Joe Schad on Divisions: OSU/PSU in one, Michigan/Nebraska in the other.

Submitted by redwings8831 on August 3rd, 2010 at 11:58 PM

I didn't see this anywhere else on this site but when reading the PSU scout site, a user posted that today on College Football Live (ESPN), Joe Schad, who's been at the Big Ten meetings, stated that it is almost certain that Ohio State and Penn State will be in one division (East) and Michigan and Nebraska will be in the other (West). I'm surprised with this and thought Penn Stat would be "sent" West over us or Ohio State. Any reactions, or ideas of who the other four teams will be in each. I'm wondering if they'll keep the rest strictly based on geography or not.



August 4th, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

Wisconsin and Iowa may be contenders this season, but I don't think you can count on them being good in the long term.  Iowa, especially.  They have no recruiting base.  There are hardly any people in Iowa and a lot of them root for Nebraska anyway.  Ferentz is doing it with smoke and mirrors right now.  When he leaves for the NFL, I expect them to rapidly drop down the ranks. 

Edward Khil

August 4th, 2010 at 2:15 AM ^

IMHE, the only situation that could possibly sully The Game would be the extremely rare case in which both teams have locked up their divisions before they meet for the first time.

But this will happen eventually to some pair of Big Ten division champs.  (Has it ever happened in other conferences?)

Still, I can't imagine that any player or coach in this rivalry would not go all-out to win every single time.


August 4th, 2010 at 2:34 AM ^

Ugh. This is seriously worst case scenario, not just because it creates the possibility of a totally moronic rematch of the UM-OSU game but also because it's a Big XII style competitive balance setup that will be laughable in 10 years.

PSU has had a three win season in the past decade. What happens if that's the reality in post JoePa Happy Valley? What happens if Minnesota gets really good? What happens if Ohio State turns into Michigan and Michigan turns into Ohio State? The only good way to build strong divisions is based on geography. The SEC gets this, apparently everyone else only sees dollar signs.


August 4th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

Thanks for proving my point for me. Let's go back to 2006 and have this discussion so you can tell me how improbable Michigan going 3-9 would be.

And it should be taken into consideration. Who expected Kansas and Missouri to become as good as Nebraska? Who expected Wake Forrest to contend for an ACC title? Who expected Illinois would go from two wins to BCS team back to three wins? These are important considerations when you talk about competitive balance.


August 4th, 2010 at 3:10 AM ^

Also, I'd bet huge sums of money that this is tweaked about a million times before anything is finalized.

Schad is good and all, but his record is still full of as many bad predictions as any other ESPN expert. Lest we forget, the last time we saw Schad he was claiming the collapse of the Big XII was still imminent even as the rest of the world realized it wasn't.

EDIT: Schad is also reporting that this will take 30-45 more days, which is pretty odd if they've already solved the biggest issue with the divisional alignment. I'm guessing that this is just one proposed idea and that Schad's source is particularly fond of it for some reason. It's interesting to note that Schad has apparently spent the majority of his time in Chicago following Penn State. Perhaps his source is a PSU official looking to keep their team out of the travel nightmare that would be the western division?


August 4th, 2010 at 4:47 AM ^

If they did a pure East-West split, I wonder if Purdue, Indiana and MSU would feel like they would never have a shot at the CCG with PSU, OSU and UofM.  I wonder if those 3 schools would request that each of the divisions get 2 of the big 4 teams (Nebraska).


August 4th, 2010 at 6:45 AM ^

Is anyone a little mad that all of these changes are being made to the Big 10? I like the traditional aspect of the confrence and it seems that it's changing so quickly. The confence championship games has it's advantages. But, it was cool that the Big 10 didn't have one. I guess it's not that big of a deal.


August 4th, 2010 at 8:44 AM ^

Something that I haven't seen mentioned yet is that by keeping UM/OSU in the same division you not only protect the once a year tradition, but you also make is more likely that both make it into BCS games. Living in SEC land now, it seems rare that BOTH teams from their title game go to BCS games. Last year seemed to be the perfect storm with 2 undefeated teams, but often times it seems like the title game loser does not get selected for a BCS game, while the best team that was "left out" ends up going. Putting UM/OSU in the same division keeps the importance of the game in tact, but could also increase the number of times BOTH go into BCS games in the same season. Seperating them essentially eliminates that...assuming they still play in the regular season each year and both play at their historical levels. Just a thought.


August 4th, 2010 at 8:46 AM ^

there will be a media firestorm. Rightfully so, in my opinion. I can't think of anything more pointless.

It makes a mockery of the idea of "competitive fairness" when you have protected rivalries across divisions. Especially when there is a perfectly good divisional alignment that preserves all major rivalries, thereby eliminating the need for protected cross-divisional games.


August 4th, 2010 at 8:46 AM ^

I'd rather have two games against OSU, then to have a weak west division and the winner of UM/OSU winning the conference championship most years.

Plus, it could be a quicker way to close the gap in wins/losses vs. OSU the past decade.  I'd love to have two wins against OSU in one year, and put them in their rightful place.


August 4th, 2010 at 11:03 AM ^

We concentrate too much on the possibility of a rematch in the championship game forgetting that other situations can happen. Here is my worst to best case scenarios:

1. Win or lose both teams go to the championship game.

2. Win or lose both teams have no chance to go to the championship game.

3. Win or lose we already know one will go to the championship game and the other one not.

4. One team needs to win to go to the finals the other one has already won his division.

5. One team needs to win to go to the finals the other one has no chance.

6. The winner of this game goes to the championship game.

Scenario #1 is the worst case scenario because both teams will probably play really conservative waiting for the rematch.

Scenario #2 and #3 is pure rivalry. All you play for is bragging rights.

Scenario #4 is actually not that bad considering that the game has a pretty big significance for one team. This game will be eclipsed later by the championship game, if that is a rematch, but at the time will be a pretty good game.

Scenario #5 is spoiler alert. Not only you can win this game, you can screw up the other team season too.

Scenario #6 is the absolute best case scenario. The winner takes all.

I don't know what other people will prefer but for me this is just a little sacrifice that I think I can make. Even in the worst case scenario you still get MI - OSU as a Big Ten Final which, now that I think about it, is not exactly the worst case scenario.


August 4th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

By keeping UM and OSU in the same division, instead of the game deciding the conference championship, it will likely decide the division championship (and thus the chance to play for the conference championship). This will intensify the rivalry much more than hoping the UM and OSU make it into the CCG (ACC tried to do it with FSU and Miami; didn't work so well). If UM-OSU is a crossover, the importance on the conference scale are much less.

EDIT: Basically, #6 is the scenario we want every year. Can't really happen in a crossover game.


August 4th, 2010 at 2:25 PM ^

Well, I agree that UM/OSU/PSU/Neb need to be evenly split up; I don't like the idea of sticking three in one division.  But I don't know why you couldn't just put UM and OSU together and PSU and Neb together.  That would make things a lot simpler.  (I don't care how the other eight teams are split up.)