Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fixing the Big East and Big 11

Not naming any names, (I'm looking at you Big East and Big 11) but some conferences are in desperate need of realignment or tweaking. I haven't seen this much disorganization since Matt Millen attempted to run the Lions.

Wait, strike that.

But I am here to clean up every commissioner's mess. Whether you league has too many teams or odd scheduling, I am here to solve your problems. Just call me the Dr. Phil of fixing leagues.

Wait, strike that also.

Big East Basketball

Currently in the Big East, there are 16 teams. Yet only 12 teams make the Big East Tournament. That makes no sense. In 2009, the Big East Tournament will expand and invite all 16 teams to the Madison Square Garden. Ok so that is starting to make a little more sense. But what happens if the 16 seed catches fire and wins the Big East Tournament taking a sure bid away from a league member that had an above .500 regular season win percentage. Ok so this idea doesn't sound that good either. In the current setup, each of the 16 teams does not play each other twice, once on the road and once at home. That makes no sense. How can you crown a true champion without playing everyone the same amount of time?

I have a better idea. Split the Big East up into two divisions, an East and a West. Have 8 teams in each division and they will get to play everyone in their division once at home and once on the road for competitive balance. Then they will play the other division once, alternating home and road year by year. This creates 22 regular season Big East games. This will also create rivalries between schools who get to host each other and go on the road every year against the same teams.

As far as the Big East Tournament goes, you will then take the top 4 teams out of the East and top 4 out of the West and send them to the Garden to fight for the title. How they would be seeded is the East 1 vs West 4, East 2 vs West 3, East 3 vs West 2, and East 4 vs West 1.

Now to split the teams in the Big East. Simple. In the East (for geographical reasons and to keep existing rivalries in place) will be: Georgetown, Connecticut, Syracuse, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, St. Johns, and Rutgers. In the West will be: Louisville, Notre Dame, Marquette, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, DePaul, and for the last team this is where its get interesting. I propose the Big East should get rid of South Florida and give them back to Conference USA. Memphis then comes in as the 8th and final spot int he Big East. This eases travel problems of teams having to go to Tampa to play USF. It will also create a USF vs UCF rivalry in C-USA. In terms of football, this works as well because Memphis brings a solid program to the Big East to replace USF. Just ask D'Angelo Williams.

Just imagine the Big East Tournament this year.

Big Ten

The Big Ten is a little different than the Big East because Football matters more in the Big Ten than it does in the Big East. So taking that into consideration, I came up with the following as ways to improve the Big Ten.

First and foremost, add a school. There are 11 teams in the Big 10. Go figure. The obvious choice to be added is Notre Dame since they are a proud football school and not affliated with a conference. But that won't work because Notre Dame has an exclusive TV contract (since 1991)with NBC. They would have to get out of that and take a back seat on the Big Ten Network. Not going to happen because of the almighty dollar. I suggest the Big Ten steal Iowa State from the Big 12 (The Big 12 can replace them with Colorado State from the Mountain West who have an odd number of 9 teams and would create a nice Colorado-Colorado State rivalry).

The Big Ten would need a new name and since Big 12 is already taken, I propose Big North Conference since most teams are in the northern section of the midwest. According to BCS rules, since there are now going to be 12 teams, this will allow for a conference championship game. I do not propose splitting up these 12 teams in 2divisions because you could get a bad team as a representative in the championship game (like in 2002 when Colorado was the "2nd" best team in the Big 12 at 9-5). I do propose the top teams record wise after the completion of the regular season meet for the title.

For basketball, you seed them all 1-12 and play a single elimination tournament for the championship. Also in basketball, the schedule can be fixed. With the addition of ISU, this makes traveling more simple. First, you have games on Thursdays and Saturdays. Each school gets a partner. Here they are: Iowa and Iowa State, Purdue and Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Ohio State and Penn State, and finally Northwestern and Illinios. A team goes on the road they will go play Iowa and Iowa State in the same week. Then they will travel to Michigan to play both Michigan schools. This creates easy travel and ultimately will be less expensive for the schools. Each school plays each other twice for a total of 22 Big North Conference games.

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