Me: Coach Izzo, do you think big-ten-regular-season scheduling is much different now with Nebraska in the conference than it was before?
Izzo: "'Everything has changed so much,' coach Tom Izzo said. ""
Me: "Changed so much"? Really coach? I see that since at least as early as the 1998-1999 season, a big ten team would often avoid playing twice against at least two teams each. What do you think about the effects of having to not play every team each twice?
Izzo: "'There's been seasons we've either won or lost strictly on schedule,' Izzo said. 'If it's really erratic -- playing the top four twice and the bottom four once -- that could be a four- to six-game swing. And who you play on the road (means) a lot. I think the champion a lot of times is now determined by the schedule.'"
Me: You say the champion is "now determined by the schedule"? Doesn't logic suggest that that must have been the case as far back as 1998 then?
Me: So you're saying that at least some of the big ten titles MSU won since 1998 were not based on merit?
Me: Do you think you'd make the same argument if your team were today alone in first place in the big ten conference?
Dantonio (surprise appearance): "'OK, here's what we're going to do,' Dantonio said. 'We're going to get other people up here. We're going to talk about more than [scheduling].
'How many guys got a guy that's [knowledgeable on big ten scheduling]?' Dantonio asked . . . . After a couple raised their hands, Dantonio said: 'One, two -- so the two guys can go back there in the corner and talk about that. All of us right here, we're going to talk about [excuses for losing] for everybody. Let's go.'"
sources (disclaimer: one link is to a free press article; please avoid clicking to it if possible): http://www.freep.com/article/20120201/SPORTS07/202010433/Big-Ten-schedule-imbalance-irks-Michigan-State-s-Tom-Izzo