Stunningly, OSU pretty much controls its own destiny in the Big10 race

Despite losing two games to MSU and Nebraska, OSU can control its own destiny in the Big10 race. If OSU wins out, they will have 2 losses in the Leaders division.

* Wisconsin will have at least two losses — MSU and OSU — and thus would lose a tiebreaker to OSU
* Purdue would have at least two losses, including one to OSU, and thus would lose the tiebreaker. OK, seriously tho, Purdue will have many more losses.
* Illinois would have at least two losses, and would lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with OSU.
* The only stretch is Penn State. They’d have one loss to OSU, and then you have to accept they will lose at least one more, and they stil have Illinois, Nebraska, and Wisconsin on the schedule. Fairly reasonable to expect them to drop another.

OK, so this edition of the Buckeyes may not have it in them to get it done this season, but even having a chance is surprising.

Big 10 expansion — why stop at 12?

Blogs and tweets galore today about Big 10 expansion — the discussion all centering on who should be the 12th team, particularly if not ND?

I’m not in love with the idea of expansion, but if it is going to happen…it is all about money. If ND won’t join in, no single other school will make a real contribution to TV viewership. So why stop at 12 teams? Pick up 3 or 5 and really increase TV footprint. Again assuming ND won’t play:

  • If 3, go after Rutgers, BC, Syracuse. Good schools, pick up major East Coast interest. BC can’t be that committed to the ACC. Syracuse is a great bball program and can be a great football program. Rutgers is the weakest but the potential TV market is huge. And this expansion would be big big news and would drive interest.
  • If 5, add in Pitt for sure. Not thrilled about WVU as the last add, no population base for TV or recruiting. What about UConn?

These would be dramatic moves but if the Big10 wants to grab the spotlight again, a one team expansion of someone besides ND is just not going to do it. It is a “me too” move and pretty boring.

OK two more crazy ideas, but in the vein of “let’s get the spotlight of football back on the Big 1o”:

  • A 2 weekend playoff at end of season. Trim off one game from 12-game schedule, have two play-in games from the top 4 teams. Pair up everyone else in seed order for a final 12th game.
  • Heck with eastern expansion, merge with the Pac-10. The Pac-10 tv offering sucks, the BTEN network could pick up all the Pac-10 content and Pac-10 footprint.

Point being, if you can’t get ND, don’t screw around with half-measures. Go big or go home.

Gearing up for football…

CFN’s Big Ten Preview is up. OSU gets the requisite amount of love. Though OSU needs some defensive players to surprise to achieve the promise of the team.

OSU picked to finish first at Media Day.

Here are my hopes for the season:
* OSU of course defeats SC and goes on to win the Big10
* Michigan takes steps towards respectability. You can’t have the best rivalry in sports if one of the programs sucks.
* Someone rises in the west to challenge USC.
* UW gets up off the mat and makes some progress.
* Florida and Tebow take a dive. I am so sick of the Tebow-gasm in the press every day. My 2nd favorite team every weekend will be whoever is playing Florida.

College Football Week One Picks

My buddy Tim runs a little pickem content and the first week slate is out:

* August 28 North Carolina State vs. South Carolina. I don’t think NC State is there yet
* August 29 Temple vs. Army. ugh. Army i guess
* August 30 Utah vs. Michigan. I think Michigan will have a lot of emotion and will win this
* Syracuse vs. Northwestern. Northwestern. Never take Syracuse
* Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina. VT
* Michigan State vs. California. Hmm, MSU is the favorite darkhorse in the big10 this year. But hard to win on the west coast.
* Hawaii vs. Florida. Florida
* Alabama vs. Clemson. Oh damn, Clemson is a trendy pick, but I have never won picking Clemson
* Missouri at Illinois. Mizzou. Illinois strugges to repeat last year’s breakthru
* Washington vs. Oregon. Hmm, Oregon is confused at QB, UW is not.
* August 31 Kentucky vs. Louisville. Ugh, no respect for these teams. Probably take Louisville
* Sept 1 Fresno State vs. Rutgers. Take Rutgers at home
* Tennessee vs. UCLA. UCLA not ready for primetime yet