B1G to go to 9 or 10 game conference schedule

Submitted by dnak438 on February 11th, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Per Delany's interview with the Chicago Tribune:

B1G's Delany to Tribune: Status quo of 8 conf games "not even on the table" now. It'll be either 9 or 10. Decision in spring.

A CBS write up is here with the following quote from Delany:

“We like to play each other, and those are not hollow words," said Delany. "We are getting larger and want to bind the conference together.”


West German Judge

February 11th, 2013 at 6:33 PM ^

It's about time.

I was all for going to a 9 game B1G conference schedule even when the Pac12 alliance was on the table.  If we add two more teams to the conference then a 10 game conference schedule should arrive in tandem.

Darth Wolverine

February 11th, 2013 at 6:36 PM ^

IMO you can't technically be a conference champion without beating all teams. Granted some conferences have too many teams to do that, but my opinion still stands.



February 11th, 2013 at 7:10 PM ^

Since number of losses is the sole metric of quality, teams become weaker when they play a more difficult schedule because they're likely to lose more games. And conference-wide this will almost certainly be so, because the conference is winning the vast majority of the games that are to be replaced and they only win 50% of the in-conference games.

Well, maybe "point" wasn't quite the right word.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:18 PM ^

as Dave Brandon put it in his interview at 11 Warriors:

If we were to go to 10 conference games, which some people are suggesting with 14 teams and, certainly, there is merit to that, you avoid the five and four imbalance.

But now you’ve only got the flexibility of scheduling two non-conference games and if you want to play seven home games both of them have to be at home. When you do that, you really put us in a position where we really can’t go on the road to play a big BCS opponent because they aren’t going to schedule you on a one-and-done. They’re going to want to play a home-and-home.

So the consequences of going to 10, when overlaid with the fact that you have to play seven home games, really puts Gene and me in a position where we won’t be traveling to play non-conference away games. I, personally, am concerned about that. Part of what our fans and college football fans want to see are these great intersectional rivalries that can develop or just good matchups.

Section 1

February 11th, 2013 at 11:07 PM ^

Re: Brandon's concerns about the number of Conference games (half of which will be away games) and the inability to schedule any good out-of-conference games, in order to assure Michigan fans of 7 home games...

I'd be willing to cut Brandon some slack, on a few seasons where we might have only six games on the home schedule.  One particular reason to cut Brandon some slack on that is that there are always options for determined Michigan fans to see the team play on the road -- E. Lansing, Evanston, Bloomington, West Lafayette, Champaign, even Madison -- are not such terrible drives.  The visits are generally a lot of fun.

But the big reason for season ticket holders to be angry about a slate of just six home games are the gut-wrenching PSD requirements; payable in full before you can then pay the money for six, or seven, games.  My PSD is more than the cost of the year's tickets, for seven games! 


February 11th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

If you assume that you would play everyone in  your division regardless, then with either a nine or ten game schedule, you could create scenarios in the 14-team version of the conference where you could play most teams in the other division at least every other year. One or two would get bumped to every two years, but this seems like it is a gray zone between the present state and needing to consider something akin to the so-called "pod system". That being said, I wouldn't mind more conference games if it meant overall better OOC games. 


February 11th, 2013 at 7:41 PM ^

non-conference cupcakes pad the record and are a profit windfall for the big schools.

big conferences destroy rivalries and make the conference less meaningful.

big conferences with unbalanced schedules will result in some teams playing a much easier schedule in some years will skew the eventual champions of each division and overall.

perhaps focus should be on the division and only those records get you into the championship against the other division.

can you imagine the horror of a young man from iowa not having the opportunity to compete with scholar athletes from rutgers? /s


February 11th, 2013 at 7:19 PM ^

With a 10-game schedule and 14 teams, the B1G could adopt a 6-1-3 setup with teams playing the six programs in their division, one protected cross division opponent and then three of the other six teams in the opposite division.  That allows programs to play one another at least twice in a four year period.

They aren't looking at adapting this until 2016 or 2017, which means they're synching this up with the new television contracts.  It's also a signal to any program that is a possible expansion candidate that the B1G intends to play as many conference games as possible while maintaining the financial bottom line.

It'll be interesting to see what programs do with their non-conference schedules if there are only two opponents on it.  Some will just schedule two easy opponents.  Others might do a home-and-home and opt to play alternate years of six and seven home games.  I suppose it will all depend on what their post-season objectives are (playoff or just getting into a bowl game) and what the impact will be revenue wise not only for the athletic department, but the communities where the universities are located.

It's also encouraging to see that they're looking at playing conference games the first two weeks of September.  It should make the schedule somewhat more interesting, but it has to be recognized as a move for television.  I also wonder if teams are really going to schedule difficult non-conference opponents late in the season.  The SEC doesn't do it and I can't imagine there are too many B1G teams that would do it as well.



Perkis-Size Me

February 11th, 2013 at 7:21 PM ^

Well if the conference is expanding to 14+ then this is the right move. I don't want it to be 5-6 years before we play Wisconsin or Nebraska. I hope we still schedule 1 big out of conference game each year. The less cupcake games we have, the better. Sorry but playing Eastern Michigan does nothing to help us make a case for making the 4-team playoff.


February 11th, 2013 at 7:31 PM ^

on how this won't hurt B1G teams down the road. By adding conference games, you're more than likely increasing everyone's SOS which will equate to conference teams having worse overall records meaning less bowl games for the lesser guys and potentially our best team(s) missing out on the playoff. Or am I missing something? Seems like it hurts us unless other conferences follow suit


February 12th, 2013 at 12:01 AM ^

What we need to do is eliminate conference games entirely and go to a full schedule of 12 MAC games for every B1G team. (I know, there aren't quite enough MAC teams to go around--some of the schools could play a middling 1-AA school to make up the difference.) Best overall record wins the conference.

It would do away with the schedule-imbalance problems; every conference school would play almost exactly the same schedule. Everyone but Minnesota would be bowl-eligible every year, we'd dominate the MNC because we'd always have at least two schools get through the regular season undefeated, and probably more....

Or am I missing something?

Indiana Blue

February 11th, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

and it could be used for all schools.   Simply go to a 13 game season.   Ohhh that was tough /s.

There is no magic in 12  -  hell we now play after thanksgiving anyway.  Just add one more week onto the existing schedule ... its not like the students aren't still in school.  When I was young Michigan played a 10 game schedule, then 11 & now 12.   Well the sizes of all conferences are growing so it only makes sense to add that 13 game.

This will also allow for schools to have 7 home games every year  -  which is critical for (you guessed it) financial reasons !!!!

Go Blue!

Wolverine Devotee

February 11th, 2013 at 7:39 PM ^

Night games in November? Are you fucking kidding me? NO! 

We just came off a season of no noon games until november. Even UMASS was a 3:30 game. I was at the point last year where I was taking naps before big games. (Yes I realize I am insane). The suspense kills me all day and the whole argument of more tailgating time is invalid. My mind is not on tailgating before the game, it is thinking about the game. I don't care if it's EMU or Nebraska, I'm still nervous until that ball is kicked off. 

I'm not of "those guys" who leaves right after the game to beat traffic. Cannot stand that crap nor do I understand it. Why wait in your car forever with the clogging of traffic when you can party after the (hopefully win) game? And if you're on the golfcourse, forget about it. I tried that before and it was a nightmare getting out of there even after mostly everyone left. 

I usually stay after every game until everyone leaves the lot I'm in and it usually is dark out.

I am in favor of playing conference teams more. I want the long series with charter members of the B1G to continue on a yearly basis like illinois, minnesota, wisconsin, purdue & northwestern.  



February 11th, 2013 at 7:50 PM ^

I personally prefer the 4 non conference games... Especially the cupcakes it gives younger players playing time, it gives your offense and defense time to get a true identity, work out the kinks and its also 4 easy wins


February 11th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

I am fine with this.  Enough with playing MAC level competition for roughly three games every year.  Big Ten games are more exciting, and it will make the races for the division titles more exciting.


February 11th, 2013 at 8:30 PM ^

I think this will mean the first 2 games every year are even bigger pancakes than what we're used to.  Somewhat like Brandon stated in the quote.

That's not good news.

I also don't see teams going to 13 games.  With conference championships and bowl games many teams are already played 14.  Adding a 13th regular season game would push it to 15 meaning kids are playing almost a full NFL regular season.

Comapre that to basketball where college plays under 40 games, less than half an NBA regular season.  Last year M baseball played 56 games, compared to a 162 pro season. Hockey played 41, basically half of an NHL season (that doesn't involve a lockout).

With the two football seasons already so similar (I know, I'm not counting preseason and playoffs) and ALL the health concerns being based on the long-term damage of football specifically, I would be incredibly surprised if more games were added, especially given the addition for top teams once a playoff is in effect.  Eventually I would imagine even the NCAA would say enough is enough.


February 11th, 2013 at 8:55 PM ^

A SEC/B1G challenge for one of the OOC games? Even though at the beginning it would a big SEC advantage, it would benefit the B1G in the long run. Remember the B1G/ACC Challenge began with the ACC dominating and the B1G has leveled the playing field. To be the best you have to beat the best... It would easier to recruit players for the opportunity to beat an SEC team and still play in the Midwest. Thoughts?


February 11th, 2013 at 10:07 PM ^

You won't see Indiana, Wisconsin, Penn State playing these teams in bowl games. The point is, just like the B1G/ACC Challenge, it may be a way to increase recruiting abilities for the lower tier teams to play in the south and recruits like to play the best. Even if we get our ass kicked the first few times, I think it would improve the players and coaches recruiting abilities. Best Big Ten team plays in the Rose Bowl, not the SEC. That's all I'm saying.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:10 PM ^

Why would the SEC want to do that?  What with chances to play Savannah State and Louisiana Monroe sitting there so they can score 84 points for their fans and fill their pockets with money for their recruits?  Nah, they would never go for a commitment to more big games across the board.

Sure, Alabama has no problem with it.  But Florida would have to break from playing Miami and Florida State, etc.  I think most of the SEC wants to keep the cupcakes.  (oh wait, whoever draws Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, or Iowa would still get quite the cupcake)

But as the other poster mentioned, the SEC and B1G have a bowl game alignment currently that takes care of most of this.