Around the Hall: 20-game schedule on the horizon for Big Ten?

  • 06/13/2017 9:48 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

Tom Izzo believes the Big Ten will move to a 20-game schedule, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com writes:

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told ESPN there have been ongoing discussions about moving to a 20-game league schedule, and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo feels as though it’s heading in that direction.

“I personally see us going to a 20-game schedule,” Izzo told ESPN on Monday. “I don’t think there’s any question it’s going to happen — and I’m not overly against it.”

Thomas Bryant is enjoying the NBA pre-draft process, Mike Miller of The Herald-Times writes:

Bryant estimates Monday was his “seventh or eighth” team workout since officially deciding to leave IU in late April, and while the pre-draft process can be draining, Bryant says he’s enjoying himself and looking forward to beginning his professional career.

“It can get tiring sometimes, but you’ve got to love it,” Bryant told reporters in Portland. “I wouldn’t trade this for anything else. Besides, with all the traveling there is now, if you expect to be on an NBA team, you’ve got 82 games in a season. You working out for 15 or 16 teams — that’s not even half of the year. Gotta get used to it.”

IUHoosiers.com has a Q & A with Juwan Morgan:

On starting the season as one of the most experienced players and how you can lead the others:

“First of all, I have to verbally tell the others how to do things and make things clear. And then second, I have to set an example from the start and not let anyone slack off. And then I have to help bring the freshmen along because all of the returning guys already know what the goal is. So I think the freshmen will understand how serious it is and what we are trying to do as a team.”

OG Anunoby is hoping to be at 100 percent health by late November, Jon Rothstein writes:

Former Indiana Hoosiers talent OG Anunoby hopes to return to full strength by late November or early December, a source told FanRag Sports on Monday.

A separate source said he’s expected to be selected anywhere in the 9-19 range.

James Blackmon Jr. showed off a ridiculous 3-point shooting stroke in a recent workout:

New Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann outlined the type of players he will attempt to recruit, Tim Shoemaker of Eleven Warriors writes:

Now, it’s just about finding the right fit. And pulling from a set of principles he learned in Indianapolis called “The Butler Way,” Holtmann has set his sights on a certain type of players he wants to bring to Columbus.

“We’re going to be really aggressive and passionate as a staff about adding ‘Ohio State guys’ to our program,” Holtman said. “We’ll be selective in this pursuit of ‘Ohio State’ guys. It’s not going to be for everyone. Tough, talented, committed and unselfish student-athletes who value this place. Who come here like I did and say, ‘Wow. What an incredible place.’”

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  • pcantidote

    I’m fine with 20 games as long as that comes with protected series (i.e. we play purdue twice every year).

  • HoosierHeel

    I’m fine with moving to 20 games as long as the two games getting cut out are cupcake directional schools, and not marquee matchups like Louisville for example. We should be playing Purdue twice every year. I’m okay with playing Rutgers only once though haha.

  • SCHoosier

    If the B-10 and other major conferences increase their “intra-conference” games..its gonna cause a financial crisis for the so called “cupcake” schools. They took their beatings for the cash to help run their programs. Challenges ahead for those schools and their AD’s. IMO..more B-10 games make for a tougher better season for the Hoosiers. Winning at home will be critical because you know how it goes on the road.

    If Blackmon shoots during his work outs like he did in that video..somebody is going to make him an offer. Go James!!

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    If all of the power conferences went to 20-game conference schedules, how (or how much $) would this impact the mid-major and smaller schools over the long-run? I’m assuming this would mean less mid-major vs. power games and less money for the mid-major schools, right? I’m not saying I’m necessarily against a 20-game schedule, just looking at it from a different and monetary perspective.

  • Kyl470

    I’m still in favor of going to two divisions in the Big 10, but not the same split as football.

    East Division: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio St., Penn St., Purdue, Rutgers
    West Division: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin

    You play the other six teams in your division twice and the other 7 teams once.

  • John D Murphy

    I like it.

  • John D Murphy

    Would love to know who TB has worked out for or is planning to work out for. Or if JBJ has gotten any individual workouts. Nine days until the draft.

  • calbert40

    I’ve been lobbying for this for awhile. It makes for a balanced schedule, and no more guess work so far as wondering who each team plays twice. It just makes too much sense.

    I don’t know about your divisions, though. Hard to see the MI schools going west.

  • Apoc

    Great idea, although the division of schools, as Calbert pointed out, needs some work. I don’t know if there is a “right” way to create the divisions, but at first glance, there is one division that is heads over heels better (West), which would really hurt SOS rankings. In the East, it would consistently be 3 schools competing year in and out while the rest are bottom feeders. This is the same problem they have in the football divisions. Plus, you break apart traditional rivalries (Northwestern/Illinois..OSU/UM).

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Where will they draw the line after a 20 game Big Ten season. 22? The Big Ten games are much more physical than the replaced cupcakes. I like the move as long as it stays at 20 games. Obviously injuries will be especially at risk. Deeper bench will be needed. An extra couple of games is a big deal.

  • Sandra Wilson

    If they went to two divisions, as they should, they could preserve all the rivalries and have a very fair system. Teams play each team in their own division, home and away. They play the other division teams once. West could be Neb., Iowa, Wis., Minn., Purdue, I.U. and either NW or Ill. Of course the East would be the other teams. That would give every team 19 games. The 2 division winners play for the title and get a double bye for the B1G tourney. By playing single games against teams further away (like Neb. vs Rutgers), you would also limit travel time. If you wanted to make it really interesting, rotate I.U. & Purdue (together) with MSU & UM every 2 years. That way the divisions might not get stale. Since those teams are nearly the same latitude, travel times would not differ much for them in either division. Doing it this way, the B1G title would come with no excuses or criticisms, as it does now because of the unfair scheduling.

  • TomJameson

    The problem with splitting into two divisions, is that team talents change too much, even year-to-year. In other words, you can split into two divisions that make absolute perfect sense, and is perfectly balanced in that first year, but 2-3 years down the road they could be horribly unbalanced. It would lack consistency, IMO.

    I don’t really have the answer, but I would truly like to see us play every team twice. But that would be a long season. Maybe do away with the B1G tourney to get it done?

  • Kyl470

    Are OSU and Michigan really rivals in basketball? Much more of a football things. And you can’t say one division is better than the other. At one point both Illinois and OSU were the best teams in the Big 10 and they are actually two of the last 3 teams to represent the conference in the NCAA title game. Just because OSU and Illinois are down now you can’t expect them to stay down forever. I would argue East with IU, PU, OSU, Illinois, and Maryland all have a good basketball history of being highly competitive. By putting MSU and Mich. in the west you keep them playing twice a year.

  • Kyl470

    I put both MI schools in west to make room for IU and Purdue in the same division which is the Big 10’s best basketball rivalry.

  • calbert40

    I see your rationale. The problem that the B1G has with splitting into divisions is that the main rivalries seem to be in the middle of the conference geographically.

    I think that the B1G should try to protect these rivalries, in order:
    IU-PU
    MSU-UM
    UM-OSU
    UW-Minny
    IU-IL

    East: UM, MSU, OSU, PSU, RU, Mary…NW (I know they are more west)
    West: IU, PU, IL, UW, Minny, Iowa, Neb

  • calbert40

    That doesn’t really bother me, Tom. At least it doesn’t bother me as much as our currently unbalanced schedule does. Also, the new schedule would protect significant rivalries unlike the current schedule. IU and PU should play twice a year. Same with UM/MSU, UM/OSU, IU/ILL, etc.

    Also, the conference could mitigate that issue somewhat by seeding the conference tourney with East and West teams opposite one another.

  • Kyl470

    That would work as well. I guess I just don’t see OSU and Michigan as a big basketball rivalry. I don’t know any true OSU or Michigan fans to get their opinion on it.

    I think we are on the same page though about shuffling the divisions to protect rivalry games. And again I think two divisions makes it easier to have a consistent schedule. That way it’s not a luck of the draw to determine things.

  • Apoc

    Yes, they are rivals through all the sports. Also, Northwestern and Illinois. OSU goes in spurts…’93-’05 was especially bad..a few vacated seasons did not help. IU has been sporadic. Illinois is practically non-existent right now. If we go off of next years pre-season rankings, the West division has the following pre-season B1G rankings:

    #1 MSU, #2 Minnesota, #3 Northwestern, #4 Michigan, and #6 Wisconsin

    It wouldn’t have looked much different this past season as well, with the exception of PU and Maryland being up towards the top. 5 of the lowest 6 in the conference belonged to East division.

    As I said, I’m not for sure if there is a “right” breakdown of the teams. I was just pointing out some problems that would arise currently.

  • Kyl470

    If you are not sold on OSU and Illinois basketball programs I’m not sure why you would be sold on Northwestern who has made the tournament one time now and Minnesota who usually isn’t in the top.

  • Apoc

    Collins is impressive and Pitino has the pedigree. Both worked several years under legendary coaches. Illinois is in terrible shape currently and not hiring a big name for the coaching spot could and probably will come back to bite them..Underwood was successful in the mid-majors for a couple of years but his one season at Iowa State wasn’t anything spectacular. Holtmann did inherent a pretty talented roster, albeit young. It’s fair to wonder if he can build a major program from scratch, and I literally mean scratch, under an AD who wants the superstars (5 star talent) when Holtmann has never came close to landing a 5 star player.

  • TomJameson

    I wouldn’t say would protect significant rivalries. Things sometimes have a way of not seeming to work out like most think they should. As you mentioned the currently unbalanced schedule, you can use that as an example.

    I won’t be sold on anything until I see it on paper. All the “could dos” and “should dos” bother me too much.

  • Kyl470

    If you are honestly trying to say that Northwestern and Minnesota are better basketball schools than Ohio St. and Illinois then I have nothing else to say on this matter. Under that logic I guess since Missouri had a two year run 2013 and 2014 of making the SEC title game that it has surpassed Tennessee and Georgia in the football hierarchy.

    I also feel bad for UConn since both UCF and Houston finished ahead of them in there conference. Guess that means UConn isn’t as a good of a basketball school as those two anymore.

  • Apoc

    The phrase “better basketball school” is a relative term. It seems that there is some preconceived notion that just because a basketball school has history makes it impervious to dropping into cellar status, sometimes taking extremely long periods of time to recover. Take for example, LSU was a good basketball school, but has not done much since 2006. Temple has been a traditionally good basketball school…last S16 was in 2001. Illinois was a good basketball school, but let’s be realistic. I have not seen them be competitive in some time now. OSU is getting close to joining them if their new coach does not turn the program around.

    As for UConn, they are 3 years removed from a national championship, correct? They only had one bad year (last year), so to me, I don’t see how you compare them to the other schools mentioned when they have had multiple back to back mediocre/bad years.

    So, as the state of the programs currently stand, yes it would be extremely lop-sided.

  • dwdkc

    I know a few, and MU-OSU is all about football. And to a Michigan fan, the MSU football game is just as big as OSU. I don’t think it’s any contest in hoops. The problem with East/West is that there are 6 schools in the East, 6 in the West, and IU and Purdue in the middle. You have to have them in the same division. Unless you just have that protected rivalry every year, which means that IU and Purdue would play 5 other schools only once every year. Whereas everyone else could rotate one school from the other division that is played twice. And competitively that is a disadvantage for Purdue and IU, since most years they are both among the strongest teams in the league.

  • dwdkc

    This is the best option I’ve seen. I think you play one team in the other division twice however to get to 20 games, and rotate that so every 6 years you play every school twice one time. And no “title” game; best record is the regular season conference champ no matter the division. Too much scheduling difficulty. Either NW or Illinois goes to the East which they will hate, but the IU/Purdue rivalry is the most important in the conference as those are the two most historically successful basketball programs in the conference. Maybe the Illinois teams switch along with the Indiana and Michigan teams too.

  • Kyl470

    So if you have two divisions should you reshuffle them every year to balance things out based on who will be good and who will be bad? The Big 10 put OSU, Michigan, Michigan St who are the top 3 football schools right now in the same division. So should they swap Michigan St. out and put in Illinois instead. Then if Harbaugh leaves Michigan for the NFL and Michigan drops off should they bring MSU back over?

  • Apoc

    Not reshuffle them…just…re-evaluate the original placement to ensure traditional rivalries. The 2nd part of my original part was just evaluating divisions as a whole and the problem with them.