Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Big Ten Notebook

Bowl Championship Series causing problems for Big Ten

If the Bowl Championship Series had to be decided right now, no Big Ten teams would be in it. All conference teams were shut out of the race last year, and halfway through the collegiate football season, it looks as though the Big Ten won’t be represented in the Bowl Championship Series for the second consecutive season. Michigan is the only team that is a likely candidate to play in the series.

“From top to bottom, I don’t think there is a conference out there that’s any better,” said Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr.

The difficulty of preparing each week to face a tough opponent in the Big Ten is incredibly challenging, and with no easy games, Big Ten teams may find themselves out of the title chase quickly under the BCS system.

“This system makes it very, very, difficult for a Big Ten team to get into the championship game,” Carr commented.

Coaches from around the country agree the Big Ten will be hard-pressed to get teams into the title game.

“The Big Ten is partnered up with the SEC for the Citrus bowl, and as a result of that partnership we spend more time talking to the SEC coaches,” Purdue head coach Joe Tiller said. “I think that the Big Ten and SEC coaches are in agreement that it is difficult to get a champion out of either of these conferences unless you can run the table.”

Around the league, coaches say the difficulty of winning a national championship at a Big Ten school will likely hurt recruiting efforts; in some cases, coaches claim it already has.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno acknowledged that he lost an in-state recruit because of the BCS system.

“I won’t tell you who that recruit is, but it is absolutely true,” Paterno said. “Steve Spurrier called me and mentioned that he also lost two or three recruits to Miami because Miami had convinced them that they had a better chance to get in the national championship (in the Big East).”

Paterno feels that the recruiting problems created by the BCS have far outweighed the benefits of joining.

“I think it was a disaster for us to take the Big Ten into the BCS,” Paterno said. “I think it’s terrible. I mean, I know we’re losing kids. We’re losing kids here in the East against the Big East and the ACC ? We’re competing against Florida State and Miami all the time. Now in the old days, at least we could say, ‘Well, we can go to the Rose Bowl.’ And we even gave that up. I think it has been a disaster for us, and I think it is going to get worse.”

Despite new disadvantages in recruiting created by the BCS, most coaches around the league still feel the league has made the right decision by joining the BCS.

Tiller is one coach that agrees with the Big Ten’s decision.

“To be excluded from the BCS series would be a huge mistake from the Big Ten’s standpoint,” Tiller said.

An Extra Big Ten Game?:

Next year the NCAA will allow teams to schedule 12 games in a season as opposed to the 11 games they are currently allowed. Big Ten teams have several options as to what to do with their extra game. The easiest and most likely solution will be for Big Ten teams to add a home game against a non-conference opponent in order to increase revenue.

“The 12th game was legislated so that some of the folks that do a good job hosting might end up with another home game,” said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. “Most discussions get back to money.”

However, several other coaches around the league have gone on record as saying that another conference game, or a conference championship game, may be a good idea.

“The most logical thing would be to have some sort of playoff game, like a lot of other conferences are doing,” said Illinois coach Ron Turner. “I’d like to see [the conference championship] settled on the field.”

Still Chasing the Record: Joe Paterno continues to chase Bear Bryant’s elusive all-time-win record this week at Northwestern. But according to Paterno, he never speaks about the record to his players.

“I have never spoken one word to my players about how many wins I may or may not have,” Paterno said. “They want to win for themselves. They work hard and practice hard, coming home with a headache and studying; they ought to be able to enjoy every moment. They shouldn’t have to worry about whether some old [man] who has been coaching for 150 years is going to win more games than somebody else.”

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