I have been playing around with my divisional realignment proposal and how we might avoid playing The Game two weeks in a row, ever.
My proposed solution: scrap the idea of an Interdivisional Championship Game altogether and replace it with a three-game Big Ten Showcase featuring the top three interdivisional games that weren't played during the regular season.
The point is a Big Ten championship between division champs creates all sorts of scenarios (see SEC) for repeating games, for 1-1 seasons between rivals, for a (conf) 9-0 team from a tough division losing to a 6-3 winner from another division, etc.
I simmed a few seasons under my realignment. Here's the biggest clusterfuck, 2015:
|6||L-Nebraska||W-Indiana||W-Penn St.||L-Purdue||L-Ohio State||W-Northwestern|
|7||W-Purdue||L-Ohio State||L-Northwestern||L-Nebraska||W-Indiana||W-Penn St.|
|13||L-Ohio State||W-Northwestern||W-Minnesota||L-Penn St.||L-Iowa||x|
|Week||Ohio State||Northwestern||Nebraska||Indiana||Penn St.||Purdue|
|8||W-Northwestern||L-Ohio State||L-Penn St.||-x||W-Nebraska||-x|
|9||L-Nebraska||L-Indiana||W-Ohio State||W-Northwestern||W-Purdue||L-Penn St.|
|10||W-Indiana||L-Penn St.||L-Purdue||L-Ohio State||W-Northwestern||W-Nebraska|
|11||W-Penn St.||L-Purdue||W-Indiana||L-Nebraska||L-Ohio State||W-Northwestern|
|12||L-Purdue||L-Nebraska||W-Northwestern||L-Penn St.||W-Indiana||W-Ohio State|
|Bo Division||Woody Division|
|Team||B10 Record||Team||B10 Record|
Now tell me what you would rather have:
Big Ten Championship: Michigan and Nebraska play again for all the marbles.
Big Ten Showcase: Ohio State and Iowa face each other Friday night, then on Saturday at noon we get Michigan/Penn State, and then Nebraska and Wisconsin for the nightcap. At three different stadiums.
The money factor is greater (three good to awesome games) than the championship. And even if it's not a one-game decision, after those three games we'll have a pretty damn good idea which team ultimately had the best season (probably the winner of Wisconsin/Nebraska).
What I love most about it is at the end of the season, we get to hand-pick three telling games that we didn't see during the year: no repeats, no getting stuck with crummy games.
Ultimately, we could determine the Rose Bowl participant by the same factors we have previously:
- Big Ten Record
- Total record including Wins/Losses against non-conf BCS teams, and losses against non-BCS teams (your wins versus EMU don't count; your wins over Texas or Notre Dame do; Vanderbilt's phone is ringing off the hook).
Associated Press, Coaches, Blog Poll ranking.
Okay, critics, rip this apart.