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Nate Erickson weighs in on if the Big Ten should add #12

Keep the Big Ten true to its name: with 11 teams. Whoops. Close enough.

Commissioner Delaney thinks it would be a great thing if the premier conference in college athletics were to bring another school into its ranks. That way, the conference could be split into two divisions and could name a conference champion with a game like the Big 12 and the SEC.

This is a terrible idea. Let me also say that I think anything bigger than a four-team, 1v4 2v3 “playoff” to crown the national college football champion is a terrible idea as well. But back to the Big Ten. With 11 teams and no divisional championship mumbo jumbo, the cream rises to the top. Guaranteed. There is no risk that if one half of the conference is weak, and the other half happens to have three significantly strong teams, that the weaker division’s leader could pull an upset and go on to the better game. The way we have it now, our system rewards success. Do I think it could be improved? Yes. Every Big Ten team should play every other Big Ten team, no doubt about it. Iowa skates by this year without playing Michigan OR Ohio State, giving them a firm leg up on the rest of the competition. However, for the most part, EVERY GAME COUNTS. That is why Ohio State went to the national championship game and Michigan did not. We can look back and argue about whether or not Florida legitimately had a case to be there going into the title game, but hindsight proves that the powers-that-be got it right.

The important part is that Ohio State was there. There is a reason why the college football regular season is so exciting – it’s because the games actually matter. In the Big Ten, the team that gives the best overall performance is, at the very least, still going to the Rose Bowl. Even with Iowa getting a lucky draw this year, it doesn’t mean anything unless they come out and win on game day. Don’t let a school that won five conference games during the regular season sneak in and take the glory away from the ones that deserve to be there. Keep the Big Te(leven) that we know and love.

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