More conference play, night games ahead for Big Ten football?


Monday was certainly not a ho-hum day on the Big Ten news circuit like it can be at times. Sure, the weekly awards are announced and stuff like that, but come winter Monday's are pretty dull on the news side. Not today however, as Jim Delany indicated there is no support amongst the AD's for staying at 8 conference football games, and the debate now is between 9 and 10 games. 

That 9 vs. 10 game debate is a good one and one that we'll have here amongst ourselves at a later date, but at the very least you have to be excited to see less shlub teams from the Sun Belt, WAC (oh wait that doesn't exist anymore), or get us some more MAC-tion. So, why the sudden sea change and support for more conference action? Here's why from the article:

"There's real recognition that we now live in two regions of the country, and we want to make sure those are bound together as best we can, so more games [makes sense]," Delany said. "Eight games is not on the table. It's nine or 10." 

However, don't think this is something that is going to just up and happen overnight as Delany told Adam Rittenberg in the piece that it's likely not to take affect until the 2016 season. Frankly, that shouldn't be surprising at all considering the fact that there are non-conference contracts that need to be worked out and a host of other issues that take time. 

Even better than that is the Big Ten's commissioner announcing that the conference is willing to open up November games to be played in primetime. That's something fans are going to absolutely love, myself included.

Make no mistake about it, it's also a direct shot across the bow of the SEC, who's had the advantage of playing night games without competition in November for a long time. College football has increasingly seen it's primetime viewership numbers going up and getting a piece of that pie can only help the B1G from a marketing and $$$ standpoint.

Also, the Big Ten has had the unwritten policy of playing no night games in November for as long as I can remember (and I've been on this earth for 31 years). 

The last home night game in conference play came in 2008 and it was a game played in the Metrodome, so I hardly count that as proof it's been done. 

So, it appears that scheduling a night game in November appears to be a choice that the schools involved in said game can chose to have happen. At least it won't be discouraged anymore and we won't have to put up with a night full of SEC only games. That will be nice to say the least. 

Overall Monday was a winning day for the Big Ten fan – now let's all go put on some Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day" and chill out for the evening!

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site