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

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
The others didn’t get the chance to play Ohio state

So Michigan automatically has a tiebreak in perpetuity for being into OsU when they’re probably the “best loss” in 75% of big ten seasons?
How likely will it be Ohio State 9-0 and three teams at 8-1 that didn't all play each other?

If it's something like a 10% chance each year, then yeah you need to take that into account with how the scheduling works. If it's only a 0.01% chance each year, then maybe it's not something worry about?

And you’re wrong. There is a really easy way to “prove it”

It’s called having a schedule with two round robins.
You said in that post that you hadn't seen it.

Also, you required both two locked rivalries for each team and to cycle through all teams in the conference in no more than 6 years (which is twice what it is now ... 6 years seems a bit long if you're going to try to maintain that "everyone should play everyone else in a timely manner" thing -- not important to me, but may be for some)

OK, so let's try it.

Here is a shot at the two locked rivalries for each:

Minn - Wisc, Iowa
Iowa - Minn, Wisc
Wisc - Minn, Iowa
Neb - NW, OSU
NW - Ill, Neb
Ill - NW, Pur
Pur - Ind, Ill
Ind - Pur, MSU
Mich - MSU, OSU
Mich St - Mich, Ind
OSU - Mich, Neb
PSU - Mary, Rut
Rut - Mary, PSU
Mary - Rut, PSU

Not sure if this is what everyone would prefer, and Neb gets screwed over with OSU, but I don't care.


How would you construct the "divisions" and meet all your requirements? I'm not sure it can be done. This is the main problem: some of the teams would have their rivalries within their "division" while others would not. Doesn't that create an imbalance? In other words, each team would vary between 1-3 conf games outside the "division" that wouldn't be locked in.


I think you'd have to sacrifice one of two things: either everyone playing everyone, at least within a cycle of scheduling (current cycles are 6 years), or you'd have to require that the locked in rivalries are outside each "division".
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
How likely will it be Ohio State 9-0 and three teams at 8-1 that didn't all play each other?

If it's something like a 10% chance each year, then yeah you need to take that into account with how the scheduling works. If it's only a 0.01% chance each year, then maybe it's not something worry about?


You said in that post that you hadn't seen it.

Also, you required both two locked rivalries for each team and to cycle through all teams in the conference in no more than 6 years (which is twice what it is now ... 6 years seems a bit long if you're going to try to maintain that "everyone should play everyone else in a timely manner" thing -- not important to me, but may be for some)

OK, so let's try it.

Here is a shot at the two locked rivalries for each:

Minn - Wisc, Iowa
Iowa - Minn, Wisc
Wisc - Minn, Iowa
Neb - NW, OSU
NW - Ill, Neb
Ill - NW, Pur
Pur - Ind, Ill
Ind - Pur, MSU
Mich - MSU, OSU
Mich St - Mich, Ind
OSU - Mich, Neb
PSU - Mary, Rut
Rut - Mary, PSU
Mary - Rut, PSU

Not sure if this is what everyone would prefer, and Neb gets screwed over with OSU, but I don't care.


How would you construct the "divisions" and meet all your requirements? I'm not sure it can be done. This is the main problem: some of the teams would have their rivalries within their "division" while others would not. Doesn't that create an imbalance? In other words, each team would vary between 1-3 conf games outside the "division" that wouldn't be locked in.


I think you'd have to sacrifice one of two things: either everyone playing everyone, at least within a cycle of scheduling (current cycles are 6 years), or you'd have to require that the locked in rivalries are outside each "division".
You did the easy part
You said who should play who every year

The hard part is building a schedule
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
One thing I hadn’t thought of is how unfair no divisions is when half the league gets 5 road games and the other half gets 4
 

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
You did the easy part
You said who should play who every year

The hard part is building a schedule
I was saying, the schedule you think can be done easily and meet all the criteria you outlined -- actually would be very hard or impossible to do!

Go ahead and propose two divisions any way you like of dividing the 14 teams, based on the locked in rivalries I prescribed above, and I'll show you what I mean.
 

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
One thing I hadn’t thought of is how unfair no divisions is when half the league gets 5 road games and the other half gets 4
Why is it more unfair than it already is, with divisions? The entire conference record counts for/against you when determining the division winners, not just divisions games (3 home/3 away).
 


Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
Why is it more unfair than it already is, with divisions? The entire conference record counts for/against you when determining the division winners, not just divisions games (3 home/3 away).
There has never been a division winner who wouldn’t have won the division if it was only division games…except 2022

2022 is the closest thing to it with Iowa/Wisconsin but one of wisconsin out of division losses was to a team Iowa beat…so I am not going to count that as a schedule imbalance issue
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
Why is it more unfair than it already is, with divisions? The entire conference record counts for/against you when determining the division winners, not just divisions games (3 home/3 away).
Because everyone in the division has the same number of home and road games and it alternates years
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
I was saying, the schedule you think can be done easily and meet all the criteria you outlined -- actually would be very hard or impossible to do!

Go ahead and propose two divisions any way you like of dividing the 14 teams, based on the locked in rivalries I prescribed above, and I'll show you what I mean.
I was saying, the schedule you think can be done easily and meet all the criteria you outlined -- actually would be very hard or impossible to do!

Go ahead and propose two divisions any way you like of dividing the 14 teams, based on the locked in rivalries I prescribed above, and I'll show you what I mean.
Here are the divisions
East
West

Rivalries not preserved
Purdue - Indiana
Have them play a locked crossover
 

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
Because everyone in the division has the same number of home and road games and it alternates years
As I said though, it isn't only divisions games that determine the division winner.

Everyone in the division plays 3home/3away against division teams .... but then some play 1home/2away against cross-division, and those games count too! Why isn't that just as unfair?
 



Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
As I said though, it isn't only divisions games that determine the division winner.

Everyone in the division plays 3home/3away against division teams .... but then some play 1home/2away against cross-division, and those games count too! Why isn't that just as unfair?
Because everyone in the division plays the same number of home and road games every year.
One year everyone in the west is 5H 4 R
The next year everyone in the west is 4H 5R

That’s literally taken into account in the schedule


Do you really not know the way the current schedule works? Why am I even discussing scheduling with you
 

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
Because everyone in the division plays the same number of home and road games every year.
One year everyone in the west is 5H 4 R
The next year everyone in the west is 4H 5R
Looking quickly at the 2022 schedules for West teams, Nebraska only has 4 road games while it appears every other West team has 5 road games.

https://fbschedules.com/2022-nebraska-football-schedule/


I had never heard of them trying to do that based on division. Would make sense that they can do it, except for one team each year, due to Purdue-Indiana imbalance, or something like that (maybe odd number of teams per division).
 

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
Here are the divisions
East
West

Rivalries not preserved
Purdue - Indiana
Have them play a locked crossover
So using my prescribed match-ups, this gives Purdue-IU and Neb-Ohio St as locked in cross-divisions, while every other teams' two locked in games are both within division.

That means Pur, IU, OSU, and Neb only have 2 additional games to schedule each year, while the remaining 10 teams have 3 additional games to schedule each year.


This is the imbalance I am referring to. My hunch is, it's not going to work out cleanly in say a six year cycle. (the current format uses six year cycles)

If you drop needing to play every other team within a cycle, then that would take care of that. But it would be a sacrifice to be made, in some sense (I personally don't care about it, but some may care).
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
Looking quickly at the 2022 schedules for West teams, Nebraska only has 4 road games while it appears every other West team has 5 road games.

https://fbschedules.com/2022-nebraska-football-schedule/


I had never heard of them trying to do that based on division. Would make sense that they can do it, except for one team each year, due to Purdue-Indiana imbalance, or something like that (maybe odd number of teams per division).
The northwestern game is a “road” game
 



Ope3

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
2,087
Points
113
The northwestern game is a “road” game
Good move by Northwestern to play the game in Dublin instead of Evanston. Probably far fewer Nebraska fans make the trip across the Atlantic as opposed to Lake Michigan.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
Good move by Northwestern to play the game in Dublin instead of Evanston. Probably far fewer Nebraska fans make the trip across the Atlantic as opposed to Lake Michigan.
True.
I might be mistaken but there might be a Ryan field construction project this summer too. Gives them a couple extra weeks
 

Ope3

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
2,087
Points
113
True.
I might be mistaken but there might be a Ryan field construction project this summer too. Gives them a couple extra weeks
It is getting an overhaul, but not that quickly. Likely for a season or 2 they are going to have to play games at other venues.

Kind of hoping for a Gopher game at Wrigley but if Divisions get the boot, that is less likely.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
It is getting an overhaul, but not that quickly. Likely for a season or 2 they are going to have to play games at other venues.

Kind of hoping for a Gopher game at Wrigley but if Divisions get the boot, that is less likely.
Personally I’d rather see a Mn northwestern game than a MN Rutgers/Indiana/Maryland/Michigan state game
 

Ope3

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
2,087
Points
113
Personally I’d rather see a Mn northwestern game than a MN Rutgers/Indiana/Maryland/Michigan state game
Michigan St I would rate my excitement level about the same a NW, maybe even a little higher.

The other 3, meh.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
Michigan St I would rate my excitement level about the same a NW, maybe even a little higher.

The other 3, meh.
In years where we can compete more Michigan, Ohio state, Penn state will be nice
 

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
The northwestern game is a “road” game
You're right. Confirmed by Neb only having 4 Big Ten games in Lincoln and NW only having 3 Big Ten games in Evanston.

So, your reasoning for how it could be more unfair is something like the #2 team had 5home/4away while the #3 team had 4home/5away, the #2 and #3 never played each other, and thus the #2 team was aided over the #3 team a bit by the schedule.

OK. Fair enough. I agree it's a bit of a wonky thing to maintain 9 conference games with a wide open schedule.

ACC, for example, is looking at doing 8 conf games: 3 locked in and the 5 remaining cycle through the 10 remaining every two years. A player on the team for four consecutive years, will play in every stadium in the conference.
 

short ornery norwegian

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
13,864
Reaction score
6,159
Points
113
ACC, for example, is looking at doing 8 conf games: 3 locked in and the 5 remaining cycle through the 10 remaining every two years. A player on the team for four consecutive years, will play in every stadium in the conference.

this gets to one of my points/concerns.

If you are in the same conference with another team, you should play that team on some kind of a regular basis.

Honestly, it doesn't even feel as if MN and Indiana are in the same conference for FB. I'm not claiming that MN and Indiana have some great FB rivalry, but they are ostensibly in the same conference.

whether you have divisions or not, I would prefer a schedule that includes all of the other teams in the conference on some kind of a regular basis.
 

Ope3

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
2,087
Points
113
this gets to one of my points/concerns.

If you are in the same conference with another team, you should play that team on some kind of a regular basis.

Honestly, it doesn't even feel as if MN and Indiana are in the same conference for FB. I'm not claiming that MN and Indiana have some great FB rivalry, but they are ostensibly in the same conference.

whether you have divisions or not, I would prefer a schedule that includes all of the other teams in the conference on some kind of a regular basis.

I used to feel that way, but with the Conference spread out from Lincoln, NE to Piscataway, NJ, I have enjoyed the more regional aspect of East-West Divisions. Games vs Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, & Wisconsin are easy drives. Lots of Gopher fans make the road trip and vice versa when those teams are here. Maybe not Illinois or Northwestern when they are here, except when they have decent squads.

More fun, in my opinion.
 

Some guy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2014
Messages
14,369
Reaction score
5,470
Points
113
I used to feel that way, but with the Conference spread out from Lincoln, NE to Piscataway, NJ, I have enjoyed the more regional aspect of East-West Divisions. Games vs Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, & Wisconsin are easy drives. Lots of Gopher fans make the road trip and vice versa when those teams are here. Maybe not Illinois or Northwestern when they are here, except when they have decent squads.

More fun, in my opinion.
I would agree with this.
I would rather play the western half the conference every year than sacrifice that for more Maryland, Rutgers, Indiana

Ohio state and Minnesota have only played each other 18 times since Penn state joined the conference

Minnesota Ohio state played each other 12 times 1967 and before. We don’t really have much of a history together.


I do miss Michigan though
 

Ope3

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
3,967
Reaction score
2,087
Points
113

PhiloVance

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
1,047
Reaction score
623
Points
113

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
No matter what football scheduling structure the Big Ten enacts for 2023 or beyond, the goal for administrators and school officials is to deliver the best possible outcome. The perfect solution, as they discovered when they created the competitively equal Legends and Leaders divisions or shifted to a geographic alignment three years later, does not exist.

Based on conversations with several Big Ten athletics directors, the league appears headed toward a division-less model. There’s no momentum for a divisional adjustment or keeping the status quo. But what a non-divisional model means and how officials will arrange the schedule remain in question.

“Right now, we’re just discussing,” Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith. “I think everybody submitted who their crossovers will be, and then we’ll have another discussion around that.”

The problem for the Big Ten as it approaches its scheduling verdict — likely after the media rights agreement is finalized this summer — is the uneven nature of rivalry preservation. Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour, who is retiring this month, said last month “I’m not going to pound my fist” to play any team annually. At Iowa, there are three teams it would like play every year: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska. The remaining programs have anywhere from two key rivals (Michigan with Ohio State and Michigan State, for instance) to one or none.

“There’s a preferred concept, which is as it relates to some number of protected (rivals), probably the smaller the better,” Barbour said. “Because if you’re trying to go through a true rotation, the more protected (rivals) you have, then you’ve created pods instead of divisions.”

“There could be some downside if we didn’t play each of those teams every year,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said. “But if it’s what’s best for the conference, we have to look at it from a bigger standpoint.”

All parties agree the No. 1 motivation of any systemic change is to ensure better access to the College Football Playoff. A non-divisional model has the most support because it allows every program an equal path to two championship game slots, not just one dictated by geography. Teams then can play one another with greater frequency and schedule variety.


With a nine-game conference schedule, to which the league is committed, the drawbacks for non-divisions include deciding which schools receive only four home Big Ten games every other year. The current system rotates it by division. Championship-game tiebreakers could become an issue, as could strength of schedule. Two compelling divisional races are shrunk to one, which cuts the number of achievements teams can attain. Also, the number of high-ratings games goes down a notch if the East Division TV titans don’t play annually like they do currently.

“You’re never going to be able to completely thread the needle to get 100 percent of what every institution wants,” said one industry source familiar with the scheduling discussions, “but you can get pretty close to it based on just using some good parameters, good guardrails and just kind of common sense.”

The ultimate decision will come down to how many protected opponents each school will have. If it’s two, that allows a school to play the other teams seven times over an 11-year period, but it cuts off at least one major rivalry, probably Iowa-Wisconsin. If it’s three, a school will play the other teams three times over a five-year period. But that could force a few non-rivalries into protected status.
 
Last edited:

Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
Without a doubt, if it were 3 protected, I think Minnesota would submit their desire to play Iowa, Wisc, and Michigan every year, to the conference.

Every school would submit their ideal three teams. Then the conference would have to figure out how to compromise that, along with their own goals (maximize TV ratings and thus revenue).


Would Michigan put us on their top 3?? Interesting question. Obviously they'd put Ohio St and Michigan St. Do they (and their fans) feel more strongly about any other Big Ten team, than Minnesota? Indiana and Wisconsin are technically "border rivalries".

They have a new trophy game with NW, which gets them in Chicago (sorta) every other year to a huge alumni base. If they envision that game being played at a new NFL domed stadium in the not too distant future, rather than in Evanston, that might get it over the hump.
 


Gophers_4life

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
8,287
Reaction score
872
Points
113
So to address Some Guy's points, basically, at the end of the day, divisionless is going to win out because Michigan and Penn St can't get to the Big Ten Championship game without beating Ohio State.

That's the long and the short of it.


West teams will suffer, so that Ohio St v Michigan, Michigan v Penn St, and Ohio St v Penn St championship games can have the possibility of happening.
 





Top Bottom