Staff Picks: What Should New Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren Change About The Conference?
The Big Ten officially announced its upcoming change in leadership when Kevin Warren addressed the media as the conference’s commissioner-in-waiting on Tuesday.
Warren will replace Jim Delany, who held his position as the conference’s commissioner since 1989, beginning on September 16. Delany’s tenure in charge of the conference will officially come to a close on January 1, 2020, after he helps settle Warren into his new role.
With great power comes great responsibility, and we think Warren can use his newly-earned power to make some changes to some things in the Big Ten.
Mikey Mandarino: Stop playing Friday night football games
I think there are many things Kevin Warren should change about the Big Ten, but getting rid of Friday night football games should be right on top of the new commissioner’s to-do list.
Friday night football is just awful. Last year, Penn State made its debut in the Big Ten’s new Friday night football on the road against Illinois. The Illini kept the game close and even took a third-quarter lead over the Nittany Lions, but they just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter and got blown out 63-24.
These games suck for fans because of the inconvenience of skipping work/class to watch a sport, but they also suck for the students and coaches involved with the football program. From head coach James Franklin down to the scout teamers and graduate assistants, everybody involved with Penn State football had to re-adjust their schedule just so the Big Ten can get “smaller” teams a primetime game. It’s asinine, and Kevin Warren would be better off just getting rid of Friday night football.
Will Pegler: Change who plays in the Big Ten football championship game
Football’s Big Ten championship game has been mishandled for far too long. It’s currently played between the two top teams from the East and West divisions, meaning that the two best teams in the conference almost never play each other in the championship game. Last season, a Northwestern squad with an 8-4 record was dominated by a far superior Ohio State team 45-24 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Wildcats made the championship game thanks to the fact that they were the top team in the West division. The East is clearly much stronger than the West and almost always has the two teams in the conference with the best records, but they can’t play in the championship game thanks to this nonsensical rule.
Mr. Warren, do the conference a favor and allow the two top teams to play each other in the championship, regardless of division.
Anthony Fiset: Realign the Big Ten’s divisions
The Big Ten is in desperate need of some major realignment, and Kevin Warren, YOU can be the one to make it happen. All you need to do is take Penn State and move it into the West division. Please save the Nittany Lions from having to face the dangerous trio of Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State every season — it’s getting old. Some might say that moving Penn State into the West “wouldn’t be fair” because it “gives Penn State an automatic bid to the conference championship.” Well, that’s the whole point. Mr. Warren, please consider this proposition.
Matt DiSanto: Rebrand the conference
While others may suggest changing the format of the Big Ten’s divisions and playoff structure, let’s focus on what really matters: marketing. More specifically, we’re talking logos, baby.
I have to be honest: The Big Ten’s wordmark is as bad as they come. The logo is easy to read, but its baby blue color is pretty weak for a Power Five conference. Including a No. 10 in the logo is fine, but changing the wordmark to somehow include a 14 (the number of core teams in the conference) would be a nice touch. The Big Ten’s old logo included an 11 with ease, and seeing a lack of creativity currently is pretty disappointing.
While we’re at it, why even call it the Big Ten? I get it. “Big 14” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, huh? Wrong. Mr. Warren, do yourself a favor and kick off your tenure with a bang by shaking things up B1G time.
Jim Davidson: Ban Big Ten football coaches from wearing power pleats
Mr. Warren, I think it’s time for a style shakeup in stadiums from Piscataway to Des Moines. Coaches like James Franklin are adaptable, will look at the memo, shrug, and pull the jeans or maybe even a tracksuit from the closet. Others (read: Jim Harbaugh) will fight with everything they have to keep their power pleats. Please take away the power pleats. Without the khakis, Harbaugh just might lose all sense of his impressive, intense and obnoxious coaching personality.
Penn State needs to face a Jimmy, not a Jim, and definitely not a James, at Beaver Stadium this year. You can make this happen, Mr. Warren. Begin your reign with a power move that’ll shake things up and make future football a little more exciting, dramatic, and stylistically tasteful.
Rory Pelella: Kick Rutgers out of the Big Ten
Mr. Warren, it’s time to boot Rutgers out of the Big Ten once and for all. Make no mistake, it’s fun having a guaranteed game in the win column each and every season. But after a while, even something that seems as fun as beating up on Rutgers can get boring.
It’s hard to ignore the Scarlet Knights’ performance on the field since joining the Big Ten in 2014. With a record of 7-36 in conference play and only one winning season in five years, there’s no denying this football squad just isn’t cut out to play on a B1G stage. If that isn’t enough evidence, just ask the 2018 NFL Rookie of the Year. Even Saquon Barkley realized he wanted nothing to do with the Scarlet Knights when he flipped from Piscataway to Happy Valley as a four-star recruit.
I mean no disrespect to the birthplace of college football, but sending Rutgers packing from the Big Ten is long overdue.
Bring back the Stagg-Paterno trophy Award the Land-Grant Trophy to the Big Ten champion
The Land-Grant Trophy represents all that is great about the Big Ten, its historic legacy, and smashmouth football. It’s the only piece of hardware fit to crown the Big Ten East team that’ll get snubbed from the College Football Playoff the next day. Plus, hoisting it and its 76.2 pounds of beauty will be one last true feat of strength for
anyone but Michigan whoever wins. Forget the Rose Bowl, this is the only consolation prize I will ever take solace in.
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About the Author
Penn State alumni Maria Umana and Trey Cody will search for their perfect wedding venue on “I Do To The Venue” at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 18 on FYI Network.
New Big Ten Network president Francois McGillicuddy announced Millen will return to the broadcast booth as an analyst during the 2019 college football season.
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