Will the Big Ten give up football teams? It’s a tough discussion | football

The Big Ten once drew a chuckle when it called football divisions “legends” and “leaders”. It created an imbalance by dividing East and West.

Now, with the future of college football in the air, the league may join other conferences that have already taken a step to eliminate divisions and pit the top two teams regardless of geography against each other in the title game.

“I think a lot of the Big Ten athletic directors I’ve spoken to are proponents of eliminating divisions and saying the top two teams should get a chance to play in the conference championship,” said Nebraska State Athletic Director Trev Alberts. Monday in his monthly radio appearance.

This is my opinion too.”

From a purely competitive point of view, this move makes sense.

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Teams now in the Big Ten’s East Division have won nine games in a row at the conferences, and the last eight come since the league switched from Legends and Leaders to East and West. Wisconsin won the first two editions of the competition, in 2011 and 2012.

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But it is not so simple with the touch of a finger.

The Big Ten is currently in the middle of massive negotiations over the media rights that will decide who will broadcast league matches, and how much that network will pay for the franchise. This number will not be small.

As long as the Big Ten schools continue to receive eight-figure payments from conference television deals, television will be just as important as any entity in whether or not the league makes the change.

There are other factors, Alberts explained, too. The TV segment is a hunk, but what would getting to a playoff game in college football seemingly on the cusp of expansion look like? How can a conference so firmly rooted in the concept of competitions keep those traditions alive in a radically different scheduling model? And what will college football look like in five, 10 or 20 years? Will he rule himself? Will the NCAA or something like that have a say?

“So I think when you combine all these different factors, it’s more accurate, I think, than this easy, ‘Well, why don’t we do this?'” Alberts said. “And I think the Big Ten — well, I know the Big Ten are very thoughtful and very careful.”

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This means nothing about actually scheduling games.

“The challenge is, when you have nonsensical numbers, or when you can’t get enough of your football league matches, how do you create competitive stocks, especially if you don’t have teams?” Alberts said.

“Every year it will be, ‘How can Wisconsin or Nebraska win the championship that year?'” They didn’t even play Penn State or Michigan State. “This is what you’ll get.”

Alberts said the true stock schedule could take 25 or 30 years to finally come to an end.

“The truth is: We hear a lot about a lot of different ideas,” Alberts said. “It’s speculation, and his opinions, quite frankly, a lot of them come from a position of personal interest.” But it does add a little bit of confusion. Frankly, there are a lot of questions, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, and yes, there is some thought to that.”

This step has already been taken at other conferences.

Pac-12 next season and Mountain West in 2023 will cancel the divisions and the top two teams in the league will play each other for the conference title.

This plays to what Alberts said.

“I think you’re going to see more restrictions lifted. And I think you’re going to see, from my role to mine, different approaches to that.”

The Big Ten will likely go this way, too. That won’t happen in 2022, although Alberts cautioned that things could always change.

But with college football continuing to go through the early stages of what appears to be a massive upheaval, the staid Big Ten will likely change at some point.

“This is not something that can be easily changed,” Alberts said. “We just happen to be the only Power Five that’s in the middle of media rights negotiations. That really affects some of those things for us.”

Contact the author at cbasnett@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436. On Twitter HuskerExtraCB.

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