Here is a reply from Bruce Madej suggesting (in my opinion) that there is little chance that The Game will remain at the end of the "regular" season. His closing line is especially telling. Let me know what you think.
Thank you for your note on the importance of Michigan-Ohio State football game. President Coleman and other university leaders have asked me to respond on their behalf.
I want to assure you that no one understands the tradition of this Big Ten football rivalry more than Athletic Director David Brandon. He has experienced this legendary rivalry first hand as a player, as a fan and supporter of the athletic program and as a U-M regent.
Expansion of the Big Ten is certain to bring some changes. We know there will be a conference championship game in 2011 and we expect to soon learn the details of the divisional alignment. Clearly we would like to have Michigan and Ohio State play the last game of the season for the Conference Championship (as has happened so many times in the past). However, based on a 12 Team - two division conference with a championship game format, in order for this to happen in the future both teams will have to play their way into the championship game. Which, we hope happens many times!
Certainly one of the priorities of the Big Ten commissioner and the Big Ten athletic directors is preserving the traditional rivalries, like Michigan-Ohio State and Michigan-Michigan State. This will continue to be a driving principle...as will creating competitive balance between the two divisions.
Just like the renovations to the Big House, we believe the Big Ten can move forward and make improvements while maintaining the traditions that are so important to fans.