You might recall a blurb in one of the Nugz earlier this week where I lamented the coming changes to the Big Ten conference schedule for basketball. You know, the changes where 8 of our 13 conference opponents would be "one plays" instead of home and homes?
Mark Rudner, the Big Ten’s senior associate commissioner for television administration, said the league will continue scheduling 18 games, but the format shifts to five double-plays and eight single-plays each year. It will be a true rotation without protected rivals or preference to geography. Currently, Big Ten squads have seven double-plays and four single-plays that rotate every two years.
Well, here's what the first year of that arrangement will look like. Behold, next year's conference men's basketball schedule for the University of Minnesota:
|Home/Home||Home Only||Road Only|
|Penn State||Ohio State||Michigan|
NOTE: Dates, times, and TV schedules are coming at a later date
Things I Like:
- Iowa and Wisconsin are home and homes.
- Purdue and Indiana are both played on the road. Easy for me to catch from Cincinnati.
Things I Don't Like:
- The fact that they are home and homes now means that they'll both drop into the "one play" barrel in 2017. /fart noise
- What a wonderful home slate! Not. I'm sure folks like amiller are more perturbed about this than me.
- That's a pretty tough road only slate.
- Unbalanced schedules. Sure, the conference has had that for a while. But it is going to be WAY WORSE next year, especially with the apparent desire to match rivals up in this first round of scheduling.
- Of course the first season I'm in the Cincy area is a year they don't play Ohio State on the road.
Like I said in the Nugz, I don't have a magic solution for the scheduling problem that moving to 14 teams created. I simply have an internet megaphone with which to complain.
#TAKES From Other SBN Bloggers
NOTE: They have the full schedule breakdown for the whole conference if you're looking for that sort of thing in one place.
All the main rivalries are back. This was clearly a goal of the new schedule. Indiana plays Purdue twice, Michigan plays MSU twice, Michigan plays OSU twice, Wisconsin plays Iowa twice, Wisconsin plays Minnesota twice, and Minnesota plays Iowa twice. Smaller rivalries also play twice such as Northwestern and Illinois. The only downside to this is that we all know there is going to be a massive dropoff in 2017 and 2018. The only way this will be avoided is if the Big Ten makes some effort to protect rivalries. It's also kind of odd that the Big Ten has opted not to protect rivalries because it could make scheduling unfair, but then make a coordinated effort to schedule them all when they are given the opportunity.
Away: Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin.
Well now, that's considerably less pretty. Basically need Iowa to fall back to earth to hope for 2-2 in the away games.
It's not a bad schedule, so as long as the team actually improves it looks like the Illini should be able to get back to the tournament next season.
While this will be Maryland's first season in the Big Ten, the Terrapins still have some history with several of the teams they'll now face on a regular basis. The Terps defeated Indiana to capture the 2002 National Title, have faced Michigan State multiple times in the NCAA tournament, and played several of the other teams as part of the Big Ten-ACC challenge. It will be interesting to see which ACC team they face as a member of the B1G.
-And uh, as for the Big Ten Title? Remember how lots of people have been talking about how expansion was going to devalue conference play to where it was less about how good you were and more about who you were, and weren't, single-playing? Welllllllp. I mean, eight (8!) single plays, and not even the barest sort of clever solution to avoid unbalanced schedules. Round of applause, I'm sure this won't mess things up almost immediately.
GoAUpher: Yup, what he said.
-As noted by KJ and others on Twitter, seems the Big Ten's made a concerted effort to maintaining nearly all of the Big rivalries as home/aways next year (specifically for MSU, the suddenly 'conference title deciding' MSU/UM games thankfully remain a 2 play). That's good. But also as noted, this means at some point in the future all those rivalries are also going to go on single-play status at the same time, and won't that be just peachy for us fans?
2014-2015 schedule: mostly cheers
This whole round of expansion in general, so far (especially, and I mean most especially, you, Rutgers): boos of the loudest and longest vintage.
GoAUpher: I ENDORSE THIS MESSAGE.
It's impossible to predict who is going to be good next and who won't be from here, but this season's results notwithstanding, getting two games against Penn State doesn't hurt, along with only playing Michigan State once (although it'll be a tough road game).
Wisconsin will travel to both Maryland and Rutgers, but its home slate and apparently soft set of double-plays will have fans raving about the chance of pursuing a top NCAA tournament seed with the likes of Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig having another year under their belts.
That's enough blogger thoughts though.