I thought, as a slient protest, we were not referring to the divisions as L&L but Bo and Woody or something like that.
Tennessee is not recruiting well just because they got 18 dudes
The Conference of Leaders and Legends and Champions and Successes and Deliverables has released its industry-leading, no frills, easy-to-use schedule of play through what we can only hope will be Brady Hoke's fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg managed to get early dibs on the Big Ten's 2013 and 2014 conference schedules (HT: dkeesbury), so we can bring you the near future's road to Pasadena / Wherever-Probably-Not-Glendale-lolz:
|Oct. 5||MINNESOTA*||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Oct. 12||@ Penn State*||University Park, Pa.|
|Oct. 19||INDIANA*||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Nov. 2||@ Michigan State*||East Lansing|
|Nov. 9||NEBRASKA*||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Nov. 16||@ Northwestern*||Evanston, Ill.|
|Nov. 23||@ Iowa*||Iowa City, Iowa (We're from Iowa!)|
|Nov. 30||OHIO STATE*||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Sep. 27||@ Indiana or Illinois?||Bloomington, Ind. or Champaign, Ill.?|
|Oct. 11||MICHIGAN STATE||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Oct. 18||@ Minnesota||Minneapolis, Minn.|
|Oct. 25||PENN STATE||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Nov. 1||IOWA||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Nov. 8||@ Nebraska||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Nov. 22||NORTHWESTERN||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|Nov. 29||@ Ohio State||Columbus, Ohio|
There's no Purdue. :-[(
And no Wisconsin.
I said No Wisconsin!
And no...um...Indiana or Illinois?
In 2014, Michigan will open the conference schedule at Illinois on Sept. 27. U-M has two open dates during the season, the first on Oct. 4 and the second on Nov. 15. The Wolverines will open the home portion of the conference schedule against archrival Michigan State (Oct. 11). In addition to the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy, U-M has back-to-back home games against Penn State (Oct. 25) and Iowa (Nov. 1) and faces Northwestern (Nov. 22) at the Big House. The Wolverines have road tilts at Illinois, Minnesota (Oct. 18), Nebraska (Nov. 8) and Ohio State (Nov. 29).
THIS CONFUSES ME.
The schedule listed below also says Illinois so it's probably not a typo. One of either ESPN or MGoBlue is wrong; I would normally trust the mothership, but if we're playing Indiana in '13 doesn't it make sense to meet the same opponents the following season? Or did we just get screwed out of an Indiana game? Important people want to know! I do have an e-mail into MGoBlue.com -- until then hold off on your 2014 travel plans, I guess.
By 2014, Michigan State gets moved back to mid-October, which if I knew Michigan State existed when I was a kid* I guess that would feel more appropriate than mid-November. This seems to be a quirk of the schedule and not the Big Ten acknowledging rivalry dates are important, other than the BIG rivalry between Legendary Leadership, and Leaders of Legend. That – the conf. championship – will be on Dec. 7, 2013, and Dec. 6, 2014, respectively; locales TBD.
* My father went to MSU in the 60s - but like who of his generation remembers anything from that time? Nobody talked about Michigan State at Quarton Elementary School is what I mean.
The Rittenberg article also quotes a TV guy in the conference who seems to favor 9-game conference schedules:
"That's just the mathematics of it," said Big Ten senior associate commissioner for television administration Mark Rudner, who puts together the schedule. "While teams are still playing eight conference games, out of the total inventory of games available, we're playing a smaller percentage. We've added a 12th institution. Part of this could be solved if we went to a nine-game [Big Ten] schedule moving forward.
"It's not ideal, but hopefully moving forward it can be addressed."
Okay, so there's one guy who's maybe probably voting for 9 games at the next meeting. Reason for: one week in September we play the Wisconsin Badgers instead of the Not-a-State University Baby Seals (and MSU lines up Ohio State instead of the Northern Colorado School for Mimes). Reason against: fewer bowl-eligible Big Ten teams -- you're turning 12 almost-guaranteed wins for conference teams into exactly 6-6), plus all the same reasons BCS teams choose to play kick the can in September instead of each other. I'm for 9. I also think it's a pipedream.
Other random, non-bulleted thoughts:
Nothing lasts forever: Other than Penn State games, the schedule does set up nicely early in the season, but with brutal Iowa/Nebraska/Ohio State Novembers broken up by that quasi-traditional Northwestern-in-a-cold-November-Rain game.
Not a good refrain: When we rebooted the ND rivalry again for '02, I wanted somebody to notice that Michigan would end up getting both the Irish and Ohio State at home on odd years, thus leaving Michigan State the de facto big home game of even years. Surely when adding Nebraska, this would be rectified so that…dammit! So from now until the conference adds a 9th game or whatever, on odd years we get Nebraska, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and the Brown Jug game. On even years we visit all of them, and get Michigan State at home.
Also, MSU doesn't play Ohio State these two years, if you're the type who likes to grumble early.
I thought, as a slient protest, we were not referring to the divisions as L&L but Bo and Woody or something like that.
Bo and Woody are also acceptable. L & L is not.
I'm currently going with:
to have a really difficult schedule right when this years MEGA CLASS will be nearing its peak. BTW both charts say 2014 Big Ten Schedule.....
Correct me if I am wrong, but mgoblue.com lists the opening Big Ten game in 2014 being at Illinois. Is this a mistake?
I was on their page today and it had only through 2012.
I checked it earlier around 1:30 PM or so. See the link below.
MSU missing not only the *uckeyes, but Wisconsin and Penn State.
I'm kind of upset that we don't play Wisconsin, one of my favorite games at the Big House was the '08 Wiscy comeback. Plus then we can see how we match up in MANBALL v. MANBALL.
I think it is entirely possible that we will play Wisconsin in the B10 title game before they return to our regular season schedule.
Ok, maybe "entirely possible" is a bit strong. How 'bout "not unthinkable"??
the tough teams at home one year and all on the road the next -- schedule is stupid, not to mention unfair to our team. Do the other top teams in conference have to do that?
MSU and PSU are on the road and then at home. Nebraska and OSU are at home and then on the road. Seems reasonable to me.
Penn State's in the South/East/Woody/Why Do We Have Wisconsin Division. We see them for a few years then they disappear.
I guess if the Big Ten keeps Wisconsin or Penn State opposite OSU, ND and Nebraska that's kind of okay. But think about it: we're going to be facing Nebraska every year, many of those years expecting to compete with them for the North/West/Bo/Where's Wisconsin Division championship. They're liable to become, if not an Ohio State, an inimicus novus, l kind of like the Tigers and Blue Jays were during the late-'80s / early '90s.
In 10 years, I would expect Michigan and Nebraska to see each other as true rivals, probably passing Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Iowa in the pecking order of which game a typical Michigan fan would wish to attend first. If you think you've had the 1997 debate out now, just wait: we're going to hear every year how they were just as champion-y as we were and they're going to have bleeding ears from hearing about the damn "foot-ball" overtime play with Missouri.
If Nebraska was put on the same schedule as Michigan State, that would give us two huge games at the Big House every year: either ND and OSU, or Neb and MSU. This way, MSU still sits alone, with only the home of a Penn State or Wisconsin for another top draw. And really, much as I respect those programs, they're not really hardcore rivals, y'know?
Some kid will come UM and never play Wisconsin? Dumb. Two byes instead of playing another conference opponent? Dumb.
Nebraska game should be moved to match MSU, I agree. Does anyone know if Michigan will actually be playing Uconn again in 2013? UConn's website says it's happening 9/21, but I feel like i've heard rumblings to the contrary.
I was mildly suprised to see Michigan would be playing Nebraska and Ohio State at home in 2013 and both away in 2014. With U-M playing Notre Dame in Ann Arbor in 2013 and in South Bend the following season, it means the home and away schedules are going to be a bit lop-sided at least through 2015.
I see that U-M is playing only teams in-conference in November with the exception of the season ender against Ohio State. That makes sense see that you want to keep interest in the division title races to the end.
It will be interesting to see if the Big Ten opts to go to nine conference games during next month's meetings. If that does happen, then it should start in 2015. Since ND plays Texas that season (on 9/5) and in 2016 (on 9/3) as the season openers in September, I half expect to see at least a two-year hiatus in the UM-ND series during those years. ND's future schedules show the Irish opening the season with Texas and Michigan in the first two weeks of the 2015 and 2016 seasons--I don't think that's very likley and I don't expect to see Notre Dame on Michigan's 2015 or 2016 schedules. See http://www.nationalchamps.net/NCAA/future_schedules/notredame_future.htm
What happens in 2017 and beyond depends on what UM, ND and the Big Ten can agree upon regarding the schedules. If the B1G doesn't opt to split the Ohio State and Nebraska games and Notre Dame can't be persuaded to change the years of the home/away games with Michigan, then the ND series might to kaput and some other major BCS programs will be brought in to do home-and-hom series in lieu of the Irish.
I'll be curious to see what Brandon does with the 2014 schedule since the Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State games are on the road. He got Air Force to bolster the 2013 home schedule--I suspect he'll try to do something similar with one of those available dates.
Michigan has seven home games in 2013 and 2014. If the B1G does go to nine conference games, then 2011 might be the final season U-M plays eight home games for the foreseeable future.
In answer to your question, I haven't heard anything to suggest that the game at UConn in 2013 has been rescheduled.
The schedules below are based on the schools release plus the best information published to date:
2013 (Not on schedule: Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin)
Aug. 31 TBD NON CONFERENCE
Sep. 7 NOTRE DAME
Sep. 14 TBD NON CONFERENCE
Sep. 21 at Connecticut
Sep. 28 Open
Oct. 5 MINNESOTA
Oct. 12 at Penn State
Oct. 19 INDIANA
Oct. 26 Open
Nov. 2 at Michigan State
Nov. 9 NEBRASKA
Nov. 16 at Northwestern
Nov. 23 at Iowa
Nov. 30 OHIO STATE
Dec. 7 Big Ten Championship Game
2014 (Not on schedule: Indiana or Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin)
Aug. 30 TBD NON CONFERENCE
Sep. 6 TBD NON CONFERENCE
Sep. 13 TBD NON CONFERENCE
Sep. 20 at Notre Dame
Sep. 27 at Illinois (per MGoBlue.com) or at Indiana (per ESPN)
Oct. 4 Open
Oct. 11 MICHIGAN STATE
Oct. 18 at Minnesota
Oct. 25 PENN STATE
Nov. 1 IOWA
Nov. 8 at Nebraska
Nov. 15 Open
Nov. 22 NORTHWESTERN
Nov. 29 at Ohio State
Dec. 6 Big Ten Championship Game
At least this way should MSU somehow ever reach a title game (Michigan, Nebraska, and Iowa explode), they'll still most likely have to encounter OSU... pending this Tressell situation. No more B10 titles without playing OSU (or I guess Wisconsin, though that'd be less likely).
I abhor the idea of a 9-game conference schedule. The negatives far outweigh the positives.
It's the last bullet point that gets me. Sure, we might initially get the nod and slight mental bump from college prognosticators and fans for playing a tougher and longer Big Ten schedule, but we all know that newspapers, the WWL, other media outlets, and the general college football fan are not the most thorough detectives nor the most thoughtful pollers (outside of MGoCommunity). This isn't a revelation.
It will devolve into an on-screen chart in an SEC-Big Ten bowl showing how the SEC and Big 12 average more wins per year, leading to even more ridiculously inflated rankings for the SEC/Big 12, leading to me being more angry (and you don't want to see me when I'm angry ARRGH insert photo here).
I believe the short-term realized gains from playing 9 games will be much less than the value lost in perception/totals wins/whatever due to 6 more guaranteed losses to Big Ten squads. Keep Big Ten sched at 8 games. 4 home, 4 away, play 50% of the other division each year. Simple. Glad Brian said something.
<sorry for long post>
Very thoughtful post. Really, you hit the biggest concern I had about 9 games.
I'm guessing the guys who make the decision care less about what Joe Q. SEC fan is going to think about 5-6 more losses.
But I struggled with that a lot -- the lower rankings, the greater plagues of dumb fans and dumber commentators, etc. My solace is pragmatic: no matter how much fuel they have or don't have, SEC fans aren't going to stop being SEC fans. Hey, Charles Woodson actually WON the Heisman DESPITE the offensive/skill bias, and they still think Peyton Manning was "robbed" because -- get this -- the bias was the rule!
So what's it worth to me to avoid giving people like that a faulty arrow that I already know will bounce off my armor at 2 feet? Or six? Is it worth trading a game against an opponent with zero to offer in victory and everything to lose in defeat for the chance to see Wisconsin before there's hovercars and power laces?
Anyway, that's my thought process. Honestly, though, it's not all that dissimilar from your own.
I have no original thoughts on the schedule, but I'm pleased to see my picture featured so prominently as part of the story.