Unverified Voracity Likes The Great Eye

Submitted by Brian on December 13th, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Volleyball final four tonight. 7 PM, ESPN 2.

Probably not important but for God's sake we have to at least try. Go here and vote for anything but "Existing Divisions plus one." I like what I'll be calling the Eye Of Sauron Configuration:


Ace with the quick photoshop for the win:


You have the two triangles of hate plus Nebraska's desire to make one of them a parallelogram of hate plus everyone else in the other division. The balance is as fair as possible: M-OSU versus everybody. The straight East-West split is a lot less drivable and places the three teams with the most recruiting muscle in the same division.

They will release results for this on Monday at 6:30, FWIW, and then ignore everything so they can create the JUSTICE and BEATIFIC TOLERANCE divisions while introducing the league's new logo, which is a stained glass window of Jim Delany with a halo.

BONUS: "*Actual Division Names TBD"

Line of the week.  From the MZone:

Thankfully, our pal Surrounded in Columbus is always good for a nugget or four from deep behind enemy lines.  Today he sent the picture below with the following email:

Most people would be disappointed to be 12-0 & staying home.  They're not most people.

No word yet on when Tressel Boned Us But We Still Hoisted Him on Our Shoulders Like Morons Lane is going up.

Ohio State hosts a "celebration of perfection against reason" Tuesday during which Galileo will be burned at the stake and the sun declared to revolve around the earth.

Tell me something I don't know. Maurice Clarett:

He was a hard worker in practice and in games. But off the field, he was living a completely different life. "I took golf, fishing, and softball as classes," Clarett says. "Away from class, anything you can think of I did in my 13 months at Ohio State." Drugs and women were two of the things. Cars were another—he owned three of them at a time, including a brand-new Cadillac and Lexus. "I was living the NFL life in college," he says. "I got paid more in college than I do now in the UFL.

Hey, guys who were interested in Marawatch: now is a high-leverage time for some private investigations of OSU.

Scorched-earth bombing of the week. From Patrick Hruby on the insane levels of subsidy thrown out to nonprofit entities like… the NFL.

In the eyes of the IRS, the National Football League is considered a nonprofit outfit. Just like the United Way. Read that again. The NFL -- a league that makes roughly $9 billion in revenue per season and will collected a guaranteed $27 billion in television money over the next decade -- enjoys the same tax breaks as, say, your local chamber of commerce, because both are classified as 501(c)6 organizations. Under federal law, 501(c)6 organizations -- essentially, business leagues -- are defined as associations of persons having some common business interest, the purpose of which is to promote such common interest and not to engage in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit. Does that sound like the NFL to you?

It's been said before but the contrast between socialist NFL and the largely capitalist, competition-driven way European leagues are set up is kind of amazing. I envy soccer fans their league structure in which teams at the bottom are punished, not rewarded, and poor performers drop out of existence. Imagine a world in which the Lions are a fourth-division team and some other Michigan outfit is competing in the NFL. Mmmm. Justice.

Instead, William Clay Ford has been allowed to ruin pro football in Detroit for 50 years. Down with antitrust exemptions for sports.

Speaking of, OH MY GOD. This is from Bylaw Blog proprietor John Infante is… bizarre. Probably unworkable. It has a zero point zero percent chance of actually happening. And it was posted in February, at which point I missed it. But it's kind of amazing to think about:

The College Basketball Champions League (CBBCL) would be the premier college basketball competition. It would consist of the following stages:

  • A qualifying stage of up to three rounds;
  • A group stage over six weeks;
  • A knockout stage of four rounds.

The CBBCL as currently configured would consist of 56–58 teams. All bids to the CBBCL would be automatic bids based on winning or finishing high in your conference. A rating or coefficient system would be used on the conference level, and would be based solely on a conference’s performance in the CBBCL.

Basically, throw over the current model in favor of a Euro soccer model, cups and all. Again, never never happen but thinking about it is pretty cool. No more Binghamton games for top teams as they compete in their conference and the Champions League, just wall-to-wall killer games.

Again, never happen in a million years but it's always fun to think of ways to make revenue by increasing the excitement level of the sport instead of just making fans more and more resentful. One way to do that is to add more silverware. Right now most American sports are structured so that there is one thing to strive for and that thing is determined by fairly random playoff at the end of a regular season.

The February NBA game is the quintessential example of the disease this leads to, and while I find complaints that no one cares about college basketball until the tournament to be unconvincing, people are thinking about goosing the rest of the year:

“Once the reforms to the college football postseason are complete, we have a responsibility to think long and hard about how we can improve the basketball regular season,” said Larry Scott, the commissioner of the Pacific-12 Conference. “The game deserves it.”

Here's an idea: play every nonconference game at the same time on the same court. Yeah! /markhollis'd.

Here's a better idea: expand the preseason tourney exemption to move away from one-weekend events played on neutral courts to a mini-me version of a cup competition in which regular season champions from the previous year square off on randomly-drawn home courts until you get to a final four, which is at MSG or bid out. There are 33, so one play-in game, three weeks of Friday night games, and then a Final Four. Silverware that means something and packs out home floors. HOME FLOORS, people.

Consider your travel plans today. Not those travel plans. Joe Lunardi threw out an updated bracket because ten games into the season's as good a time as any. The bracket has Michigan a one seend(!), bringing forth a question and a statement.

The question: what does Joe Lunardi do nine months out of the year?

The statement: for the first time it looks like the NCAA tournament's decision to break everything into pods and try to get as many top seeds close to home will benefit Michigan, as they're slotted into Auburn Hills in this and any other bracket that bothers to list where people will be.

It will be hard for them to exit that territory since top four seeds usually get priority close to home and there aren't many teams projected to make the top four who would prefer to go to the Palace: MSU, obviously, and then Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and maybe Illinois. With Dayton as another outlet for any of those teams, three or four of them would have to pass Michigan to get that Palace spot. So, yeah.

If Michigan makes the Sweet 16, they'd probably get bumped out of Indianapolis unless they finish above the Hoosiers on the S-Curve. That might not be so bad since they're not playing the regional finals at the basketball arena, but rather the Colts' Stadium. While it will be funny to see Indiana basketball outdraw the Big Ten Championship game significantly, most of those seats are going to be terrible.

Aw man, the other travel plans make you feel baaaad. After hemming and hawing about going to the bowl game I finally did get a flight, and now I feel like a jerk for doing so:

8:54PM EST December 11. 2012 - No bowl game in college football pays more money to one person than the Outback Bowl in Tampa Bay.

His name is Jim McVay, the game's president and chief executive officer.

According to tax forms, the bowl paid McVay $753,946 in fiscal year 2010, $693,212 in 2009 and $808,032 in 2008. His pay has nearly doubled since 2002, when he earned $404,253. This year, his game matches Michigan (8-4) and South Carolina (10-2) on Jan. 1.

"He's done a fabulous job," says Mike Schulze, a spokesman for the game. "It's about being fairly compensated based on what the market dictates."

Dammit. This is why I don't go to bowl games.  McVay made more than the CEO of the American Red Cross, which has revenues of $3.5 billion. The Outback Bowl brought in 10 million, of which they are paying this joker 7.5%. Also:

The median salary for the 15 bosses at the non-profit bowls reviewed by USA TODAY Sports is about three times higher than the $132,739 median for a nonprofit chief executive, according to a study of 3,786 mid-to-large charities in 2010 by Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog.

I mean seriously I feel bad for supporting this in any way.

Q for a non-Rose Bowl rookie: should I just scalp in Tampa? I assume that face value is for suckers, right?

Rutgers lollercoaster. The Big Ten is going to threaten cable companies in the newly expanded Big Ten footprint unless they cut the league the same deal the Midwest does, except this time this is their leverage:

The fact that Maryland and Rutgers are joining the Big Ten Conference doesn’t guarantee that their games will be on the Big Ten Network. In fact, several of their games may not be available locally at all — TV or broadband — when they kick off their Big Ten seasons in 2014.

Maryland and Rutgers face the possibility of having at least two football games and at least 15 basketball games go untelevised locally when they join the conference in a year and a half.

That’s because the Big Ten Conference is looking into a strategy that could keep all Maryland and Rutgers games — encompassing all sports — off of the Big Ten Network unless local distributors place the channel on an expanded basic tier. The Big Ten used that strategy successfully in Nebraska last year when the Cornhuskers joined the conference, and the conference is expected to use it again in 2014 when Maryland and Rutgers join.

I think that'll probably work in DC thanks to Maryland's lacrosse and basketball outfits but if it doesn't it is going to be delightful to see Comcast get into a fight because of the team that plays in the Comcast Center. I cannot wait for that standoff to go down.

I find it difficult to believe many—if any—New York area cable companies are going to look at the threat of not getting two Rutgers football games a year and cave; not having Rutgers basketball is probably a selling point. Here's to a decades-long ban on Rutgers content on the BTN.

Etc.: Get out while you can, Catholic schools! form a sensible 10-12 conference from Milwaukee to DC and watch people like it! Maryland gets money up front to leave the ACC. Chesson and Darboh called out as impressive players early in bowl practice, which yes please. Burke declares M elite. Hardaway's recent shooting is the closest thing Michigan has to a concern right now. Surprise Michigan still doesn't run zone.



December 13th, 2012 at 6:42 PM ^

We can be the BEC.  The BEC network.   The Pupil and Iris divisions.

Big Ten of B1G is starting to seem outdated.  I think with all the re-alignments and teams switching conferences, so many traditional rivalries are being destroyed and the uniform lalapalooza going on, traditionis going the way of the dodo.

Let's change the name, the logo and the divisions and be done with it.  I'm starting to think that playing OSU in the middle of the season would be to our advantage because they always seem to start slow and are at their best in November.  If we played them in October every year, then we might be able to make it a night game and improve the stage and win more often.

Hugh Jass

December 13th, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^

an idea to improve sports that are boring - like soccer.  I suppose it could be adopted for basketball too if as Commissioner Larry Scott says the game needs fixing.  I suggest that every fan that shows up to a game receives a slingshot and 20 marbles.  Now you have entertainment!


December 13th, 2012 at 7:06 PM ^

90% of the Rutgers & MD games without any issues. Purdue vs MD or Iowa vs Rut wouldn't draw a competitive audience.

With presumably 7 games each Saturday during conf play and only 3 real time slots (12, 3:30 and 7:00) on BTN, ESPN and/or ABC can still pick and choose 2-3 games.

No skipping UM or OSU games against them might start a riot ...


December 13th, 2012 at 7:20 PM ^

From the article:

"McVay made more than the CEO of the American Red Cross, which has revenues of $3.5 billion."

True, but most bowl organizations are less corrupt then the ARC.


Salvation Army >>> Red Cross


December 13th, 2012 at 9:51 PM ^

I hate when people spew this crap out without any basis. The Red Cross has a 92% charitable commitment rating according to Forbes, which is higher than the Salvation Army at 88%. My point isn't to compare the two organizations, as they both do great things, but to dispute your misguided and baseless information that gets passed through word of mouth.


December 13th, 2012 at 8:21 PM ^


I'm clearly in the minority and maybe I've not read all... the many debates or details on this BUT:

There are two traditions for Michigan and Ohio.

1) They play in the last game of the year every year in the biggest rivalry in college sports.

2)  They play for the B10 championship and Rose Bowl every year.

The only way to maintain these traditions is to keep Ohio and Michigan in separate divisions and have them keep in their schedule the annual season ending game.  And that is the status quo.  I don't care if we were to risk back to back games every year.  I don't care what we call the divisions.  

There is no way that Michigan and Ohio should not have a chance to play in the B1G championship game every year...which in reality, with the bigger conference and additional football powers, will not be that often.  

If they are in the same division they will never again play for the B10 championship ...NEVER!

And that will devalue the game over the next 20 years.  They will only be playing for a division title.



December 13th, 2012 at 8:47 PM ^

I'd rather have Michigan & OSU in Separate divisions with NO protected rivalry game.

I think the idea that the winner still has to play a different division champ is anticlimatic, as well as the possibility of early season or back to back games being stupid.

If both teams win their respective divisions they would actually "deserve" to play against each other.  The hype for the "Game" (even if only once a decade) would be epic and would dwarf any current night game WOW gimics.

The10 year war is long over, 14-16 B1G teams, championships plus playoffs have and will kill whats left of the M+OSU tradition if peole continue to cling to it out of habit.  

I'd rather keep it legitimate (at the cost of it being rare) than dillute it any further.


December 13th, 2012 at 9:23 PM ^

I like the eye configuration but suggest a few tweaks. The inner eye (of the soul? the soulful?) has seven schools. That's an uneven number. So we might add Minnesota to the mix, for an even eight.

However Minnesota has a natural rivalry with Iowa. (Or unnatural rivalry: who knows what they do with Floyd of Rosedale through those long winter storms?) So I suppose we should add Iowa too.

Unfortunately that gets us back to an uneven number. I notice that Wisconsin is between the original seven and the newly added pair, so perhaps we can include the Badgers.

Now we're at an even ten.

That only leaves the question of what to call this big grouping.


December 14th, 2012 at 3:02 AM ^

Can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. If you are I apologize. If not, are you suggesting that we have 10 schools in 1 division and 4 schools in the other? The reason the inner circle has 7 schools is because the B1G will now have 14 schools divided into 2 divisions. Thus each division containing the same number (7) of schools.


December 14th, 2012 at 12:30 AM ^

I see the advantages of the "all-seeing eye" conference, but I am just drawn to the Big 10,11,12,13,14 being split into the NW and SE divisions.  It makes sense geographically and evens out the travel objections.  To be honest I havn't thought about other ramifications except that osu gets a game each year in some fertile recruiting ground and UM doesn't.

Can we please just change the division names.  At first I didn't mind but for some reason I just don't like them.  And change the conference name too.  It just feels rediculous that we have 14 teams in the Big 10.  I get the brand reason, but it just doesnt work.

Please forgive me for whining.

Sons of Louis Elbel

December 14th, 2012 at 7:57 AM ^

The east-west proposal splits IU and Purdue, which I assume means we'd still have protected crossovers. I think they're a bad idea b/c they screw up competitive balance (huge advantage to Sparty to get IU every year while we get tOSU), but in this alignment it might work to our benefit, since it seems like the obvious pick for us would be Minnesota, to preserve the Jug game on an annual basis.


December 14th, 2012 at 8:18 AM ^

I assume the Big Ten will incorporate a nine-game conference schedule in the near term.  It might take a few years to implement given the currently contracted non-conference games and the financial penalties that would occur if they're cancelled.  But any division alignment should assume the B1G will have nine conference games.

Since Michgan and Ohio State fans are so resistant to the idea of playing one another on a date other than the last games of the season, the two programs have to be in the same division.  While the stakes of The Game may change from being the Big Ten champion to a slot in the B1G conference championship game, I submit that it's changed already.  We've seen Michigan beat Ohio State and end up in the Orange Bowl (1999) and lose to OSU and end up in the Rose Bowl (2005) against a non-Pac 12 team (Texas).

Beyond that, of course, is that the team's ultimate goal will be changing in 2014.  With a four-team playoff, getting a berth as one of the "College Football Final Four" should be UM's goal. Is that best served by being in a situations whereby UM would have to play OSU in back-to-back football games?  My answer to that is no.

I have a confession to make though--I live in the Washington DC area.  The prospect of having Michigan play Maryland and/or Rutgers out here on the east coast is one of the big reasons why I'm happy those two programs were added to the Big Ten.  It Virginia and North Carolina were also added to that list, I'd be ecstatic.  That's one of the reason why I support the east-west alignment.

Having said that, I think the conference will have to make a decision on what's the best option for promoting not only the B1G in the mid-Atlantic, but to also ensure the Big Ten Network (BTN) has the best chance of getting onto basic carriage from western Connecticut to northern Virginia.  I suspect that having three major brands associated with the east--Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State--will be the best way to achieve exactly that goal.  Getting UM, OSU and PSU playing games on an annual basis in the NYC/NJ area and the DC/Baltimore area is an important part of that  of that strategy.

The one thing I would do with the divisional alignment is place Michigan State in the west and keep the two schools in the state of Indiana in the east.  With a nine-game conference schedule, MSU becomes UM's protected rival and the conference adopts a 6-1-2 scheduling set up with six division games, one protected cross-divisional game per year and 2 games a season among the six other teams in the other diivision.

With Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State and Ohio State as regulars on the schedule, it means UM fans based in the state of Michigan don't have a long haul to get to those games.  Conversely, the large body of east coast alumni would be in a better position to attend Michigan games against Rutgers, Maryland and Penn State in person with the east-west setup.  This should help maximize the presence of UM fans at the opposing teams stadiums, especially if the Rutgers and Maryland games are played at the pro stadium in New Jersey, Baltimore and outside Washington DC.

In regard to the six remaining teams, Michgan would play them each two times over a six-year time period.  The could be paired up among the stronger and weaker programs as such:




Here's what UM's six-year conference schedule set up might look like:

Year 1 (5 Home/4 Away)

Ohio State, at Nebraska, Penn State, at Michigan State, Purdue, at Indiana, Rutgers, at Maryland, Minnesota

Year 2 (4 Home/5 Away)

at Ohio State, Nebraska, at Penn State, Michigan State, at Purdue, Indian, at Rutgers, Maryland, at Minnesota

Year 3 (5 Home/4 Away)

Ohio State, at Wisconsin, Penn State, at Michigan State, Purdue, at Indiana, Rutgers, at Maryland, Illinois

Year 4 (4 Home/5 Away)

at Ohio State, Wisconsin, at Penn State, Michigan State, at Purdue, Indiana, at Rutgers, Maryland, at Illinois

Year 5 (5 Home/4 Away)

Ohio State, at Iowa, Penn State, at Michigan State, Purdue, at Indiana, Rutgers, at Maryland, Northwestern

Year 6 (4 Home/5 Away)

at Ohio State, Iowa, at Penn State, Michigan State, at Purdue, Indiana, at Rutgers, Maryland, at Northwestern

With three non-conference games on the schedule, Michigan will likely have one home-and-home series plus two buy in games.  UM would be hosting its major non-conference opponent in Ann Arbor in the years with four home conference games, i.e., Years 2, 4, and 6 on this rotation.  Those are the same years where the Ohio State and Penn State games are on the road, which will generally mean there's a good balance of challenging home/away games each season.  

This would be in contrast to the current situation whereby UM plays Notre Dame, Ohio State and Nebraska all at home or all on the road.  


December 14th, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

you wanna stick all the newbs with Iowa, Minnie and Wiscy? I think we should pick up 6 more teams, put them in a division with PSU, Neb, Maryland and Rutgers and have a bowl game for the winner of each division to decide who's best.  We'll call it the Orchid Bowl.


December 14th, 2012 at 9:05 AM ^

First and foremost, basketball is going to play a factor here.  The "eye" alignment puts 6 of the 8 best basketball programs in one division, and yes I think there will be divisions for basketball.  The reason being it works for functionality - (play divisional opponents twice, home and home, while playing all other divisional opponents once for a total of 19 conference games in basketball).  The other reason I like east - west is because I don't want to see Michigan play Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern and Indiana in football every year.  I am tired of lackluster football match-ups.  Having those 4 in your division guarantees 2 body bag B1G games per year.  I would much rather see Penn State and Sparty rotate on and off with Ohio and our best cross over game.  Also, I think there is something to be said for creating an SEC West type of division.  Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Arkansas have all benefited from it.  Kids want to play in big games on national tv with everyone watching.  Michigan v. Purdue-Indiana-Illinois-Northwestern is not on national tv in primetime.  Michigan v. Penn State-Ohio will be on national tv.


December 14th, 2012 at 12:00 PM ^

Keep adding teams until there are 10 divisions so that the name Big 10 makes sense.  You'll probably need to look outside the US to get enough teams though.  Get into the emerging markets before it's too late and the SEC gets there first.  China is basically one market, just one school and BTN will be included in the basic package for all 1 billion people.  India might require more teams to be profitable, but think of the potential.


December 14th, 2012 at 12:40 PM ^

Guys, the obvious choice for new divisions is simple:

Red Division - Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio State, Nebraska, Rutgers, Maryland, and Minnesota

Non-Red Division: Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Illinois, Purdue, Iowa, and Northwestern

It's a helluva lot more sensical than the Eye of Sauron.


December 14th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

Scalping is definitely the cheaper way to go, but I always buy through the UM athletic depatment because that is how bowls determine who "travels" better.  If UM can consistently sell more tickets to bowl games than other teams then we will potentially get better bowl bids in the future.  That is one of the reasons we ended up in the Sugar bowl last year and in the Outback bowl this year.  So for me I understand face value is much higher than what the tickets will be scalping for, but I am hoping to contribute to better bowl games in the future.


December 14th, 2012 at 3:28 PM ^

So how does this scoring stuff work? I posted (my first post) what I thought was pretty darn good joke, suggesting a split that ends up with the 10-member Big Ten, circa 2000. Good or not, I thought it was an extreme enough "suggestion" that the joke would be obvious, without needing to be explained. (I dislike explaining jokes. Kinda kills the humor.)

For that joke, I get 2 points. The person who didn't get that it was a joke, and helpfully explained that my "suggestion" would mean lopsided divisions of 10 and 4 also gets 2 points. The next person, hinting at the joke, gets 2 points.

So as long as you write something you get 2 points?

(Note: Explaining the Subject heading joke, "swish," is the word occasionally used when a basketball goes through the net without touching the rim, resulting in a score of 2 points.