Football Media Day has come and gone. Teams are starting fall practice, and it’s almost time for the Hall of Fame game. In my mind, it’s officially football season. However, two other B1G traditions decided to rear their head today, basketball and terrible ideas from the front office. A while back, I wrote a piece about the Big Ten potentially focusing on basketball rivalries. I thought it was a good thing. They didn’t.
They announced the conference match-ups for the upcoming season. It’s less than ideal. You can read about them on the B1G website.
Two things jumped out at me immediately. Michigan State and Michigan only play once, as do Indiana and Purdue. Our sister site for all things Purdue, “Hammer and Rails”, had a similar reaction.
Great job @B1G. now 4 of the last 5 IU-Purdue games will be in Bloomington:— Hammer & Rails (@HammerAndRails) July 31, 2017
2/19/15 - BL
2/20/16 - BL
2/9/17 - BL
2/28/17 - WL
2018 TBD - BL
When we discussed protecting certain basketball rivalries, this would have to be the top of the list. In fact, most any type of basketball rivalry that I would try and get cookin’, they ignored. They are trying very hard to make Nebraska and Iowa football a thing, but they only schedule them once in basketball.
For roughly 10 years before the recent implosion in Cbus, Michigan State vs. Ohio State brought about some fond memories. Clearly that means they should only play once this season. I wouldn’t think it would take much to make Penn State and Rutgers natural basketball rivals, but it would take playing more than once a year.
Northwestern and Illinois are in the same state, like several of the other single game match-ups already mentioned, and they too will only play once. As some of you may have heard, Northwestern made the NCAA tournament, and Illinois is a traditional power that is down on their luck a bit. That just screams drama.
But alas, the Big Ten just phoned it in with these schedules. For some fan bases, basketball is even more important than football. I like to think of the Big Ten as also a basketball conference. If they can’t protect the Indiana and Purdue rivalry, is it?