Well, Barry Alvarez’s favorite marionette is doing his best soft shoe again:
ICYMI: B1G officials are working on a plan for football that could have a January start date, with game played indoors. #Badgers parents were briefed last night. Yes, I understand nothing is guaranteed during a pandemic. https://t.co/U67HG2Gx5D— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) August 19, 2020
Retweeting it, Adam Rittenberg seemed to think it was a halfway plausible idea with some buy-in from around the conference:
This is the model both OSU's Ryan Day and PSU's James Franklin have supported. Would at least give NFL draft hopefuls the option to play a season before the draft. Franklin noted today that NFL can move back the combine and draft, according to the collective bargaining agreement. https://t.co/2bqYLSNfGB— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) August 19, 2020
So since we live in a world where this shit qualifies as news and we won’t actually learn our lesson and flatten the curve, let’s get it on record where the best/available places are for each Big Ten football team to play indoors. And perhaps, curve-flattening and public health officials willing, some fans can even make the trek to joi—hahahahaha who the hell am I kidding.
Illinois Fighting Illini: The Dome at America’s Center
Where: St. Louis, MO
Distance to Campus: 174 miles (2:42 drive)
HOME OF THE BATTLEHAWKS! (RIP.)
This is already where Illinois played the Arch Rivalry with Mizzou six unfortunate times between 2002 and 2010 (the future iterations will be on campus)—easy enough for the Illini to make their way back down 57.
Indiana Hoosiers: Lucas Oil Stadium
Where: Indianapolis, IN
Distance to Campus: 49 miles (1:02 drive)
Easy. Just hope the Indy Eleven’s lines aren’t still up; that’d be distracting.
thousands hundreds dozens of Purdue fans scroll down, angrily, to their team]
Iowa Hawkeyes: UNI-Dome
Where: Cedar Falls, IA
Distance to Campus: 90 miles (1:28 drive)
Another easy choice, as it’s the only football dome in Iowa. I’d really love to see a nice timeshare setup worked out, though, if the Missouri Valley (both football and, assuming it’s starting, basketball) could conspire to make sure Iowa kicks off at something like 9pm on a Sunday night.
The other option would be the
Metrodome US Bank Stadium, since they never had any problem filling those seats, either.
Maryland Terrapins: Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium
Where: College Park, MD
Distance to Campus: .4 miles (:02 drive)
Capacity: Irrelevant; never full.
It’s the South; how cold can it get?
Michigan Wolverines: Ford Field
Where: Detroit, MI
Distance to Campus: 44 miles (:44 drive)
Close, proximate, boring.
By the way, it’s a crime that neither Michigan nor Michigan State have ever been
forced granted the opportunity to play in the Motor City/Little Caesar’s/Quick Lane Bowl. Quite frankly, the world deserves a 6-6 Michigan State taking on 7-5 Eastern Michigan in Detroit.
In the meantime, though, Jim Harbaugh has a chance to run his 1-0 record at Ford Field (in 2011 the 49ers beat the Lions, 25-19).
But anyway, the Wolverines won’t be the only tenant in Ford Field, will they?
Let’s get to...
Michigan State Spartans: Ultimate Soccer Arenas
Where: Pontiac, MI
Distance to Campus: 72 miles (1:22 drive)
What, you don’t think I would make two rivals share an arena, do you? I’m not cruel.
Can you imagine what Mark Dantonio would’ve done with the chip on the shoulder of being forced to play his home games in the home of Michigan Stars FC while Michigan got the big, beautiful, shiny arena downtown?
Minnesota Golden Gophers: US Bank Stadium
Where: Minneapolis, MN
Distance to Campus: 2 miles (:05 drive)
LOOKS LIKE THE GOPHERS ARE GETTING A BETTER RATE ON AN 18-MONTH CD AND SWITCHING BANKS
honestly i am so sorry that just happened
Gophers fans, if you don’t like this ruling I’m sending you to Grand Forks and the Alerus Center. THAT’S RIGHT—you don’t even get to play in the FargoDome.
Nebraska Cornhuskers: DAKOTADOME
Where: Vermillion, SD
Distance to Campus: 165 miles (2:50 drive)
Simple, elegant, probably will allow fans since the only state that cares less about social distancing and public health than Nebraska is South Dakota.
Northwestern Wildcats: Miller Park
Where: Milwaukee, WI
Distance to Campus: 80 miles (1:18 drive)
Two “jokes”, pick your favorite:
- Northwestern has enough tarps to put a roof on Ryan Field
- Infield dirt makes better grass than Ryan Field
But seriously, I know this has you SO CURIOUS where wisconsin will go. Have to scroll on, suckers!
Ohio State Buckeyes: Ford Field
Where: Detroit, MI
Distance to Campus: 197 miles (3:13 drive)
Fine, Ohio State! You don’t want to share a location with Michigan?
Ohio State Buckeyes: ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center
Where: Johnson City, TN
Distance to Campus: 339 miles (6:05 drive)
Capacity: A very specific 8,539
That’s the nearest unoccupied dome. That’s what you get.
Penn State Nittany Lions: Carrier Dome
Where: Syracuse, NY
Distance to Campus: 238 miles (4:04 drive)
When I started this, I honestly thought Rutgers was going to get the Carrier Dome. But that seemed too normal for Rutgers, so we chose the actual closest school to the arena without air conditioning.
Can’t wait ‘til the Nittany Lions show up to play and it’s set up for Syracuse basketball.
Purdue Boilermakers: Lucas Oil Stadium
Where: Indianapolis, IN
Distance to Campus: 69 miles (1:16 drive)
Man, Purdue fans, how unsatisfying is it to scroll all the way down here, only to learn that you have to share a space with Indiana?
I think the best way for this to happen is just to paint one end zone in each team’s colors. Or leave it in Colts colors.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Olympic Stadium
Where: Montreal, QC
Distance to Campus: 405 miles (6:03 drive)
It very much surprised me to learn that Rutgers is closer to Montreal than where I had originally intended to put them, which was the Rogers Centre in Toronto—the site of Rutgers’ greatest ever bowl game triumph!
wisconsin badgers: Miller Park
Where: Milwaukee, WI
Distance to Campus: 75 miles (1:17 drive)
That’s right—you’re stuck sharing with Northwestern. Thanks, everyone. I hate it.
Wisconsin-Michigan State: Yooper Dome!
Where: Marquette, MI
ALL HAIL YOOPER DOME.
This would also be a cromulent location for Michigan State’s regular season if, for some reason, the home field of an independent soccer team is not quite appealing to them.
I, however, think it is deserved for a more special occasion. And, if the Big Ten Championship will CONTINUE to not answer my calls to move the B1GCG to Marquette where it belongs, at least this way we get football in the Yooper Dome.
Feel free to use the comments to tell me all the wonderful places I’ve forgotten about.
Whichever teams’ fans complain the most will see their team relocated to Pocatello.
Will indoor games in January work?
This poll is closed
Yes, and I love all these ideas.
Yeah, but they’ll do something dumb like putting teams at a couple neutral sites.
No, because I hate fun.