I like to answer questions because it makes me feel like a big man, so if you have anything that you think would be a good Reader Mail submission, feel free to send it to me.
I will then judge it to be worthy or unworthy, which also makes me feel like a big man.
If it’s worthy-ish, I may just include it in a Mailbag. No offense.
Today, however, we have an interesting question that has some merit.
Especially in the dead of summer.
The B1G is a pioneer. Why not pioneer themselves to dynamic divisions. They could change every 2 years with an eye on 1 – competitive balance, 2 – protecting rivalries and 3 – ensuring all 4-year players play in every B1G stadium.
I mean come on, has any player been proud of winning a division? NO. So there’s no need to be protective of them. And they could be picked by having the 2 worst or best teams pick divisions. — Josh I.
I’m not tied to the stakes of traditionalism, so I think I like this idea.
I don’t know if the math works out to get the players to every stadium in four years because you’ll have protected rivalries, but it would certainly lead to a wider spectrum of visits than we’re seeing now.
It may help programs on the west side to recruit if they can tell players that they are guaranteed to play against Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State during their four years.
As far as competitive balance, there are pluses and minuses to this. On the positive, it may be better to send somebody from the East to the West to bolster that division, but correct me if I’m wrong on this one — Iowa beat Ohio State by 31 points last season so maybe the West needs to send somebody to the East?
The argument against competitive balance is that the West division has recently had two teams who were one win away from a playoff berth, and that’s pretty cool for the “lesser division” of the B1G. If Iowa beats Michigan State in 2015, they go to the playoffs. If Wisconsin beats Ohio State last year, they go to the playoffs.
There is something to be said for that kind of opportunity in a division where people don’t necessarily have the same amount of respect as they do for the East.
It is an enticement for the programs in the West to invest and compete. Purdue has more incentive than Indiana does. The more teams with incentive, the better for everyone.
Of course, dynamic divisions would then give programs like Indiana or Michigan actual hope for a seemingly easier road as well.
Personally, I love the fact that almost anybody from the West (with a couple of years of consistency behind them) can be in a position for a playoff game. And it doesn’t matter how those teams might actually fare in the playoffs because they couldn’t have done any worse than the East in their last two attempts.
One of the reasons why we love college football is because the teams are constantly changing, so what would be the problem with the divisions changing?
And you’re absolutely right about fans not taking pride in winning the division because every time I mention that Urban Meyer has won a division each year at Ohio State, it is news to most people.
And it’s not like winning the division is a playoff necessity.
Do Buckeye fans take pride in touting their 2013 Leaders title? Or their 2012 title?
I do, however, think players take pride in winning a division because they spend every day working towards that goal. But they’d rather go to the playoffs than win a division.
If we go through with dynamic divisions, I think you have to do the splits based mostly on conference records over the previous two years.
Or maybe the media could vote on it. I will vote for the shortest drives, so maybe the media shouldn’t be involved.
The idea of teams picking the leagues would be interesting. But if you think Ohio State is being a bully now, just imagine how bad it will look if the two best teams get to pick the divisions and Ohio State chooses Michigan with their first pick every time.
Or if OSU gives up their first two picks as long as the other team leaves Michigan alone.
I would not be opposed to dynamic divisions because it gives us something to talk about and I like that. But the reason it won’t happen is because they won’t be able to come up with good names for the divisions. Especially now that we know how the people would react to “Legends” and “Leaders.”