Detroit Free Press Jeff Seidel column
Nov 19, 2012 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
This week is all about tradition in the Big Ten.
It is Michigan vs. Ohio State.
It is Bo vs. Woody.
It is Carr vs. Tressel.
And now we are about to turn the page to the next chapter. In more ways than one.
This weekend will bring us the first matchup between Hoke and Meyer.
This is the best part of college football. One-name coaches. A huge rivalry game in November. And putting all the focus on the team, the team, the team.
This is what makes the Big Ten great. The history and tradition.
And now we hear that Maryland and Rutgers are about to join the Big Ten
Does that even sound right
This is what makes you hold your nose because it stinks so bad.
You know why they did it. It's about money. It's about making superconferences. It's about television, spreading the Big Ten Network into the Beltway and the Big Apple.
It might stink from a pure tradition point of view. But it also makes a lot of sense.
The days of Woody and Bo are long gone.
The addition of Maryland and Rutgers will make the Big Ten a 14-team superconference, even if it doesn't play super football.
It will keep the Big Ten on par with the SEC -- strictly from a branding point of view. Not on the field.
It will strengthen the Big Ten Network just by moving into more TV markets. And if the Big Ten Network makes more money, so do each of the schools. The Big Ten Network has turned into a giant ATM, spitting out millions of dollars, funding minor sports, keeping everybody smiling.
So it makes sense to expand into more markets. Strictly from a television point of view.
Maryland is a great school with a mediocre football team. So it's perfect for the Big Ten.
Rutgers is a great school that has a good football team. But it is not Alabama -- which makes it perfect for the Big Ten.
This is about football. Not basketball. Do you think the Maryland basketball program wanted to leave the ACC No way.
This has nothing to do with tradition.
It has nothing to do with student-athletes, although an argument could be made that some student-athletes will benefit in a trickle-down way, when all of the schools rake in more cash.
This has nothing to do with geography. This has nothing to do with making travel easier on the student-athletes.
It is about preserving and expanding the Big Ten's power.
And that is totally understandable.
In many ways, the Big Ten should be commended for being proactive. For being aggressive. But in this week, the week of Michigan vs. Ohio State, it just doesn't feel right.
This is about the money, the money, the money.
This is about the brand, the brand, the brand.
This is about the network, the network, the network.
Contact Jeff Seidel: 313-223-4558 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @seideljeff.
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