Everybody seems to bash on us, but the fact is our own Big Ten Network beat out the ESPN deal that the SEC has for revenue. That should say it all.
BigTen Always At The Forefront
I hear a few people calling the BigTen behind the times, even Sean and Terp on 96.1 made a few sarcastic jokes at the start of the day about the BigTen not being progressive and how this move is so shocking for this conference. I don't know what these people could possibly be thinking. There isn't anything further from reality.
The BigTen is at the forefront more so than any other conference out there. Case in point:
1) The BigTen was the first NCAA conference to initiate Instant Replay for football games. Now all conferences have copied the success of the BigTen and implemented it to the point where it is an NCAA wideregulation.
2) The BigTen was the first conference to start its own TV network and force its way into the market. The financial success has set up the conference nicely in the future and other conferences are now once again set up to play copy cat as they try to create their own network.
3) The BigTen from top to bottom has the best academics in the FBS (Div1A). The BigTen is the only FBS conference to have all of its members ranked in Newsweek's Top 100 Universities and the CIC is a powerhouse of Research on the Global scale. This conference + the University of Chicago have always put academics and research as a strong priority within the schools. The BigTen is at the forefront of academic research there is no dispute about that.
4) Canham is the first AD to act like a modern AD....$$$ Once again, the BigTen at the forefront of the modern era.
5) The BigTen has the three largest college football stadiums...#1, #2, and #3 in capacity...always pushing to new heights.
6) The BigTen has the strongest history and one of the most progressive revenue sharing programs of any conference. Other conferences are changing over to the BigTen style of having a strong revenue sharing program. In terms of money in a conference, no one is more progressive.
7) Now apparently the BigTen is making the push in creating super conferences if you believe the rumors of a 14 or 16 school conference. If so...other conferences will most definately follow suit and once again the BigTen will be on the cutting edge of the trends in football.
I wrote into the show and made these points, I don't know if they read it, because I had other appointments and couldn't listen any more. However, we have a very proud conference history of being the leaders that bring about change nationwide. Even the 3 yards and a cloud of dust still existing today is a bunch of tripe...the BigTen has many unique offenses like Purdue's 'basketball on turf' and Northwestern's spread. Heck even, 'conservative' Carr had some spectacular years of passing offensive stats and games.
It's the exposure.
Big Ten Network kicks serious butt for revenues. No doubt.
But SEC's deal with ESPN gives them much wider, more hyped exposure throughout the United States. I suspect that the more recruits see the SEC on ESPN glorified, the tougher they are to recruit to Michigan and the Big Ten.
Leveraging those dollars into a bigger Big Ten will help - no question about that (as Lloyd would have said).
Except that if you click on the link you'll see that the SEC/ESPN deal isn't included. The $11.1 million figure is for the 2008-2009 school year. The ESPN deal kicked in this past season (2009-2010).
Which link are you referring to? I didn't see a link in the diary at all. But if you're insinuating that the SEC gets more from their TV deal than the Big Ten does, I believe you're wrong. From my understanding the Big Ten gets more money than any other conference from TV.
I confused this commenter with Brian's post from Tuesday regarding the distribution of money given to the conference. My fault on the confusion.
I'm not insinuating anything. I'm pointing out that we only have total distribution figures available for both conferences and that right now the SEC hasn't released their figures for the 2009-2010 year which will be the first year of the ESPN deal. The Big Ten MIGHT make more from their TV deal, but until we get better information it seems a little premature to state that.
I actually got an email respone from Sean and Terp, which was very nice of them. They disagreed with me about the BigTen being progressive and always at the forefront and pointed out that the BigTen has struggled on the field, which is true. However, off the field, the BigTen Does It First and the other conferences follow the BigTen's lead....revenue sharing, instant replay, your own network, etc...and maybe now super conferences if the rumors are true.
I agree with MGoShoe - don't expect sports talk radio guys to do anything intelligently.
That said, the Big Ten will almost always be the forefront of college football. We have the largest combined student body of any conference, giving us the largest alumni base of any conference. Our states have the largest population of any conference (although that's falling). We have likely the wealthiest alumni (based on the quality of our schools, although I can't quantify this). In addition (or maybe because of all of the above reasons) we have the largest national following of any conference. We obviously dominate the midwest fanbase, but we likely are the conference of choice in NYC as well, and every other area, the Big Ten is likely no worse than second to the local conference. The SEC is not big outside of the South, the Big 12 is not big at all outside of the Big 12 states and the PAC 10 gets very little love outside of the west coast (and I bet LA has as many Big Ten fans as Pac 10 fans, no joke).
Thus, the Big Ten will stay at the forefront for the foreseeable future.
Just because the SEC has beaten Ohio State twice in a row in NC games doesn't mean the Big Ten isn't progressive. Heck, even last bowl season should have put to rest the "Big Ten is mediocre" meme. Whatever. The fans form outside of the midwest are uninformed and naturally predisposed to disliking the conference.
The only thing that the Big Ten is behind on is the conference championship game. Other than that, we've been near the forefront of everything else like you mentioned. Instant replay and the BTN are very progressive, and it was here that it happened.
Weren't the "FAB FIVE" the ones that revolutionized the basketball uniforms?
Generically - yes. They certainly popularized the look, if it wasn't their own fashion genius that thought of it.
Technically the Mountain West Conference was the first to start its own 24-hour network, but the Big Ten was the first to launch a successful network. I agree though, the Big Ten as a conference is much more forward-thinking than people give it credit to be.
If the Mountain West had a network, and nobody was there to hear it, did it make a sound?
qualify as the USC network?
It took RR's offense, first via NW, who even used his terminology and signals, then via Zook with his version, and finally via RR himself to really bring the Big Ten up to date. Its temporarily premiere team, OSU, is still struggling between using its anachronistic offense and adapting to the present landscape.
Off the field, the Big Ten is by far the most progressive of the conferences. But on the field, half of the conference is still living in the old paradigm of bulky players and conservative offenses. As soon as RR and UM dominate the Big Ten again, the Big Ten will be officially up to date on the field, too.
I still have one question about RR:
Is it possible for the "Godfather of the Spread Option" to pioneer yet another offense or even a defense?
I am not so sure that his creative days are over yet. He is still young in coaching years and seems to have both creativity and restlessness in his DNA. RR could very well create yet another evolution of the game, this time while with UM and the Big Ten. Then, there would be no doubt that the Big Ten are indeed in the forefront both on and off the field.
Well, the old, traditional teams in the Big Ten (OSU, Iowa, PSU, and Wisconsin) beat Oregon, Georgia Tech, LSU and Miami (YTM) in their bowl games last year, whereas the spread teams you mentioned (NW and Illinois) either lost their bowl game or sat at home like we did. I'm not saying the spread isn't the future necessarily, but the not-so-spread teams from the Big Ten did OK last fall.
I am not sure how many teams are truly 3 yards and a cloud of dust in the BigTen. Compare our offenses to the darling SEC and I think you will see a similar diversity.
Indeed. Alabama has a pro-style offense, as does LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Georgia. Auburn and Florida have a run-based spread.