I think you will get your wish.
Sam interviews Chris in todays Detnews.
His last quote has me feeling good. ""My father always preached to me that you cannot play football forever, you need something to fall back on, so academics are going to stand real strong for me. Just kind of a powerhouse football, place known for football, a great college atmosphere for football, just very supportive and a good football team, great coaches. I want to go to a place that is known for football and academics at the same time."
DELANY VS. THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL WORLD
“As Big Ten officials shake up their conference to look more like the ACC, they are flirting with an idea so bad it is borderline laughable.”
“Just leave it alone."
"‘It’, of course, is the Michigan vs. Ohio State football game.”
Michael Rothstein, AnnArbor.com (Aug 22, 2010)
“‘One of the best things that could happen, in my opinion in a given season, would be the opportunity to play Ohio State twice,’ Brandon told Ann Arbor radio station WTKA.”
“No, it wouldn’t be the best thing that could happen. It might be fun the first time. It might be unique. It might be new. And then soon enough, it wouldn’t be.”
“Everything else about it diminishes an event built and maintained for five generations. When you control a 100-plus-year-old tradition, you don’t make decisions based on a four-year television contract.”
“To do so is symbolic of the NCAA run by MBAs, where a projected spreadsheet means more than a history book. It is about selling out a century plus for an overnight rating and then trying to explain it away with specious and short-sited reasoning.”
Dan Wetzel, Rivals.com (Aug 23, 2010)
“No Michigan-Ohio State on a late-November Saturday? Say it ain’t so.”
Dave Miller, National Football Post (Aug 24, 2010)
“Ohio State and Michigan fans don’t agree on much but one thing that they do agree is that the Big Ten should leave their rivalry game alone.”
Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel (Aug 25, 2010)
“... I’m extremely wary of gerrymandering divisions in a way that could reduce the juice of a lot of natural rivalries. The main argument … is for ‘competitive balance’, yet trying to guess what would be the most ‘balanced’ divisional alignment is a losing cause. The ACC attempted to do this by putting Florida State and Miami into separate division and then blindly drawing the names of the other schools out of a hat. The football gods voiced their disapproval by not allowing a Florida State-Miami ACC championship game occur even once so far even though the conference clearly jerry-rigged its divisions to do exactly that. The much-aligned and soon-to-be-defunct Big 12 North was actually the much stronger division in the Big 12 for the first several years of that conference’s existence. Meanwhile, the SEC was perfectly fine with having Florida, Tennessee and Georgia in national title contention at the same time while in the same division. With football play on the field being so cyclical, a divisional alignment that creates strong natural geographic rivalries is better in the long-term than trying to force an alignment that looks like a TV executive searching for short-term ad dollars put it together.”
Frank the Tank, Frank the Tank’s Slant (Jul 27, 2010)
“Depending on your perspective, moving the traditional hate-fest up to facilitate a more palatable, profitable OSU-Michigan rematch in the new Big Ten Championship Game, is either a) The inevitable march of progress, or b) Armageddon, facilitated by whores.”
“It's a stark divide: On one side, 75 years of tradition – the Gold Pants, swimming (and peeing) in Mirror Lake, the Ten-Year War, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson – squares off against, essentially, a straight money grab.”
“Because I have a soul, I've already firmly aligned myself with the ‘Armageddon’ crowd made up of those of us who can’t stand the thought of one side telling the other in mid-October, ‘We'll see you again when it really matters.’”
Matt Hinton, Dr. Saturday (Aug 25, 2010)
“I think they’re absolutely insane if they move The Game and they don’t put them in the same division. I think it’s insane!”
Beano Cook, ESPN (Aug 25, 2010)
I just wanted to see how people felt about how the current system is set up. I ran through a couple of scenarios in my head. I am sure many people will have better ideas, but I thought I would throw mine out there.
As most people know, U of I is playing Northwestern at Wrigley Field November 20th. This is a unique setting for a college football game, albeit it is NU and U of I. A game at Wrigley has not occurred in a long time (Chicago Bears Dec. 13 1970) and there is no gaurantee that this will happen again. Unfortunately, this is the same weekend as when the Badgers come to town, Michigan's last home game.
I live in Chicago, but make it to most if not all Michigan home games. I am already missing the Iowa game (Friend's Wedding...Argh!), which besides the UW, MSU and UConn games, this is one that I was really looking forward to. My girlfriend (U of I grad) understandably wants to go the Wrigley game. I have repeatedly dragged (not forcefully) her up to Ann Arbor, even for a few u of I games. She will be at the Ucon game for sure among others. She has taken me to Champaign a number of times as well. I should also mention, that we did go to the Rose Bowl at the expense of missing Lloyd's last game.
So here it is..
What do I do?
It appears that the thinking of the B10 Office regarding The Game goes something like this:
"It would be a shame to have a setup where Michigan and Ohio State could not play each other for the Big 10 title. Besides, a potential Michigan-Ohio State Big 10 title game would have tremendous appeal to the networks when we're trying to sell the broadcast rights (not that we would ever let a thing like that drive our decision making . . . wink, wink).
So to make this a possibility, we'll put Michigan and Ohio State into separate divisions.
But this creates a new problem. It would be a bad thing if they played each other the last game of the season and then played immediately again in the Big 10 championship game. This could dilute the interest of the networks to whom we are trying to sell the broadcast rights (not that we would ever let a thing like that drive our decision making . . . wink, wink).
So we'll move The Game to earlier in the season so that there will be time for the networks to "cleanse their palettes" between the two games. Problem solved. We'll slip this past everybody by announcing it in drips and drabs in late August, and no one will be the wiser. Martini Time."
While it may seem like a tidy little solution to the Big 10 Office, many Michigan fans and college football fans in general are outraged. We believe The Game should be played the last game of the season, one shot. You have to go through the other team to advance. Win or lose, it's final. It's the cumulative end-point of the season, the crown jewel of "rivalry weekend".
We now have to hope against hope that the Big 10 Office will come to its senses and not let what happened to the epic Oklahoma-Nebraska and Miami-Florida State rivalries happen to the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry.
But if the Big 10 still insists on putting Michigan and Ohio State in separate divisions and not allowing them to play each other back-to-back in the regular season and the Big 10 championship game, there may be a way to do that that still preserves the essence and tradition of The Game:
- Play all of the traditional Big 10 rivalry games, including The Game, at the end of the Big 10 season the Saturday before Thanksgiving, just like they are played now.
- Schedule a non-conference game the Saturday after Thanksgiving, between the last Big 10 season game and the Big 10 championship game.
The non-conference game would be like that end of season Hawaii game that many of the Big 10 teams have played over the years, except now it would be for everybody.
There would be plenty of tomato cans available to schedule for the end of season non-conference slot, most of whom would have finished their own regular seasons and would welcome the extra paycheck. The two Big 10 championship game opponents can rest their first string and use this game to give their second/third string some reps. The non-Big 10 championship game teams can use the non-conference game to keep their team sharp for the bowls, avoiding a long layoff.
The significance and tradition of the Big 10 rivalry games would be preserved. They would still be played at the end of the Big 10 season on "rivalry weekend" the way they are now, and would still be the final word on the Big 10 standings. The non-conference games would have no bearing on the Big 10 standings or a slot in the Big 10 championship game.
This solution is not perfect of course. Many fans will not relish the idea of sitting in a cold stadium in late November to watch their team take on the seventh place MAC team. The networks would not exactly be scrambling to show these games either. Luckily for the Big 10, we have our own network to save the day. It can be an all-BTN overflow channel extravaganza day. The Big 10 would even get to keep all the TV money.
This is by no means preferable to the sensible solution of keeping Michigan and Ohio State in the same division and letting them brawl it out in The Game at the end of the season for the division crown and the right to go to the Big 10 championship.
If the Big 10 is adamant on putting Michigan and Ohio State in seperate divisions, then The Game should still be played as the last game of the season. There is no good reason to move it every year because of the possibility the teams might play each other consecutively a couple times a decade.
But if the Big 10 is hung up on Michigan and Ohio State never playing each other back to back and won't budge from this position, then a non-conference buffer game would be much more preferrable to moving The Game to the middle of the season. As a last ditch effort to keep The Game from becoming just “a game” it may be the best hope we’ve got.