Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barry Needs To Open A Calendar

Discussions of the Big-11 adding another team are heating up. Why? Money, of course. Well, unless you ask Barry Alvarez. He states:

"We're irrelevant for the last three weeks of the football season because we're not playing."

Three weeks is a stretch. Technically, there's only one weekend of football in between the last Big-11 conference games and the SEC/ACC/Big-12 Championship games (sponsored by Dr Pepper!). If Barry thinks this is such a problem, why doesn't the Big-11 push their schedule back? I don't get it. Here's how the schedule played out:

Saturday, November 21
-The Big-11 ends conference play, highlighted by Ohio State vs. Michigan.
- The other big boys also play conference games.

Saturday, November 28
- More conference action for the big boys including numerous rivalry games (Oklahoma-Okey St, Georgia-Georgia Tech, USC-UCLA, Florida-Florida St, etc)
- Where's the Big-11? Idle.

Thursday, December 3
- The Nation watches Oregon and Oregon St not only play the "Civil War," but play the Civil War with a Conference title on the line.

Saturday, December 5
- The ACC, Big-12, and SEC stage their conference championship games.
- The Big-11 features Fresno State-Illinois and Wisconsin-Hawaii. Yawn.

So, there you go. If ending the season too early is why "the conference is irrelevant," why the Hell doesn't the Big-11 push the final weekend of conference play to November 28th?? Or even save their showcase game (Michigan-OSU, in most years) to December 5th, or even Friday, December 4th?

Barry's right, his conference is irrelevant, but it's not because of the calendar. It's because: A) They haven't won a big time regular season game since Colt McCoy was a Freshman, B) they're 0-6 in the last six Rose Bowls with 4 blowouts, and C) The Big-11 is 0 for their last 6 BCS games, including 5 blowouts.

Sorry, Barry. If adding a 12th school is all about money, just say so. Don't insult our intelligence.


  1. I'd love to see the Big Ten schedule spread out a bit more, and pushed into November/December. Where does it say each team can't have 2 or even 3 bye weeks? This would let teams get healthier thru the conference season. And in terms of academics, it gives 'student-athletes' more time to do coursework. What gives? Are we that afraid to have some Big 10 games in the snow?

    Ok, so the real point is this is about $$. Obviously that's the real driver here. So lets talk about who the 12th team might be. Rumor has it that Rutgers has wanted into the Big Ten for awhile now, but adding an east coast team just doesn't feel right to me. So, I don't like the idea of adding West Virginia or Pitt either. I'd much prefer the addition of Iowa State. Then we could divide up the conference into a West Division (Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern) and an East Division (Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan State), and have that big title game somewhere like Soldier Field or Ford Field. The divisons are such where the primary rivalry games in the conference could remain intact as well. You'd still play 8 conference games, 5 against your division foes, and 3 in the other division.

    If not Iowa State, how about Louisville, Nebraska, Cincinnati, or even Memphis?

  2. Those are some good thoughts, Bandana. Barry said on the radio over and over about the "east coast eyeballs," "tapping into the NYC media market," and "finding a travel partner for Penn State." He might as well just said "Rutgers." You're right, Rutgers doesn't seem right...and their hoops program brings nothing to the table. I think Syracuse is a dark horse. It's upstate NY, but I'm guessing NYC has plenty of interest in Syracuse sports.

    Iowa State has no shot. The Big-11 already has Iowa. What would Iowa State bring? Another 500 TV sets?

    I think Mizzu is a great fit. Fits in perfectly geographically and the Big-11 would add the St Louis and KC markets. You could add the St Louis dome in a rotation for the conferece title game along with Indy, and Detroit.

    Nebraska would be a good get, simply for name value.

    They'd almost have to do a north-south alignment. Going east-west would put the three traditional powers (OSU, Michigan, Penn St) all in the East. That west would look pretty weaksauce - just like the Big 12 North.

    Then again, I don't like the Big-11 so it doesnt really matter to me - I just enjoy guessing on expansion.

  3. You are right - ISU is not gonna happen, even though it makes the most sense in terms of conference make up. Mizzou would be a good fit, and they add good competition on the gridiron and hardwood. Plus we don't have any teams with tigers in the B10, while the SEC currently has 2. That discrepancy should not stand.

    I've now heard UConn bandied about now too, but I just can't get excited about an east coast team. Penn State is as far east as we should be reaching, so maybe I should be more accepting of the idea of Pitt.

    One final note, even if the conference goes to 12 teams, I hope they keep the Big Ten name, as I consider it a fun slight on the Johnny Come Lately teams...