Tag:Nebraska
Posted on: September 9, 2010 9:10 pm
 

Boise State wanted $1 million to play Nebraska?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It's pretty well-known that Boise State has historically struggled to fill its schedule with enough legitimate teams to beef the season's strength of schedule to the point of respectability. Sure, there's Oregon last year, Virginia Tech last weekend, but by and large, it's slim pickings. But if the report from the Omaha World-Herald today is true, it sure sounds like Boise's not really putting in a good-faith effort:

 

Nebraska called. Nebraska tried.

In the past year, NU tried to put together a series with BSU; two-for-one, home-and-home, one-way trip to Lincoln. Whatever. It ended up fizzling out. Why?

Because, according to NU Assistant Athletic Director Jeff Jamrog, Boise wanted a minimum $1 million to play in Lincoln.

This, of course, is insanity. Nebraska has zero incentive to agree to a deal like that; while the athletic program would still make money off of the game even after handing over seven figures to their esteemed guests, they'd make a lot more by hosting any number of other programs instead. Moreover, for BCS teams, non-conference strength of schedule doesn't really matter. Or, if you demand more nuance, SOS does matter, but not nearly to the extent that it would offset the negative effect of taking a loss should Nebraska lose that game (easily possible).

But if that's the way Boise wants to play it, by all means, let them. Just keep stories like these in mind the next time a BSU fan complains about the consequences of the cupcake schedule they face every year.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 1, 2010 10:11 pm
 

Big Ten division winners and losers

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The new Big Ten alignment doesn't come into effect until 2011, but who comes out the best and worst among conference members?

Winners: Most of the conference, actually. Michigan and Ohio State keep their end-of-season rivalry, and they're each the marquee members of their own divisions. If they're not to meet for the title, then effectively nothing has changed about their tradition; if they do, then so much the better, as far as the Big Ten's coffers go. Penn State and Nebraska are the second in command in their respective divisions, and they get to start a protected rivalry with each other that's sure to move needles for television rating. Northwestern and Illinois have an annual game guaranteed, plus their own divisions in which to play spoiler--and Wildcats fans must be especially pleased that they've now got an annual divisional game against the Hawkeyes in what's rapidly becoming a contentious showdown. Minnesota gets to be in a very geographically friendly division, and they get to play for every one of their trophies every year.

We'll call it a draw: Iowa and Purdue have no reason to be protected rivals, and Delany's explanation that "both teams have won conference titles recently" is at best a non sequitur. But Iowa was rewarded with a season-ending game against Nebraska, to the delight of both fanbases, and Purdue has all the protected games they could have asked for. Likewise, Michigan State-Indiana is a total head-scratcher, but at the very least, each team stays in the same division as their in-state rivals.  

Losers: Holy hell, must Wisconsin be upset about this new alignment. Consider A) that the Badgers were the only team in the Big Ten without a season-ending rivalry game up until Nebraska showed up, and B) the amount of work Barry Alvarez has done as the de facto mouthpiece of the conference during realignment talk. Surely the Big Ten would reward the Badgers, yes? Au contraire, bonjour: Wisconsin's request to get a rivalry game with Nebraska was flat-out denied, and the Badgers don't even share a division or protected rivalry with historical rivals Iowa anymore. Oh, also, they're in a league with Ohio State and Penn State, a top twosome that seems much tougher than Michigan or Nebraska do for the near future. Nobody's got more beef than the Badgers about this lineup.

Posted on: August 31, 2010 1:26 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 3:38 pm
 

Big Ten To announce 2011 divisions on Wednesday?

Posted by Chip Patterson

The addition of Nebraska in 2011 has provided the Big Ten with the opportunity to host its own conference championship game, adding an extra week of premiere Big Ten football and most importantly, a significant spike in revenue for the conference.

While it was initially expected that the announcement will come in mid-September, there is speculation that we could know as soon as Wednesday evening.

The Big Ten Network has scheduled a "live football special" for Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.  It is the belief of some that this will be the announcement of the 2011 divisions.

The most commotion has been caused by the discussion of how to divide the divisions of the new 12-team Big Ten.  Most notably, how the split may affect the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.

There are those that believe the teams should be in the same division, so that their annual matchup will continue to take place in late November, as the last game of the season.  If "The Game" were to be moved any earlier in the season, it would certainly be to the displeasure of many former Buckeyes and Wolverines - many of whom have sounded off publicly on the issue.

Unfortunately, many of the heavy hitters, especially Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, believe that splitting Ohio State and Michigan across the divisions will be better for the cash flow rivalry in the big picture.

"You can make a pretty good argument that Michigan and Ohio State should never be playing for a divisional title," [Delaney] said in explaining why the two rivals would be in different divisions. "If they're going to play, play for the right to go to the Rose Bowl."
Of course, a Buckeyes-Wolverines showdown in the Big Ten championship game has the potential to generate an absurd amount of money for the conference, and as we have clearly seen throughout the last decade with expansion: the name of the game is dollar dollar bills yall.

Posted on: August 31, 2010 1:20 pm
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Posted on: August 31, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 2:39 pm
 

Nebraska takes clandestine road to the Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Omaha World-Herald published a great piece yesterday about the path Nebraska took en route to joining the Big Ten. It's a long read, to be sure, but it's less romance novel and more spy thriller. There's clandestine meetings, coded statements, and even an unnamed tipster who gets the ball rolling. Here's one snippet: Because [Nebraska athletic director Tom] Osborne is a well-known figure who tends to attract attention, it was agreed he and the chancellor would fly separately. [Nebraska Chancellor Harvey] Perlman was joined by Joel Pedersen, the university's general counsel. Few on any of their staffs knew the reason for their travel. 

After staying overnight in a city and eating breakfast separately to preserve their low profile, Perlman and Osborne received cell calls summoning them to meet a car outside. They then rode to a rural location about an hour outside the city. 

They were greeted by Delany, Big Ten Deputy Commissioner Brad Traviolia and the conference's legal counsel. 

One thing that becomes clear from Jim Delany's behavior throughout this process is that even though tradition isn't much of a factor in Delany's large-scale decision-making, identity is still critically important. After all, Delany bucked trends with the inception of the Big Ten Network and may tinker with the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, but when it comes down to adding another member to the conference, saying things like "we try to do things the right way" and "some things are more important than money" is still enough to send Delany's heart aflutter.

Big XII commissioner Dan Beebe and Texas president William Powers declined interview requests, and that's a shame, because their sides of the story would have been fascinating. They were the primary sources of pressure on Nebraska, after all, and now that Nebraska is in the process of bailing, some reflections on the situation from their end would be worth our attention. All in due time, probably.
 
 
 
 
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