February 18th, 2013 at 3:43 PM ^

The only problem with this report is that gene smith is an idiot. If that wasn't the case I'd be sold. As it stands, and someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, he remains an idiot and I can't put 100% faith in what he says. For once I hope he's right.

ND Sux

February 18th, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

I hope he's right too.  The B1G is tough enough most years without having Ohio as an annual cross-division game while MSU nibbles on Indiana's nut sack. 

Darth Wolverine

February 18th, 2013 at 4:22 PM ^

I don't want any part in playing Ohio back-to-back weeks. What if we beat them in the regular season and they beat us the following week? That makes the win over them in the regular season 99% meaningless. We could brag all we want about splitting the series in any given season, but all they would have to do is point to the Big Ten championship trophy and we would be owned. Sorry, but I want to avoid that scenario. Obviously it can be reversed, but I never want it to happen in the first place, so they need to be in the same division. Also, what happens if they beat us in BOTH games? We would never hear the end of that.


February 18th, 2013 at 5:07 PM ^

The question isn't whether our division is harder than the other division is; everyone in the division has to play the same teams. In fact, I'd be just fine with having the six best teams in the conference in our division and making the championship game a cakewalk every year. The issue is that we would have to play OSU every year, while everyone else would have to play significantly easier protected rivalries. This puts us at a competitive disadvantage if we want to keep playing our rivalry game.

On playing OSU twice: I'm open to the idea in and of itself. But in a lot of years, Michigan and/or OSU have already won their divisions, so the (first) Game would meaningless. Think of Oregon/Stanford. Or think of marriage: if it's so great, why don't you want to do it twice? Maybe because the fact that it only happens once (hopefully) is part of what makes it so special.


February 18th, 2013 at 4:31 PM ^

I like the thought of playing them twice. Not sure why others wouldn't want to see the greatest rivalry in sports played twice if possible. Plus, if we lose to them in the regular season game we get a chance at redemption. I can't believe people wouldn't want to see those 2005 teams go at it again a week after Crable's late hit. The problem is Brian wants them in the same division so the lemmings on here tend to follow what ever he says. I love Brian and this blog but I don't agree with every thought he has

snarling wolverine

February 18th, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

While it's true that websites tend to promote a herd mentality, Brian doesn't have some obscure minority viewpoint here.  The vast majority of people I've spoken to - regardless of whether they visit this site or even root for Michigan - think the idea of playing Ohio on back to back weeks is crazy.  It will make the first, on-campus game meaningless.  You have to remember, that second game won't be played on campus.  It will be played in a domed NFL stadium in front of a corporate crowd.  It will not be the same.  Worse yet, the first game isn't going to mean as much, either, if both teams have clinched their divisions already.  

It's also a safe bet that the league will get sick of having back-to-back games very soon.  It's very likely that the league will insist on all November games being intradivisional.  That means no more Game on the final week of November, if we're in separate divisions.  If we're in separate divisions, the Game will be moved to October - count on it.

And then there is the problem of competitive balance.  If we're playing Ohio every year as our protected rivalry game while MSU is playing IU, Nebraska is playing a probation-weakened PSU and Iowa is playing Purdue, that puts us at a big disadvantage in the division standings. If we're going to be playing Ohio every year, we need to be in the same division.



February 18th, 2013 at 5:35 PM ^

Mark my words - if/when Michigan and OSU actually do play on back-to-back weeks (which may well happen in 2013) - you'll hate it.  Maybe as a hypothetical it doesn't seem that bad.  But when we celebrate winning the Game only to realize that we've got to do it again the next week (and this time, against Meyer's full starting lineup), that will suck, hard.  If we lose the rematch, it'll be like the game in the Big House didn't even matter.





February 18th, 2013 at 4:32 PM ^

While we're making unbalanced divisions (6 in the east, 8 in the west), why don't we just send Maryland and Rutgers to the other division (because obviously), Michigan State to the other division (because lil' brother shouldn't sit at the grown-ups table), and heck, let's just send Penn State to the other one too. Michigan plays OSU 7 times, and the winner of the best-of-seven faces the winner of the Little Eightish in the championship game.


February 18th, 2013 at 4:48 PM ^

I was just going to comment in this thread about State, but you totally beat me to it.  I still can't believe MSU wants to be in the West.  ....  makes no sense... I guess they better hope there's a cross division rival still calculated into it.   I mean, have we ever not played Sparty since we've both been in the Big Ten?


February 18th, 2013 at 5:37 PM ^

Makes total sense.  They know that in a division that includes Michigan and Ohio, they will have little to no chance of ever advancing to the B1G championship game.  In the West, they will only have to contend with Nebraska, which as a program recruits much closer to their level.

It's cowardly on their part, but it makes sense.


February 18th, 2013 at 6:56 PM ^

I also like that West division. I really like Michigan playing State, Nebraska, Iowa, Wiscy, and Northwestern.  That's how it should be.  I also understand that the East in this picture is total crap.  I wish we could replace Marland and Rutgers with USC and Texas.  (Or almost anyone else...)


February 18th, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

ditto for Maryland and Rutgers joining the big10 right?

geography doesn't really matter - the 'old' big 10 teams aren't driving to Rutgers, Maryland or Nebraska, nor for that matter, Minnesota.  If it was about travel costs they'd just have a 'flyers' division and a 'tires' division and minimize travel for teams within a drive of each other -- which would look a lot like the concept in question.


State Street

February 18th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

Never had a chance...hence why the conference made it only one of two options on a survey administered to the public.  Nice logic.

We're not talking about sending the Nebraska Cross-Country team to Piscataway more often over the course of a decade - rather establishing competitive balance in the one sport that would rely on a divisional model.

Blue since birth

February 18th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

The two of you apparently missed the "right or wrong" and "not arguing it's merits" bits? All I know is my first thought was "not a chance". Then I seen how popular the idea was and read all of the arguments about why it was such a good idea and my only thought was 'not a chance". Call it coincidence if you like, but it looks like it won't be happening and this is my unsurprised face.


February 19th, 2013 at 5:05 AM ^

It never had a chance of happeneing. If the B1G made devisions based solely on competative balance the debate would never end because all schools are up and down competatively. They also said they can't use geographical names for the divisions unless they are actually geographically aligned. There was never any chance for the inner outer idea. I never bothered reading about its merits..I took 1 look at the map and knew it would never happen.


February 19th, 2013 at 2:09 PM ^

I'm not really arguing if it was a viable option or not, as much as I'm arguing with someone saying 'geography' is the reason without explaining what he means.  It's not really about the pros and cons as much as diluting it down to one (extremely vague) issue.

Something about the map struck as you as obviously wrong - that's fine and you're not alone.  But if you put up a map of the existing alignment you would have the same reaction. It makes little sense geographically. Therefore, obviously, geography isn't the only criteria, nor is it a deal-breaker if things aren't geographically logical or unconventional.



February 18th, 2013 at 4:01 PM ^

Sorry - not buying the "Gene Smith is an idiot" meme at all.  In the past two years he's managed to dodge any significant NCAA investigation into what sure looks like fairly massive and widespread extra benefits being given to his players, told the NCAA there were no violations and they bought it,  avoided any real sanctions when the shit did sort-of hit the fan and then managed to replace a beloved coach with an even more beloved coach all the while seeing his football team go undefeated.

I wish we had an "idiot" like Gene Smith in charge of our Athletic Department when Stretchgate was unfolding.  My guess is that Smith would've told the Freep to go f themselves and banned them from the facility forever.