Keep The Game the same = Megabucks!
How about the last 100 years.
Okay, let's see if I get this straight. The main reason we need to put OSU and Michigan in different divisions is the humunguous payout that the conference will get when they meet (as they inevitably will) in the conference championship game.
We'll still play them every year, but since we don't want them to meet on consecutive saturdays, this means we have to move the U of M -- OSU tilt up to the end of October or beginning of November.
I see lots of disjointed talk about The Value of Progress and Change but at bottom, the logic is: huge rivalry+conference championship=Megabucks.
Now let me tell you why that probably won't work, and why we're risking a very valuable asset on the equivalent of a lottery ticket.
At bottom, sports rivalries are not rational. They are emotional. Mess with the atmospherics and you diminish the value of the whole event.
Timing was always key to the OSU "experience". For decades the game has been played late in the year -- the last game of the regular season (except for one season where U of M had a road game in Hawaii) and that made the stakes high. Championships were at stake nearly every year and if one team or the other was down instant redemption was possible.
Move the OSU game to October or early November and the stakes are lower. The event loses its importance. It's still OSU and Michigan on the field, but the excitement just won't be there. Lose and you can still make up the game against Northwestern next week. Win and you still haven't clinched anything.
For lack of a better way to put it, the magic will be gone. And without that magic OSU is, well, I doubt it will turn into just another game all at once, but it won't be the biggest rivalry in sports any more. It'll look and feel more like MSU. Yeah, it's still a rivalry, but (sorry Sparty) it isn't the huge year-in-year-out deal that OSU is.
And -- here's the irony -- if it's no longer the biggest rivalry in sports, then we can't assume that the league will rake in megabucks when the two teams finally do meet in the championship. Lose the excitement surrounding the matchup, lose any advantage in terms of ratings and, by extension, rights fees.
For this gamble to pay off, Michigan and OSU will need to meet in the championship pretty soon, while memories of the glory days are still fresh. Odds are against that. Let's face it, Michigan isn't all that good right now. Oh, I'm not predicting doom but I wouldn't assume that U of M will be ready for championship contention in 2012. Rich Rodriguez might not be around after this year, and how many people on this board have argued that if we get rid of Rodriguez we're looking at another three years of rebuilding? (I've gotten negged for suggesting otherwise. Don't go wobbly on me now all you spread option afficionados!)
The OSU rivalry is a valuable asset and Brandon looks set to gamble with it. For this gamble to pay off, Brandon's going to need to draw to the football scheduling equivalant of an inside straight. Maybe I'm missing something, but this doesn't look like a smart gamble.
I understand the excitement. We may get to play two OSU games a year every now and then. If it works out -- Cha-ching! But if it doesn't work out, we may not play any OSU games -- at least not the way we're used to, with championships and reputations on the line. The thrill will be gone Oh, they'll wear the right colors and the band will do script Ohio, but it won't be as exciting and it won't be worth nearly as much, emotionally or economically.
Yes, economically -- the game is a great draw, year after year, right where it is. The conference might lose that draw, diminishing the value of its TV contracts. If you still support this move, okay, but lets come to terms with what we -- at Michigan, at OSU, and in the Big Ten -- might lose if the cards don't fall right.
Keep The Game the same = Megabucks!
How about the last 100 years.
It's still OSU and Michigan on the field, but the excitement just won't be there. Lose and you can still make up the game against Northwestern next week. Win and you still haven't clinched anything.
I was happy with the hire of DB.
I was thrilled with the addition of Nebraska.
I am happy with the BTN, because it gives my school $$$ for new facilities and ect.
I now feel fleeced with all this change. During this time I never realized the power of money would influence the league more than tradition and actual play. I was naive to think that all my traditions would stay the same. I am now beginning to despise the big business of the B10. I remember when football was football and that was it.
Now there's talk of paying the athletes, as if their 100k scholarships are worth nothing. Just want to watch my team and forget this nonsense. C'mon Sept 4.
I get where you're coming from and I agree with you. I'm just not surprised. I can remember when PSU to the Big Ten was shocking. Now, we have 12 teams, including Nebraska. Nebraska isn't in the same conference as Oklahoma, nor is Colorado. (I loved watching the Nebraska-Colorado game on the Friday after Thanksgiving. I imagine that is going away too.) The Big Ten has 12 and the Big 12 has ten. Texas has been to the Rose Bowl. OSU is wearing clearly fake "throw backs" because its fans will buy them up faster than a "Skoal, road kill and PBR combo meal." (Those go very quickly in Ohio.)
College football places money over tradition more and more - even in areas that used to be untouchable.
Just wait until the Big Ten network goes pay for view and you have to shell out $19.95 to watch The Game. If you think this will never happen, let me remind you that we are talking about Michigan v. OSU in October.
but never dis PBR. it doesn't have a blue ribbon on every can for no reason.
+1 for the burn on osu, but lets be honest skoal is way too high class for them. their more all about grizzley.
Both on PBR and Skoal. It is clearly Grizzely and whatever 6 pack they can grab before running out of the store. Remeber, "every body steals . . "
Frankly, I think we'll be in championship contention in 2011. Most of this year's offense are sophomores and juniors, and they'll only get better. The defense will finally come together and become solid. 2011 and 2012 look to be really good years for Michigan.
And it's not just the timing of the game that will dilute its importance. Being in different divisions is almost like being in different conferences. The UM-OSU game may have no meaning whatsoever in the divisional races. The games against division rivals - and the head-to-head tiebreaker they produce - may well end up being more important. It's hardly a stretch to imagine that an OSU-PSU game in November might eventually be viewed as more important than UM-OSU. Those are two bordering states, and each school recruits each other's home state heavily.
And us? I guess Nebraska is our end-of-the-year consolation prize (unless the conference wants to be really nasty and makes us play Sparty then). UM-NU might in time become a big rivalry, but it'll never be what UM-OSU currently is.
What about winning the jug in the final game. Not the national hype. So move OSU to big ten opener and final game vs ND. Play ND for national ranking and if lose to OSU early rallying cry to play them again.
It's unfortunate but true that games will now be dictated by revenue rather than long-standing traditional rivalries. It's too bad that in the end the bean counters always win.
This result was pretty obvious from the time Big 10 expansion moved to the front burner.
they have claimed that rivalries would be the number one thing protected?
It's supposedly all about the money, but no one can really show such a move makes more money. I've heard a couple of ratings points makes a big deal for the championship game...what if that means the regular season ratings go down EVERY year, just for the equvilant gain once every five years. And such separation deteriorates the rivalry so it doesn't mean as much, people don't consider it a big year end tradition, and it loses it's value over time? Then you've hurt your market share, and lost money in the big picture. So you've lost tradition for no gain.
The money is a big deal and I'm with the crowd that thinks it will cheapen the rivalry. If it is supposed to be THE GAME, then why even allow them to play twice in a second THE GAME? If they go 1-1, that sucks. I'd rather have a third THE GAME rubber match. A "Best of 2" series makes someone like me cringe even if one is the supposed championship. Sure UM may not be there for a few years, but just not interested in seeing it happen like this. I like one game for all the marbles and bragging rights.
But even a UM/OSU game with 15% less revenue due to less interest would be more valuable than most other alternative match-ups. If the rivalry is cheapened though, then the brand is cheapened, and it will be a little bit tougher to get the recruits on the fence to come our way.
and we give up the Muchigan / OSU rivalry (they'll still play, but it will be just another game). Wow. It's really hard for me to see that we're better off now. That's a really heavy price for whatever we got in return. Now we're just another conference, just like everyone else.
That game was the essence of college football. No game will ever be as cool as that game was. And we gave it away for nothing.
It cracks me up how all along they said the rivalries were going to be protected and that was the most important thing, and then they pull this crap.
I know there are at least a couple OSU fans on here - is there the same level of outrage over this on the OSU sites? Has the winning streak made the OSU fan base not care about UM as much (if so that's really sad...)? As someone else posted we need to make both OSU and UM fan sections littered with signs of saving the game and keeping it in November and the previous 15 some off posts point out why.
Dave Brandon and I are the same age, class of 1974. For me, and I'm sure for him, OSU will always be the most important game of the year. Mr. Brandon is a very smart guy, but in this case I think he has let his personal viewpoint interfere with his analytical ability.
KSmooth is correct, as time passes and a greater portion of the general population doesn't know if it was Bo or Woody who coached Michigan, the OSU game will just be another contest between two good programs.
"The Victors" was written after a stirring Michigan victory. Michigan fans know the opponent was the University of Chicago. Most of the rest of the college football world doesn't know and doesn't care. Rivals change, or in the case of Chicago, go away. Rivalies must be important or eventually they just become another game.
and I'm used to the showdown at the end of the year. Change seems to be inevitable as part of the game, maybe not for the better, but who can really predict? I wonder how the SEC has dealt with their championship game and its effect on the traditional rivalries like Alabama-Auburn?
turns down an opportunity to beat Ohio State twice in one year?
As Woody may have said, "Because I couldn't go for three."
What is even the big deal of playing OSU twice in a row? The college hockey system is built around that system. If anything the second meeting will just be more exciting because the loser will e driven by last week's loss and the winner will be defending his title...not to mention the big ten championship rides on it
The second the league clinched 12 teams and announced 2-division format some tradition of the OSU-UM game was going to get diminished.
To me, the biggest wound to the rivalry would be if The Game showed up on the last weekend of the regular season and one, if not both, of the teams didnt really care because they have a big money game with a trophy on the line next week. This will happen.
Keep them in the same divisions, deal with the fact it will never be the final say in the Big 10 title ever again.....which is a loss of tradition, natch
Or split them up, but please move the game. Different divisions, game at the end of the year, could lead to some awful Week 17/Wildcard rematches we often see in the NFL. Those game generally arent dramatic and even if this happens once it would dilute The Game. Why win it this week, when next week is more important? I dont know, that seems kind of lame
Just keep them in the same division and play the final game. I can live with The Game deciding a division title most years instead of the Big 10 title anymore. It seems better than all the other possibilities.
Seriously OSU/UM and PSU/Neb on the final Saturday of November. Most times those games will have a major say in the two divisions and enough times both will be straight playoff games for a spot in the title match the following week. Why is this so hard for them to come to grips with?
Television revenue and confernce expansion go hand-in-hand regarding any discussion about how the Big Ten will be split into divisions, future scheduling and how the Big Ten football confernce championship game will play out. ABC/ESPN are currently involved in renegotiating the contract with the confernce and Fox Sports is an active partner with the Big Ten Network. Those are relationships that can't be ignored.
If the events surround conference expansion taught us anything, its that the networks have major input into what final decisions are made. The Big XII would never have survived, for example, if Don Beebe didn't work with the ABC/ESPN to ensure their revenue would not be decreased with the departure of Nebraska and Colorado.
If Jim Delaney and the Big Ten are intent on getting to a 14- or 16-team conference with a major presence in the northeast for the Big Ten Netowrk, they're going to need ABC/ESPN's active cooperation to help make it work (especially since they also own the rights to all the BCS bowl games and they help "shape opinions" regarding the pecking order in college football).
What the Big Ten is especially going to need to do is show potential expansion candidates the next go round that their business model is the best going. If the Big Ten's annual conference disbursements to each program grow in the manner I think they will (up to around $28M in FY 2012), that will set up the conference very nicely when expansion time comes around again. That type of money may also give the Big Ten enough flexibility financially to bring in a couple of teams from the northeast and as a catalyst to bringing in Notre Dame (take two Big East teams and invite Notre Dame to become #15).
Here's something to keep in mind--Do you think ABC/ESPN wouldn't like to see ND in the Big Ten with the Irish home games on their network rather than NBC (or someone else)? If the Big Ten's goal is to get Notre Dame into an expanded conference, doesn't it make sense to make it in ABC/ESPN's best interest to work with the Big Ten on that objective?
We'll know how much the money will change once the new contract is finalized (the conference championship game made be good for $1.5M per team per year--the television contract is the big mover). Keep in mind what the ACC recently got from ABC/ESPN and work from there.
While we're thinking about it, think about where the Big Ten Network stands in the pecking order when it comes to getting football games and think what it would take to give the BTN a bigger profile. I know one thing it work take--cooperation with ABC/ESPN to make sure that there's something more on the schedule than Rutgers v. Minnesota (insert Paul Tagliabue/tennis reference here).
One last thing to keep in mind, and that's this--the current arrangment isn't set in store. If the Big Ten gets a program like Notre Dame (or Texas) onboard, then the divisions, scheduling, etc. will be changed and The Game may be back at the tail end of November with UM and OSU in the same division.
Only one poster has said it so far: if the rivalry is going to keep the same prestige, Michigan needs to get some wins in a hurry. Losing 8 out of 10 (and 6 in a row) to your rival is very Michigan State-like. At some point it has to be considered that this is starting to water down the overall value of things to outsiders; it doesn't draw the same interest nationally when one of the teams is playing just for pride.
You know the ACC was drooling at the prospect of having FSU and Miami,FL square off in the ACC championship game. They moved the rivalry from an October game to the first game of the year. We all know how that's turned out - they haven't met in the title game yet and neither team makes it to the title game that often. The ratings for the ACC title game are awful year in and year out.
I'm also guessing that the Big 12 figured that with Nebraska and OU in separate divisions they'd get a handful of title games matching those teams. Guess what - there hasn't been one Big 12 title game between Nebraska and OU.
Part of the beauty of having the OSU/UM at the end of the year was that the big ten was at stake for both teams. Even if one team had no shot at the title, the other often did and the team with no shot could ruin the title hopes of the other. If they are in the same division you could still have those scenarios with the division title.
pundits will stop saying The Game has diminished in status. The problem is not moving The Game, it's Michigan winning it.