Badger Bits: Why I Hate the Latest B1G Expansion

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany - Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

Money and greed are quickly changing the landscape, rituals and traditions of college sports -- arguably its greatest characteristics.

I understand why Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany made the move.

I think by this point, we've heard all the talk about the Big Ten trying to "expand its brand" to the East Coast and the hundreds of millions dollars in revenue this could mean for the Big Ten Network alone.

Delany didn't want to be left in the dust by the likes of the SEC and Pac-12, but he also wanted to be the aggressor. He wanted to make a move while the cards were still in his hands, while the Big Ten was still the most powerful conference in the land.

But the move angers and saddens me.

I don't need to lecture you on how money makes the world go round. This move appears to be almost entirely money-based -- besides potentially helping East Coast recruiting -- and it's sad we're witnessing the ending of what made college athletics so great.

The Big Ten, and every conference for that matter, will be viewed much differently than it was in the past. If only Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes could see now where the Big Ten is headed. Could you imagine if you told those coaches now they'd have conference games in New Brunswick, N.J., and and College Park, MD?

I suppose I was in a bit of denial about the whole expansion thing, holding onto hope the Big Ten could survive as a 12-team powerhouse. But it was just delaying the inevitable. Even worse, Delany and the conference won't stop at 14, as the Big Ten will most likely turn into at least a 16-team superconference.

As Big Ten fans, I think we all take pride in saying we're a part of this conference. One of the best parts about that is witnessing the clashing of Midwestern powerhouses on a yearly basis. It's already disappointing to myself and most UW fans that we were going to see fewer Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State matchups with the expansion to 12 teams. I can only imagine at 14 teams (and eventually 16) how few times Wisconsin will play in these storied matchups. Wisconsin fans will be traveling to the East Coast more often rather than making the short trip across the border to see the battle with Iowa for the Heartland trophy.

I've heard plenty of people say, "Get over it! This is the new age of college athletics." And yes, for better or worse we're moving into a new era.

With that being said, I'll firmly stand on the side of saying that yet again, money and greed are the evils that took us into this "new era" of college athletics.

Tuesday's Links:

As eloquently as ever, Tom Oates says why this expansion is about TV sets and not tradition for the Big Ten.

Jeff Potrykus says how the expansion could help the Badgers with recruiting.

Here's your weekly collection of Wisconsin football rankings and bowl predictions.

Barry Alvarez says the expansion move was made for the future, not the present.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the conference will again consider increasing the number of conference games for football and basketball as well.

Montee Ball is a finalist for the Doak Walker Award.

Great article by ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil

But this expansion isn't about athletes. It isn't about academics. It isn't about tradition. And it certainly isn't about competition.

It's about TV sets.



Read more: http://host.madison.com/sports/columnists/tom_oates/tom-oates-for-big-ten-tv-trumps-tradition/article_e08605f2-329e-11e2-a9b7-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz2Cm7JqcYH

But this expansion isn't about athletes. It isn't about academics. It isn't about tradition. And it certainly isn't about competition.

It's about TV sets.



Read more: http://host.madison.com/sports/columnists/tom_oates/tom-oates-for-big-ten-tv-trumps-tradition/article_e08605f2-329e-11e2-a9b7-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz2Cm7JqcYH

But this expansion isn't about athletes. It isn't about academics. It isn't about tradition. And it certainly isn't about competition.

It's about TV sets.



Read more: http://host.madison.com/sports/columnists/tom_oates/tom-oates-for-big-ten-tv-trumps-tradition/article_e08605f2-329e-11e2-a9b7-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz2Cm7JqcYH

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