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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Delany gets it right: B1G/Pac-12 announce scheduling agreement

One year ago, Jim Delany almost allowed the biggest blunder in Big 10 history when word leaked that the Michigan-Ohio State game was going to be moved from its traditional spot at the end of the regular season.  Hell, it was so bad, I immediately returned from blogging retirement to man the keyboard in protest of this boneheaded decision.  Thankfully, The Game stayed put (unfortunately for my productivity, I somehow kept blogging).

That hair and those eyebrows just
scream evil genius
Yesterday, Delany teamed up with his counterpart in the Pac-12, Commissioner Larry Scott, to announce "a collaborative effort to enhance long-term scheduling commitments between the two conferences across all sports amongst the 24 institutions."  And more football specific, starting in 2017, "the objective is to create an annual 12 inter-conference game schedule between the two conferences."

And just like that, the SEC's addition of Mizzou and Texas A&M seems so...quaint.  The Big East's addition of Boise State and...who again?... seems so 2011.  As Scott points out, the B1G and Pac-12 gain a lot of the upside of expansion (broader reach, new markets and recruiting areas( without actually expanding.  And with the conferences' TV deals with ESPN expiring in 2016, the BTN and the Pac-12 new network stand to make a financial killing.

The new scheduling means the B1G nine-game conference schedule that was being discussed is kaput.  And it also means replacing one non-conference with the new Pac-12 game (whether that "replaced" game is the annual crap-fest against some MAC or 1-AA school or ND remains to be seen.  I for one wouldn't mind showing ND the door, or at least not having that game every year). 

According to the Freep story on the announcement, "together, the Big Ten and Pac-12 encompass 15 states holding 43% of the nation's population and 22 of its top 50 television markets."  Not a bad national footprint and recruiting pitch.  Plus, it doesn't take much foresight to see this positions the B1G (and the Pac-12) as the leaders for any future shifts in the college football landscape.

So while last year during the M/OSU bruhaha, I hated Delany with the intensity of a thousand suns, today I must tip my maize and blue cap to him for getting so far out in front of the curve, the other conferences must now rethink their plans as the contemplate catching up.


Dennis said...

First step towards super conference?

If I read this right, this will be nice for some of the other sports as well, especially the Olympic ones like Gymnastics.

Imagine if the Pac 12 and B1G played hardball with ND. Outside of you, your not so little brother and USC, the rest of their schedule is fairly weak most years. Sometimes they get a year, like this one, where Stanford is good. The B1G and Pac 12 give them their quality "conference" schedule.

I imagine they'd run to either the Big East or Big Texas, I mean Big Twelve. Not to join, that would diminish the "national brand."
It would be interesting to see of the other conferences would be as agreeable as we have been over the years.
Sorry, again, for the false alarm.

Ramona said...

It's all good! So they are NOT going to screw around with The Game.. and we have some interesting possiblities ahead! About time!!

2012 Go Blue!

osu>um said...

Not sure if I would pat myself on the back to much for saving the OSU/Mich game. Strong,strong rumors are that its a done deal to move the game to Oct. Brandon, Smith are going along with the move. Bucknuts is alleging this and Gary Danielson has reported on the Mike Francesa show on the YES network, he has spoken with "several" B1G officials and the move will be made soon. The reason it wasn't forced in the alignment phase is because it was to much for both fan bases. Remember, Deleny is a Carolina guy and Smith is a ND guy. They have never fully appreciated the rivalry and it's always been a poker chip to them.

Ramona said...

Not buying...
Unless they have had their heads buried in the sand for the past 70 years, how can they not appreciate the rivalry!? Even 10 year old ESPN idiots understand this.

Mikoyan said...

The sad part is that with Michigan and OSU in different divisions, the rivalry is going to get diminished in time as it is. Part of the thing that made it the rivalry was that it was usually the game that decided who goes to the Rose Bowl and who goes home (or to a lesser bowl). With them in different divisions, there's not that terminality to the game.

But I do like the alignment of the PAC-12 and Big-10. If nothing else, it puts them in a position to dictate terms about playoffs and what not.