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 4, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 8:49 am

The Big Ten succeeded in not making New Coke

People, sportswriters included, still haven't figured out that there is nostalgia and comfortability that must be overcome for any change to be seen as positive.




He argues, successfully I think, that all the analysts in the world could be telling you that you're on the right track, but when the change comes, mass panic and revolt ensue.  Why?  Because you didn't take into account people's attachment and love of things the way they are.  COULD it have been better the way you wanted it?  Sure.  But it's fantastic now.  Many companies have gone belly up because they tried to "fix" something that just wasn't broken to begin with.

This game is ingrained into who people are around here.  It has assimilated itself into the culture and woven itself into the fabric of the two cities and universities.  To move the game would be like moving Thanksgiving or the 4th of July because a brand new shiny holiday was too close by.  The Big Ten Championship will be made into and entity that will stand on its own over the course of time.  There is no doubt it will be special in its own right.  The Game has stood the test of time already and has become its own entity that shouldn't be touched just because there's something new.  Traditions take time and effort to build.  This one has already paid its dues.

Since: Jul 21, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 8:34 am

Big Ten booted it

Dodd is a glorified bald clown...  of course he doesn't understand how silly he sounds... what did you expect from a Mizzou alumni, a non football school with no real tradition or seat at the big boy table for football powers.  He's always going to be sounding off for the BCS non-qualitfiers, which is basically Mizzou.

Here Dennis the Clown...  this may help you understand a few things....

Since: Sep 1, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 8:34 am

Big Ten booted it

Dodd critical of the Big 10.  SHOCKER!

Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2010 8:18 am

Big Ten booted it

why not just split it east/west and let the cards fall where they may?  it shouldn't matter who plays in the big 10 championship game, the fact that it's the big 10 championship game should be enough.  the sec championship never suffered when mississippi state or arkansas made it.
and really, over the past 10-20 years or so, i think wisconsin and iowa have more than shown they are capable of pairing with nebraska to form a core top 3 of the big 10 west.
west: neb, iowa, wisconsin, minn, n'western, illeast: osu, mich, psu, mich st, ind, purdue
instead the big 10 has gone and acc'd their conference.  good job delaney.  no wonder the sec is the best and looks to be the best well into the future of CFB.

Since: Aug 10, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 7:54 am

Big Ten booted it

Screw OSU and Michigan.  The world does not revolve around Columbus, and Ann Arbor is a who**.  I think it is great that the OSU / U of M game was preserved as the last regularly season game of the Big Ten schedule, but it should be played in division, not outside of division.  As a Wisconsin fan, I feel like we got shafted from being able to beat up on our biggest historical rivals in division.  It will be fun to play OSU / U of M / PSU based on the historical greatness of their programs.  However, I am ambivalent towards those programs.  (Oh, who am I kidding, I don't like the OSU / U of M arrogance).  But I really hate Iowa and Minnesota.  The conference should have been split geographically. 

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2010 4:27 am

Big Ten booted it

Regardless of the championship game setup, who plays whom, the tradition of such a signature game as OSU-UM is what really helps define college football.  As a Gator fan of some fifty years, I have seen the Florida-Florida State game played at the beginning, middle and end of the season.  The SEC/ACC champioships notwithstanding, I can safely say this game has always been most intense when it os the last game of the season.  So the Big 10 undoubtedly made the right decision in preserving the sacred spoy of the Ohio State-Michigan game.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: September 2, 2010 3:54 am

Big Ten booted it

Dodd looks even worse compared to what Adam Rittenberg did at ESPN. He had several posts on the topic, while Dodd only had one, and his point was totally inaccurate. Dennis, you should have to reimburse CBS for your salary today. This was just awful.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2010 3:40 am

Big Ten booted it

Why the whining?  Afraid to play them twice?

Since: Dec 15, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2010 2:41 am

Big Ten booted it

Wow, what a poorly informed and written article. Dodd it's amazing to me that you're a writer on a national sports website and you can't even fact check your information. Who goes to the championship is based completely on record except in the rare occasion with a 3+ team tie in which the teams split when it would be based on BCS rankings. Is honoring > 90% of the OSU-MICH alumni fucking up "The Game"? I don't believe that many people could misunderstand the importance of THEIR rivalry, but I believe a stranger from Mizzou could easily make that mistake. This is not a mid-season game. This is what the season is all about for them. It would be like moving New Years' to July for them. You can't arbitrarily enter it into the middle of the year. I expect a sincere apology for your lack of knowledge on this rivalry and lecturing the Big Ten on what it doesn't understand about its own rivalry while making an ass on a national scale.

Good day.

Since: Sep 2, 2010
Posted on: September 2, 2010 2:25 am

Big Ten booted it

The Big 10 got it right-competitive balance, maintaining rivalries (with a few exceptions), and OSU-UM on the last day of the reg season.  If they play back-to-back, so what? It will only fuel the rivalry, esp if they split. And it won't happen as often as many think. If Dodd were to look back at history, the GAME is less often a "winner goes to the Rose Bowl" situation and more frequently a "Since I'm not going to Pasadena, I'm gonna kick your *** and keep you from going to the Rose Bowl" scenario.  I think the Big 10 has taken into consideration tradition and has put a plan into place that will satisfy all involved. Dodd will just take any opportunity to hate on the Big 10, which is fine.  I for one am excited for 2011.

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