Monday, May 04, 2009

Paterno and Big 10 expansion

JoePa created a bit of a mild stir by suggesting last week while visiting Alumni that the Big 10 should expand to 12 teams and have a conference championship.

He said the Big Ten should add a 12th team and play a championship game, and that it hurts the league's chance to win a national title by ending its season earlier than the other major conferences.

Whether or not you agree with him, the comment does make sense; most other conferences are playing their championship games while the Big 10 season is long over. So the OMG IT'S THE SEC!!!! and Big 12 dominate the talk in the sports world while most people forget the Big 10 exists. It hurts in the polls and it hurts in the pocket book because the championship games generate a lot of revenue. So I found it completely odd to read this kind of commentary. Once again it's lazy reporting at its finest. Start out by calling Joe old.

Sometimes when a person stays up past their bedtime, they talk nothing but gibberish. Sometimes they say and do the craziest things. Sometimes their wisdom makes you wonder why this person doesn't speak up more.

Legendary 82-year-old Penn State football coach Joe Paterno did all of the above late Thursday night.

Yeah he's old and old people have early bedtimes so old crazy Joe must have been up past his bedtime or something like that. Just for the record, the only time I talk gibberish because I'm up past my bedtime is when I'm drunk (not that that happens much).

We'll start with the crazy. Paterno decided the Big Ten needs to add a 12th school to its conference and play a conference championship football game in early December. Listen, it's bad enough the Big Ten has 11 schools, but to add a 12th would mean to split the conference into two divisions and disrupt certain rivalries, although the SEC worked around this much better than did the Big 12 when both conferences expanded.

So he's crazy for suggesting the Big Ten add another team?? Note to lazy reporter guy: the Big 10 tried to expand by getting Notre Dame in the conference but they said no. Are you suggesting the entire Big 10 is crazy as well? The guy even contradicts himself by saying it worked for the SEC. So it worked for another conference but it won’t for the Big 10? That’s some good logic.

Finally, the gibberish. Paterno offered up Pitt, Syracuse or Rutgers as the 12th school in the Big Ten. Yeah, like that's going to happen. If the Big Ten ever got to this point, the invite would go to either Notre Dame or Missouri… Ultimately, Paterno's reasoning is flawed because what the heck would we call the conference? The Big 12 is already taken! Big Ten plus two? The Dirty Dozen?

Ok so the name thing would be a concern but would that stop the conference from expanding? Would Jim Delaney say "well we were going to expand but we can't because we would have to change our name?" Now that's crazy. As for the teams that Paterno offered they certainly would jump at the chance to be in the Big 10 something that Notre Dame did not, as I mentioned before. Admittedly, Paterno's choices are a bit self-serving, they were all old rivals of Penn State and they would add another east coast team to the conference, but adding Pitt or Rutgers would be good for the Big 10 and the schools. Either school would instantly benefit from a recruiting and money standpoint and the conference would get another "decent" team. Anyone that thinks Notre Dame is going to give up their lucrative T V deals and scheduling freedom to enter a conference is crazy. I was once against expanding the Big 10 but if the past couple of years have taught us anything it's that the long layoff between the end of conference play and the Bowl games is affecting teams especially ones playing in BCS games. Adding another team makes sense and let's face it if a Big 10 team can't go undefeated and win another game against a quality opponent then they don't deserve to be in the championship game.

I even question why someone from Naples is even writing about Paterno, for a far better take on this look no further than here: Bob Hunter commentary: Paterno gets it, but Big Ten fossils don't.


We Want the Lion said...

That columnists bedtime must have been 12-noon.

How can anyone not want to have the opportunity to play one more game? I even forget the Big11Ten exists for a little bit there during December, I can only imagine what it's like for people who already don't pay attention to the conference.

Nick said...

Honestly, I hate the pathetic cash grab that is a conference championship game, but there's absolutely no reason for the season to end so early. That being said, the Big Ten either better add another team or set up a round robin conference schedule where everyone plays each other. If they add another team, I foresee a lopsided alignment with Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State all in one division. If they make it so everyone plays each other, the out of conference schedule will become worse and worse in order to fill requisite home games.

Galen said...

It all comes down to money. The conference teams don't want to add another conference game because then they can't schedule Yissomican State Tech as another home game and get another payday from the fleecing their fans take.