The thing about drawing lines in the sand…

… is that they’re always easy to erase.

A Big Ten Conference mandate of not scheduling FCS football programs has been modified to put the Division I younger brothers back in the conversation again.

North Dakota State athletic director Matt Larsen said he’s been told the new policy is a direct reflection of the nine-game Big Ten schedule. On years where a Big Ten team has four home league games, it will be allowed to put an FCS team on its slate.

Gotta fill those bowl slots, right, Jimbo?

Selfishly speaking, the sad part here is that this move reduces the pressure on the SEC to toughen its scheduling.


Filed under Big Ten Football

18 responses to “The thing about drawing lines in the sand…

  1. dawgtired

    “Selfishly speaking, the sad part here is that this move reduces the pressure on the SEC to toughen its scheduling.”

    …and there in lies the reason for mixed feelings. I like the idea of helping the ‘little guy’ but I love the ‘more competitive’ games each Saturday. Of course Nichols was plenty competitive enough last year.


    • dawgtired

      P.S. The B10 have historically had their ‘easy games’ built right into the conference. So there’s that. They have not room to pressure the SEC into playing tougher games. JMHO.


      • Right. The SEC East was a real powerhouse last season.


      • JCDAWG83

        The SEC has effectively become Alabama and the 13 dwarfs. We have no room to downgrade any other conference’s strength.


        • Otto

          I hear that argument but who exactly is Bama getting beat by?

          Bama has challengers that rise and fall on the national stage. Ohio St was going to be the next dynasty, FSU, now Clemson?

          Yes the ACC or Big10 may have 1 team that can go head to head with Bama but Bama would destroy the other P5 conference schedules the same as the SEC, if not more so.

          The SEC is 1 year removed from winning the Bowl Challenge and went 6-7 in a year of turnover and freshman QBs. The Big10 went 3-7 placing 3 fewer teams in Bowls going 0-2 against the SEC East.


          • Uglydawg

            I agree, Otto. But the SEC is now at a crossroads. One or two more teams on probation/punishment by the NCAA will further set the conference back. But the other conferences have caught up some..mostly just the upper couple of teams in those conferences, though, and will be stymied to progress much further because of thin recruiting bases. The ACC is the glaring exception. They, like the biG, recognize that the SEC’s success has been largely based on speed. The ACC is in the geographical position to recruit well. It’s hard to get a 5* kid out of Florida to go to Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, etc. It happens, but not enough to close the gap.
            But the SEC needs to step things up. Everyone chasing ‘Bama and firing good coaches if they don’t win it all in x amount of years is a huge problem. The conference needs some stability. Last year’s Georgia show is exhibit A in that remark. Hopefully CKS will have a long and gloried future in Athens.


            • Otto

              Agreed, I remember reading blogs during the Cam Newton investigation stating that the thing most likely to undermine the SEC was NCAA investigation that were likely started by SEC teams submitting each other. Ole Miss’s problems with a conference commissioner that isn’t proven has me a bit nervous. Yes chasing Saban has likely cost coaches jobs. Florida even has rumbling discontent with their coach.

              The ACC is the closest rival in geography and now on the field. FSU, and Clemson have done a good job of promoting their programs and making it a priority to face the SEC on the field. They need to recruit the players the SEC is recruiting and understand the exposure of playing a SEC school on national TV helps their recruiting

              Ohio St and Michigan can recruit nationally but the Big10 will always have more cupcakes as they do not have the access to local talent that the SEC, ACC, Big12 and PAC has. Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland etc are not national powers and would need to recruit out of state for any regular top 25 success and do they have the resources or staff to do it?

              Can Ohio St, Michigan, Penn St put of a team on the field to beat Bama? Yes Can they do it as consistent as Bama? No so far. How many of the marque programs can any conference have at 90+% of their potential at any given time?


  2. Go Dawgs!

    It may reduce the pressure to schedule tough, but only in the sense that we can say, “hey, they schedule cupcakes, too!”

    But then they can say, “we’ve got the sack to play a ninth league game. Why don’t you?”


    • Otto

      The Florida model of play cupcake with the SEC is looking more favorable to teams that can recruit at a championship without playing high profile Out of Conference games. The 4 team playoff makes it all the more likely a SEC Champ with 1 loss or less gets invited to the dance.