i find this extremely interesting
If you're interested in reading Dr. Saturday's latest thoughts on what we've been talking about non-stop for days now then go here.
The summary is basically what I've been thinking- putting OSU and UM in separate divisions will weaken The Game and gain the B10 almost nothing.
I'd be interested in other people's thoughts on this, especially well-explained contrarian points of view.
So, MVictors has a good post about conference realignment and The Game: http://mvictors.com/?p=7960#idc-container
Craig Ross talks about the divisional title conditions as well. My 2 cents (AKA, everyone else is NUTs b/c the following is the most logical avenue of reasoning):
1) A simple question: Why is Michigan-Ohio St the greatest rivalry in sports? No really, think about specific reasons.....
OK, now is it really b/c it's played on Nov 22nd? Or in November? Or the end of the year? Can a date on the calendar define the importance of this game? Not really. The reason the Game is so big is simply b/c when the teams play, the BIG TEN TITLE always seems to be on the line. This is the crux of the rest of this post: Overwhelmingly often, the M-OSU winner definitively determined the BIG TEN CHAMPION. That is what made The Game, well.... THE GAME. Nothing more, nothing less. Not the weather or the date on calendar.
Based on the above, if both M and OSU were in the same division, THEY WOULD NEVER DEFINITIVELY PLAY FOR THE B10 TITLE. They would only play for the division. Hence, the game loses it's significance. The Game went from 'determining the B10 Champion' to 'determining the division winner.' By definition, this would be less important.
I therefore submit that, if you truly want to protect the importance of The Game, you MUST support M and OSU being placed in different divisions. Therefore, unlike the alternative, the opportunity to play for the B10 Title will still be available thus maintaining the sustainability of the importance of The Game. It will sustain it's own importance if it deserves to: if M and OSU are good enough to meet in the B10 title game on a regular basis. If they aren't good enough to do this, nothing can sustain The Game's importance.
Obvious point: We must play every year to avoid the Neb-OU situation of the recent past. Hence, the protected rivalry game.
Obvious point: playing a 2nd time in the Title game WOULD BE AWESOME!!!
Not-so-obvious point: Would it not benefit (from an on the field competitive viewpoint) both OSU and M to move The Game a week or two earlier to avoid having to play the 2 biggest games of the year in consecutive weeks? In addition, this may reduce the number of times when the divisions have already been determined prior to the last week of the season (thus diminishing the stake of The Game some years).
Finally, the MVictors post linked at the top discusses the inherent disadvantage M and OSU would have simply by virtue of having to play each other EVERY year in the cross divisional protected game. Craig Ross suggests a complicated point system to mitigate this disadvantage. I submit a simpler strategy for determining the divisional champions:
-- intra-divisional record determines the division champion.
-- overall B10 record is the 1st tiebreaker.
-- head to head in the 2nd tie breaker
moving head to head to the 1st tie breaker may be fine, but then makes overall record moot and essentially makes the cross divisional games worthless.
The End...... ?
In advance of the flood of articles on this appearance, here's Angelique's twitter feed from the event. Apologies in advance to her followers as this is not meant to alert you to the existence of the tweets, but to start a dialogue among the MGoBlogerati on the content of DB's remarks.
- UM AD Dave Brandon at Det Eco Club: says in 6 months as AD has worked harder than in any 6 month period as a CEO
- Brandon on biggest surprise as AD: "the number of moving parts"
- Brandon on NCAA hearing: "we were prepared...did a mock hearing. We were rehearsed. When we got to the room felt like we had been there"
- DB on hearing: "thought we executed well"
- DB on Big Ten expansion: "some compromises changed are going to occur"
- Brandon: "the reality is we are as a fan base going to have to prepare ourselves for changes"
- DB: "if we put um osu in same div we will never play ostate for a champ and trip to RB that doesn't sound great to me"
- Brandon on um-bama 12 possibility: "I want mich to be a big-stage program..no prob w m teeing it up against a nat power & display who we r"
- Brandon on BIg Chill -- $1 mill to build ice rink. Projects dec 11 will be largest crowd in mich stadium history
- Brandon on being gov vs um AD: "I feel this is a better job for me"
- DB on RR: "I support my coach. I respect rich and the challenge of the job I support him and defend him"
- DB on whether RR needs a magic win #: "the people who say 7-5...that's nonsense" said insulting to simply decision process like that
So, expect U-M and OSU to be in different divisions, the Big Chill is going to be massive, Bama game is likely, you are likely to see RichRod prowling the Michigan Stadium sideline in 2011.
Meantime, Teddy Greenstein scored an interview with Jim Delaney in which the subject of "The Game" ("the game") was front and center:
"If Duke and North Carolina were historically the two strongest programs and only one could play for the right to be in the NCAA tournament, would you want them playing in the season-ending game so one is in and one is out?" he asked. "Or would you want them to play and have it count in the standings and then they possibly could meet for the right to be in the NCAA or the Rose Bowl? We've had those debates. It's a good one. The question is whether you want to confine a game that's one of the greatest rivalries of all time to a divisional game."
The interview was set up last week, before the latest hue and cry over the Ohio State-Michigan game. It lasted 26 minutes, and Delany might have said "competitive equality" that many times. He insisted that if Michigan and Ohio State are split, the decision won't be motivated by money or keeping the Big Ten's TV partners happy. It would be for "competitive equality" - balancing out the league's traditional superpowers - and so a second meeting could produce a Rose Bowl representative.
That will prove a tough sell, given that one prominent national college football writer Tweeted on Wednesday that Delany's middle name is "Cha-Ching" and another ripped the league in a column under the headline: "Big Ten selling out tradition." Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel opined that the Big Ten's motivation is to squeeze out an extra $2 million in negotiations for the TV rights to the title game.
"We have not discussed this with our TV partners," Delany said.
Delaney also covered the following topics:
- Championship game scheduling (time and network)
- Division alignment decision timetable
- Rivalry game protection
- Nine game conference schedule
- Timetable for naming the divisions
- Indoor vs. outdoor championship games
The first of the articles are in. This is the Freep's (two of the seven bullet points):
- On the expansion of Michigan Stadium: “I’m enamored when people say, well, so many of these things are just being driven by money. Well, hell yes. Hell yes, they’re being driven by money. These athletic programs across the country are going broke. You happen to be sitting on the campus of one of the few departments of athletics in the United States of America that doesn’t need to be subsidized and propped up by the general funds or other means. These athletic programs are hanging by a thread. They’re going broke. … The reality is we’re in a situation where we’re trying to leverage the assets we have in growth and strength we have as a department. It’s not only about football, it’s about 27 sports.”
- More on the potential changes: “I’ve heard that a lot the last couple days: what would Bo (Schembechler) say? Bo hated the idea that Penn State was allowed in the Big Ten. He hated it, he fought it, he thought it was a terrible idea. I love Bo, I owe a lot to Bo, I respect Bo immeasurably, but I can tell you the Big Ten is a much better conference right now that Penn State is in it. Bo would hate the idea that we let Nebraska in the conference. He would hate the idea of splitting into two divisions, and he’d hate the idea that we’d have a championship game to get to the Rose Bowl, as opposed to the way it’s always been. And there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way. … The favorable reaction to (Nebraska entering) was 99-1. People love the big brand ‘Nebraska,' great school. But now the reality is setting in… . You can’t split into divisions, you can’t have a championship game, without some changes occurring.”
"Hey, I was a part of this program in the 'Ten Year War,' I was part of the Bo vs. Woody thing," said Brandon, who played for Bo Schembechler at Michigan in the early 1970s.
"Nobody has to define to me the importance of this game. I do believe that one of the things people have lost track of in all of the noise is that if Michigan and Ohio State are in the same division, Michigan and Ohio State will never again play for the Big Ten championship -- we will never again play for the Rose Bowl. I think there's a lot of people that just haven't focused on that, and they need to understand that. And I have to tell you as a guy who was part of the program and who understands the magnitude of that game, to know that from this point forward we will never play Ohio State for a trip to the Rose Bowl again, never play them for the Big Ten championship again, that doesn't sound good to me. Now there's people out there that sounds good to, but I'm not one of them."
OSU and Nike announced today that the Buckeyes will wear a one off uni for the 2010 edition of The Game as they did for the 2009 tilt.
Ohio State is one of 10 of the top college football programs that will wear uniquely designed Nike uniforms for at least one game during the 2010 season the company announced today. Ohio State will wear the innovative design for the Michigan game November 27.
The Nike Pro Combat System of Dress uniforms the schools will wear are engineered to provide superior protection and durability, while utilizing advanced fabrics and tooling that reduce weight.
Nike worked diligently with each university to bring relevant elements of the school's rich heritage into the futuristic elite fit uniform designs. The collaborations with the universities produced the highly customized uniforms that will be revealed just days prior to the start of the 2010 college football season.
So, the design may or may not have much to do with the "throwback" unis they wore last year. We await the reveal with breathless anticipation.
In the meantime, you can chew on this from @elevenwarriors:
At least OSU chose a game which will be impossible for the Pro Combat unis to jinx.
Who's doing the jinxing now?
In its blog post about the initial announcement (now updated with the news of the selection of Michigan), Eleven Warriors correctly predicted that the unis would be worn against Michigan using the following sound logic:
My hunch, because Nike and the athletic department both like money, is that the uniforms will be worn at home this year. That way, rabid memorabilia-collecting guy on your block can own a home and away jersey. Nike likes to pit the teams wearing the one-off uniforms against non-Nike schools...
And Michigan fills that bill to a T. It's pretty pathetic that OSU is using The Game as proxy in Nike's battle with Adidas, but there it is. College football, selling its soul, one alternate jersey sale at a time.
Has anyone read today's Bill Simmons column?
It's about the Suns, and also EPL soccer, but it instantly reminded me of the last 7 years against OSU. It got me thinking about what crazy thing will happen that causes us to finally win the game. A 99 yard DRob run? Tate leading a last minute drive with multiple broken bones? GERG thoroughly outcoaching and outsmarting Tressel?
Simmons takes a lot of crap nowadays, but when he's on,
he's really fucking on he can still capture the emotional part of fandom better than anyone except Brian and Nick Hornby.