the league’s presence on the East Coast, which effectively mandates that they have to be together.

What’s evident here is that Ohio State and Penn State are really the keys to the new Big Ten divisional alignment.  For instance, these parameters mean that there is no way that Ohio State can be in a division opposite of both Michigan and Penn State – the Buckeyes have to be in a division with at least one of those schools.  The East Coast bloc of Penn State/Rutgers/Maryland also limits the league’s options.  We also have to consider whether the divisions need to split up the four traditional powers (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska) evenly or if 3 of them can be in one division.  I personally believe that 3 of them can be in one division provided that the other side has more depth of non-bottom feeders top-to-bottom, but know that others (particularly athletic directors) may disagree with that.

Ultimately, I’m most in favor of going with an East/West split with Michigan going to the East and Michigan State in the West.  It would look like the following (with cross-division rivals next to each other and rationale in parentheses):

EAST – WEST
Michigan – Michigan State (in-state rivalry)
Ohio State – Wisconsin (continuation of current Leaders divisional game)
Penn State – Nebraska (continuation of current cross-division king program game)
Indiana – Illinois (two schools in bordering states passing time until basketball season starts)
Purdue – Iowa (continuation of nonsensical cross-division game)
Rutgers – Northwestern (New York City vs. Chicago angle)
Maryland – Minnesota (they pulled the last two straws)

Even though three “King” programs are in the East, I believe that there is still a solid balance of schools with top notch fan bases in the West (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa) to compensate for it.  Most other ways of attempting to put two Kings in each division end up with wacky geography or one extremely strong division and the other being very weak.  (Yes, I know that I’ve said that I don’t think that competitive balance should matter, but I’m realistic in believing that others believe it’s important.)  Now, it’s understandable that the older members of the Big Ten West likely would not be happy only seeing Michigan and Ohio State 2 times every 6 years, so that could be a deal-killer.

The “Inner-Outer” setup that the BTN provided as a choice here is an interesting concept, as it groups the 4 western schools (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota) with the 3 Eastern schools (Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland) in one division while the 7 other schools in the middle are in the opposite division.  It’s terrible in terms of geography and the casual sports fan would look at it and say, “WTF?!”, but it does achieve the goal of preserving every single traditional rivalry as an intra-divisional game with the exception of Ohio State-Penn State.  I’m not a fan of the Inner-Outer alignment personally (and most people that I know don’t like it either), yet I certainly wouldn’t put it past the Big Ten presidents and ADs to head down this road.

Classic Music Video of the Week – “12 Days of Christmas” by John Denver and The Muppets

The events of the past week really put back into focus what’s most important in life: friends and family.  This video always brings back fond memories of my family popping in a VHS tape of the John Denver Christmas Special with The Muppets every year and my own kids now find The Muppets to be just as hilarious as I did.  I hope that all of you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday.

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

(Image from DigNittanyVolleyball)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes #1 in the Northwest Airlines Division!

    Like

    • DanR says:

      I think this is why the Big should just wrap things up with FSU and GT.
      East Central – mostly based on time zones
      OSU FSU
      MI Neb
      PSU WI
      MSU GT
      Ind IL
      Purdue NW
      Rutg Iowa
      Mary MN
      – You perserve the important footlball rivalries
      – The eastern division would dominate the Ohio, MI, Penn, and the East north of Maryland for recruiting while the Central Division would have regulat access into FL and Georgia since several of those programs are real dependent on out-state recruiting.
      – You could do a FSU rivalry with either NEB or WI to match up with the MI/Ohio reg. season ender in the east. I would pay to see FSU come up to Madison or Lincoln in late Novemebr or early December for a divison title game.
      -I would not play Basketball along these divisions – just have a few home and home lock-ins for rivalries and close distance and then rotate through a 20 to 22 game schedule. I could even let the tournament go but thats unlikely.

      This would also rationalize the ACC:
      ACC North – The old big east schools, Miami, adding Uconn, Cincy, or ND eventually.
      ACC South – N. Carolina and Virginia schools pluse Clemson.
      I think the ACC works like this thus blocking the SEC from further expansion. It would just be a great basketball concerence with somes decent football.

      I would never go over 16 teams and as a college basketball fan I real do not want to brake up tobacco road.

      Like

      • Tom says:

        FSU in the West makes no sense. It’s in the eastern time zone and would have no commonality with any of the schools in that division compared to the East.

        Like

      • vp19 says:

        I would never go over 16 teams and as a college basketball fan I real do not want to brake up tobacco road.

        Then watch the four NC schools’ revenues continue to diminish compared to rivals from other conferences, as UNC, State, Duke and Wake will find even tougher sledding in football. That may not be bad news for Wake and to a lesser extent Duke, as they really don’t have the resources to be year-in and year-out successes in football, but for Carolina and NCSU, that would be disastrous. Sorry, but eventually the Big Four will have to break up or risk becoming irrelevant. There’s no rule that says UNC can’t schedule State, Duke and Wake as non-conference games.

        Like

  2. Purduemoe says:

    Boiler Up!!

    Like

  3. mouse says:

    What? No posts?

    Like

  4. bamatab says:

    RTR!

    Like

  5. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Like

  6. Mike says:

    I think you’ve got the divisions perfect with one exception. There is no need for cross-division rivals other than MICH-MSU.

    With a 9 game schedule, MICH-MSU can play each year plus two other non-division teams each year. The other 12 teams can play 3 non-division games. Over a 6-year period, it breaks down as follows: (1) MICH/MSU each play each other 6 times and the other 6 non-division teams 2 times (18 games total over 6 years); (2) the other 12 teams each play MICH/MSU 2 times, play 4 other non-division teams 3 times and 2 other non-division teams 2 times (18 games total over 6 years). That allows games like NEB-PSU and OSU-WISC to be played 4 out of 6 years while allowing teams to play more often other than MICH/MSU, but that game must be played each year.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Edit – that should say NEB-PSU and OSU-WISC 3 times out of 6 years, not 4.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Mike,

      “I think you’ve got the divisions perfect with one exception. There is no need for cross-division rivals other than MICH-MSU.”

      The B10 doesn’t work that way. The give everyone the same type of schedule. They rejected the concept of also locking WI/IA for that reason among others. Besides, the B10 won’t pass on PSU/NE if it can force it every year.

      Like

  7. Carl says:

    Princess Nitanee

    Like

  8. Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

    I actually prefer the inner/outer alignment. It preserves the important rivalries. It eliminates the need for protected cross-division games. Coupled with a 9-game schedule, everybody plays three inter-division games. That would mean cycling through the other division every two seasons plus one game in a third season. I like that a lot better than playing those teams twice in six seasons.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      My dislike for the inner/outer is that all the “new schools” end up in one division with Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. I imagine those three schools will wonder why the Big Ten left them, while the inner schools get to be as much like the old Big Ten as possible.

      Like

      • Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

        Well, those schools voted in favor of adding the new schools. They had to know this was a possibility. With the scheduling scheme I described, that should mitigate any feelings of abandonment on the parts of Iowa, Minnesota & Wisconsin. Besides, I would think that those three schools would feel it vital that they play each other along with Nebraska every year. They would get to play OSU & Michigan three times in seven seasons which is more frequent than some of them play now.

        Like

        • frug says:

          They had to know this was a possibility.

          Unless they agreed beforehand that it would not be a possibility (which wouldn’t surprise me).

          Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            They had to know this was a possibility.

            Unless they agreed beforehand that it would not be a possibility (which wouldn’t surprise me).”

            That would be a huge surprise to me. It’s very unlike the COP/C to worry about divisions when making their decisions. I’d also be shocked that the group would reject that plan out of hand.

            Like

      • Eric says:

        I’ll confess, the opposite is one reason (although not the only) I don’t like east-west all that well. I like that Ohio State has played in a Midwestern conference and don’t particularly care for the idea that of the 6/7 locked games, 3 will be against eastern schools while 2 of our locked Midwestern games (Purdue and Indiana) are against programs that aren’t likely to be toward the top all that often (although Purdue has upset us or been close to it a decent number of times). Playing Penn State is usually fun to look forward to, but it doesn’t mitigate the feeling that the division would feel like it wasn’t a Midwestern one.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Mike,

        “My dislike for the inner/outer is that all the “new schools” end up in one division with Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.”

        I understand your point, but it’s a tough sell that any of those 3 schools would be upset about being with NE. PSU is also hard to believe. Also, I think it depends what the alternatives are. What if the B10 told those schools that this was the only option considered that kept the three of them together?

        “I imagine those three schools will wonder why the Big Ten left them, while the inner schools get to be as much like the old Big Ten as possible.”

        They could always look at a map. It should be self-explanatory.

        Overall, this is always the problem with expansion with mediocre teams. Nobody wants to play the new guys. PSU and NE were lesser issues. It’s worse that these are new geographical outliers, too, so nobody but PSU has any ties to them. The normal answer would be to split the newbies to spread the pain, but geography makes that awkward this time.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      OSU-PSU is a big rivalry game now and need to be/will be protected.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No, it isn’t. It’s a big game, but not a rivalry by any normal sense of the word. Most OSU fans wouldn’t mind if PSU wasn’t on the schedule.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          OSU fans are not the only people in the B10 that matter. OSU-PSU is one of the a biggest rivalry games in the B10 to pretty much everybody else. Just ask PSU fans.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “OSU fans are not the only people in the B10 that matter. OSU-PSU is one of the a biggest rivalry games in the B10 to pretty much everybody else.”

            Only the involved teams have a say on whether or not it’s a rivalry game. Everyone else can decide if it’s a big game, which I already said it was.

            “Just ask PSU fans.”

            A 1 way rivalry isn’t a rivalry. I know it’s important to them.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “A 1 way rivalry isn’t a rivalry.”

            I guess by your definition, the LBJ game isn’t a rivalry either.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I guess by your definition, the LBJ game isn’t a rivalry either.”

            Do both sides care more about the game than their status would otherwise indicate? If so, It’s a rivalry. It doesn’t have to be competitive, but both teams need to care more that they would when playing an equivalent team.

            Like

        • Nils Anderson - PSU Class of 83 says:

          Oh No, Brian…PSU-tOSU is a big rivalry game for PSU. As is (but less so) PSU-UM. Also, not having the PSU-tOSU game every year diminishes the value of the big10 TV contract. Delaney is no fool, and will retain the annual PSU-tOSU game.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Nils Anderson – PSU Class of 83,

            “Oh No, Brian…PSU-tOSU is a big rivalry game for PSU. As is (but less so) PSU-UM.”

            I know it’s big for you, but rivalries are a two-way street to me. It isn’t a rivalry for OSU, just a big game.

            “Also, not having the PSU-tOSU game every year diminishes the value of the big10 TV contract.”

            It depends what replaces it. PSU/MI would bring as much TV value.

            “Delaney is no fool,”

            I have one response to that – Leaders and Legends.

            “and will retain the annual PSU-tOSU game.”

            Maybe. If it fits the best alignment, sure. But I don’t think they’ll screw up their preferred divisions just to keep it (that’s if their preferred divisions don’t have them together).

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            Should Ohio State be forced into playing a game merely to placate PSU fans?

            If Northwestern fans swear a blood oath against Nebraska does that mean Nebraska has to play them every year?

            The Big 33 has already thrown in the towel & re-focused on Maryland, no reason PSU can’t as well.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Scarlet_Lutefisk,

            “Should Ohio State be forced into playing a game merely to placate PSU fans?”

            If it fits the divisions, then yes. It’s a valuable game and important to PSU while still a big game to OSU if less emotional. I don’t think the divisions alignment should be altered to make it happen.

            “If Northwestern fans swear a blood oath against Nebraska does that mean Nebraska has to play them every year?”

            To the B10 way of thinking, the answer seems to be yes.

            “The Big 33 has already thrown in the towel & re-focused on Maryland, no reason PSU can’t as well.”

            Very true, PSU’s focus will shift eastward quickly (especially for the older alumni). Still, OSU is a peer on the field while MD and RU aren’t. I can see why they want the game and why the B10 wants it.

            Like

  9. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    In other sports news,

    http://espn.go.com/olympics/trackandfield/story/_/id/8766649/suzy-favor-hamilton-says-worked-escort

    “Struggling in her marriage and mired in depression, three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton coped by turning to a life of prostitution, working for an escort service based in Las Vegas.”

    “A nine-time NCAA champion for Wisconsin, Favor Hamilton is the namesake of the Big Ten’s Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year Award, given to the conference’s top female athlete.”

    Like

  10. bullet says:

    I think with Maryland and Rutgers added, you are even more right about KISS.

    Some variation of your divisional setup is necessary. Those two weaken the current semi-southeast division. You can no longer maintain the two kings, competitive balance, long-time rivalries and achieve the goals of the expansion which was to penetrate DC and NY. Balancing the kings should be the least important of those. Penetrating the markets and maintaining the rivalries (which drive attendance which creates much more revenue than TV) should be the primary goals.

    One variation of your setup would have Purdue in the West and Michigan St. in the east. That means your fixed games are Michigan-Iowa, IU-PU and MSU-IL.

    Another option that would tilt the balance of power more to the east, but would reduce the need for fixed rivalries would be MSU and NW to the east and IU and PU to the west. It would be about a wash as far as attendance, but MSU and NW have been more successful recently. Northwestern-Illinois would be the only obvious cross-division rivalry that might be fixed. Anything else fixed would simply be for TV.

    Like

    • Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

      I think we need to get two things out of our collective mindsets. 1) protected cross-division rivalries. The divisions should be set up so this is not necessary. This allows for playing all teams in the other division more often. 2) balance of power. This will shift over time and should be a secondary concern. As a MSU alumnus, I really only care that we play Michigan every year. Any other consideration is irrelevant compared to that.

      I really like the inner/outer alignment for these reasons. As far as division names go, a simple red/blue, or something like that, would fit the bill instead of inner/outer or leaders/legends.

      Like

      • StevenD says:

        I don’t like Red/Blue for division names. At least with Inner/Outer you know which is which.

        I think the best names for this option are: Central Division and Frontier Division.

        Like

        • Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

          I Central & Frontier

          Like

        • JW says:

          I would go with the Annulus and the Void. (Other options considered: cytoplasm and nucleus, solar and orbital, white and yellow)

          Like

          • gregenstein says:

            Proton/Electron would get my vote since it’s science-y while still “common knowledge” so to speak.

            Note – I don’t like the Inner/Outer alignment itself. I’d rather they just put PSU, tOSU, and Mich in the same freaking division already since that covers that mandatory-for-TV rivalries and could eliminate protected, cross divisional games.

            Like

          • gregenstein says:

            After getting over my initial disdain for inner/outer, I could get on board with it. I’m not a fan of protected games, but I think this alignment solves the most problems while causing the least. As a PSU fan, we’d get to Iowa and Nebraska every year plus the 2 new East schools and a probable locked game with Ohio State.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain),

        “I think we need to get two things out of our collective mindsets. 1) protected cross-division rivalries. The divisions should be set up so this is not necessary. This allows for playing all teams in the other division more often.”

        Ideally, yes, but the final choice may not allow that. Also, the B10 may choose to lock big games for TV reasons anyway.

        “2) balance of power. This will shift over time and should be a secondary concern.”

        I disagree totally. It should always be a primary concern. That doesn’t mean there’s a way to guarantee it, but it has to be a major concern. Only fools would ignore history when making divisions.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Re-reading mine, I want to clarify.

      By “some variation” of your divisional setup, I mean either exactly like yours or something similar (not something similar but different).

      Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Immediately after Rutgers and MD were added, Delany said, in effect, that going forward competitive balance would be one factor and not necessarily the biggest factor…..I think it will be 90% geographic with one or two minor tweeks………..like moving IU to the west and bringing Illinois east………

      Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      “I think with Maryland and Rutgers added, you are even more right about KISS.”

      He isn’t.

      “Some variation of your divisional setup is necessary.”

      No, it isn’t.

      “Those two weaken the current semi-southeast division. You can no longer maintain the two kings, competitive balance, long-time rivalries and achieve the goals of the expansion which was to penetrate DC and NY. Balancing the kings should be the least important of those.”

      The two kings a balance go together. That means you abandoned 2 of 4 reasons to make divisions. I also don’t agree you can’t achieve the other goals with a different alignment.

      Inner/outer with 9 games gives you 3 crossover games. With no locked rival, you alternate between OSU and MI playing against each of MD and RU every year. That would guarantee both newbies 3 kings every year (PSU, NE and OSU or MI). That is plenty to get penetration.

      “Penetrating the markets and maintaining the rivalries (which drive attendance which creates much more revenue than TV) should be the primary goals.”

      So inner/outer it is.

      “One variation of your setup would have Purdue in the West and Michigan St. in the east. That means your fixed games are Michigan-Iowa, IU-PU and MSU-IL.”

      While we’re at it, how about adding an NFL team to that division? Maybe go top 7 versus bottom 7? Eliminate the CCG and just give the Rose spot to the east winner?

      Like

  11. dtwphx says:

    MSU gets kind of screwed in this set-up strength of schedule wise vs Nebraska and Wisconsin.

    Like

    • dtwphx says:

      On the other hand, with MSU in the other division than Michigan, MSU can get out and stay out of Michigan’s shadow.
      Maybe it will help in a similar way it helped A&M when they moved from the Big12 to the SEC.
      I’d be curious what Spartans think.

      Like

    • dtwphx says:

      Looking at the Frank Divisions:
      9 game schedule
      Assume the only crossover is UM/MSU
      All the other teams in the opposite division of UM/MSU will only play them every third year.

      Looking at the other 12 teams:
      – of the 6 non-UM/MSU teams in the opposite division:
      – they can play 4 every other year
      – they can play 2 every third year.

      So, each team will lose a closeness to either UMorMSU plus 2 other teams.
      They will keep a closer relationship with 4 teams in the opposite division.

      Team: 4 teams in the opposite division they’ll play every other year

      Illini: OSU Pur Ind Mar
      Minn: OSU Ind Rut Mar
      Wisc: OSU PSU Rut Mar
      Neb: OSU PSU Pur Ind
      Iowa: PSU Pur Ind Rut
      NW: PSU Pur Rut Mar

      Pur: Neb Illini Iowa NW
      Ind: Neb Illini Minn Iowa
      OSU: Neb Wisc Illini Minn
      PSU: Neb Wisc Iowa NW
      Rut: Wisc Minn Iowa NW
      Mar: Wisc Illini Minn NW

      Interesting to note:
      Just that one crossover game really isolates UM from the Western Division, and isolates MSU from the Eastern Division.

      Like

  12. Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

    If I had a magic wand, this is what the B1G would look like:
    West East
    ILLINOIS BOSTON COLLEGE
    INDIANA CLEMSON
    IOWA DUKE
    MICHIGAN FLORIDA STATE
    MICH ST GEORGIA TECH
    MINN MARYLAND
    NEB MIAMI, FLA
    NWSTRN NORTH CAROLINA
    OHIO ST PENN STATE
    PURDUE RUTGERS
    WISCO VIRGINIA

    * Ten conference games so each team plays every team in its division; 5 home, 5 away.
    * No conference games scheduled between divisions. (If schools want to play each other, there are two OOC dates available. I’d rather see Penn State and Iowa play each other rather than either of them playing Missouri State or Akron, for example.)
    * Division winners meet in title game, obviously.
    * I would strongly petition NCAA to allow all teams a 13th game with the purpose of the non-division winners matching up against their counterparts in the other division. 2nd place West plays 2nd place East, etc. An argument against this might be it would hurt the chances of getting multiple teams into the playoff. My counter to that would be this: a 2nd team in the playoffs for the Big Ten is not very likely in most years. Moreover, there would be one 2nd-place team that would get an additional win that could boost its “at-large” chances. Additionally, the increased revenue of the extra games would make it worthwhile. As far as logistics, this is not too hard. Simply designate East division teams host in odd-numbered years and West division teams host in even-numbered years.

    > Adds lots of big markets for BTN including major football brands in Clemson, FSU & Miami (FL)
    > Keeps all the traditional Big Ten rivalries intact and also preserves the treasured rivalries of the Eastern/Southern schools.
    > While not a primary concern, the Duke/Carolina basketball rivalry is a very valuable property and adds further value to the B1G(22).
    > It would be one helluva conference basketball tournament….

    Is this pure Fantasy Land? Absolutely. Just having some fun with it.

    Like

    • anevilmeme says:

      Minus BC and Clemson that might be Darth Delany’s master plan, to devour the ACC whole and spit out the unprofitable chunks.

      (no I don’t want to expand past 16)

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        I agree that 16 seems like a good limit…..the problem is that the only way to get to 16 that looks worth the trouble is with VA and UNC…….and UNC might need to have GT and Duke around to make it palatable…..UNC is unlikely to come with only VA along, imo.

        Like

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      The biggest issue with that conference is that it’s tailor made for a split 30-40 years down the road with PSU leaving with it’s eastern ‘friends’.

      Like

    • Tom says:

      No reason to add Miami if the B1G adds FSU

      Like

  13. Andy says:

    Frank, you remind me of the LSU fans who were pushing for the idea of an SEC west with LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Missouri, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt.

    I’m sure you’d love to not have Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State in Illinois’s division.

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Andy – In the SEC, there are three cross-division rivalry games that are based on tradition. The others are somewhat contrived. Those three are Bama/Tennessee, UGA/Auburn, and Ole Miss/Vandy. Miss State and UK don’t mind playing each other since they each have a shot, from year to year. South Carolina and Arkansas were just thrown together in the 90s. LSU and Florida have 40 years of consistent history and, over the last decade, this game has meant a lot from a national perspective. The idea of moving Bama and Auburn to the East, for Mizzou and Vandy is to preserve all the traditional rivalries without the need of locked cross-division games or a 9th conference game. I’d rather have 9 conference games with one locked cross-division game, but I’d take and 8 game schedule with no locked cross-division games over what we have now.

      In 2011, Bama played Vandy & Tennessee, while LSU played Tennessee & Florida.
      This season Bama played Tennessee & Mizzou, while LSU played Florida & South Carolina.
      Next season Bama will play Tennessee & Kentucky, while LSU will play Florida & Georgia.

      What’s fair about that?

      As it stands now, LSU consistently plays the most difficult conference schedule in the SEC, and schedules one of the more competitive OOC schedules in the SEC.

      Like

    • frug says:

      Nah. Illinois won’t compete for a division title more than twice per decade either way so we would rather have regular games against the traditional powers (at least keep the Illibuck).

      Like

  14. Marc Shepherd says:

    I’ve just a few comments on Frank’s preferred alignment (pure EAST-WEST, with Michigan State in the West).

    Every alignment I’ve seen is bad in some respect. I suspect that the Western division teams would really howl about not seeing Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State for long periods of time. The question is whether Delany can jam this down their throats, despite that drawback.

    I am really not seeing Penn State-Ohio State as a “non-negotiable game,” and if you drop that requirement, a number of other options are on the table.

    I also think Frank under-estimates the problem of competitive balance. Obviously, you can’t get it exactly right, and you can’t predict future records down to the third decimal place. But you certainly don’t want a situation where one division is perennially stronger than the other. That was one of many problems with the Big 12’s north and south divisions, with the north being quite a bit weaker.

    I prefer eight conference games. A ninth game will lower the conference’s overall winning percentage, which will impair its bowl positioning and will cost it multiple playoff spots, over time. If I’m a Big Ten AD, selfishly I’d rather have four games under my control, which I can probably schedule to my team’s advantage better than ceding one of them to Jim Delany.

    Like

    • frug says:

      I think PSU will throw a fit if they drop OSU-PSU but I doubt the rest of the schools feel the same. I know has traditionally been valuable from a TV standpoint but with PSU unlikely to be competitive until the end of the decade it takes a major hit. Michigan-Nebraska is almost certain to be the more valuable game for the next 6-8 years.

      Like

      • spaz says:

        As a PSU fan, I would indeed would throw a fit if we lost playing Ohio State every year. While there are a number of conference teams I enjoy playing, Ohio State is the only one I really care about. And that’s why I don’t like Inner/Outer. I understand the logic, but I think it hurts PSU by losing their biggest game in the conference.

        The two things I care about:
        1. Playing Ohio St every year
        2. Playing Maryland and Rutgers every year (because they are reasonable close games that cater to alumni and help strengthen our eastern roots)

        Otherwise, I don’t care about the divisions and schedule. Also, I’d far more willing to see 9 conference games now since there are actual eastern teams in the conference (I was concerned that fewer non-conference games would lead to fewer regional games for PSU) and because there are more teams (allowing for greater variety). I didn’t like 9 conference games when we were at 12 teams because that would limit much variety on the schedule.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          Inner / Outer can have annual PSU/OSU games, since OSU/MI is in-division. Just lock OSU/PSU as a cross division game, as OSU/MI is now.

          Like

          • spaz says:

            The main selling point for Inner/Outer is the lack of need for cross division games. Sure, if we get Inner/Outer with a locked cross division game with PSU/OSU, I’d be okay with that but that doesn’t seem to be the theoretical plan.

            Like

          • gregenstein says:

            I have to agree with Spaz. One of Frank’s points was that PSU/OSU must be protected. Any alignment that doesn’t protect both OSU/PSU and OSU/Mich (and probably Mich/Mich St) is never going to fly. Penn State might not win the division for while, but they’ll still draw TV viewers, and I don’t think PSU ever joins the Big Ten 20 years ago if they are NOT guaranteed Ohio State every year. I doubt the Big Ten would un-promise that.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            @spaz ~ lack of any locked games may be original game plan, but if OSU and that MI school have decided that being in the same division is what they want, and one locked game between the Central division and the Frontier division is required to round up the votes, then the conference could well compromise on abstract purity. It would still be six unlocked games, so everyone else would see the unlocked teams in the other division every three and a half years.

            I’m still attracted to the idea of trading of fewer every year games to guarantee everyone plays everyone else over two years, but I’d prefer Central/Frontier with a single locked PSU/OSU cross division game to East/West of any sort.

            Like

      • pioneerlion says:

        PSU, and its fans, would throw a fit if the annual game wit tOSU is dropped. PSU WILL be competitive, thanks to Bill O’Brien, and PSU-tOSU WILL continue to be the most valuable game after annual Evil Axis game.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          pioneerlion,

          Competitiveness has nothing to do with it. Nobody is suggesting to drop the game because of PSU’s penalties.

          I’ve seen other PSU fans say they don’t care that much about OSU, we were just the only neighbor. It seems to be an eastern PA vs western PA sort of thing.

          Do you have anything to back up OSU/PSU being more valuable than MI/PSU? That would be a very similar game to neutral fans, and that’s where the money is.

          Like

          • Aaron Morrow says:

            The Big Ten has made OSU/PSU an annual game since 1993. While I think that’s because OSU/UM and UM/MSU were protected, there’s no point in leaving money on the table. Give Nebraska an annual game with PSU, and you’ve got 2 big games each year for the Three Kings from the East.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Aaron Morrow,

            “The Big Ten has made OSU/PSU an annual game since 1993. While I think that’s because OSU/UM and UM/MSU were protected, there’s no point in leaving money on the table.”

            OSU/PSU was made annual because OSU was PSU’s only neighbor and they demanded it (esp. since MI wasn’t available). They also got MI for the first 10 years.

            “Give Nebraska an annual game with PSU, and you’ve got 2 big games each year for the Three Kings from the East.”

            Not in E/W. In E/W, the 3 in the east already have 2 king/king games every year (OSU/MI, OSU/PSU, MI/PSU). Adding NE/PSU makes 3 king/king games for them.

            Odds are NE/PSU would be dropped to avoid complaints from PSU. NE/WI and NE/IA would have to make up for it. Plus, NE would play 2 or 3 eastern teams so likely 1 of the 3 kings each year.

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Do you have anything to back up OSU/PSU”
            -Brian it is one of the standard memes ontheir msg boards. Apparently without PSU nobody would watch the B1G & the BTN would fail. They’re the financial lynchpin to the conference, and State College is the trend setting cultural center that all those tiny B1G cow towns (you know like Chicago, Minneapolis & Columbus) aspire to be like.

            Like

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          PSU fans will throw a fit regardless. However the divisions & schedules end up finalizing PSU fans will be convinced that it was all part of the great B1G conspiracy against the nits.

          BTW is there an actual all-caps class taught up in State College?

          Like

          • Aaron Morrow says:

            The ratings for Ohio State-Penn State were down this year, in relation to other Big Ten games, than they have been in the past.

            Source: http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2012/12/college-football-wrap-tv-ratings-for-almost-every-game-this-season/

            If this is the new trend, expect Nebraska-Ohio State to become a protected game, despite Scarlet_Lutefisk’s buy-in to the OSU-PSU rivalry.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Can’t look at it in isolation, however.

            OSU-UNL was primetime & competed against WVU-Texas, UGa-SC, Miami-ND (and FSU-NCSU).

            However, OSU-PSU was later afternoon and partially overlapped with UGa-UF (and MSU-Wisconsin/USC-Arizona) as well as ND-OU & Michigan-UNL

            OSU-UNL was the only B10 game on that that time, which wasn’t true for OSU-PSU. OSU-PSU also had to compete against 3 other games featuring king vs. king, 2 of which had major national title implications.

            Bottom line: OSU-PSU will be protected by the B10.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      If there are no fixed cross-divisional games and an 8 game schedule, you face 6 teams in the other division home and away over 8 years and one team 4 times in 8 years. With NW, MSU, UM, OSU, PSU, MD, RU in the east and IL, IU, PU, WI, MN, IA, UNL in the west, the teams playing 4 out of 8 could be (this is just an example for illustration-you might have different parings):

      IL-NW (maybe ooc 4 out of 8 also)
      IA-MI
      PU-OSU
      WI-PSU
      IU-MSU
      MN-MD
      UNL-RU

      Something like this would spread around the 3 eastern kings. Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin would get one of the 3 every year (4+2+2) in addition to Nebraska every year. Competent scheduling could make sure each gets one of the 4 at home every year. The 3 other schools get one of the 4 kings at home 7 of the 8 years. Now Nebraska only gets the other 3 at home 3 of 8 in this scenario. That’s not ideal for TV, but Nebraska doesn’t need the attendance boost.

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Giving one division both East Coast schools implies that in a decade or two that division will emerge as the perennially division. Resource biases don’t dictate every competitive outcome, but they do bias the averages.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        “emerge as the perenially division” … emerge as the perenially strong division …

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Assuming that the B10 stays at 14 for a decade instead of going to 16/18 & pods, which I doubt.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          And certainly the B10 should decide on divisions based on your doubts.

          They know they have 14 teams. They have no guarantee of ever growing larger.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            I believe Delany’s doubts as well. They certainly should plan divisions based on a probabilistic assessment of future scenarios.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I believe Delany’s doubts as well.”

            Good for you. Get back to me when you have evidence.

            “They certainly should plan divisions based on a probabilistic assessment of future scenarios.”

            There’s a 100% there will be at least 14 teams. That’s all they know. Even if the want to grow, it may take 20 years. They can change the divisions again if they expand again.

            Like

  15. Eric says:

    Anyone reading these knows I prefer inner-outer (by a large margin). That said, if they don’t go with that approach, I hope they use yours for the divisions.

    I’d make one of two changes to the crossovers though. 1. If possible, I’d have only Michigan and Michigan State as a locked game. 2. If they do lock all the teams, I’d lock Purdue-Illionios instead of Illinois-Indiana. I don’t know how big it is to most, but I’ve seen a couple Purdue fans who really like that rivalry and didn’t want it ended. That would instead give us Indiana-Iowa (or any other way someone would want to split the last couple locked games).

    Like

  16. Wade says:

    Husker fan here.

    I really don’t like any of the proposed divisions that I’ve seen mentioned by the B10 or anybody else. An east-west or north-south alignment makes the most sense to me, but honestly not having UM, tOSU, or PSU in the same division as us would ruin the division race, even in a deeper division, it takes something away from it.

    In my model there are no divisions, but every teams has 3-protected games, and simply rotates the other 10 teams. It makes as much sense as anything, imo, it keeps -or could keep- most of the current rivalries, I don’t know all of them so there are probably some errors. This model allows every team to play everybody else twice in a four year period, with an 8-game schedule, which is what I prefer.

    If/when B10 expands to 16, all that would need to be done is add a 9th conference game, and everybody would still be playing everybody twice every four years. – or just switch to a pod system at that point.

    Im a Husker fan, so I don’t know all of the traditional rivalries yet. The PSU v tOSU rivalry is the most obvious omission, but could be added if there were a 4th protected game or a 9th conference game….

    Here is how I set up the protected games:

    Nebraska: Penn State, Wisconsin, Iowa
    Michigan: Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota
    Ohio State: Michigan, Illinois, Purdue
    Penn State: Nebraska, Rutgers, Maryland
    Wisconsin: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota
    Michigan State: Michigan, Northwestern, Indiana
    Iowa: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota
    Northwestern: Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana
    Minnesota: Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa
    Rutgers: Penn State, Maryland, Purdue
    Maryland: Penn State, Rutgers, Illinois
    Illinois: Ohio State, Northwestern, Maryland
    Purdue: Ohio State, Indiana, Rutgers
    Indiana: Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern

    Thoughts? Errors?

    Like

    • Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

      I like it from a scheduling standpoint. (I didn’t consider too closely the details of the protected games, btw.) It’s an imaginative way of thinking and it gets teams to play each other as often as possible.

      From the standpoint of competition and determining a champion, it’s problematical. With only one division, the only obvious way to have a championship game is to pit the 1st place finisher against the 2nd place finisher. And that’s a bad way to format that. Also, what if they just played? That format also presents strength-of-schedule considerations that are not as big a factor when you have two divisions. Only playing 8 of 13 opponents is too small a sample set I fear. You would get lots of ties potentially among the top three or four teams.

      I like your thinking in that it takes a different approach. I just don’t think it works with 14 teams.

      Like

      • Wade says:

        You bring up some good points, that probably would keep an idea like this from being approved. Personally, it just seems better than splitting Nebraska from all of the other traditional powers…. Definitely more appealing than Nebraska and a team from New Jersey being in the same division. :)

        For the sake of argument though:

        Your probably right in saying that there would usually be a few teams with the same records, but I don’t think tie-breakers would necessarily be difficult to work out…. You would obviously start with conference record, then head-heads, then maybe “protected-games” record, Then BCS rank…. I think it could be worked out fairly if given the proper forethought…. Adding a 9th game would probably help that, its just not my preference like I stated.

        Ideally in a divisional alignment we would still have the #1 v #2 in the title game anyway, so I think that is a positive that this model presents, as long as the tie-breakers are well thought out. We always want the two best teams playing in the title game, even if they did play in the week prior.

        Unless tOSU and UM are placed in the same division or pod, having the championship teams play twice in one season will always be a problem. But other than that game, I don’t think that there are any other final-week games that would regularly present that problem. Are their any other games that MUST be played on the final weekend? NW v Illinois? I think smart scheduling could negate the possibility of regularly having back-2-back rematches – other than tOSU/UM… And if thats the biggest issue, I don’t think its a tough choice to make, not for me anyway; the B10 already made it once.

        I like it for the same reason you mentioned, the scheduling. It offers a tough and balanced schedule to every team…. And although 9 games could easily be used with this model, I like the idea of retaining an 8-game schedule. It allows for some quality OOC games. If we go to 9 games, I really doubt NU ever plays any of our old Big8 or B12 partners, which is a disappointing thought.

        Thanks for the input.

        Like

        • Wade says:

          This is the schedule model I typed up for the ‘protected games’ I created. I spent 15-20 mins on this and NW is the only team that doesn’t play two of the 4 traditional-powers, but even at that they would play Nebraska, Wiscy, MSU, and Iowa in once cycle. And the others powers on other cycle.

          Better minds than mine — not to mention people who get paid to spend time on this sort of thing :) — could certainly work it out so every team played two of the 4 powers every year.

          Illinois:
          Schedule A: tOSU, NW, MD – NU, Wisc, Rutgers, Purdue, Minn
          Schedule B: tOSU, NW, MD – PSU, UM, MSU, Iowa, Indiana

          Indiana:
          Schedule A: MSU, Purdue, NW – NU, UM, Wisc, Rutgers, Minn
          Schedule B: MSU, Purdue, NW – tOSU, PSU, Iowa, MD, Illinois,

          Iowa:
          Schedule A: NU, Wisc, Minn – UM, MSU, Rutgers, Illinois, Purdue
          Schedule B: NU, Wisc, Minn – tOSU, PSU, NW, MD, Indiana

          Maryland:
          Schedule A: PSU, RU, Illinois – NU, UM, Wisc, NW, Indiana
          Schedule B: PSU, RU, Illinois – tOSU, MSU, Iowa, Purdue, Minn

          UM:
          Schedule A: tOSU, MSU, Minn – NU, Iowa, NW, MD, Purdue
          Schedule B: tOSU, MSU, Minn – PSU, Wisc, Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana

          MSU:
          Schedule A: UM, NW, Indiana – NU, Wisc, Rutgers, MD, Purdue
          Schedule B: UM, NW, Indiana – tOSU, PSU, Iowa, Illinois, Minn

          Minnesota:
          Schedule A: UM, Wisc, Iowa – PSU, MSU, NW, Illinois, Indiana
          Schedule B: UM, Wisc, Iowa – NU, tOSU, Rutgers, MD, Purdue

          NU:
          Schedule A: PSU, Wisc, Iowa – tOSU, MSU, Rutgers, Purdue, Minn
          Schedule B: PSU, Wisc, Iowa – UM, NW, MD, Illinois, Indiana

          NW:
          Schedule A: MSU, Illinois, Indiana – tOSU, PSU, UM, MD, Minn
          Schedule B: MSU, Illinois, Indiana – NU, Wisc, Iowa, Rutgers, Purdue

          tOSU:
          Schedule A: UM, Illinois, Purdue – PSU, MSU, Iowa, MD, Minn
          Schedule B: UM, Illinois, Purdue – NU, Wisc, NW, Rutgers, Indiana

          PSU:
          Schedule A: NU, MD, RU – tOSU, MSU, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana
          Schedule B: NU, MD, RU – UM, Wisc, NW, Purdue, Minn

          Purdue:
          Schedule A: tOSU, Indiana, RU – PSU, UM, Iowa, NW, Illinois,
          Schedule B: tOSU, Indiana, RU – NU, Wisc, MSU, MD, Minn

          Rutgers:
          Schedule A: PSU, MD, Purdue – tOSU, Wisc, Iowa, NW, Indiana
          Schedule B: PSU, MD, Purdue – NU, UM, MSU, Illinois, Minn

          Wisconsin:
          Schedule A: NU, Iowa, Minn – tOSU, PSU, MD, Illinois, Indiana
          Schedule B: NU, Iowa, Minn – UM, MSU, NW, Rutgers, Purdue

          Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “NW is the only team that doesn’t play two of the 4 traditional-powers,”
            —You should get extra credit for managing to work Northwestern’s secret forumla for getting to the Rose Bowl into your system. ;)

            Like

    • frug says:

      The problem is in order to play a CCG you have to have two divisions that hold round robins.

      That said…

      I have actually wondered about the idea of “floating divisions” where each team has 2 or 3 teams they always play and they just redraw the divisions around those rivalries every 2 years. Sometimes the rivals would be in division and sometimes they wouldn’t, but you would still play them annually. (Obviously this would never ever happen, but it would be interesting in theory)

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Floating divisions are what pods are.

        You’ll likely see it if we expand to 18.

        Like

        • frug says:

          I was talking even more amorphous than pods like what Wade described.

          But yeah, I think pods are likely where they will go with further expansion (At least in the medium term. If we end up in a Larry Scott scenario with one gigantic 60-80 member conference then schools can schedule however they want to since the conferences won’t be competing against each other.)

          Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            That (your Larry Scott scenario) would almost bring us full circle back to the days when all of Div 1A was covered under a single media deal. If we ever did get to that point how long until one or more schools (Texas for example) sue for the right to work out their own deals again?

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Scarlet

            I guess it depends on how much money they make. Scott is convinced that if the top at most 72 schools united they would have the same bargaining power as the NFL. At that point it wouldn’t make any sense for anyone to go off on their own. (It’s like the Cowboys are going to break away from the NFL just because they share a TV deal with the Bengals)

            The other important factor is that unlike before when the NCAA was in charge, the schools would be making the decisions for themselves.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            They can choose to keep their rights, or pool them as is currently happening. They didn’t have that choice before.

            Like

      • Wade says:

        Is it a NCAA rule that there needs to be two divisions for a title game? If it is a NCAA think, I would think/hope that it could be restated if the B10 made their case with an alignment-model similar to the 1 I posted.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      OSU-PSU definitely should be protected over PSU-UNL.

      Like

      • Wade says:

        I wouldn’t say “over”, but I agree, it should be put on the same level of importance… I wanted to retain it, but it just didn’t work out. Obviously things would be need to be re-worked a little if this were to actually happen.

        The only reason I didn’t fit it in with this model was because that would’ve given tOSU 2 protected games against the traditional powers while UM & PSU had only 1, NU 0 – which sort of defeated my purpose of doing this, which I don’t want to see NU split completely from the traditional-powers like we were in the B12, and like has been proposed in the E/W model.

        It would also kill any chance of NU establishing any rivalries with the other “kings” before any rivalries were given a chance to take off. I just don’t think that would be a smart move for the B10 in the long run.

        Like

  17. Eric says:

    I’m back and forth on where I think this will go, but I think your point whether Ohio State-Penn State is something the conference will insist will probably one of the biggest keys to the eventual outcome.

    I think the current divisions (with Illinois moved west), are unlikely as it will be very difficult for the presidents to move things around to give Maryland/Rutgers close games while leaving Wisconsin without any border state teams. The media might not notice that, but Wisconsin’s president/AD certainly would.

    Inner-outer lets everyone play 2 kings a year (minimum), puts the eastern and western kings where their influence is strongest (with the eastern/western teams), and maximizes games against everyone regardless of if we have 8 or 9 conference games (no locked crossovers). I don’t think travel is actually going to be a big concern for the schools. While instantly recognizing the divisions might be something they put more stock on this time (helping the east-west cause), I don’t think that will be the overriding concern.

    So that leaves us with whether Ohio State must play Penn State. If so, I think they go east-west. If not, I think they go inner-outer. At the end of the day, I think this comes down to what Ohio State and Penn State’s presidents/ADs push for. I’m hoping they are willing to go to 9 conference games and let it occur 3 out of 7 years, but I think east-west is more likely.

    Like

    • gregenstein says:

      I don’t think it’s just PSU and OSU that would argue to keep that game. Guaranteeing that game guarantees money to everyone. Nobody is looking to take pay cut herre.

      Like

  18. Stuart says:

    I am a Buckeye fan (Columbus burb growing up, moved to Cali as a teen, still a Buckeye). And I mostly agree with you. I prefer to sit on 14 for cohesion. Football has issue that you may see cross division schools in your stadium every only once every 6 years (sucks). And yes Wisconsin belongs with Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska (Illinois should be in that group too). Adding schools to 16 will make Basketball unmanageable and will destroy all football cohesion — effectively two different leagues that only play in the Championship game.

    I totally agree with no divisions in MBB (WBB, WVB). I think the schedule should be balanced. Everyone should be paired with a rival to play a 2nd time every year like this:

    In-Purdue, Mi-MSU, Il-NW, Ne-Ia, Wi-Mn, OSU-Md, PSU-Rut

    Then everyone rotates four of the other 12 for a 2nd game. This way in 3 years you play 12 of the schools four times – two home games for everyone with Indiana (the one we all want to see, our MBB rock star) every three years. Great cohesion, fair schedule, no school doesn’t host another more than one year in three.

    MBB, WBB, and WVB schedules are strictly seeding for the Tourney anyway, so divisions make no sense, could make for unbalanced tourney.

    Yes everyone in the Tourney. Could either give bye to seeds #1 and #2 (4 rounds) or “play in” (5 rounds) where top 4 get byes, bottom 4 “play in” on Wednesday night – I prefer “play in format, limits to 4 games a day, more likely to sell out each day, protects top seeds a little bit, gives bottom teams a game or two they can actually win without pulling some miracle upset.

    Like

    • Richard Cain (@Rich_Cain) says:

      I think with 16 teams it makes basketball scheduling easier. Play each opponent only once per season for 15 league games. Would that be a problem if a rival doesn’t visit your home gym each year? Probably. But this would be a fairer schedule. Playing some teams twice and others only once makes the potential for an unfair schedule very high.

      With 14 teams I would prefer breaking into divisions for basketball. 12 games in division plus the other 7 for 19 games total.

      But with the automatic berth going to the conference tournament winner, what difference does it make in the end how many games are played in the regular season schedule? To maximize at-large bids, the league ought to schedule fewer games in conference and make sure each team plays enough decent-to-good teams out of conference so SOS scores are high enough. Whatever size the conference ends up, they ought to consider single game round-robin scheduling.

      Like

      • Stuart says:

        Richard, I thought about it, and actually 16 will work, but you don’t play 15 games (way too few) you play 20 with no rivals. You rotate 5 of the 15 schools to play a 2nd time. This way you play every school 4 times in 3 years, which means twice in your gym. Just no designated rival. (same for WVB and WBB)

        This is exactly as many games as the B1G played with 11 schools. It would work now.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          Did the Big Ten ever play a complete 20-game round-robin with 11 members? The only conference I know of to play 20 conference games was the Northeast Conference when it had at least 11 teams, and that probably only because it assured NEC members of playing at least 10 home games a season (NEC gyms are among the smallest in Div I, and very few members of other Div I conferences will thus agree to visit them).

          Like

          • frug says:

            No. The Big Ten played 18 games for a few years after PSU joined, but has played 16 for the past dozen years or so.

            Like

  19. Denogginizer says:

    Go B1G Red

    Like

  20. TM says:

    I posted this in the last thread:

    I have a unique view on how divisional alignment should be done. It has lots of good positives such as no more haggling over who should be in what divisions, no long layoffs in playing schools in the opposite division no matter how big the conference gets, competitive balance and yearly intrigue into who plays who. I call the idea “Seaded Divisions.”

    There would be 2 divisons, each made up of 7 schools (or 8 schools in a 16 team conference). The membership in each division would change each year. For lack of better names, let’s call them the Odd Division and the Even Division. Whomever wins the conference championship game would be the highest sead for next year and would be placed in the Odd Division. The loser of that game would be seed #2 and be placed in the Even Division. Based on win-loss records and tiebreakers, the other schools would be placed in decending order into the appropriate divisions. The Odd Division would have seads 1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15 and the Even Division would have seeds 2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16. For a 14 team league, you’d play the other 6 schools in your division plus 2 (or 3) in the other division. For a 16 team league, you’d play the other 7 schools in your division plus 1 (or 2) in the other division. Designated rivals would play each other regardless if they’re in the same or opposite division for the upcoming year.

    The divisions would need to be reseaded shortly after the conference championship game so the next year’s schedule could be generated. This short turnaround could cause some issues such as people planning trips, reserving hotels, etc. One work-around is to resead for 2 years down the road instead of the next year. Or an alternative work-around is for each school to already have the majority of their home games set on the calendar before they know who they’ll play – a good software program would help with these scheduling parameters.

    A plus with “Seaded Divisions” is that the schools will be able to play all members on a more regular basis as the home-and-home schedules would be eliminated and the Big Ten office could fine-tune the match-ups based on the length of time the 2 schools last played each other.

    Another plus is that “Seaded Divisions” by their nature promote competitive balance. The best through worst teams are evenly spread out in each division each year.

    Another plus is dispersment of the kings. Right now, the Big Ten has 4 kings (UM, OSU, PSU and NU). This works great if there are 4 pods to spread out competitiveness. But what if an FSU or ND join? Then which pod do they join? It wouldn’t be competitively balanced if a OSU and FSU were in the same division.

    Another plus is for a larger conference. “Seaded Divisions” would work good for an 18 team league with a 9 game conference schedule with 1 designated rival: play the other 8 teams in your division and 1 from the other division. If no designated rival, then “Seaded Divisions” would work for a 20 team league and 9 conference games: play the other 9 schools in your division.

    One could argue that this would be too confusing for fans. Which division is my team in this year? Perhaps. But effective marketing would influence this. Schools would be promoted as being in the Big Ten, not as being in the East Pod or the Legends Division or whatever. Instead the fans’ question would be become, “Who’s on the schedule this year?” They would understand that if they win most/all their games, they’d be in the conference championship game.

    I think yearly reseading will keep the Big Ten fresh and exciting. Fans would enjoy new matchups each year with the knowledge that you only have to wait up to 2-3 years to play somebody not on this years schedule.

    Like

  21. BruceMcF says:

    Same reaction as always ~ I am completely unthrilled by the prospect of playing Maryland AND Rutgers every year, only playing five Big Ten teams a year, and one of them is always Indiana.

    In terms of the three axioms ~ MU/OSU, PSU/OSU, PSU, MD, Rutgers in the same division ~ I believe the third axiom is mis-tated. The first two are stated in terms of “must play each year”. The third is stated in terms of “must be in the same division”. But that does not hold: it work also work PSU to be in the same division as one, and locked with the other.

    That implies by Axiom 2 that PSU and OSU are in the same division, and then if the East/West proposals are OK, OSU/MU in the same division are OK. Whichever of the east coast schools are getting stranded unless we start including some more schools with them, so the Indiana schools go with the new school locked with PSU cross division:

    North: Rutgers, PSU, OSU, MU
    South: MD, IN, Purdue

    The furthest south remaining is UNL, and it should be paired with IA:

    North: Rutgers, PSU, OSU, MU
    South: MD, IN, Purdue, UNL, IA

    The furthest north remaining is MN, and it should be paired with WI:

    North: Rutgers, PSU, OSU, MU, MN, WI
    South: MD, IN, Purdue, UNL, IA

    The furthest south remaining is the Illini, who should be paired with NW:

    North: Rutgers, PSU, OSU, MU, MN, WI
    South: MD, IN, Purdue, UNL, IA, Illini, NW

    Which leaves MSU

    North: Rutgers, PSU, OSU, MU, MSU, MN, WI
    South: MD, IN, Purdue, Illini, NW, IA, UNL

    Three locks. A singlet:

    PSU — MD

    And a pairwise (crossover alternating years), so all four western schools play three Western schools each year:

    MN/WI — UNL/IA

    The other four in each division unlocked.

    Like

    • spaz says:

      “In terms of the three axioms ~ MU/OSU, PSU/OSU, PSU, MD, Rutgers in the same division ~ I believe the third axiom is mis-tated. The first two are stated in terms of “must play each year”. The third is stated in terms of “must be in the same division”. But that does not hold: it work also work PSU to be in the same division as one, and locked with the other.”

      Disagree because the issue isn’t just PSU playing Rutgers and Maryland, but the two of them playing each other. Now, granted, Rutgers and Maryland will likely take whatever they are given, but I would imagine the leadership and fans at those schools want to see more local teams, which means playing PSU and the other team every year, which at least would feel less like being an outsider in a mismatched conference.

      And the only ways for all of PSU/Rutgers/Maryland to play every season are either to be in one division or having 2 locked cross-division games. And the latter definitely ain’t happening.

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        Is that just a loose “play local teams”, or actual rivalry between Rutgers and Maryland?

        To my mind, you would certainly ask about the priorities of each school. But if the first priority is playing Penn State, for both of them, then it can’t also be playing each other. By meaning of “first priority”.

        If the purpose of admitting them is to open up the NYC/NNJ and MD/DC/NVA media market, and recruiting grounds, to the Big Ten, then EVERY team in the Big Ten should have one or the other in their division. Clearly the NYC/NNJ media market is the tougher nut to crack, so you tilt your big guns toward playing there on a regular basis.

        Like

        • spaz says:

          I think it’s about keeping and strengthening an eastern presence for each school, not specific rivalries. Playing (relatively) nearby schools helps build the conference brand of the Big Ten in a area by having it more relevant to the fanbase. Playing teams from the “distant” midwest makes it tougher for fans to feel at home in the conference.

          Just IMHO, but I think PSU/Rutgers/Maryland in one division is a given.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            I think its LIKELY, because each school is looking out for its mix of interests, and without any longer term attachment TO a division by school, there is nobody to look out for and balance the interests of the divisions in general.

            What BTN need is enough “Big Names” in Rutgers every year to crack the NYC/NNJ media market, how it gets there is not going to be such a bid issue with them ~ even if OSU has a big pile of meh in the middle of its schedule, the BTN is not going to lose the cable home market carriage in Ohio.

            Like

  22. vp19 says:

    For football, I like the East-West setup cited above, with one minor change — switch annual cross-division games to Purdue-Northwestern and Rutgers-Iowa. Also, go to a 9-game conference schedule as soon as it’s feasible.

    For men’s and women’s basketball, place all 14 members in the conference tourney (unless the program is prohibited from postseason play by the NCAA).

    Like

  23. Richard says:

    Some on here have made the assertion that UNC would be afraid of losing the recruiting battle with NCSU if they joined the B10 & NCSU went to the SEC & that fear keeps them from the B10.

    So I decided to look to see if that fear actually had any basis in fact. I decided to look at how Texas & TAMU faired in average number of stars in their recruits the last 2 years (Rivals data), which I prefer because it controls for recruiting class size. I also looked at how UF & FSU & Clemson & SC faired by average number of Rivals stars the past 5 years (UGa & GTech are simply on different levels so that wouldn’t be a good comp for UNC/NCSU).

    No surprise, Texas > TAMU in recruiting stars in both 2012 & 2013.

    So how do Clemson & FSU fare against their Big Bad SEC in-state rivals?
    2013:
    UF>FSU
    Clemson>SC

    2012:
    FSU>UF
    Clemson>SC

    2011:
    UF>FSU
    Clemson>SC

    2010:
    UF>FSU
    Clemson>SC

    2009:
    UF>FSU
    Clemson>SC

    Note that the ACC teams suffer from a financial disparity vis-a-vis their Big Bad SEC rivals, yet they still won in recruiting 6-4 over the past 5 years. In the B10, UNC would have as much as or more financial firepower than NCSt. Thus the notion that UNC would be afraid of joining the B10 because they’re afraid that they would be also-rans to NCSU in football is, to put it charitably, based on bad information.

    Like

    • bamatab says:

      First off, you could’ve just left off UF/FSU out of your arguement. UF has beat FSU every year but one (and that gap probably increases if you go back to Urban’s 2nd recruiting class). But you can’t compare the FL or TX schools with the NC schools, because the talent is so rich in those states that they can support multiple teams, NC can not.

      Second off, you can’t simply throw UGA & GT out of the equation. GT historically has been a pretty good program, that as produced national championships (as a matter of a fact, they have a more recent national championship than UGA). And GT’s lower football prominence than UGA started when they left the SEC. When GT was in the SEC, they were the better football program.

      But comparing UCSe & Clemson to UNC & NCST is also a bit misleading as well. Both schools (but especially Clemson) get the majority of their recruits from out of state. And Dabo has been an excellent recruiter throughout his career (which is why he was given the HC job in the first place). Spurrier has never been known as an excellent recruiter. As a matter of a fact, he has the reputation of preferring to be out on the golf course as opposed to recruiting (and that only grows considering he has to recruit out of state, which he didn’t have to at UF). Plus Clemson was known as the football/athletics school of South Carolina up until USCe became entrenched in the SEC. USCe historically hardly ever pulled in top recruiting classes, but now they pull in top 20 classes every year since joining the SEC.

      I think the bigger concern from the UNC fans (BTW…this concern is being expressed by their fanbase, I’m just repeating what is being posted on their boards) is that NCST will eventually (like within the next 20 years) become viewed has the more prominent football program (and thus the prominent athletic program since football drives the bus) in the state of North Carolina. This is where the Clemson/USCe and UGA/GT comparision really fuel their concerns. As stated above, GT was the the athletics program of Georgia until they left the SEC. And they were still considered the better athletic program up until around the late 70s. I personally believe that had GT stayed in the SEC, they could’ve continued to be a top program despite being a small/private school (like ND, Stanford & USC). But Bobby Dodd got ticked off at Coach Bryant and thought that they could go independent and become the “ND of the south” (his/their words, not mine). Also, Clemson was the athletics program in South Carolina historically, but now USCe has caught up to them and has started to beat them on the field with some regularity. USCe has come a long ways as far as how they are now preceived from an athletic standpoint. The national visability that they get in the SEC can’t be overlooked. That is one of the biggest reason that aTm wanted to come to the SEC, for national branding purposes.

      The UNC fans aren’t necessarily concerned that a SEC NCST would pass them in 10 years. their concern is that over time, NCST would grow their brand by being the SEC school of North Carolina. And that over time, they could catchup to UNC as the athletic school of North Carolina in 20 years, and might be able to pass them in 100 years (remember these should be 100 year decisions).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Your Georgia-Georgia Tech history is incorrect. Georgia led the series 29-27-5 up to 1966. Bobby Dodd retired and GT took a downturn. UGA led 9-4 up to 1979. Since then its been 25-8. Georgia Tech went down for the same reasons Rice and SMU and TCU declined. In the 60s the state schools grew dramatically while private schools and specialty schools like GT grew slower. That meant more resources and a wider gap. And GT, like Rice and TCU, lost a long time coach and lost the fan base to the pros.

        GT did not decline relative to UGA because they left the SEC. And they were not ever the superior program on a consistent basis (both schools had their periods).

        Like

        • bamatab says:

          GT claims 4 NCs (3 of which they won while in the same conference as UGA), and UGA claims 2 (one of which they won while in the same conference as GT). GT won 5 SEC championships (10 if you include the SIAA championships), and UGA won 3 (5 if you include the SIAA championships) up until GT left. Either way though, GT was at the very least just as competitive as UGA, and seen nationally as such.

          Being a private school hasn’t stopped USC and ND (and as of recently, Stanford) from excelling in football/athletics. The difference with ND and USC is that they never lost their identity with their fanbase (ND’d identity has always been as an independent, while USC’s is as a Pac 12 school (or whatever conference the other major California schools were in). GT lost their identity when they left the SEC (and lost their fanbase as well), and was never able to form the identity of being the “Notre Dame of the south” as Dodd had envisioned. The college football fans in the state of Georgia allegance was/is tied to the SEC, and thus the majority of upcoming generations of Geogia football fans allegance is now with UGA.

          But even if GT was destined to slide even in the SEC, what can’t be denied is the way USCe has florished and grown their their identity since joining the SEC. I think within the next 20 years, USCe will surpass Clemson by a pretty wide gap). I think aTm will see similar rise for their program as well (although they will probably never surpass UT, but I think they will make up a lot of ground within the next 20 – 100 years). People can say what they want, but being able to label yourself as a SEC school gives a lot of branding cache to a program. And from reading the UNC boards, they don’t want that branding to be tied to NCST.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            South Carolina didn’t really flourish until they hired Holtz and Spurrier. I do think the SEC did help them though. But look at Arkansas. They were a power, at least the equal of LSU & Auburn when they joined the SEC. They have slipped quite a bit. Moving out of the SWC hurt them seriously in football. The aura of the SEC isn’t quite as bright outside the SEC core. It might well be a detriment to A&M long run. Its too early to tell whether it helps, hurts or makes little difference.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            I think Arky’s biggest issue when they joined the SEC was that they lost their foothold in what was their essential recruiting area of Texas. The Texas Big 12 school stopped playing them and it hurt them (I think the addition of aTm will help them a bit in this area). That wouldn’t be the case for NCST, and in reality NCST would theoretically be gaining stronger recruiting footholds in the SEC east coast states. Plus Arky hasn’t whithered in the SEC. They have played in the SECCG, and Petrino had them back in the top 10 – 15 annually. Granted they took a hit with the Petrino ordeal. But Bielema could put them back on track.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            AP by decade for Arkansas
            60s #2
            70s #10
            80s #20 (when the SWC was declining)
            90s #42
            00s #37

            So they have fallen significantly. They had a 30 year period where they were a premier team. They were not a “meh” addition to the SEC. Now they are “meh.” They did pretty well after losing a legend in Broyles with Lou Holtz and then Ken Hatfield, but fell after joining the SEC as far as football is concerened. They thrived briefly in basketball, but then fell from premier to mediocrity.

            A&M may thrive with differentiation. A&M may do the same as always with only home games in Texas. Or they could have an Arkansas effect when they are no longer in the main Texas conference. Or the worst case scenario would be that OU and Texas still get their share, but A&M shares its recruits with LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee. It will take a decade or so to tell. And the result is probably more dependent on how A&M does than on their conference.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            South Carolina didn’t really flourish until they hired Holtz and Spurrier. I do think the SEC did help them though. But look at Arkansas. They were a power, at least the equal of LSU & Auburn when they joined the SEC. They have slipped quite a bit. Moving out of the SWC hurt them seriously in football. The aura of the SEC isn’t quite as bright outside the SEC core. It might well be a detriment to A&M long run. Its too early to tell whether it helps, hurts or makes little difference.

            @ bullet

            In the SWC they were a big fish in a small pond. Now they are a medium fish in the ocean. It took some time for Arkansas and South Carolina to upgrade their facilities so neither had great success in the first decade but they have now caught up and are more competitive with their peers. I spent time in Arkansas back in the SWC days and I was in Fayetteville about a year or so ago and I can tell you first hand they have undergone a massive upgrade since the SWC days.

            As for basketball I think the whole Richardson thing had more to do with their basketball derailment than anything else. They have 300 million in future facilities upgrades on the drawing boards and lots of Wal Mart money so they have a solid future. Playing TAMU every year gets them back in Texas for recruiting and still not sure how much they will get from exposure in the KC and STL markets. If playing Missouri means they pick off a Kansas recruit or 2 then their fortunes could easily swing in their favor. TAMU is no basketball threat and Texas has a history of failing in the Big Dance. I could see the Hogs carving out some real estate there in the near future.

            Like

        • duffman says:

          While Georgia had early success it changed with Heisman and lasted through Dodds

          Heisman at Georgia Tech : 1904 – 1919 : 1 MNC
          Georgia Tech went 7 – 4 – 1 against Georgia
          Alexander at Georgia Tech : 1920 – 1944 : 1 MNC
          Georgia Tech went 7 – 10 – 3 against Georgia
          Dodd at Georgia Tech : 1945 – 1963 : 1 MNC
          Georgia Tech went 12 – 7 – 0 against Georgia

          Dodds beat Georgia in 1961, 1962, and 1963 in the SEC
          Dodds lost to Georgia in 1964, 1964, and 1966 after leaving the SEC

          Since leaving the SEC the Yellow Jackets have only beaten the Bulldogs 12 times while ringing up 38 losses! Since Georgia Tech was still dominating up till the mid 60’s I tend not to buy the overall growth as that started right after WW II with the GI bill. Look at the MNC’s in the late 40’s to early 60’s to see who was winning them. That is when the public schools like Georgia Tech flourished as GI’s returned home from the war and went to school.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            It was Tulane who left in 1966. I was thinking GT. So it was 26 UGA, 27 GT 5 ties in 1963 after GT won the last 3 in the SEC. That’s hardly dominating. Its been a streaky series with teams frequently winning 3 or 4 in a row.

            You’re forgetting the massive growth of state schools with the Vietnam War in the 60s. There was a spurt right after WWII, but a huge spurt in the 60s as well. Not sure how much UGA grew, but I know Texas went from 20k in the late 50s to 40k by 1970.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            The Falcons were started in the mid-60’s, which is an additional factor to consider.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet says:

            It was Tulane who left in 1966. I was thinking GT. So it was 26 UGA, 27 GT 5 ties in 1963 after GT won the last 3 in the SEC. That’s hardly dominating. Its been a streaky series with teams frequently winning 3 or 4 in a row.

            In the 10 years between 1947 and 1956 the Georgia Tech won 9 games in 10 attempts.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean,_Old-Fashioned_Hate#Game_results

            In my book when you win 90% that is dominating, and that was when they were in the SEC and Dodds was their coach. Most teams have yet to win a National Championship but Georgia Tech had 3 before they left the SEC and only 1 since. How can you say you want a team in the B1G now and deny they had a powerful past? Seems like you would embrace it.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman
            Well Georgia won 4 in a row from 1957-1960. That’s 100%. Georgia Tech had to win 9 out of 10 just to even the series in 1956. Before those 9 out of 10, UGA won 5 straight according to their records, shutting out GT 3 of those games (GT calls it 5 of 7 as they count two wartime games when squads were depleted). Winning 9 of 19 or 11 of 21 is not dominant.

            I think Georgia Tech in the Big 10 is a really bad idea. They were powerful in the 1910s with John Heisman when they were winning games 222-0. They were solid before the Falcons & Braves came to Georgia. But that’s irrelvant. SMU had an MNC in 1935 and they were the best professional team in Dallas in the early 80s. That’s irrelevant. Minnesota won a national championship in 1960 and was a top program prior to that time. That’s irrelevant today. The University of Chicago was pretty good for a brief period as well. The Ivy Leaguers were powerhouses until the 50s. Dartmouth was top 20 as recently as 1970. Navy had Roger Staubach and played in a 1 vs 2 game for the MNC in the 1963 season. All of that is irrelevant.

            Georgia Tech is not a powerhouse now and might have been in worse shape had they stayed in the SEC in the 60s and 70s. Joining the SEC or Big 10 is not going to change what they are and unlikely to change their level of success except maybe for the worse.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Georgia Tech IS one of the better football programs in the ACC. But they are not a juggernaught. They are maybe #5 behind FSU, Miami, Virginia Tech and Clemson.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          The Falcons were also a factor. They took a lot of attention away from GT.

          Like

      • duffman says:

        I think the dynamics between UNC and NCST differs greatly between who you are asking and the Clemson vs South Carolina change since the SEC move is pretty drastic. I think the observation of Georgia Tech is very real. Historically GT owned the state of Georgia and was near the top of the pecking order of the SEC when they were a member. I think the issue of time is very important in the discussion as no team leaving the SEC has done better and teams joining have seen a definite uptick in sports success.

        On UNC vs NCST and UNC vs Duke :

        alumni in older age : UNC vs NCST > UNC vs Duke
        alumni in middle age : UNC vs NCST > UNC vs Duke
        alumni in younger age : UNC vs NCST < UNC vs Duke

        The issue is a numbers game and as Frank has pointed out people tune in to watch Notre Dame lose as much or more as win. Duke has similar dynamics except basketball is a smaller market and their real history is under a single coach while Notre Dame has a much bigger (time) and broader (catholic) base to fuel the eyeballs. Where this gets more tricky is the folks who are residents of the state (taxpayers and kids) and the dynamics of human nature. UNC and NCST are both public institutions and draw segments based on how they are viewed. UNC may be the white collar school and NCST is the blue collar school similar to the dynamics of Clemson and South Carolina back in the 1980's. Duke will always be viewed as the rich school for east coast kids so they will get much less love across the state outside of Durham.

        While recruiting numbers may favor Clemson it appears South Carolina is getting the top ones in state and has won the last 4 meetings. Gilmore, Lattimore, Clowney, and Roland all picked South Carolina. Of the 20 total the ACC, SEC, and other breakdown looked like this (picks past 1999 in BOLD) :

        1992, 1993, 2005 = SEC but not South Carolina
        1995, 1998, 2001, 2008, 2009, 1010, 2011 = SEC for South Carolina
        1997, 1999 = ACC but not Clemson
        1994, 1996, 2000, 2007 = ACC for Clemson
        2002 (Iowa) and 2004 (Navy) = FBS but not ACC or SEC
        2003 and 2006 = non FBS

        The bigger issue may be in overall sports tho as South Carolina has eclipsed Clemson since the SEC membership in the early 1990’s. In college baseball the Gamecocks have clearly pulled ahead with 2 CWS’s as well as women’s college basketball. I am not sure either school has gotten it together in men’s basketball but South Carolina has 2 recent NCAA titles in equestrian. While not sure how all the other sports play out prior to the SEC membership, the Gamecocks were not known for winning anything prior to their entry in the SEC.

        To say the politicians and non alumni inside the state of North Carolina do not notice this would be folly at best. I will also venture to say they make up enough of a majority to put UNC in the SEC to keep them from becoming another Clemson. Richardson got Baylor in the B12 and Perry may have gotten TAMU in the SEC so my guess is older politicians in North Carolina will want UNC in the SEC over the B1G. As Bamatab noted above, the rumblings are coming from inside the UNC folks and not from the outside. The same grassroots movement happened at TAMU and Missouri prior to their moves to the SEC and were in direct opposition from the top leadership at their respective universities at the time. TAMU was exploring the PAC and Missouri was exploring the B1G.

        Like

        • vp19 says:

          However, an SEC UNC probably loses much of its luster to out-of-state students — and they comprise a considerable portion of Chapel Hill enrollment. I don’t think UVa would have any interest in joining the Tar Heels, and it would be difficult to relegate N.C. State to the Big 12; it almost certainly would have to go to the SEC, too. There’s no law saying UNC and Duke are tied at the hip; in the event of an ACC breakup, Duke might become UVa’s Big Ten partner, since an SEC Duke would be similarly less attractive to out-of-staters, particularly from the Northeast.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Vincent – while I generally have great respect for your insight, I think you’re just wrong about SEC membership making UNC and Duke less attractive to prospective students. UNC, Duke, and Vandy are all fishing from the same pond, and Vandy is doing just fine.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The academic side of conference expansion has to do with who the Presidents want to go to conference meetings with. Its not relevant to the students. The Ivy League matters. Other than that, no. Rice has always been great no matter what conference they were in. Vandy has always done fine in the SEC, even before the recent rise in Florida and UGA’s reputations.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      bama:
      “And GT’s lower football prominence than UGA started when they left the SEC.”

      Uh, no, GTech’s football prominence started sliding when the Falcons came to Atlanta.

      GTech dominated loyalties in Atlanta and UGa always dominated loyalties outside Atlanta in GA. Neutral Atlantans started caring more about the Falcons than GTech and that was that. UNC’s support isn’t specific to a geographic region of NC, so that’s one way they are not comparable.

      Another reason why it’s intellectually dishonest to compare the GTech-UGa dynamic with UNC-NCSU is that UGa literally has twice the undergraduate student body as GTech. That’s double the alums and support. All things being equal (that is, even if GTech had stayed in the SEC), UGa would still be on a different level of support than GTech. Not the same disparity in size in NC.

      As for SC catching up to Clemson, well yeah, getting a lot more money from your conference than your in-state rival does from their conference would help do that. Unlike Clemson, though, UNC would not suffer a financial disadvantage.

      Like

    • Tom says:

      FSU dominated UF in recruiting from the mid/late 80s thru the early 2000s. So what? Besides that, those “stats” are not correct

      Like

    • FrankTheAg says:

      let’s see 2013 finishes for A&M and Texas and then look at 2014. If too look at the top 15 players (the current size of Texas class), A&M is already out recruiting Texas.

      Like

  24. Rick N says:

    NORTHWEST
    Iowa
    Michigan
    Michigan State
    Minnesota
    Nebraska
    Northwestern
    Wisconsin

    SOUTHEAST
    Illinois
    Indiana
    Maryland
    Ohio State
    Penn State
    Purdue
    Rutgers

    MISSING RIVALRY GAMES
    Michigan/Ohio State
    Illinois/Northwestern
    Indiana/Michigan State
    Michigan State/Penn State
    Nebraska/Penn State
    Minnesota/Penn State

    The first two rivalry games should be preserved. I value Indiana/Michigan State over Michigan State/Penn State because the former has tradition/an easier win (full disclosure: Michigan State grad) while the latter has a better opponent/the hideous abomination that is The Land Grant Trophy. Plus, Nebraska/Penn State is a better game for the Big Ten.

    Like

  25. duffman says:

    @ Frank

    Will deal with the others but this one is always a hot button with me

    11. What is your preference on a B1G Basketball Tourney? (Every team qualifies, or 12 of 14 teams qualify.)

    I’m a very large believer that every conference should have all teams qualify for its basketball tournament. Unlike the football conference championship game that only involves 2 teams, the basketball tournament is the one major conference event where the teams, fans and alums from all of the schools can gather together as a shared experience. For those that say that the conference tournament should be about merit, I would reply that leagues should eliminate conferences tournaments all together if people want to be truly merit-based (as the performance over the course of 3 months of regular season games should trump what occurs in 3 days of a conference tournament). Basketball tournaments are purely money-making machines for the power conferences, so you might as well let everyone participate. Plus, there’s the romantic idea that every single school still has one last shot to make it into the NCAA Tournament, which is inherently a more interesting aspect of watching conference tournaments compared to how they’re really just seeding exercises for the teams that already know that they’re going to make it to the Dance.

    I still believe there should be no post season just to up the value – financial and importance – of the regular season conference games. I have always disliked the “win at the end and you are in” mentality so he are 2 possible different way to do the B1G post season tourney.

    #1 Take the top 8 and do single elimination – this rewards the better teams and puts more value on the regular season to qualify. Football is valuable because every regular season game counts and dropping attendance is proof folks have devalued the regular season games. If everybody plays in the post season then just drop the regular season to 1 game each – home or away – on rotation for just 13 games (in a 14 team conference) and aim for 1 game a week where attendance will be higher. Couple that with a 13 game pre conference for a 26 game season

    #2 Take the top 4 and do double elimination – just take the top 4 and play rotation to see who can win even if they slip in one game. Attendance would be stout and folks could plan to be there longer with more chances to see their team play. As noted, 1 loss does not kill you but 2 would. You could have every game be buzzer beaters as the teams would be fairly well matched.

    The real value is seeing the best play the best than to see some blowout games early

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      I’d think position in the top six would count for a lot if the tournament was an eight team single knock-out from the top six in the regular season and the two winners of the first two qualifier tournament rounds:
      [7x14]x[10x11] / [8x13]x[9x12]

      Q1 = higher regular season qualifier, Q2 = lower regular season qualifier

      to: {[1xQ2]x[4x5]}x{[2xQ1]x[3x6]}

      There is, of course, another approach to an unbalanced tournament. In Ozzie Rugby League, they have an unbalanced bracket with single elimination for the lower ranked regular season clubs and double elimination for the higher ranked clubs, by granting double elimination to the highest ranked of the losers. Bringing the idea to a 14 school, all-conference tournament:
      [7x8], [6x9], [5x10], [4x11], [3x12], [2x13], [1x14]

      Six lowest ranked losers go home, then its single elimination quarterfinal, semifinal, final.

      So the regular season champion has a get out of jail card, if they don’t use it, it falls to 2nd, and so on. 8th only gets it if there are no upsets against regular season standings.

      Like

  26. HawksNation says:

    My thoughts exactly. Except I half-heartedly would for another expansion because I prefer the pod format to 7-team divisions… at the same time though, there aren’t many schools the B1G can realistically add without diluting its product, so it’s sort of stalemate in my mind.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      As soon as Delany can corral the two members he and the presidents want, I have no doubt expansion to 16 will take place. Alas, those two members are almost certainly Virginia and North Carolina, and neither will leave the ACC until it’s absolutely necessary.

      One wonders what the ACC’s financial tipping point would be vis-a-vis the Big Ten/SEC/Big 12/Pac — and for that to happen, you might need more than Clemson and Florida State saying enough is enough and fleeing to the Big 12. Even though that would substantially lessen the conference’s football value, one senses all the ACC would do in response is plug in Cincinnati and Connecticut and go on as if nothing had happened. But on top of that, add the “death penalty” for Miami football — and as a private school without an entrenched in-state political community to fight it, a la Southern Methodist, the NCAA might have the impetus to pursue such a measure — and the ACC AAU core (UVa/UNC/Duke/Ga Tech) could come to its senses and make exploratory moves.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        @vp19
        I think your scenario is entirely possible. I think its more likely all 14.5 stay together or a mass defection takes place, but its definitely possible the Big 12 is really only interested in 12, the B1G and SEC are really only interested in UVA/UNC, and the ACC as a whole yawns when FSU leaves–as long as the network doesn’t punish them financially.

        Like

      • Marc Shepherd says:

        The ACC is more robust than most people think. Let’s say they lose FSU & Clemson to the Big 12, and Virginia Tech & NC State to the SEC, which is their worst case. They’d replenish with UConn and Cincinnati. They’d still have an excellent 13-team basketball conference and a decent football conference.

        UVa, UNC, and Duke still would prefer this conference, in which they are quite obviously the lead institutions, to the Big Ten, where they’d no longer be in the driver’s seat. There’s also the matter that they consider themselves culturally southern schools, and the ACC is a culturally southern league (notwithstanding all the northern schools they’ve added over the years).

        And it’s worth noting that after they lose the four named above, they’d have nothing left that the SEC or Big 12 want. So if UVA, Duke, and UNC decide to keep the ACC together, it’s likely that none of the other members would have anywhere to go, even if they wanted to. The Big Ten doesn’t want Pitt, Syracuse, or BC, nor would they take Georgia Tech all by itself.

        The death penalty for Miami, if combined with all of the above, might perhaps be the tipping point. But I don’t think Miami will get the death penalty.

        Like

        • Psuhockey says:

          I agree that UNC and Duke will try to keep the ACC together in the short term but eventually the money disparity will be too great for them to ignore. If the projections of the BIG’s profits come true, they will be making almost double Duke and UNC. Those teams don’t invest a lot in the money pit that is football, but they do sponsor a lot of other nonrevenue sports. The costs of those sports have been steadily rising.

          Like

      • Psuhockey says:

        I really think the end game is 20 teams. First the 4 pod system is better to schedule than two large divisions. Secondly there are not a pair of schools readily available to close out the conference permanently that makes sense unless Notre Dame joins. The BIG could add FSU and Georgia Tech but there would be a large geographical gap. I think the BIG would want to be continuos so they would try to add the other mid-Atlantic states. UNC I think is the goal of expansion but I don’t see how you could break them away from Duke or UVA. I don’t also see why you would want to. So you would have to add a fourth to that group which brings you to 18. Again pods are easier than divisions so two more would have to be added.

        If I had to guess, I think the BIG will expand to 16 before 2016 when their tier1 contract is up. After that I think they will wait to see what final four make sense and see if what other schools earn their AAU.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          It was noted last week that 6 pods of 3 teams each would be workable with 18, and as that would form temporary annual divisions of 9 teams each, it would even allow an eight conference game schedule. That’s interesting as an intellectual exercise, and if one of the pods is OSU, MSU and that other Michigan school, I could start to see it better than some options that might be raised.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            I don’t recall seeing the 18-member football format last week — might it have been something like this? Here, we’re assuming the Big Ten brings in all four southern ACC AAU members.

            Permanent Big Ten East: Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, Rutgers, Virginia

            Permanent Big Ten West: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin

            Floating members, group A: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State
            Floating members, group B: Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue

            Football plays a 9-game conference schedule, in a 2-year scheduling cycle. In one cycle, floating group A plays as part of Big Ten East and group B as part of Big Ten West; for the next two years, group A goes West, group B goes East.

            The floating members play these annual crossover games: Michigan-Michigan State, Ohio State-Purdue, Penn State-Indiana. The permanent East and West members would rotate crossover games over a 12-year cycle.

            This isn’t perfect — the cycle that features group A will always be substantially stronger than the one with group B — but it gives everyone in the conference a chance to regularly play three of the “kings,” retains trophy games such as Little Brown Jug and Illiniwek two years out of every four, and keeps things somewhat geographically compact.

            Oh, and for men’s and women’s basketball, an 18-game schedule, playing 16 opponents once and the following as home-and-homes:

            Penn State-Rutgers
            Maryland-Virginia
            North Carolina-Duke
            Georgia Tech-Ohio State
            Michigan-Michigan State
            Indiana-Purdue
            Illinois-Northwestern
            Wisconsin-Minnesota
            Iowa-Nebraska

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            A slightly better twist to the 18-member football format — change the floating group members to

            A: Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue
            B: Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana

            with Michigan-MSU, OSU-PSU and Purdue-IU as the annual crossover games. That balances things out a bit between the A and B cycles.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            To have everyone play everyone else at least once each three years in-division:

            Year 1: Division 1: Pod A, B, C; Division 2: Pod D, E, F
            Year 2: Division 1: Pod A, D, E; Division 2: Pod B, C, F
            Year 3: Division 1: Pod A, F, B; Division 2: Pod C, D, E
            Year 4: Division 1: Pod A, C, D; Division 2: Pod B, E, F
            Year 5: Division 1: Pod A, E, F; Division 2: Pod B, C, D

            To have any locked cross group games, you need 9 conference games a year. Otherwise, each team plays in its pod every year, every other pod alternating once in three then once in two years.

            The chain PSU / OSU / tMIteam / MSU implies that three of those have to be in one group and therefore there has to be a cross division game available, which implies nine conference games, eight in-division, one cross division.

            I only recall comments pointing out that the structure is possible, I don’t recall seeing a group make-up for that structure, and surely couldn’t reproduce it from memory if it was there. Unlike the 4/4/3/3 groups possible with 14 teams, its not possible to put all four Western teams in the same group.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Hi Bruce,

            This was my setup of 6 pods of 3 assuming that FSU, Miami, UVa, and VTech would be added. The same setup would still work with GTech in place of Miami, UNC in place of VTech, & Duke in place of FSU.

            All major rivalries would be preserved. Obviously, there wouldn’t be nearly as many must-see football games:


            This is why going to 18 with FSU, Miami, VTech, & UVa makes sense:
            You’d have at least 13 games a year between kings & kings or kings & near-kings. No conference, even the mighty SEC, would be able to match that.

            With these 6 pods of 3 (you play the schools in the 2 neighboring pods at least 2/3rds of the time, and sometimes annually), all the traditional B10 rivalries would be played at least 2/3rds of the time (obviously the major ones would be played annually):

            A: OSU, IU, PU
            B: Michigan, MSU, Illinois
            C: Minny, Wisconsin, Northwestern
            D: Iowa, Nebraska, Miami
            E: UVa, VTech, FSU
            F: UMD, PSU, Rutgers

            Each school would play the school above and below them in the same column annually except A-F would have these annual pairings: OSU-PSU, IU-Rutgers, PU-UMD

            These would be the divisions the first 2 years (line would mean cross-over game):

            OSU-PSU
            Wisconsin-UNL
            Northwestern-Miami
            Minny-Iowa
            PU-UMD
            IU-Rutgers
            Michigan FSU
            MSU VTech
            Illinois UVa

            These seasons would feature FSU-PSU, FSU-UNL, FSU-Miami, FSU-VTech, PSU-UNL, PSU-Miami, PSU-VTech, Miami-VTech, Miami-UNL, UNL-VTech, OSU-PSU, Wisconsin-UNL, Michigan-Wisconsin, OSU-Wisconsin, and of course, OSU-Michigan (15 guaranteed marquee games).

            The next 2 years:
            Michigan-OSU
            Miami-FSU
            Nebraska-VTech
            Iowa-UVa
            MSU-IU
            Illinois-PU
            Wisconsin PSU
            Northwestern Rutgers
            Minny UMD

            Guaranteed top games: Michigan-Miami, Michigan-UNL, Michigan-Wisconsin, UNL-Miami, UNL-Wisconsin, Miami-Wisconsin, OSU-FSU, OSU-PSU, OSU-VTech, FSU-PSU, FSU-VTech, PSU-VTech, Miami-FSU, UNL-VTech, Michigan-OSU (15 guaranteed marquee games).

            The next 2 years:
            PSU-VTech
            MSU-Wisconsin
            Illinois-Northwestern
            UMD-UVa
            Michigan-Minny
            Rutgers-FSU
            OSU Nebraska
            PU Miami
            IU Iowa

            Guaranteed top games:
            OSU-Michigan, OSU-PSU, PSU-Michigan, FSU-UNL, FSU-Miami, FSU-VTech, FSU-Wisconsin, UNL-Miami, UNL-VTech, UNL-Wisconsin, Miami-VTech, Miami-Wisconsin, PSU-VTech (13 guaranteed marquee games).

            Like

  27. vp19 says:

    Frank makes a good point with the KISS approach, and the East/West system, with Michigan in the East and Michigan State in the West, is the most logical way to go about doing things. The inner-outer would be self-defeating for the three members along the eastern seaboard, particularly the two newcomers.

    Hey, in this format, Ohio State vs. Michigan is a intradivisional game, and isn’t that what most want? Sorry, but the old guard can’t get everything its own way (and OSU and Michigan should have programs that sell themselves, and aren’t based upon who comes into Ohio or Michigan stadiums).

    Like

  28. Richard says:

    Little Brown Jug game, folks.

    It’s only the oldest trophy game in the land.

    So many of you folks act like that can be sacrificed (or don’t even think about it).

    BTW, I think that an expansion to 16/18 happens sooner rather than later, so just split E/W along the IN schools.

    Crossovers:
    PSU-UNL
    Michigan-Minny
    OSU-Illinois (Illibuck)
    IU-PU
    MSU-Northwestern (because MSU wants to visit Chicagoland)
    Rutgers-Wisconsin
    UMD-Iowa (because there are no good matchups left)

    All rivalries preserved. Some of the western schools will see OSU & Michigan less often, but Illinois, Minny, and UNL get a king as a rival every year. IU & PU at least get a rivalry (and PU has an easier path to a division title). Wisconsin and Iowa both get to visit (more) fertile Eastern recruiting grounds regularly. Northwestern doesn’t get much, but eh, we never got the kings much even in the 11-school B10 either.

    Plus, that Nebraska-Wisconsin-Iowa-Minny quartet promises to be a binful of fierce rivalries all around.

    Even the secondary rivalries like Iowa-Northwestern, Iowa-Illinois, Wisconsin-Illinois, and Illinois-Purdue are preserved.

    Like

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      @Richard: In the pre-Nebraska schedule format, the Michigan-Minnesota rivalry was not contested every year. So that tells me that the ADs don’t consider it essential. Of course, the two teams will still play, just not annually.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        In the 11-school B10, the LBJ game was played most years. In most configurations I’ve seen, it would be played almost never. I agree that it doesn’t have to be played every year, but it does have to be played at least half the time, so that all players would get the chance to play in it at least once home and away. That’s one reason why I like pods.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “In most configurations I’ve seen, it would be played almost never.”

          Exaggerate much?

          Worst case scenarios:
          8 games, no locked rival – MI/MN is played 29% of the time
          9 games, 1 locked rival – MI/MN is played 33% of the time
          9 games, no locked rival – MI/MN is played 45% of the time

          Like

          • Richard says:

            Huh? What about 8 games with 1 locked rival? How is that not a worst case scenario?

            In any case, those are still less than half the time. Can’t really call it a rivalry game in that case.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Huh? What about 8 games with 1 locked rival? How is that not a worst case scenario?”

            Those were worst case scenarios for 3 of the 4 possible schedules. 8 games with a locked rival leads to MI/MN played 17% of the time, as you well know.

            With 4 possible schedules, and certain alignments that keep MI and MN together, there’s no way your statement (“In most configurations I’ve seen, it would be played almost never.”) was true.

            “In any case, those are still less than half the time. Can’t really call it a rivalry game in that case.”

            Less than half isn’t the same as almost never.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Richard,

      “Little Brown Jug game, folks.

      It’s only the oldest trophy game in the land.

      So many of you folks act like that can be sacrificed (or don’t even think about it).”

      It can be, since it already was. It’ll be preserved if neither team has a more pressing rivalry to protect, though (MN/WI, MI/OSU and MI/OSU would all top it, of course).

      “BTW, I think that an expansion to 16/18 happens sooner rather than later, so just split E/W along the IN schools.”

      That’s a stupid plan. Why make bad divisions now and hope future expansion allows you to dump them instead of just doing it right the first time?

      “Crossovers:
      PSU-UNL
      Michigan-Minny
      OSU-Illinois (Illibuck)
      IU-PU
      MSU-Northwestern (because MSU wants to visit Chicagoland)
      Rutgers-Wisconsin
      UMD-Iowa (because there are no good matchups left)”

      For those divisions, that’s a reasonable set of locked games. I’d probably suggest MSU/WI and RU/NW, though.

      “All rivalries preserved. Some of the western schools will see OSU & Michigan less often, but Illinois, Minny, and UNL get a king as a rival every year. IU & PU at least get a rivalry (and PU has an easier path to a division title).”

      I think PU would be much more concerned about not being with OSU or MI than happy about their CCG path. So would NW, WI and IA. NE and PSU would complain about the SOS imbalance with the locked rivals, too. PSU is the only school with 3 kings locked in every year.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Don’t make ignorant assumptions about other schools, Brian, especially since you have no clue what Northwestern fans want. Personally, UNL compensates for a Michigan/OSU game to me (especially OSU; Michigan is an academic peer and the winningest program in college football; OSU is just another Midwestern football power with fans who have an unjustified superiority complex; easily replaceable by UNL). Iowa is a big game to pretty much all NU fans. Personally, I’d rather give up Michigan annually than Iowa annually. Add in the easier path to the conference title game and what’s best for the B10 as a whole and it’s a no-brainer choice to me. East-West is far far preferable to the nonsensical Inner-Outer.

        Like

  29. JD says:

    B1G should have added Mizzou and KU when we had a chance….

    Like

  30. Eric says:

    Let’s take a step back from the bigger picture for a second. For all the Big Ten fans here, if you were the AD of your school, what would be your priority list on the divisional discussions? Ignore the financial aspects for a second. What is it that would be most important to you as fan of your school?

    My order is as follows:

    1. Keep Michigan as the season ending game every year.
    2. Be in the same division as Michigan.
    3. Nine conference games.
    4. No locked crossovers.
    5. Play Illinois every year (I know most Buckeyes would go Penn State or Wisconsin ahead of the Illini, but I kind of like the Illibuck).
    6. If we don’t get 9 conference games, do not put us in a division with both the 2 newbies (1/4 the schedule against them is too much).

    My guess is that I get #1 and #2, but none of the rest.

    Like

    • My order would be:

      1. Keep Michigan every year, as the last game of the regular season.
      2. See #1.
      3. See #1.
      4. Nine conference games
      5. Get access to Maryland and/or Rutgers given the alumni areas
      6. Play PSU or Wisconsin every year

      For me, #1 is absolutely non-negotiable. I don’t care if they’re in the same division or not, but the frequency and timing cannot change. Additionally, I was on board with Rutgers/Maryland when looking at where OSU gets its students and sends its alumni; getting shuffled to the west would kind of kill the point from OSU’s perspective imo.

      Lastly, I would be fine with the Three Kings East strategy mostly because OSU’s locked rivals were Michigan/PSU when the BigTen was at 11. At least it’d be even for all three of us now.

      Like

      • Wade says:

        Husker fan;

        My priorities as NU’s AD would be:

        1. Maintain a Black Friday game
        2. PSU
        3. Iowa
        4. Chicago
        5. 8-conference games. – to allow for better OOC games, including former conference partners.
        6. New Jersey
        7. Wisconsin

        Like

        • Aside from the desire to play former conference rivals, which I can understand, I’m not sure having a spare OOC nets you anything better from a SOS standpoint than what you’d see with an additional conference game. But maybe I’m too used to OSU’s previous scheduling methodology, where you try to have one marquee matchup, one so-so, and two patsies. Going to nine just, ideally, removes one of the patsies.

          Like

          • Wade says:

            I don’t want an extra OOC from a SOS stand-point. I don’t care about SOS, as long as it is respectable, which I think an 8-game conf schedule would be…. Add in the conference title game, and who-ever wins the title each year will have went through a brutal schedule regardless of whether they played 8 or 9 regular season games.

            I have the opposite feeling about the direction programs would go with OOC games if we went to a 9-game conference schedule…. I think teams would remove the BCS -at least regularly- opponents from the schedule rather than the cup-cakes. See the SEC for example, not many teams schedule quality OOC games, and of the teams that do schedule respectably, they only do it once or twice per decade.

            And then you get annual schedules like GT/UGA, UF/FSU, and USC/Clem, which limits things even further for them.

            If UM, MSU, or Purdue wanted to play ND every year it would limit them in a similar manner. Or Iowa/ISU.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            I have seen arguments that the 4-team playoff will put pressure on the non-AQ revenue games ~ if a school is prioritizing AQ OOC games, looking ahead to hopefully grabbing the 4th spot versus a school that started out on FCS or FBS non-AQ teams, there’s more risk of an early stumble, but also its easier to see the team being ready for a marquee OOC matchup in week 3.

            Like

          • m (Ag) says:

            ” See the SEC for example, not many teams schedule quality OOC games”

            The SEC schools schedule OOC the same way most Big Ten and Big 12 teams have done, one quality BCS school and 3 other games. Of course, for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, it’s often limited to their traditional ACC opponent.

            Like

        • Also, Nebraska is part of the reason I’m not sure I agree with Frank’s premise that OSU-PSU must be protected at all costs. It’s a great game, but if the BigTen could only guarantee OSU-Michigan and PSU-Nebraska, that seems like a good compromise to me.

          Like

        • As a Husker fan, maintaining the Black Friday game is not the most important priority nor is it anywhere close. We’ve only been playing on BF for 20 years. It’s not the end of the world if we lose it. Twenty years ago, it was the only game on that day. Now there are lots of games on that day. Would it be nice to keep? Sure. If Iowa doesn’t want to play that day, they can go back to playing Minnesota that weekend and we can pick up Wisconsin if they are up for it.

          Like it or not, Nebraska is now part of the “quadrilateral of hate” with Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. That’s our future, and we need to embrace it. Those are the schools we share the most in common with in this league and are the schools we need to make our bed with. Penn State is nice, but isn’t necessary. I do agree with trying to keep our game with Northwestern an annual event.

          From a scheduling standpoint, I don’t see the B1G going to 9 games until at least 2017, but I think it will happen. UNL would have games scheduled now for our former conference opponents if they wanted to play us. I keep hearing things about NU-CU home and home, but nothing about other former conference members. Nebraska last week just announced more OOC games that upped the number of OOC games through 2016 to 4 per season. Why would they schedule these if the B1G were going to 9-game schedules soon.

          Like

          • wade says:

            I agree with a lot of what you say…. I think a lot of the reason that NU hasn’t scheduled any series’ with former league members yet, other than OU, is because we/they already had their schedules mapped out for the next decade. That will certainly change within a few years.

            I think your way off on your view of Black Friday…. Sure its only a 20 year old tradition, but for people like my-self its something we’ve know our whole lives. Im 24, and can’t remember anything other than Black Friday games. It is a big deal, and is one of the few traditions we can carry on from before we joined the B10….. It’s as established of a tradition as any of PSU’s B10 traditions, and should be treated as such.

            It wouldn’t be the end of the world if that date couldn’t be maintained, but there isn’t anything that ranks ahead of it either. Anything that even compares is already a given, like Iowa…. Nothing ranks ahead of Black Friday on my wish-list…. I agree that it wouldn’t need to be played against Iowa every year, I wouldn’t mind Wisconsin or even if we rotated teams.

            I think -and hope- your right about the 9-game schedule being pushed back to 2017 too, it may be further down the road than that anyway. A lot of that could change with another round of expansion though, so we’ll see.

            I can embrace playing Iowa, Wisc, and Minn. I think we’ll have great games and rivalries with those schools…. But when it was announced that we were joining the league, none of those teams were the first to come to mind, or drove my fan-interest….. PSU, UM, tOSU, Iowa, NW, Wisc is simply the pecking-order of games I want to see annually.

            Like

          • greg says:

            If you’re only 24, then OU shouldn’t mean anything. They’ve never been NU’s rival.

            Like

          • wade says:

            At 24, OU doesn’t mean much to me, and that is pretty disgusting to say, I would hate to be saying that about PSU, UM, or tOSU in 15-20 years.

            But to be clear, OU still means more than Iowa or Wisc.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Aaron – I take it you missed the Nebraska – Oklahoma series announcement?

            Like

      • Justin says:

        Michigan and OSU need to be in the same division. UM needs to be in the east, other than PSU, UM has the largest east coast alumni base of any B1G school.

        Only way tat works is geography based divisions.

        Like

        • Ted says:

          Yes. This needs to be stressed much more than it is currently being stressed by most posters.. Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State playing in New York and DC will be huge for so many reasons. Alumni concentration. Brand recognition. Television matchups. BTN carriage. The list goes on.

          Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            It’s been gone over by a number of posters ad nauseum. You’re leaving out the negatives associated with creating a Big 12 North part deux that is even more isolated from the media &
            recruiting centers.

            Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “6. If we don’t get 9 conference games, do not put us in a division with both the 2 newbies (1/4 the schedule against them is too much).”

      This is an important distinction. If being with the newbies are taking away only one “traditional Big Ten” game, and one MAC/C-USA/Sunbelt revenue game, that is substantially less unsettling.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Eric,

      “Let’s take a step back from the bigger picture for a second. For all the Big Ten fans here, if you were the AD of your school, what would be your priority list on the divisional discussions? Ignore the financial aspects for a second. What is it that would be most important to you as fan of your school?”

      Hold it. Those are two different things. The AD can’t ignore the financial side but the fan can.

      Me as an OSU fan:
      1-87. MI is the last game
      88. Play IL annually
      89. Give OSU the easiest path possible to the B10 title every year while still playing MI (includes putting MI in the other division)
      90. 9 games

      No OSU AD could agree with #89 because it wouldn’t sell tickets well to most fans.

      As a B10 fan:
      1-87. Keep OSU/MI as the last game
      88. Go to 9 games, preferably with no locked rivals
      89. Form balanced divisions
      90. Preserve as many annual rivalries as possible

      “1. Keep Michigan as the season ending game every year.”

      Obviously.

      “2. Be in the same division as Michigan.”

      I fail to see why this should ever be a high priority. To each their own.

      “3. Nine conference games.”

      OK.

      “4. No locked crossovers.”

      It depends on the divisions for me. I’d prefer not to have them, but not at the price of losing a good rivalry.

      “5. Play Illinois every year (I know most Buckeyes would go Penn State or Wisconsin ahead of the Illini, but I kind of like the Illibuck).”

      IL >>> PSU >>> WI for me. IL is the only team OSU has played more than MI. We played PSU 7 times before they joined the B10. WI was a bunch of a-holes with Bielema around. Andersen is more classy. Still, they aren’t neighbors or rivals.

      “6. If we don’t get 9 conference games, do not put us in a division with both the 2 newbies (1/4 the schedule against them is too much).”

      Even with 9 games, they should spread the pain to others. We already got stuck having to play PSU annually. Why should we get stuck with RU and MD too?

      “My guess is that I get #1 and #2, but none of the rest.”

      No matter what, OSU will get a bad deal this time.

      Like

  31. Peder Rice says:

    I’d like to echo support for a 13th game for non-CCG teams. Each team not playing in the CCG would play one from the other division based on division ranking. For instance, 2 would play 2 and 3 would play 3, and but care would be taken to avoid re matches. Each year, the “home” division would alternate; in 2014 the Leaders division would be host and in 2015 the Legends division would be host. This would permit each team an extra 0.5 home games annually and teams to sell access to that game as part of their season ticket package.

    Most importantly this would increase play between “kings”, and perhaps put less emphasis on protecting annual rivalries.

    Like

  32. Craig Z says:

    Happy End of the World Day.

    Like

  33. Gitanole says:

    They should change the name. I appreciate your argument, Frank, but if the number is no longer accurate it’s just going to stay inaccurate.

    No need to lose all that history and brand equity, though. A name that incorporates ‘ten’ as a syllable could be used to keep the sound and the association.

    — The Big Centennial
    (It works. The conference is over 100 years old.)

    — The Big Ten-Spot
    (Maybe not.)

    Or just make the change when the next round number is reached:

    — The Big Twenty

    Close enough.

    Like

    • unproductive says:

      A first-time poster, with my thoughts on the divisions. If we’re going to 16 and pods, why not start this now? Divide into the West (IA, MN, Neb and WI) and Central (Ill, NW, IN, PU). Then divide the remaining teams into two sets of three – North (UM, OSU, Rutgers) and East (MSU, PSU, MD) (or swap MSU and OSU, if you want UM and OSU separate). Each year the divisions switch. In year one, Division 1 is West and North (and Division 2 is Central and East); in year two, Division 1 is West and East (and Division 2 is Central and North); and then repeat. For an 8-game schedule, the West and Central plays everyone in their divisions, plus 2 from each other. The North and East plays everyone in their division, plus one lock (UM-MSU; OSU-PSU; RU-MD) plus one other game against the remaining two teams in the opposite pod. For example, UM would play MSU and PSU in year 1, and then MSU and MD in year 2. For nine games, you can eliminate locked games, since the North and East teams will play each other every year.
      This is rather complicated, but it accomplished many things. The four West teams and the four Central teams play each other every year. The three locked games play every year. Most important, everyone else plays each other once every two years (which means that every four years, even with an 8-game schedule, everyone gets a home and away). UM, OSU and PSU get one game against a east coast team every year and get another once every two years (trying to leverage their fan bases). West and Central teams get one eastern team every year (a east coast trip once every two years). If you separate UM and OSU, then the West and Central teams would play either UM or OSU each year. And even though competitive balance isn’t that great (West > Central), because the divisions switch each year, that balance changes each year. Finally, it’s not that more complicated than trying to figure out who is in what division now!

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        I put up that structure in the FSU post comment thread, but not those alignments ~ I like those alignments far more than the ones I put up.

        Going to have to find a less nerdy name for them than “pods” to sell it to regular sports fans who are not conference realignment enthusiasts. “Group” maybe?

        Eastern Group: MSU, PSU, MD
        Northern Group: OSU, MI, Rutgers
        Central Group: Indiana, Purdue, Illini, NW
        Western Group: UNL, IA, WI, MN

        It breaks part of one of the three axioms: Rutgers only sees PSU every second year. But it has a bucketload to like.

        OSU — PSU, alternate MSU/MD
        MI — MSU, alternate PSU/MD
        Rutgers — MD, alternate PSU/MSU

        To be fair to MSU, their OSU game should be when they are in the East-Central division, not when they are in the East-West division. That implies the East/North rotation:

        OSU — PSU always, MSU & Western, MD & Central, therefore …
        MI — MSU always, MD & Western, PSU & Central, therefore …
        Rutgers — MD always, PSU & Western, MSU & Central

        Mirror for East:
        PSU — OSU always, MI & Western, Rutgers & Central
        MSU — MI always, Rutgers & Western, OSU & Central
        MD — Rutgers always, OSU & Western, MI & Central

        Like

        • Brian says:

          BruceMcF,

          “Going to have to find a less nerdy name for them than “pods” to sell it to regular sports fans who are not conference realignment enthusiasts. “Group” maybe?”

          You’ll never sell it to them no matter what. The constantly changing divisions will just confuse them and they’ll lose interest.

          Like

          • unproductive says:

            The casual fan already doesn’t understand the divisions (Quick – can you name the teams in the ACC divisions?). Unless you split the divisions by geography, the casual fan won’t be invested enough to understand what the divisions are and even geography gets sacrificed for other reasons (viz: Missouri in the SEC East). Most casual fans don’t care about divisions – they just want their team to play well, beat their rivals and (if lightning strikes), go to the Rose Bowl. Only fans of the 4 “King” programs are thinking beyond that.
            We’re adding 2 new schools into the conference. However, even though they’re in the same conference as Iowa and Minnesota, they won’t get to play them for the next six years (an entire football class won’t get to even play them) This is not the way to foster integration into the conference. One of the major things that both fans (and Presidents) want to do is to play other BIG teams more often, and the only way to do that is to shuffle divisions each year. That also means that rivalries get played more often. Adding Maryland and Rutgers while sacrificing the Little Brown Jug or the Illibuck, and making certain that you won’t see other traditional Big Ten rivals for half a decade will get rid of the casual fan faster than having divisions that change each year. .

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think you just showed why non-geographic divisions don’t work. ACC is a mess. Fans want to know who they are competing against. Constant shifting hurts that.

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            The ACC is a mess because most of it’s schools have followers who are basketball fans first & football fans somewhere farther down the list.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Gitanole,

      “They should change the name. I appreciate your argument, Frank, but if the number is no longer accurate it’s just going to stay inaccurate.”

      Heck no!

      Only an idiot would trust the people that came up with Leaders and Legends to rename the Big Ten. The outcome would clearly be the “New Coke” of conference names.

      Don’t mess with a valuable brand.

      Like

  34. bullet says:

    While the bowl season ramps up, here are the final pre-bowl ooc records vs FBS schools (Big 10 not as bad as it seemed as they survived some close calls, WAC has a nice finale, beating out the ACC, CUSA is only one who had a down year worse than ACC):

    Big 12 17-4 80.95%
    SEC 33-8 80.49%
    Big 10 26-14 65.00%
    Indie 24-15 61.54%
    Pac 12 23-16 58.97%
    Big East 17-13 56.67%
    WAC 13-18 41.94%
    ACC 14-21 40.00%
    MAC 16-25 39.02%
    MWC 12-21 36.36%
    Sun Belt 11-23 32.35%
    CUSA 7-35 16.67%

    FBS 10-98 9.26%

    Like

  35. Great Lake State says:

    They will keep the Big Ten name unless and until they go to twenty. Then you will have a B1G east and B1G west. The BTN also won’t require a name change. The ‘T’ can stand for Twenty or remain the Big Ten representing the two Big Ten divisions. Big Sixteen is far to unwieldy and ‘sweet sixteen’-like. It’s going to remain ”The Big Ten’ until they KNOW they are done expanding, and only then if the ‘T’ can be maintained.

    Like

  36. gregenstein says:

    One thing nobody seems to be discussing. the B1G is taking a calculated risk by going with Rutgers. They seems to be banking, at least partially, on them being able to deliver some of that coveted NYC market. For that to have the best chance to succeed, you have to try to have as many of those “pipeline” schools playing Rutgers as possible. So, realistically, I don’t think the Inner/Outer-Sun/Planets alignment will shake out. I really think they’re going to want Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland all playing in New York as much as possible so as to try and penetrate the NYC psyche. I could be wrong, but that’s where I’d lay my wager, and it has the benefit of being able to keep most of the important rivalries together.

    They’ll throw in the Indiana schools in the East to try and balance the West with the Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State middle class triangle.

    Really, I think the East/West split of Frank’s is really the only one that accomplishes the most and will appease most of the TV people, marketing departments, and University Presidents and ADs.

    Inner/Outer-Proton/Electron I think would be a strong #2 as long as Rutgers gets a lock with say, Michigan (since PSU/OSU would be protected). Maryland could lock with Illinois or Northwestern, which would still have an Amtrak feel to it.

    Like

    • ohiomarc says:

      I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but the biggest benefit of the inner/outer is that no protected rivalries are necessary. This allows teams from opposite divisions to see each other a lot more often, especially if we move to a 9-game conference schedule. This is why it’s my favorite.

      I think we’ll end up with the east/west alignment though, because of what you say about the conference wanting UM, OSU and PSU to play in New York and DC as much as possible. I’d bet a decent amount of money that it ends up with OSU, UM, PSU, MD, RU, IU and PU in the East and Neb, UW, MN, IA, NW, IL and MSU in the West.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        The one thing working against having Michigan/Michigan State split vs. Indiana/Purdue is that if you put split Indiana/Purdue and lock only them as a permanent crossover, then that frees up 2 rotating games for Michigan vs. the other division instead of 1 (or 3 instead of 2 with 9 conference games). Since the west would rather play Michigan than Indiana or Michigan State, I could see them preferring that as it gives everyone besides Purdue more games against Michigan.

        Like

        • ohiomarc says:

          No matter which alignment we end up with, I’d prefer it if protected rivals were eliminated completely. If a rivalry is that important and absolutely must be played every year, then put them in the same division.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            Agreed.

            Like

          • gregenstein says:

            I’d like to see that eliminated too, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect. This is all being driven by marketing and $$. East/West is the closest you can get, and you’d have to include MSU in the East. OK by me…guess it depends on how much one of the Indiana or Illinois schools prefers playing in the East.

            There’s 0 chance to eliminate protected games if you go with the Eyeball-Proton/Electron-Inner/Outer option as the league will want to protect PSU/OSU.

            Like

          • @gregenstein – Yeah, I’ve looked at virtually every possible scenario, and there really isn’t any way to eliminate cross-division protected rivals. Some top tier rivalry will get the shaft if that were to occur beyond the Wisconsin-Iowa level of rivalry. Illinois is always going to play Northwestern. Michigan is always going to play both Ohio State and Michigan State. Ohio State is always going to play both Michigan and Penn State. Minnesota is always going to play Wisconsin and Iowa. Indiana is always going to play Purdue. The Big Ten’s expansion is predicated on Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland all playing each other. As bad as splitting Wisconsin-Iowa up was, that was a secondary rivalry compared to the ones listed above. There’s no way to accommodate them all within their own divisions. East/West is the closest one to it, but that would still require at least one protected rivalry depending on whether Michigan State or one of the Indiana schools ends up in the West.

            By the way, I think the competitive balance factor will come in if there’s an East/West split. I’ve seen a number of comments saying that Michigan State would stay in the East while a school like Indiana or Purdue could go to the West, but I don’t see that at all. It’s going to be a tough enough sell to have three kings in the East division in the first place, but to then swap out Michigan State (which has a good traveling fan base and excellent on-the-field records over the past decade for the most part) for one of the lower traveling Indiana schools would be like rubbing salt in the wound. The compromise for sending three kings to the East from my vantage point is that when looking at recent history (past 10 to 20 years), Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State are all “prince” status programs with top notch fan bases on top of Nebraska being a king program, which means there’s more depth. If we’re going to have cross-division protected rivals (and I think that’s going to be the case no matter how we split up the divisions), there’s a major difference for the West division schools in getting to play Michigan State annually compared to Indiana or Purdue.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            Frank, if you are right that Ohio State-Penn State is being considered one that must be maintained then you are definitely right that there are no scenarios with no locked crossovers. I think they’ll at least consider dropping it as annual in exchange for no crossovers. In the end you are probably right and they won’t let it die as an annual event though. :(

            Like

          • @Eric – Ohio State-Penn State is an extremely important game for the conference for a variety of reasons (e.g. two kings playing each other, arguably the two best football recruiting states in the Big Ten footprint, bridge between the original Big Ten and the new Eastern flank, border states, etc.). It can’t be understated. From what I’ve seen, only Michigan-Ohio State is more non-negotiable. Otherwise, I seriously believe that they’d be more willing to drop any other rivalry game before they touch OSU-PSU (and it might be a moot point since I’m 99% certain that they’ll end up in the same division).

            Like

          • ohiomarc says:

            Frank, all due respect but I think you’re really overstating the OSU/PSU thing. Yes, it’s an important rivalry, but only from the standpoint that they’re both kings. As an OSU fan, I’d be fine with only playing them every other year or two, as long as Nebraska is on our schedule whenever PSU isn’t. Your other reasons (two biggest recruiting states, border states, bridge) are pretty irrelevant to me, at least for the purposes of this discussion

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I think OSU/PSU is important to PSU, much like OU was important to Nebraska in the Big 12 (even if OU was willing to let it go to every other year). PSU may dominate Maryland (as they have) or Rutgers. And there is a natural OH/PA rivalry. Dropping OSU/PSU would be a mistake.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Frank

            I agree PSU-OSU is an important game for the conference, but why is the fact they are recruiting rich states relevant? If anything, that would make the games less valuable to the conference since it means the other teams get fewer games in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            “If a rivalry is that important and absolutely must be played every year, then put them in the same division.”

            Or you could just play that rivalry game as an OOC game. I bring it up because SEC fan (especially LSU fans) bring it up when discussing the Bama/Tenn & UGA/auburn rivaries. The SEC used to play each other as OCC games fairly regularly up until they expanded to 12 teams. Granted it is thinking way out of the box, but if protecting the OSU/UM, UM/MSU, or IN/Purdue games are important enough, it is an option that can be considered. Plus the B1G officials may like the idea of moving the OSU/UM game to an OOC game since it increases the chances of those two teams playing again in the conference championship game.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bama:

            OOC rivalry conference games are possible for teams that don’t require 7 home games every year (like PU & IU). Not so much for OSU & PSU.

            Ohiomarc:

            Frank isn’t talking about whether OSU fans consider OSU-PSU important; he’s talking about whether the B10 considers OSU-PSU important, and I believe him when he says that OSU-PSU probably ranks only behind OSU-Michigan in importance to the league. Plus, I think you’ll find that PSU fans care more about that game than you do.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      gregenstein,

      “One thing nobody seems to be discussing. the B1G is taking a calculated risk by going with Rutgers. They seems to be banking, at least partially, on them being able to deliver some of that coveted NYC market. For that to have the best chance to succeed, you have to try to have as many of those “pipeline” schools playing Rutgers as possible.”

      I disagree. Crushing RU in to the ground by having them play the top 8 B10 teams every year is not how you build them up. You have to mix brand names with winnable games. New fans won’t turn out to see 0-7 RU against anybody. They will show up for 4-3 RU against PSU, though. Everybody seems to ignore the negative impact of a large number of losses on the newbies. It doesn’t help to turn them into the Washington Generals.

      “So, realistically, I don’t think the Inner/Outer-Sun/Planets alignment will shake out. I really think they’re going to want Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland all playing in New York as much as possible so as to try and penetrate the NYC psyche.”

      You are also ignoring the crossover games which the B10 can control to get OSU and MI in NYC more often. Despite not being locked rivals, PSU got to play MI for their first 10 years in the B10. Nothing is stopping the B10 from alternating between OSU and MI playing RU every year as a crossover opponent. That assures RU of either PSU or OSU/MI in NJ every year.

      “Really, I think the East/West split of Frank’s is really the only one that accomplishes the most and will appease most of the TV people, marketing departments, and University Presidents and ADs.”

      The TV people don’t get a vote. Neither do the marketing people.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        “Crushing RU in to the ground by having them play the top 8 B10 teams every year is not how you build them up. You have to mix brand names with winnable games. New fans won’t turn out to see 0-7 RU against anybody. They will show up for 4-3 RU against PSU, though.”

        The idea that IU & PU (in an E/W setup) will crush Rutgers more often than Iowa & Minny (in an Inner/Outer setup) is laughable. Even if you divide the IN schools (as I prefer), there’s no difference in strength between IU+MSU & Iowa+Minny. The difference between UNL+Wisconsin & Michigan+OSU isn’t that big either (all 4 would be favored most years vs. RU).

        Like

      • Ted says:

        The TV people get a vote considering the contract is up for renewal in two years. They will want the Kings playing Kings as much as possible.

        Inventory is good for the BTN and Maryland and Rutgers help in that respect, but top-notch matchups are key for big time network television. Nebraska wasn’t added for it’s BTN subscriber base, it was added because it’s a marquee matchup to add to Michigan, OSU, and PSU to sell to the networks.

        Like

  37. John V says:

    Simple questions: Why are their divisions/pods necessary again? Divisions in college football are dumb. They are a professional sport arrangement that for some reason has been transferred to the college world in recent years.

    College football is driven by (1) rivalries, (2) conference play and championships, and (3) quality match-ups. That’s it. No big secret. Divisions get in the way of all three.

    So, how do you hit all three important points? Annual protected match-ups + round robin of the remaining conference members, which emphasis on avoiding long periods of not seeing conference members.

    Move to 9 conference games. Give each school 3 or 4 protected rivals (but not 4-team pods). Round-robin through the rest of the conference for the remaining 5 or 6 games.

    Everybody happy. No school will ever go more than 2 years without seeing another school, and everybody will have a few yearly match-ups against the national powers in addition to their rivals.

    Like

    • @John V – NCAA rules state that in order to hold a conference championship game, you need to have divisions where teams play all of the other members of their division in a round robin. So, unless conferences want to drop their conference championship games (which is effectively a non-starter if you have over 12 teams in a conference), you need to split up into divisions. That’s why it’s not feasible to just assign 3 or 4 protected rivals to each school. Now, NCAA rules don’t state that the divisions need to be fixed year-to-year, so that’s where the pod concept comes in. You can rotate pods into different divisions from year-to-year, which would have the same effect as allowing teams to play their inter-pod conference mates on a regular basis while still having 2 divisions to comply with NCAA rules of holding a conference championship game.

      Like

    • gregenstein says:

      There’s some NCAA rule somewhere that states, to play a conference championship game, you must have 2 divisions in your conference, and each division must play a round robin within the division, at a minimum. And, you must have a minimum of 12 teams to do any of this. That’s why the B1G didn’t have divisions when they had just 11 teams; no financial benefit and the scheduling was tough enough.

      You can’t just play a mashup schedule and have top 2 left standing stage the conference title game; you have to follow the 2 division model. There are no rules for how often you have to play teams in the other division (other than the mandatory championship game should you reach it).

      Like

      • wade says:

        I would not be surprised if that rule is re-thought once 16-team conferences and the [expanded] play-offs are in place.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Wade:

          NCAA never intended this rule for D1 football. There will have to be new rule alteration to allow for the upcoming playoff, but I don’t think the NCAA (membership mostly non D1 schools) will want to do much more to help the D1 schools unless it’s necessary to avoid them leaving altogether. While I think that’s coming, I don’t know that it’s imminent.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          I don’t think the Presidents would have much of a taste for that. And I don’t think there are a lot of extra $. That’s what it would take for the Presidents to make themselves look more like professionals and change a rule that wasn’t even intended to be used as it is in the first place.

          Like

  38. loki_the_bubba says:

    The one thing in conference realignment I care least about? Big Ten division speculation.

    Like

    • Stopping By says:

      +1 They lost me at Legends and Leaders. Unless something simple comes out…I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never know what division is what and who is where.

      Like

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      You are nothing but a dirty divisionist!

      That of course makes this the perfect place to post this…

      I know it is very unlikely to happen but I’m a big fan of pods & a 9 game conference schedule for the 14 team B1G.

      ‭Two 4 team fixed pods:
      ‎Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana
      ‎TSUN, Sparty, Northwestern, Purdue

      Two 3 team floating pods:
      ‎Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota
      ‎PSU, Rutgers, Maryland

      ‎Each team in the fixed pods would have a single locked opponent:
      ‎Ohio State – TSUN
      ‎Wisconsin – Sparty
      ‎Illinois – Northwestern
      ‎Indiana – Purdue
      ‎The teams in the floating pods don’t need a locked opponent as they’lll face all of the teams in the opposing pod each year.

      ‎The teams in the floating pods would play every team on the conference a minimum of two out of four years. The teams in the fixed pods would face every team in the conference two out of four years except for their non-locked opponents in the opposing pod who they would face four years out of every six. No team would have any opponent off of their schedule for more than two years.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I think WI would complain, and the B10 will never drop WI/MN as an annual game.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Right.

        UNL+Iowa+Minny+Wisconsin will have to go in one of your 4 team pods.
        Michigan, OSU, PSU, MSU, RU, & UMD would go in to the 2 3-team pods (as they play each other every year anyway, divide them up however you like). That leaves Northwestern, Illinois, IU, & PU in the other 4 team pod.

        Like

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Congratulations! You’ve successfully come up with yet another complete non-starter due a ridiculous lack of name/competitive balance. Half the time it would look like:

          Ohio State, TSUN, MSU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota
          PSU, Rutgers, UMD, Illinois, Purdue, IU, Northwestern

          Yeah not a chance in hell of that setup seeing the light of day.

          My dream setup isn’t perfect but it does actually take into account the stated priorities of the decision makers (things like brand & historical balance). It also reinforces the decisions that were made in the previous round of alignment (Ohio State/TSUN split, even mix of kings, equal access to Chicago, the Nebraska/Iowa/Minnesota trio & yes Wisconsin going east) rather than pretending that those decisions weren’t made for a reason.

          Is it flawed? Absolutely, but it does actually attempt to balance the various factors that TPTB have shown to be important rather than focusing on a single one to the
          exlusion of all else.

          It’s actually similar in concept to the inner/outer setup except that everyone faced one another more often.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            The imbalance is solely in the 4 school pods. The 3 school pods play each other all the time anyway, so they can be divided up in as balanced a manner as possible. For instance,
            Michigan-MSU-RU vs. OSU-PSU-UMD

            Even the 4 school pods can be divided in a balanced manner without breaking up rivalries, as UNL only has to play Iowa every year. For instance,
            Iowa-UNL
            Northwestern-Illinois
            Wisconsin-PU
            Minnesota-IU

            The divisions would be balanced and, unlike you, I don’t sacrifice any major rivalries.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Or North: MI/OSU/Rutgers; East: PSU, MD, MSU

            Lock: OSU/PSU, alternate OSU/MD, OSU/MSU
            Lock MI/MSU, alternate MI/PSU, MI/MSU
            Lock: Rutgers/MD, alternate Rutgers/PSU, Rutgers/MSU

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Scarlet_Lutefisk,

        “I know it is very unlikely to happen but I’m a big fan of pods & a 9 game conference schedule for the 14 team B1G.”

        Pods have almost no chance this round. Getting the 9th game will be hard enough. But let’s examine it hypothetically.

        ‭Two 4 team fixed pods:
        ‎”Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana
        ‎TSUN, Sparty, Northwestern, Purdue

        Two 3 team floating pods:
        ‎Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota
        ‎PSU, Rutgers, Maryland”

        Why those groupings?

        The 6 teams in the small pods all play each other every year plus a pod of 4. The pods of 4 play all 3 pod games, 3/4 of the other large pod and 1 pod of 3. Any grouping that preserves all rivalries within those constraints will work.

        Some people’s groupings ignore balance, which isn’t practical but preserves rivalries really well, but there are options.

        A – OSU, PSU, RU, MD
        B – NE, MN, PU
        C – WI, IA, IN
        D – MI, MSU, NW, IL

        Locked: OSU/MI, PSU/MSU, RU/NW, MD/IL
        Annual: All in pod games, all B vs C games, all locked A vs D games

        Sample schedules:
        OSU:
        100% – PSU, RU, MD, MI
        67% – MSU, NW, IL
        50% – NE, WI, IA, MN, PU, IN

        NE:
        100% – WI, IA, MN, PU, IN
        50% – OSU, MI, PSU, MSU, NW, IL, RU, MD

        Diminished rivalries:
        OSU/IL – 67%
        MI/MN, IL/IN, IL/PU – 50%

        Maybe an E/W split:
        A – OSU, PSU, RU, MD
        B – NE, MN, NW
        C – WI, IA, IL
        D – MI, MSU, PU, IN

        Sample schedules:
        OSU:
        100% – PSU, RU, MD, MI
        67% – MSU, PU, IN
        50% – NE, WI, IA, MN, NW, IL

        NE:
        100% – WI, IA, MN, NW, IL
        50% – OSU, MI, PSU, MSU, PU, IN, RU, MD

        Diminished rivalries:
        MI/MN, OSU/IL, IL/IN, IL/PU – 50%

        On the other hand, all the CST teams play each other annually and the eastern teams less while the EST teams play each other more and the western teams less. I don’t like to diminish the LBJ or Illibuck, but something has to give and it seems OK to make OSU and MI pay part of the price. MN can assuage their feelings by getting NE to start replacing MI as their king rivalry, and IL will have to do the same thing (NE for OSU).

        Like

    • Brian says:

      loki_the_bubba,

      How about if we start throwing Rice and Tulane into the divisions to make it interesting for you?

      Like

  39. kappadoce says:

    EAST (protected game)
    Indiana (MSU)
    Maryland (Minnesota)
    OSU (Michigan)
    PSU (Nebraska)
    Purdue (Iowa)
    Rutgers (Wisconsin)
    Illinois (NW)

    WEST (protected game)
    Iowa (Purdue)
    Michigan (OSU)
    MSU (Indiana)
    Minnesota (Maryland)
    Nebraska (PSU)
    NW (Illinois)
    Wisconsin (Rutgers)

    Move to a 9-game schedule would be essential. The East/West Division teams would alternate years on the 5th conference home game. This set up does the following:

    – Maintains all rivalries on an annual basis (except for Minn v PSU, PSU v MSU)
    – Makes Geographic sense
    – Each team would play 3 teams in the other division (1 protected crossover, 2 rotating).
    – You could make the scheduing work out so teams in the West like Michigan, Nebraska visit the East Coast (NJ, MD, or PA) once every other year.
    – Looking at it today, it may seem out of balance, but historically the teams in each division are actually quite close –> EAST division has a total of 4526 all time wins. WEST division has a total of 4758 all time wins (these win totals disregard NCAA vacated wins).
    – Additionally, the all-time Bowl wins total by each division is tied at 83.

    For Hoops, you could keep the same divisions. Each team would play a Home & Away with each division team. Would then play each team once in the other division. Would then play your protected crossover an additional time either Home or Away, depending on what you played the earlier. This would be a 20 game conference schedule.

    What is the major opposition to this divisional set-up?

    Like

    • ohiomarc says:

      OSU and Michigan are in separate divisions, the east is way too weak comparatively, 9-game schedule won’t be happening for at least a couple years (if at all), divisions are unnecessary for basketball.

      Like

    • vp19 says:

      Your football setup is fine, but 20 games is too much of a conference slate for men’s and women’s basketball. Just set up a few protected rivals to get to 18.

      I was tinkering with a hoops format, and came up with this de facto divisional setup:

      A: Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
      B: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin
      C: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

      Every team plays annual home-and-homes within their group (A: 6 games, B & C: 8 games) and at least one game against everyone else in the conference (A: 10 games, B & C: 9 games). That leaves two openings to reach 18 for A, one each for B and C. To fill that, each A team plays a second game against one B and one C team, rotating. The B and C teams that don’t get a second game with A teams play each other to complete an 18-game schedule.

      For example, were we to set this up alphabetically for the first year, extra home-and-homes would look like this:
      Maryland: Indiana, Illinois
      Ohio State: Michigan, Iowa
      Penn State: Michigan State, Minnesota
      Rutgers: Purdue, Nebraska

      Indiana: Maryland
      Michigan: Ohio State
      Michigan State: Penn State
      Purdue: Rutgers
      Wisconsin: Northwestern

      Illinois: Maryland
      Iowa: Ohio State
      Minnesota: Penn State
      Nebraska: Rutgers
      Northwestern: Wisconsin

      Is this perfect? No. But it should be noted that the Big Ten hasn’t always given its “traditional” rivalries (Ohio State-Michigan, Indiana=Purdue) home-and-home basketball status.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I hope they just go through a straight rotation or just lock a two games apiece. No reason most those teams need to always be home and home every year.

        Like

      • m (Ag) says:

        On an SEC blog last year, I suggested a basketball scheduling format that gave each team 3 primary rivals and 4 secondary rivals:

        -You would play each of your primary rivals home-and-home every year.
        -You would play 2 of your secondary rivals home-and-home in even years and once in odd years. The other 2 secondary rivals would be home-and-home in odd years and played once in even years
        -You would play a single game against the other 6 conference teams every year.

        In a 4 year period with this format:
        -You would play each of your primary rivals 4 times at home, 4 times on the road
        -You would play each of your secondary rivals 3 times at home, 3 times on the road
        -You would play the other 6 teams twice at home, twice on the road.

        I like this format because it gives each team a chance to build strong rivalries while still getting to see every team in the conference every 2 years. While some teams on the edges would have a secondary rival or 2 on the other side of the conference, there would be a focus on playing closer teams more frequently.

        In a sport where the regular season is followed by a large conference tournament, which is then followed by a large national tournament, I think it’s silly to prioritize a ‘balanced’ regular season conference schedule over frequent rivalry games. Of course the SEC coaches decided that was their priority, only giving each team 1 permanent rival and rotating everyone else on the home-away schedules.

        [Note-if you try to set up a whole conference with this set-up, it takes some time to assign the secondary rivalries. Each team has 4 different 'slots':
        a) Home & Away in years 1&3, H in year 2, A in year 4
        b) H&A in years 2&4, H in year 1, A in year 3
        c) H&A in years 1&3, A in year 2, H in year 4
        d) H&A in years 2&4, A in year 1, H in year 3

        If Illinois has Iowa in its slot 'a', then Iowa has Illinois in its slot 'c'. Slots 'b' and 'd' are related in the same way. You can only assign 2 schools as secondary rivals if they have corresponding slots available]

        Like

    • jokewood says:

      The competitive balance is terrible.

      Like

      • kappadoce says:

        If you look at only recent history, you would be correct. But after all, how much weight is competitive balance going to have? I would also argue taking the current competitive balance may not apply in the future, so if competitive balance is important, you would need to re-calibrate divisions every year.

        Like

        • jokewood says:

          It’s imbalanced over the last couple years as well as the last couple decades. We’ll never be able to perfectly predict the future, but the past gives us a darn good idea.

          Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      Kappadoce,
      The problem with those divisions are:
      Major imbalance – pencil in Ohio State for the conference championship game for the next decade. On the other side, you could be pretty sure that Michigan is going to have one of the toughest roads in all of college football every single year.
      Michigan visits Rutgers, Maryland and Penn State once every six years each. With Frank’s East-West setup, you get Michigan visits the three eastern school once every other year each.
      Just like I don’t think the Big Ten added Maryland and Rutgers to have them play in a division with the four western schools (inner-outer), I don’t think they expanded with the idea of Purdue, Indiana and Illinois monetizing the eastern markets by making up more than half of the division-mates for Maryland and Rutgers.

      Like

  40. Mike says:

    Broadly speaking, it seems there are at least 4 goals one could have in setting up divisions, which are not entirely compatible:

    1. Preserving rivalries
    2. Competitive balance
    3. Allowing teams to play each other conference team as much as possible.
    4. Making division assignment certain and easy to remember.

    I’ve ranked those goals in the order I think most important. In other words, I would be willing to making the division assignments confusing so long as it preserves the first 3 goals. Here is my proposal:

    Division A: MICH, MSU, Rutgers + 2 teams from West pod (see below) + 2 teams from Midwest pod (see below).

    Division B: OSU, PSU, Maryland + 2 teams from West pod (see below) + 2 teams from Midwest pod (see below).

    West pod: NEB, MN, IA, WI

    Midwest pod: IL, NW, PU, IN.

    Permanent division A and permanent division B teams each play one permanent crossover (MICH-OSU, PSU-Rutgers, MSU-Maryland) plus one of the other two permanent cross-division teams.

    West and Midwest pods each play each other every year and rotate divisions. For example, division A might consist of MICH-MSU-Rutgers, NEB-MN, NW-PU for two years, then the West and Midwest teams would rotate in some set fashion. If done correctly, this should work out so that over an 8-game schedule each team has 3 permanent rivals and plays every other 4 out of 8 years.

    It would be confusing as hell, but is it any more confusing then Legends and Leaders? I can live with confusing. It preserves rivalries, maintains competitive balance, allows teams to play frequently, and preserves the sense of there being one conference and not two divisions.

    Like

    • ohiomarc says:

      If they scrap and redo these divisions, and STILL have OSU and Michigan in separate divisions, it can only be classified as a massive fail.

      Like

      • greg says:

        “If they scrap and redo these divisions, and STILL have OSU and Michigan in separate divisions, it can only be classified as a massive fail.”

        That is your opinion.

        Like

        • ohiomarc says:

          Um yeah, obviously. But it’s also the opinion of the majority of OSU and UM fans, at least among those I’ve heard/spoken to and on the message boards I frequent.

          Like

          • greg says:

            The league isn’t going to align the divisions just to satisfy UM/OSU fans. Creating a division that you think is cool and giving the finger to the rest of the conference isn’t going to gain the AD votes necessary to have such a divisional alignment pass.

            Like

          • jokewood says:

            @greg

            If two schools *both* demand that playing in the same division with the other is their #1 priority, then all efforts should be made to put those two schools in the same division. It doesn’t matter if it’s Michigan-Ohio State or Purdue-Indiana.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            I’m assuming the BIG will keep the same compromise as before, which is that OSU and MICH are in separate divisions but get to continue to play on the last game of the year. It’s better for the other 12 teams if the two biggest powers are in separate divisions.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            As far as arriving at the same compromise as before, it appears that when they formed divisions, that Michigan school was in favor of being in separate divisions. They may no longer be of the view that possibly playing OSU twice, once with their division title possibly on the line, the second time with the conference championship on the line, is still in their best interests.

            Like

        • ohiomarc says:

          Not sure why you’re being so hostile, but trying to satisfy OSU & UM doesn’t necessarily mean giving the finger to anyone.

          Like

      • frug says:

        The only way any new divisional alignment could be classified as a massive failure is if they don’t change the names of the divisions. Anything else would just be disappointing at worst.

        Like

    • GreatLakeState says:

      UofM/OSU/PSU will all be in the east. If we need to add another AAU-less power in the west to bring equilibrium to the world, so be it.
      ‘…where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!’

      Like

    • m (Ag) says:

      So, slightly altering your plan:

      Year 1-2:
      Alpha: Mich, OSU, Rutgers, Neb, Iowa, IL, NW
      Omega: MSU, PSU, Maryland, WI, MN, IN, PU

      Year 3-4:
      Alpha: Mich, OSU, Rutgers, WI, MN, IL, NW
      Omega: MSU, PSU, Maryland, Neb, Iowa, IN, PU

      Year 5-6:
      Alpha: Mich, OSU, Rutgers, WI, MN, IN, PU
      Omega: MSU, PSU, Maryland, Neb, Iowa, IL, NW

      Year 7-8:
      Alpha: Mich, OSU, Rutgers, Neb, Iowa, IN, PU
      Omega: MSU, PSU, Maryland, WI, MN, IL, NW

      -You could re-name the divisions each cycle if you like

      -you could actually omit any 2 years of this to make a 6 year schedule that would let everyone see each other but not all equally frequently

      For cross-divisional games:
      Neb & Iowa would always play WI and MN
      IL & NW would always play IN and PU
      Mich would always play MSU; OSU would always play PSU, Rutgers would always play Maryland
      Mich, OSU, and Rutgers would also play one of the other 2 teams among MSU, PSU, and Maryland

      Like

  41. David Brown says:

    As a Penn State fan, I would like to have the Divisions this way: East: Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers Wisconsin. West: Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern. Annual Rivalry: Penn State/Nebraska, Ohio State/Michigan, Wisconsin/Iowa, Rutgers/Northwestern, Purdue/Michigan State, Maryland Minnesota. I certainly would be willing to do the “Black Friday” Game in Lincoln every other year(Maybe when Nebraska comes to State College, Iowa visits). My biggest priorities are in this order: 1: Ohio State. 2: Pitt Panthers. 3: Nebraska. 4: Wisconsin. 5: Rutgers. If we had those five Schools on my schedule I would be happy (Even with no Michigan)

    Like

    • GreatLakeState says:

      So I guess adding Maryland to appease PSU (among other things) is a non-starter. Also, poor MSU is going to have a superiority complex after they see you chose Wisconsin over them.
      I know it won’t happen, but this is why I wish they would add another football power in the West (Oklahoma anyone?). Michigan is going to demand to be in the east. As much as I love UofM, Ann Arbor reeks of ‘east coast elitism’. Columbus….not so much.

      Like

      • David Brown says:

        Penn State fans (Like Michigan State fans), basically do not care if each other is on the schedule or not. If I went from bottom to top of Big 10 interests, obviously Minnesota is on the bottom followed by Indiana, Purdue, and Illinois, but just above them is Michigan State, followed by Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan, Iowa, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and of course, Ohio State. In fact, I would wager that there are more Penn State fans who support seeing Temple on their schedule than Michigan State.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          In the Four Group plan above, ~ East(3) and North(3) swap West(4) and Central(4) every year to form the year’s championship divisions ~ PSU gets (in your order but top to bottom priority):

          1. OSU, 6, Maryland, 8, MSU annually
          2-5, 7, 9-14 every second year.

          So in the Four Group plan, would you prefer the following alternative?:

          East: MSU, PSU, Rutgers
          South: MI, OSU, MD

          That would give you annually 1, OSU; 4. Rutgers; 8. MSU.

          Like

    • Eric says:

      I will say I understand why this is so hard for the presidents. I can see why they’d do that completely (competitive balance, eastern exposure, etc), but it’s the proposed alignment that I want the absolute least. We’d still have Michigan in another division, now miss out on the Illibuck, and be playing both newbies every year.

      Like

  42. Eric says:

    Pete Thamel tweeted that 3 sources have said Boise’s departure from Big East is “inevitable.”

    If they end of leaving I could see it being for one of two situations (assuming no power conference invites). Both of them have some history suggesting they could be true.

    1. The Mountain West will offer Boise as very disproportionate amount of the revenue. Likely they’d just let Boise State keep the rights to its home games which it could sell itself to ESPN or whomever wanted them. The Mountain West’s network partners (FOX?, CBS?) would agree to this because getting the road games is still valuable and it’s a heck of a lot better prospect than having the Mountain West gutted by the Big East (which is the likely outcome if Boise State moves that way).

    History: We know Boise waited until the absolute last hour to send a withdrawal notice before and the Mountain West made an offer to keep them that would have let them keep more revenue than other Mountain West teams. Knowing the Mountain West is likely to either expand or lose western members to the Big East, there is probably even more incentive for them to offer everything they can now.

    2. The Mountain West could be offering both BYU and Boise State Olympic sports conferences, while the 2 could be football independents.

    History: The WAC offered the same thing to BYU already and the Mountain West composition includes a lot of former WAC members.

    Like

  43. frug says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/dennis-dodd/21436444/colorado-new-mexico-trying-to-coax-byu-and-boise-state-into-forming-new-league

    Representatives from Colorado State and New Mexico have shown preliminary but informal interest in forming a new conference that would have Boise State and/or BYU as its foundation, CBSSports.com has learned.

    Like

    • frug says:

      Also,

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Andy Katz is saying UConn and Cincy expect to be in ACC because the B1G is expected to invite Georgia Tech and –this is new– North Carolina. This is part of an article talking about Boise considering going back to MWC.

        Like

        • frug says:

          http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8771286/boise-state-broncos-discussing-staying-mountain-west-snubbing-big-east

          At this point, both schools have to stay in the Big East, but sources at Cincinnati and UConn are under the impression, even if it’s not known to be true yet, that the Big Ten will raid the ACC for two more schools — North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

          Like

          • I also highly recommend this piece from Pete Thamel from Sports Illustrated:

            http://m.si.com/627787/whats-next-for-catholic-7-big-east/

            Lots to chew on about Boise State, the Mountain West, Big East, Catholic 7 and Fox.

            Separately, I’m hearing the MWC could be announcing that Boise State is heading back (or more appropriately, staying) tomorrow. We’ll see.

            Like

          • frug says:

            $3 million a year sounds pretty damn optimistic to me.

            Like

          • @frug – I think it’s optimistic, but it’s definitely not out there (especially if it ends up getting split up among multiple networks). The C7 provides a critical mass of winter programming for a new network like Fox Sports One and they hit a ton of major markets (NYC, Chicago, DC, Philly). My impression is that the C7 is going to end up with a better TV deal than a lot of people think – they didn’t just break off based on blind faith (pardon the expression for a group of religious schools). Despite the general belief that football rules everything in TV contracts, the C7 were definitely adding more to the potential hybrid Big East contract than taking away from it, and that’s going to be reflected in their separate deal.

            Like

          • Quiet Storm says:

            Cincy and UConn at some point have to focus on their immediate future and not where they would like to be. All of this chatter about wanting to get into the ACC is not helping the BE attempt to move forward. If they thought the current BE was bad, one without Boise State and more than likely San Diego State is even worse.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Its 1.5 million for bb on their old contract with 17 teams. From the old BE, VT, Miami, Rutgers were addition by subtraction. BC didn’t add. Notre Dame was in an extended mediocre period before they joined. Pitt was no different from BC 10 years ago. WV was only slightly above average. SU and UConn are the losses from the old BE (UL,UC,USF are more recent additions). But they are adding the 2005 bb programs-Marquette & DePaul, both with some history. Marquette is strong now. Dayton and Butler have been to championship games. Xavier is strong now. I can easily see going from $26 million to $36 million with the passage of time.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            It was a good article Frank. Thanks.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Bullet and Frank

            I don’t dispute that $3 million a year is plausible, it just seems like that is a best case scenario.

            That said, I don’t think $2+ million is out of the question at all, and after factoring in lower travel and logistical costs believe the C7 will come out ahead financially from the split relative to sticking with the hybrid.

            Like

          • frug says:

            One final thing to keep in mind: The Mountain West is on the offensive a bit here. It has reached out to at least one non-Western Big East school. They’re clearly being aggressive.

            So are we thinking Cincy?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frug:

            I would think Houston (or maybe SMU). Possibly Navy.

            Wooing a school on the other side of the country who will leap at the ACC at the first chance doesn’t make long-term strategic sense.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I assumed Houston and SMU were considered Western members, but I think they have almost certainly been contacted either way.

            Navy is an interesting option. Didn’t think of them.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            MWC -could- be targeting Memphis (along with the TX schools). UNLV, SDSU, UNM, & Memphis would make for the clearly 7th best basketball league (supplanting the A10 after they lose their more valuable Midwestern schools). Clearly 6th best football league. A “best of the rest” league like that would be well positioned to join the big boys if they decide to split from the rest of the NCAA.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            @Quiet Storm ~ Cincy has been quiet about wanting to join the ACC since the ACC invited Louisville, but having actively pursued the ACC spot, the horse has already bolted the barn as far a stopping further chatter by others about Cincy jumping to the ACC at the next opportunity.

            That is what will likely push Boise State to either go back to the MWC on some sort of favorable terms or forming a new conference. If they are not going to be going to the Big East, that gives SDSU a get out of jail free card to play ~ no Big East teams west of the Rockies and SDSU cancel their entry without penalty, which makes 3 top 50 media markets in the MWC. If the MWC could add an opportunity to play in Texas every year by inviting Houston and SMU, there’s the bulk of the Big East’s “Western Plan”, except all as part of the MWC.

            Like

        • vp19 says:

          I’m not sure how UNC can extricate itself from the ACC to join the Big Ten without finding a good landing spot for NCSU (SEC or, less likely, Big 12). And I sense that if Chapel Hill left for the Big Ten, it would prefer to move with a traditional partner (UVa or Duke), and Georgia Tech isn’t it.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Any three of UNC/UVA/Duke/GTech would make the academics happy. If three of them would make the academics happy enough to accept a non-AAU school, it would seem like UNC/UVA/GTech/FSU gives more football punch but makes NC-State and VTech to the SEC something close to a lock, while UNC/UVA/Duke/VTech gives more regional coherence, making Virginia all-Big Ten territory and North Carolina (assuming NC-State plus somebody to the SEC or the Big 12 taking NC-State / GTech / Clemson / FSU) a border state with substantial winter strength for the Big Ten.

            The best football upgrade is trying to get the academics to go along with AAU/non-AAU pairs, skip North Carolina altogether and get UVA/Vtech as a pair, GTech/FSU as a pair. But that’s definitely pressing the envelope on the academic side.

            Like

        • bamatab says:

          I’m sure UNC has had an “invite” from the B1G for quite awhile, that is nothing new. But how would the PTB at UConn & Cincy know what the B1G plans to do when we all know that the B1G and Delany are so secretive that they force the schools that they are in talks with sign confidentiality agreements? I could see sources with the ACC maybe catching wind of something, but even they wouldn’t know with any amount of certainty what was truely happening, much less 2 Big East schools. UNC & GT may be about to join the B1G, but the people at UConn & Cincy aren’t privy to it.

          Like

          • frug says:

            Yeah, that’s why I didn’t originally link to that article. It just didn’t make any sense to me. (After Bullet posted about it though I decided to put it up so people would have the context.)

            Like

  44. bullet says:

    There’s an interesting Q&A with Slive in USA Today. I’ll let someone who WordPress allows to cut and paste link it, as its a long title (why I can do it other places but not here, I’m not sure). There’s nothing earthshattering and he won’t do “hypotheticals”, but its still an interesting read. 14 is a pain to schedule, but they aren’t looking. They were happy with 12, but A&M and Missouri made them better on a 10-20 year timeline.

    Like

  45. sctvlk says:

    Who wants access to financial and social media accounts, the C.I.A or Ohio State? http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40769854/

    Like

  46. Justin says:

    You have to go East/west.

    Michigan has the second largest east coast alumni base other than Penn State in the current Big Ten. You want UM in the East to help Rutgers and Maryland with attendance. I think OSU, UM and PSU need to play MD and Rutgers as much as possible to help generate attendance.

    MSU can stay in the West to help with competitive balance.

    Like

  47. vp19 says:

    Someone at Clemson with a great sense of humor has created an ACC group portrait on the Titanic (although Maryland should have been shown leaping into a Big Ten lifeboat to represent its “unsinkable Molly Brown” status): http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b138/clemtiger117/titanic-final-moments.jpg

    Like

    • Great Lake State says:

      It’s a virtual Barbara Stanwyck Christmas-a-thon on TCM with ‘Meet John Doe’ and ‘Remember the night’.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Both superb films. “Remember The Night” was Stanwyck’s first teaming with Fred MacMurray; they would go on to make three more films, all drastically different: film noir (the classic “Double Indemnity”), a western (“The Moonlighter”) and romantic drama (Douglas Sirk’s “There’s Always Tomorrow”). Fred worked with many legendary leading ladies over his career — Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich — but you can argue his best chemistry came with Barbara.

        Like

  48. HawksNation says:

    Was reading an article on ESPN about Boise State possibly deciding to remain in the Mtn West and this interesting tidbit popped up:

    “At this point, both schools have to stay in the Big East, but sources at Cincinnati and UConn are under the impression, even if it’s not known to be true yet, that the Big Ten will raid the ACC for two more schools — North Carolina and Georgia Tech.”

    Of course this could very well be Cincy and UConn in denial about not getting an ACC invite, but this is a scenario that’s been thrown out there and is interesting nonetheless.

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8771286/boise-state-broncos-discussing-staying-mountain-west-snubbing-big-east

    Like

  49. Eric says:

    One interesting aspect of Boise State going back to the Mountain West would be that it would be the first time in all of this that we really had a change in the pecking order. It used to be something like: Big Ten, SEC>PAC-12, Big 12, ACC> Big East>Mountain West, Conference USA>MAC, WAC, Sunbelt. You could debate some of that, but the Big East was clearly above the Mountain West. If Boise goes back (and San Diego State with them), the Mountain West is probably the top of the non-power conferences. It could even try to raid the Big East and take Houston and SMU if it wanted (although it’s not a complete forgone conclusion they’d go).

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      A good point. Re-establishing a conference with a more comfortable “footprint” could pay off for the MWC, now that the Big East is in such flux. Houston and Southern Methodist could each envision themselves as using the MWC to become the next generation’s Texas Christian, parlaying football success into a ticket for the Big 12 (something I doubt would happen, but you can’t keep people from dreaming).

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        That’s a point about the ig 12 Grant of Rights ~ if it pushes a lot of speculation of Pac-12 raiding of the Big 12 over five years into the future, which also gives room for a program to dream of being ready for the “stuff rolls downhill” invite years into the future. But you’d want a conference to play in before that hoped-for future that gives you the best possible chance to bust into an Access bowl once or twice in the meantime.

        Like

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      I’d move the Pac one spot over with the B1G & SEC. A conference that took one school from the Big 12 and was close to taking several more should be in the > slot.

      Like

  50. vp19 says:

    From Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times, an entertaining overview of conference realignment, complete with diagram: http://www.latimes.com/sports/college/football/la-sp-dufresne-conference-shifting-20121221,0,6947775,full.column

    Like

  51. mouse says:

    Most of the scheduling setups I see here are geared to arranging the best possible in-season games, without regard to what happens to the championship game. There is an advantage to having a strong championship game as well. In the end it sets the public view of the conference for a time going forward. A PSU-OSU championship game, for example, would be a lot more attractive than the same game in week six.

    And adding Rutgers and Maryland wasn’t done to “appease” PSU, as one poster here suggested, but rather to take advantage of PSU’s asset value. It’s main connections are Maryland north to NYC. Michigan has very strong connections there as well. By adding schools that play in that area, alums of those schools can see their team play, and the Big Ten benefits as a whole. My daughter, who lives in the DC area, was really excited to see Maryland join. She tells me there are alumni bars in the city that focus on Big Ten Schools (how she would know this I have no idea. Perhaps she read about it in the paper). Indiana, incidentally, was one school she mentioned. Alumni associations gather to watch their schools games and, well, I don’t know. She didn’t say beyond that. Cheer, I suppose. But the point is, there is a huge base of fans in place there who are eager to go see their school play. Maryland home attendance should jump as Big Ten schools come to town. All of that benefits the Big Ten as a whole.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      When I lived in New Jersey, I occasionally traveled to NYC to join fellow Terrapin fans at an alumni bar. I recall dropping by one night to see Maryland play basketball at Wake Forest (2003? 2004?), and we had to wait for the end of a Wisconsin-Purdue game (their alums used that bar, too) which was your stereotypical Big Ten defensive struggle, interesting but not always aesthetically pleasing. Little did we realize that slightly more than a decade later…

      Like

  52. Dr. Frankenconference says:

    Whenever I read any prediction and/or advocacy of various ACC schools shifting their allegiances to (supposedly) stronger conferences, I am struck by what I see as a stark set of barriers to the ACC essentially being treated by other leagues like how Austria, Prussia, and Russia treated Poland in the late eighteenth century — barriers that persist even in the face of ongoing doubts about the ACC’s long-term stability and financial viability:

    1. The Big Ten may want to lure certain ACC schools, but those schools may have little (if any) interest in Big Ten membership.
    2. Some ACC schools may want to move to the Big Ten, but the Big Ten may have little (if any) interest in adding those particular schools.
    3. The SEC may want to lure certain ACC schools, but those schools may have little (if any) interest in SEC membership.
    4. Some ACC schools may want to move to the SEC, but the SEC may have little (if any) interest in adding those particular schools.
    5. Some elements within the Big 12 may want to lure certain ACC schools. However, (a) those schools may have little (if any) interest in Big 12 membership — or, at best, want to defect to another “power” conference more than they want to be in the Big 12 specifically; and (b) the Big 12 seems to be at a stalemate on the issue of expansion.
    6. Some of the most coveted ACC schools are unlikely to change conferences unless they are bundled (voluntarily and/or mandatorily) with certain rivals, and a conference that seeks to stay at or below a certain number of members and/or maintain rigid criteria for membership might thus reject the whole bundle no matter how attractive or beneficial a particular school in the bundle may be to that league. UNC might turn down any conference that will not also take in Duke, and state-level (especially university system) politics may also prevent TPTB in Chapel Hill from committing to any league that refuses to let NC State come along with the Tar Heels. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech could find itself forced to be perpetually in the same conference as UVa (whether or not the ACC is that league) as an act of retaliation by forces in Charlottesville that might still be bitter over the Hokies’ ascension to the ACC.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away from the ACC’s footprint lies a league that is largely secure for the next few years because a grant of rights, but whose schools could be in a situation similar to the current predicament of ACC schools when and if the GOR no longer exists:

    1. The Big Ten may want to lure certain Big 12 schools, but those schools may have little (if any) interest in Big Ten membership even if the Big 12 got rid of its GOR.
    2. Some Big 12 schools may want to move to the Big Ten, but the Big Ten may have little (if any) interest in adding those particular schools even if the Big 12 got rid of its GOR.
    3. The SEC may want to lure certain Big 12 schools, but those schools may have little (if any) interest in SEC membership even if the Big 12 got rid of its GOR.
    4. Some Big 12 schools may want to move to the SEC, but the SEC may have little (if any) interest in adding those particular schools even if the Big 12 got rid of its GOR.
    5. The Pac-12 may want to lure certain Big 12 schools, but those schools may have little (if any) interest in Pac-12 membership even if the Big 12 got rid of its GOR.
    6. Some Big 12 schools may want to move to the Pac-12, but the Pac-12 may have little (if any) interest in adding those particular schools even if the Big 12 got rid of its GOR.
    7. Even if the Big 12 got rid of its GOR, some of the most coveted schools in that conference are unlikely to change leagues unless they are bundled (voluntarily and/or mandatorily) with certain rivals, and a conference that seeks to stay at or below a certain number of members and/or maintain rigid criteria for membership might thus reject the whole bundle no matter how attractive or beneficial a particular school in the bundle may be to that league. UTex and OU might each turn down any conference that will not also take in the other school, state-level politics in Texas may prevent UTex from joining any league that refuses to add Texas Tech also, and state-level politics in Oklahoma may prevent OU from joining any league that refuses to add Oklahoma State also.

    I thus propose a possibly radical solution that could not only relieve ACC schools’ anxieties over the futures (financial and otherwise) of their athletic programs, but also prevent such anxieties from materializing within a post-GOR Big 12 and even neutralize the Big Ten, the Pac-12, and the SEC (or at least provide a mutual defense against the Big Ten and the SEC):

    1. The Big 12 and the ACC merge with each other once the latter conference says goodbye to Maryland and hello to Louisville. To accommodate the Big 12’s GOR, the merger would be structured so that the Big 12 would officially be the acquiring organization.
    2. Once the Big 12 and the ACC complete this merger, the resulting conference then splits into two new leagues. Sixteen of the seventeen southernmost schools would form one conference, and the remaining schools (including a geographically southern school with a history of preferring to associate with northern schools) would establish another conference.
    3. The (mostly) more northerly of the two new leagues then adds what are possibly the two most valuable remaining all-sports members of the current Big East.

    Without further ado, here are those new leagues:

    [b]Metro Conference Version 2.0[/b]
    (so named because it includes four members of the original Metro Conference)

    [u]Eastern Division[/u]

    Clemson
    Duke
    Georgia Tech*
    North Carolina
    North Carolina State
    Virginia
    Virginia Tech*
    Wake Forest

    [u]Western Division[/u]

    Baylor
    Florida State*
    Louisville*
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State
    Texas
    Texas Christian
    Texas Tech

    (* member of the original Metro)

    [b]East Central Conference[/b]
    (so named because its schools are located in the eastern and central sections of the United States)

    Boston College
    Cincinnati
    Connecticut
    Iowa State
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    Miami
    Notre Dame**
    Pittsburgh
    Syracuse
    West Virginia

    (** non-football membership, but with a football scheduling arrangement similar to what Notre Dame and the ACC intend to have with each other)

    Like

    • Tom says:

      FSU will never join that Western division. Makes no sense.

      Like

      • Dr. Frankenconference says:

        I will admit that Florida State in a division with the Big 12’s current Texas and Oklahoma schools (“the Texoma Six”) and Louisville may not make much sense on the surface. Such a division would definitely be cumbersome to the Seminoles on the issues of travel (in both distance and cost) for nearly every sport and strength of schedule for football. With that said, I regard my proposed Eastern and Western divisions of a Metro Conference 2.0 as the “least worst” way to split a sixteen-school league comprised of the Texoma Six and every ACC school south of the Ohio and Potomac rivers except Miami.

        A Metro Conference 2.0 with either a pod system or a structure of Northern and Southern divisions would almost surely cause a breakup of the Texoma Six and/or the ACC’s members in the states of North Carolina and Virginia (“the Tidewater Six”). The current ACC’s Atlantic and Coastal divisions are messy enough already, and employing a similar setup of “zipper” divisions in a conference as far-lung as the Metro 2.0 would be even more confusing to fans and the media and even more destructive to many rivalries. Furthermore, these Eastern and Western divisions would keep together the Tidewater and Texoma sixes, respectively; allow all seven remaining pre-FSU ACC schools, including all five of the ACC’s remaining charter members, to be in the same division; and be a truer east-west split than the SEC’s Eastern and Western divisions have ever been. While the Western Division would almost certainly be stronger in football (at least initally), the Eastern Division’s members could take solace in that their half of the Metro 2.0 would almost certainly be stronger in men’s basketball (again, at least initially). Finally, of particular concern to the leadership in Tallahassee, if neither the Big Ten nor the SEC wants Florida State as a member, then the Seminoles’ only likely alternatives to campaigning for this Metro Conference 2.0 and accepting a spot in the new league’s Western Division would be either sticking with an ACC status quo that looks to be increasingly suicidal from a financial standpoint or begging to enter a Big 12 that, at best, seems to remain lukewarm about the idea of an expansion consisting of just FSU and one other easterly (and equally isolated) school.

        Now, here are some new thoughts about my proposed “phoenix” conferences rising from ashes shared by the ACC and the Big 12:

        Metro Conference Version 2.0

        * This league could alternatively be named the New South Conference, as a swipe against the “Old South” ways of the SEC; or Version 2.0 of the American South Conference, recycling the name of another defunct non-football Division I conference, this one being a small league that existed from 1987 through 1991.

        * Each football team in the Metro 2.0 would play a nine-game conference schedule — a seven-game round robin within its division, one game each against two teams from the other division, and no locked cross-division rival for any team.

        * The Metro 2.0 would hold its football championship game at the home stadium of the division champion with the better record due to the conference’s geographic breadth and the lack of a seemingly obvious neutral locale for such a game within the league’s footprint. (These are more or less the reasons why the Pac-12 takes this approach with its football championship game.)

        * Each basketball team (whether men’s or women’s) would play an eighteen-game, division-free conference schedule, with three locked annual home-and-home opponents — so that, for instance, each North Carolina school in the conference would play hoops on a home-and-home basis against all three of its in-state rivals every season — and one game annually against each of the other twelve schools in the league.

        * The Metro 2.0’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments would include every team in the conference that is eligible for postseason play in a given season (in a nod to the tradition of the ACC basketball tournaments). For practically the same reasons for holding the football championship game at the home stadium of the division champion with the better record (and, obviously, in contrast to the ACC’s and Big 12’s preferences for neutral or least predetermined sites for hoops tourneys), the men’s basketball tournament would be held at the home arena of the regular-season men’s champion, and the women’s basketball tournament would likewise be conducted at the home arena of the regular-season women’s champion.

        East Central Conference

        * Neither Cincinnati nor Connecticut is an absolute must for the ECC. This league could work also with just Boston College, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Miami, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia as full members and Notre Dame as a non-football member. Besides, this slightly smaller lineup could placate Boston College if those in charge in Chestnut Hill are unwilling to share a new conference with another school in the New England region in much the same way that BC has at least been alleged to be hostile to ACC membership for UConn or any other New England school.

        * A third possible alignment for the ECC could accommodate Boston College’s possible aversion to a having conference rival in New England, allow this league to have enough football teams for its own football championship game, and … at long last … provide Notre Dame with an incentive to place its football program in a conference:

        East Division

        Army
        Boston College
        Miami
        Navy
        Notre Dame
        Syracuse

        Central Division

        Cincinnati
        Iowa State
        Kansas
        Kansas State
        Pittsburgh
        West Virginia

        This version of the ECC would have a seven-game conference schedule for each football team — a five-game round robin within its division, one game each against two teams from the other division, and no locked cross-division rival for any team. Thus, as long as each FBS football team plays a twelve-game regular season, a Notre Dame football team in the ECC East Division could preserve its annual games against Michigan State, Purdue, Stanford, and USC out of conference; play a different team each season as its fifth non-conference opponent; play its annual games against BC and Navy with an upgrade of importance; and set its on-again, off-again rivalries with Army, Miami, and Syracuse to the “on” position for good. To sweeten the deal for Notre Dame even further, the ECC could structure its television contract to include an opt-out clause for any team at any school in the league, thus letting the Fighting Irish football program keep its own television deal and all of the revenues from said deal (similar to what Boise State might soon receive should it decide to stay in the MWC). At that point, as far as I can tell, the only “good” reasons for Notre Dame to stay independent in football would be tradition and ego.

        Like

  53. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Somehow it still doesn’t quite add up that the MWC could get more TV money than the Big East, even it had Boise State in tow.

    Neither conference is worthy of comparison to any of the Big Five, so let’s just compare the two. Which of the two has more remaining strength, and which has more dead weight, not compared to the power five, but compared to each other?

    It seems the Big East is stronger at the top AND at the bottom.
    Top Big East: Boise, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, USF,
    Top MWC: Utah State, Nevada, Hawaii, Fresno State
    Bottom Big East: Memphis, Tulane, SMU
    Bottom MWC: Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      The advantage the MWC has over the Big East is not that it could offer more TV money, because I do not believe it can, even after all the losses by the BE. Heck even if the MWC were to get Boise and SDSU back, it still would not get a better TV deal than the BE because the dead weight from the MWC draws absolutely zero interest, and oftentimes 20,000 or fewer actual attendees at the games, whereas the Big East has better attendance and is situated in better markets top to bottom.

      The advantages of the MWC are other things: (1) reduced travel costs for western members, (2) ability for western members to remain in better conference for non-football than the Big West, (3) greater likelihood of being able to lure in BYU, but only on certain conditions.

      The Big East is likely to remain the best, most lucrative non-power conference regardless because of its presence in the Northeast, in Texas, and in Florida, whereas the MWC is only in California and in lightly populated, recruit-scarce states. But that doesn’t mean the MWC won’t have the upper hand in getting some western members back.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        *Conditions for luring BYU back into the MWC:
        It would have to be a Notre Dame in the ACC type of arrangement. BYU needs October and November games to fill out its schedule far more badly than ND ever did, so getting a guaranteed five games/year would be critical for them. But going back to a weak, weak TV contract while having far, far less TV exposure is not something that interests BYU. Also, let us not forget the ego factor. BYU only followed through with independence after Utah sailed off to the Pac-12. Independence gave BYU the appearance that it is still in just as good a position as Utah by fancying itself as a Notre Same of the West. Returning in full to the MWC would be admitting that Utah has surpassed them.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          On the money side, one rumor is that the lure that the MWC will be using for Boise State is allowing them to keep the rights to their home games. If that is indeed being offered to Boise State, it seems like it would be offered to BYU as well.

          On the ego side, it does indeed seem that joining on what can be summarized as “on Notre Dame terms, as a Football independent”, whatever they may happen to be at the time, would obviously sit most comfortably with BYU. For the benefit of the MWC TV contract, the MWC would want to stipulate the five games are always 2 hosted by BYU, 3 hosted by the MWC.

          Like

    • Richard says:

      Mike, you can’t count Boise as they will make either league they join stronger.

      From Boise’s perspective, then:
      Cincy matched by USU.
      UConn matched by UNLV.
      Temple matched by UNM.
      All 3 are schools strong in basketball and mediocre or worse in football.
      USF & UCF matched by Fresno and AFA.
      ECU matched by Hawaii.
      TX schools (and maybe Memphis) are not guaranteed to go to BE. TX schools are just as far from BE as MWC so may likely go to the stronger league (where ever Boise goes). SDSU certainly will go where Boise goes.

      Plus Boise knows that Cincy and UConn will go to the ACC at the first chance while the top MWC schools aren’t going anywhere without Boise. So how is the BE stronger?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Oh, and in the MWC, Boise can actually benefit from the stronger basketball teams, while they can’t benefit from BE basketball strength.

        Factor in travel costs, and I think that it is a fairly easy decision for Boise.

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        That’s it ~ before Louisville was invited to the ACC, the Big East still had the FB edge. If the MWC can get BYU as a “Notre Dame member” ~ FB independent, Olympic sports member and a 5 game football scheduling agreement, AND if the MWC can convince CBS to allow Boise State to keep their home games, looking to the MWC away games of Boise State and BYU being open for taking, it seems like the MWC would have the edge, and the uncertainty over Cincy/UConn remaining in conference cobbled together over the shattered remnants of the Big East would only solidify that edge.

        Like

  54. Brian says:

    FranktheTank,

    “7. If divisions were to be changed, what criteria should be used to determine them? (Rank by importance Competitive balance, geography, protect traditional rivalries.)

    The #1 consideration by far should be to protect traditional rivalries, as those are at the heart of what makes college sports great. Close behind that should be geography, as that is a factor that will never change, whether it’s one year from now or two decades down the road.”

    Those two are largely the same thing (most rivals are neighbors), and many rivalries can be maintained with crossover games. They don’t need to be the basis for divisions.

    “Competitive balance is honestly a minor factor for me.”

    Really? How many times did the B12 get mocked for being lopsided? How many millions of fans nationwide made jokes about them? How many people followed the B12N in it’s last 5+ years?

    “All programs inevitable go up and down on-the-field over time, so attempting to gerrymander divisions based on historical records virtually always ends up backfiring (see the Leaders Division this past season and numerous occasions with the ACC divisions).”

    Of course teams fluctuate, but when one goes down another comes up (MI and MSU, for example). History does a reasonably good job of telling you who is most likely to be good, though, and only a fool would ignore that.

    As for the Leaders this year, what’s your point? OSU was the B10’s best team, PSU was top 4 and WI was top 6 and crushed the Legends champ in Indy. How is that a bad example? If it wasn’t for IL sucking tremendously, the Leaders would have been by the better division. Instead, Legends won 25 B10 games while Leaders won 23.

    “The Big Ten made a massive mistake in overweighting what it believed to be competitive balance in constructing the current divisions and I hope that they see the light this time around.”

    No, they didn’t. They made a wise decision to try to balance the divisions. I hope they continue that going forward.

    If they had done E/W last time:
    E – 8-0 OSU, 6-2 MI, 6-2 PSU, 3-5 MSU, 3-5 PU, 2-6 IN
    W – 7-1 NE, 5-3 NW, 4-4 WI, 2-6 IA, 2-6 MN, 0-8 IL

    That would have been lopsided and boring.

    “The main problem with the way that the Big Ten constructed the Leaders and Legends Divisions is that most of the Big Ten schools have multiple traditional rivals, which means that many of them inherently need to be in the same division in order for the maintenance of those rivalries to work. Wisconsin is getting completely screwed by not getting to play traditional rival Iowa and the Badgers are a natural school to help further integrate Nebraska into the conference.”

    Yes, they got screwed into back to back Rose Bowls. How terrible for them. WI got moved east because of their location and their success. If they stunk like MN they could have stayed in the west. If they were a king like NE they could have stayed in the west. If they were NE’s border rival, they would have stayed instead of IA. As is, WI is no closer to NE than IL or NW, really (<50 miles difference). I think NE can survive with 3 of their 5 closest neighbors. PSU has. WI had no good reason to assume they'd get NE annually. WI's only legitimate complaint is missing out on IA. That's balanced by them getting more exposure in the recruiting grounds of OH and PA.

    "In my opinion, the Wisconsin/Iowa/Minnesota trifecta should have never been split up and Nebraska fits in there as the fourth wheel of that western flank perfectly."

    It beat the alternative.

    "11. What is your preference on a B1G Basketball Tourney? (Every team qualifies, or 12 of 14 teams qualify.)

    I’m a very large believer that every conference should have all teams qualify for its basketball tournament."

    I'm not. I think 12 is way too many, too. It should be a Final Four. If you can't finish the season in the top 4, you don't deserve to be crowned the champion. Save Cinderella for the NCAA.

    "For those that say that the conference tournament should be about merit, I would reply that leagues should eliminate conferences tournaments all together if people want to be truly merit-based (as the performance over the course of 3 months of regular season games should trump what occurs in 3 days of a conference tournament)."

    Of course they should. But with unbalanced schedules, you can make a reasonable argument for a few teams all having legitimate claims on the title. #14 never, ever, ever, ever, ever deserves a shot at the title. It's like saying IL deserved a playoff shot at the Rose Bowl this year despite playing like a JV team.

    "15. When people reference “B1G”, do you recognize that to be the Big Ten Conference?

    Yes, I do."

    I refuse to acknowledge that. B10 or write it out.

    "17. Do you have any further thoughts on B1G expansion?"

    You should have cut and pasted every blog post you've written on B10 expansion.

    "(b) Ohio State and Penn State must play annually – This might be less obvious to people outside the Big Ten (or even with some fans within the Big Ten), but trust me, this is a non-negotiable game."

    I disagree. That game was crucial for PSU because OSU was their only neighbor. Now, PSU has eastern partners instead. I fail to see why the B10 would object to getting PSU/MI instead. The key is keeping a king/king game.

    "(c) Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland must be in the same division – The entire crux of the Big Ten expansion to 14 is to solidify the league’s presence on the East Coast, which effectively mandates that they have to be together."

    Probably so, but maybe not. What about something like this?

    A – PSU, NE, MD
    B – OSU, MI, RU

    Each newbie gets 2 kings plus they play each other. RU suffers for not getting PSU annually, but OSU and MI is a pretty solid tradeoff. Especially if the B10 makes sure PSU and RU play a lot in the first few schedule rotations.

    "We also have to consider whether the divisions need to split up the four traditional powers (Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska) evenly or if 3 of them can be in one division."

    They do need to split them.

    "I personally believe that 3 of them can be in one division provided that the other side has more depth of non-bottom feeders top-to-bottom, but know that others (particularly athletic directors) may disagree with that."

    Of course we disagree. WI, MSU and IA don't balance OSU and MI (assuming NE and PSU cancel out). The ideal situation for the B10 is 2 king/king division races (with princes in the mix, too) leading to a king/king CCG. You don't want 1 team to dominate their division, and you don't want 3 kings to beat each other up every year, either.

    "Ultimately, I’m most in favor of going with an East/West split with Michigan going to the East and Michigan State in the West. It would look like the following (with cross-division rivals next to each other and rationale in parentheses):

    EAST – WEST
    Michigan – Michigan State (in-state rivalry)
    Ohio State – Wisconsin (continuation of current Leaders divisional game)
    Penn State – Nebraska (continuation of current cross-division king program game)
    Indiana – Illinois (two schools in bordering states passing time until basketball season starts)
    Purdue – Iowa (continuation of nonsensical cross-division game)
    Rutgers – Northwestern (New York City vs. Chicago angle)
    Maryland – Minnesota (they pulled the last two straws)"

    I would have some different pairs for that alignment.

    Same:
    MI/MSU – same reasoning
    PSU/NE – same reasoning
    RU/NW – same reasoning
    PU/IA – same reasoning

    New:
    1. OSU/IL – Illibuck. The B10 has shown they prefer rivalries to balance in locked rivals (WI/MN, MSU/IN), plus you stacked the east so there's no need to force another hard game.
    2. MD/WI – gets MD close to Chicago and gives them another high profile game
    3. IN/MN – a battle of cellar dwellers

    "Even though three “King” programs are in the East, I believe that there is still a solid balance of schools with top notch fan bases in the West (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa) to compensate for it."

    I believe your belief is wildly inaccurate.

    "Most other ways of attempting to put two Kings in each division end up with wacky geography or one extremely strong division and the other being very weak. (Yes, I know that I’ve said that I don’t think that competitive balance should matter, but I’m realistic in believing that others believe it’s important.)"

    So it doesn't apply to your favorite plan, but it does to others? That's convenient.

    "Now, it’s understandable that the older members of the Big Ten West likely would not be happy only seeing Michigan and Ohio State 2 times every 6 years, so that could be a deal-killer."

    Or that OSU doesn't want to play PU, IN , RU and MD every year. Or that many fans don't want national coverage of their team swallowed by the media swarm that will be covering OSU and MI and PSU in the east to the near-exclusion of the other division. Or that the 3 kings may not want to have to beat up on each other while the west champ gets to skate through (perception, not reality). Or that the B10 may still want OSU/MI CCG possibilities. Or that …

    "The “Inner-Outer” setup … It’s terrible in terms of geography"

    How so? The middle is the middle and the edges are the edges. Everyone is where they should be according to the names.

    "and the casual sports fan would look at it and say, “WTF?!”,"

    As opposed to the current divisions?

    "but it does achieve the goal of preserving every single traditional rivalry as an intra-divisional game with the exception of Ohio State-Penn State."

    That's a huge key. You, and many others, keep assuming 9 games. What if the B10 sticks to 8 for a while? Only this plan is balanced and works without locked rivals, and that's required for 8 games.

    Also, OSU/PSU is not a traditional rivalry. It's a king/king game between distant neighbors with no real history. They only played 7 times before PSU joined the B10, and 1 was a bowl game. It's replaceable.

    "I’m not a fan of the Inner-Outer alignment personally (and most people that I know don’t like it either), yet I certainly wouldn’t put it past the Big Ten presidents and ADs to head down this road."

    It is better than it appears. The travel issue is overplayed while the preservation of rivalries is under sold. Until the B10 announces it will definitely move to 9 games, it's my favorite plan. With 9 games, several other options become available.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      E/W would have produced a Michigan-UNL title game. Are you telling me that that would not have been more attractive than UNL-Wisconsin?

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        But take E/W and put the top two finishers in West in the NCAA doghouse. Are you telling me the result would be substantially better than UNL-Wisconsin?

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Well, I don’t believe Northwestern would ever get a postseason ban, and yes Michigan-Northwestern would have been more attractive.

          In any case, Frank was pointing out the folly of using historical strength as a major criteria for determining divisions.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “E/W would have produced a Michigan-UNL title game. Are you telling me that that would not have been more attractive than UNL-Wisconsin?”

        Well, WI put up 70. How attractive would MI hitting 100 be?

        I can tell you that having 3 of the top 4 in one division and 3 of the bottom 4 in the other makes for a boring conference race during the season.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Nonsense. The West would be extremely exciting with UNL, Wisconsin, NU, Iowa, sometimes Illinois, &MSU (if they’re there) closely matched every year.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            We were talking last year. IL, IA and MSU stunk and WI wasn’t much better for much of the year. NE had a 2 game lead over NW. The race basically ended when NE beat NW on 10/20. That’s not an exciting race.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      “As opposed to the current divisions?”

      Of course, the idea is to come up with divisions that are better than the current divisions, not ones just as bad.

      “It’s a king/king game between [b]distant neighbors[/b] with no real history.”

      I see a massive distance between OH and PA when I look on a map. I’m sure others do too. You’ve been inadvertently humorous many times before, Brian, but you’ve managed to top yourself this time.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “Of course, the idea is to come up with divisions that are better than the current divisions, not ones just as bad.”

        No, the idea is to come up with new divisions. The B10 doesn’t dislike their current ones. You do. I know it’s hard for you to believe, but the whole world doesn’t agree with you all the time.

        “I see a massive distance between OH and PA when I look on a map. I’m sure others do too. You’ve been inadvertently humorous many times before, Brian, but you’ve managed to top yourself this time.”

        OSU and PSU aren’t OH and PA. PSU is well over 300 miles and 5 hours away from OSU, and much of the PSU fan base is even further east. I consider that a distant neighbor. 5 B10 schools are closer to OSU than PSU is.

        U of M – 191 miles
        IU – 225 miles
        PU – 239 miles
        MSU – 255 miles
        UI – 294 miles
        PSU – 337 miles

        Like

        • dtwphx says:

          Brian,
          re: PSU/OSU. the states share a border, two schools with football tradition.
          The game should be played regularly since PSU wants to.

          Brian,
          some Michigan fans aren’t as in to the UM/OSU game as you.
          The only reason I think OSU should be the last game of the season is tradition.
          If I was able to choose yearly games between only 2 of the 3 following schools,
          ND, OSU, or MSU. I’d pick MSU and ND. (OSU fans can be kind of annoying)
          Maybe that choice is generational on my part, since I started watching UM football
          after UM played ND regularly.
          Different schools value different games differently. Different generations
          of fans value different games differently.
          I realize UM probably like the ND more than ND. I’m fine with that.
          OSU should play PSU regularly because PSU wants to.

          I think the maybe the UM/MSU should be the final game of the season.
          That would be just fine with this Michigan fan.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            dtwphx,

            “re: PSU/OSU. the states share a border, two schools with football tradition.
            The game should be played regularly since PSU wants to.”

            I agree it should be played. I just don’t think it’s sacrosanct.

            “some Michigan fans aren’t as in to the UM/OSU game as you.”

            Very true. MI also has MSU.

            “The only reason I think OSU should be the last game of the season is tradition.”

            Exactly so.

            “If I was able to choose yearly games between only 2 of the 3 following schools,
            ND, OSU, or MSU. I’d pick MSU and ND.”

            OK. I’m not sure you’re in the majority of MI fans on that, but I respect your opinion.

            ” (OSU fans can be kind of annoying)”

            Yes, they can. Are you saying ND fans can’t be? That I won’t accept.

            “Maybe that choice is generational on my part, since I started watching UM football
            after UM played ND regularly.”

            Could be. Or maybe Tressel’s run had an influence. It could just be where you live(d) or how your parents felt.

            “Different schools value different games differently. Different generations
            of fans value different games differently.”

            Yep.

            “I realize UM probably like the ND more than ND. I’m fine with that.
            OSU should play PSU regularly because PSU wants to.”

            I don’t disagree, and I’m not saying that game should go away. I’m saying the B10 shouldn’t build divisions or the type of schedule around keeping that an annual game. PSU got the eastern partners they’ve asked for for years to soothe their wounds if they lose OSU as an annual game. WI lost IA. MN lost MI for a while and might again. Meanwhile, PSU has always gotten everything they said they wanted (OSU and MSU locked plus MI for the first 10 years, the OSU in their division, now eastern partners). This may be their turn to sacrifice.

            “I think the maybe the UM/MSU should be the final game of the season.
            That would be just fine with this Michigan fan.”

            I think the B10 office would disagree based on the value of OSU/MI. Based on the attempt to move the game when making divisions, most MI fans would be very upset, too. Obviously OSU fans would be.

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “some Michigan fans aren’t as in to the UM/OSU game as you.”

            -True, but the vast majority of them have shown time & time again that it is the top of their list and their combined weight has more pull than a few dissenters.

            Like

          • Aaron Morrow says:

            @dtwphx “some Michigan fans aren’t as in to the UM/OSU game as you.”

            9.5 million people watched the game this year. It was the Big Ten’s highest ranked game, and fifth best in college football in 2012.

            Like

  55. Psuhockey says:

    Does anybody know any insight into the future of AAU as far as invites and schools about to get the boot? Is Virginia Tech close to getting an invite?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Nobody has any insight as far as I know. But based on NE’s AAU report, no, VT isn’t that close. GT was at #31 (joined in 2010) and BU at #37 (joined in 2012). VT was at 91, above only 1 remaining AAU member with Syracuse out.

      Like

  56. bullet says:

    In terms of recruiting Texas has been good for QBs lately (but UT can’t seem to pick the right ones since Vince and Colt). On another board, someone posted 25% of the starting NFL QBs this week played HS ball in Texas.
    McElroy Alabama played near Dallas
    Stafford UGA played near Dallas
    Ponder FSU played near Dallas
    Brees Purdue was from Austin
    Luck Stanford from Houston
    Dalton TCU from Houston
    RGIII Baylor Central Texas
    Tannehill A&M West Texas

    Like

  57. MiamiWolv says:

    Its real simple.

    You have to do the divisions by geography if you hope to generate fan interest in the B1G in New Jersey and Maryland. Michigan draws 33% of its students from out of state, and the largest percentage of these students come from the east coast. Playing Michigan will guarantee sell-outs for Maryland and Rutgers. OSU is more provincial in terms of where it draws students (90% in state), but the Buckeyes are a huge draw wherever they play. Penn State obviously needs to be in the same division as Rutgers/Maryland.

    Is it ideal that UM, PSU and OSU are in the East? No, but if Michigan State plays in the West, the West is much stronger in the middle, as MSU, Illinois, N-wstern and Iowa have all competed for the B1G title in recent years (in addition to the two powers in Wiscy and Nebraska). Further, with PSU down for the next 3-4 years in all likelihood, the East won’t be that strong asa Indiana, Purdue and Maryland are all down at the moment (Rutgers should be a solid mid-tier team to start).

    This setup means you are less likely to have 2 “kings” (as Frank says) in the B1G title game. However, on the flip side, putting UM, PSU and OSU in the East means 95% of the time you will get either OSU, UM or PSU in the title game, which is good for ratings. And let’s be honest, Wisconsin is by any standard one of the top 15 programs in the country over the past 20 years, so this is not the Big 12 North where all you had was Nebraska in terms of winning tradition.

    I know UM wants to be in the Eastern division. I’m guessing they will keep it simple. Geography preserves ALL RIVALRIES except for UM/MSU — which can be the only cross-division protected game. Further, putting UM/OSU in one division with a 9 game schedule, means every school in the other division gets Nebraska and UM or OSU in any season.

    The Inner/Outer setup is horrible. Having Maryland and Rutgers play Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska every year makes no sense. If you keep it East/West, these schools’ fans are within reasonable driving distance of every school in the division.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      MiamiWolv,

      “The Inner/Outer setup is horrible. Having Maryland and Rutgers play Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska every year makes no sense. If you keep it East/West, these schools’ fans are within reasonable driving distance of every school in the division.”

      So PU and IN make sense, then? PU is 750 miles from RU, hardly a reasonable driving distance. Even PSU is 4 hours away, with OSU another 4 hours. Only MD and PSU are drivable for RU.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Little Brown Jug game.

      That’s why I would split the IN schools.

      I agree that Inner-Outer is horrible and only OSU fans are advocating for it.

      Like

  58. Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

    “What is your preference on a B1G Basketball Tourney? (Every team qualifies, or 12 of 14 teams qualify.”

    —When I took the survey I initially answered 12 of 14 for some of the same reasons mentioned by others but Frank’s reasoning to look at it as more along the lines of a conference exhibition has caused me to change my mind. Kudos!

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I’m OK either way, but I voted 12 of 14 since I think it will generate more interest at the end of the regular season. Sure the #13 and #14 can technically win their win with the tournament, but I think usually it would be more interesting to see them playing to get into the Big Ten Tournament than seeing them play the #11/#12 teams a day early.

      Like

  59. Arch Stanton says:

    I just noticed something very important by looking at that map of the Big Ten states at the top of this blog post:
    Delaney has Delaware completely surrounded! I’ve played enough Risk as a kid to know that it’s pretty clear who the next expansion target is.
    BLUE HENS to the BIG TEN!?!?

    Like

  60. frug says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8773423/boise-state-trying-get-big-east-mountain-west-allow-broncos-retain-home-tv-rights-according-sources

    Boise State is trying to get the Big East and Mountain West to allow the Broncos to retain their home television rights, to guarantee which conference the school ends up in, sources told ESPN.

    Boise State is pitting the Big East against the Mountain West in what one industry source called “a game of chicken” to ensure the Broncos get the most lucrative deal they can.

    Boise State has approached multiple networks to gauge how much the Broncos could get if they retained their home television rights as a member of the Big East or MWC.

    Like

    • frug says:

      Looks like Boise is trying to pull off what not even Texas could. Color me skeptical, but we’ll see what happens.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Color me thinking there is some ESPN spin happening here. I don’t think they (ESPN) are ready for the complete collapse of the BE.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      LOL. This isn’t Alabama or even Texas Tech.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        5 bad years and Boise could be Marshall.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Except I think Marshall has better attendance.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Really? Are you just belittling, or do you have attendance numbers?
            I’d bet they are asking about the value of games (that the just reworked conference media deal with CBS) to other networks, if not among the 15 (I think?) that CBS can select. That value could apply to the conference value (or individually, if you think like a longhorn). Would it be unreasonable to ask the BE how the increased value might compare?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Until about 5 years ago when Marshall took a serious nose dive, they were averaging better over their time in FBS. Marshall does have a larger stadium. With Moss and Leftwich and others, they got some notice. But then they slipped.

            And that’s where Boise is. They could cease having value pretty quickly if they stop having success. I’m not predicting they will take a nose dive, just that with regard to long term value, they aren’t even Texas Tech.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            There’s a point where you insult the people who are inviting you. If this story is true, I think Boise has gone there. This is a team that was so desperate to put its fb team in the BE, it is paying the BW travel subsidies for its non-fb programs and taking its bb team from the 7th best league to one normally around 20.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I’m definitely not a blue donkey fan, but they have done nothing but win (a lot) at every level they have been since leaving the JC’s in 1968. An 87-4 record at home since 1999 would probably contribute to mostly sell outs. Also, as really the only game in the state I imagine they would weather a downturn in fortunes as well, or better than most. But so far we haven’t had an opportunity to test that.

            I completely disagree with the notion they should unquestioningly thank the BE. The BE they were invited to is disolving (becoming CUSA 2.1) and the MWC has suddenly come upon a way to monetize more games. MWC may be best positioned to take the BE’s place as the top non big five conference if Boise et al return and BE continues down the drain. Boise isn’t dictating anything. How can they? As with most things it is negotiation. If they are out of line they will be put back in line. If not then legitimate negotiation is taking place.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I don’t think they have a committment to the BE either (especially since 10 of the 13 schools in the conference when they were invited are leaving and 2 others are begging to get out), but they are asking for something noone else in the country has. Ohio St. doesn’t have it. USC doesn’t have it. Texas doesn’t have it. Its insulting to the BE and MWC.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Do you really think, knowing what Kings are not able to get (or even necessarily want) without going independent, Boise is asking for that? Only ESPN is taking a derogatory attitude toward Boise. The others seem to simply think it is a function of exploring options in a rapidly changing environment. The new MWC restructured deal only happened in the last day or two. Perhaps ESPN doesn’t like where this is going, giving NBC (and perhaps others?) an opening to bid on some CFB they had not worried about before?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Kustra comes across sometimes as pretty arrogant, so its certainly believable. The Boise fan base is pretty delusional, even by MWC standards. So that’s a lot more believable to me than the idea that ESPN is making this all up.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Boise (and other schools) fans contain many delusional. UT fans thinking ESPN spending a billion (over time) on the LHN reflects actual content value rather than manipulating 2010 realignment regarding multiple teams and conferences for their corporate benefit comes to mind.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      The chutzpah. I love it.

      Maybe Boise should go independent.

      Surprising that no one has remarked that the article said SDSU is still committed to the BE. Is that just ESPN spin?

      Like

      • frug says:

        Teams are always committed to their conferences right up to when they announce they are leaving.

        Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        SDSU doesn’t have to say anything, Boise is able to open the exit for them.

        “According to the contract, if the Big East does not have “at least one football-playing institution that is located west of the Rocky Mountains” on July 1, 2013, the Aztecs are not obligated remain in the league.”

        Like

  61. Brian says:

    Okay, now that I’ve caught up let me throw out some thoughts on this:

    We all know that deciding on divisions is a contentious process that will leave some fan bases angry. We also know that fan bases are not homogeneous blocks. There are a lot of points of view on this subject, and many of them are right.

    Assumptions

    1. The B10 will form 2 permanent divisions of 7, not pods.
    2. The B10 will pay more attention to geography than last time, but competitive balance will still be a major consideration as well.
    3. Everyone will have the same type of schedule, with either 0 or 1 locked rival.
    4. The B10 will try to leverage the new eastern schools for maximum benefit.
    5. Every school can make certain demands that have to be fulfilled.
    6. The B10 office also has certain requirements that need to be filled.
    7. The final solution needs a high degree of support. I’m guessing at least 10 schools have to be happy with it.
    8. Rutgers and Maryland have a voice but not an official vote.

    Schedule

    The main point I think many people have neglected in this discussion is that the divisions and the schedule are intertwined. The best divisions depend on what the schedule will be and vice versa. The problem, of course, is we don’t know who has the power and where the powers that be stand on these issues.

    Scheduling Options
    1. 8 games with 1 locked rival

    The B10 teams are used to 8 games, so it fits their existing OOC schedules. The locked rival gives the B10 flexibility to maintain rivalries while using a variety of division alignments. It also lets them keep important games for TV purposes. The down side is the number of teams a school won’t see regularly.

    Schedule math:
    7 teams – 100% (6 in the division, 1 locked rival)
    6 teams – 17% (twice in 12 years)

    Current schedule (for comparison):
    6 teams – 100% (5 in the division, 1 locked rival)
    5 teams – 40% (twice in 5 years)

    The B10 could reduce the problem by rotating that 8th game every year instead of playing home and home series. That would mean a school would play 11 of 13 teams in 4 years (12 in the 5 years a player might be there).

    2. 8 games with no locked rival
    This keeps the advantages of the current schedule but increases the frequency of games against the other division’s members somewhat. That low frequency of games is still the biggest problem with an 8 game schedule.

    Schedule math:
    6 teams – 100% (division games only)
    7 teams – 29% (twice in 7 years)

    Again, the B10 could go to single games to speed the rotation of opponents. In 4 years, a school would play everyone in conference at least once. They would play in every stadium at least once every 7 years.

    3. 9 games with 1 locked rival
    A 9 game schedule is a double-edged sword. The obvious advantage is getting to play the other B10 teams more often. The downsides are the uneven schedules (4 home, 5 away or vice versa), the loss of potential home games and an increase of losses for the conference overall, potentially impacting bowl eligibility. Playing 5 road B10 games means that most teams will need 3 home OOC games. That means timing any OOC home and home series appropriately. As B10 schools toughen their OOC schedules, that will get harder to do. The extra conference games turn what would be a 10-4 OOC week into a 7-7 conference week.

    Schedule math:
    7 teams – 100% (6 in the division, 1 locked rival)
    6 teams – 33% (twice in 6 years)

    With single games, a school would play the rest of the B10 at least once every 3 years and visit every stadium at least once every 6 years. Unfortunately, going to 9 games with a locked rival doesn’t do much to increase the frequency of play.

    4. 9 games with no locked rival
    By not locking a rival, the B10 increases the frequency of play against 6 other teams at the expense of more games against that 7th team. On the other hand, it restricts the acceptable division alignment options since every important rivalry must be in division.

    Schedule math:
    6 teams – 100% (all in the division)
    7 teams – 43% (3 times in 7 years)

    Even with home and homes, a school would play 12 of 13 possible opponents in 4 years. With single games, a player would visit 12 of 13 other stadiums in 4 years.

    The real question is the tradeoffs. ADs really don’t want a 9th game, and it does present a competitive disadvantage nationally. On the other hand, it helps with SOS and maintaining long-standing rivalries. It also gives the B10 more freedom when making the divisions. The current schedule, with 8 games including 1 locked rival, just doesn’t play enough teams often enough. I have a hard time seeing the B10 accepting playing twice every 12 years. The middle options jump to twice every 6 or 7 years (29 or 33%). That’s better, but not great.

    The only gain over the current schedule comes with 9 games and no locked rival. I only see the B10 accepting that plan with a select few alignments, though, since all the major rivalries need to stay in division.

    If divisions are agreed upon that don’t require a locked rival for any major rivalry, then I think the B10 will stay at 8 games to start. If they don’t like their choices without locked rivals, look for them to push to 9 games right away. Long term I think they’ll go to 9 games. I’ll be pretty surprised if they stick with the current schedule of 8 games with a locked rival, though.

    My personal preference would be 9 games with no locked rivals assuming the divisions allowed that. I’d rather play more teams regularly than 1 more team annually.

    Division Alignment

    There are 3 main considerations when designing divisions – balance, geography and rivalries. They often interfere with each other, too. The biggest unknown is how the B10 will weigh the various factors, but we know that geography will be more important this time than last time. Presumably rivalries will again be third although they are tied up with geography anyway.

    Balance
    I think balance is still the biggest issue, and that’s because it has several components. There is actual competitive balance on the field, which is desirable to make exciting division races and B10 championship games. Unfortunately, you can’t accurately predict balance in the short term. Teams have ups and downs from season to season. However, you don’t need an accurate prediction for each team each season. You need long term balance, and that is more predictable. Some teams will rise while other fall, but most teams tend to stay at a certain success level for long periods of time.

    The second component of balance is attention balance. The B10 wants both divisions to get attention from the media and from fans. Winning draws attention, so competitive balance impacts this. However, a lot of attention is based on brand and location. Brands lag actual success, and once a good brand exists it takes a long time to fade. Location is important because the major media and population are grouped in certain areas, and success there will draw more attention than in other places.

    A third component of balance is future opportunity balance. This is driven by access to students, players and fans. The B10 wants every school to have a fair chance at success. To do that, it must consider recruiting grounds and population base when creating divisions. Otherwise, the balance may grow more uneven over time.

    I think balance calls for splitting the kings equally. Splitting OSU and MI would be ideal from that perspective, but has other problems I’ll discuss later.

    Geography
    The second major factor is geography. As the B10 has expanded, its footprint has really grown, especially to the east and west. The longest road trip used to be 760 miles (OSU – MN), but now it’s 1300 miles (NE – RU). That sort of separation makes it hard on teams and fans to travel. That’s why the B10 should try to group nearby schools into divisions when possible. The bonus is that most rivalries are driven by proximity. If you group neighboring schools, you generally maintain most of the rivalries too.

    Rivalries
    The third factor is rivalries. As I just said, most rivalries are local so you want to group neighbors together. On the other hand, not all rivalries work that way. MI/MN and OSU/IL are two examples of rivals that aren’t neighbors. The B10 is full of rivalries, both big and small, and not all of them can be preserved as annual games. The key is to keep the important ones first and then as many of the smaller ones as is reasonable. The B10 also has some games it wants to keep for business reasons even if they aren’t true rivalries (PSU/NE, for example). They may be willing to trade them for an equivalent game, though (PSU/MI, NE/OSU).

    Division Options
    There are 3 main options when making B10 divisions.

    1. Use the current divisions as a template
    1a. Keep the current divisions and add RU to one and MD to the other
    Pros – Easy, balanced
    Cons – Ruins the chance to have PSU playing both eastern partners annually
    Note – Must have locked rivals (OSU/MI)
    Odds – Slim to none

    1b. Move IL west and add RU and MD in the east
    Pros – Simple, balanced, keeps the eastern group together
    Cons – Limits MI’s access to the east, hard to remember the alignment
    Note – Must have locked rivals (OSU/MI)
    Odds – Decent

    1c. Move WI west and add RU and MD in the east
    Pros – Simple, keeps the eastern group together, reunites the western group
    Cons – Unbalanced, limits MI’s access to the east, hard to remember the alignment
    Note – Must have locked rivals (OSU/MI)
    Odds – Not great

    2. Geographic Split
    2a. Pure East/West
    Pros – Keeps neighbors together
    Cons – 3 kings and a prince in one division means really poor balance
    Note – Must have locked rivals (PU/IN)
    Odds – Not great

    2b. NW/SE = East/West but with MSU in the west and PU in the east
    Pros – Keeps neighbors together
    Cons – 3 kings in one division means poor balance
    Note – Must have locked rivals (MI/MSU)
    Odds – Decent

    2c. East/West but with OSU in the west and PU in the east
    Pros – Keeps neighbors together
    Cons – OSU is isolated from its neighbors, limits OSU’s eastern access
    Note – Must have locked rivals (OSU/MI)
    Odds – OK

    2d. Alternating blocks (NE, WI, IA, MN, OSU, PU, IN vs MI, MSU, NW, IL, PSU, RU, MD)
    Pros – Keeps neighbors together, balanced
    Cons – Limits OSU’s eastern access
    Note – Must have locked rivals (OSU/MI)
    Odds – OK

    3. Edges vs Middle
    Pros – Keeps neighbors together, balanced
    Cons – Limits MI’s and OSU’s eastern access, more travel for the edges
    Note – No locked rivals needed
    Odds – OK

    4. Other
    I’m know there are more ideas floating out there, but I think I hit the highlights. See my assumptions for why there is no mention of pods.

    Other Factors

    The B10 isn’t doing this in a vacuum. They have to take into account many factors. The B10 has now added 3 schools in 4 years. They have to work on integrating those schools into the B10 while maximizing their value to the league. The TV people will have opinions and desires on schedules and games. The fans and alumni of all 14 schools have varying interests, and the ADs and presidents may have a whole different set of priorities. The B10 has to find a compromise acceptable to all parties.

    1. East coast additions
    Adding RU and MD helps appease the PSU fan base. A segment of that group has been complaining since PSU joined the B10 about not having any eastern partners. Now that more than 20% of the B10 is eastern, all 3 schools should feel more at home. It also helps the B10 play some games in front of a lot of alumni that haven’t been catered to very much. PSU, OSU and MI all have large fan bases in NYC and DC, and their surrounding areas, so bringing games to them should be well received. RU and MD fans will also be excited to have more football kings coming to town than they had before. On top of that, the east coast brings access to the major media in an unprecedented way. Major games in NYC and DC would get even more attention for the B10 than games in the midwest. That’s the upside.

    The risk is alienating the eastern fans by giving RU and MD schedules that are too demanding. RU and MD aren’t kings. They can’t prosper if you throw all the good teams at them in one season. They need successful seasons to build their fan bases. The B10 has to balance their desire for eastern exposure with their desire to build the fan bases of RU and MD. For a contrast, look at NE. NE played every top team in their first 2 years and has paid the price in Ws and Ls. Some fans were mad about the schedules, others excited. NE was a king that could expect to play with anybody, though. RU and MD aren’t on that level, so they shouldn’t be expected to play that kind of schedule.

    Western block
    While the B10 is looking to make teams happy, they also need to look west. The 4 western schools really want to play each other annually. The B10 sacrificed WI/IA for balance last time, and WI also missed out on NE for future schedules. Having 1 newish team and being the other end of the footprint, the B10 shouldn’t neglect the western schools when making new divisions.

    The CCG
    TV pays more for desirable games, and the CCG is worth a lot. To keep high ratings, the B10 needs good games. Once way to assure that is to split the good teams evenly so both divisions are likely to produce quality champions. While the CCG is only 1 game, it does pay more than 10% of what the entire regular season earns. You can get too focused on it, but it should never be ignored either. Where this will really factor in is when splitting the top 6-7 teams. Some potential match-ups have more value than others, and that has to be factored into the decision.

    Crossover Games
    I think people forget about the power of scheduling. The B10 can adjust the crossover games to make an uneven rotation if they want to play certain games more often. When PSU joined, they got OSU and MSU as their two locked rivals. However, for the first 10 years they also got to play MI every year. The B10 can do something similar now to help RU and MD settle in.

    Conclusions

    There are several ways to look at this, so let’s look at all of them.
    8 Games, No Locked Rival
    If the B10 really wants to stay with 8 games, I think they’ll decide to drop locked rivals. That means they need to keep every important rivalry within the division. The only alignment that works for this is the edges versus the middle.

    X – OSU, MI, MSU, NW, IL, PU, IN
    O – PSU, MD, RU, NE, WI, IA, MN

    Lost rivalries – Little Brown Jug (MI/MN), OSU/PSU, MI/NE, OSU/WI
    Gained rivalries – OSU/MSU, WI/IA, NE/WI
    Note – The Game cannot be played in the CCG

    Unlike Frank, I don’t see the loss of OSU/PSU as a dealbreaker. PSU gets two eastern partners instead and semi-regular PSU/OSU and PSU/MI games.

    9 Games, 1 Locked Rival
    Any reasonable alignment will work with this schedule. It just comes down to priorities.

    A. If you want the chance for an OSU/MI rematch
    Alternating Blocks is probably the best choice of those I discussed.

    In order of locked rivals:
    X – OSU, WI, IA, IN, NE, MN, PU
    O – MI, MSU, NW, IL, PSU, RU, MD

    B. If you don’t want the chance for an OSU/MI rematch
    Edges vs Middle makes the most sense to me, I suppose.

    In order of locked rivals:
    X – OSU, MI, MSU, NW, IL, PU, IN
    O – PSU, NE, WI, RU, MD, IA, MN

    An East/West thing could also work but is poorly balanced.

    C. If your main focus is maximum exposure in the east
    NW/SE trades off balance for getting 3 kings in the east.

    In order of locked rivals:
    X – OSU, MI, PSU, PU, IN, RU, MD
    O – WI, MSU, NE, IA, MN, NW, IL

    9 Games, No Locked Rival
    For this, you again have only the edges versus the middle.

    X – OSU, MI, MSU, NW, IL, PU, IN
    O – PSU, MD, RU, NE, WI, IA, MN

    MD and RU would see each of OSU and MI 45% of the time, more with some scheduling tweaks. The B10 could easily alternate MI and OSU games on their schedules. That’s plenty of exposure in the east, as OSU and MI are playing in DC or NYC every other year.

    Overall
    This tells me that “Edges vs Middle” is the best plan since the B10 hasn’t picked a schedule yet. It works with any schedule just fine. It’s balanced and it preserves rivalries. The biggest drawback is the relative lack of MI and OSU games in the east. There is a fix for that, however. The B10 can schedule the crossover games to get MI and OSU in the east more often.

    Example: 8 games, no locked rival
    RU and MD would normally play OSU twice in 7 years (29%). But the B10 could bump that up a lot.

    Team – Year 1 opponents, Year 2, Year 3, …
    RU – OSU/MSU, MI/NW, OSU/PU, MI/IL, OSU/IN, MI/NW
    MD – MI/NW, OSU/MSU, MI/IL, OSU/PU, MI/NW, OSU/IN

    In the first 6 years, RU and MD both get 3 games each versus OSU and MI, 2 against NW and 1 against everyone else. That’s on top of annual games with PSU, NE and WI. At some point you should return to an equal rotation, mostly so the other schools can play OSU and MI too, but you could easily do this for 6-12 years.

    If the B10 came out and announced that they will go to 9 games no natter what, then it’s a different discussion. To stop the whining about travel and eastern exposure, I’d probably choose alternating blocks (OSU, NE, WI, IA, MN, PU, IN vs MI, PSU, MSU, NW, RU, MD, IL). It splits the kings and princes, it gets MI in the east a lot and it spreads the travel around. The B10 can mess with OSU’s schedule to get them out east more if they feel the need.

    Like

    • greg says:

      Inner/Outer with scheduling to put OSU/MI more often with the newbies. Its “fuck the west” to the 2nd power.

      Like

      • jj says:

        I think the inner outer is fine for the western 4 teams. But I agree they shouldn’t get pimped out of access to the bigger inners.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        greg,

        I said that’s a possibility. But with 9 games and no locked rivals, you’re only talking about OSU going from playing RU 45% (6 of 14 years) of the time to 50% (7 of 14). Conversely, that’s IA going from playing OSU 45% (6 of 14) to 40% (6 of 15). That hardly seems onerous for IA.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Why do you assume #3? A lot of problems get resolved if you don’t force everyone to have locked rivals.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “Why do you assume #3? A lot of problems get resolved if you don’t force everyone to have locked rivals.”

        Because that has been the B10’s position in the past. It was one reason they refused to also lock WI/IA, even when the 9th game was on the table. They could change their minds, certainly, but they’ll have to prove it to me.

        Like

      • jj says:

        See my post below. Locking just one pair is bad for the locked teams. If a game is truly important enough to not lose, you put them in the same division. AS an aside, I disagree that losing PSU/OSU is a deal breaker. PSU gets what they have wanted for 20 years. OSU gets UM and a whole league of “old” B1G teams. If it means that much, schedule it OCC.

        Like

    • Watching the Detectives says:

      I knew br27’s arrogance reminded me of someone.

      Like

    • jj says:

      Brian:

      I thought about this quite a bit. Not as much as the tome you wrote infers, but a bit. I think Inner/Outer with no locked rivals is the best option and most likely to occur.

      In an east/west split with MSU going west and UM/MSU locked, those teams get totally shafted if we stay at 8 games. If I’m looking at this right (and I’m no scheduling expert), they’d each play the other 6 in their conference (6 games), each other (7 games), and 1 from the other 6 (eight games). It would take 6 years to play the others once. Home and homes would take 12 years! Seeing the other side so infrequently is absurd for both teams. If that was the only locked rivals, the others would rotate in 3.5 and 7 years. Not good, but a lot better than 6 and 12.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        jj,

        Exactly right. That’s why I rejected the 6-1-1 schedule for 14 teams. It’s got to be 6-2, 6-1-2 or 6-3.

        I’m not a huge fan of the inner/outer plan, it just seems like the best of a bad set of options. Especially since we don’t know if they’ll play 8 or 9 games.

        Like

        • wmtiger says:

          Nine conference games (which couldn’t happen till ’16/’17) would put OOD rivalry games a lot more in play…

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I agree wholeheartedly. The only reason I support inner/outer right now is because we don’t know if there’ll be 9 games. With only 8, I think it’s the best option.

            Like

    • ohiomarc says:

      Nice post, Brian. You’ve hit on one of the most important aspects of realignment for me – scheduling. Props for taking the time to lay it all out. I really hope they end up with a 9-game no-locked-rival schedule, sooner rather than later. I prefer the inner and outer alignment too, but would be happy with your NW/SE setup as well.

      Probably #1 on my priority list is to get OSU and UM into the same division. I’m afraid if they remain in opposite divisions, it’s only a matter of time until the Big Ten office decides it’s in the conference’s best interest to move The Game (and probably all non-division games) to earlier in the season to hopefully avoid the possibility of playing in back-to-back weeks.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        ohiomarc,

        Thanks.

        I don’t care that much which division MI is in, since I see pros and cons both ways. It’s certainly a risk that they may try to move The Game again, but I think they were surprised at the strength of the reaction last time. They’ll be wary of trying it again. At the very least, they’ll wait until a rematch occurs and there’s some major problem with it (bad ratings, no sell out, terrible media coverage, etc).

        Like

    • Eric says:

      Very good analysis. I enjoyed reading.

      The one set-up I’m beginning to think is more likely is the one with OSU in the west and the Michigan schools in the east. It seems really odd and I dismissed it right away when I first saw it, but it does do a few things I think they’ll care about. 1. It divides the big names and is relatively balanced. 2. It will keep a lot of king vs. king (Ohio State/Michigan and Penn State/Nebraska locked crossovers). 3. While Ohio State/Penn State doesn’t remain, I think they’d accept Michigan vs. Penn State in its place. 4. Michigan seems to have been bigger on the idea of playing in the east than Ohio State.

      Now I still think east-west is more likely and I’m still hoping for inner-outer/sandwich/edge vs. middle, but I don’t think that one is as crazy as I was originally thinking.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Eric,

        “Very good analysis. I enjoyed reading.”

        Thanks.

        “The one set-up I’m beginning to think is more likely is the one with OSU in the west and the Michigan schools in the east. It seems really odd and I dismissed it right away when I first saw it, but it does do a few things I think they’ll care about. 1. It divides the big names and is relatively balanced. 2. It will keep a lot of king vs. king (Ohio State/Michigan and Penn State/Nebraska locked crossovers). 3. While Ohio State/Penn State doesn’t remain, I think they’d accept Michigan vs. Penn State in its place. 4. Michigan seems to have been bigger on the idea of playing in the east than Ohio State.”

        Yeah, it doesn’t leap out as a good idea right away, but it grows on you when you think about it. It’s got tradeoffs for OSU, but all the plans do. There is no ideal plan for OSU.

        I actually thought it made sense in many ways to send OSU west before and put MI with PSU:

        Leaders = PSU, MI, MSU, PU, IN, NW
        Legends = OSU, NE, WI, IA, MN, IL

        “Now I still think east-west is more likely and I’m still hoping for inner-outer/sandwich/edge vs. middle, but I don’t think that one is as crazy as I was originally thinking.”

        I have no idea how it’ll end up except that I’m almost sure I won’t like it. They’ll find a way to screw this up royally.

        Like

        • dtwphx says:

          Maybe have 6 permanent East Div schools,
          and 6 permanent West Div schools.
          East: Rut, UMD, PSU, UM, MSU, Ind
          West: Neb, Minn, Wisc, Iowa, NW, Illini
          Swap OSU and Purdue each year.

          Good: Most teams will always know their division.
          Good: Balance overly strong East Div one year w/ OSU playing in the West the other year
          Good: OSU doesn’t have to play the “newbies” all the time…..
          Bad: it’s not a static divisional alignment.
          I’d have to think about the scheduling specifics.

          Like

          • vp19 says:

            I wouldn’t be averse to this idea, but it would work better in two-year cycles, so that everyone would have a home-and-home within their division before switching.

            Like

          • dtwphx says:

            Though swapping every 2 years probably works better from a scheduling perspective, I would prefer swapping every year from a fan perspective.
            Let’s say Indiana has a once in a lifetime team. That team would have one shot (in the timeframe of their junior or senior season) to have an easier shot at the championship game.
            Also, this alignment puts UM in the east but allows the LittleBrownJug to occur greater than 33% of the time. If a game like the UM/Minn game occurred 50% of the time, it would be nice if it happened every other year and not 2yrs on and 2yrs off, as far as frequency between meetings.

            Like

  62. wmtiger says:

    For all the day dreamers that want Ohio & Michigan in the same division; every university in the conference wants to guarantee a game with one of them on the schedule and maybe as importantly, most universities DON’T want to be in the same division as both of them. This is really important, this is as much as why they were split as anything and will continue to be split.

    Jim Delaney, the presidents and athletic directors will call this competitive balance but what it is, is splitting the two power programs from each other for other programs have a chance to rise up. Nobody wants to go 6-2 or 7-1 and still lose the conference to one of Ohio or Michigan…

    That leaves the conference with Ohio and Michigan in opposite divisions and pretty much guarantees cross-division match-ups a lot of programs don’t want. Outside of potential rematches in the B10 CG, my biggest peeve with splitting them up is that it guarantees cross-division rivals which means Michigan will play Illinois, PSU, Iowa, Wisconsin & Maryland a lot less often than they otherwise would.

    Like

    • Arch Stanton says:

      “Nobody wants to go 6-2 or 7-1 and still lose the conference to one of Ohio or Michigan…”

      Huh?

      Like

      • wmtiger says:

        Said it incorrectly, but nobody wants to be in the same division as both Ohio & Michigan. They don’t want to go 7-1 (or 6-2, whatever) with their only loss to Michigan or Ohio and lose the division to them. They want an easier path to the B10 CG, division crown.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I think it depends on the level of the school. Those schools that want top-profile teams visiting to fill stadium want plenty of kings in their division. Those schools who’s aspirations for conference titles outweigh their need to fill stadiums (such as those who fill them in any case) would prefer not to have kings in their division.

          An E/W setup with the IN schools & the new additions in the East with Michigan, OSU, and PSU actually works well in that respect as PU, IU, and UMD won’t aspire to win the B10 any time soon, RU is just happy to be in the B10, and all 4 need help filling their stadium. In the west, UNL, Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, and Minny don’t need help filling their stadium & the first 4 + Northwestern believe they have a realistic shot at winning their division.

          Like

          • wmtiger says:

            Yet those lesser programs don’t fill their stadium unless they are winning as the home team doesn’t show up to see a loser. Look at the attendance at Iowa for example or the Illini or Gophers, when those programs are doing well; they’ll fill their stadiums. When they are mediocre or worse, they’ll have ten thousand or more empty seats…

            FWIW, I’m pro Michigan being in the East but completely understand why everyone else but Michigan and Ohio don’t want to be in the same division as both of them. They’ll all call it competitive balance but it really is they want to be competitive themselves which will be next to impossible in a division with Michigan and Ohio.

            Like

    • Eric says:

      OK I can understand it being fair to split them up if no one wants to play both and everyone wants to play one, but if we are going to go that route, the 2 newbies should also be divided as no one outside of Penn State wants to play both of them every year either.

      Like

  63. atzende says:

    I like your division ideas. Nebraska & Wisconsin seems like a natural rivalry.

    Like

  64. Red says:

    Why not make the division border the Ohio/Michigan border then continue the line through the state of Illinois between NW and Illinois? Locked rivalry games NW vs Illinois and OSU vs Michigan. North/South (Chicago/NY or Capone/Gambino) divisons. Would this work, at least until #15 & #16 show up?

    Like

  65. Transic says:

    How do you think the BTN is going to be operated from here on?

    Like

  66. C. Toda says:

    Reds ideas agree with mine put NW in the east, Ill in the west. If we add two schools in the east move the two Indana schools to the west .

    Like

  67. curious2 says:

    Many interesting thoughts; however with a 14 team conference, I believe certain assumptions need be reconsidered along with a focus on key goals.

    At the risk of being a minority of one:

    1) A conference should refer to a group of like minded schools that want to compete against each other regularly:

    that means a 10 game conference schedule:
    an out of conference rivalry or game against a competitive team
    and a single warmup game if necessary.

    2) With a conference network, the extra conference games may/should make up to some degree for the loss of an extra home game against a non-competitive team that doesn’t require a return home game.

    3) Not sure when football fans started arguing in favor for non-competitive “punching bag” games on the basis of revenue or padding a record for a bowl game rather than watching an interesting game.

    The Big 10 should be beyond the need to worry about revenue at the expence of interesting, regular games against member teams. Not all the Big 10 teams are top 25 in any event and if the top teams can’t qualify for a bowl, maybe they should just skip the bowl.

    The focus should be the conference games and interesting competition.

    Otherwise as noted above, in a 14 team conference, the conference members are likely going to drift apart, without a sense of actual competition.

    And all the market share concepts are going to grow increasingly stale to non-hyper fans looking to watch an interesting game.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      “Not sure when football fans started arguing in favor for non-competitive “punching bag” games on the basis of revenue or padding a record for a bowl game rather than watching an interesting game.”

      I don’t think fans ever did, but athletic directors always have as they have a budget to balance & their presidents would like more money to the academic side (and certainly don’t want to subsidize the athletic side) if possible, and I find trying to figure out what is most likely more interesting that pie-in-the-sky plans that have 0 chance of ever being implemented.

      ” A conference should refer to a group of like minded schools that want to compete against each other regularly”

      Like-minded, yes, if you care about stability, but what you think a conference should be and what they are may not be the same thing.

      As a Northwestern fan, NU doesn’t have to play Michigan constantly for me to feel more kinship with them than with ‘Bama.

      “Otherwise as noted above, in a 14 team conference, the conference members are likely going to drift apart, without a sense of actual competition.”

      An beguiling theory but not one supported by the evidence. Historically, various SEC teams have almost never played certain other SEC teams (in football). Yet the SEC is one of the most if not the most tight-knit conferences with one of the strongest (if not the strongest) conference identities in college sports.

      Like

  68. Babs says:

    Geographical Divisions!
    Add Notre Dame and Pitt.
    W= Penn, Pitt, MD, Rutgers
    X= Ohio, ND, Purdue, Indy
    Y= Michigan, MSU, Wisconsin, Minny
    Z= Illy, NW, Neb. Iowa
    Iowa always plays Iowa State.
    Maryland always plays West Virginia.
    Notre Dame always plays Navy and USC.
    (the idea is maintain the few legit traditional non-conference rivalries)
    You play the 3 in your pod and 2 each from each other pod.
    That way you play everyone home and away in four years.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Nice plan… except it is in violation of the rule requiring playing round robin in each half in order to be allowed a CCG.

      Like

    • frug says:

      Maryland always plays West Virginia.

      If West Virginia is going to have an annual OOC rival it would be Pitt. The Backyard Brawl was their biggest game of the year.

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        Maryland plays West Virginia most years, but there are exceptions. In 2008 and ’09, Maryland played a home-and-home with California in WVU’s place. If the Big Ten instituted a 9-game conference schedule, I could see the Terps scheduling West Virginia periodically, not necessarily annually.

        Like

    • metatron says:

      I would totally add Pitt over some of the other schools mentioned here.

      Like

      • wmtiger says:

        Pitt doesn’t add to the BTN revenues, which unless you’re a king; that is how you buy your way into the B10.

        Any B10 expansion targets will pretty much be large, AAU caliber, academic schools in populous states; e.g. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, etc.

        Like

        • metatron says:

          I really don’t care anymore. I didn’t see the point of adding Rutgers or Maryland, census projections be damned and I fail to get excited over the prospects of schools I’ve never cared about or dislike on a fundamental level. The further we go from home, the less I enjoy this.

          I’ve set my own personal criteria, and as a fan and a taxpayer, it’s up to the Big Ten to meet those standards. I should not and will not redefine what I want because I’m told to.

          Like

          • wmtiger says:

            You’ll be very disappointed if and when the next round of expansion comes to the B10..

            Pitt is a great fit athletically, academically, culturally and geographically but they just don’t add revenue to the conference via the BTN unlike a Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland or Rutgers would. Expansion obviously is not just about the BTN. It’s about putting Nebraska, PSU, Michigan and Ohio on TV’s on the East Coast and competing head-to-head against the ACC & SEC for ratings.

            Like

          • metatron says:

            I already am disappointed. I’ve been having this same conversation with you people for four years. Virginia’s worthless and North Carolina is only worthwhile for basketball.

            If you think that Michigan/Maryland or Ohio State/Virginia is anything but BTN fodder, you’re out of your mind. The point is to strengthen “the product” and put more match ups that the fans and the casual viewers want to see. When fans are directly telling you “I don’t want to see this”, you have an issue.

            The Big Ten isn’t innovating – they’re rent seeking.

            Like

          • metatron says:

            I want to reiterate something here: People are getting sparkles in their eyes over words like “markets” and “shares”, dreaming up ways for the Big Ten to conquer the world. But did anyone notice that the ACC already has these schools and couldn’t doing anything with them? That the ACC is lagging behind because of the dead weight that people here are clamoring to invite?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            metatron:

            Well, since deciding to expand in recent times, the B10 has added PSU, UNL, RU, & UMD. 2 kings in 4 additions is really good; better than any other conference, in fact. You can’t add kings in every round of expansion. Now granted, if the next 4 additions are UVa, UNC, Duke, and GTech, from a football perspective, that would be disappointing (though Pitt wouldn’t be any better than any of those 4 besides Duke in football, IMHO). From a basketball perspective, that would be stellar, from an academic perspective, that would be stellar, and from a monetary perspective, it could range from “pretty good” to “really awesome” (if the power conferences manage to keep more of the revenues generated by college basketball for themselves).

            Now I know that some folks like to add more schools closer to home (if at all), but it’s not a sentiment that I embrace. Playing Pitt or Mizzou more often in-confernce wouldn’t make me more proud of being a Big10 fan (while adding WVU or Louisville would make me less so).

            Like

          • metatron says:

            @Richard

            When your opening statement is a reassurance of settling, it undermines your entire argument.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “I want to reiterate something here: People are getting sparkles in their eyes over words like “markets” and “shares”, dreaming up ways for the Big Ten to conquer the world. But did anyone notice that the ACC already has these schools and couldn’t doing anything with them? That the ACC is lagging behind because of the dead weight that people here are clamoring to invite?”

            No one’s proposing to add Wake or BC (OK, some people say that BC is a possibility, but I think that would be a mistake).

            The ACC TV deal is a bit undervalued now because they signed when the economy was going down the drain (and some have argued that Swofford did not negotiate well).

            BTW, here’s an (old) analysis of the monetary value of ACC schools (done by an FSU fan):

            http://www.tomahawknation.com/2012/5/15/3021181/is-fsu-really-the-most-valuable-team-in-the-acc

            UNC+Duke+GTech+UVa would be slightly above the ACC average (mostly due to UNC). For that matter, UNC+Duke+GTech+UVa+UMD would be slightly above the ACC average as well.

            Keep in mind that the ACC doesn’t have a conference channel that they can monetize. An even bigger factor is that there are fewer network effects in the ACC. More casual fans would tune in to watch the local school play a king, and there are far more kings in the B10.

            Granted, any 4-school combination that includes FSU (and not either Wake or BC) would be significantly better than UNC+Duke+GTech+UVa.

            I don’t think adding UNC+Duke+GTech+UVa would be a home run financially unless the power conferences start keeping more of the basketball revenue generated (there is actually more ad money spent on college basketball than college football, but the vast majority of that is spent on the bball postseason, and only a fraction of that is returned to the schools/conferences who do well in the Dance as units, with the NCAA distributing another chunk in a non-performance-based manner–subsidizing water polo at Pepperdine, etc.–while keeping another big chunk for itself to fritter away as they see best).

            Like

          • metatron says:

            It’s not undervalued, it’s perfectly valued. They capitulated to Notre Dame’s demands for partial membership because ESPN’s offer was underwhelming to their expectations. This isn’t a home run, it’s a DH trying to get a bunt single.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “When your opening statement is a reassurance of settling, it undermines your entire argument.”

            It’s a statement of reality. Did/are you going to forgo marriage if you can’t land Scarlett Johansson?

            Like

          • metatron says:

            What I do, is not expand beyond twelve for schools that antagonize my fanbase and will be revenue neutral at best.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “It’s not undervalued, it’s perfectly valued.”

            http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/ceobroadband/state-of-the-media-2011-year-in-sports-11339432/1

            ACC football telecasts drew the 3rd highest average number of TV viewers (behind the SEC and B10). ACC basketball telecasts drew the 2nd highest average number of TV viewers (behind the B10). In both football and basketball, the ACC drew better than the Pac and B12, who both have better TV deals.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “What I do, is not expand beyond twelve for schools that antagonize my fanbase and will be revenue neutral at best.”

            Well, I believe that the power conference will split from the NCAA (or threaten to do so) fairly soon & thus increase their share of college basketball revenue generated significantly.

            If certain people are to be believed, the SEC’s top targets right now are UNC & Duke. I don’t think Slive is in the business of antagonizing his fanbases while adding schools that don’t increase the SEC’s revenue.

            Like

          • frug says:

            But did anyone notice that the ACC already has these schools and couldn’t doing anything with them? That the ACC is lagging behind because of the dead weight that people here are clamoring to invite?

            The ACC is lagging behind because some combination nepotism and misguided loyalty lead the conference to make partnering with Raycom Sports a condition for any media company when they signed their TV deal which caused Fox to drop out of the bidding and forced them to give up ALL their TV rights. Then they went and made things worse for themselves by adding two basketball schools (which pissed off the FB schools) and renegotiating their TV deal without any leverage which led to reach a deal that was probably even worse than the first one they signed*.

            Then, in their panic to get more cash they invited ND which irked Maryland and FSU and gave the Big Ten the green light to attack.

            In other words, the ACC isn’t dragging behind because they have deadweight, but because they have made some unimaginably shortsighted decisions over the past 3 years.

            *Not only does the new deal contain relatively little new money, the new money it does have is mostly backloaded (including a giant lump sum in the final year), required the league to give ESPN even more media rights (including sponsorship rights to the CCG and MBB tournament) and (worst of all) tacked on 4 more years to the contract, thereby undercutting the only significant advantage of their previous agreement (that at 12 years it was relatively short in length)

            Like

          • metatron says:

            Interesting, though I remain unconvinced.

            I think the more important thing to note is that college basketball’s advertising revenues were far higher than football’s.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            bamatab provided a link a couple of weeks ago with a complete listing of games and calculated showing the ACC a distant 5th in average football ratings this year, not far above the BE. So I’m not sure how reliable those higher prior ACC rating numbers are. It wouldn’t seem like this year should have been such an outlier.

            Its clear they are underachieving given their markets and the number of flagships they have. Whether they are undervalued is harder to tell.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet:

            True. A difference between years or counting different games (conference-only vs. all)? And I don’t know how Nielsen counted split telecasts on ABC.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @bullet – A couple of things. Richard’s link uses average number of TV viewers, and you are using ratings points. Ratings points don’t equate to a certain number of viewers. It’s conceivable that they have lower ratings, but have higher viewership due to the size of the audience at any given time. Also, Thursday night NFL football absolutely hammered the ACC’s Thursday night football package.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            (continued from previous post)

            …this year. The ACC didn’t have that competition last year.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Ratings points don’t equate to a certain number of viewers

            Ratings points do equate to a certain number of viewers, but outside of the time slot they are not comparable to other ratings points. Getting 20 rating at 3AM probably has a smaller audience size than getting a .1 of prime time.

            Sorry for the triple post, I’m a little off today apparently.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I made the comment at the time that the NFL was breaking a “truce” and it would hurt college football. It had been TH/Sat college, F HS, Sun/M NFL. The MAC was moving into T/W.

            I saw a link with the TH ratings. Vandy/S. Carolina was 1st at 2.6, a Virginia Tech game (Clemson?) was 2nd (1.6 to 1.8-don’t remember exactly), Pitt/Cincinnati was #3 at 1.5 with the rest all lower. Vandy/S. Carolina, Pitt/Cincinnati and WSU/BYU, the late game following Vandy/S. Carolina (which was around #5) were the only 3 w/o NFL competition.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Good point about the Thursday night NFL telecasts.

            ESPN’s Friday night telecasts actually beat their Thursday night football ratings 4 out of 10 times after the NFL started playing on Thursdays and before Thanksgiving even though the teams playing on Fridays were generally lesser brands.

            Like

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Metatron, if you’re viewing this through the prism of “how do we create the most competitive football conference possible”, you certainly will be disappointed. I’ve never believed that was the endgame of the B1G’s presidents, although as a consideration, it’s not being ignored.

            These guys are presidents of institutions of higher education, not football commissioners. Everything done makes sense and should be done primarily for its contribution toward providing stability in the quest to support these universities’ primary academic/educational mission. Football, no matter how obsessed this country is with it, is just entertainment.

            Like

          • rich2 says:

            Metatron,

            You are correct and I can hope that only more B10 fans will express similar sentiments. A Big18 or Big20 is a meaningless entity. MD and RU were disastrous decisions unless you believe that the Big 10 is a “programming-delivery system” for the BTN. You never improve the brand equity of an institution by adding below-average “products. P&G does not improve its brand by launching the twentieth best potato chip into an established market… and the twin arguments that: the Big 10 must expand for financial reasons and to ensure that top students in new markets become “aware” of our schools (e.g., this might have been a good idea in the 1950s) is uninformed and shows a very limited understanding of the current “business” of higher education. In fact, it is an insult to the faculty and staff who already are doing good work at these B10 schools. The idea that when a top student in New Jersey watches a “BTN Football Classic” or Minnesota vs. MSU in Volleyball that a light bulb turns on and he or she decides to apply to Iowa or Michigan is ludicrous. The top students already know which are top schools. Period. End of story. For all the “kings” added to the B10 in the past twenty years — has the median SAT or ACT school for the incoming freshman class at member schools — increased or decreased? I will spare you the trouble — more schools have reported a decline than an increase. Maybe joining the B10 will help NE, RU and MD improve — but expansion has not helped a majority of the original members.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Even if its entertainment, I don’t think the Presidents want to be mediocre at anything they do.

            @rich2-Its a form of advertising. If they get more exposure in those markets, some students are going to give them a closer look. Its like any other advertising. If you are a good student, you get tons of mail from all over the country. The athletic conference and related media attention can make one school stand out in that crowd. I know in Texas, a lot of people who can’t get into Texas or Texas A&M look out of state instead of at Houston, UTEP, UTSA, UTA, UTD, Texas St., etc.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @rich2

            It may be insulting to the faculty, but it doesn’t change the fact that sports do advertise the university. In their first year in the Big 10 UNL’s law school saw a 20% increase in applications despite the fact that nationwide law school applications were down.

            And it’s not just Nebraska’s law school. It has been proven that success in the revenue sports produces a statistically significant increase in applications.

            Now, this does not prove that current Big Ten schools will automatically benefit from expansion (as far as I know the issue has never studied) but it certainly implies it.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “You never improve the brand equity of an institution by adding below-average products.”

            Talking about Louisville, I presume? I do wonder why you worry so much about some other conference rather than the conference your school is actually in.

            BTW, if you believe that Duke, UNC, UVa, and GTech are “below average products”, why were you so pleased that ND joined this collection of “below average products” who form the heart of the ACC?

            Like

          • B1G Jeff says:

            Regarding being a ‘delivery system’, I don’t necessary think that’s the case, but if it was, the target would be the CIC moreso than the BTN. Billions beats millions any day, and collecting more senators for your cause never hurts. A preemptive strike against the SEC’s fledgling effort is not beyond the realm of possibility.

            Our academic gap on the SEC is at least as big as their recent gap on the football field of play, and we’re pulling ahead financially. Can you imagine our academics’ angst if they became a legitimate competitor for those financial dollars? I can almost see some professorial FTT starting a blog somewhere about the arms race…

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            rich2: ” You never improve the brand equity of an institution by adding below-average “products. P&G does not improve its brand by launching the twentieth best potato chip into an established market… and the twin arguments that: the Big 10 must expand for financial reasons and to ensure that top students in new markets become “aware” of our schools (e.g., this might have been a good idea in the 1950s) is uninformed and shows a very limited understanding of the current “business” of higher education.”

            As far as businesses never expanding by acquiring enterprises that are below their own level, that would be a surprise to the once seven primary cellphone carriers, now four, and would have been three if the FCC had allowed it.

            There seems like there may be a bit of bait and switch in this argument. The “to ensure that top students in new markets become aware of our schools” addresses an academic argument, when there is no need to JUSTIFY taking below average academic institutions in the options being raised here as being disappointing adds for college football fans: whether MD and Rutgers; or UVA. UNC, Duke, and/or GTech, none of them are below average academic institutions.

            The complaint is that while they are perfectly fine institutions of higher learning, the attached sports departments are not at the level of a Big Ten “prince”, never mind a “king”. Its not about the quality of the institutions, but about the appended sports departments.

            As far as the needs of the sports departments, yes, to thrive, they do need new and growing markets, and they do need greater profile in growing recruiting grounds.

            The number one academic concern about big time sports programs is that they remain a benign tumor on the institution and do not become a malignancy that diverts vital resources away from being a University. And as far as that concern, getting new members that generate more BTN revenue is indeed an appealing prospect.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Bruce:

            There is actually a fair bit of intellectual dishonesty in rich2’s arguments. Remember that he is the guy who said that if ND joined a conference, he would want it to be the ACC because of the fine academic institutions that are there. Now he is implying that the B10 would devalue itself academically by taking those exact same institutions. He also pointed out that the B10 had a demographic growth problem. Yet he also damns the B10 for being proactive about addressing that problem by expanding.

            It makes me wonder how a guy like him, who’s constructed arguments would not pass muster in a freshman seminar, could get tenure.

            Thn again, maybe I should not be surprised. Glenn Hubbard managed to become Dean of Columbia BS despite pathetic displays like this:

            http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/12/glenn-hubbards-countrywide-deposition.html

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            There seems like there may be a bit of bait and switch in this argument. The “to ensure that top students in new markets become aware of our schools” addresses an academic argument, when there is no need to JUSTIFY taking below average academic institutions in the options being raised here as being disappointing adds for college football fans: whether MD and Rutgers; or UVA. UNC, Duke, and/or GTech, none of them are below average academic institutions.

            The complaint is that while they are perfectly fine institutions of higher learning, the attached sports departments are not at the level of a Big Ten “prince”, never mind a “king”. Its not about the quality of the institutions, but about the appended sports departments.

            Maryland may not be a “king” in a strict football sense (which appears to be the only criteria for many of you here), but it has won an NCAA title in both men’s and women’s basketball more recently than any Big Ten school and holds its own against its future conference rivals in its overall athletic program.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            vp19,

            “Maryland may not be a “king” in a strict football sense (which appears to be the only criteria for many of you here),”

            There is no maybe about it. MD is not a CFB king. It’s also not a MBB king (IN, UK, KU, UCLA, UNC, …) or WBB queen (UT, UConn). FB kingdom is the most talked about because football drives revenue and revenue drives realignment. Overall sports program kingdom belongs to Stanford, UCLA and the P12 until someone else wins the director’s cup and/or gets near them in national titles.

            “but it has won an NCAA title in both men’s and women’s basketball more recently than any Big Ten school and holds its own against its future conference rivals in its overall athletic program.”

            Good for MD. Seriously. They still aren’t as valuable athletically as a FB king.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            True, though they are a MBB prince (like Illinois, Louisville, Syracuse, G’Town, MSU, many others including UCLA).

            I would say there are only 4 true kings in MBB (UCLA doesn’t bring in money like a king), and only IU, UNC, and KU are guaranteed to remain kings after their current coach leaves.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            @vp19 ~ so long as the NCAA diverts a large share of college basketball revenues, programs being FB “kings” or “princes” are the biggest factors in conference payouts to athletic departments. That’s only one factor, but its the strongest factor coming from the athletic side, and the only factor that might ~ MIGHT ~ counterbalance the Big Ten presidents insisting on AAU membership.

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            You want a larger voice in the process? Donate more money to your alma mater.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Babs,

      “Geographical Divisions!
      Add Notre Dame and Pitt.
      W= Penn, Pitt, MD, Rutgers
      X= Ohio, ND, Purdue, Indy
      Y= Michigan, MSU, Wisconsin, Minny
      Z= Illy, NW, Neb. Iowa

      You play the 3 in your pod and 2 each from each other pod.
      That way you play everyone home and away in four years.”

      As was mentioned, you have to play your whole division round robin to be able to play a CCG. Play 3 in your pod, 1 locked rival in every other pod, and then 3 more in your paired pod. That works if you need locked rivals. Otherwise, play 3 in pod, 4 in the paired pod, and half of a third pod.

      As for your additions, the B10 won’t add Pitt for financial reasons. They don’t add anything to the footprint or increase BTN subscriptions outside of the footprint. Otherwise, they are a great option. The B10 would be happy to add ND, but the ACC has to implode first. I don’t see that happening if the B10 doesn’t take any ACC teams.

      But ignoring that, I still have issues with your divisions. Why put ND with OSU, the one king that never played them much? Why not put ND with their rivals – MI, MSU and PU?

      E – PSU, Pitt, MD, RU
      N – MI, MSU, ND, PU
      S – OSU, NW, IL, IN
      W – NE, WI, IA, MN

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        You know what sucks about ND? Well, lots of things, but………..if you DID add them to the BIG with Pitt it would be one hell of a conference for everyone concerned. Instead, they’re f$#@%ing around with these ACC teams……….disgusting.

        That said, although I’ve always liked Pitt for a lot of reasons, it’s not a perfect fit even absent the market considerations. The 2 biggest issues I see there are an overall bad athletic dept. (Rutgers bad), and an off campus stadium. Off campus stadiums suck for college football. Other issues are a relatively small fan base and enrollment.

        Like

  69. vp19 says:

    Good piece on the NCAA enforcement staff from the Los Angeles Times:

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/college/usc/la-sp-ncaa-20121224,0,7916171,full.story

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Obviously, the way Emmert has said they aren’t interested in the UNC case, unlike Brand, he doesn’t have interest in violating academic standards. And actually, they seem to be going after schools for agents more than the schools themselves cheating. At least, that has been the most high profile cases, USC, Ohio St., Georgia Tech, what they aren’t ingnoring at UNC.

      Like

  70. wmtiger says:

    The more I look at things and try to create perfect divisions and/or pods, the more that the ‘inner’/’outer’ makes sense. It preserves almost every rivalry the B10 has and even regains some that were lost splitting in to divisions…

    Is the B10 really going to have to live with these divisions that long? I’m under the assumption the B10 is planning on 16 if not 16+ sooner rather than later. If there is another expansion coming soon, division setup for ’14/’15 aren’t very important as it’s not something you’re going to live with for 20+ years.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      The inner/outer won’t gain many friends in New Brunswick and College Park, as they really aren’t looking forward to annual visits to Iowa City or Lincoln. And that would sort of blunt the value they add to the Big Ten and BTN.

      Like

      • frug says:

        Somehow I’m guessing making Rutgers happy is going to be dead last on the Big Ten’s list of priorities. As far the Big Ten is concerned Rutgers should just consider itself lucky it happens located in a gigantic media market.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        vp19,

        “The inner/outer won’t gain many friends in New Brunswick and College Park, as they really aren’t looking forward to annual visits to Iowa City or Lincoln.”

        To be frank, so what? They also don’t want to go to Bloomington or Urbana-Champaign or East Lansing or West Lafayette or …. Beyond State College, and maybe the other 3 kings just because they are kings, how many schools do MD and RU actually want to visit? Every school but PSU will require a flight. Getting to play PSU and RU every year should blunt the pain of 2 trips out west per year. Heck, MD might even learn to like some of the western schools.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Has anyone suggested NE/SW? I don’t recall seeing it.
      Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan St., PSU, Rutgers, Maryland
      Iowa, Illinois, Ohio St., Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern, Indiana

      (in order of locked rivals).

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Brian and some of the other Ohio State folks have actually suggested tying Ohio State to Nebraska instead of Michigan.

        Like

        • wmtiger says:

          I’d prefer to color coordinate them:

          “Red” division: Ohio State, Nebraska, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland & Rutgers…
          Not “red’ division: Michigan, PSU, Purdue, Illinois, MSU, Iowa & NW…

          Like

        • Brian says:

          I have suggested that. It’s balanced and keeps travel fair, but it loses OSU/PSU.

          My guess is that Gene Smith gets overruled (by Gee or the B10) and we get NW/SE:
          NW – MI, MSU, NW, NE, WI, IA, MN
          SE – OSU, IN, IL, PSU, MD, PU, RU

          Like

      • vp19 says:

        Flip the locked crossovers to Michigan State-Northwestern and Rutgers-Purdue, and it just might work. I certainly prefer this to inner/outer.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “Has anyone suggested NE/SW? I don’t recall seeing it.
        Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan St., PSU, Rutgers, Maryland
        Iowa, Illinois, Ohio St., Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern, Indiana

        (in order of locked rivals).”

        Try this, maybe:
        MN, WI, MI, MSU, PSU, RU, MD
        IA, NE, OSU, NW, PU, IN, IL

        No matter what, the pairs are screwy. You need the western 4 to play each other, and that leaves no good rival for PSU. That’s the problem with splitting that block of 4 up. The balance isn’t great either, with WI and MSU together.

        Like

    • wmtiger says:

      One thing inner/outer solves is you don’t really need OOC rivalry games so you play teams outside your division quite a bit more than any 6-1-1, 6-1-2 setup.

      Like

  71. zeek says: