Big Ten, Pac-10 challenge overdue?

July 7, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
pufballThe idea of an annual Big Ten vs. Pac-10 college football showdown in a series of games—sources within each conference said—is long overdue.

But until now the idea has never been put on the table. Even today, it’s still in the fantasy stage.

The Big Ten plays an annual challenge series in basketball with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The games usually play to packed arenas and earn solid television ratings. Both conferences earn a nice paycheck from the challenge—which the ACC has won each year since it began in 1999.

ESPN was a main driver in creating the Big Ten vs. ACC basketball challenge, and a lucrative broadcast strategy would have to be formulated to get the football challenge out of the dreams of conference fans and onto the blue prints of the conferences’ athletic directors.

The basketball challenge has been successful enough to warrant a six-year contract extension between ESPN and the two participating conferences that runs through 2010.

The marquee Big Ten-ACC basketball match-ups have been tuned in by 2 million households nationwide. Sports marketers think a Big Ten-Pac-10 football challenge could do even better.

One proposal of the football version involves 10 games, with five played on the West Coast and five played in Big Ten country. The match-ups would be determined by the previous year’s conference standings, and the challenge would be used to kick-off each season during the Labor Day weekend.

The football challenge pitting the two powerhouse conferences would end the traditional practice of kicking-off the season with a non-conference cupcake. This year, Indiana opens against Western Kentucky, while Purdue plays Northern Colorado.

Do you think a Big Ten vs. Pac-10 football challenge would work?
  • Who wouldn't love this? The problem though is that these schools like to have that pre-season cupcake to pad their resumes a bit. Even if you are unbeaten against easy teams you are still unbeaten and play in a BCS conference. That can go a longer way than a loss against a good team even if you play a tougher schedule. For the fans this would be great, even though being a Big Ten guy, I dread the fact that we could get humiliated.
  • I would assume that you read the article in the Free Press. With that said, who wouldn't be in favor of it? It would be great for everyone except the one team that would be left out as the Big Ten is really 11.
  • as a USC and Purdue grad would love to see this, had a great time at the Purdue-USC game back in 1998!
  • There are also teams (on the ACC) side left out in the basketball challenge. But all the teams get a cut of the financial pie, and I think that makes this idea very attractive for some of these universities struggling to stay in the black, especially while trying to complete capital projects. For fans, this is a no brainer. What's not to love.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.