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Division 1 College Conference Realignment

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The Big Ten also pools research money and Pitt blows the other potential candidates out of the water in this category.

Total Research Expenditures (2006)

Pitt: $530,162,000

Rutgers: $280,994,000

Missouri: $215,240,000

Syracuse: $ 36,100,000

Total Federal Research Expenditures (2006)

Pitt: $422,316,000

Rutgers: $118,732,000

Missouri: $101,732,000

Syracuse: $ 25,299,000

Cincy, WVU, UConn and Kentucky have no shot, the University presidents will be the ones voting on the new member and those are not the schools they want academically.

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Plus a Big Ten Championship game from Soldier Field would be awesome.

Too small, too outdoors. That thing is locked in Indy, with perhaps an occasional token gesture in Detroit.

Considering The University of Michigan is all of about 20-30 minutes west of Detroit on I-94 I think Ford Field will be more than just a "token gesture." My guess is if it is always an indoor game then it would alternate between the two. The Metrodome could be in play as well. But, early December is still very reasonable for football in these parts so an outdoor game isn't at all out of the question. That could put Soldier Field, Browns Stadium, Heinz Field, and Paul Brown Stadium into the mix as well.

Even if Pitt is the choice (which I think it should not be), Heinz Field will be hard to have a game at. The Big Ten will move to add permanent BYE week effective in 2010, thus allowing for a game following Thanksgiving. The WPIAL title games are held there and that may be too much impact on the grass without the possibility of reseeding or replacing it that late in the year.

I'm pretty sure they do resod it, because it looked pretty good for the PITT vs. Cinci game a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not sure why they play the WPIAL games there anyway, since they're not even the state championship games, and they get less than 20 K fans total for all four games. This year, they only pre-sold 6K tickets, and got a max of 6K game-day sales. Seems like kind of a waste.

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I'm pretty sure they do resod it, because it looked pretty good for the PITT vs. Cinci game a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not sure why they play the WPIAL games there anyway, since they're not even the state championship games, and they get less than 20 K fans total for all four games. This year, they only pre-sold 6K tickets, and got a max of 6K game-day sales. Seems like kind of a waste.

They do it for the kids, it's a big deal for them to play at Heinz.

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I'm pretty sure they do resod it, because it looked pretty good for the PITT vs. Cinci game a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not sure why they play the WPIAL games there anyway, since they're not even the state championship games, and they get less than 20 K fans total for all four games. This year, they only pre-sold 6K tickets, and got a max of 6K game-day sales. Seems like kind of a waste.

They do it for the kids, it's a big deal for them to play at Heinz.

Yeah, I get that. It just seems that they shouldn't sacrafice an event as big as a college championship game for state semi-final football games, since there are probably other more-than-suitable venues elsewhere. Actually, unless they were going to play at IUP, Clarion, Slippery Rock, or one of those other D2 schools, there's probably not.

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How easy would it be to get a team out of the Big East? I assume that the Big East sured up their borders after the last raid by the ACC.

and if Pittsburgh left, who would replace them? East Carolina, UCF, maybe even Temple again?

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I'm pretty sure they do resod it, because it looked pretty good for the PITT vs. Cinci game a couple of weeks ago.

I'm not sure why they play the WPIAL games there anyway, since they're not even the state championship games, and they get less than 20 K fans total for all four games. This year, they only pre-sold 6K tickets, and got a max of 6K game-day sales. Seems like kind of a waste.

They do it for the kids, it's a big deal for them to play at Heinz.

Yeah, I get that. It just seems that they shouldn't sacrafice an event as big as a college championship game for state semi-final football games, since there are probably other more-than-suitable venues elsewhere. Actually, unless they were going to play at IUP, Clarion, Slippery Rock, or one of those other D2 schools, there's probably not.

There really isn't anywhere central enough in the WPIAL area that could host it. Also they would have no problem re-sodding the field after the WPIAL games for a game the next weekend, they did it this year with no problem.

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I came up with a suggested alignment for the Big Ten about a year ago assuming Notre Dame came in. The schedule would be based on the SEC system, with 2 divisions and 1 protected out of division opponent. My priorities were 1) Split up Michigan and Ohio State 2) Preserve rivalries, especially trophy games when possible 3) Try to balance the divisions as much as possible

alignment (protected rivals across from each other)

North - South

Michigan - Ohio State

Michigan State - Indiana

Notre Dame - Purdue

Minnesota - Penn State

Iowa - Illinois

Wisconsin - Northwestern

Since the Land Grant rivalry has become somewhat significant, I guess we could have the MSU athletic department sell the Brass Spitoon to Minnesota swap protected rivals with the Gophers. In other words, Michigan State would play Penn State annually, and Minnesota would play Indiana.

I am not sure about splitting up Michigan and OSU. If you did that, you would have to move their rivalry game up to earlier in the season. It would look bad and take a lot of hype out of the game when Michigan gets respectable again. Imagine 5 years in a row with the two teams facing off the last week of the regular season, knowing that they will play again the next week in the title game. No bueno.

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What's more important about that rivalry? The fact that it is played, or when it is played?

If you want to keep it as the last game in the season, that means that the rivalry that defines the Conference to many will never again be the Big Ten championship game. If we play it earlier, and split the teams up, that makes a championship matchup possible.

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/stewart_mandel/12/15/bigten-expansion/index.html?eref=sihp

This is an interesting piece that illustrates why expansion may be a bad idea, financially (which is obviously all that matters). The example of Iowa probably missing the BCS this year after the conference title game is key.

I hate conference title games. Anyone who thinks they exist for the integrity of a conference race is kidding themselves. But it's big TV business and would probably help the Big Ten become a deserving BCS conference once again, so begrudgingly, I'd like to see it happen.

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The writer forgets that Penn State this season was also among those teams eligible for BCS at large bids. If Iowa had lost in a last week championship setting, Penn State would have gotten a BCS bid instead.

EDIT-the 2007 season might have been a better example (IE Illinois squeaks in to the Rose Bowl), but depending on how the Divisions were set up, Illinois or Ohio State may not have played in the championship game.

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I am not sure about splitting up Michigan and OSU.

I am. Anything that would somehow screw up "The Game" cannot and will not happen. Ever.

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I am not sure about splitting up Michigan and OSU.

I am. Anything that would somehow screw up "The Game" cannot and will not happen. Ever.

They'd still play every season. And this keeps the potential of having a rematch for all the marbles later on.

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What's more important about that rivalry? The fact that it is played, or when it is played?

If you want to keep it as the last game in the season, that means that the rivalry that defines the Conference to many will never again be the Big Ten championship game. If we play it earlier, and split the teams up, that makes a championship matchup possible.

Well they're not going to not play the game so what's more important is when it's played and it's been played as the last game of the season since 1938. They're not going to change the schedule because there's too much tradition there. Changing the date of the game would do more damage to the rivalry IMO than reducing the importance of the game from Conference champion to division champion.

Playing the game in late november is as big a part of the tradition as the winged helmets and buckeye leaf stickers.

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What's more important about that rivalry? The fact that it is played, or when it is played?

If you want to keep it as the last game in the season, that means that the rivalry that defines the Conference to many will never again be the Big Ten championship game. If we play it earlier, and split the teams up, that makes a championship matchup possible.

Well they're not going to not play the game so what's more important is when it's played and it's been played as the last game of the season since 1938. They're not going to change the schedule because there's too much tradition there. Changing the date of the game would do more damage to the rivalry IMO than reducing the importance of the game from Conference champion to division champion.

Playing the game in late november is as big a part of the tradition as the winged helmets and buckeye leaf stickers.

Somehow the SEC has been able to keep "3rd Saturday in October" working even when it is not played on the 3rd Saturday in October, and the Auburn-Georgia rivalry is still as heated as it was before divisions.

I don't buy that date is important in this situation. The game is still being played annually. Even more importantly, it keeps open the possibility of a Michigan-Ohio State Conference Championship ratings bonanza.

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I just had an extended discussion about this with one of my good friends, and the biggest college football fan I know (we're both students at Wisconsin). Neither of us can see the Big T1E1N expanding to the Big T1E2N anytime soon, but we still ran a what would we do scenario.

So here we go...

Big Ten-add Mizzou, they're geographically sensible and apparently haven't been on the Big 12's good side recently. Set up North-South divisions, as East-West makes one division (east) a powerhouse compared to the other. This won't clear up the possibility of Ohio State-Michigan playing twice a year, but it's the best we could come up with.

North

Minnesota

Wisconsin

Iowa

Michigan State

Michigan

Northwestern

South

Mizzou

Illinois

Purdue

Indiana

Penn State

Ohio State

That leaves the Big 12 a team short. TCU is not a possibility, for reasons to be explained later, so we're thinking of Houston, they're a bit small, but are competitive in both basketball and football.

North

Colorado

Iowa State

Kansas

Kansas State

Nebraska

Oklahoma State

South

Texas

Texas A&M

Texas Tech

Houston

Oklahoma

Baylor

By not adding TCU to the Big 12 they remain in the Mountain West, which could be made a legitimate conference with the addition of Boise State. We decided that Wyoming or SDSU would be most dropable, with Wyoming at the top. So add Boise State and make Mountain West a BCS conference and we have

Boise State

TCU

UNLV

SDSU

Air Force

BYU

Colorado State

Utah

New Mexico

A few other ideas we had were for the Big Ten to drop a team and have a Pac-10 like schedule, which is near perfection in our opinion. We don't see this happening any time soon. Another option was to keep things the way they are and have a Big Ten-Big East championship, each team already guaranteed its bowl game. This would just be a moneymaker, but would it make money? Probably not.

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Can anyone honestly say that there is a better canidate than Notre Dame. I know they want to keep their independent status but if I was the Big Ten I would do everything I could to bring them on board. I've heard Missouri is looking to jump at the chance to join the Big Ten and if they did a perfect replacement for them in the Big 12 would be TCU.

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Can anyone honestly say that there is a better canidate than Notre Dame. I know they want to keep their independent status but if I was the Big Ten I would do everything I could to bring them on board.

Do they want to keep their Independent status? Or do they want to keep every cent of that lucrative NBC contract? I think it's the latter.

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What's more important about that rivalry? The fact that it is played, or when it is played?

If you want to keep it as the last game in the season, that means that the rivalry that defines the Conference to many will never again be the Big Ten championship game. If we play it earlier, and split the teams up, that makes a championship matchup possible.

Well they're not going to not play the game so what's more important is when it's played and it's been played as the last game of the season since 1938. They're not going to change the schedule because there's too much tradition there. Changing the date of the game would do more damage to the rivalry IMO than reducing the importance of the game from Conference champion to division champion.

Playing the game in late november is as big a part of the tradition as the winged helmets and buckeye leaf stickers.

Somehow the SEC has been able to keep "3rd Saturday in October" working even when it is not played on the 3rd Saturday in October, and the Auburn-Georgia rivalry is still as heated as it was before divisions.

I don't buy that date is important in this situation. The game is still being played annually. Even more importantly, it keeps open the possibility of a Michigan-Ohio State Conference Championship ratings bonanza.

Then you don't know the Ohio State-Michigan game. The game will always be played annually, we know that and we aren't worried that it won't be played if they are in separate divisions. Moving the game to September or October will change the dynamics of the game. Using Auburn-Georgia isn't a good comparison because the OSU-Michigan rivalry is more like Auburn-Alabama. Those two play on the last day of the season, are in the same division and their rivalry is just as heated as it was before divisions. Ask Auburn or Alabama fans how they would feel if the Iron Bowl were moved to the middle of the season.

The Big Ten may want to see an Ohio State-Michigan championship game rematch because of the $$$, but the fans won't if it means they have to play the first game in September.

Allow me to explain it this way, OSU-Michigan's placement as the last game on the schedule holds significance in that fans look forward to it all season. If you move it to the middle of the big ten schedule then it might as well be just another big ten conference game. It's placement on the last day of the season still makes the game important even if either team is having a bad year or 6.

So there are two options, put them into different divisions which would mean that you would have to move one of the most famous college football rivalries off of the last game so that in the instance where they meet in the champ game then they won't play in back to back weeks. Or, put them into the same division, continue to play on the last day of the regular season and battle it out for the division championship.

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Can anyone honestly say that there is a better canidate than Notre Dame. I know they want to keep their independent status but if I was the Big Ten I would do everything I could to bring them on board.

Do they want to keep their Independent status? Or do they want to keep every cent of that lucrative NBC contract? I think it's the latter.

Once again, each Big 10 team makes more from the BTN and ABC deals than ND makes from NBC.

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Why does the NCAA care how a conference determines its champion? I don't understand why the Big 10 can't just schedule a championship game, regardless of the number of teams it has.

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