"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
A 14-team Big Ten is a scheduling headache. Even with 12 teams, Michigan is not seeing Wisconsin for four years (unless they meet in the championship game).
Currently, the Big Ten has static divisions and one protected cross-over game per team. The schedule rotates every two years, and every team plays eight games in the conference. If this remained the case, many rivalries wouldn't be contested in the regular season for 12 years.
The time lag could be halved, to six years, by adding a ninth conference game. But that still means that a player or fan wouldn't face the whole conference at least once, during the course of a four-year career.
The time lag could also be reduced by rotating the schedule annually, instead of every two years. But that means if Purdue comes in and beats you, you don't get the chance for revenge until many years later.
Another option is to eliminate protected rivalries, thereby increasing the inventory of games that can rotate every year or two. I am able to come up with only ONE static and reasonably-balanced divisional alignment that preserves all of the games that I believe the conference would feel MUST be played annually:
1) Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Illinois
2) Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers
This preserves Michigan-Ohio, Wisconsin-Minnesota, and every intra-state rivalry. With nine conference games, a team could face 13 out of 14 Big Ten teams at least twice within a four-year period, assuming the schedule rotates every two years, as it does now. Of course, this alignment, like the current divisions it is not geographical.
[Addendum: I assume most people know this, but Wisconsin-Minnesota is the oldest annually-contested rivalry in the FBS. Along with Michigan-Ohio and the various intra-state rivalries, it is considered indispensable. The Big Ten would never organize in such a way that those two teams skipped a year.]
Finally, the conference could align in pods, as follows:
A) Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio
B) Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers
C) Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern
D) Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue
One of the three-team pods would be divisionally aligned with one of the four-team pods, and they'd swap every two years. In any given year, you'd play your entire division, and either two or three of the teams in the opposite division (depending on whether there's 8 or 9 conference games).
These divisions wouldn't be static (they'd change every two years), but over a four-year period everyone would play everyone in the conference at least twice. My guess is the league won't do something this radical, but as an out-of-the-box idea it's worth considering.
With the talk about Ohio State's uniformz for The Game, a friend and I came up with a different idea. USC and UCLA's game this year featured the home uniform of both teams.
I think seeing Michigan wearing Blue and Ohio wearing Scarlet out there would be pretty cool. Definitely better than doing the uniformz thing.
For confirmation that this is acceptable for all NCAA (pdf warning):
Jersey Color and Design
ARTICLE 5. a. Players of opposing teams shall wear jerseys of contrasting colors. Players on the same team shall wear jerseys of the same color and design.
1. The visiting team shall wear white jerseys; however, the home team may wear white jerseys if the teams have agreed in writing before the season.
2. If the home team wears colored jerseys, the visiting team may also wear colored jerseys, if and only if the following conditions have been satisfied:
a. The home team has agreed in writing prior to the game; and
b. The conference of the home team certifies that the jersey of the visiting team is of a contrasting color.
3. If on the kickoff at the start of each half, the visiting team wears a colored jersey in violation of the conditions specified in paragraph 2 (above), it is a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.
So the home team that year and the conference would have to okay it.
So what does the MGo crowd think? Would this be a cool thing to do or would this be just as bad (or worse) than uniformz?
Now that the Big Ten is in full meltdown expansion mode, a lot of people are asking about The Game and its impact on the Big Ten championship game, now and in the future. How often both teams appear, how The Game affects the division champions for better and for worse, and everything affliated with it.
The biggest complaint has been a schedule that has Michigan and Ohio State playing each other every year, with weaker teams having guaranteed rivalries against each other. As it turns out, due to regularly dominant teams...Michigan and Ohio State typically come out on top anyway.
I looked at the Big Ten standings and results from 1969-2011. 1969 is the arrival of Bo Schembechler, the start of the modern M/O rivalry. And in 2012, Ohio State is ineligible to win the division, the first time that's happened as the game was being played.
The standings are from the regular Big Ten schedule, without it being weighted for divisional matchups. Division winners were the two teams that finished highest in the Big Ten standings, as divided up by the current divisions. (If a 4th place team was the highest of a current division's teams, they were the appointed division champions.) Ties were broken with head-to-head matchups, and if the teams did not play each other, I split the division title.
First off, here's how the Big Ten championship games would have looked like, under the current divisions.
With that in mind, let's first look at the potential for rematches.
Going by the eventual matchups, 20 seasons would have featured Michigan/Ohio State rematches for the Big Ten title, or about 47% of the time. 16 of those, or 38% of the time, were outright victories with no tiebreakers.
Those seasons are as follows: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2007
Michigan would have won the Legends division title in 28 seasons, with 27 of those outright. Michigan won more division titles than any other team, pulling ahead of Ohio State for two reasons. The first is that Nebraska, a division rival, does not factor into these seasons at all, winning zero titles in their one eligible year. The second is that Minnesota, a longtime doormat, also won zero division titles over 43 seasons. In comparison, every team in the Leaders division won a division title, with five of the six (all but Indiana) winning at least three titles.
Michigan's division titles are as follows: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Ohio State won a division title in 26 seasons, with 23 of those outright. The Buckeyes had a much stronger division to contend with, but much of their faults were somewhat of their own doing, from timely losses over the years.
Ohio State's division titles are as follows: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009
In only 9 seasons, the Big Ten championship game would not feature either Michigan or Ohio State, with 8 of those without any tiebreakers. In only 19% of the time, a Big Ten championship game did not feature either Michigan or Ohio State. Those seasons, with a matchup, are below.
From a letter sent to former Miami players implicated by Nevin Shapiro's allegations:
The purpose of this letter is to apprise you that the NCAA enforcement staff is requesting to schedule an interview with your clients regarding their knowledge of or involvement in possible NCAA violations concerning the University of Miami, Florida, football program.
Interviewing your clients is important in order for the enforcement staff to conduct a thorough investigation, and both the staff and the institution request you and your clients’ cooperation in this matter. However, at this time, all attempts to schedule and execute interviews with [blank] have been unsuccessful. As a result, this letter serves as a formal and final request by the NCAA enforcement staff for interviews with [blank] to be completed by Nov. 23, 2012.
If we do not hear back from you or your clients by that time, the staff will consider the non-response as your client’s admission of involvement in NCAA violations. You may contact me at [blank] in order to arrange this interview. Your assistance in this matter is appreciated.
Assistant Director of Enforcement
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sports-buzz/2012/11/ncaa-gives-ultimatum-to-players-in-um-investigation-canes-dolphins-marlins-heat-chatter.html#storylink=cpy
South Carolina was pretty similar to Maryland or Rutgers. A flagship public school with good in-state talent. Decent some years, bad others, but usually just mediocre and irrelevant. Whatever tradition they had in football, it was nothing special. Most of their good recruits went to Florida or Alabama.
But then, with the SEC money really kicking in around the early 2000's they upgraded their facilities and hired the ol ball coach. Now they're able to retain some in-state recruits and are ranked #12. Some of their key players, like Marcus Lattimore and Jadaveon Clowney, are from South Carolina.
So given the resources of the B1G and the in-state talent of New Jersey and Maryland, isn't it possible for them to copy South Carolina? Just look at the talent from those states the past 2 years. Henri Poggi, Steffon Diggs, Kendall Fuller, Eli Woodard, Yuri Wright, Darius Hamilton, Devin Fuller, Ronald Darby, Cyrus Kouandjio, Blake Countess.
Sure we have absolutely no tradition with them but I'm pretty sure ranked teams are ranked teams and always fun to play. I don't see why they can't be ranked consistantly 15~30 if they can keep some of their talent, upgrade their facilities, and hire a decent coach. They'll be earning 2x or 3x the amount of money of their ACC recruiting rivals.
I was wrong.
I thought Maryland (and DC/Baltimore Market) was the main target and Rutgers was the add in. It was the other way around.
With Rutgers as the token local team, News Corp can offer YES Network as a bundle deal (with BTN, which News Corp also owns 49%) only. This pretty much guarantees that BTN will be part of the expanded basic cable in NY/NJ area. The added revenue from this deal will more than pay for Rutgers joining the conference.
The deal finalized today, and no, the timing is not by coincidence.
The thought of Delany working hand in hand with Murdoch does creep me out a bit...