Monday Musings: The Big Ten


Some time has passed since the Big Ten announced the addition of Nebraska into its fold, as well as the divisional splits and names of the two divisions.  Until now, I haven’t had a chance to really delve into the whole topic.  So, I’d thought I’d throw together some random thoughts on the upcoming Big Ten season.  My intention is to post a “Monday Musings” article every week; this is my first.

-I don’t hate the divisional names, Leaders and Legends, like most seem to, though they were slightly odd choices.  I heard they didn’t want to make them OSU/Michigan centered by naming them after Woody and Bo.  I read where several people suggested Great Lakes and Plains and that would have made more sense.  After all, how do you defend putting Northwestern in a division named Legends?  (I expect a call anytime now from my best friend, who is a NU grad…)

-It seems they did a decent job of splitting the teams up.  They weren’t going to please everyone (Wisconsin and Minnesota), but think of the new state boarder rivalry that could blossom in Iowa vs. Nebraska.  I also think Nebraska vs. Michigan could heat up once UM gets “DeRodriguezed” over the next few seasons.

-I’m not a purist by any stretch (I actually would like to see the Cleveland Browns change their uniforms a bit; yikes!), but it’s going to seem very odd indeed to watch the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game played in Indy this fall.  I’ve railed against conference championship games for years, and I won’t get into why.  But, it was inevitable if the Big Ten wanted to start keeping up with the SEC, Pac 12, etc.  They may stop getting two teams into BCS games, but the extra week and game will make them better.  It’s also good marketing for the conference and will keep them in the public eye longer.  I did get tired of watching everyone else play for two more weeks after the Big Ten wrapped up the season.

-Did I mention the Championship Game will bring in even more money for the already rich conference?  I bet Jim Delaney is still salivating over it.

-Time for full disclosure: I am an OSU fan and graduate.  That being said, I am actually a bit excited about Brady Hoke.  Don’t get me wrong.  Nothing makes my year complete more than beating up on Michigan.  However, besides the more competitive future of The Game, I like what I’m hearing about Hoke having a “Beat Ohio State” clock/sign and his new recruits talking trash about us.  That’s more like it!

-I’m looking at all of the teams on a list in front of me right now and here is what I see: not one great team in the bunch.  Nebraska will be good, as will Wisconsin, Michigan State, and OSU (who could have been fantastic if not for you-know-what).  I’m hoping that by the time we do get to a championship game, two strong teams will emerge.  Nothing would squash an “inaugural” year quite like a 9-3 MSU team playing 9-3 Wisky and neither was ranked in the top 10.

-August can’t get here soon enough.