Per Delany - B1G considering new conference title format, best 2 teams square off

Submitted by Bo Schemheckler on December 5th, 2018 at 1:15 PM

The B1G is considering just sending the best 2 teams to the conference title game regardless of divisions. I think most would like this change and our favorite comedian/masturbator says it is getting more talk than ever before.



December 5th, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

The only thing worse than losing to OSU once would be losing to OSU twice in two weeks.

Alternatively, no Michigan season in history would be as good as one that included two consecutive victories of OSU.

However, I don't really think it makes sense to use the same system as the Big 12 when there is such a huge rivalry slotted for the last week of every season. 


December 5th, 2018 at 1:24 PM ^

I absolutely do not want a structure that would allow Michigan and Ohio State to play in back-to-back weeks (and, yes, I realize we had this with "Leaders" and "Legends").  It would cheapen the Game.  And, as would have happened this year, it would lead to a season in which one or both of the teams knew going into the Game that they were slotted for a championship game rematch.  Do you rest your players in the Game when you know there is a rematch a week later?  I assume not, but I don't even want that kind of thing on the table.  


December 5th, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

If Michigan would have won it would have been a rematch anyways against Northwestern no matter which way the system is set up so I don't think the big ten cares much if there is a rematch. I don't think they would care either if it "cheapens the game because it would still be a highly watched game and that's their main worry.

With the playoff system the way that it is now, it is a resounding no you don't sit players. 


December 5th, 2018 at 2:08 PM ^

A compelling case can be made that the only thing standing between where we are right now and a proper 8 game playoff are the conference championship games.  If the winner of those games do not "advance" by way of winning them there is really absolutely no point in having them.  I like when I hear any discussion like the one about modifying the BIG championship game because it signifies that some of the people who "matter" in this discussion are beginning to see that the current CFP and college post-season format is a hot mess that needs to be addressed, ASAP.


December 5th, 2018 at 2:26 PM ^

There's nothing "proper" about an 8-team playoff.  That's still too small to have an automatic bid for every conference.

This is only coming up because Jim is upset that Oklahoma got the nod over OSU.  Full stop.  He thinks that if OSU had been able to beat Michigan twice, they'd have hopped OU.

Title games without divisions are a joke.  Drop four teams from the conference, play a round-robin, and end the season the weekend before Thanksgiving with the de-facto Big Ten championship game between OSU and Michigan, and let the chips fall where the may.

Then get off my lawn! ;)


December 5th, 2018 at 2:31 PM ^

He is correct that they would have hopped OSU if they had beaten Michigan twice.  Hell, even Penn State might have done the trick.

And 8 is plenty for every Power 5 conference to have an auto-bid with a group of five team included and two at large bids.  It is the perfect number.


December 5th, 2018 at 2:57 PM ^

I'm not so sure about that - not this year. 

We all know what they did to us in The Game. In all likelihood, a rematch would be much closer. How would that help OSU?

Even if they crushed us a second time, it would only make us look worse.

They got their best chance by demolishing us the first time. Furthermore, they were lucky to be in the conversation after their lucky escape against MD. Fuck them.


December 5th, 2018 at 3:22 PM ^

"that's still to small to have an automatic bid for each conference."

With all due respect, who the name of all that's right and proper WANTS group of five conference teams to have an auto bid? That's 100% unfair, wrong, and in fact evil. Ok not evil.

Group of five teams have no business in a playoff, ever, and that's a scientific fact. Ok not a fact, and not scientific. 

G5 teams are inferior, and that is a fact. They have no business ruining a playoff. Football talent is not as well distributed as B-Ball, and G5 teams have no ability to win a playoff game, nor should they even be given a chance.


December 5th, 2018 at 3:44 PM ^

I do.

What's 100% unfair, wrong, and in fact evil is having a sport where you can win every single game you play and not win the championship.

Look, I don't think UCF is the best team in the country, but why not give them a chance?

Hell, people seem to love watching Alabama play Arkansas State during the regular season.  If the Red Wolves win the Sun Belt, give them a chance at the big boys in a game that matters.

Nobody would have given UMBC a chance against Virginia either, but now that's something that team can take with them for the rest of their lives.

Every team should control its own destiny at the beginning of a season.  My preferred format is 24 teams, but if you only want 16, that's fine; either way, you take every conference champion and the X best at-large teams.  Got snubbed by the selection committee?  Win your conference championship.


December 6th, 2018 at 10:33 AM ^

Not only is UCF not the best team in the country, every single team in the current top ten would beat them by two TD's or more. 

Imagine the ratings for a playoff game with Arkansas State. The thought itself is absurd. Why play a game (in playoffs) where one team has zero chance to win?

It's just a fact that G5 teams have not a little, but WAY less talent than P5 teams. And in the playoffs, unlike the regular season, there would be zero chance of an upset against a fully focused P5 team. That's just true. And because they have way less talent and play an inferior schedule against awful teams, they don't DESERVE the same credit that P5 teams deserve. 

G5 should be separated into a 1a type division, and the P5 it's own thing, to reflect the actual reality of football. 


December 5th, 2018 at 2:43 PM ^

The only reason to have the conference title games is to put more money to Jim Delaney's pocket.  The league office gets like 20% of all TV money to operate plus pay Jimbo a big fat $20 million bonus.  He is not going to kill the conference title game unless forced to - he is just a greedy old czar.

The B1G needs to leadership. 


December 5th, 2018 at 1:27 PM ^

I have to be completely honest.  In this new college football landscape, I don't think we are doing ourselves any favors (for ourselves or the BIG) by playing OSU as the final game of the season every year.  I personally think it is time to allow The Game to become a slightly more versatile rivalry game and move it around during the season to allow for possible night games and for its meaning within the season to evolve. It kind of feels like a "square peg/round hole" situation with the CFP and conference title format.

Reggie Dunlop

December 5th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

Moving the Ohio State game won't change anything, except ruin yet another college football tradition.

Last year's national champion in their last regular season game:

Nothing drives me more crazy than people trying to figure out how to be crowned the best team in the nation while simultaneously being afraid to play Ohio State.


December 5th, 2018 at 1:40 PM ^

I think we will just have to agree to disagree.  I believe strongly that the BIG is going to change the conference title game format as discussed in this post.  The current divisions do not produce representative contests in the championship game and unless Scott Frost can literally work miracles that is not going to change any time soon.  I don't think they will do another divisional re-alignment at this point.  So, I think the question is going to become whether it makes any sense to play the The Game as the last game of the season when there is going to be about a 50/50 chance the teams will play again a week later.

Reggie Dunlop

December 5th, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

Good idea.

I don't believe that at all. Your post, to me, no offense, love you, is no different than the dude last week who wanted to take Notre Dame off the schedule. If Michigan is going to be the best in the country, you have to beat Notre Dame and Ohio State. And Penn State. And MSU. And Wisconsin. And Purdue. And Nebraska. And everybody else.

Only a PTSD-suffering Michigan fan would waste keystrokes figuring out how to game the system so we can make a playoff while proving to be inferior to our on-field competition. (And only a similar idiot would waste his time validating this nonsense with a reply.)

If we're good enough to make it, we'll make it. Even if we lose the last game of the year like Alabama did a year ago. You don't need schedule tricks. You need a great football team.



December 5th, 2018 at 2:02 PM ^

I think it would be really helpful for you as a person to determine why it is that you cannot have a discussion without insulting people and calling people names.  It is a really odd and immature approach to differing opinions and stands out like a sore thumb on this blog. 

Moving the M v. OSU game to a different time during the season has nothing to do with being "afraid" of Ohio State.  It has to do with the fact that the divisional alignment and scheduling in the BIG has resulted in a complete shit show in terms of the conference representation, or lack thereof, in the College Football Playoff.


Reggie Dunlop

December 5th, 2018 at 2:11 PM ^

Dude, don't start with that. I called myself an idiot in that post because I think this topic is stupid. You've proven in past interactions to act like a lunatic when a debate gets away from you. Both you and your alter ego account. And if you would have left it at "Let's agree to disagree" (and I replied "Good idea") and not edited your reply to go off again, this would already be over.  (And I just re-read that. You got mad that I called you a "PTSD-suffering Michigan fan"? That was an insult to you? Yeesh.)

The Big Ten didn't have a CFP representative the past two years because Ohio State got crushed by Iowa and Purdue respectively. Those aren't division foes. Division realignment doesn't fix that. Those weren't the most formidable opponents on their schedule. Again, Ohio State is 12-0 against the Big Ten East the past two seasons. The division isn't the problem. That's not an opinion. That's a fact. It is apparently quite easy for the best team in the division to plow through the Big Ten East. Even stupid-ass Michigan State did it in 2015.

Poor us. Boo hoo.


December 5th, 2018 at 2:18 PM ^

You seem to have significant issues with interpersonal communication.  I did not edit my reply to "go off" and the debate is not "getting away from me."  This is but another example of exactly what I am talking about.  It is possible to have a discussion without deliberately sabotaging the decency of the exchange.  A lot of your posts would appear to be from about a pissed off eleven or twelve year old child who is not getting his way.  There is just no reason for it. 

Reggie Dunlop

December 5th, 2018 at 2:21 PM ^

Ah yes, your unrelated feelings. I will keep them in mind.

Do you have any thoughts on the topic at hand? Like the fact that 3 of the past 4 years the Big Ten East Champion and eventual conference champion went 6-0 against the vaunted Big Ten East? Only to be tripped up by a member of the B1G West? Any thoughts there?


December 5th, 2018 at 2:29 PM ^

1) Cross-divisional games are not as important because they do not have any impact on BIG East tie-breakers;

2) All of the losses you are talking about were road games in very hostile atmospheres;

3) Michigan State got incredibly lucky in 2015, not once but twice;

4) This year the loss you reference was directly after OSU's best player and team captain declared that he was leaving the program;

5) Coaches have to get their teams emotionally up so many times during the BIG East schedule that they are inevitably going to have a lapse somewhere along the way;

Is five enough or is there a particular number of reasons that you needed?


Reggie Dunlop

December 5th, 2018 at 2:34 PM ^

If any of these had any bearing on anything, this would be plenty. Alas, none of it is relevant to the conversation we are having. Moving Ohio State to the middle of the year, or switching up divisions won't change the possibility that:

1) You play quality teams from the other division

2) You have to play road games

3) Football teams get "lucky"

4) Important players get injured

5) Some games are treated as more important than others

What you are proposing, or at least supporting, doesn't change any of that. That's all going to happen no matter the make up of the divisions. Maybe 6 thru 10 will be better?



December 5th, 2018 at 2:44 PM ^

Are you serious?  Every single reason listed was directly responsive to the question you posed.  Perhaps you now do not like the question you asked, I don't know, but that has no bearing on the quality of the responses.

You are just ineffectively straw-manning your way through this post.

It is quite clear that Michigan and Ohio State are going to be the two best teams in the conference going forward.  Putting OSU earlier in the season and allowing for a possible rematch in the conference title game would boost both of their resumes.  If a team loses they have a chance to avenge the loss in the title game against a team who has climbed back up to being a Top 5 team.  If a team wins both they have two Top 10 wins and a really good resume. 

I think most people are sick of the BIG getting shut out of the Playoff or losing 30-something to 0 and the reason it is happening is because the representative that is going to the Playoff is not the best team in the conference.   Hell, even take Michigan out of the equation.  In 2015, Ohio State would have annihilated MSU on a neutral field at the end of the season and would have stood a good chance of winning the national championship.  Instead, MSU got to play Iowa who had no business even being in the Playoff discussion and would up being Alabama's sacrificial lamb.

The BIG has a scheduling and divisional alignment problem and it is hurting the conference.  It appears that you may be the only one who can't see that.

4th phase

December 5th, 2018 at 7:14 PM ^

I agree that in order for Michigan to be the best we have to beat OSU and we can't game the system to avoid them or something. However, I wouldn't put ND in that category. I don't see why we have to play them every year to prove ourselves. I say screw them let them play the ACC. 

Additionally gaming the schedule to make the playoffs (or at least improve your rankings to get a NY6)  has proven to work for the SEC. See Florida in the top 10 despite playing 2 FCS teams, Alabama and Georgia playing FCS schools before their rivalry game. Those sec teams never play north of the Mason dixon line. Gaming the schedule works in college sports and until there's some sort of scheduling system across NCAA or the committee stands up to weak SOS teams, it will continue to work.


December 6th, 2018 at 9:48 AM ^

This comment is instructive, but not in the way that you think. Is instructive because yesterday on Reddit, multiple people were commenting on the great tradition of Michigan and Ohio State always being the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

You know that's a recent addition, I know it's a recent addition, but it's caught on and for people in their early twenties is the only way they can remember the game being played. People will adjust to whatever. 


December 5th, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

I completely agree. I think it’s time to open the Game scheduling up to other times in the season. I think there’s a possibility we peaked during the Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan State trio and suffered from a letdown or overtraining (glycogen depletion?) for Indiana and OSU at the end of the season. OSU, contrastingly, had a low period 2/3 through the season and looked fresh against us. 

I wonder if we train so hard in the current system that it would be a benefit to face them earlier in the season and that the team got worn down this year at the end. 

Reggie Dunlop

December 5th, 2018 at 1:59 PM ^

Or don't. Beat Ohio State and enjoy the cake-walk weekend in Indianapolis.

Why would Michigan fans care about this? We haven't been good enough to win this division. Why? Because we got pistol-whipped by Ohio State the last infinity times we had a chance to achieve anything worthwhile. Are you asking to remove OSU from the Michigan football schedule?

James Franklin is bitching about how hard the East is. Why? Because Michigan and Ohio State beat his ass. Is that what we're doing? "Somebody make it easier for us! This is too hard!"

Ohio State missed the playoffs two straight years. Why? Because they got hammered by Purdue and Iowa. They mowed through the East undefeated for the 2nd straight year. It is not hard to do if you have the best team in the division.

JFC, you guys. Maybe we can move to the MAC and be the next UCF! 


December 5th, 2018 at 4:07 PM ^

I remember the end of the Brady Hoke tenure when people wanted to play in the Ivy League. So we could beat up on Harvard, Penn, and Cornell every year. We can become really soft as a fan base at times. Instead of figuring out ways to navigate the road we have, we often try to find the alternate route that makes us feel better.


December 5th, 2018 at 3:33 PM ^

if UM and OSU can possibly play each other in the B1G Championship Game (due to being in different divisions b/c the format changes to take the top 2 teams), they should play Week 1.  Move the additional OOC game to week 12 just like the SEC and then play a secondary rival the week after Thanksgiving.  Everyone will hate it until OSU and UM play each other in the B1G Championship and the winner goes to the CFP.  Then the conference will be happy, the fans of the winning team will be happy and the fans of the losing team will point out how unfair they had to play the same team they beat at the beginning of the season twice or wallow in 2 rivalry losses in one season, while TWIS has a guaranteed column built around rematch.  

This obviously is something only fans of UM & OSU would be against.  Everyone else would love it. The Conference and TV execs especially.


December 5th, 2018 at 3:48 PM ^

I don't know what moving the game does other than cheapen the rivalry. The path to the Big Ten title and a CFP berth goes thru OSU no matter when the game is played. Gotta beat them and I sure as hell would want it to be the last game of the season rather than October and we play Indiana for the last game or something.

Romulan Commander

December 5th, 2018 at 5:58 PM ^

I agree. The B1G some of us grew up with is a thing of the past, thanks to Delaney et. al.and the overall college football landscape. It's no longer a Great Lakes/Midwest-based conference. The University of Michigan is a worldwide brand and Michigan football is a national brand. Nobody in the league office is thinking about preserving "tradition" at this point and there's not much of a point for Michigan to tie itself irrevocably to an end-of-season game with Ohio State. There maybe a competitive advantages to moving The Game to a different date in the regular season as well. Looking down the road, the conference alignments, tv agreements and more are bound to change. We've already lost yearly games with members of the original Big Ten. What's best for Michigan might very well be flexibility.