Hating on B10 cupcake skeds

Submitted by superstringer on October 1st, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Am I right -- the ONLY victory by our 11 teams (or even 12, if you wanna throw them in) in the preseason over a RANKED opponent was tOSU over Miami (THAT miami).  B10 didn't even play any many other games against currently ranked teams, other than Iowa's loss to Arizona, PSU's getting blown out by the Sabanites, and Minnie hosting the Kiffinites.  (Somewhat its caused by teams on scheds not being good this year -- Missou, ND.)

Still, THIS SUCKS.  So many reasons to hate cupcake schedules.  League doesn't get creds or love nationally by playing cupcakes.  Fans deprived of good games.  Who wants to see four scrimmages.  Doesn't prepare teams well enough for B10 games (although -- maybe we are all equally unprepared).

The main culprit, as I hear in the press, is that the ADs don't want to give up their millions of $$$ from home games.  Even giving up ONE home game can cost a few million $.

I CALL B()!_!_$%!T on that.  B10 teams get way, way more revenue annually from football than just abuot anyone else.  Yet lots of other big-name teams can do away games (USC, LSU, Va Tech, immediately come to mind), their annual intake has to be less than most B10 teams.

To me, UM screaming that we can't afford to lose home games is like a rich CEO saying he can't afford to give up his bonus check.  I mean, if our athletic budgets are bloated to depend on a cupcake meaningless 7th or 8th home game, then, the solution isn't to keep the cupcake and give up a home n home w/ Georgia or Tennessee... the solution is to cut the damn budget, because, it seems no on else is spending like that.

Just ranting.  Very happy to see we're adding Bama in 2012, but that's just one game.  Entire league needs to aggressive put good teams on preseason schedules.

Discuss amongst yourselves....



October 1st, 2010 at 9:39 AM ^

Delany and some ADs have said that will probably not happen. I don't see it happening for a similar reason stated by the OP. BT schools will be missing out on money by having less home games every other year or something like that (according to Delany). While it would strengthen the schedule of each BT team, I don't see it happening anytime soon.

oriental andrew

October 1st, 2010 at 9:33 AM ^

a LOT of people thought that UConn and ND would be much better than they are.  Many pundits were saying UConn was a front-runner for the Big East title and that ND could easily go 9-3 this season.  Sometimes things don't work out. 

OSUMC Wolverine

October 1st, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

Both of those UConn/ND predictions could still occur....long shot....but possible.  It is out of our control if they turn out not to be a good as believed.  Just like Boise State taking it in the back door with VT dropping their second game to a 1AA team, there is nothing you can do about it but win your games.  When we go 6-2 in the Big Ten, all will be well and on track to win the conference in 2011. 


October 1st, 2010 at 9:38 AM ^

There's also the whole situation where you are rewarded for the number of wins, not the quality of them.   Bowl games are worth a lot of money, and if a team can be almost assured of three or four easy home wins against vastly inferior talent, they have no incentive to refuse.  

Hell, look at MSU or Wisconsin, they're 2/3 of the way to bowl elligibility having played only one team with anything approaching equal talent.


October 1st, 2010 at 9:50 AM ^

What if the bar were lowered to, say, 4 games, but only conference schedule counted towards bowl elligibility?  Then any school could schedule however many cupcake games it wanted, but they wouldn't count for anything except as a glorified scrimmage

Biggest problems it seems that would cause would be 

A. it wouldn't provide any incentive to schedule non-conference games like the UM/ 'Bama game coming up.

B. It would mean that mediocre teams in the better confernces would almost never go bowling.  


October 1st, 2010 at 9:38 AM ^

I don't think most schools could cut the budget, unless they get rid of teams.  Btw, I hope you read Brian wrote about this subject yesterday.  His simple math is very interesting.


October 1st, 2010 at 9:39 AM ^

First, it is entirely correct that Big Ten teams make much more money from home games than away games. Bear in mind that football revenue doesn’t just fund football, but most of the athetic department’s other sports, as well. This is true, not just at Michigan, but at most other Big Ten schools.

Playing cupcakes does not hurt the Big Ten’s street cred, because all of the big leagues do it. How many teams nationally played more than one BCS-level non-conference opponent? Michigan (with UConn and Notre Dame) was one of the few that did—and it was the first time in quite a few years that the Wolverines had done so. No, the Big Ten’s national credibility is mainly determined by how it performs in bowl games. Cupcake non-conference scheduling is now part of the sport, no matter where you go.

Lastly, the current bowl and ranking system does not reward aggressive scheduling, because teams are (generally) not recognized for playing well in a close loss to a tough opponent. There is also the issue of giving backup players valuable game time, as Michigan was able to do last week against an over-matched opponent.


October 1st, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

In no particular order:


USC - Virginia, Minnesota

Stanford:  Wake Forest, Notre Dame

Washington:  Syracuse, Nebraska

UCLA:  Kansas St, Texas


Florida:  South Florida, Florida St

Vanderbilt:  Northwestern, UConn

Georgia:  Colorado, Georgia Tech

LSU:  North Carolina, West Viriginia

Alabama:  Penn St, Duke

Big 12

Colorado:  California, Georgia

Oklahoma:  Florida St, Cincy, also played Air Force

Big East

West Virginia:  Maryland, LSU

Louisville:  Kentucky, Oregon St

Pttsburgh:  Miami Fl, Notre Dame

Syracuse:  Boston College, Washington

Cincy:  NC State, Oklahoma


Florida St:  Oklahoma, Florida, also played BYU

Wake Forest:  Stanford, Vanderbilt

Clemson:  Auburn, South Carolina

Boston College:  Notre Dame Syracuse

Georgia Tech: Georgia, Kansas

Miami, FL:  Ohio State, Pittsburgh, South Florida

North Carolina:  LSU, Rutgers

Big Ten

Michigan:  UConn, Notre Dame

Iowa:  Iowa St, Arizona


3 Schools who only played tough non-BCS games out of conference:


Oregon St:  Boise St, TCU (both on the road)

Washington:  Nebraska, BYU

Iowa St:  Iowa, Utah










October 1st, 2010 at 10:10 AM ^

Is a bigger hit then you realize, even if every other year.  The athletic budget is only 120 million, number obtained from the Detroit News piece on Brandon.  Taking away a home game is a 6 million dollar hit for one year, and 3 if spread over two years.   A Michigan home game is worth 6 mllion before concessions, parking, personal seat licenses etc. 

6 million out of 120 budget is 5% of the budget, so we're not talking a small expense.

Scheduling home and homes doesn't bring as much in tv revenue as you would think


October 1st, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

1.  The Big Ten OOC schedule is pretty comparable to the SEC schedule.  At the moment, the  only ranked teams that the SEC has even played are Penn State and Oregon.  The Alabama win over PSU is pretty comparable to tOSU's win over Miami(YTM).  Keep in mind, most of the SEC still has half its nonconference schedule left, and there are no ranked teams left on it.


2.  The Big Ten, unlike the SEC, plays virtually all of its nonconference games before the conference schedule.  Late in the year, while U-M plays Wisconsin, or OSU plays Iowa, the SEC will feature games like LSU vs. McNeese St, or Alabama vs. Georgia St, or Arkansas vs. UTEP.  So we got our cupcakes out of the way early.  Both conferences have about the same percentage of games out of conference against BCS schools.  Both play the same number of FCS schools.  The Big Ten actually plays more currently ranked OOC opponents.


3.  It's pretty hard right now to have a win over a ranked opponent, since we are four games into the season, and an early loss drops most teams way down in the polls.  There are six ranked opponents with a loss.  Two of those were intraconference SEC games.  The out-of-conference games were:

UCLA over Texas

Alabama over Penn State

OSU over Miami(YTM)

Arizona over Iowa


So there are four "marquee" out-of-conference wins out there, and the Big Ten has one of them.  I don't see what you're complaining about.


October 1st, 2010 at 11:14 AM ^

Most SEC teams play the same cupckaes we do.  They usually have one BCS opponent and nothing else.  However what they do is spread them out.  They each play a cupcake in the middle of their schedules and put some conference games early, so it looks like their playing tougher non conference schedules.  And no one cares because there's 4-5 good conference games to talk about.

But in reality all they are doing are preventing the 11/12 cucpakes a week possibility at the early part of schedule by putting a conference game in there.  Thus in the early part of the season everyone can see, look how tough SOS is of the SEC, Pac 10 etc, because they play conference games early.

It's a fantastic PR move.


October 1st, 2010 at 1:34 PM ^

It goes in shifts with the rankings. Before the season started we thought Uconn could be ranked now they are receiving very few votes.

On the other side Georgia Tech was ranked and now they are not. You just never know.

Dan TrueBlue

October 1st, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

The first problem here is that, while they're making the schedule years in advance, nobody knows who is going to be ranked or not when the season actually comes.  You just have to schedule opponents who are at about the same level as you historically, and hope for the best.  Given that there are only 19 non-Big10 teams ranked right now, that's a tough target to hit.

We were a little unlucky this year in that several of our non-con opponents turned out to be major wusses (ND, UConn), and one a steamroller (Bama).  So guess who we're not going to schedule again? UConn.  And guess who we are going to schedule again?  #1 Bama.

I hear in the press... that the ADs don't want to give up their millions of $$$ from home games.

The second problem is assuming that scheduling cupcakes makes more money in the long run, that the money then sits in Brandon's or some evil fat-cat's pocket, where it becomes a Root of Evil, and that the press can generally be relied upon to give a fair-minded story on anything.

Even if eating cupcakes at home makes more money (I believe Brian posted recently that it's not so clear, when you factor in things like TV ratings, not to mention effects on reputation), and even if you take the cynical view that all the ADs care about is money, the fact is that money and performance of the brand are directly related.  That money goes into things like buying better facilities which attracts better recruits, and not just in football.  I imagine a lot of it also goes back into the universities, providing better education for everyone.  

ADs want their teams to do well on the field, so that they'll make more money... and they want to make more money so that their teams will do well.  They're the same thing.  And if you want Michigan to do well, then you want it to make money too -- it's not a bad thing.  Revenue is shared equally.   If the system is set up so that it means scheduling a few cupcakes, then that's how the game is played.  In that case, blame the system, not the ADs.