As Conference Commissioner Jim Delany noted at Media Day, BIG changes are on the way in the Big Ten. There will be a conference championship game in 2011, a nine game conference schedule will be here soon, and we’ll need to split into two divisions in order to make that happen. So how will be go about forming these two divisions?
By Paul M. Banks
Here’s what Delany said about how they’ll go about creating those divisions.
How will they go about doing that?
“After you look at the data — and one of the things we’re really looking at is all of the data, just like you would look at it in a basketball committee room, where you’re looking at national championships, you’re looking at BCS games, conference championships, conference won-and-loss records, nonconference won-and-loss records, nonconference records that are influenced, how many BCS opponents did you play, Sagarin ratings, composite BCS ratings.
So all of those data points will be absorbed by our athletic directors. We think probably the appropriate time frame for measurement probably starts around 1993 when Penn State came into the conference.
We moved from 95 to 85 scholarships back in those years. It was the beginning of the Coalition, Alliance, BCS Continuum. And we think that’s sort of the modern Big Ten. So we’re looking at that 17-year stretch and trying to assess where institutions fall out, what they’ve accomplished and using that sort of as the basis to determine what would be a balanced and fair, competitive segmentation of divisions,” Delany said.
You’ve probably seen plenty of division scenarios already, mostly going with an East-West or North-South division. And those projections usually make sense, but I’m here to offer you something different. I’m creating my two divisional proposals in a more unorthodox manner.
My first proposal is to divide them up by size of market. We’ll have urban vs. rural, the culture of hip-hop vs. the atmosphere of country music. This scenario includes two programs in big cities: Minneapolis and Columbus, two in suburbs bordering a city (Evanston and Ann Arbor) and two “tweeners” in Madison and East Lansing. These last two locations are not “towns,” but they’re not “cities” either. Coincidentally, they’re both the capitals of their state.
So here we have:
Kanye West Division
Kenny Chesney Division
Works out pretty well doesn’t it? At least from a competition standpoint? I have no idea how this will affect television revenue, if at all, when you put all the population centers together.
My second proposal is by concentrating all the traditional football powers in one division, all the basdketball in the other. Obviously, this is the complete opposite of what they’ll do or try to do, but I have a feeling this will actually even out over time, and the lopsidedness will disappear. No, I don’t know why I named my divisions after two of the conference’s all-time worst miscreant thugs
Jamar Smith Division
Maurice Clarett Division
Of course, that will never happen, but imagine the hilarity that would ensue under these circumstances? A football title game featuring a 10-2 team versus a 5-7 squad every year? A basketball conference tournament title game with a 27-5 team taking on a 17-14 unit? It sounds idiotic, but it could be interesting.
Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and @bigtenguru