My eye got caught by this Monday morning tweet:
@EyeOnCFB B1G ADs discussing 9-game and possibly a 10-game conference schedule.
First off, I still think the B1G logo is goofy and I don’t like using it. More importantly, here’s the link to Brian Bennett’s ESPN.com story from which this news was gleaned.
It discusses how the league is weighing future football schedules with a 14-team Big Ten, and notes the schedule imbalance with the proposed nine-game schedule, since half the teams would play five home games and the other half four. Not fair.
The story said some league athletic directors have confirmed a 10-game schedule is under discussion.
“I would like to go to nine or 10,” Ohio State AD Gene Smith said.
Ten would be not just interesting, but amazing. It would mean the league was serious about league play. It would also mean all 14 members would have to find two rum-dums to play at home every year in the nonconference to give them the seven home games they all insist they need for financial reasons, so be it.
Which would be the end of compelling nonconference games. But how many in 2012 were all that compelling?
You had the three games against Notre Dame. There was Michigan’s game against Alabama. Four games were played against Pac-12 teams. Michigan State played Boise State. And Iowa faced state-rival Iowa State.
A 10-game schedule, if ever implemented, would mean the end of Big Ten teams playing Notre Dame. It would also kill off the Iowa State-Iowa series.
I can’t imagine any Big Ten teams other than maybe Northwestern and Indiana giving up a seventh home game for any reason. And league schools do have a lot of interesting nonconference series lined up, like Ohio State against Oregon and Texas. Michigan will play Arkansas home-and-away later this decade. Nebraska has series lined up with Tennessee and Oklahoma. Michigan State has — get this — Oregon in 2014 and 2015, and Alabama in 2016 and 2017. The Spartans also play Notre Dame in 2016 and 2017.
So the 10-game league schedule is just talk.