Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Rise and Fall of the Big Ten

The Big Ten thought it had control of the college football world last fall. No. 2 Michigan had just lost to No. 1 Ohio State, 42-39, in Columbus, and a rematch appeared on tap in the BCS title game. It didn't happen, and the Wolverines and Buckeyes went their separate ways in the postseason, each getting humbled in bowl games.

What could have been an historic finish ended as an embarrassment, and the league is searching for answers. The popular theory is that the Big Ten, without a title game, concludes its regular season too early and that translates to sloppy play by its representatives in the postseason.

Commissioner Jim Delany, above, says a majority of conference athletic directors are interested in extending the regular-season schedule into December. The popular plan is for league teams to skip playing the week of Thanksgiving to extend the season. Also under discussion is increasing the number of league games from eight to nine or 10.

A decision could be made on changes by June, but implementing the moves could take two years because of scheduling conflicts. Also, an early look at how the 2007 Big Ten race shapes up and five redshirt freshman who could make an impact this fall. Thanks to Kevin of We Are Penn State.

1 comment:

Henry Gomez said...

Seems to me that in immediate solution would be to move the 2007 OSU/Um game to the week after thanksgiving. After all it's more than likely that these two teams will again be playing for the Big 10 title in that game anyway. But even if they are not, we won't have to hear any crying from their fans about long layoffs and being bounced in the polls because other teams still had meaningful games while they sat on their ass and, as Charlie Weis calls it, ate cheeseburgers.