Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quickie: Big Ten's 12th? Why Not Navy?

Despite my mid-career switch to SEC partisanship, I remain a loyal alum of the Big Ten. Naturally, this "Big Ten becomes Big Twelve" storyline intrigues me.

First, a caveat: I cannot see the Big Ten adopting an SEC-style championship game. I wish they would, but -- remember -- this is the league that hates playoffs in all forms.

There are a lot of contenders out there that have been tossed around: Pitt, Mizzou, Rutgers... obviously, Notre Dame is a non-starter. I hadn't seen one name that I think is the best fit of all:


I'm going to crib from my own column this morning for the reasons why:
*Academic credentials are impeccable.
*Football program is solid.
*Triple-option is "3 Yards/Cloud" 2.0
*Can keep trad'l games w/ Army, AFA, ND.
*Better than Notre Dame.
*Nearly beat Ohio State this season.
*Non-competitive recruiting strategy.
*But expands B10 footprint in the East.
*Feds could use the BCS bowl revenue.
*It is entirely uncontroversial.
After thinking through the reasons why it works, I cannot understand why this isn't the obvious choice.

(UPDATE: Got an email from someone with a smart point -- Navy would kill the Big Ten's hoops schedule strength. So pull a page from Notre Dame hoops and the Big East: Navy comes into the Big Ten for football only. Probably should have thought that through. Great point. Maybe yoink Notre Dame from the Big East as a hoops addition in the Big Ten, but I'm not sure Big Ten basketball needs a 12th team as much as football does.)

More you'll find in today's column:

*I don't care about 18-0 Colts vs. 18-0 Saints in the Super Bowl. The entire story is whether or not the Saints win the Super Bowl, at all. (Doing it perfectly would be a bonus -- it doesn't really matter who they play to pull it off.)

*Central Michigan is Cincinnati's coaching pipeline -- and, given the track record, why shouldn't it be?

*My once-a-season moment for Jon Scheyer cheerleading. Yes, I hate that I am his fan -- he is the most disliked player in college basketball. You think I want to root for that? Plus: You know how much I dislike Duke hoops. At least I only have a few more months to go.

*The Rockets already proved they don't need Tracy McGrady to be a playoff contender in the West; here's hoping they are giving him a 10 mpg showcase so that they can offload him.

*What we can learn from the best-ever audience for this season's Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Lots more, too. More coming later. Don't forget to check out the post below for my latest take-your-kid-to-sports-event experiment in the NYT.

-- D.S.


Unknown said...

From the various quotes i've seen from a couple AD's in the Big 10, one of the biggest reasons they are thinking about doing this is to have an "SEC style championship game."

Another thing you have to remember is not just the Big 10 is against a playoff. I see you bring that up over and over again when talking about the Big 10 or the Pac 10. While true, nearly all the BCS conferences are against a Playoff. And not a single BCS conference has more than what, one or two teams that have stated they want one?

Just saying...

DL said...

I'm still utterly convinced that Syracuse would be a great fit - even moreso than Pitt. Gives some balance to your Northwestern, Dan, from the private school angle, gives the NY market, they've already shown their hand back in 2003 for being at least willing to leave the BE, plus, Syracuse as a town fits into the demographics of places like Columbus, Madison, etc.

Walk On Boy said...

Navy for football, Marquette for basketball?

It's a complete cluster and would never happen, but what else can we do but idle conjecture while pretending to work?

Another David said...

I don't know about Navy in the Big Ten... Yes, they nearly beat Ohio State, but they also lost to Pitt, Temple, and Hawaii. Before ND, how many years had it been since they beat a ranked opponent??

I'd rather see Cinci or West Virginia move to the Big Ten and Navy move to the Big East. Cinci would give Ohio two teams like Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana have, and if their new coach works out a Cinci-Ohio State rivalry would be nothing short of spectacular. West Virginia is a good team trapped in a bad conference, and with Rodriguez's ditch to Michigan still warm to the touch it wouldn't take much to spark a WVU-Michigan rivalry.

Steve said...

Navy isn't in the AAU, which I think would be a dealbreaker from the get-go.

Also I don't think that the B10 is looking to go down the "football-only" route.

Unknown said...

Navy has good academics, but not the kind the Big 10 cares about. The only thing that matters is doctoral programs and graduate level research, something that Navy doesn't offer.