Screw It: S-E-C

Submitted by Brian on November 19th, 2012 at 12:19 PM


So guys. I am considering the inevitable endgame here where the Big Ten adds Georgia Tech and some other program that isn't Pitt to go to 16 teams and this is Michigan's division:

  • Michigan
  • OSU
  • Michigan State
  • Penn State
  • Maryland
  • Rutgers
  • Georgia Tech
  • Purdue Or Something

Michigan would then play members of the other division once every eight years. Goodbye, Iowa, Wisconsin, Little Brown Jug, taking over Ryan Field, etc. It was nice playing you those four times, Nebraska. At that point wouldn't you just be like "screw it" and prefer the following?


  • Michigan
  • OSU
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • Missouri
  • Vanderbilt
  • Kentucky

Academics? Sure. Academics. This is all about the books.



November 19th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

I got into this discussion with someone the other day.  Rutgers and UMD don't come close to selling out their stadiums.  They have lower attendance than Illinois and Purdue, higher than Indiana (NW didn't come up so I don't know).  Edsall was bitching within the last week that nobody wants to watch his tire fire in person, so there's that.

Not to claim you're doing this, but: other programs in the B1G with relatively low attendance =/= justification for adding more of them, particularly a school like Rutgers with essentially no athletic history of note in any sport, ever.


November 19th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

That's a historical footnote.  Should we say "no history of succes"?  How about "no games worth replaying on BTN"?

If you want to say Rutgers has a halfway decent football program in 2012 and justify it that way, OK.  If you want to say that NYC's imaginary Rutgers fans will cause this move to "deliver the NYC market," I disagree, but OK.  Let's just not be ridiculous and defend Rutgers as some great football tradition.

Just for fun, check out .  Four paragraph summary of Rutgers football history.  Two on the first season, two on "The Remaining Years (1870-2011)."  You can't make this stuff up.


November 19th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Note that the game you refer to was actually a soccer match, not a rugby match. 

"Football" did not come to mean the Rugby rules (rather than Association rules) until Harvard and McGill started playing each other in the mid 1870s.  Rutgers and Princeton have inexplicably managed to cast that soccer match in 1869 as the first-ever college football game, but it most certainly was not.  Neither Rutgers nor Princeton had anything to do with the "invention" of college football.



November 19th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

I agree.  You can add Minnesota to the list as well, since their brand new stadium only holds about 54k, I believe. 

When they start selling out their stadiums after joining the Big Ten, which is a solid possibility, they'll expand like so many other schools have done.  The Big House didn't start at 109k, remember. 


November 19th, 2012 at 1:18 PM ^

I think the important word there is "HIS [Edsall's] tire fire."

From reading TWIS, I am not sure the Maryland fanbase is all that enthralled with him, and with all that sweet BTN cash, Maryland might go pay for other coaches/coord/etc.  Then that might brings some students back.

Of course, that hasn't yet helped some of the football programs already in the B1G.


November 19th, 2012 at 1:34 PM ^

Indiana, Northwestern, and Illinois has been in the conference for over 100 years. Northwestern and Illinois were founding members and Indiana joined three years later in 1899. While those teams have stadiums and attendance that are lacking, the conference did not choose to take them on as of recent.

Also, those having teams like Indiana in the conference does not justify adding a Maryland.

There is absolutely no upside athletically and competitively to adding a Maryland and Rutgers. The only advantage that I can see is it will inflate the record of the top tier conference teams.


November 19th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

Unless you're going to try and persuade OU or Texas to join the Big Ten, there aren't to many schools selling out 80,000 seat stadiums that the Big Ten might be able to poach.  You're getting to the point where you're picking teams and they only candidates left aren't that attractive.


November 19th, 2012 at 12:27 PM ^

Remember, if we're going SEC then we need to go full SEC and have the back end of our schedule full of snackycakes, not the front.  Meaning the OSU game moves to sometime in September and we finish up the year playing MAC schools.

As I write this jokingly I just had a thought of something Brandon probably DOES have up his sleeve somewhere.  Move the OSU game from the back end of the schedule and then you can use those fancy light thingies we tried out last year one time for "The Game".

Oh god no.........


November 19th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

Look, if your logic for putting M and OSU in different divisions is to setup the conference championship game then for godsakes the game shouldn't be played in back-to-back weeks.

Option A-X: Put OSU and UM in the save division

Option Y:  Move the OSU game to October and replace it with MSU or Nebraska.

Option Z:  Status quo.


November 19th, 2012 at 12:27 PM ^

I suggest "Big 10 - SEC - ACC - Big 12 Middle of America Division"


Ohio State





Kentucky (basketball only)

Michigan State (their female students only)

Texas A & M

Penn State


Florida State


November 19th, 2012 at 12:44 PM ^

Part of me thinks "remember when everyone thought the BTN was a colossal failure and hated Delany?" and how well that worked out. Part of me thinks "Maybe they'll control all the chips, have 4 pods of 4 teams, do relegation to get the best teams playing each other, or something else that makes total sense". Then I remember "Leaders and Legends".

F it.


Pods? Pods:

Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Purdue (Historical Rivalries)

MSU, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Illinois (Chicago Center)

Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New Team X (Corn)

PSU, Maryland, Rutgers, New Team Y (N00BS)


November 19th, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

A 16-team league can work (sort of) for basketball, but not for football. The B1G would then be 2 leagues with a scheduling agreement. I think it would look more like this:

B1G east: M, OSU, MSU, PSU, Md, Rut, GTech, VTech

B1G west: Neb, Iowa, Minn, Wisc, NW, Ill, Ind, Pur

At least then the east would be east and the west would be west.

los barcos

November 19th, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

on saturday morning, i tried explaining to my NFL-loving girlfriend that college is better because of people like denard, fanbase passion, tradition, rivalries, etc etc etc.  

and then four hours later i read that we're adding maryland and rutgers.  





November 19th, 2012 at 12:43 PM ^

You still have to divide the money, now among 14 members instead of 12.  Adding two programs nobody gives a shit about dilutes the product, it doesn't increase demand.  If anyone thinks Maryland fans clamoring for the BTN creates more revenue than Michigan/OSU/PSU/Nebraska are getting already or could get if they just sold their own rights to their giant fanbases they are just nuts.  I doubt demand for games is even at a break even point (I've seen Iowa and Purdue fans regularly at sports bars in Southern California gathering to watch games, yet I've never seen a Maryland fan outside the DC area and never seen a Rutgers fan in my life).

The only way this works is with an additional concerted effort to screw over the fans, something that could have just been done while leaving the league at 12 teams.


November 19th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

Ehh my impression of the east coast is that too few people here are from here. They care about their hometown team. But regardless I cannot overstate how little anyone in the dc market cares about Maryland football despite campus being in the dc suburbs. I don't think this captures the east coast at all. Far more m shirts here on Saturday than Maryland shirts


November 19th, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

The BTN works financially because if you go to a sports bar in Southern California on a Saturday you'll see fans from Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin clustered together watching their game.  If you go next door you'll see OSU, Nebraska, PSU, etc. fans.  Each school with a sizeable group every week.  You don't see the same thing with schools like Rutgers or Maryland. 


Expatriate Duck

November 19th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

You don't need one more Maryland or Rutgers fan to demand the BTN in order to make money. It's all about the carriage fees that it gets for being on basic cable. You can bet the conference and its partner News Corp. will be pushing hard to get the BTN on basic cable in MD, NJ, and NYC now and most likely succeeding. This doesn't take into account the new First Tier rights which are due to expire 2017.


November 19th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

Then you could just do all the shit you mentioned without inviting them into the conference.  And again with the negotiated rights, Maryland and Rutgers only help if they add more money to the pot than the median team in the league does, since it all gets divided up anyway.  If you think Maryland and Rutgers are more valuable than Iowa/Wisconsin/MSU/Illinois/Purdue then you are out of your mind.

Expatriate Duck

November 19th, 2012 at 1:20 PM ^

I'm not saying they are more valuable, just that their inclusion creates a critical mass for getting BTN on basic cable and not a sports tier in the DC/NJ/NYC area.

News Corp. is purchasing a 49% stake in the YES Network.

News Corp. also has a 49% stake in the BTN.

YES reaches 12 million homes in the NYC metro area with a subscriber fee of $3 a month for revenue last year of $405 million (excluding advertising). FOX and their partners can now turn around and demand that the BTN be placed on basic cable in NYC or else you don't get the YES Network. This also creates added content for the BTN and the advertising fees that go with it. Selling advertising for an Illinois vs Maryland game will get you more money than a Big Ten soccer game.

Rutgers and Maryland are two more mouths to feed, but do you really think that the conference is going to add two new members on a whim? They must be pretty sure that the addition of these two schools will result in a fair amount of extra revenue. Besides, they willalmost certainly have to buy into the BTN the same way NU is currently doing, and thus won't get a full share until year 6 of their membership.

I'm not happy about the addition to these two to the conference, but I see the reason behind it from a revenue stand point if all goes to plan.


November 19th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

YES and the BTN can try to shove their programming down people's throats without Rutgers.  There are already way more fans of the existing 12 B1G schools in NY than there are Rutgers fans who are willing to pay more money to see their team play Purdue or Buttfuck State in the nonconference season. 

If we're counting on increased advertising from non-revenue sports, this is a shitty deal.  This is all about football and the two schools we picked up suck at football and have no fans.

And no, I am not convinced anyone at the Big Ten knows what they are doing (SEE: stupid divisional alignment, stupid division names, stupid logo, etc.).

My name ... is Tim

November 19th, 2012 at 1:47 PM ^

I'm an outlier, in that Cablevision/Optimum (run horribly by Jimmy Dolan - he of running the Knicks franchise into the ground fame) doesn't offer it as part of its basic package. However, Comcast and Verizon FioS already offer it and I would say are larger players in the NJ market at least. I'm suspecting those providers are also doing the same thing in NY as well. Penn State and Michigan already provided the tipping point to get BTN on basic packages in these areas for the most part.


November 19th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

I am with Brian on this one, let's move to the SEC with Ohio State. I had completley forgotten Rutgers exsisted until today, and the only reason Maryland is on my radar is because of lacrosse/jerseys. It is just going to be a bad fit. Why can't it just be like the good ol' days, and not all about getting dat' paper, Jim Delaney?  

The FannMan

November 19th, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

Pretty much.

At this point I have accepted that the Big Ten as I have known it for the 35 or so years I have been aware of such things no longer exists.  Those days are dead, gone and burried under a mountain of dirt by some balding, clown-looking guy handing out truck loads of cash.  At this point, the SEC North sounds equally as good as the B1G Legendary Leaders of Mega-Conference.  Neither of them has much to do with the now-dead Big Ten.



November 19th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

Worse yet, the truckloads of cash have become the point.  If the people who ran this show would get their heads out of their asses for just one second, it might occur to them that the measure of success for an athletic program (or team) is wins, not shareholder value.  Maryland will make more money in the B1G, yes.  What is the value of that money if they consistently go 2-6 in the conference?