Hoosier Morning

AAU basketball

Devin Davis, right, fights for the ball during the adidas May Classic. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

AT HOOSIERSHQ.COM

IT’S INDIANA

BIG TEN FOOTBALL

BIG TEN BASKETBALL

TAKE A LOOK

Actually once saw him do this live when I was covering an MTV event. Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’.”

13 comments

  1. About divisions–there’s no need to place traditional rivals in the same division to preserve the rivalry. The SEC model of having permanent rivals regardless of division (Tenn-‘bama, Georgia-Auburn, etc)works fine and they only play 8 conference games. The trade-off is that SEC teams sometimes don’t play a team in the opposite division for 3-4 years, but you could alleviate that by going to 9 games. I don’t see this as a problem.

  2. eric,

    Agreed. The ACC does not use geographical divisions but does make sure rivals play each other. And, in basketball, each team has two rivals they are guaranteed to play twice each season.

  3. What could be worse for the Hoosiers than 9 conference games, though? That’s one less Out-of-Conference game, when IU needs as many of those as possible to get to six wins in a season? The old Minnesota model may have grown stale to Minnesotans but this Hoosier considers it a path to glory relative to the last decade-and-a-half…especially now that Nebraska is about to make the Big Ten that much harder.

  4. Personally, I’m not going to be proud of a team that only makes bowl games because it sweeps a non-conference schedule full of cupcakes.

    IU needs to start winning some of those conference games.

  5. Haven’t checked, but are the divisional breakdowns in these conferences the same for all sports, particularly FB and BB, does anyone know? Which sport, FB or BB holds the weight in these conferences? One seems more FB (SEC) and one more BB (ACC) to me? Which are we (the BT)?

    I’m thinking there are some league teams that are chomping at the bit to play NE in BB and hoping like hell they don’t have to play them but once every 3 or 4 years in FB and are for sure hoping that they’re not in the same division. Can the divisional alignment be balanced with the “traditional powers” in both sports so that it is somewhat fair for all schools?

  6. And good luck consistently achieving that elevated competitive position before being able to a) credibly promise recruits that they will play in bowl games throughout their careers and b) annually gain the additional practice time that comes with playing in even the lowest tiered bowls. And, personally, I’m proud of the Hoosiers whether they win zero conference games or two or four or six or eight.

    And, Dave, no…the divisional splits need not be the same in all sports. In fact, it’s not even necessary to have divisions in the other sports.

  7. The whole ‘competitive balance’ seems artificial and contrived to me. As Dave points out, do we have to set up different divisions in bb and fb so that the bullies don’t beat up the weaklings? What about baseball, soccer, and volleyball? What if Michigan continues to suck in football? It makes more sense to me to just go East-West (while preserving cross-division rivalries), stick with the alignment in all sports, and tell the member schools that if they want winning records, then beat the teams on the schedule.

  8. Justin,

    I don’t think the chance to play in low tier bowl games is that enticing to most recruits. Look, I understand there’s a process, but at some point, a team’s got to make the jump from beating out of conference teams and getting thrashed in-conference, to pulling out a few wins in those conference games.

    Winning is the best recruiting tool, and generally, a team in IU’s position will have to overachieve for a season or two to get a consistent flow of good talent going through the program.

    Just my opinion — but my original point was that I take no pride in stuffing our schedule full of crappy early season opponents just to try to get to six wins. Further, I think playing garbage teams the first four games of the season really doesn’t help stretch or prepare a team to play against it’s much tougher conference opponents. Beating Towson by 40 won’t help us one bit.

  9. Casey-

    Are you willing to extend your argument for the other major sport played at IU? Can’t the same be said about Crean scheduling games against Lipscomb, Grace, Transylvania, Anderson, and IUPUI? Do Division II basketball teams do anything to prepare the Hoosiers for the inevitable powerhouses of the conference?..You know, those talent-rich teams that garner respect when they’re on the road and cause feelings of dread for opponents taking a bus trip into their hometowns..The type of feelings once attached to playing against the Indiana Hoosiers. There must be a theory that victories, no matter the worth the opponent, can help fill seats when your team really stinks. Isn’t that how we basically maintained a football program for the last quarter century?

  10. Adopt the SEC plan for football, only 8 games in the conference. One game against everyone in your division (7 using the SI alignment) and one outside in the other division. Pick a “fair partner” and/or “rival” for this outside game: NU v IL, and IU v Iowa or MN (with Purdue v the other) home and away alternating years. That is how Vandy made it to a bowl game 2 years ago. In basketball, use the same divisions 2 games, home and away, each year against everyone in your division, plus 4 games against the other division, in 2-year groupings, home and away, then the other 4 teams in a similar fashion. Seeding for the basketball tourney should be done by division standings, not conference wide, to compensate for different strengths in the divisions. Yes IL and WI will have it easy in basketball! Eliminate the regular season conference champ and crown only the tourney winner as conference champ.

  11. Also drop the bowl requirement of a 6-6 record or better to go to a bowl game. Just admit that a 5-7 SEC team is MUCH better than a 6-6 MAC team! Let the bowls pick ANY team that they want for the best game, the most money, any reason that works for them and the TV audience. I am not interested in watching a 6-6 Toledo or UTEP. Couple this with an 8 team NCAA Championship playoff, with game #1 around 12/17, game #2 12/24. game #3 12/31, and game #4 1/7.

  12. Casey,

    I would think the level of enticement would depend on the recruit. Ohio State’s wish list?…Maybe snobby about probable bowl types. The players that IU recruits?…I’m in no position to know but I’d have to see evidence that a team that guarantees post-season play of ANY type, even lower tier bowls, would not hold a recruiting advantage over teams that cannot demonstrate consistent post-season play of any type. And there are just too many advantages that come from getting to play in ANY bowl for a team such as IU to have any other organizing programmatic strategy for the time being.

    (On a side note, I don’t like the potential loss of conference-wide bowl revenue that could come from a 9-game conference season: the more B10 teams in bowls, the better for IU’s financial bottom line.)

    As for to the issue of pride in the program and what kind of pride comes from what kind of wins over what kind of program, I appreciate that that is a subjective individual matter. Personally, I am well aware of IU’s historical football pedigree and I love the program all the same. I feel no shame in admitting that the program is at a point where beating four cupcakes is a good thing then taking pride and having fun when they beat Towson by 40. It is just the kind of program IU is at this point. There is no sense wishing otherwise, imho, or feeling bad about it.

    It is just the way the game has changed as a function of there being so many bowls. When roughly half of FBS teams earn postseason play, then simply playing in a bowl has to be any football program’s chief year-to-year goal unless it is in a position to seek FBS conference championships, when some kind of bowl is a year-to-year given. And the nature of football, especially in the Big Ten with its (now) four preeminent historic programs, is that there are serial levels of achievement before one can seek conference championships, with each level requiring a LONG, LONG time to achieve. There should be no lack of pride from fans if IU responds to that reality with a long-term, patient strategy. After the never-ending fubar of the post-Mallory-to-pre-Hep years, I would take great pride if IU does in fact think so strategically with its football program.

    So…I’ll take beating Towson by 40 over losing by 1 to an extra Big Ten team every chance I get, at least for the next several years, anyway.

    Cheers…

  13. Let’s beat a cupcake Towson (let’s just beat a Towson)…Then try to beat a mac school or wac school…Then play a middle of the road pac 10 type school…and try to beat another mid major type school.

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