Sunday, November 30, 2008

You think the Big Ten is boring now?

For many people who think Big Ten football doesn't measure up to the level of other powerhouse conferences in the country (for one, you're right), it could be worse.

Many wonder why the Big Ten season ends usually two weeks before other conferences. It's because the Big Ten doesn't hold a conference championship. This is because the conference keeps the 11 teams in one division, instead of splitting them into two like other conferences (see Big XII, SEC) that are the traditional power conferences.

The problem with a split (other than uneven numbers) would be the discrepancy between the teams in the Big Ten. After Ohio State and Penn State, it's been made very clear that there is a significant drop-off in talent. After all, third place Michigan State was throttled by both these teams in the regular season. Fourth place Northwestern? Get real.

With conferences like those who split into two and have championship games, they have teams who can level out the playing field from top to bottom in the conference. If the Big Ten had a championship, it'd be a joke — either an average showing between two mediocre teams or a blowout of a lesser opponent by an above average top-15 team.

1 comment:

kowisja said...

A couple of other notes for you:

1) The NCAA requires you have at least 12 teams in the conference to play a Championship Game. This would require the Big10 to add a team. Notre Dame (most people's logical choice to add) was invited before, but their administration voted against it, probably due to lucrative contracts they have with NBC and BCS. Some believe they recent run may eventually make them join a conference, but as of now, they receive too many perks to need an affiliation in football.

2)With the Big10's rule that teams added must be in a state adjacent to the current footprint and the academic requirements of the conference, the only teams eligible to be added are Notre Dame, Syracuse, Missouri, Kentucky, Rutgers, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Miami (OH), and possibly Iowa State. Most of these have strong ties to a BCS conference already.

3) The other option is to drop a team and play a round robin schedule like the PAC10. Many would drop Northwestern, as it is the smallest and only private school in the bunch.

4) Lastly, up until now, the Big10 teams play with one less bye-week than most other BCS conferences. This is rumored to change next year, adding a bye week and pushing the season's end to Thanksgiving weekend.