Michigan - Ohio State could play in the middle of July for all I care. I'll watch it whenever the game occurs.
Email Response from Bruce Madej Regarding Michigan-OSU Rivalry
...but you can't spoil their season in July.
But the issue isn't whether or not you will watch it, but whether neutral observers will. And that could have recruting implications. The Michigan game is such a big deal in Ohio that it makes us the de facto alternative school to OSU. If we get split up and the rivalry moved to the middle of the season, don't be surprised if PSU (which will become OSU's end-of-the-year rival) replaces us in importance to them. Meanwhile, we could be left trying to sell out-of-state recruits on the allure of playing MSU the last week of November.
And anyone else who would sit idly by and watch the best rivalry in college sports turned into a meaningless midseason game at worst or a corporate, neutral site shibboleth at best. Seriously, this kind of apathy is why the suits think they can get away with this crap.
Same response. In my email I made it pretty clear that having The Game occur as a second time in the season as a B10 championship is not preferable to having the teams in the same division. Playing twice will not be good for anyone except TV execs.
But, it looks like the decision is made and Dave Brandon will live with this legacy, for better or worse.
But man, how form-y can a form letter get, you know? Say he knows all about tradition, but don't know what change will come. If you know about it, and don't do something to stop it, does that mean you don't care?
Edit: And who exactly is it "clear" to that we want to play OSU for the Championship, if it means sacrificing everything else?
Blah, blah, blah, we understand the rivalry, that's why we're cheapening it and moving it for the illusion of slightly more money, blah, blah, blah.
But they're making him the cruise director on the Titanic. When it's the Captain that sees the iceberg and is not steering out of the way.
Though I know one thing Bruce hasn't seen in his lifetime- Michigan regularly playing OSU before the last game of the season.
Resistance is futile. As a manager once told me (actual quote): "I refuse to make decisions based upon facts and logic!"
Unfortunately this will be decided with little or no regard to facts or logic.
that UM and MSU will play the last week of the season. They are trying to build that rivalry it sounds like. In no place in your email did you mention MSU, yet he went out of his way in the response to tell you how important that rivalry was. This doesn't look good at all.
Screw MSU. If it isn't Ohio State, I'd rather play Penn State or Nebraska (whichever is in our division) the last week before the champiosnhip.
If you look at which games get on ABC or ESPN (UM vs Penn State) versus which games are relegated to the Big Ten Network (UM vs MSU) ... well that's a pretty good proxy for which is the more marquis game for that last week.
I'm not saying I like where its headed, I'm just saying by the sounds of that letter it looks to be the way its headed. Hopefully I'm wrong and reading too much into it though. I'd love to play PSU the last game of the season. Or Nebraska, or hell, even Iowa. I think we could start a great tradition like that. Playing MSU is garbage. Its like a lose-lose game. You win, well good you're Michigan you should always win that game. You lose, and MSU gets 10 years of smack talk mileage out of it somehow.
No, Michigan was undefeated and ranked when the game was on the BTN last year and MSU was 2-2. The Big Ten Network was/is allowed to take the second best conference game of the week once in a season and they picked that one.
Michigan vs. MSU buried on the BTN the last game of the regular season, while OSU and PSU play on National TV in a prime slot.
We are the huge loser in that scenario.
PSU gets a massive upgrade in its end-of-season rivalry, going from a who-cares Sparty game to OSU.
OSU loses us but at least gets a pretty good replacement in PSU.
MSU finally gets the game it's craved for decades - Michigan at the end of the season.
We get Sparty. We'll go from having the nation's eyes on us the last week of the season to having no one care outside the state.
This sucks unbelievably bad. Brandon needs to wake the hell up and fight this tooth and nail.
and gave us their crappy fake rivalry game in MSU.
Why isn't the Michigan Administration more upset about this?
You should email him this comment. This sums it up perfectly.
I find it hard to get worked up about when we play them. I've been watching UM football since the early 70s and only really care that we continue playing them every year. I hate how the B10 has teams rotating off the schedule and if it ever came to OSU rotating off that is about the only thing that would really irritate me to the point of emailing Mr. Madej.
Otherwise play whenever and lets hope for a B10 Championship rematch.
...doesn't mean you didn't explain yourself well.
To you and all of those out there who still want the rivalry to remain as special as it has:
Either you still want it to be special in terms of "you always play your rival the last game of the regular season," or you want it to be special in terms of "you want to play your rival for the championship." Under the new format, both cannot happen. For those in the first camp, that would put us in the same division, and Michigan-Ohio State will never play for the Big Ten Championship ever again. For those in the second camp, that would put us in opposite divisions and the game would not necessarily finish the season.
I say again, the reason the Michigan-Ohio State game is the best rivalry in sports is because, historically, the Big Ten title was almost always on the line. If The Game continues to be the last game of the regular season, it still is a huge rivalry, but it will no longer be as important in the sports world. It won't be the biggest rivalry in sports, but simply the biggest rivalry in the Big Ten.
The only way, in my opinion, to keep The Game as the biggest rivalry in sports is to have us play for the championship, and the only way to do that is to put us in opposite divisions.
So the question I have for you is: do you want The Game to continue to be the biggest rivalry in sports? If so, then we cannot play simply for a Big Ten East Division Title. That's not a big deal in sports. Do any of us care that Alabama beat Auburn for the SEC West crown? If we keep The Game where it is, that is exactly what will happen.
There's nothing actually preventing them from being in separate divisions, and still playing the last week of the year. It would just mean potentially playing back to back, in rare happenstance. And OH GO NO, THEY CAN'T PLAY TWICE IN ROW is really no worse than NO THEY CAN'T NOT PLAY THE LAST WEEK or NO THEY HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
So, actually, it can.
And what you're saying is, that it's going to stay more important, playing for the championship once every ten years, than staying at the end of the year. I don't buy that. It will be diminished some either way. Expansion took care of that. But being a big end date as the last game of the season will annual make it be a bigger deal, other than it being just another rivalry game deciding nothing earlier in the year, and then ever so often being for the Championship. It's far more likely to come down to that game for the Division if they're in the same division, and thus have more meaning, as you say, than if they're separated. Because throw in Nebraska with PSU, and the other teams getting better, the two matching up on a neutral site might not be that frequent.
So, if you want to come to the conclusion that it will no longer be a big rivalry, because they're never going to play for a championship, or at least, not frequently enough to matter, you can. But switching divisions and play date isn't going to fix that either...and it's going to harm far more.
So, say both teams have locked their divisions up and are playing at the end of the season. If they know that they are going to play again in 2 weeks for all of the marbles, then the first game doesn't mean anything. You might even get some fans that decide to skip that game and go to the Championship game instead. That is a worst case scenario for both schools and the Big10.
At least if they play earlier on, both teams can be 6-0 going into the tough part of their schedules and the winner of the game can play a huge part in how the divisions look at that point. If both teams end up winning out, they will still play each other in the championship game later on giving us two meaningful games in the season.
It either has to be same division, end of season or cross division, middle/beginning of season.
And, while I'm posting, MSU would be the worst team to end the season with.
Each team will come out of the game with at least 1 conference loss. What are the odds of your scenario? Is it worth throwing out the tradition for that very small likelihood?
"If they know that they are going to play again in 2 weeks for all of the marbles, then the first game doesn't mean anything."
The Game always means something, It's Michigan-Ohio St. The Game could be played in March or we could create a 366th day on the calendar called "The Day" and it will still mean something.
That might be true right now. But if PSU becomes OSU's end-of-year rival, and their game decides the East Division title, to the next generation of recruits, "the Game" will be OSU-PSU. Michigan-OSU will be just another game (lowercase), not even affecting the division race.
Re: Leaving it the last game of the regular season and putting them in opposite divisions: UM v. OSU will always be a Huge game. If they meet a second week in a row in a BTC game, it will be a Huge game. But, even if that scenario only happens every 8-10 years, there is a second scenario that is also Huge. Consider that, at least every 3-4 years, an upset victory by one or the other would knock the favorite OUT of the championship game.
Leave it the last game of the regular season, and hope for a rematch.
And what you're saying is, that it's going to stay more important, playing for the championship once every ten years, than staying at the end of the year. I don't buy that.
No, I'm not saying that because I don't think it would happen once every ten years. I would say once out of every four years. And in those other three years, The Game in October would still be a classic, much like the Red River Shootout, the Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, etc.
In my opinion, opposite divisions is the only way to keep The Game as the greatest rivalry in sports. If we're in the same divisions, that's over...way over.
Once every four years? I think that's too optimistic, but it doesn't matter - even you're agreeing that 75% of the time we won't meet up in the BTCG. You're banking on the idea that an occasional meeting in the BTCG will be enough to keep the rivalry as intense as ever. It won't work that way.
Here's what you're missing. Oklahoma-Texas and Florida-Georgia are intradivisional games. Almost every year, those games help to decide the winner of the Big 12 South and SEC East divisions, respectively. The games matter because winning them is almost essential to winning the division.
If Michigan and OSU are in separate divisions, the Game will be peripheral at most to the division races. We can lose to them and still win our division, and vice-versa. The combination of being in separate divisions and playing in the middle of the season will be too much to keep the rivalry going. In the long run, PSU will replace us as OSU's archrival, because that game will have divisional implications every year. Meanwhile, if we're lucky our archrival will become Nebraska, but more likely we'll find ourselves playing a mediocre MSU every year to end the season. Either way, you won't see ESPN calling it the greatest rivalry in sports.
If your argument is that playing in October ruins the rivalry, see the ones he listed. If your argument is that you need to be playing for a concrete title, see ND vs. Michigan, ND vs. USC, Florida vs. Florida State, or any other OOC rivalry.
I don't want it to be like an OOC rivalry. Conference rivalries are more meaningful. When we play ND, it's fun but doesn't really affect our season that much. When we play OSU, it very frequently affects the Big Ten title picture. Putting us in separate divisions will change that radically - the game won't affect either division's race very much. In the long run, PSU will replace UM in importance to OSU, because that game will be essential to winning the division. When they play us, the stakes won't be very high. It won't be the same.
The SEC understood that the most important games are intradivisional. That's why every rivalry in that league is intradivisional. Every rivalry in the Big 12 also was/is intradivisional, save for Nebraska-Oklahoma - and I don't have to tell you what's happened to that one.
I think you have your logic backwards. The SEC realized that the most important games are the rivalry games, which is why they have all the rivalry games in the same division (so they can play each other every year). As long as there are cross-divisional rivalry games, the necessity to have each rivalry game in the same division is eliminated.
If Michigan and OSU play early in the season the losing team has more pressure put on them to win out in their division to make it back to the championship game, rematch or not. If Oklahoma and Texas Tech were in the North division, and Texas and Oklahoma met in the Big12 championship for a rematch, would you say that the first game meant nothing? Texas beat Oklahoma in October and Oklahoma would have had to beat the rest of the North to including the team that snuck by Texas in order to get the rematch. That puts a lot of pressure on Oklahoma or Texas to win that first game and then win the rest of their games to get the rematch. I don't think that detracts from the rivalry at all.
Nebraska and PSU, not to mention Wisky and Iowa (plus the odd ball out of no where good season team) if you think it'll happen every four years. Plus probably an inflated opinion of us. It's funny all the other rivalries you list as classic are all in the same division.
...or he is saying that PSU and Nebraska win the divisions the same number of times as Michigan and OSU. 1/2 * 1/2 = 1/4. Throw in the occasional dark horse and you get 1/5?
you do speak some truth. i would still rather stay in the same division and play the last week. however, i understand that the new format is going to diminish the rivalry. the rivalry can be preserved as long as both teams stay competitive. will it be for a big ten title anymore? no, but it will be for a chance to play a beatable team in the big ten championship. as long as it comes down to The Game for this opportunity, i think it will be fine.
Do any of us care that Alabama beat Auburn for the SEC West crown? If we keep The Game where it is, that is exactly what will happen.
I don't think anyone cares whether Alabama beats Auburn for the SEC West crown, or the SEC crown, or any crown. They care that, after a full season of build up, Alabama beat Auburn.
They care that, after a full season of build up, Alabama beat Auburn.
Yes, they care, but we don't, and that's why The Game is the greatest rivalry in sports: everyone cares. If The Game is simply for a divisional crown, only we will care and it will no longer hold its place as the greatest rivalry in sports. I, for one, don't want to lose that.
If you split us up into different divisions, the large majority of the time the Game won't decide anything. You seem to think we'll meet up regularly in the title game. We won't. Chait made this point in his article. Say each team is good enough to make the BTCG once every three years. Then the odds of the two meeting in the BTCG would be once every nine years. If you don't believe that, look at Miami and FSU. How often have they met in the ACC CG?
If we're only meeting OSU in BTCG once a decade (give or take), the rivalry won't keep its luster. PSU will become OSU's archrival, because they'll meet every year at the end of the season, with the division up for grabs most of the time. People are kidding themselves if they think a non-divisional game in the middle of the season can be as intense as what we have now. In the long run, our division rivals will be more important to us.
But that doesn't make it a fact. Chait is not omniscent, nor can he predict the future.
We won't. Chait made this point in his article. Say each team is good enough to make the BTCG once every three years. Then the odds of the two meeting in the BTCG would be once every nine years.
I don't believe that would happen. If you believe that Michigan is as good a program as the other schools, you haven't been paying attention. And do you really think Ohio State would win its division only once every three years? Shit, now they win the 11-team division every frickin' year, what's a mere 6-team division with no Michigan in it?
See my reply above. Your archrival needs to be in the same division.
Yes, they care, but we don't, and that's why The Game is the greatest rivalry in sports: everyone cares.
I'm willing to bet they care about The Game as much as we care about the Iron Bowl, whether or not it's for any crown.
I don't think it's an EITHER OR choice in terms of what's made the rivalry special. To a large degree, it's BOTH. Traditionally this game is at the end...and BECAUSE it's at the end it plays a very large role in determining the Big Ten's outcome.
In most year's this game AT THE END will be a huge decider of the BT Championship. It's a great rivalry because 9 times out of 10, one or other or both teams absolutley MUST win this game to close out their regular season. Even in recent years when OSU had the upper hand, UM had a chance to ruin their season.
We definitly cannot keep all aspects of this rivalry the same with the new divisional aparatus. However, in my opinion, the best opportunities arise in a split-division format with a traditional cross rivalry at the end. In a few cases that will mean playing twice in a row...so be it. In those weird years you'll still have the opportunity to end the season AND determine the BT Champion. In all the other years, you still get a season ender (of sorts) that is still a requisite win to take the championship (albeit with a game to follow).
If "The Game" is mid season, there is still way too much that can happen down the road. By definition, the game will only determine someone's fate AFTER THE FACT in hindsight.
and they should play the last game of the regular season.
In a six team division, the odds are good that most years they will play for something special - a Division championship and a slot in the B10 championship game.
As long as we are playing OSU the last game of the season for some kind of championship, I'm happy. Next up: B10 championship game, Rose Bowl. It's good.
Yes, things will change no matter what. But if we want to keep things as close as possible to what they are now, we should want to be in the same division and play on the last week. Then the Game will most likely decide the division winner most years. It will be meaningful on a yearly basis. That is as close to the status quo as it gets.
You cannot count on us meeting up with OSU on a regular basis in the conference title game. It will not happen as often as you think. Conference title games are weird, and frequently involve arcane tiebreak scenarios. Even if UM returns to prominence and OSU remains strong, it's unlikely that we'll both make it to the title game more than a couple times a decade. Are you willing to water down the rivalry just to bank on that scenario? (Do not forget, too, that even on those fluke years that we'd meet in the final, it would be a rematch, rendering the earlier game meaningless.)
Look no further than the SEC - which unquestionably has the most successful title game in terms of fan interest - for the roadmap here. The SEC didn't split up any rivalries. It put all rivals in the same divisions (UF-UGa, Ala-Aub, Ole Miss-Miss St, LSU-Ark, etc.). By contrast, the least successful title game belongs to the ACC - which thought it'd be a good idea to split rivals up. I don't want us going down that road.
Exactly. All of these hypothetical scenarios suck except the one you've proposed: follow the SEC model, keep rivals together. We're all forgetting that splitting the Big Ten into two groups creates two new divisional champions, so some years The Game will become the de facto divisional championship, deciding who goes to the Big Ten title game. And when that happens, UM-OSU will each have the opportunity to spoil the others' season by winning The Game and preventing the other from a shot at the Big Ten title.
Just ask the Sooners and the Longhorns about how the only way to have the biggest rivalry in sports is to be in opposite divisions. The whole premise that their game decides who represents the Big 12 South (at least used to) actually INCREASED the passion in the game. If you're in opposite divisions then, wow, great, you might actually get to play again thus making the first game kinda pointless. If you're in the same division there is no "we'll get you back in the championship game" - you have to let it sit for an entire year and watching your bitter rival go to the championship game. Hate, as much as anything, fuels a rivalry and having to watch your bitter rival represent your division makes you even more upset and motivated to kick their ass the next year. We can say all we want but the proof is in the pudding - UT and OU has quickly become, arguably, the top rivalry in CFB and it's quite clear that one of the biggest reasons is because they are in the same division.
Since the start of the Big 12, which rivalry has grown and which rivalry has subsided?
Texas and Oklahoma in the same division with the winner on the inside track to the B12 championship game every year, or
Nebraska and Oklahoma in different divisions with the vague hope that they occasionally play in the B12 championship game (by the way it's only happened ONCE in the history of the B12.)
"The Game" has become The Championship Game. Like it or not, that's the way it's happening. I've been saying this all along and I'm not afraid of you asshole negbangers. I'm going to speak what I feel is the truth whether you like it or not.
I was at the '69 The Game. Change was good then, because we won, and it will be good now, when we start winning again and go to The Big Ten Championship Game. Revenue sharing, is that socialistic and does it mean everyone gets the same or do the two teams vying for the championship earn more? That's the way it should be and what I would like to know.
anyone who wants to split them into separate divisions needs to the watch hbo's special on The Game. i don't remember who said it exactly, but they said "what makes this game great is not only that it happens every year, but that it happens at the same time every year." it's like a holiday.
also, if they do play twice, it could lead to a saturation of The Game. the yankees and red sox play around 27 games a year or something like that. how many casual fans just sit there and watch one game? they need to stay in the same division, and play the last week of the regular season. i know it's all about money, but come on. just...come on.
I couldn't agree more with you. But apparently money is more important than anything else now; tradition, history, everything that is right with college football.
I'm not that old but I still never thought I would see the day where we would even talk about Ohio State not being the last regular season game. (Trips to Hawaii in 86 and 98 excluded.)
This just sucks.
i was and still am pro-expansion (as long as it's capped at 14) even though i knew that it could affect The Game. however, it can still be protected. the decision makers just have to look at it with just a speckle of tradition. they couldn't possibly be able to ignore the outcry from the public regarding the notion that The Game could be moved or played twice in a season, could they?
i just wanted to thank you for all of your videos wolverinehistorian. i'm new to this board and this is my first chance to say thanks.
Well, you're very welcome. I'm happy to do it. And I want to thank you for your screen name of that most famous quote...which still cracks me up.
agree- it is a holiday - and not just for us, but for the nation. moving it will certainly take it off the national radar and i believe belittle even for m fans.
as has been said we can be in separate divisions and still play it last- i care a lot less if we end up repating the game in a championship shortly thereafter than i do about having the game at the end of the season to look forward to.
our rivalries are balanced throughout our schedule with nd at the front, msu towards the middle and osu at the end. shifting osu and msu is putting lipstick on a pig!!!!
I have the same feeling the morning of The Game as I did when I was a kid at Christmas. It is something special. It's one of those few days that marks the year. I enjoy watching Michigan play ND in September, but it's nowhere near the same thing.
What's next, Harvard-Yale in August?
I'm an Industrial Engineer so I spent the better part of my early career helping companies accept and embrace change. However, on this issue, I just don't like changing The Game from the last regular season position to some other date. Many have had better rationale/discussion than I could hope to articulate, but I just don't like how it feels. I always work from the old adage, "if something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't.". This is one of those times for me.
I love Michigan football and I feel the date change will diminish the significance of The Game. Having said that, I know of no one in the Michigan Athletic Department that better understands the significance of this game than David Brandon. So I leave it to him and his colleagues to make the best decision for the future, but I'm disappointed that it looks like The Game will be changing.
Ya this is crazy to me that this could happen.
I wrote him a response explaining myself further and asking what is preventing Michigan-OSU from being in the same division. I also referenced Nebraska-Oklahoma.
I will post his response when/if I get one that is at all useful.
My hope is that when this becomes public the outcry from Michigan fans/alumni/donors, combined with OSU's and any other schools that got screwed, will be enough to get it fixed in the next 5 years.
Sure TV money is super important to the conference, but if the individual schools big money donors start throwing their money around at some point it could get the ship righted.
Thats my hope at least.
I personally can't wait for the first late November, last regular season clash with Purdue.
What's so bad about playing in back-to-back weeks? If we both play again in the title game, then near-certainly there will be a divisional championship on the line to get the Big Ten Championship. The odds of both teams having they're divisions locked up going into The Game is incredibly unlikely, and I'd consider the importance of keeping The Game as the last game of the season as much greater than the unlikelyhood of having a game that would have no meaning in the standings.
We nealry all agree we want to keep it the last game of the season. Would you rather play Ohio State twice in a row or play Purdue the next week?
Maybe I'm just paranoid, but wouldn't playing a team two weeks in a row really tempt kids to aim to injure opponents? If you can knock someone out for two weeks, you've made your rematch that much easier.
The same might be said for playing a team earlier in the season and meeting in the championship game, but to a lesser extent. At that point you don't know that you'll be playing them again.
I think with The Game they're pretty much trying to do their worst/best already.
It's kinda hard to hype up "The Game" of the year, only to have it happen again in 2 weeks. "The Game(s)" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Plus what happens if we beat OSU by 3 td's but Denard twists his ankle in celebration, and then we lose by a missed extra point in the Conf Champ game?
What happens in that scenario is that OSU gets bragging rights, because their win cancels out our win. It's ridiculous, but that's how it will go.
Put us in the same division. One game a year, at the end of the regular season. Settle the score in Ann Arbor or Columbus, not Lucas Oil Stadium.
I definitely agree, I think the Red River Shootout got it right by keeping Texas and Oklahoma in the same division. Just look at how the Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry ended when they went into seperate divisions of the Big 12.
if we go in seperate divisions and do manage to meet in the B10 championship game, it won't be settled in A2 or Columbus.
It will be in some passionless netural site dome, overshadowed by some fan from the stands trying to win a million dollars by throwing a football through a giant can of soda pop..
I am sure he has sent this to about 1,000 other people. It would take a very high-ranking regent or donor to get anything other than this formulaic response.
Obviously, what he is saying is the preferred outcome among those who support this idea—namely, that UM and OSU win their respective divisions regularly, setting up a showdown in the championship game. In their minds, the only thing better than an annual UM-OSU game is to have TWO annual UM-OSU games.
The trouble is, I don't think it will happen as often as they think. As a number of folks have noted, the odds are against both teams making it to the championship game. The loser of the regular-season contest ALREADY would have a conference loss, and would probably have almost no margin for error in its remaining games. In order to get UM-OSU in Indianapolis once every 8-10 years, they are sacrificing UM-OSU on the last week of the season in all of the other years. Brilliant!
But but but, the ACC aligned their divisions specifically to get the TV-friendly Miami/FSU match up in the championship game, and look how well that worked out!
I can't believe the people in charge want to copy the model that led to this.
You win this whole argument.
This is not a theoretical discussion. A "Competitive Balance" alignment with an eye toward a preferred marquee matchup in the championship game has been tried already by the ACC. (See picture above for how that turned out.)
Now let's look at a successful example of a 12 team/championship game example . . . the SEC.
How dumb would it have been for the SEC to go away from geography when it looked like the SEC east was overly dominant and fiddle with "Competitive Balance" and rigged championship games. These things run in cycles, now the SEC west looks stronger.
But it really doesn't matter for the SEC. In their current geographical alignment, the passion of traditional rivalries has been maintained and the SEC championship produces an interesting cross-sectional matchup every year.
Michigan, OSU, PSU, MSU, IU and Purdue in the East Division.
Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin. Illinois, Northwestern and Minnesota in the West Division.
All serious rivalry games are preserved. (I love the Little Brown Jug, but come on.) No need for protected interdivisional games. No worries about archrivals playing twice. No big travel headaches. And if it turns out that the East is stronger than the West, so what? Then the winner of UM-OSU will get a victory lap the next week. No biggie.
Just like it does for the SEC.
BTW, why does everyone keep underestimating the West? Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, and an periodically hot Illinois and Northwestern is a division that is no slouch.
with your question and, after paying lip service to the rivalry, his answer is essentially "Too bad." I would like to see The Game stay where it is and, in years where Ohio State and Michigan are both good enough, it would basically be a semi-final to see who gets to go to the Big Ten championship game. (Even in years where they both aren't good enough, the beauty of this rivalry is one ruining the chance of the other!) But the decision-makers are too greedy for this likely and consistent annual scenario and instead want to go for broke to have an OSU-UM rematch in the championship game. How often will that really occur? Once every five years, maybe? I'm sure Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State and others from time to time will have something to say about it.
Bottom line, he is using flawed logic in his response. OSU-UM on the last Saturday of the regular season has very often been for the Big Ten championship and virtually always has Big Ten championship implications. Now the HOPE is that they will play in the Big Ten championship game. The former always occurred, the latter might occur. Reason enough for me to say keep it as is.
What was great about some of the victories in the 90's was that we were able to ruin OSU's season. Thats why the 1995 Biakabatuka game is one of my favorites. If we play that game earlier in the season it takes something away; OSU could have several games left to work their way back up the rankings.
For this reason I have no problem playing them twice in a row verse playing them in the middle of the B10 schedule.
We can send all the e-mails we want, but in the end, this is ultimately up to the Big Ten to decide. Michigan and OSU can raise all the fuss they want, but we neither of us are in a position to pull a Yost and leave the conference or try to overrule the consensus of the other 10 conference members.
Here's to hoping the other people deciding this make better decisions than the one that seems inevitable with the responses from the athletic department. We can at least make our AD know that we want him to fight for The Game to the bitter end instead of letting it slide and compromising for the watering down of the greatest rivalry in sports.
if we don't get our way.
I understand that the Big 12 has a couple of slots open.
Is anyone planning on creating signs to hold up at the UCONN game to let the AD know how fans feel about moving "The Game"?
UCONN not be serious about moving The Game!
I'm all for "outrage" and petitions and what not, but shouldn't these letters be sent to the Big 10 office, rather than to Michigan? Meaning, Brandon didn't make the decision, he is just preparing the fanbase for the decision that was made.
Are you hoping to cause enough "outrage" that Michigan threatens to leave the Big 10? What other recourse is there?
I'd contact both the U of M and Big Ten offices. I'm sending another to Illinois (where I went to law school) to cover as many bases as possible.
Michigan and Ohio State have enough power to keep things the way they are. If both schools threatened to leave the conference i'm sure the Big 10 would change its decision.
Holy shit, this shouldn't even be a question. The Michigan-OSU game is the last scheduled game of Michigan's season, period. If there is a championship game after, then so be it. It's a necessary evil so perhaps UM and OSU can play for the division title or play each other again a week later. But holy shit, you do not break up the biggest rivalry in sports just because of conference realignment when neither school has left the conference. OSU is the biggest rival goddammit, not MSU.
This is exactly why i didn't want expansion or a stupid championship game.
I don't think the athletic department gets nearly as much feedback as some might imagine and I do think it can have an impact...like with the Halo or the SBC sponsorship in 2004.
They seem to have been moved by the outcry on the water-bottle ban, too, with the announcement that there will be free water bottles vs. UConn.
I found this on the Big Ten website:
Big Ten Conference
James E. Delany
1500 West Higgins Road
Park Ridge, IL 60068-6300
Admin. (847) 696-1150
Comm. (847) 696-1110
...and on mgoblue.com the UM AD correspondence addy:
Address for correspondence
University of Michigan
1000 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2201
Me and the fellas at the retirement home are soooo going to fax the fuck out of Jim Delany.
I'm actually going to write a letter to Delany and send it tomorrow.
Does anyone have his email address?
F***'d up the epic Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry.
They split the teams into 2 different divisions, made the scheduling unpredictable, and buried the game in the middle of the season when it did occur.
When it was all said and done, Nebraska and Oklahoma played only ONE TIME in the B12 championship game.
This is very different. It would be like the Florida-LSU game. Obviously, they aren't on the same scale, but they play every year as a protected rival. MIchigan would play OSU every year.
Nebraska-Oklahoma went from determining who whould be the conference champion to not even determining who would play for the conference championship. It became just a "good" game in the middle of the season.
Playing it every year as a protected rivalry in the middle of the season does not make a game special on the level of The Game. FL-LSU is a great middle of the season game, but it is not a special rivalry game just because it is played every year at around the same time.
in TPTB discussions on this. He hated the BXII bteaking the NU-OK game up. Don't think he has a vote yet, but he'd be listened to given his stature and first hand experience. And he has no particular axe to grind on the divisional choices.
Michigan fans, why is this happening? Is it the media and $$ men? Are the other AD's ganging up on your two programs? Is the league just stirring the pot to get more hype for the conference by dominating CF's preseason discussion? As an "outsider" I'm ASTOUNDED this is even being seriously considered.
Wonder why ESPN doesn't do one of those fan polls on this topic, I'd bet those in support would be in the 90%+ range.
For what its worth, I hope this tradition stays unchanged.
is to threaten to leave the Big Ten like Yost did. This is really a disaster if we're in separate divisions, especially if we do the stupid thing where only division games matter.
They think the problem is going to be public/alumni outrage. It will be an intense firestorm, but that's the least of their problems. The main problem is the idea is not going to work.
- OSU, PSU, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern
- Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
All this will do is increase Ohio State and Penn State's dominance. You're taking the two programs without in-state Big Ten rivals in the richest recruiting states that exist within the conference and isolating them in a division with a bunch of also-rans. The winner of OSU-PSU will play the "Western Division" (like having the lyrics to The Victors make sense again will somehow make everything okay) champion every year. Sure, if Michigan is good it will win the division two or three times a decade, but winning a division that includes all of the best Big Ten football programs other than OSU and PSU is not going to be easy, especially while playing OSU every year.
It's insane, but it's also reality, it would seem.
and lost their season-ending game with their traditional rival Pitt. Instead they were assigned a faux season ending rivalry game with MSU.
Now it looks like those tables will be turned on us. Land Grant trophy anyone?
I just reposted this further up the thread. Sorry for any confusion.
Well, at least you received a response. I emailed him on Friday, being as polite as possible (I thanked him for his long service to the school) and got nothing.
EDIT: I did get a response from Gene Smith, OSU's AD, though:
"Dear Mr. jmblue
Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your concerns.
Even more interesting, every word is spelled correctly.
We're going to really miss this.
Gene Smith didn't reply to my e-mail, how lame.
I got the same response. It makes me kind of optimistic that they even devised a boilerplate response... they must be getting a lot of e-mails
Only thing left to do is let the top 2 in each division into the Big Ten Tourney, put M and OSU in the same division and play the last game of the year. M and OSU can still possibly meet for the Big Ten Title a couple weeks down the road.
Imagine how improbable it would have been for a Michigan Alumnus like myself to email you asking for your help one week ago.
Moving The Game earlier than the last regular season game would be a travesty and would destroy the excitement, tradition, and national significance the Ohio State - Michigan Rivalry generates.
Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your concerns.
LOL, Good thing I wasn't expecting much out of this!
im opposed to this bs now and will be for the rest of my life. whats happening to the game is just wrong.