The Big Ten’s Summer Agenda
A new set of Big Ten meetings and Big Ten Media Day are coming up in August, and with the face-lift the conference has undergone over the past couple of months, there is plenty to talk about. Let’s first discuss the fun stuff: Big Ten Media Day.
Coach Joe Paterno will bring Evan Royster, Stefen Wisniewski, and D’Anton Lynn with him to Chicago to represent the Nittany Lions at the Kickoff Luncheon on August 2nd and 3rd. Over the past few years, the players that Paterno brings with him to Media Day end up being named the team captains for the subsequent season. If this holds true for the 2010 season, the choice of Lynn to represent Penn State may be questionable when leaders such as Ollie Ogbu and Drew Astorino are ready to lead the defense this upcoming year. All in all, expect great quips from JoePa and no sign of Terrelle Pryor in Chicago in a few weeks.
The head honchos also have quite a bit to discuss in August. The topics up for discussion are division alignment and the placement of a conference championship game, both issues owing to Nebraska’s entry into the conference in 2011. I’ve decided to take all the grunt work out for them and decide on both of these issues myself.
There’s no way to make everyone happy. In all of the alignment cases, there are three main problems:
1. Annual rivalries will be disbanded.
2. There will be a competitive disadvantage in one of the divisions.
3. Geographic issues arise.
So to be fair to everyone, you just split Big Ten country down the middle. Penn State, Ohio State, and the Michigan and Indiana schools come to the East while Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern all form the West division. You set up one rivalry game to be played every year on the last weekend of the season and that’s it. Competitive balance really plays no part in this because teams are cyclical. Penn State was awful in the early 2000s just as Michigan is now. Iowa and Nebraska both have had down years in the past decade while Illinois has gone to a Rose Bowl game in the decade. No complaints should be heard from anyone.
Conference Championship Game
There are five major contenders in who gets to hold the Big Ten Conference Championship game: Indianapolis (the favorite), Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and Green Bay. Of those five cities, only two have indoor stadiums. Indianapolis has Lucas Oil Stadium and Detroit has Ford Field. The MAC Championship is already held in Detroit, so scratch them out. No one wants to go to Cleveland (ask LeBron). Championship Saturday is slated to be December 5th this year. Average high temperatures in Green Bay and Chicago for Dec. 5th are 33 and 40, respectively. Hello, climate-controlled Indy!!
Now give us your thoughts on what the outcome of the Big Ten meetings should be!