"The Game" in October?

Submitted by jerseyblue on December 9th, 2011 at 4:41 PM

CBS Sports Gary Danielson was just talking to WFAN's(NY sports) Mike Francessa. He said that he has talked to people in the Big 10 without being specific as to who. He said that they plan on moving Michigan-Ohio to the middle of the season (October). He didn't say when this will happen. The reason being they don't want to ever see them play in back to back weeks should both teams go to the new championship game. He said the Big 10 didn't want to hit Michigan and Ohio fans all at once with the changes in the conference and that's why they're delaying a little in doing this.



December 9th, 2011 at 9:23 PM ^

He spoke about this at a function over the summer.  He said that he absolutely did not want to move the Game, but at the same time, as an AD, he couldn't just lash out at the league office.  He has to be on good terms with them.  There is protocol that he has to respect.  But at the same time, he made sure word leaked out to the fans, who were free to voice their opinion. 

I think this is the truth.  If he been in favor of moving the Game, I don't think he would have said anything before the announcement.  When you have an unpopular announcement to make (and everyone knew moving the Game would be unpopular), you don't let it slowly leak out - you make sure it drops as planned, buried in the middle of a bunch of other announcements.    




December 9th, 2011 at 9:04 PM ^

The thing is, rarely would UM and OSU play in a rematch as it is.  Someone went back and found that if there were a B10CG the past 15 years, then Michigan and OSU would have had exactly one re-match in it.  There's no reason to worry about a back-to-back game because:

A: It will rarely happen, and

B: When it does, it will be novel enough that it will actually be a positive.


December 9th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

Putting us in two divisions was probably the most insane decision made with chosing the two divisons. NO! Part of what made the Red River Rivalry was that the winner might be going to the conference title game while the loser stays home. Absolutely not a fan of this, or anyone in the B10 considering such a move.

03 Blue 07

December 9th, 2011 at 5:19 PM ^

I could not agree more. To "go on," so to speak, you should have to win your block first, which means beating your biggest rival, your conference-mate, your neighbor state, etc. . If we don't beat OSU, we shouldn't get to play them again in the championship game; vice versa obviously, as it cheapens the regular season matchup, and also, most importantly, because it alters irreparably an iconic annual event fundamentally. I'm pro-change, usually, but not here. Same divisions. Last game of year. It would almost always have drama especially if division records were first tiebreaker.  (Well, if the Big Ten used intelligent tiebreakers).

Random:  I actually own the "Save the Game" shirt that was relevant for roughly 6 days last year. I feel like it may have to get broken out again some day, which worries me. I wonder how many Brian and UGP sold.


December 9th, 2011 at 7:19 PM ^

Boot Penn State out of the Big Ten, and return to 11 teams with one division. And besides, Penn State was sneaked in without asking the ADs. Bo was quite pissed, too.

Penn State, by their collective actions (or lack of them) deserve it.  


December 9th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

..., IF that is the case (consider who is reporting it), to say the considerate thing to the nation and suggest the ruination of the tradition of two schools at once. I would vote "no" on this one. 


December 9th, 2011 at 4:46 PM ^


   The same things were being said when they came out with the divisional alignments, I really hope it doesn't happen, but it's no use even thinking about it right now. What will be, will be


December 9th, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

Ding, ding, ding. Why would anyone in the Big Ten be leaking information to the biggest SEC honk in the world? And why would it first leak out on a show that talks about college football for about 5 hours a year?


December 9th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

Can somebody please explain why it is so much worse for UM and Ohio to play in back-to-back weeks than any other combination? Isn't it just as likely that Wisconsin and Nebraska play at the end of some season two weeks in a row? I suppose the philosophy of the B1G schedules is now going to be to determine who the good and bad teams are (3 years in advance when the schedules are made) and match them up against each other in the final week.


December 9th, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

watching the game after Thanksgiving as it was.

We don't know, because we haven't had a full on game since 2006, but I definitely thought the meaning of the game is diminished by us being in separate divisions.

Then again, watching the video of the players reactions, that game meant a hell of a lot to RVB and Will Heininger. So maybe my perception was just skewed. Heck, ask those guys - would they rather have played OSU in October, or for that last game on Senior Day.

James Burrill Angell

December 9th, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

Danielson = Drew Sharp.

No one would listen to/read their crap unless they said something controversial. I sort of hate myself right now because our participation in this discussion essentially gives that prick what he wants. He wants people to talk about his show.


December 9th, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

I understand the tactics of it, if it is true.  Implement change incrementally so that no one change is big enough to get the whole population against it.  That said, it is an awful idea- but the only thing against it is tradition.  Nowadays how powerful is tradition really?  It is to us, but we won't stop going to games or buying jerseys (especially in Ohio where the sales of said jerseys are turning the tide on the rivalry).  If they think it will make more money then they will push for it.  It is going to be up to whether Dave Brandon gets enough pressure to fight on behalf of Michigan fans and traditions instead of against them.  


If this is put forward it will be tough to stop, and it will rely on OSU and Michigan fans getting as up in arms (probably moreso) than they did last time.  They are just trying to sneak changes by piece by piece until MIchigan Stadium looks and feels like every other team and Michigan tradition as as unique and valued as Wonder bread.  Great brand, but no substance.


December 9th, 2011 at 4:54 PM ^

IIRC when, after the dustup about moving The Game last year, the powers that be said Michigan-ohio would be the last game of the schedule at least until they move to a nine game conference schedule (~2015?). They left the door wide open to move it mid season. My guess is they make the attempt again. Let's hope it doesn't happen.


December 9th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

I'm not a big Danielson fan, but why would he just make this up? To piss off the two biggest fanbases in the Big 10? Not likely. This makes me a little worried.


December 9th, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

Danielson also suggested that the SEC championship game will be moved to October so it won't be played back to back with the national championship game between the same schools.


December 9th, 2011 at 4:58 PM ^

I was wondering when this particular piece of shit would hit the fan.  It's not just fanbases in the Big Ten that are motivated by petty jealousy of Michigan and, to a lesser extent, Ohio State.  It's the leadership of several Big Ten athletic departments (I'm looking at you, Barry Alvarez). 

To say it won't happen, I'm afraid, is not fully grasping just how the Big Ten athletic directors think.  If this schedule change ever came up for a vote in a Big Ten meeting, I wouldn't be surprised if it passed 9-3 or 10-2.  I think Michigan and Ohio State need to be prepared to abandon the Big Ten rather then let themselves get walked over by the minor programs that make up too much of this conference.



December 9th, 2011 at 8:41 PM ^

Brandon repeatedly talked about how awesome it would be to play OSU in the title game and how that could only happen if they were in separate divisions.  He was totally in favor of splitting up the two teams.  That or he got pushed around by everyone else in the league which isn't any better IMO.


December 9th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

This is what has been coming all along.  It really doesn't make sense to play OSU at the end of the year if we are in separate divisions (the games against MSU and Nebraska are frankly more important now and a rematch a week later would take a lot of luster off both M/OSU games, especially for a national audience).  The plan all along was to put us in separate divisions and move The Game to midseason.  When the decisions were being made/leaked everybody bitched about the timing (which is really the secondary issue to being in separate divisions) and were placated when the date of The Game wasn't changed. 


December 9th, 2011 at 8:10 PM ^

like a shell game. We were distracted enough by moving the game, that they were able to land the separate divisions softly by keeping the game on the last weekend. The separate division decision is the harder one to change, so get that one landed first, lay low for a while, and then do the other. Especially after the fan base wakes up and realizes the Michigan - Nebraska, and the Ohio State - Wisconsin games now mean more Big Ten Championship wise.

That said, I think the ramp in schedule to the game this year was perfectly done. Our entire team had really come along by the time we finished off Nebraska. (Then again it allowed Ohio State to get Posey back as well.)

Anyway, it is going to happen, and we will be looking forward to that Michigan - Nebraska game and all the Big Ten Title implications on the last Saturday at some point in the future.

Blue Durham

December 10th, 2011 at 9:26 AM ^

and thus the conference was eligible for a championship game, the nature of Michigan-Ohio State game was changed. It would no longer the last game of the season, and would never determine the conference champion, the championship game would be both of these (unless the championship game is done away with - not happening).

Thus, with the addition of Nebraska, at best the Michigan-OSU game was going to determine the division champion. Putting the two teams in opposite divisions doesn't even accomplish that.

And yes, now with the divisions the way they are, the other 5 divisional games (Nebraska and MSU games included) are of more importance than the OSU game. I suspect that disappoints only 2, but satisfies many more.

The interests of the 10 other conference members is not in maintaining the importance or integrity of the game, as a matter of fact it detracts from their own programs. By putting Michigan and Ohio State in separate divisions (which IIRC, all of the other programs were in favor of), these other programs accomplished exactly what they wanted, a boost to them at the expense of UM-OSU.


December 9th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

That will never happen.  I will be making a social visit to Indianapolis and Mr. Delaney's office if he thinks that the little 8 is bigger than Michigan Ohio.


December 9th, 2011 at 5:14 PM ^

I think it would be a lot of fun to play on back-to-back weeks for the players, the fans and anyone associated with either school, especially the loser of the first game!

The sane Buckeye fan I sat next to this year (section 7, row 96. Yup, top row.) and I actually talked about this and we were in agreement. So if there is anything Michigan and Ohio State fans can agree upon it's that game, it's importance, and it's place on the schedule.

Good luck to the suits trying to mess with it because it will not play well in Ann Arbor or Columbus.