You thought I was kidding yesterday when I declared myself Emperor of the Big Ten, and went on tour pitching a new conference platform. Alas, dear friends, for the second night in a row I've staggered up to this imaginary barstool, to make my mark on athletics history.
Call it the reign of Commissioner LB.
The Third Plank: BCS Conference Challenges. Regular readers of the site will remember this one as the brainchild of Esq's own Bama Hawkeye. Back in December Bama imagined "a world where athletic directors and conference comissioners are bold, fearless, and do what is best for their fans...a world in which conferences...put their manhood on the line and face off to see which...is the best."
At the time, his plan to pit the SEC against the Big Ten on common September/November by-weeks was "a work of science fiction."
Sure, the Big Ten is contractually obligated to honor out of conference matches with various lightweights through 2019. Nevermind. After a few phone calls to friends in high places in the Law and Economics movement at the University of Chicago Commissioner LB orders (efficient) breaches of the agreements. (Wondering what happened to the off put teams? After mitigation, the unmentioned opponents end up with premiere Big Twelve competition. In the end the Big Ten doesn't have to pay a dime).
After freeing up two weeks in each member's schedule, I'll organize inter-league challenges with BCS competition as follows:
2009, 2010: Big Ten v. SEC
2011, 2012: Big Ten v. ACC
2013, 2014: Big Ten v. Big Twelve
2015, 2016: Big Ten v. Pac 10
2017, 2018: Big Ten v. Big East
These trial-by-fire challenges will cement conference solidarity, vigor, and responsiveness to adversity. They'll captivate a national audience, and increase the overall fortitude of the league.
After due consideration, Commissioner LB has decided there's only one team for an addition to the Big Ten: Notre Dame.
Over the next twelve months the Big Ten Conference will re-open negotiations with the green-gabled power, on the following terms:
1. The Big Ten Conference/Big Ten Network will permit Notre Dame to honor its television contract with NBC through 2015, upon which Irish programming will become the exclusive intellectual domain of the Big Ten Network.
2. The Big Ten Conference will make up any difference between Notre Dame's independent BCS bowl payout expectancy (approximately $14.8 million) and its actual Big Ten conferene revenue intake, every year the Irish reach a BCS bowl game through 2019. This feature will be renewable in ten year increments, any time the Irish win a National Championship.
The new conference will be divided as follows:
Great Lakes Division:
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue
Penn State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa.
More on the platform when Last Call returns to the barstool...