Gophers football OK with Big Ten ditching divisions if rivalry games remain

BleedGopher

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per Greder:

The Big Ten can stop dividing football programs into two divisions, according to an NCAA rules change Wednesday, and the Gophers are OK with that, if one thing remains in a new setup.

“Whatever we end up doing, I just hope we protect those rivalries because that’s a big part of who we are and what we’re about,” University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle was quoted by ESPN at Big Ten meetings this week.


Go Gophers!!
 


A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I don't know how we would maintain

Wisc,
Iowa,
Michigan,
Nebraska, ....

And everyone else's preferences and not end up with ... mini skewed divisions... or teams who just get hosed for years and years dude to all the conflicts.

The "no divisions" solution to differeing schedules seems like it easily result in even worse wonky scheduling.
 

highwayman

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I don't know how we would maintain

Wisc,
Iowa,
Michigan,
Nebraska, ....

And everyone else's preferences and not end up with ... mini skewed divisions... or teams who just get hosed for years and years dude to all the conflicts.

The "no divisions" solution to differeing schedules seems like it easily result in even worse wonky scheduling.
You just keep the division schedule, not the divisions. 6 against the same teams every year, and rotate the other 3 just as now. Done.

Purdue-Indiana is the only non-division rivalry game, so they currently have seven. Stays exactly the same.
 

Some guy

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You just keep the division schedule, not the divisions. 6 against the same teams every year, and rotate the other 3 just as now. Done.

Purdue-Indiana is the only non-division rivalry game, so they currently have seven. Stays exactly the same.
Yeah. This works the best and makes the most sense.
This accommodates for a 2 loss west champ because they can be passed by a 1 loss east team
This accommodates for a 1 loss west champ that loses to a 1 loss east 2nd place team
This keeps all rivals together

This maintains the ability of every team to control their own destiny entering the season (which to me is a must have).

So I think the likeliest solution is the big ten moves from divisions to “scheduling groups” that are east and west.
 


short ornery norwegian

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the question is how many "protected" or "rivalry" games are built into the schedule.

IMHO, if they eliminated divisions, they are not going to keep some form of divisional scheduling.

it will be 2 or maybe 3 protected rivalry games and then a rotating round-robin schedule with all of the remaining teams in the league.

that way, you don't get situations where MN plays Indiana twice in 10 years, or whatever it's been under the current system.

and - speaking bluntly - if you don't want to see MN play "the big boys" - OSU, Mich, Penn State - more often, then you're admitting that the Gophers are not good enough to beat good teams -- ergo, not good enough to win a conference title.

If you ever want to see MN win a Rose Bowl, they're going to have to beat good teams to get there.
 

Some guy

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the question is how many "protected" or "rivalry" games are built into the schedule.

IMHO, if they eliminated divisions, they are not going to keep some form of divisional scheduling.

it will be 2 or maybe 3 protected rivalry games and then a rotating round-robin schedule with all of the remaining teams in the league.

that way, you don't get situations where MN plays Indiana twice in 10 years, or whatever it's been under the current system.

and - speaking bluntly - if you don't want to see MN play "the big boys" - OSU, Mich, Penn State - more often, then you're admitting that the Gophers are not good enough to beat good teams -- ergo, not good enough to win a conference title.

If you ever want to see MN win a Rose Bowl, they're going to have to beat good teams to get there.
Literally not true. All they had to do was beat either Iowa or Wisconsin to make the rose bowl in 2019


Meanwhile. The problem with going 2-3 rivals and even rotation of the rest is you HAVE to have two closed loop round robins to eliminate the possibility of 3 unbeatens at the end of the regular season.
So even if you don’t have divisional scheduling, you’re going to have divisional scheduling. The divisions might just change from year to year more easily though because there aren’t divisional standing for people to have to memorize.


Even if there isn’t divisional scheduling still. The conferences will be put into two groups that all play each other.

group A:
Ohio state, Michigan, Michigan state
Group B:
Penn state, Maryland, Rutgers
Group C:
Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, northwestern
Group D:
Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, wisconsin

Year 1
group D plays itself and group B plus enough games to fill 9 (3)
Group C plays itself and group A plus enough games to fill 9 (3)

Year 2
Group D plays itself plus group A plus enough games to fill 9 (3)
Group C plays itself plus group B plus enough games to fill 9 (3)

Year 3
Group D plays itself plus group C plus enough games to fill 9 (2)
Group A plays itself plus group B plus enough games to play 9 (4)

The problem is the math doesn’t work in year 3.



So until the conference expands to 16 so all the groups are the same size, it is really hard to schedule the conference with 2-3 protected games in a way that doesn’t leave open the possibility of 3 unbeatens without having 2 groups of 7.
 

Some guy

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Im not very good at math. But if someone could build and show me a 4 year schedule where everyone plays everyone but mathematically no chance of 3 unbeatens at the end with the following games locked…I will but into the end of divisions. I’ve yet to see it from any writer regionally or nationally.

Locked rivalries:
Nebraska: Iowa, Penn state
Iowa: Minnesota, Nebraska
Minnesota: Iowa, wisconsin
Wisconsin: Minnesota, northwestern
Northwestern: Illinois, wisconsin
Illinois: northwestern, Ohio state
Purdue: Indiana, Michigan state
Indiana: Purdue, Rutgers
Penn state: Maryland, Nebraska
Maryland: Penn state, Rutgers
Rutgers: Maryland, Indiana
Michigan: Michigan state, Ohio state
Ohio state: Michigan, Illinois
Michigan state: Michigan, Purdue

No idea what the rivalries will be but those are pretty clean
 

Gophers_4life

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I know you hate it, but the 3 unbeaten things is just not going to be a thing that matters.

They're just going to say that the highest ranked two teams get into the conf championship game.

There won't be ties. It will be determined by the CFP ranking.
 



Gophers_4life

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The odds of the Gophers being left out of the conf champ game after going 12-0 on the season, are just beyond astronomically small.

If it's three with 8-0 or 9-0 conf records, but unequal non-conf records ... well, then that's not the same.

Even three teams at 12-0, their non-confs likely won't be of nearly equal caliber. So that's a differentiation.
 

Some guy

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I know you hate it, but the 3 unbeaten things is just not going to be a thing that matters.

They're just going to say that the highest ranked two teams get into the conf championship game.

There won't be ties. It will be determined by the CFP ranking.
You think Minnesota, Iowa, wisconsin, Indiana, northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois are going to vote to sign up for a conference set up where they don’t control their own destiny entering the season? You’re dreaming
 

Gophers_4life

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You think Minnesota, Iowa, wisconsin, Indiana, northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois are going to vote to sign up for a conference set up where they don’t control their own destiny entering the season? You’re dreaming
$100M/year check from the conf
Academic "prestige"
Seat at the table
Astronomically small odds that they get "left out" in the unfair scenario you're proposing.

They absolutely will. My opinion (which is worthless)
 

PMWinSTP

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Literally not true. All they had to do was beat either Iowa or Wisconsin to make the rose bowl in 2019


Meanwhile. The problem with going 2-3 rivals and even rotation of the rest is you HAVE to have two closed loop round robins to eliminate the possibility of 3 unbeatens at the end of the regular season.
So even if you don’t have divisional scheduling, you’re going to have divisional scheduling. The divisions might just change from year to year more easily though because there aren’t divisional standing for people to have to memorize.


Even if there isn’t divisional scheduling still. The conferences will be put into two groups that all play each other.

group A:
Ohio state, Michigan, Michigan state
Group B:
Penn state, Maryland, Rutgers
Group C:
Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, northwestern
Group D:
Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, wisconsin

Year 1
group D plays itself and group B plus enough games to fill 9 (3)
Group C plays itself and group A plus enough games to fill 9 (3)

Year 2
Group D plays itself plus group A plus enough games to fill 9 (3)
Group C plays itself plus group B plus enough games to fill 9 (3)

Year 3
Group D plays itself plus group C plus enough games to fill 9 (2)
Group A plays itself plus group B plus enough games to play 9 (4)

The problem is the math doesn’t work in year 3.



So until the conference expands to 16 so all the groups are the same size, it is really hard to schedule the conference with 2-3 protected games in a way that doesn’t leave open the possibility of 3 unbeatens without having 2 groups of 7.
So eliminating the possibility of having three unbeaten teams is a good thing for the conference?
 



Some guy

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So eliminating the possibility of having three unbeaten teams is a good thing for the conference?
Eliminating the possibility of an unbeaten conference team not winning the big ten title is a good thing.
If they bring back shared titles I’m sure people would have no issue with it
 

Some guy

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$100M/year check from the conf
Academic "prestige"
Seat at the table
Astronomically small odds that they get "left out" in the unfair scenario you're proposing.

They absolutely will. My opinion (which is worthless)
Okay. We will see who is right I guess

Not that we can bet. But I would bet astronomical amounts of money that the big ten doesn’t go to a system where an unbeaten conference record doesn’t control its own destiny for a conference title
 

Gophers_4life

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The team winning the conf championship game will "share" the title with a team that didn't play in the game at all?

You know that won't happen.
 

Some guy

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The team winning the conf championship game will "share" the title with a team that didn't play in the game at all?

You know that won't happen.
I agree. That’s why they’ll have two closed loop round robins in the schedule. Aka divisional scheduling
 

Gophers_4life

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Okay. We will see who is right I guess

Not that we can bet. But I would bet astronomical amounts of money that the big ten doesn’t go to a system where an unbeaten conference record doesn’t control its own destiny for a conference title
I think if their TV partner tells them they want the top two CFP ranked teams in the conf champ game, they will do that.
 

Gophers_4life

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I agree. That’s why they’ll have two closed loop round robins in the schedule. Aka divisional scheduling
It would be great if they did that. It would solve your concern.

Thing is, how then do you get all the conf teams playing every other conf team?

I think you can only do such a thing, then, if you sacrifice rivalry games. That bit is what makes it nearly impossible.


I think to do like you're saying, you have to sacrifice either: i) rivalry/trophy games, or ii) every team getting to every other conf team in X years.
 

Some guy

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It would be great if they did that. It would solve your concern.

Thing is, how then do you get all the conf teams playing every other conf team?

I think you can only do such a thing, then, if you sacrifice rivalry games. That bit is what makes it nearly impossible.


I think to do like you're saying, you have to sacrifice either: i) rivalry/trophy games, or ii) every team getting to every other conf team in X years.
Yup. And they already chose that. I don’t know why they would change that decision now.

I also don’t necessarily think more Minnesota Indiana and Purdue Rutgers games raises the value of the TV deal. People keep saying the money is better but I’ve seen no one show any evidence that will be true.
 

PMWinSTP

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Eliminating the possibility of an unbeaten conference team not winning the big ten title is a good thing.
If they bring back shared titles I’m sure people would have no issue with it
My point is more broadly beyond the conference, having several undefeated teams is better than trying to ensure it can't happen.
 

Gophers_4life

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Yup. And they already chose that. I don’t know why they would change that decision now.

I also don’t necessarily think more Minnesota Indiana and Purdue Rutgers games raises the value of the TV deal. People keep saying the money is better but I’ve seen no one show any evidence that will be true.
I would pick rivalry games or just generally games that fans care about and will tune in to watch, over making sure everyone plays everyone.

But the latter is a thing that the conf has done up to this point.
 

Some guy

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My point is more broadly beyond the conference, having several undefeated teams is better than trying to ensure it can't happen.
Yeah.
Divisional scheduling actually reduces the likelihood of 3 unbeaten or 1 loss teams but it decreases the likelihood of 0 unbeaten or 1 loss teams.


People keep talking about the money. Well if it’s about the money PSU, OsU, Mi, MSU, NE, WI are going to have to play each other. If they all play each other and it ends with a bunch of 2-3 loss teams because they beat each other up the non divisional scheduling actually screwed the conference
 

Some guy

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I would pick rivalry games or just generally games that fans care about and will tune in to watch, over making sure everyone plays everyone.

But the latter is a thing that the conf has done up to this point.
The latter is not the thing they’ve done up to this point. I disagree with you there
 

Gophers_4life

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The latter is not the thing they’ve done up to this point. I disagree with you there
The current thing is 9 game conf schedule:
- 6 divsion
- 1 "long term" cross-division for six year cycles (we just got done with Maryland, moving on now to Mich State)
- 2 remaining games cycle through the remaining six cross-division games

So every team sees every other team no more than three years.
 

Some guy

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The current thing is 9 game conf schedule:
- 6 divsion
- 1 "long term" cross-division for six year cycles (we just got done with Maryland, moving on now to Mich State)
- 2 remaining games cycle through the remaining six cross-division games

So every team sees every other team no more than three years.
Yeah. You just said they have built the schedule in favor of seeing teams more often. And I disagreed and said they build it more in favor of rivalries….because I skipped the word “NOT” when I read
So actually I agree with you. Whoops


The locked “rivalry” isn’t a rivalry
It is a necessity to preserve Indiana Purdue because 14 is a difficult number to schedule for
 

Gophers_4life

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Yeah. You just said they have built the schedule in favor of seeing teams more often. And I disagreed and said they build it more in favor of rivalries….because I skipped the word “NOT” when I read
So actually I agree with you. Whoops


The locked “rivalry” isn’t a rivalry
It is a necessity to preserve Indiana Purdue because 14 is a difficult number to schedule for
True.

I think they did that one like that based on the division performance over the previous cycle. So best plays best, 2nd plays 2nd, etc. Maybe ... haven't checked that. Did Wisconsin get Ohio St?
 

Some guy

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True.

I think they did that one like that based on the division performance over the previous cycle. So best plays best, 2nd plays 2nd, etc. Maybe ... haven't checked that. Did Wisconsin get Ohio St?
At the time I remember they said they did it for two reasons:
1) Indiana Purdue is the only major rivalry split by divisions
2) to guarantee more good tv matchups

So wisconsin got Michigan
Nebraska got Ohio state
Iowa got Penn state
Purdue got Indiana


The last 3 just thrown together
First 3 for tv matchups
Indiana Purdue for rivalry reasons


And they had to do it. Because the only way to build the schedule with Indiana and Purdue locked with balanced schedules over a certain number of years was to lock others as well.

I would argue Purdue has the easiest path to a big ten championship birth. They lock with Indiana. I believe Illinois locks with Rutgers that’s the second easiest

I REALLY Hate to say it, but Nebraska got screwed lol
 

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per Greder:

The Big Ten can stop dividing football programs into two divisions, according to an NCAA rules change Wednesday, and the Gophers are OK with that, if one thing remains in a new setup.

“Whatever we end up doing, I just hope we protect those rivalries because that’s a big part of who we are and what we’re about,” University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle was quoted by ESPN at Big Ten meetings this week.


Go Gophers!!
Go Gophers
 

fmlizard

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I want to keep our rivalry games too, but if they kill divisions, allow rampant player buying, and make us still play wisconsin and iowa every year as our protected games...well, I hope you enjoy the band on a nice autumn Saturday. The days of losing records may be back.

The possible positive is that iowa and wisconsin don't seem inclined to get involved in the new arms race either, so maybe they become easier games over time.
 




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