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Does the Big Ten need a wakeup call? PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, September 08, 2013 12:00 AM

 

By JIM METCALFE

Sports Editor

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So, the Big Ten has announced that though it is discouraging its member schools from scheduling the Football Championship Series teams in future years, especially once the new College Football Playoff format begins, it will not punish them for doing so.

One question: why not? Are they on a death wish?

Strength of schedule is going to be one of the criteria — my guess is, one of THE biggest — that the new selection committee will use to make those picks.

As far as I am concerned, whether the FCS schools are left out of the lurch or not is irrelevent.

Is it fair that this could happen, that the small schools will lose their major paydays? No — but as we all know, life isn’t fair.

College football is making these decisions, not fairness. College football will punish those teams who play these lesser lights.

When some major archrivalries are in danger — like Texas/Texas A & M — of not being played because of all the movement in major-college football these days, that’s a problem.

Those small schools will not only NOT help build a respectable SOS for the big boys but they will drain needed points.

I realize the supposed need to have seven home games each season to make ends meet but with all the money that is being thrown around with expanding TV contracts, etc., I wonder if that is really true anymore.

What does having that seventh home game against Kill Me A & I help you make ends meet when in the long run, it’s going to suck money from your coffers when you aren’t potentially getting the huge-money playoffs?

Let’s ask this question: does a potential 5-star recruit from Baton Rouge want to see Ohio State play San Diego State or Florida State, for example?

The Big Ten teams are in a fight for their collective lives to stand up to the bullies of the Southeastern Conference, as well as the formidable teams of the PAC 12, in hopes of making those Playoffs.

Let’s face it: the SEC has far more truly heavyweight matchups — with far better weather and locations — that the Big Ten can muster. Outside of Ohio State and That Team Up North — perhaps throwing in Wisconsin — the Big Ten doesn’t really have those heavyweights you really need to build up that impeccable resume.

Nebraska — once one of the elites in major-college football — hasn’t been the same since Tom Osborne left the sideline, though they have had some good coaches and solid teams since he retired, and Penn State may be done as a player in the national spotlight for a decade or more. Who knows if they can ever recover the glitter that once was in Happy Valley.

To think that Maryland or Rutgers is really going to add to the heavyweight-ness of the Big Ten is whistling Dixie.

If you are talking about bringing in a Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Pittsburgh — you have something.

Whether the middle two on that list were real targets or had real ideas of moving north in their conference affiliation, no one really knows.

The outer two are likely still on the radar and with this new format coming, one wonders at some point if they don’t bite the bullet and agree to come in.

I can see Notre Dame wanting to maintain those rivalries but with all the movement in the game of college football, one has to wonder if this will be possible in the coming decade.

Perhaps they can but perhaps it will be like stopping the tide from coming in.

 

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