Monday was Maryland’s day. Today is Rutgers’ day. (That is done.)
Wait a minute, OK, the grammar is correct. There is an “S” at the end of Rutgers, so the apostrophe after the “S” makes it correct. (You’re thinking, ‘hey, you’ve never worried about grammar before, dummy.’ Well yeah, but I’m putting on my best duds for the easterners.)
Rutgers will make it 14 today. This is all about TVs and cash and nothing about brand and competition. Here’s a graphic from today’s Chicago Tribune that spells it out fairly clearly:
It’s hard to read, but just know that the blue circles represent the size of cable markets. Notice what Rutgers and Maryland bring to the table. And there you go. It probably won’t the the high-end of $200 million annually for the BTN to get on cable in that region, but half of that is $100 and that could be in play.
I know a lot of you know who Nate Silver is. He’s the NY Times pollster/blogger who predicted the 2012 Presidential election down to the socks I would wear to the booth. He touched on the Big Ten expansion movement in this post.
I think Silver is right about dilution, but I don’t think Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany cares. I think he cares more about someone in Jersey wearing a Big Ten sweatshirt and having the BTN on his extended basic cable than he does about robust competition and the Big Ten is in the national football championship discussion.
That has to be the message here, right?
I think the Big Ten might give this some time to settle, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it kept the push on to 16, with Boston College and UVA in the sights. The Big Ten is ramping up to a new TV contract negotiation. It could do that with NY, Boston and DC/Baltimore TV markets.
That’s going to be worth billions. The Big Ten might not win a crystal football, but it sure can buy everyone Waterford goalposts.
Here’s a great piece from the Baltimore Sun’s Dave Zurawik on the media ins and outs of this deal for Maryland. Some great numbers here to update you on where the BTN now stands in cable reach and markets.
This is exciting. Not like a “game” exciting, but like “watching a bond mature over several years” exciting. OK, maybe I need to look up exciting, especially if I’m putting on my best duds for the easterners.
I think the push goes to 16 and I would take BC and Virginia in the pool. Academics are more key than we know in this.
Big Ten notes
Ohio State Clinches Outright Division Title: With its 21-14 overtime victory on the road against Wisconsin on Saturday, Ohio State claimed the outright Leaders Division crown. …
Legends Division Race: The Legends Division berth to the Big Ten Football Championship Game will come down to the final week of the regular season, as Michigan and Nebraska enter the weekend with matching 6-1 marks in conference play….
Rare Company: Ohio State improved its overall record to 11-0 with Saturday’s victory, and is one of just two teams in the country to boast an unblemished record this season…
Elite Coaching Starts: Only seven first-year coaches in the Big Ten have won 10 or more games in their debut seasons, and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is one of three current Big Ten coaches, joining Michigan’s Brady Hoke and Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema, to have won 11 or more contests in their first year on campus….
Nobody’s Got More: With his second-quarter touchdown on Saturday against Ohio State, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball tied the NCAA career touchdowns record with the 78th of his career, matching the mark set by Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio)….
Looking to Finish on Top: With one week remaining in the regular season, Big Ten standouts are jockeying for position with hopes of ending the year as statistical champions in conference games only….
Renewing Old Rivalries: Three of the conference’s longest running series will be renewed this weekend when Purdue hosts Indiana, Ohio State welcomes Michigan and Northwestern hosts Illinois….
Surpassing the Five-Million Mark: For the 10th time in conference history, and eighth consecutive season, the Big Ten surpassed the five-million mark in total attendance after last weekend’s slate of games…
Big Ten notes
Big Ten stats
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz speaks on the Big Ten teleconference at 11:40. I hope to get into that. I think it’s kind of busy today.
“Thank you for your patience.”
Opening — Playing a team having a tremendous season. Playing at a really high level right now.
Dean of leagues coaches, thoughts on Maryland and Rutgers — I haven’t thought too much about it. I think it’s a sign of the times. Clearly the landscape of college football has changed the last 20 years. The people who make those decisions in our conference do a terrific job.
Is the Friday game something you want to keep — I haven’t thought too much about that. We’ll have a lot to think about once the season is over. Thinking about game Friday. Have a lot of work to do.
No postseason -- I don’t know how you measure. I think we’re all excited to have an opportunity to play against a good football team. Practiced Monday. Players are excited about playing this week.
How would you characterize rivalry — Called that for obvious reasons, border rival. Then, spurts. It’s not quite like Neb.-OK, but it makes perfect sense. Part of the attractiveness with the expansion. Should grow into a great series.
Approach with team even though bowl is out of reach — Same as if we were undefeated.
Awards coming up, how do you vote? — We’ve let the defensive staff go with the offensive players and vice versa. For the most part, I lean on what they say. You make mental notes. It’s a collaborative effort.
Who this season? — One of the first I’m thinking about is Jordan Hill from Penn State. There are a lot of them out there. We’ll see a few of them this weekend.
First trip to Maryland or Rutgers, fans make that trip? — Last thing I’d think about. One thing about Iowa, there are Iowans everywhere. It’s like when I was in Cleveland. We played in Seattle and there were Browns fans out there. Everywhere you go, there are Iowa people. One of the neat things about this instituition.
Is there something lost? — Yes and no. But you could argue the same with free agency and the NFL. It’s not the Big Ten or Big Eight, there are a lot of reasons for it. The way college football is transitioning. Everyone kind of rolls with the flow. You just kind of go with it.
James on senior day, extra special -- Yes, but I would say, we have two daughters. Rest of that is my wife and I are very proud of all five of our kids. I’d say that about all 19 of our seniors. Special day on that side. I’m like anyone that way. It’s a little bit of a special moment. I’m one of 19 sets of parents this weekend. It is special.
Heroes game announcement
Ferentz news conference at 12:30 p.m. I’ll post the transcript here at 2:30. No “Walk Off.” That was canceled after Ferentz lost control last week.
I don’t get it. Finish out the season with that and then end it next year. This is a reactionary move and put it in the news cycle last weekend (I blew it off because I don’t think a lot of you know what it is). PR is a funny thing and something you learn about with every wrong move.
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