Blog Entry

Big Ten booted it

Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:22 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2010 11:34 am

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Big Ten. You got your way.

There's a bold, bright world out there beyond your Saturday tailgate full of Yuenglings, Leinenkugels and Rust Belt pride. Your conference chose to ignore it. The core issue in Big Ten divisional alignment was Michigan-Ohio State.

If one of those games was good, two was better. Still is. The problem is that tradition won out over that bold, bright world. "The Game" will remain on the last Saturday in November, diminishing the chances for a rematch in the championship game. That essentially negates the fact that the Big Ten's two biggest franchises will compete in opposite divisions -- as yet unnamed.

Commissioner Jim Delany harkened back to the epic 2006 game.  On the weekend that Bo Schembechler died, Ohio State beat Michigan 42-39 at The Shoe. The Wolverines remained No. 2 in the BCS for while creating the possibility for a BCS title game rematch. Then UCLA beat USC and Florida played Ohio State for the national championship.

In 2003, Oklahoma actually lost by four touchdowns to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game and still played LSU in the BCS title game. So miracles can happen late but what Delany was referring to still remains 100-year flood type stuff. In other  words, don't count on a rematch.

In fact, it's more likely the Ohio State-Michigan loser misses out on a BCS bowl. Try getting beat twice in a row by the same opponent. Sure, they could still win their divisions and meet again the next week in the championship game, but it isn't likely. There just isn't much room for error. Look at the SEC and Big 12, the major conferences that have played a championship game the longest. Combined, there have been only 11 of 32 regular-season rematches (34 percent) in those two leagues. Few, if any of those rematches, were played within two weeks of each  other.

The Michigan-Ohio State loser is going to need a cushion. Twenty-six of the 36 SEC divisions races since 1992 have ended in ties or the combatants were within one game of each other. You don't want that to be a factor on the last day of the regular season.

Some of you will celebrate the preservation of the sanctity of the last Saturday in November. But something is going to be missing. "The Game" is not going to be for the Rose Bowl ever again. Oh, it could eventually lead to a Rose Bowl, or a national championship, but it won't be that end-all, be-all.

 There was discussion, Delany said, of moving Ohio State-Michigan to earlier in November. That would have at least created a better possibility for a rematch. The loser would have at least had a chance to "rehab" itself by winning out over the next month. Do-or-die on the last Saturday in November makes it mostly die for the loser.

What's wrong with building excitement? Big Ten isn't suffering for bucks but a second such game would have made the first look like a preliminary. Big crowd, big TV, big hype. The conference is used to that but slowly inexorably, there is going to be change. Delany talked of rebranding the conference in the next 90 days. There will be a new logo. Maybe that will create a stir because this didn't. Not for me.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2010 12:01 pm

Big Ten booted it

By "this assessment" I mean the first poster who disagreed with the stance taken in the article.

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2010 11:58 am

Big Ten booted it

I'm not half as anti-Dodd as many people who post, but I have to completely agree with this assessment.  This article doesn't make a lot of sense and I think it's idiotic.  As an Ohio State fan I absolutely want the OSU-Michigan game to be the last game of the regular season.  I think almost any other Ohio State fan would agree and I believe the same would go for Michigan fans.  It would feel tainted to play the game any other time than the last regular season game.  Dodd's argument that this diminishes their chances to play in the conference championship makes ABSOLUTELY no sense.  His comment about diminishing the chances to both make BCS bowls makes sense, but who cares?  That's always been somewhat of a factor playing in the last game, and yes, both sides do want to knock the other out of BCS bowls, so that's a poor argument as well. 

As the results have now come out I'd lean toward the argument that the Big Ten got it right.  Honestly, Penn St. may have come out of this with the toughest schedule as they'll play Nebraska every year along with Ohio State and Wisconsin, but that will certainly make for a great matchup every year, so I don't think people should complain.

Since: Jul 25, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 11:52 am

Big Ten booted it

Dude I'm honestly having a hard time catching the thesis of this. The fans of both programs and Big Ten fans in general made it vocal that they wanted the biggest and most storied rivalry in the conference to stay where it's at and the powers at the top obliged. It doesn't eliminate the possibilty of the two meeting in the conference championship game and you're whole "it's more likely the loser misses out on a BCS bowl" isn't exactly going to be the case either. example: say OSU is undefeated going into the game and Michigan has a lackluster year (or visa versa) but Michigan beats OSU leaving OSU with a 7-1 conf. record which is still good enough to get them to the Big Ten Championship game in which they play Nebraska/Iowa and OSU wins becoming Big Ten champs (not too far fetched I would say) then obviously they are still in a BCS title game hunt. I see where a loss that late in the season would make it more difficult to bounce back but it's not impossible. Seriously no knock on Michigan cause I have much love and respect for the program but untill things improve up there this really isn't a discussion anyway. Even look at the conf. as a whole NOBODY has been beating OSU on a consistent basis in recent history which I find unfortunate but it's true. I'm not a big fan of the divisions as they are mainly cause as a Hawkeye fan I hate to see the annual Iowa/Wisconsin game go but not everyone is gonna be happy and some sacrifices needed to be made to let this new Big Ten happen. Even still as a whole fans of the big ten have to be excited that we're adding one of the better teams in college football history and a championship game not to mention OSU vs Mich stays where it's at. I say those are two major steps foward.

Since: Sep 2, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 11:34 am

Big Ten booted it

Ummm....mathematically,  the game has the same affect on the standings whether you play it the first, middle or last game of the regular season.

While OSU and Michigan may not rematch very often -- when they play The Game will have no affect on that fact.  And since I know you argued for splitting up OSU and Michigan into different divisions, I know this is not an argument that they should have stayed in the same division.

So, basically, your entire article makes no sense whatsoever.  Congrats!

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2010 11:19 am

Big Ten booted it

i too, love the NU/Iowa game at the end of the year.....maybe we will be playing a rematch for the Big Ten
me, though.....that really kind of happened to Nebraska when we didn't even have a conference title game. we
had finally beaten Oklahoma to win the Big Eight and had to turn around and play them in the Orange Bowl.....tough to
beat a good team twice in the same year....don't worry MU/OSU fans....everything will work just deal with what
they gave you.....Nebraska didn't even get a vote on how the divisions or schedules were put together since we are not
an "official" member, yet. i am fairly sure we wouldn't have chosen Penn St. as our every year game, though...but it doesn't just play the games and see what happens.

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:38 am

Big Ten booted it

As an Iowa grad my only gripe is that we don't play Wisconsin every year.  The more I thought about this though it dawned on me that the Big Ten really values the Wisconsin and Iowa programs.  It seems like the powers that be feel as though our 2 programs are on the verge of joining the elite teams in the conference on a historical basis.  I love the Nebraska - Iowa end of year game.  Nobody really mentioned that in anything I saw last night.  That will definitely be a treat to watch on Thanksgiving weekend.  For all those out there complaining about the Michigan - OSU coverage, those programs have earned it.  They are the most significant programs we have in the league and that end of year game is a big deal, regardless of records.

Since: Oct 12, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:33 am

Big Ten booted it

That scenario can play out in any conference with a championship. Florida and Bama could argue that same point. Or 2 years ago when you had Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech in a 3 way tie while Texas beat Oklahoma who beat Texas Tech who beat Texas. The only difference here is Big 10 fans are used to an easy path to the NC by not having a championship, now they have joined the rest of the big conferences and have a tougher time to get there.

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2010 9:55 am

Big Ten booted it

Unless you're from here, Dodd, I wouldn't expect you to get it. And if you are from Michigan or Ohio and you believe this, you really don't get it.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2010 9:33 am

Big Ten booted it

Im still having alot of trouble with the split. Consider a possible scenario: OSU and Mich enter the final game both 7-0 in the Conference, both 11-0, and ranked 1-2 in the BCS. One team pulls it out in the last minute. The other team returns the favor by puling out a last minute victory in the Big 10 championship. No other teams in the BCS have less than two losses, and OSU and Mchigan end up 1-2, setting the stage for a THIRD straight OSU-Michigan game for the BCS championship. Far-fetched? Maybe. But remember that other losers of a Conf Championship have ended up in the BCS Title Game. The prospect of THREE OSU-Michigan games in one year is a possibility someday.... even for this longtime Buckeye fan, that's way too much, and may be hazardous to our health if it happens. Heck, it could even spark another War between the two states! ONE Game... THE all we need each year....and that darn well should settle things for that season. They screwed this up.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2010 9:12 am

Big Ten booted it

Yo Dodd, how does leaving the game the last week of Novemebr all but end the chances of a rematch?

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