Not sure what to make of the idea of a 10 game conference football schedule. That would only leave 2 non-conference slots on the schedule. I'm interested to hear people's thoughts on the probability and ramifications of such a proposal.
10 Game Conference Schedule Being Considered?
If the other option is playing 2 directional schools and playing Wisconsin once every 4 years I am enthusiastically in the 10 game conference schedule corner.
If this happens, I also hope we maintain the contract with the pac10.
Playing 10 BigTen teams plus a Good Pac10 team every year sounds good to me.
The Pac12 agreement already fell through.
Damnit. I was really excited about that.
Wouldn't be surprised if we see the NCAA move from 12 games to 14, or 16, so a 10-game conference slate could coincide with that.
I don't think so. At the end of the day, these are still students. Making them play 14 games, plus conference championships (unless those are eliminated), and playoffs too would be crazy.
I absolutely agree with you, just throwing out that possibility. Given that there seems to be no bounds to the money grab (see: conference expansion); it might be where the sport is heading. More games = more $$$.
Again, I'm not saying I agree with this, but if we move to 14 games I would expect to see conference championship games removed.
I would be. The only way to fit those games in is to start pushing into December. That will cut into the bowls and the practice time for those bowls. Also, I think that a 16-team conference will lead to a 4-team conference playoff instead of conference championships. That means that for a team to win their conference and the national title, they have to play 16 games (currently 15). That's just too much for the players as is.
The possible 14 game schedule comes in with Conference Semifinal Games. If/when the B10 expands to 16/18/20 teams, they will have to be put in pods of 4x4 or 4x5 for the 16/18 team pods (5,5,4,4 for 18 team sched). They would play Semi's between two of the pods and then the winners would play in the CCG. This is what the B10 and SEC are believed to be pushing the NCAA to allow.
They could go to a a four-team conference playoff without expanding the current number of total games.
When the BIG announced the most recent expansion, it occurred to me that if they were to move to 16 teams (which seems inevitable), I'd like to see them realign into four 4-team divisions, play a 9-game regular season schedule, and then seed the four division winners in semi-final games for the conference championship in week 10. The balance of the conference would then also be seeded for the 10th week. (Seeding the non-division winners 5 v 6, 6 v 7, and so on would help sort out the relative strength of teams for secondary bowls).
Four divisions would go a long way towards eliminating concerns about extended absences of cross-divisional conference rivals. With the set-up above, there would only be three divisional games each year, and 7 cross-divisional games, including the 10th conference game. If they stay with just two divisions in a 16-team conference and go to 10 conference games, there would inevitably be at least some six-year breaks between cross-divisional games, and it just gets worse if the conferences expand to 20 teams.
If the B10 were to go to 16/20, it would be almost necessary to go to 4 pods/divisions. I posted this in an earlier thread, but this is what it might look like with 20.
First, to get to 20, there would have to be a nine game conference schedule. Let's use UVa, UNC, GT, Duke, Missouri (the move to the SEC was a huge mistake) and ND (just for fun).
Pod A: UNL, Minny, Wisky, Iowa, Purdue
Pod B: ND, Missou, Illinois, NW, Indiana
Pod C: Michigan, MSU, OSU, UMD, UVA
Pod D: UNC, GT, Duke, PSU, Rutgers
Year 1: Pod A plays Pod B, Pod C plays Pod D
Year 2: Pod A plays Pod C, Pod B plays Pod D
Year 3: Pod A plays Pod D, Pod B plays Pod D
This would require a nine game schedule. You can set them up with two year cycles with a home and home before you switch, or just rotate every year. Your semi's would come in after the pods are complete. Year 1, the best records from Pods A and B would be the contestants in the Semifinal game. Same with Pods C and D.
This is essentially the same thing I was considering, although I only looked at a prospective 16-team league. In that scenario, Pod A would play all of Pod B, Pod C would play all of Pod D, and the each Pod would play half of another Pod. Rotate every two years to allow for home and home, and you shouldn't see more than four-year breaks between cross-division conference members.
The only real difference between this and what I was thinking, is that instead of having predetermined semi-final matchups, I'd rather see the four division winners seeded after week 9, and play 4 @ 1 and 3 @ 2, while the rest of the conference would also play a 10th game that same weekend ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.).
As some others had mentioned in this thread, this might create problems for NCG chances - the BIG champ would have a hell of a time going undefeated. On the other hand, if the other super-conferences didn't follow suit, with four teams every year with an opportunity to play for the conference championship, the BIG would likely see a significant bump in both overall fan interest and TV revenue, as well as a certain appeal to recruits.
I want to see B10 teams in the Championship game. I'd love to see two! I think the B10 champ almost assures a spot in the 4 team playoff. This past year was an exception to the rule. Michigan played a very difficult schedule (losing to both the NCG game, an undeated OSU in Columbus, and left unprepared when it's star QB went down) and an undefeated OSU ineligible for the post season.
That being said, if you stop thinking like a fan and start thinking like an university president/athletic director, what's the most important thing you can do for your athletic programs? Make sure they are funded properly without using general funds to do so. Having the BTN as wide spread as it can be with as much advertisement as possible and making the next tier 1 negotiations as fruitful as possible is a far greater priority than winning a National Football Championship. If you think that way, it makes sense to me.
Well, you and I agree on this one, and I think it would be great for both fans and revenue. When I was playing around with this idea, I was thinking that from a revenue standpoint, they would need to make sure that M & OSU were in the same division, as well as protecting as many traditional rivalries as possible within the divisions.
Then on Week 9, the weekend before Thanksgiving, they could not only schedule The Game, but as many other long-standing traditional rivalries as well - in any case, with a 16 team conference, make sure that all Week 9 games are in-division games, which guarantees that there would be major playoff implication for that weekend. (If they expand to 20 teams with four 5 team divisions, you could only manage 8 divisional matchups, but still major playoff implcations would apply).The semi-finals would then follow the next weekend, along with the balance of the BIG playing a relatively closely matched opponent.
With the BIG Championship following, Delaney and the AD's would be minting money for three solid weekends, and I'd guess that national interest in the conference would jump throughout the season as well. More viewers means more revenue.
Since it looks like we're heading to a super-conference anyway, I hope they do choose to do something like this. Accept the brave new world while maintaining as much tradition as possible.
Only real downside I see is that God only knows what Delaney might do if he has four divisions to name instead of just two.
If those of you who are against this could elaborate, I'd appreciate it. I can see very little downside to this, and a ton of upside, both for the league and for Michigan.
Big 10 isn't the strongest of conferences. I'd rather see better OoC teams come in than us play an extra game against Indiana or something.
Wouldnt a downside be that our schedules get tougher and it would be harder to get an undefeated B1G team and therefore harder to get a B1G in the playoff? This assuming that other conferences do not change as well
It's funny, because both you and gutnedog have solid reasons, and they are exactly opposite from each other. You are saying that it will make our schedule harder, and he's saying that since the Big Ten sucks we will be adding easy games.
I'm not saying one of you is right, but find it funny how you each look at it.
i would be for it if we are able to schedule like SEC teams and play an OOC opponent during normal conference scheduled games.
We would still only play 1 marquee non-conference game per year, just as we do now (with the conspicuous exception of 2012). Every year since the mid-aughts it´s been ND and three helium balloons. I´ll take playing Minnesota and Wisconsin more often, thanks
I agree, I love it. This fall we play CMU, ND, Akron and UConn OOC. In this scenario, we would probably drop the last two, and play CMU and ND (really ND-ish since it won't actually be ND) and two of the Big Ten teams we weren't going to play such as Wisconsin and Illinois since we don't play them.
So - who's in favor of subbing out Akron and UConn for Wisconsin and Illinois?
This will lead to more exciting home games (good for ticket sales) and just more games that mean something. Sure, we will give up a little variety to get this, but that variety was almost always Akron/UConn type of games anyway.
I love it too. But I can just imagine Brandon, Gene Smith, and whoever's the AD at Penn State, rending their garments and lamenting the end of the 8 home game schedule.
games that are already scheduled?
2014 - App ST, ND, Miami, OH, Utah
2015 - Utah, ND, OrSt, UNLV
2016 - ND, Colorado
It's pretty clear that Brandon is intent on toughening our non-conference schedules. While I might prefer ten conference games to eight plus ND and 3 directional cupcakes, that's not really the choice. I'm happy with the direction we've been going.
I don't see many games listed that I consider worth keeping over adding more conference (read: actually meaningful games). ND is ending after 2014, so I'm not sure why they are listed in the 2015/2016 schedules. Utah isn't really all that good anymore, Colorado is horrible, App State is no longer an FCS power. Basically, the only team on there worth keeping is Oregon State.
So a 9 game conference schedule is unworkable but a 10 game conference schedule is being considered?
If this wasnt being discussed by the same folks who believe Legends & Leaders are cool conference names and wanted two below average teams with zero history around here to become new member I'd say this was a hoax.
My beef with the 9-game conference schedule is the fact that some teams would get to play 5 conference home games and 4 conference road games while others would get the opposite treatment, 4 home and 5 away, creating an unfair advantage (on top of the already unfair advantage created by the crossover game situation: UM always playing OSU while MSU plays Indiana) that would seriously impact the division title race. Playing 10 games would also reduce the number of teams you would "miss" from the other division each year, mitigating the aforementioned crossover inequity to some degree.
TL;DR -- Sign me up for 10 conference games.
12 games, 10 conference games, half of which are road games, you are left with 7 home games max per year. no more years of 8 home games and some years with 6 if they do any home and home series. ticket prices will probably go up to support this.
a terrible idea
This would be awesome. You'll still have one tomato can a year, but I'd expect the other game to be a rotating good game. The whole "must have 7/8 games home games a year' thing is BS, they used to play 11 game schedule very recently, and that was 6, MAYBE 7 home games.
In short, more in conference games would be terrific.
I'm ok with it, they would just be replacing two MAC games.
It will screw Independants like Notre Dame, they won't be able to schedule anyone that matters.
That will force them to either join a conference, or watch their football program wither and die on the vine.
Probably not, now that they're doing the 5-8 games per year against the ACC. They'll still have the academies, and the USC/Stanford?Purdue/MSU contingent who will almost always reserve one of their OOC games for them.
And if that's not enough, they can hand pick teams from other leagues who would love to do a home-and-home with ND.
ND could care less about the BIG and unless the ACC folds, I don't think that's ever going to change. They are trying to break ties with the Midwest matchups, not protect them.
I think the 10-game idea is just a scheme to make 9 games more palatable to the ADs who now oppose it. The drawbacks are just too apparent. I can't see them adopting it.
For what it's worth, I don't favor 9 games either. I'd rather have more games under the schools' control. Those who want to schedule tough, can schedule tough. Those who want cupcakes can have them.
But 10 games would really put a crimp in the OOC schedule. If you ever want to play a real OOC opponent (the kind that demands a return game), you'd only have six home games half the time. The schools with a locked OOC rival (Purdue, Iowa) would have no flexibility at all.
Not necessarily, when you can schedule Jerry World, Ford Field, Lucas Oil, etc. games that would be nationally televised. Even though you might lose that coveted home game, you can negotiate the guaranteed pay day like we did this past season. I would imagine the guarantees would have to increase , though,to make it better than MAC-alicious opponents for us.
Considering how DB has otherwise scheduled non-conference games, yes, please.
It's a bad idea unless other conferences do the same. Why should the Big Ten teams have a tougher schedule and risk additional losses when the other teams have guaranteed tomato cans? It was like the schedule we had last season. Even though we may have been a better team in 2012 than 2011 our record didn't reflect it because of the difficulty of the schedule.
The upside is the schools in the conference would wind up making more money, the downside is when you have a down year like the B10 did this year, then the media and polls may unjustly criticize the conference as a whole.
It really depends on how the conferences shape up but if we go to 20 like I think we will, I like the idea of having the conference championship weekend as a divisional crossover game. This would mean division #1s would play in the CCG, the #2s would square off, 3#s, etc. right on down the line. I am not sure if this is technically legal in NCAA right now but it would help to ensure good matchups.
Some of the joy of the game is seeing those games against other conferenses (though that happens rarely these days). At that point it's almost like starting your own league. Then there is too much focus on that and only that. Less exposure across the nation, and an already isolated B1G becomes much, much more isolated.
The amount of home games a team will be able to get will make this a very hard sell to ADs as well.
the B1G already is identified as a midwest conference that plays and recruits mostly within the midwest. looking at three teams playing ND every year and, outside OSU, everyone else playing MAC teams, for the most part (MSU Boise, PSU UVa, Neb UCLA), it is not hard to disagree with that.
I like the idea, but I think the conversation is a bit premature until conference realignment is complete. Depending upon whether we stay at 14, go to 16 or 20 teams is going to have a lot to do with whom we play and how often. I still like the idea of four divisons within the conference so you play other members of the B1G every couple of years.
I come to Ann Arbor for all home football games, but it is a bit of a trek, and I really want to see quality football, even if we lose one on occasion.
After thinking about it further, this is a horrible idea. This is just a way for the big conferences to protect themselves and kill off the smaller less profitable teams. A lot of those cupcake schools depend on the money they get from playing at bigger schools. I can see how this is good for the B1G but I'm not sure if it's good for college football.
What should the Big Ten be concerned about what is best for the MAC?
I'd like to see the argument that Eastern Michigan benefits from a football team. Or should even have one.
Really? Where did Brady Hoke start his head coaching career? Not at a top tier school that's for sure. EMU may not win very often but they still support a staff and give kids an opportunity to continue their dreams and play college football. So yea there's a huge benefit for schools like EMU having a program. Your comments are rather myopic.
Your argument essentially boils down to a version of: "Expanding the bureaucracy to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy."
The issue isn't whether EMU's football team is good for football but if it is good for the school itself. Exactly what does EMU football add to that school? How many students attend the games? How many extra dollars of donations can be attributed to having a football team? Does having a football team bring in extra applications to the school or encourage students to attend the school? Does the school itself benefit financially from the football team? Are non-athlete students subsidizing the football team / athletic programs in addition to paying already insane prices for their education? Could the athletic scholarships appropriated to (statistically) academically underachieving be given to academic overachievers and improve the academic profile of the school?
Your view is entirely focused on the football aspect. Yes, wonderful, more football players can continue to play and coaches have a place to get paid for their work. But is it a beneficial aspect of the university itself? I'd imagine that to be a resounding: no.
I suggest you read this paper: http://www.umbc.edu/economics/wpapers/wp_03_102.pdf. It states that public schools with a Division I-A team receive more in state appropriations than schools without teams.
Interesting read, but it doesn't not separate Universities with big-time programs from those who are perpetual bottom dwellers. The study even factors wins vs. in-state rivals, bowl appearances, home attendance, etc... all things that EMU lacks in a big way. Moreover, I'd imagine that state appropriations generally grow year after year simply due to growth and inflation, not because of a football program. I didn't read it very closely, it did make some decent arguments, but I'd still be hard pressed to agree that EMU benefits from football. Here is an interesting read from out very own MGoBlog:
The abstract states that teams with football get 6% more than teams without. Also winning against rivals etc further adds to that 6%. The diary piece is confusing because EMU doesn't have an extra 20 million to dedicate to other things they cover their expenses, or at least have this year. http://ope.ed.gov/athletics/GetOneInstitutionData.aspx
If they were to go to 10 game conference schedule you know that marquee non-conference games won't happen. We will get either 2 MACrifices or possibly 1 MACrifice and a one-off from a lowly BCS level team like Colorado. More neutral field games could be an option too.
You posited something but gave no reason that you believe it to be true. Do you think Michigan will be unhappy with six home games? If that's the case you might have a point.
Yes, I think Michigan will be unhappy with 6 home games unless we get a revenue sharing neutral site game.
I like the balance that 10 conference games provides so that no team has an advantage because of scheduling. I do like the possibility of scheduling home and homes with a 9 game conference schedule so that we always play 7 home games.
I'm guessing DB won't be to happy if they only have 6 home games every other year. Maybe you occassionally have a solid home and home but if there's 10 league games, I'm guessing UM's non-conference slate will usually be 2 home games against lesser competition.
Please do this.
I love playing Wisconsin and hate these ridiculously long droughts between the programs which will only be exacerbated as the conference expands. I could care less about the cup cake schools...if I never see a UM v. E/W/N/C Michigan or Umass game again I would be a happy man.
When I was a student we consistently played the Notre Dame/Colorado/UCLA/BC/Washington's of the world...and hate watching these glorified practice games. 10 BIG games and playing 2 more games against the PAC/Big 12/etc. would be great.
One Mac school and one traditional power. And it balances out the home and away games. Works for me
More Big Ten games, and we can play one directional tuenup followed by a better game against a team from a BCS conference.
Always made no sense to me how teams got off by not playing certain teams. This evens the "playing field" a bit. Michigan always had a worse draw due to always playing rival teams e.g. Ohio. Use the non-conference as trainig camp.
I also love to hear people bemoan how 'big conferences mean we won't play conference foes as much' yet they also hate the idea of the 10 game schedule to...ya know...play each other's conference foes more...because...they can't play random teams more often?
It's cognitive dissonance at its finest.
A ten-game conference schedule isn't very likely because the ticket revenue for a home football game is still an important element in any athletic department's budget. That gets compounded for schools like Michigan with larger stadiums and bigger budgets. Athletic directors will want to have the opportunity not only to schedule seven home games per year, but to at least have a somewhat compelling non-conference lineup.
If the conference did adopt a ten-game conference schedule, it'd probably mean Michigan would have two pay-for-play opponents in the non-conference portion of the schedule. UM isn't likely to get a very interesting opponent in either case, especially if the B1G opts to move conference games up into the September timeframe. In other words, you're more likely to see a MAC level team non-conference team on the schedule in October and November in the midst of conference play than a higher quality program (which is what happens in the SEC).
It would also essentially eliminate any chance for a home-and-home game with an interesting non-conference opponent from outside the Midwest. I think the last thing the B1G wants to be is Midwest-centric in its approach, but that's exactly the sort of thing that would happen with a ten-game conference schedule and with 14 teams at hand. You might make a somewhat different case with a larger conference that is geographically diverse and/or adds more major programs (Notre Dame, Florida State). But until that happens, I think it makes more sense to adopt a nine-game schedule and let the athletic directors take their own direction regarding the non-conference line ups.
One other thing to keep in mind is that while a nine-game conference schedule means alternating years of five and four home games, having a seven team division means that there will be three home and three road games within the division each season. Since winning the division is the prerequisite for getting into the CCG, it's at least fair that there's a round robin within that division with each team playing an even number of home and road games.
We'll see what happens with the divisions, but I think it's highly likely that Michigan and Ohio State will be in the east with Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland. The sixth and seventh members of the division will be either Michigan State or Northwestern or Indiana or Purdue. Regardless of the lineup, UM will probably play MSU annually either because they're both in the same division of its a protected crossover game between teams in two divisions.
Let's assume the latter and put Michigan in the east with Indiana and Purdue while MSU goes out west. That means UM might play the following rotation within the division:
Year 1 -
Home: Ohio State, Rutgers, Indiana
Away: Penn State, Maryland, Purdue, Michigan State
Home: Penn State, Maryland, Purdue, Michigan State
Away: Ohio State, Rutgers, Indiana
That leaves two open slots for six schools from the west. A likely pairing of those schools would be Nebraska-Minnesota, Wisconsin-Illinois, Northwestern-Iowa. They rotate through every two years as the eighth and ninth games in the conference schedule with one home and one on the road.
That leaves David Brandon the opportunity to schedule three non-conference home games in Year 1 in order to have seven in Ann Arbor and two OOC home games in Year 2 for the same result. That means two pay for play games and one major non-conference home and home (such as Arkansas in 2018/9). UM gets seven home games per year and the opportunity to have one good major non-conference opponent each year.
When we get to 16 or more teams, we could still have fixed divisions with a 7-2 split or a 4X4 pod set up. The latter is more likely because it allows all the teams to play one another over a two year period at least twice and it means all the Big Ten teams get to play throughout the physical breadth of the conference.
If there's any takeaway to this, it's that a nine-game schedule can work with a conference that goes up to 20 teams in a 4X5 pod setup while still leaving room for programs to have seven home games per year and still keeping at least one good home-and-home non-conference game on the books. If the B1G is seriously contemplating having that many teams in the near term, then it might make sense to adopt a nine game set up now. Otherwise, the conference would be going back and forth between nine- and ten-game conference schedule formats and cause a lot of chaos in the maintenance of the non-conference schedule.