Every Year. Same Time. Once. The Last Time.

Submitted by Brian on August 26th, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Two must-read posts: Ramzy at Bucknuts on whoredom and Doctor Saturday on the sheer lack of sense.

I'm not posting this in the hope that it will change anything. Since Dave Brandon came out in favor of moving the Michigan-Ohio State game to midseason there's been tremendous fan pushback, with opinion running about 10-to-1 against. It obviously doesn't matter, because the men in suits are ramping up the meaningless PR doublespeak to alarming levels:

…the reason the Big Ten is great is because of our fans. We had five and a half million fans come to games [in 2009]. Whether it’s the Rose Bowl or Ohio State-Michigan, we welcome that, and there’s an awful lot of discussion of, generally speaking, how our fans feel about what we do. We're not fan-insensitive, we're fan-receptive and are only interested in doing what is going to grow our fan base.

Whenever someone starts talking about how great the fans are, the fans are about to get it in uncomfortable places, especially when that's the first thing they talk about in the face of obvious, massive opposition. Meanwhile, the SID is trying to calm people over email by saying for Michigan and Ohio State to meet for the conference title they will "have to play their way into the championship game." If it was a trial balloon people would be walking it back by now after the reaction it's received. The thing is far enough along that Barry Alvarez is flat-out stating that Iowa and Wisconsin will be split up. It's actually happening.

So this doesn't matter. But here's why Michigan and Ohio State's athletic directors should be out in the streets rounding up pitchfork-toting mobs instead of rolling over like Indiana:

The financial benefits are almost literally zero. Dan Wetzel cites a TV executive claiming that at maximum, the vague possibility of Michigan and Ohio State meeting in a Big Ten championship game once a decade might be worth two million dollars a year ("it might be half that," he adds). Even taking the most optimistic number, the end result for Michigan is another 150k per year (the conference takes a share). Assuming an average of seven home games a year, Michigan could earn that by raising ticket prices twenty cents. Meanwhile, every other Big Ten team sees the same increase in their bottom line.

Twenty cents!

Michigan and Ohio State will almost never meet. The Plain Dealer looked back at the league since Penn State's addition and concluded that in the last sixteen years, a Michigan-Ohio State championship game would have happened all of three times.

In the future you can expect that to be far less frequent. Michigan will be guaranteed that 1) they play an outstanding Ohio State team and 2) three of the other five teams in their division do not. If the matchup is going to occur it's going to be the same for Ohio State. The loser of that game is going to have to overcome that deficit against teams that have a much easier schedule. The addition of Nebraska adds another historic power to the league. "Once a decade" is not hyperbole. It's a reasonable estimate.

As a result, you are turning M-OSU from something that will always have stakes to something you hope to do over. This is Delany's reasoning:

"If Duke and North Carolina were historically the two strongest programs and only one could play for the right to be in the NCAA tournament, would you want them playing in the season-ending game so one is in and one is out?" he asked. "Or would you want them to play and have it count in the standings and then they possibly could meet for the right to be in the NCAA or the Rose Bowl?

"We've had those debates. It's a good one. The question is whether you want to confine a game that's one of the greatest rivalries of all time to a divisional game."

Yes. Because the loser of that game is doomed and knows it. Moving it to midseason just makes it a particularly high hurdle that might not mean much—that the conference explicitly hopes doesn't mean much—at the end of the year, when the two teams can do it again, except indoors in Indianapolis. Doctor Saturday:

Keep the game what it's always been, the ritualistic culmination of an entire season in a single, freezing orgy of centuries-old hate that cannot be overturned or redeemed for at least another 365 days. In good years, the division championship (hence a shot at the conference championship) will be on the line, preserving the familiar winner-take-all/loser-go-home intensity that made "The Game" what it is in the first place.

You are doing something your fans hate. The kids don't get paid, the stadium doesn't have advertising, the idea that there is a Michigan Thing that it is possible not to "get" in a way that it is not possible Jim Schwartz does not "get" the Lions Thing: these are the things that separate college football from minor league baseball. For decades Michigan's season has had a certain shape defined by the great Satan at the end of it.

This is where the disconnect between the suits and the fans is greatest. Beating Ohio State isn't about winning the Big Ten, it's about beating Ohio State, just like the Egg Bowl is about beating that other team in Mississippi or the Civil War is about beating that other team in Oregon or any billion other year-end rivalry games that have been played since the Great Depression. M-OSU is the super-sized version of the old-fashioned rivalries based on pure hate. It's not Miami-Florida State, a game entirely dependent on the teams being national contenders for it to even sell out, but the Big Ten is treating it like the country's fakest rivalry game anyway.

It so happens that a lot of the time OSU and Michigan do decide the Big Ten, but did anyone want to beat OSU less in the mid-90s when Michigan limped into the game with 3 or 4 losses every year? Or last year? No. Would it matter less as an October game to be followed by three or four more? Necessarily yes. Is that the worst thing in the world? Yes.

I have no tolerance for anyone too dense to grasp this, much less see it as a potentially good thing, as Dave at Maize N Brew does. I said his post on the matter was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen a Michigan fan write and it remains so. Orson's post on the matter is also the dumbest thing I've ever seen him write. The reason college football matters in a way the NFL does not is the idea it has that some things are not worth selling. Once the date of the Michigan-Ohio State game goes the only thing left is the labor of the players.

I'll still be there. I don't have a choice, really, but the special kind of misery I'll experience when Michigan plays Ohio State at 8 PM in October and Special K blasts "Lose Yourself" during a critical review will make me feel like an exploited sap, not a member of a community in which my opinions matter. They clearly don't. This will matter in the same way erosion does.


Jerry Hinnen:

Speaking as an Auburn fan on Big 10 moving M/OSU to midseason: If they'd tried that w/ the Iron Bowl I'd have burned SEC HQ to the ground

Doctor Saturday:

Because I have a soul, I've already firmly aligned myself with the "armageddon" crowd, made up of those of us who can't stand the thought of one side telling the other in mid-October, "We'll see you again when it really matters." Which probably means I've aligned myself with the losing side. Whatever the motivations of its less influential champions, the prospect of a Buckeye-Wolverine split only has traction among people who matter because the people who matter see a buck in it: If one Ohio State-Michigan game is good, two Ohio State-Michigan games must be even better, and I'm sure they have the ratings projections and accompanying ad rates to prove it. The rivalry has already defined and shaped the national perception of the Big Ten for the last 50 years; just think of the possibility of the rivalry-as-championship game as "expanding the brand."

Mike Rothstein:

Saving this game at the end is the culmination of a season-long crescendo.

Michigan-Indiana at the end of the year, for example, doesn’t offer the same cachet.

And it never will.

Stewart Mandel:

Are you kidding me? It's been played the last week of the season all but once since 1935, and it's the league's single most important franchise. You would think conference leaders would go to any length to protect it. …

Sometimes leaders make decisions without properly thinking through the issues. This one sounds like a case of over-thinking. Do the right thing, Mr. Delany, Mr. Brandon and Mr. Smith, lest the ghosts of Woody and Bo haunt you in your sleep.

John Taylor:

Be warned, Big Ten: you move The Game, you will rip the heart and suck the soul out of the single greatest property the conference owns.  And for what, a few more advertising dollars every few years when they do happen to stumble into a title showdown?  One that will, incidentally, likely be contested in a sterile, domed, neutral location as opposed to yet another reason that The Game is what it is -- The Big House and The Shoe.

So… yeah. Join the Facebook page. Maybe it will help. It won't, actually, but maybe you'll feel better about it.



August 26th, 2010 at 9:10 PM ^

Really, that's all you needed to say.

Not once in that jeremiad did you address any part of my point, nor prove any part of your point.

Let's make this easier for you since whatever is going on between your mind and your keyboard makes your thoughts incomprehensible to those of us trying to understand what you're saying. Multiple choice. For each question, please choose only one option:

1. Do you think that there is value (to the fans, to the specific teams involved, to the conference, to college football) in Michigan and Ohio State playing each other at least once every year?

  • A. Yes
  • B. No
  • C. Purdue beat Ohio State last year, so...

2. Do you think that there is value (to fans, etc.) in Michigan and Ohio State playing each other as their last Big Ten game every year?

  • A. Yes.
  • B. No.
  • C. Most people think they should be in the same divison and play to determine who wins the Orange Bowl

3. How would you feel about an occasional second game between Michigan and Ohio State in the same year if it was for the Big Ten Championship?

  • A. Bad. I'd rather they play once a year, period.
  • B. Good. What could be wrong with more Michigan/Ohio State?
  • C. Recruiting in the SEC is Tennessee and Alabama and that's because they have ad dollars for Fox.

4. Which of the following scenarios would you prefer?

  • A. 9-2 Michigan and 8-3 Ohio State play on the last game of the season with the winner going on to play the Big Ten Championship against 4-loss Penn State (the 9-3 loser of The Game is left out). Over the next 15 years, at least one of Michigan or Ohio State comes into The Game with a chance to go to the Big Ten championship. (Same Division Proposal)
  • B. 3-1 Michigan beats 4-0 Ohio State in Columbus in early October and goes on to finish 9-3 but then has to play 9-3 Ohio State again in Cleveland for the Big Ten Championship, where Michigan loses. Over the next 15 years, Michigan and Ohio State still play on various weeks, and both make appearances in the Big Ten Championship, but not against each other. (Different Divisions, Move Game Proposal)
  • C. 9-2 Michigan and 8-3 Ohio State play on the last game of the season but it doesn't matter because both teams have their divisions wrapped up and know they will play again in the Big Ten Championship. Over the next 15 years, this scenario happens one more time but most of the time one or the other is playing to win their respective division but both can't. (Different Divisions, Leave Game Proposal)
  • D. Michigan has 22 championships but Princeton has 28. Alabama claims 13 but I don't know if they should claim that many. We have one since WWII (Whatever the fuck you were talking about).

Bluebook Portion: In 100 words or less, please describe exactly how you think moving The Game earlier in the season under any divisional alignment will create more value for the teams, the Big Ten, and college football than if the teams played on the last week of the conference season (again, regardless of divisional alignment).

Please answer as best you can, and remember, you don't get points if Robocop is on a unicorn.

[email protected]

August 26th, 2010 at 11:44 PM ^

Your arguments are a series of  non-sequitors (i.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur) and trivial pursuits, which are not convincing to me, nor would they to Dave Brandon or Jim Delaney.  So, if you can't deal with the reality of the situation. go fish!

As for your pseudo-exam book, most of your speculative scenarios are vague and other reference are based the history of the wolverines, while coached under Bo/ Gary / Lloyd, which is an era that has ended.  Only one coach remaining from the era, Fred Jackson, and even the Strength and Conditioning coach (Mike Gittleson) is retired, works for an athletic equipment company, and gives conditioning seminars at Michigan State University and other colleges and universities.  Mike is a great guy, but retired since the hiring of Mike Barwis.    

I cannot help but feel a little pity for most of you, who seem to labor under the nostalgic impression, if not delusion, that Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh are going to beat a path to Michigan's door, if Rich Rodriguez leaves.  Both of them are signed fairly long-term contacts with buy-out clauses for early of termination of $4 million or more, similar to Rich Rodriguez at WVU.  There is too much uncertainty about University of Michigan now to predict what their behavior would be.  However, I believe Dave Brandon has a much firmer hand on the tiller than his predecessor, Bill Martin, who certainly knew how to run the athletic dept. with a profit, if nothing else.

Which DSM IV-TR diagnosis should I give you:

1) V 62.82 Bereavement

2) V 62.89 Phase of Life problem / Religious or Spiritual problem

3) 309.3 Adjustment disorder with Disturbance of Conduct

4) 296.40 Bipolar Disorder with most recent Manic phase (unspecified other clinical features)

5) 290.11 Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type - Early Onset with Delirium

remains debatable, and should be considered private information between your provider and yourself, according to HIPAA regulations, and I do not wish to be even considered as a possible provider, because of your antagonistic remarks above.  As for any substance dependence or self-medication - that will remain your little secret.  (for your reference for DSM-IV TR - see http://psychcentral.com/disorders/dsmcodes.htm, but the original source is copyrighted by APA and not available for reference on the internet).


Bottom line- I am entirely happy to discuss the future and situation of Michigan football and the Big 10 conference championship game, but let 's maintain a firm understanding of what is relevant now, and not what was assumed in the past, while Lloyd Carr or Bo Schembechler were coaching.  It's a whole new world out there, and the change has only begun.  

[email protected]

August 27th, 2010 at 9:32 AM ^


I will offer a second response to address your individual points:

Before you levy "emotional" at everyone who wants The Game to remain in its rightful place, why don't you actually show how moving it will change a single thing? How will it make Michigan better? How will it make the Big Ten more marketable?

You're not acting "rational" if you apply zero rational process to your argument. The Big Ten could have 100 teams in it by the time we're 60 -- still, nobody has demonstrated decisively or even suggestively that moving The Game does anything positive for Michigan, Ohio State, or the Conference.

My characterization of people's responses including your response as emotional should be obvious, since most people regret the loss of the traditional Michigan-OSU game at the end of the regular season.  I do not consider myself a lawyer, instead a physician, who has reasonable training in science and math.  I consider argument based on logical premises and experimental data, instead of rhetorical arguments as in the realm of lawyers and politician.  They are different standards, one that assumes a dispassionate objective mood, and the other depends on the emotional response as well as the objective one.  Since it is apparent, you don't like my tone, I will take my lumps, if I must, but there is a reasoned, and understandable rationale for moving the game earlier.  

First and foremost, the Michigan football schedule and season should be for the players, the team, and not necessarily  for the entertainment of the fans.  I believe if Michigan can win football games during the regular season, and during bowl games, the fans will be happy  They depend on the Michigan - OSU rivalry as a standard for a winning season.  Beat OSU, and we will generally do okay, usually that means winning the Big 10, being ranked well in the polls, and go on to play in post-season bowl games like the Rose Bowl.  Since 1990, with the addition of Penn State, there have been another historically competitive football program, and Michigan has been fairly successful in these games, but the date has not mattered.  Now with the addition of Nebraska, the Big 10 plans to add a championship game.  

For the Michigan players, it would be harsh to say, you can only play OSU once by being in the same division, and if you lose to OSU, you probably will not win the division, and then not go on to play in the championship game.  Put OSU and Michigan in different divisions, and still play OSU annually in the regular season, then allow for the possibility of playing OSU again in the championship game, if Michigan and OSU are the two best teams in the Big 10 conference, as it was in the days of Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes.  If OSU and Michigan are not the top 2 teams, then Michigan plays the other best team in the championship.  Simple logic - should be easy to understand.  The Michigan and OSU rivalry should continue, and in doing so, in either case, the loser of the Michigan-OSU game is less likely to play in the championship game, but the possibility of a Michigan - OSU matchup in the championship game is not possible if Michigan and OSU are in the same divisions.  

As for the nature of the Michigan - OSU rivalry,  the Big 10 expansion with Penn State and Nebraska offers historically competitive football programs, that rival Michigan and OSU.  In the past the best Big 10 team went to play in the Rose Bowl against the best Pac - 10 team and a long time ago that would often decide the National Championship.  In the last 10 years, the SEC conference has been dominant  in national championships, bowl game records and in inter-conference bowl games.  Previously Michigan has had a good record against the SEC- 20-5-1 overall, and since 1994 7-1, beating Auburn, Alabama and Florida twice in bowl games.  OSU has been lousy against the SEC with 0-9 record overall.

Regular season games between Big 10 and SEC teams have been rare in the past few years, but this year OSU plays Miami (Florida) and Penn State  plays Alabama.  Michigan has not been to a bowl game since the 2008 Orange bowl game against Florida, which it won, sending Lloyd Carr into retirement and the beginning of the Rich Rodriguez era.  

Over the last decade, Michigan and OSU have frequently been decisive games, but that remain the case regardless of the date or position in the schedule.  Michigan - OSU games are usually one of the most physical games of the year.  Injured players from the UM-OSUM game would not have time to heal  in time for the conference championship game.  In the past, injured players had a chance to heal during the 4-6 weeks preceding the bowl game usually played around Jan. 1.   That changes in 2015, when realignment takes effect.  If Michigan and OSU beat each other up, and then go on to play Penn State or Nebraska or some other team, they may not be as strong for the conference championship game.  So move the UM-OSU game 6 weeks earlier in the schedule, so that most players would be able to compete in the championship game unless they sustain serious injuries like Troy Woolfolk this year or Dave Molk last year against Penn State.  

Secondly, there is an emotional letdown after the Michigan - OSU game, that takes time to recover from, whether you be a player or fan.  The rivalry is still there, people will still go to the game except for the most stubborn fans.  However, I doubt it will affect overall attendance at all.  

Furthermore, if the Big 10 expands further, such as adding Notre Dame or another team like Pitt or Syracuse from the Big East, there will be additional competitive teams to consider.  The conference record of 9 conference games will decide who goes on to the Championship game, and it makes sense to split the two most recognizable old BIG 10 teams, i.e.  Michigan and OSU in different divisions.  However, with greater parity between the various Big 10 teams, the competition will be closer.  If you crave the old days of the Big 2 and the little 8, those days are over.  Just consider the 2000 football season, when there were three co-champions - Michigan, Northwestern, and Purdue, and OSU was a close 4th.  The Michigan - OSU game decided which of the two teams would be co-champions, but every Big 10 team had at least two conference losses.  Only a rare team will have a perfect conference record in the future.  

However, I have seen traditions continue and I have seen them end, and an individual's emotional reaction have been similar to what I see above. Let's watch the 5 stages of Kuebler-Ross mourning of individual loss progress.

So your experience has trained you as a Freudian psychologist. That's cool. I'm marrying one in a few weeks. But the way she would deal with a grief progression would be to identify the cause of the grief. You, instead, are minimizing the cause's importance by applying a psychiatric diagnosis: "you are experiencing grief; you must be crazy, therefore your argument must be crazy." This is the opposite of correct.

My experience with traditions goes beyond the Michigan - OSU game.  I grew up in Ann Arbor, and have followed the Michigan Wolverines since 1970, attending the 1972 Rose Bowl game, where Stanford beat Michigan 13-12.  I still have season tickets inherited from my mother.   However, I have known the Harvard-Yale rivalry from attending undergraduate college up there, and saw the Ivy League split off from NCAA I-A football in 1981, because they chose not to offer athletic scholarships competitive with other football programs like Michigan or OSU.  That rivalry may seem irrelevant to midwesterners, but out on the east coast, it matters a great deal.  They still still play the Harvard - Yale game as the last regular season game annually, and the rivalry has lasted longer that the Michigan - OSU by many years.  Does the date matter, perhaps, but the rivalry goes on regardless of the date in other sports.  

My consideration of the Indianapolis 500 is partly personal, having attended the 500 mile race annually since 1964, and I have the popularity of the race fade since 1995 after the split of the schedule into two different leagues - ChampCar and IRL, which only got back together last year, when both league were teetering upon financial thresholds, and this year has seen them cobble together equipment and schedules.  Next year's race in 2011 will mark the 100th anniversary of the race, but its popularity against NASCAR races has dropped markedly.  As the Indy 500 is a midwestern tradition, it reminds me the loss of tradition to a more southern based NASCAR racing league with different equipment and personalities.  Not a straw man - just personal experience, which I find relevant.

As for your jibe about being Freudian psychologist, that description is bit obsolete.  The proper term would be psychoanalyst or psychiatrist for a physician.  A Psychologist  has a Ph.D, whereas  I have an M.D. along with M.S. in a basic sciences major.  Most providers in behavioral medicine generally have gone way beyond Freud and organize their assessment around a general mental status exam and the DSM IV-TR, along with clinical testing.  Psychoanalytic therapy is only one modality of treatment, and rarely used in serious psychopathology.  I dont' think you need psychoactive medication, do you?!   I trained in Internal Medicine, and my father is a retired psychiatrist.  I am pretty sure he would laugh at your characterization.   As for the Kuebler-Ross stages of grief, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kübler-Ross_model for review.    In considering your source of grief, the idea is not to perpetuate an obsession, which interferes with constructive behavior, but attempt to have realize the contradictions, or better yet, break through your self-imposed barriers.  Maladaptive behavior should not to be supported or coddled, but dealt with firmly. As for just having a regular anniversary event like the Michigan - OSU game, it's okay, just don't emphasize it out of proportion.   


However, we live in the real world now, (emphasis added) and as offensive that may seem, despite the question of money.  I am sick and tired of seeing BIG 10 Football be considered the bridesmaid to the ACC and SEC or even the Pac 10 in the BCS bowl championship, whether it be the current arrangement or a playoff.

This is where you fall apart into true trolldom. "You are living on fairy world" is not a valid argument, unless you are actually physically arguing with a Care Bear. What you don't do here -- AT ALL -- is show why moving Michigan-Ohio State to early October or whatever would make the Big Ten more palatable to SEC fans? 

Trolldom - I find the common internet definition is an  e-mail message or posting on the Internet intended to provoke an indignant response in the reader.

I am not trying to egg anyone on with this response, but I am not convinced that fixating and obsessing upon the date of the  Michigan - OSU game will help either team to compete in post season games.  You may not relate or agree with my opinion, but I consider a bigger picture than just winning the Michigan - OSU game as a winning season.  As I described above, the recent Big 10 - SEC record in post-season bowl games has been poor, and OSU has a perfect losing record against SEC teams in bowl games 0-9.

Pat Forde of ESPN had a recent article that describes it curtly - "SEC has no peer on the field" ( http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/preview10/columns/story?columnist=forde_p… )  There is little mention of the Big 10 there, because there is little to say in favor of it.  

The point is not make the Big 10 more palatable to SEC fans, because they first must learn to respect it.  Winning games against the SEC teams in bowl games will help earn respect.  Playing and winning regular season games against the SEC would help, but the Big 10 has rarely played SEC teams during the regular season in the last decade, although OSU will play Miami (Florida) and Penn State will play Alabama this year.  If only Michigan would follow suit, and schedule a few games down south, they could help add to the respect, especially given Michigan's good record against SEC teams in bowl games.    That is not meant to be inciting indignation, just stating the facts.

Moving the Michigan  - OSU game to an earlier time, allows us to showcase the best rivalry earlier, when it allow people to see them play, and then perhaps allow them to play again in the championship game, and make them more popular as bowl game choices.  In the past the Rose Bowl has been the ultimate bowl for the Big 10, but since the onset of the BCS bowl schema, the Rose Bowl is only in rotation with 3 other bowls for the National Championship game, which has been dominated by the SEC  at least since 2006.  If the NCAA switches to a playoff of the top 4 teams with a series of three games to decide the national championship, presumably, the Big 10 champion will be amongst them, and believe allowing the best team to compete with healthy players is better than having Michigan - OSU beat each other silly, then lose to another team in the championship game, and then have them proceed to a lesser bowl.  As for OSU, they need to show they can compete and win against SEC teams, as well as Michigan in the past.

Bowl games are usually interconference games, but what if Michigan and OSU were #1 and #2 in the nation, would anyone not want to see them play for the national championship, even if that were a event as rare as a blue moon.


Right now, given Michigan status of rebuilding and being a Tier C team in the Big 10, who hasn't made it to any bowl in two years, it does not have the clout at the bargaining table.  Meanwhile, I don't see OSU worrying about the GAME, because they want to be #1 in the USA.  They can beat up on Michigan once a year, but they want to go on to bigger and better things.

Here you are absolutely wrong. I read OSU message boards. They still talk about Michigan more than anything else, literally. The prevailing argument between Buckeye fans right now is whether they want Michigan to get good again so it will be more meaningful when they beat us, or whether they want us to continue sucking because our tears taste so nice. You are wrong about the Buckeyes -- they care A LOT. In case you didn't notice, they even cared so much as to show up in droves last year, when Michigan was playing just to maybe get in a bowl, and nobody thought The Game would be competitive.

I have read the OSU blogs and message boards, too.  There is one poll that does strongly support maintaining the game as the final regular season game.  However, they are also concerned with new football uniforms, the opening game, and the prospects of Terrell Pryor as a Heisman trophy candidate.  They certainly enjoy beating up on Michigan every year, since Michigan has not won the game since 2003, and that is not a tradition I want to see continued.  However, OSU also needs to move beyond the concept of a winning season being a year, where you beat Michigan.  Sooner or later, Nebraska or Penn State or perhaps Notre Dame will get their number.  I believe Brian Kelley, formerly of Cincinnati, will offer a potent spread offense, that will give OSU and Michigan a run for their money, if not this year, then in years to come.  OSU always loves to beat Michigan, it makes them feel warm and fuzzy and full of themselves, then they go lose in the national championship game, and they say - well, we beat Michigan!  Let's end the complacency!


Michigan still has to await the decision of NCAA COI, and while most feel the current self-imposted penalties will suffice, we could easily see Rich Rodriguez put on probation or receive worse penalties.  That will lead to another coaching change, and while that may be welcomed by some, it may mean also another mass exodus of good players on offense and defense, and another phase of rebuilding.  That will not help our leverage at the bargaining table.

What bargaining table are you talking about? And what NCAA violations are you talking about? How is the practice thing, which started before RR and which Brandon has been backing RR on throughout, gonna suddenly turn around? This is Rosenbergism. Losing is the only thing that could get RR fired -- if you've been paying attention at all, this is a non-story and an even bigger non-story to Dave Brandon. Plus, you don't connect it at all to your argument for moving the game up. What the hell are we bargaining for? In the event of Michigan sucking for the next nine years, how would that at all change the meaning of the Ohio State game being played a different week?


    Two separate issues are discussed here.  The bargaining table here has been the Big 10 annual meetings, where all the Big 10 athletic directors along with Jim Delany meet to discuss plans for future expansion, what to do about schedules, rules, and what to do about the TV networks, including the Big Ten Network.  Although, the athletic directors vote as equals, Michigan has carried a significant clout from the TV revenues it has generated in the past.  During the last couple years, more of their games are showing on the Big Ten Network, instead of ABC or ESPN.  The Michigan - OSU will probably always be an ABC game, and it will be showcased more favorably earlier in the season, where it will carry higher ratings and thus earn more money for the Big 10.  In contrast, the traditional UM-OSU game at the end of the season has been anti-climatic lately, and its ratings have not popped off the chart since 2006.  People are switching channels after the first half, going to other more interesting games at the end of the season.  

    Second point - NCAA COI investigations - the NCAA COI continue to deliberate after the hearing in Seattle.  Rich Rodriguez has serious problems, if they place a "show cause" order, which subject the University of Michigan to further penalties, if they cannot show why there is not a reason to believe that Rich Rodriguez was not responsible for major violations.  Michigan has admitted to the first four major violations and only contested the fifth charge focused on Rich Rodriguez and his leadership role as coach.  Now that there is separate investigation at WVU including charges against Rich Rodriguez along similar lines, there is probability, not just possibility that he could be named as repeat offender, and the University of Michigan would have to show the burden of proof against his involvement in the other charges, and would have to convince the NCAA why not augment any penalties against Michigan, let alone Rodriguez.  These are major violations, not minor, secondary violations, which don't warrant a separate investigation.  If a "show cause" order is placed against Rodriguez, Michigan will have real reason to release Rodriguez as coach and begin a search for a new coach, even in the middle of the season.  So Rodriguez could win 10 games this year, beat OSU, and go to a good bowl game, but with a "show cause"   order around his neck, he could become a true pariah in NCAA football.  We will probably know about the outcome of the Michigan investigation in 4-8 weeks, but nothing is certain.  With an ongoing investigation at WVU, the COI committee may defer their final decision on Michigan and Rodriguez until they have completed the investigation against WVU.  That only makes sense, since they first have to determine if Rodriguez was responsible for violations at WVU during his tenure, and then they would go on to determine his responsibility at Michigan.  The WVU investigation is just beginning, so I would estimate another 3-6 months at least until it is possible that everything is cleared, if the ruling is favorable.  If they conclude the investigation in December or January, then the decision could cascade just before the February recruiting deadline.  If it happens after the deadline, who knows what will happen, if ruling is unfavorable.  I hope the above does not happen to Rich Rodriguez, but nothing is certain right now.

    Just consider this article from AnnArbor.com ( http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/ncaa-accuses-michigan-footba… )

    Jim Delany was at the Michigan-NCAA COI hearings in Seattle, partly to support Michigan, but also to listen to the arguments given by both sides, so he can gather information.  If Michigan gets a penalty like USC, they could lose scholarships or bowl game privileges, which I would consider unlikely, if there is no "show cause" order or if Michigan releases Rodriguez as coach,  but may occur, if the opposite is true.  Michigan will be on probation, regardless, for 2-3 years, and they will be under close observation.  Secondary violations, normally not a problem, may become relevant.  All these factors contribute to how the rest of the Big 10 can relate to Michigan football, and what revenue streams they can generate and what expectations for a winning season.  Please, what ostrich hole have you stuck your head.  Rosenberg is no one I care to support, nor any of the other "journalists" at the Free Press, but I do not trifle with NCAA COI since the USC decision.  

    As for the date when Michigan - OSU plays the game, if the OSU athletic director supports and change, and Dave Brandon tries to argue to maintain the date, but Michigan is under probation, who do you think wins?  The Big 10 can't be seen by the NCAA as supporting a team under serious penalty.  In addition, part of the penalty for the Michigan investigation might be moving the GAME from the final regular season game, although that might be done covertly as a silent quid-pro-quo.


    Perhaps the change of the date will be temporary, and in a few years, the athletic departments will return the date to its traditional position.  I doubt 2010 will  be the last time Michigan and OSU will meet at the end of the year.  They will probably still have 2-3 more years of the THE GAME being at the end of the season before they change the date, but I could be wrong.  

    Um, what are you trying to say? You're wrong about the timing, which is pretty clear: in 2011 the Big Ten goes to divisions and The Game is moved. If it's moved back to the end of the season, it would be because of fan outrage, meaning the outrage on MGoBlog today is justified.



      Incorrect, Nebraska may join the Big 10 in 2011, but all the schedules are in flux between 2011 - 2015 until a ninth conference game is added.  Most of the recent discussion for future realignment  centers around 2015  and thereafter.  That leads me to believe that Big 10 expansion is not finished.  Between 2011 and 2015, we may see other teams added into the Big 10.  If the goal is a 16 team conference, there may as many as four divisions, and that makes it difficult to decide the champion with just one playoff game.   With four divisions, three games may be required.  All the Big 10 needs is to poach Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, and perhaps Texas A&M or Missouri, and there you have 16 teams.  With more teams in the Big 10, 9-10 conference games would be expected, but that would still leave 2-4 teams, who don't play MIchigan during the regular season, but might meet them during championship playoffs.   All the more reason to place OSU-Michigan earlier in the season, and showcase the championship games separately from THE GAME.    Call it speculation, but a 16 team Big 10 conference was widely discussed in the press and in the blogs this summer.  We will have to wait at least a year or two to see how the Big 10 goes.  I mention that the move may be temporary, only to acknowledge the emotional response I have seen here myself.  My own thread contained similar arguments to what have been offered on other blogs.  You may not agree with all the reasons, and I certainly have felt the outrage in loss of points, but I don't think points on a blog matter to the Big 10.
      There may be other teams that may join the big 10, such as Notre Dame or Pitt or Syracuse, who could add to the competition for the Big 10 Championship.  However, the days of the BIG 2 and the little 8 are over.  Besides, whoever wins the Michigan-OSU game will ruin any perfect season for the other team, and will likely knock them down in the race for the Big 10 crown, and that will happen regardless of which division they play in.  

      Again, you're defeating your argument. If Michigan-Ohio State being played every year makes the likelihood smaller that they will meet in the championship game, that is an argument against moving The Game, since the only time there will be any value to moving The Game would be in the rare instances when they would meet again. If this is going to almost never happen, it means the move is almost never going to pay off. If the days of Michigan and Ohio State dominating the rest of the conference are (the days) truly over, then separating the teams into different divisions to enhance the appeal of a Michigan-Ohio State rematch in Indianapolis is an excercise in futility. The whole point of the move is because these two teams are expected to keep dominating the other 10 like they did the other 8.

      The purpose of moving the Michigan - OSU game from the last game of the season allows the Big 10 to showcase the game earlier, and allow new rivalries like MIchigan - Nebraska or Michigan - Syracuse to develop, and then perhaps allow a rotation of the final game between Nebraska, OSU, and another team in cycles to placate the old alumni, but keep things fresh.  

      One cannot expect Michigan to always play OSU in the championship game, but it looks good to allow for the possibility.  Putting Michigan and OSU in the same division just won't happan.  That has been reported from Dave Brandon, Barry Alverez from Wisconsin  and hints from the athletic director.  Sometimes is better than never, and the occasional championship game between Michigan - OSU makes a nice compromise allowing the regular season to maintain its special appeal to fans without diminishing it as commonplace.   



      My response may appear [too] rational for some here, who would pillory me for confronting their emotional reaction to their emotional attachment.  I try to be considerate most of the time, but perhaps some people to the listen to the Eagles and "Get over it"! 

      This is where you earn your neg-bang. Nobody here likes things that are "too" rational. We dislike things that are "not" rational. Like, for example, the entire irrational argument you just presented.

      Me and the guy from Alt 85 have this problem: we both hate it when someone arrogantly parades themselves as "The Truth" when they're wrong. You're like the Texas lady who said "If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

      You, like the Militantly Anglophonic Texan, are being very arrogant in calling your post "too rational" then dismissing any dissent from you as double-emotion ("emotional reaction to their emotional attachment.") The only response you will brook, apparently, is for anyone who doesn't think you are a complete truth-speaking fucking Grade A genius to go listen to Take it Easy until that realization becomes apparent. Yet you are also wrong, since you have not been at all rational -- you made a completely and obviously irrational argument -- while debating an argument that is entirely rational: "The iconic stature of the game is itself more valuable than the sum total value of moving it."

        I will simply say that these are arguments and experiences that I believe and I feel are reasonable.  You may not agree with them, but at least consider their merits.  A lot of things in life are not appealing or pleasant, but you would wise not to dismiss them entirely.  I am certainly not some evangelist of the Christian faith here, and want to consider a plurality of views.  It appears you are the more inflexible one, who asserts that Michigan - OSU must play each other on the last regular season weekend in November, and anyone who say's otherwise, let them feel my wrath as in the Old Testament.  I am fortunate to have the background I have, but I trying to be considerate of your views, in return, please be considerate enough to hear me out.  I do not need to hear your Sturm and Drang.   The point of the Eagle's tune - Get Over it can easily be understood, if you read the lyrics - here is the link:
        Another view about message boards and blogs, I find apropos comes from the West Wing:  CJ Cregg is the presidential press secretary has discovered that Josh Lyman has posting response on a website called Lemon-Lyman.com, which discusses administration policy to his chagrin:
        C.J., it's a... crazy place. It's got this dictatorial leader, who I'm
        sure wears a muumuu and chain smokes Parliaments. 
        [makes a smoking gesture with his fingers]
        What did you go there for in the first place?
        It's called Lemon-Lyman.com.
        C.J. gives him a pointed shove in the direction of his office. They walk a
        few paces and stop outside the doorway.
        Let me explain something to you, this is sort of my field. The people on
        these sites?  They're the cast of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
        Donna picks up her jacket inside the office and walks out between the two
        of them.
        C.J. [cont]
        The muumuu wearing Parliament smoker? That's Nurse Ratched. When Nurse
        Ratched is unhappy, the patients are unhappy. You? You're McMurphy. You swoop in there with
        your card games and your fishing trips...
        [shrugging defensively] I didn't swoop in, I came in exactly the same way
        everybody else did.
        Well, now I'm telling you to open the ward room window and climb on out
        before they give you a pre-frontal lobotomy, and I have to smother you 
        with a pillow.
        The West Wing - 
        Season 3, Episode "The US Poet Laureate"  
        The script transcript for the whole episode may be found here:
        Now, to put this passage in context, I respect Brian as an insightful writer and solid Michigan fan, who steadfastly supports Michigan, and loves the Michigan tradition.  I usually favor his views, and will also miss the Michigan OSU games at the end of the season. I find myself at risk sometimes here, when I discuss my own views and have not been heard here respectfully, or with tolerance.  Perhaps, I should follow the advice of C J Cregg, and finish my post  now and leave before the inmates begin to run the asylum.
        Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do.

        Yeah, Bruce Lee. Didn't Yoda say about the same thing? Didn't Goethe say something similar too? And Balzac? And Newton? Hey, you can quote me with a similar sentiment: "All the potential energy in the world won't move a pin unless it's converted to kinetic." -Misopogon. But how in the hell and Columbus, Ohio, does a quote about the tangible value of collection versus application apply to playing Ohio State before Michigan State?

        As for Bruce Lee, yes, others may have something similar, including Goethe, the phrase is just one I enjoy, and have in my signature file.  Something that goes back to the USENET days of message threads and the early internet.  A time when free discussion was valued and cherished.


        August 27th, 2010 at 3:25 PM ^

        I think I am beginning to understand the point you are trying to make, though I emphasize my immense frustration with the spectacularly bad job you have done trying to communicate it.

        I split up the answers because you did finally present interesting, on-topic points of discussion which I felt more important to highlight on top, with the more rhetorical dischord at the bottom.

        Also, all the [blah]s aren't a knock on you at all -- don't read them that way. Rather, they are stand-in ellipses, so that rather than re-posting the entire jeremiad you wrote, I can boil down each of your salient (and otherwise) arguments and respond.

        Actual Stuff Pertaining to this Discussion:

        First and foremost, the Michigan football schedule and season should be for the players, the team, and not necessarily  for the entertainment of the fans.

        This is an interesting position, and not one I have heard very often. This is a good ideal, though I think we can both agree the NCAA has lost sight of it. That's an important point since while we may want to approach this from a "what's best for the student athletes and the program" standpoint, even if that's exactly what it says in the NCAA's mission statement, it's not pragmatic. Adding an extra game a week before finals on National TV in an NFL stadium is probably not in the best interests of the players.

        Pragmatically, if we are trying to form a consensus plan of action to present to the Big Ten Conference, then I believe that you and I both need to accede that, conceptualy, its' about the fans, because the fans -- by watching TV, consuming media, or by purchasing tickets and paraphenalia -- are the Big Ten's source of income and prestige.

        This is why I believe you need to make a financial- and prestige-based case for moving The Game earlier in the season, and why I am making a financial- and prestige-based case for keeping The Game at the end of the Big Ten season. This is the entire framework for discussion.

        [yada yada yada]...but the possibility of a Michigan - OSU matchup in the championship game is not possible if Michigan and OSU are in the same divisions...[yada yada yada]

        These ¶s were mostly nonsensical. Oh, each sentence made a true statement, but there was no logical case made that I could follow (ironically, in the middle of this series of unconnected statements, you even said "simple logic.") I'm guessing what you were trying to do was make the point in the last sentence: that it is important during realignment to build in the possibility of a Michigan-Ohio State Big Ten Championship game.

        First, givens (things we are not arguing at all):

        1. We both agree that Michigan and Ohio State should play at least once every year.

        2. We both agree that some years, Michigan and/or Ohio State will simply not be good enough to compete for Divisional or Conference championships under any scenario.

        3. We both agree that Michigan and Ohio State playing two weeks in a row (one The Game followed by The Big Ten Championship Game) would suck.

        Now, let me help you frame this as a discussion point. What (this is just a best guess) you are trying to say is that Michigan-Ohio State was at the end of the season in the past because it was a de facto Big Ten Championship game, however, with the addition of two or more major major programs (Penn State, Nebraska, ND?), the de facto alignment of the past is archaic and ultimately replaceable by a de jure championship system. Cognizant of the historic and predictable future success of Michigan and Ohio State, it would be impossible to preserve this ideal under an alignment that includes a Big Ten Championship Game unless Michigan and Ohio State are able to face each other in it.

        I would see this a meritous argument (i.e. the opposite of a straw man).

        If  that's your argument (if not, ignore me on this and move on), the counter to that would be that I find more value for all interested parties in maintaining the archaic de facto conference championship game as a (often enough) de facto Divisional championship game, i.e. Michigan and Ohio State square off at the end of the season, every season, and on years they are both good, it's for the right to play in the Big Ten Championship Game. I believe that, if placed in opposite divisions, the frequency with which a rematch in the Big Ten Championship would occur is projectedly so small (1-in-10 or 1-in-20) as to be almost negligible. Since a Michigan-Ohio State rematch in the Big Ten Conference Championship Game will be a rare thing, there is small (but not zero) value gained in moving the regular season matchup earlier in the year to avoid a back-to-back scenario.

        In juxtaposition, I believe there is large current value in playing the game at its traditional end of the Big Ten season slot. I believe that national perceptions of games played on "Rivalry Week" sees those games as more important rivalries, and that this perception drives marketability. I believe that Michigan-Ohio State is, as a rivalry, a very valuable franchise for the Big Ten, and that this value would be reduced if the game was not played during the week that national perception believes rivalries should be played.

        There's this sequence that seems to be repeated in every national "what's the best rivalry" discussion:

        • Big Ten Fan: Michigan-Ohio State. So much tradition!
        • SEC Fan: Dude, Iron Bowl. So much hate!
        • Pac Ten Fan: It's UCLA/USC guys -- so much proximity!
        • Big XII Fan: Red River Shootout! So much competitiveness!
        • Big Ten and SEC and Pac Ten together: Ha ha, Big XII, yeah right -- you don't even play on Rivalry Week!
          [Big XII fan does hook 'em/boomer thing then slinks out of conversation]

        For the players, the end-of-season position of The Game comes to define the season. A lot of players go to Michigan or Ohio State because they want to play in the rivalry. Throughout the year, both teams use the rivalry as a motivating factor. Even if this is purely "emotive," i.e. value based in hype rather than facts, it is, for our purposes, still value, because the "emotional" affects on the players (e.g. choosing to commit to Michigan, preparing harder during the season, etc.) provide actual tangible value to the Michigan and Ohio State programs, and by extention the Big Ten.

        I believe that tangible value (even if based in emotion) for the Big Ten to be greater than the potential value of a Michigan-Ohio State rematch in Indianapolis/wherever.

        Injured players from the UM-OSU game would not have time to heal  in time for the conference championship game...[blah]

        You have a good point here. I would ask, though, that you provide some data on this. I agree with you that there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that The Game creates more injuries (e.g. the oft-referenced 2002 special on the rivalry has that Harbaugh quote about "buckling your chinstrap tighter"). We remember injuries to Henne, McGuffie and Avant from Games past. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the meaningfulness of The Game has fucked with both of our heads, and that injuries are actually random, and thus just as likely to occur in The Game as in any other game.

        Your other point about injuries -- that they are accumulative and thus prevent many Michigan and Ohio State players from even making it to The Game -- is a very strong one. In fact, that is the best argument I have yet heard/seen/read in favor of moving The Game earlier in the season. To this, I first go back to the pragmatic point I made above: The Big Ten cares more about pleasing the fans than pleasing the players. Also, since this is a point about players' benefit, I think you need to get some opinions from the players -- my guess would be that they (18- to 22-year-olds being notoriously bad at considering their own non-invincibility) would still prefer to take the gambit in order to play Ohio State at the end of a grueling, attrissive season.

        On this point, I think about 2007, and how Henne and Hart were denied a true chance at senior-year Ohio State redeption because they were so beat up by then as to be nigh ineffective. But keep in mind, they were both hurt at various points all year -- Henne was knocked out against Oregon, weeks before any Big Ten opponents would have been on the field. If we had played Ohio State somewhere between when we played Penn State and Michigan State, Henne and Hart were injured then, too -- Hart wouldn't have been able to play at all, Henne's shoulder would have been even worse than it was. On the same vein, if we had played Ohio State last year at any time after Indiana, Forcier's arm would have been just as dead as it was when he had 5 turnovers in late November.

        My point in rehashing the role of injuries in the 2007 and 2009 games is there is too much randomness in injuries to use them to make decisions. Rather, even despite the injuries, I could build a case that teams are generally stronger (having progressed through fire) at the end of the season than at the beginning (when we are still doing silly things like starting Mike Williams at deep safety), and that saving rivalry games until the end, despite the injury situation, actually yields better teams for those games.

        Secondly, there is an emotional letdown after the Michigan - OSU game, that takes time to recover from, whether you be a player or fan.  The rivalry is still there, people will still go to the game except for the most stubborn fans [yada yada, addressed later, yada] Harvard-Yale...[some yada about stock car racing which is laughably off-topic].

        This is a really bad point that serves to undermine your argument. You are acceding here that The Game has an emotive value that -- and this is important -- carries over to the following week. So then, logically, we would prefer to have no game as often as possible the week after Michigan-Ohio State. The scenario that most-often creates a bye week after The Game is to have it be the last game of the season. On occasion, either team will go to the Big Ten Championship Game the following week with a Michigan-Ohio State hangover. But if we move The Game up, given there's no mid-season bye weeks anymore, then EVERY year we will have to play a game the week after The Game. Fuck, man, isn't it better to be hung over and at least in the championship game than be hung over and lose to Michigan State the following week? I'd rather have this massive Ohio State thing then be hung over in a nationally televised championship game than be hung over against some Big Ten opponent in the middle of the season and lose the chance to even play in the Big Ten championship game.


        [yada] SEC...respect.. [yada]

        This is an even worse point. The Big Ten actually has held its own against the SEC in bowl games, but reasoning with SEC fans is like reasoning with [pick a person holding X intractable political position]. You accuse me of putting too much emphasis on the traditional value of the last-week matchup, but then you are basically suggesting here that the hangover effect is Reason Numero Uno that Ohio State lost to Florida and LSU to give SEC fans all that fodder. Talk about overemphasising a single factor, eh?

        You can walk this one back, since it was in a more rambling section and I ramble too sometimes when I've got a point in my head that I haven't personally given enough rigeur yet.

        Anyway, this is an even easier "hangover effect" point to knock down, because there is no way that having a Michigan-Ohio State hangover and losing the National Chamipionship Game is worse for the Big Ten than Michigan or Ohio State losing one or two successive Big Ten games to the hangover effect and not even going to the National Championship.

        As for convincing SEC fans to respect the Big Ten, considering the main crux of their argument is that Ohio State sucks for only being the second-best team over the last decade, I wouldn't spend too much effort on rational conversations with them (rather, <a href="http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/alabamas-de-marcell-dareus-ruled-ineligible">bust out some altered Slim Shady lyrics</a> -- (scroll down till you see it)).

        Bowl games are usually interconference games, but what if Michigan and OSU were #1 and #2 in the nation, would anyone not want to see them play for the national championship, even if that were a event as rare as a blue moon.

        This is your worst point, since we have direct evidence that you're wrong here. Michigan and Ohio State were  No. 1 and 2 in the nation after The Game in 2006, and voters dropped Michigan four spots in successive weeks to put a weaker (D-IAA team on schedule, worst loss) Florida in the National Championship Game because they didn't want to see a rematch. That is about the best evidence you are going to get that fans (or at least the AP voters whose business it is to give fans what they want) prefer new matchups to rematches.

        The purpose of moving the Michigan - OSU game from the last game of the season allows the Big 10 to showcase the game earlier, and allow new rivalries like MIchigan - Nebraska or Michigan - Syracuse to develop, and then perhaps allow a rotation of the final game between Nebraska, OSU, and another team in cycles to placate the old alumni, but keep things fresh.

        But dude, we have a rivalry, in fact The Best rivalry in American sports (at minimum, in the conversation). You are suggesting we fuck with that in the hopes of creating other rivalries, expecting them to grow based on being in the "Rivalry Week" spot on occasion.

        Do you watch NHL? Red Wings fans have been complaining for a decade now about the Central Division and the "rivalries" we are supposed to be building by playing Nashville and Columbus a lot. They haven't grown -- those are annually the least-attended games during the season, and it's been 10 years. Meanwhile, the old Toronto rivalry is withering. It still brings in more excitement than Columbus or Nashville, especially because of its rarity, but few Wings fans under 25 can name 10 guys on the Maple Leafs today. Net value of "rivalries" with Columbus and Nashville and the occasional mid-season Toronto game is far below that of the old rivalry, for the game and for the team and the players and the fans.

        That's the best case study I can give you for what you're suggesting. Rivalries can't be just manufactured. When you get one, as sports history tells us, hold the fuck onto it as hard as you can because they are rare and wonderful.

        Playing The Game a different week doesn't "Showcase" it more than playing it on "Rivalry Week." See Red River Shootout. The games that get the most viewership are those that come after really compelling other games. The reason everyone remembers the "Bush Push" is because Notre Dame-USC that year was the nightcap of an incredibly strong Saturday of college football. The best spot to "showcase" Michigan-Ohio State is Prime Time of rivalry week. Unfortunately, it gets dark at 6:30 during "Rivalry Week" around here so we play it in the afternoon. This is still one of the most showcaseable slots in the entire college football calendar, and you have admitted earlier that moving it from this spot to a typical Big Ten week would be downgrading the importance of The Game. The only way to showcase The Game more would be to keep it on that day but make it a night game. Of course, then you'd have to move it inside, and you'd lose one of the most iconic parts about it: that it's played in the Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park of college football.

        One cannot expect Michigan to always play OSU in the championship game, but it looks good to allow for the possibility [little bit of blah].

        This is an interesting point. What you're saying is the Big Ten can give Michigan-OSU some pop with their alignment announcement by implying, through a divisional separation, that they are expecting this Michigan-Ohio State Big Ten Championship Game to happen...a lot. This may have some value to both schools, since an implication that we will be awesome forever and ever is exactly the kind of thing that drives Michigan and Ohio State national and regional recruiting. However, I think it's a momentary thing, and too subtle to be more than like a $100-dollar-per-person stimulus: yes please, but not really going to change anything long-term.

        Putting Michigan and OSU in the same division just won't happan. [blah]

        This is another fair point, though a depressing one. Essentially, you are saying that the same-division scenario is not on the table at all. I think it is still worth arguing that it's a better position.

        However, even if you get rid of same-division, you still have to show that moving The Game earlier in the season is better than leaving it where it is and just living with the occasional rematch. I am the author of one just such proposal.

        Remember, anytime the last game of the season is from the other division, the possibility remains of a week-after rematch. This means if you're going to move back Michigan-Ohio State for that reason, you can't just put another interdivisional opponent there. Effectively, this puts interdivisional games early in the Big Ten season, with the intradivisional games late, so Michigan-Ohio State will be not just early in the year but really early in the year (one of the first two Big Ten games).

        [blah] OSU also needs to move beyond the concept of a winning season being a year, where you beat Michigan.[blah blah]

        This is an interesting take, but short-sighted. You're basically saying that Ohio State, by making Michigan a huge focus, is doing better against us, but worse against the field. This is possible, maybe even likely, given what we hear about Tressel's emphasis on The Game.

        You're suggesting that by moving the game, the importance of it for the Buckeyes will diminish, and thus we will be able to win it more often. Well, if it does diminish it, then we have, literally, diminished the rivalry, which as you have yet to show otherwise and I have shown fairly conclusively, has huge tangible value for the Big Ten conference and the teams. It's short-sighted because Tressel won't be there forever; when Ohio State got sick of Earl Bruce for putting too much emphasis on The Game, they got Cooper for a decade, who put too little emphasis on The Game and got fired for it. Maybe Tressel will one day get fired for too much (unlikely). Either way, he won't be around forever, and trying to diminish The Game just to shake his recent hold on it is cowardly, but more importantly, very very very unlikely to work.

        Bargaining Table:

        Michigan has plenty of clout. This is a complete red herring.


        Your scenario of USC-level sanctions and whatnot is entirely against every bit of available evidence. You might as well be quoting from the Freep, whose record in this matter, I'm sure you would agree, has been uncredible. More importantly, whether our head coach next year is Rich Rodriguez or Steve Sharik is irrelevant to the preservation of The Game in the new Big Ten alignment. Another red herring.

        [blah] If the OSU athletic director supports and change, and Dave Brandon tries to argue to maintain the date, but Michigan is under probation, who do you think wins? [blah]

        The most stupid thing you've written yet. ANOTHER red herring, both because Brandon isn't necessarily on our side to begin with, and because the concept of Practicegate making Michigan a Big Ten pariah is beyond ludicrous.

        [blah blah] 16-team conference, points [blah]
        The rhetorical part of this will be addressed below. As further expansion and change relates to moving the game, it's another red herring; even if the Big Ten expands to 32 teams and four universes, that doesn't say anything about the value of scheduling Michigan-Ohio State earlier versus maintaining its current position.


        Rhetorical/Argumentative Shit:

        Straw men: the Indy 500 thing wasn't the straw man.You know what a straw man is, right? If so, ignore this part and skip to the next paragraph. It's when rather than actually addressing the salient points of your debater, you set up a more easily defeatable position, i.e. a dummy position or "straw man" to represent your opponent.

        In this case, I was referring to your characterizations of my argument as some sort of blithe Bo-Woody tradition-for-its-own-sake position "straw man." When you threw in "Les Miles" -- that was a straw man play. I was very obviously and concisely talking about value judgements concering, specifically, keeping The Game at the end of the season regardless of divisional alignment, because there's more value in the end-of-the-year tradition than there is to be gained by the occasional, separated-by-several-weeks Michigan-Ohio State Rematch in the Big Ten Championship Game. This is my position, and the only position you should be arguing against. Any other position is a "Straw Man."

        ... I consider argument based on logical premises and experimental data, instead of rhetorical arguments as in the realm of lawyers and politician...

        This is arrogant and factually incorrect. Any argument in any realm that is worth having comes down to evidence, and that is what I am asking you to supply. I don't care about what I can convince you of; I care about what is actually right based on data. For example, television viewership of Michigan-Ohio State games are consistently above any other college football game of equal conference or national championship significance. Also, we know a bit about human social behavior with regard to holidays, and that annual frequency seems to be a natural preference. This is data.

        Up to this point, you have been entirely rhetorical, building straw men and using ad hominem (e.g. implying psychological illness on multiple occasions). The only references you have made are quick-Googled Wikipedia links to psychological illnesses and -- in a moment of truly profound irony -- non-sequitor. And throughout you have gone off on red herrings, like mentioning Harbaugh, Les Miles, and Rich Rodriguez's future at Michigan, which are not part of the discussion and (unless you can relate them to the discussion somehow) I took to be your attempts to dishonestly mischaracterize my P.O.V. These are hallmarks of a rhetorical, not a factual argument.

        [blah blah] 16-team conference, points [blah]
        You're setting yourself up as martyr here rather than arguing any salient point. As with trolls of MGoPast, you are probably losing points more for being a prick and going off on rhetorical tangents far from the salient points of argument, not because YOU BLOGGERS CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. Read the responses to you so far: their main problem with you seems to be your arrogance and dodging the conversation, not the popularity of your opinion.

        I will simply say that these are arguments and experiences that I believe and I feel are reasonable.  You may not agree with them, but at least consider their merits. [blah] Quoting West Wing.
        Boy do you ever need a dose of your own medicine. I have now, for the third time, gone through your statements piece by piece and tried to bring out your best points, arguing them with facts and reason. You've been playing the rhetorical games while refusing to debate the clear and concise argument I presented, which again is keeping The Game at the end of the season regardless of divisional alignment, because there's more value in the end-of-the-year tradition than there is to be gained by the occasional, separated-by-several-weeks Michigan-Ohio State Rematch in the Big Ten Championship Game.
        The hypocrisy of your bringing in CJ Cregg's "One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest" (by the way, quoting West Wing, especially early episodes, to me is like quoting Hamlet to David Foster Wallace) speech to Josh is that the value of this blog is in how it steadfastly rises above the "message board behavior" referenced in that episode, while you're the guy coming on here thinking you're Mr. Lyman and getting taken down for mentioning Sanscrit. You're not "above the fray," but below it. You're the guy going off on your own tangets irregardless of what you're responding to, and pulling out every rhetorical trick in the book before actually offering any evidence. Did you not happen to notice that every time you pulled a reference (as if you're the first guy to discover Google) it was to make a rhetorical, not factual point? 

        If you actually value and cherish free intellectual discussion, then try going 100 words without something like the following:

        On Psychology: My point about bringing psychology into this was that it was ad hominem. You are not my therapist, and you were not trying to be helpful to my well being by discussing your psychological diagnosis of me on a message board. You're doing it to be a dick and to undermine me personally rather than debate my position (which is in bold above and is in no way related to psychology). That has no place in any discussion between us on Big Ten football, and should get you banned from this site. For the duration of our respective lives, my response to you on the subject of psychology, particularly as it relates to your online diagnoses of anyone on this board, is that I would ask you to do something anatomically impossible. Is that clear enough? No Wiki-links, no information, however enlightening, about modern psychoanalysis: my standing answer to all of those is "go do something anotomically impossible." Prick.


        August 27th, 2010 at 3:41 PM ^

        As his "getting up for the game" one. For the same reasons. If you're going to get banged up badly in The Game (and that's a big if still), then do you want one game left to play...or like 8? Someone might be able to tough it out for one more game, but go through week after week? Doubtful. If someone is out for "just the game after The Game" then, yeah, it has some merit...but how many injuries are like that?


        August 26th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

        I was one of the students who took the field after Michigan beat OSU to end the undefeated season in '97.  The culmination of a perfect season, against our biggest rival was too much to stand and is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

        Anyone who refers to the effort of the blood, sweat and tears of a group of people as "product" or "brand" has no soul.


        August 26th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

        this is only permanent as long as the b10 is 12 teams, this can only get worse in the future.

        the other asteroid getting ready to destroy college football is the impending NFL 18 game schedule, which will most likely mean their horrible, lifeless games start the same weekend or before college football.


        August 26th, 2010 at 3:14 PM ^

        I've already bought my tickets for Columbus.  No time like the present to finally see my first game in the shoe.  By the end of the game I expect to be bawling my eyes out, hugging buckeye fans as we commiserate the worst decision in the history of college sports.

        Maize n Brew Dave

        August 26th, 2010 at 3:14 PM ^

        I've talked with Bama fans, Auburn fans, and Tennessee fans about the effect of moving their rivalry games, and to a person everyone has said they STILL hate each other. Your argument that they MUST play at the end of the season for the hate to remain palpable is just nonsense:

        Would it matter less as an October game to be followed by three or four more? Necessarily yes. Is that the worst thing in the world? Yes.

        I find it intersting that you site two rivalries that pale in comparison to Michigan Ohio State or Tennesse Alabama. The Vol Bama match up is so much more appropriate. Traditionally, Tennessee and Bama traditionally met on the 3rd Saturday in October, but they don't any more. Hell expansion put them in different divisions. That hasn't changed the importance of that game to Tennessee or Bama fans. They still hate each other, and the game still matters.

        Personally, I don't care where Ohio State falls on the calendar as long as we play them in a conference game. The important thing is that we play them, not when we play them. If the teams end up in the same division and The Game remains unchanged, I'm fine with that too. The Big Ten has made that decision already, and regardless of what it is, we'll all have to live with it.

        But what is ironic, at least to me, is that you were one of the great champions of expansion and a championship game. You promoted it with your personal understanding that your world view wouldn't be changed. The world would revolve around your concept of the Big Ten. It doesn't work that way, and any catostrophic change like conference expansion has consequences for everyone. Including Michigan. You got exactly what you ordered, but now you're complaining about the fine print you refused to acknowledge was there.

        Lastly, your lack of tolerance for other viewpoints is really, really stunning. In every argument there are at least two sides, and usually more. There are plenty of hard core Michigan fans who believe something different that you do on this subject. Your complete disregard for their opinions, and in fact disdain for their opinions, insults the very nature of what many Michigan alumni hold dear, that whether you agree with it or not everyone's opinion is valuable.

        Instead, you've decided that your point of view is the only one there is. Not only is that one of the dumbest positions you've ever taken, it's insulting to many other Michigan grads and fans. But then again, you've made clear that you don't care what other people think.

        I never realized MGo had been taken over by Fox News. Say hi to Glenn Beck for me, Brian.

        Maize n Brew Dave

        August 26th, 2010 at 4:03 PM ^

        I'm at a loss as to why this got personal as well, but I'm the guy responding to Brian twice calling my opinion "the dumbest fucking thing" he'd ever seen a Michigan fan write. At a certain point you get tired of it. I'm not mad at Brian having a different opinion than me, I'm upset that he couldn't express his own opinion without being insulting and demeaning.


        August 26th, 2010 at 3:28 PM ^

        I've talked with Bama fans, Auburn fans, and Tennessee fans about the effect of moving their rivalry games, and to a person everyone has said they STILL hate each other. Your argument that they MUST play at the end of the season for the hate to remain palpable is just nonsense:

        I really don't give a shit about Bama or Auburn or Tennessee fans feelings.

        Traditionally, Tennessee and Bama traditionally met on the 3rd Saturday in October, but they don't any more.

        Now they meet somewhere around there.  This is not analogous to taking a season ending game and moving it up 3+ weeks.

        But what is ironic, at least to me, is that you were one of the great champions of expansion and a championship game. You promoted it with your personal understanding that your world view wouldn't be changed. The world would revolve around your concept of the Big Ten. It doesn't work that way, and any catostrophic change like conference expansion has consequences for everyone. Including Michigan. You got exactly what you ordered, but now you're complaining about the fine print you refused to acknowledge was there.

        The prevailing assumption was that Mich and OSU would be in the same division and The Game would be a Champ game play-in.  That's the fine print I think everyone was expecting.

        [some first amendment-ish, free speech/respect opinions/tolerance bullshit]

        Brian probably shouldn't be an asshole about it, but Brian is in the majority here.

        I never realized MGo had been taken over by Fox News. Say hi to Glenn Beck for me, Brian.

        Oh come the fuck on.  Really?  Really?


        August 26th, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

        with the 3rd Saturday in October.  What the fuck kind of benchmark is that?  Sometimes it was really 2.5 weeks into October, sometimes full 3...who cares?  They played a handful of games before and after there is no difference except an arbitrary date.  I am not asking to play on the 3rd Saturday in November during a full moon, I want to play the last game.  That's it.  For the last time, no other rivalry compares so I just don't want to hear it.  Now, Dave, if you are playing the devil's advocate here and rationalizing what you and many see as inevitable, I see you working and that is not as terrible as it could be.  Now, if you really think it doesn't matter and would hypothetically vote for such a change in favor of status quo...I don't even know what to say...


        Maize n Brew Dave

        August 26th, 2010 at 3:53 PM ^

        Tennessee and Bama are/were two annual powers who have a horrible, hate filled rivalry that was set on a particular date. These are real, comparable institutions with passionate, downright crazy fanbases. I use them as an example of the type of passionate fanbases that were and are affected by change, change exactly like what Michigan is going through. My point is, these two schools experienced what Michigan may experience and came out fine. That is my point. Their rivalry remains vivrant and passionate. Splitting them up wasn't the end of the world. Take it FWIW, but it's certianly a better analogy than Ole miss/MSU or the oregon schools (especially since they don't have a championship game yet).

        As to your other point, no, I am not for changing this. I wish the Big Ten had stayed at ten schools and we weren't having this debate. But we did. We are. And that can't be undone. So I'm looking at this from a practical standpoint. Change is coming and there's little we can do about it. I'm suggesting that this isn't the end of the world and we try to embrace the core tenant of the rivalry, that the two school hate one another.

        This isn't as bad as it could be and we don't know how this will eventually shake out. Maybe the conference realigns in five years. Maybe it doesn't. But no matter what, the Game as we know it is going to change.


        August 26th, 2010 at 4:06 PM ^

        The Alabama-Tennessee rivalry is NOTHING compared to the Iron Bowl...and THAT is always played in late November.


        Alabama-Auburn : Michigan-OSU :: Alabama-Tennessee : Michigan-MSU

        Poll some Bama fans about what they would think about moving their annual matchup vs Auburn to October and get back to us.

        Maize n Brew Dave

        August 26th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

        Auburn and Bama weren't split up, like Michigan and OSU are being. If Michigan and OSU end up in the same division, this whole argument is irrelevant. What we're dealing with is two powers getting split, and that's the best available comparison.

        I asked the writers of Roll Bama Roll that same question about Auburn, and they told me it doesn't matter when they play. They just hate one another. They hated each other so much they didn't play one another for 40 years.

        There's your answer.


        August 26th, 2010 at 4:34 PM ^

        Fair points but I think that moving a game date from an arbitrary date in October with no more timing significance than Flag Day to another date is not really the same type of change.  Is their hate, sure but the hate isn't going away here either.  The dynamic of the game along with the culmilative nature of the timing are.  Bama and UT are in separate divisions and for what?  In 18 years they have never met in the CG.  My vitriol is based in the liklihood of this effort being entirely fruitless for the B10+2 and basically just messing with our tradition with no real benefit.  It's like trading your gradfather's watch for a scratch off ticket.  I might win $50 but I am never getting that watch back. 



        Do you have any idea of what my father went through to get me that watch?

        Maize n Brew Dave

        August 26th, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

        had to +1 that.

        Look, my position is that there's no right answer here and I'm looking for positives. Glass half full, etc. Regardless of what happens, I just don't see this as the end of the world.

        Maize n Brew Dave

        August 26th, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

        besides ensuring that Michigan and Ohio State play every year, that both are still in the Big Ten, that the Maize and Blue go up against the Scarlet and Gray, that the Block "M" and Script "Ohio" appear on the field, that the games are played in the Big House and the Horseshoe, that the bands play Carmen Ohio and the Victors, that the fans care about the outcome, that the players care about the outcome, that the game is still on national television, that the anticipation of playing your rival make the work week impossible to concentrate on, that the smack talk between the fan bases never ceases, that the teams still run out of the Tunnel at separate times, that we still remember the games that have gone past and dream about the ones in the future, that you still root for anyone playing OSU, that no matter who is coaching Ohio State he's still the devil, that if you beat OSU it makes your season worthwhile, or that you still cheer just as loud for Michigan to beat OSU if we're 3-8 or 11-0?


        August 26th, 2010 at 5:20 PM ^

        Games played in the Big House or Horseshoe - well, not the one that matters....

        Fans care about the outcome - well, not as much as they used to, because there's still half the season to recover, and it's not final, and it doesn't build up. 

        Players care- the same, but to a lesser extent.

        Game on National Television- not with the prominence it once had.

        Anticipation- a week, instead of a full season.

        Smack Talk- smack talk originates more from it being the big end note of the year.

        Teams running out of the tunnel at separate times? You're just looking for filler now.

        And the history, tied into the if you beat Ohio State, it still makes your season worthwhile- well, it doesn't. Because it doesn't ruin anyone's season. Because they have more games to play. Can recover for the Big Ten or National Titles. Or, play them again, at which point, the first game means nothing. So it doesn't make the season at all, under that format.


        August 26th, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^

        I don't get why you think fans or players care less about the outcome. Do you really believe Tate Forcier is going to care less about the game because it's in October? Will that cause Terrelle Pryor to not prepare as much?

        Wouldn't you get just as much satisfaction beating a 7-0 OSU team leading them into a downward spiral to 7-5?

        Brian and both fan bases making a big stink over nothing. If the conference can generate extra revenue from regiggering the schedule, and Michigan gets more money and builds better facilities, I don't see much of a downside.

        The most important thing is that they play every year, and it looks like that will be the case.


        August 26th, 2010 at 9:03 PM ^

        So how can you care as much? I doubt you'll see many downward spirals, just because there IS something else to play for. It's not the be all, end all. It won't be the difference to advancing to the Championship Game or not. And it can't necessarily be putting everything into the game, because you have to play again next week. Bo making the players to something to prepare for Ohio St. everyday? Well, yeah...except now for the month after you're done playing them.
        <br>All so we can get a couple more bucks for facilities. Which everyone else in the Big Ten gets, so it's no real advantage.
        <br>I'm thinking it's just pretty obvious you don't get the rivalry at all.


        August 27th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

        Brand new Stadium, new practice facility, breaking ground on Basketball practice facility, plans for Crisler renovations, new baseball and softball stadiums, tennis and soccer facilities...

        How run down is all our stuff?

        And again...if everyone gets more money for better facilities, it gives us an advantage...how?

        Bo may not coach here anymore...but his values are eternal.


        August 27th, 2010 at 9:23 AM ^

        working and I understand your process.  At this point it seems inevitbale.  Having said that, I am going down fighting.  And by fighting I mean posting snark pics/gifs and cracking jokes at Delany's expense. 



        August 26th, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

        I'll take it, begrudgingly. And I'll gauge whether my interest has gone down in 10 years. But I think the "end of the year" versus "October 1st - that's crazy" argument is a red herring. It's about competitive interest. If we played in the first conference game and it determined divisional standings, U-M - OSU would be a lot more interesting than a November 15th out-of-division game that I could watch and think, "Ok, we can lose this game, beat the other divisional leader, get to the Rose Bowl. No sweat."

        Of course bragging rights over OSU fans would be lost any time we lose to OSU. I see your side of things - I am still really, really going to want to win that game. It's going to matter. All I am saying is that if there is a world in which I (or an OSU fan) can say, "It wouldn't be so bad if we lost this game to OSU/U-M," that world is no fun.

        I want it to be bad - very, very bad. I want it to hurt. That's what rivalries bring to the table - pain. And the ecstacy of inflicting such pain on thine enemies so as to smite them and their unwashed brethren. And while it would still matter, it might matter less. If that is something we can avoid, why not? Why roll the dice hoping for world-ending pain (2006) when you can have excruciating pain every year?


        August 26th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

        Other than that -- who are you kidding? M versus OSU is different from Alabama/Auburn/Tennessee. Alabama still plays its most intense rival within its division -- that game still has that dimension. Just because there was another rivalry game that was moved out of division is not relevant to the discussion. Unless you think MSU is Michigan's most intense rival?

        Maize n Brew Dave

        August 26th, 2010 at 4:52 PM ^

        But since you bring it up, and as I've already mentioned in comments below, Bama and Auburn hated each other so much they didn't play for 40 years. So when they feel like playing, you're right, it's the last week of the regular season. And talking with Bama and Auburn fans I don't get the impression they care at all when they play. they just hate one another. The final score is what is important. If someone goes to the SEC championship game, it's a strawberry on the icing on the cake. But the cake and its icing remain delicious.

        The Iron Bowl is the Iron Bowl because of who plays in it. Not because when it is played. And that will remain true of The Game if or when the Big Ten decides to move it.

        WBE Jerry

        August 26th, 2010 at 5:58 PM ^

        Seriously, I'm curious, because myself and the ones I know would rather have vultures eat out our livers on a daily basis than move the Alabama game to midseason, much less play them twice in the same season, the thought of which makes me want to vomit all over my keyboard. Every fiber of my being rejects those kinds of ideas. So I'd like to know who these Auburn fans are who'd be fine and dandy with what's happening to The Game happening to the Iron Bowl. Yeah, we'd still hate Alabama, yeah, it'd still be delirious fun to beat them, but that doesn't mean it would still be the Iron Bowl. The Iron Bowl is played the last week of the regular season, as the climax to both team's seasons, and has been since the rivalry was re-instituted. The End.

        As for the Third Saturday in October, it doesn't hold up as an analogy to The Game at all, since (as has been pointed out elsehwere in this thread) they only moved it to the fourth Saturday, and in some years it still falls on the third. It's not comparable to what Delany and Co. are proposing. Besides, Tennessee fans are the worst possible fanbase to ask about huge year-end rivalries--they get all of their big games (Florida, Georgia, 'Bama) out of the way by November and close every season with Kentucky and Vanderbilt. If they're OK with moving rivalry games around, it's because they'd like to get some of what M-OSU and Auburn-Alabama have already got.

        S FL Wolverine

        August 26th, 2010 at 4:16 PM ^


        When I read Brian's post I was rather disappointed.  I've been an mgoblogger for quite some time, and I've never seen him lower himself to the level of calling someone else "stupid" for having a different point of view.  From my perspective, I don't see why this topic is that big of a deal.  I'd prefer to keep M-OSU at the end of the year for tradition's sake, but as long as we keep playing OSU, I can see getting equally juiced up for a Michigan-Michigan State or Michigan-Nebraska year end game, which is probably the likely outcome of this.  I understand our schedule will be harder, but that will make it more rewarding if Michigan makes it through undefeated, and will prepare the team for games against very tough bowl opponents. 

        While I understand people being passionate about this, it's not something that can be mathematically evaluated as much of the analysis on this blog is.  It's much more of an emotional, gut-feeling topic.  Which is why it's all the more disappointing that Brian would call someone else's opinion on this "stupid".  We all have our hot-button issues and this is surely one of his and he just does not understand why other people don't "get it" like he does.

        That being said, let me take you to task equally for engaging in your own name calling.  Now you're calling Brian "stupid" back and bringing politics into it for some unknown reason.  Seriously, all political commentators have their own "opinions" and they pretty much think everyone else's opinions are garbage (Beck on the right, Olbermann on the left).  And that's what sells.  Find me a "tolerant" political commentator and I'll show you one most likely without a job.  That's what they do for a living, stir the pot.  But I don't think Brian's step into insults constitutes him becoming a loud-mouth political commentator.  Brian's comments are almost always logical, which is why I like reading this blog.  In this instance, he's made it personal, and I'm not sure why, but I'll just ignore it and remain a faithful reader for now.  However, if the commentary here starts to degrade to an mlive or espn level, that will do it for me.


        August 26th, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

        Honestly, I was ok with the whole separate divisions/meeting a couple times a decade thing until now.  I've been watching & going to games for over 40 years, and what was most important to me in my mind was the "spirit of the rivalry" or whatever.

        Essentially, The Game being meaningful meant a whole lot more to me than just a traditional date on a calendar.  Playing OSU for a chance to play in the B10 championship seemed in all ways inferior to actually playing OSU in the championship; even if it were infrequent (every 4-6 yrs).

        But the reality of how often we'd actually get matched up together began to sink in, as did the pointless idea of an earlier season game.

        What put me over the edge however was the unfortunate reality of how that once a decade matchup would actually be handled.  Brian & others are right, it would be marketed to hell in a sterile, neutral, domed (for fan comfort$) location.


        It's one of the reasons I never liked the (corporate proposed) idea of a playoff, it would suck out the life and tradition of college football for the chance to make a few watered down dollars.  The current 238 team bowl  season has unfortunately be allowed to run amok to the point that it's 98% gone anyhow, and I find myself unenthusiastically supporting a playoff scheme (Brian's concept is sublime which is why his won't be adopted).

        So even though it won't matter, a "once a decade REMATCH" (which would be worth hyping the hell out of) has my official seal of approval.  ;-)