The Pac 12-Big Ten pact is dead, and that's too bad. The end of the agreement could put a nine-game conference schedule back on the table, however, and everyone should be excited about that.
The Big Ten-Pac 12 scheduling pact was heralded loudly when it was announced for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was that it represented a sneaky move towards superconference-dom that may have been masterful if pulled off properly. Conspiracies aside, the agreement meant better games for fans to spend their hard-earned money on. Games against directional technical institutes would be replaced by a BCS opponent who would, odds are, actually have a pulse.
Well, that agreement is dead and fans are apparently the losers as schools are expected to go back to scheduling the tasty cupcakes that they just can't quit. But lo! What's this?!
The Big Ten also will revisit increasing the number of conference games. Remember, the league in August agreed to go to a nine-game conference schedule by 2017 but shelved the plan after the Pac-12 agreement surfaced. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the nine-game league schedule was back on the table very soon.
The worst part about adding 12th team to the conference has been its effect on rivalry games. Going six years without playing Iowa should be a crime against something. With a nine-game conference schedule, assuming you play all of your intra-division mates and keep one protected cross-division rival, non-protected teams would be able to stay on the schedule for six years with four years hiatus. That's bearable, and certainly preferable to the current set-up.
Barry Alvarez and Bret Bielema say they're searching for more marquee non-conference opponents, but their track record isn't great in that regard. Give me more games against the teams I know and hate and I'll forget that the almost-awesome hostile takeover of the college football world never happened.
Links after the jump:
The hype for Ethan Happ is expected to amp up significantly. The high school junior-to be says he sticking with the Badgers, however.
Bronson Koenig is healthy, and working on getting stronger as he prepares for his senior season.
Jack Russell has wicked name and a wicked leg and should be a wicked kicker for years to come.
Remember Rashard Griffiths? Here's an excellent where-are-they-now piece.
Madison.com doesn't want me to read their articles anymore. Here's a profile on UW's new strength coach. Let me know if it's any good.
Wisconsin has three games in Tom Dienhart's Top 20 for next season.
Yeah, this post was almost about the Penn State thing, but somewhere out there plenty of people were saying more insightful things in a better way and Adam Rittenberg was putting them together in a list. So there you go, a link to thousands of words about how horrible the horrible thing is.
Stewart Mandel reintroduces his program pecking order and puts Wisconsin second from the top of the heap.