As nervous Illini fans prepare for the annual season-opening fiasco against Missouri, the Big 10 has announced the two divisions accompanying Nebraska’s entry into the conference. Since we’re not sure what the hell to call these things, we call upon folks to get creative with the divisional names.
Division TPS Report
Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana
Division PC Load Letter
Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern
The venerable one thinks this shakes out pretty well for the Illini, with Northwestern as the protected rivalry game (even though we can never seem to beat them) and guaranteed yearly games against Indiana and Purdue. He also points out we play pretty well against the Buckeyes, even though they’re nearly always more talented. Tupper in Decatur pretty much agrees.
Me, I don’t know. I think I’d rather swap places with Minnesota and play against the PC Load Letter teams, but that’s just a gut reaction. In the end it won’t matter that much, but I am disappointed we will only see the likes of Iowa a couple of times a decade. Looking at the schedules, you get two cross-divisional teams rotating every two years. This means it will be years before we see Nebraska – barring, that is, some sort of strange pan-dimensional Big 10 Championship occurrence.
Speaking of the Big 10 Championship, all the pundits have been chattering about the possibility of OSU and Michigan meeting twice in a season on consecutive weekends to decide the title. Oooh! Ahhh! It could happen (though not likely with Michigan’s current suck-factor). But what about this: the possibility of Illinois winning Division Chuck and Northwestern winning Division Norris to set up the consecutive weekend scenario… You think the marketing guys would like that? You’d have to put them on suicide watch… Similarly amusing scenarios could play out with the unglamorous Indiana-Purdue and Michigan State-Minnesota rivalries.
This is what all red-blooded fans should be secretly pulling for with that first football championship game.
Because it’s all about money and catapulting the likes of Nebraska, OSU, Penn State, etc. into the so-called BCS championship game anyway, which also makes me sore. You see, we at Beemsville believe college football needs to go to a 16 team playoff with automatic qualifiers from the major conferences and at-large teams selected by a committee (just like basketball) for the rest. Since such a scenario would likely detract from these cash-grab conference championship games and the Big 10’s cozy track to the BCS title game, the conference seems unlikely to support it. And since the Big 10 carries major cache in any football playoff discussions, this becomes just another hurdle to overcome. For us, anything that impedes the march towards a playoff system is a bad thing.