Here is your latest reminder that everything related to Big Ten football has a price:
Breaking news: Big Ten adds Friday night football to mix in major prime-time scheduling expansion https://t.co/zvCQonLZF4— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) November 2, 2016
Before I rant, let’s see the details (via Scott Dochterman at Land of 10):
Beginning with the 2017 season, the Big Ten plans to schedule six prime-time football games on Friday nights on its college campuses. That will include two games on the Friday of Labor Day weekend and four more scattered in September or October, according to Mark Rudner, the Big Ten’s senior associate commissioner for television administration.
Labor Day weekend doesn’t matter. It’s an odd weekend for college football so whatever. But those other four? That’s just terrible. And it gets worse:
But no school is exempt from playing host to a Friday night home game. That will create logistical issues at some locations, such as Iowa. Employees and patients occupy parking lots each day near University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, which is located across the street from Kinnick Stadium. Other campuses face similar challenges. Delany did tell Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune that Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan might avoid hosting Friday night games because of their large stadium capacities.
Translation: Everyone could host one but we’ll let some schools skip out. Michigan really intends to make sure the Big Ten listens to their complaints (via Justin Wise at Land of 10):
Michigan doesn’t want in. The university gave the conference an unequivocal no when given the opportunity to schedule home and road games on Friday nights, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Tedddy Greenstein.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany reportedly said that the school wants Saturday games for “consistency of presentation.”
Ohio State and Penn State are other other programs where Friday night football games may not be feasible. The “league is reluctant to ask schools with giant seating capacities to host Friday night games,” per Greenstein.
Guess what. I don’t care. This is a flaming bag of poo on our collective B1G porch and I expect Michigan, OSU, and PSU to join the rest of us in scraping crap off our of shoes.
In case it wasn’t already clear that I don’t care for this move, here’s a HOT TAKE to make it clear...
THIS IS WORSE THAN ADDING RUTGERS TO THE BIG TEN.
I didn’t agree with adding Rutgers and Maryland to the Big Ten. It wasn’t that I was bothered by the diluted quality of football schedules across the conference (Minnesota needs easier to win conference games when they can get them). I didn’t like that it was an obvious cash grab, even though I knew it would be successful. More than that, I didn’t like the further reduction in tradition and the unbalanced and weird schedules that would cost Minnesota games against teams we actually care about.
That said, it was a really good cash grab. And ultimately when all was said and done you could easily ignore the change. I mean really, how often do you find yourselves thinking about anything Rutgers? You don’t. I’m sure the same is true for them and Minnesota. Out of sight, out of mind an all that.
Friday night Big Ten football is not that. Sure, it’s not an every week thing. You know what is missing from that statement? FOR NOW. It is not an every week thing FOR NOW. Thursday Night Football wasn’t an every week thing for the NFL until they got the chance to make it one for more money. Now we’ve got terrible short week games involving tired teams and ugly ass Color Rush uniforms. If you think the same thing can’t or won’t happen to Big Ten Football, I’d remind you that this is a post about B1G games on Fridays, something that was never ever supposed to happen because that’s when high school football gets played.
At some point enough is enough. Attendance is an issue at every school, even the “big boys” and this isn’t going to help. The things we love about college football have ties to traditions and this is just more “money over everything” decision making that becomes more and more cynical every year. I’m tired of it. But mostly I’m tired of the fact that it’s my fault too. I’m a diehard, so the B1G will still get my money and my eyeballs because I’m a college football junkie. And the cycle will continue.
Kiss my ass everyone (including diehards like myself) who helped bring us to this point. Get off my lawn and play the games on Saturday where they belong.