good luck with that
One of responses in a forum post got me to thinking about whether a Big Ten Championship game would be helpful in propelling a team to the MNC game.
The short answer is no. Analysis follows: let's see what couldhave happened the past 3 years.
- 2008 Last year Ohio State and Penn State shared the Big Ten Championship. They probably would have played in a hypothetical B10 championship... but PSU had already beaten OSU earlier in the year. Even had they played a championship game, PSU would not have gone to the MNC game had they won, and OSU (and the B10 in general) probably would have lost out on the 2nd BCS bid. Reverse the situation and OSU doesn't get to the MNC with a win, and PSU may lose a BCS bid if they lose. The net result is negative: one BCS game, a bunch of teams bumped down a peg, and a random mediocre Big Ten team may get shut out of a bowl.
- 2007, The Michigan-Ohio State game has a slightly different meaning. If Michigan wins, The B10 championship is suddenly Michigan-Illinois. If Ohio State wins, the B10 championship is Michigan-OSU. Playing the hypothetical game here can take you to all sorts of different places. Anyways, tOSU won, and In the 1-2 week after rematch, Henne and Hart are still banged up meaning we probably lose again. If OSU wins they still go to the MNC, while Michigan still goes to the Citrus Bowl. If OSU loses, they probably don't go to the MNC game, Michigan goes to the Rose Bowl, OSU probably gets an at large BCS bid, and Illinois is shut out of the BCS. There is no possible gain here in Big Ten terms, they have 2 BCS teams regardless, but they could potentially lose a MNC contender.
- 2006, UM and OSU have a titanic showdown in The Game. This is where it gets interesting. If UM loses, it would prompt a rematch in the B10 championship, as they had beaten 1 loss Wisconsin early in the year. If Ohio State loses, then what? Michigan would have beaten both teams, both with 1 loss. Who plays in the B10 game? Assuming OSU wins the regular game again, the Big Ten Championship is still fraught with peril. If OSU wins again they still get to go to the NC, and Michigan is eliminated from any talk about going to the National Title game. If Michigan wins, there's a 4 team logjam at the top, with UM, UF, USC, and OSU, as well as a 1 loss UW team that would probably be out of the running. The MNC has the potential to shut out both Big Ten teams, and let UF and USC play. The Big Ten had a legitimate shot at putting 2 teams in the national title game, and in this scenario, could end up with 0.
There are plenty of other messy scenarios out there. What happens in the case of a 3 way tie (ala the B12 last year). Hell, the Big Ten has even had a 4 way conference championship tie, what then? Sure the Big Ten could split into divisions, but who's the 12th school? Bringing back U-Chicago's athletics? Will we change our name (Because you have to admit 11 schools in the Big Ten is pushing it, 12 would just make it too confusing) to the Big Lake Conference? Do we go to 10 schools? Are we kicking Northwestern out?
Oh, and if you were wondering, there's no way a B10 championship would have helped in: 2005 (12-0 Texas/USC), 2004 (12-0 USC/Oklahoma), 2002 (12-0 OSU/Miami), 2001 (Undefeated Nebraska/Miami), 2000 (Oklahoma, 1 loss FSU. Big Ten Champ was 4 loss Purdue), 1999 (Undefeated VTech/FSU), or 1998 (Undefeated Tennessee/FSU)
The only time a championship game could have hepled was in 2003, when 1 loss Michigan wins the Big Ten. That year, 1 loss Michigan and USC were on the outside looking in while 11-1 LSU and Oklahoma were playing for the NT. We were a distant 4th to the 3 other teams, but a Big Ten championship game MAY (may!) have pushed us over the edge.
1 opportunity to improve the Big Ten's situation out of 11 isn't really great. You have to trade that off with 3 potential opportunities that a Big Ten team can stumble and not go to the NT game. And yes, a conference championship would most likely bring in lots of revenue and exposue. However, without a championship game, the Big Ten has one of the easier routes to the National Title game, and it looks like a championship game would be an obstacle for a perfect team more often than it would be to boost a 1 or 2 loss Big Ten team in.
Tell me what you think? I was about to enjoy a nice whipped cream topped Irish Cream & Espresso while lighting up a Gran Habano #1 Broadleaf corona, it doesn't get too much better than that for starting a Sunday. Just before settling into what channel might tell me where Detroit might be playing or at least what spare limb depository I'd need to show up to actually get highlights as I was promptly reminded that you actaully have to win games to be seen.
Alas... I trolled through the assorted psuedo-sportsesque programming to happen upon listening to ESPN chatting it up about Les Miles and LSU's narrow victory, but victory nonetheless over Auburn ending an eight year run on the their home-field advantage. Some unknown putz [whom I've never seen on ESPN before] makes a crack at Michigan for letting Les Miles skip over the Maize and Blue for the Tigers of LSU.
That was a cheap shot... because I was one of the loudest cheering for him coming on board. We needed a Southern Style Kracka Ass Kracka type Bubba Gump option playing coach. That and recruiting was behind him too... another reason why I hate the BCS so much, it is nothing more than Big Collegiate Socialism, you have know-nothing schools transferring the wealth of solid built program successes by the schools who did it right, all in favor of siphoning talent, money, and glory away from the more dynamic schools, all so that Bubba Tech should get an equal but underserved shot at a bowl, not so... or should I further ask, does that sound politically familiar?
Bubba Tech has to do it the old fashioned way, build a program of their own. Well, we have some decent talent, but we have absolutely no frigging depth at all. It'll be two years before we see solid gains from the transition. I don't doubt Rodriguez's abilities, I just don't trust him enough to make it happen so...
I quess this is where faith is supposed to come in...