Big Ten Baseball in the Summer or Fall?

Here’s a really interesting story from the Associated Press about the potential for a change in the way the Big Ten baseball season rolls out. The reasoning behind some of the thinking? The Big Ten wants to give northern teams a better shot at the NCAA tournament where teams from warmer climates tend to dominate.

According to the story:

“The Big Ten is instead working on a proposal that would allow teams across the nation to play up to 14 non-conference games in the fall. The results of those fall games would carry over to the spring for consideration in the NCAA tournament selection process.”

“A team choosing to play in the fall could resume its season later than the current mid-February start date and avoid those expensive trips to the Sun Belt. Proponents say northern teams could build a stronger RPI, the key component weighed by the selection committee, because they would have more home games.”

But then there’s this other idea, too.

“Minnesota’s John Anderson, the winningest baseball coach in Big Ten history, is pushing for his conference to break away from the NCAA’s traditional February-to-June schedule and play when the weather in the north is more favorable. In short, the Big Ten’s boys of summer would be on the field in summer.”

Read the full piece as published by the Detroit News website.

The story goes on to cover a number of interesting points, including the role the Big Ten Network would play. Right now, the Big Ten Network airs a good amount of Big Ten baseball on TV and online (see the full TV schedule for 2012 over here).

You might also be interested to see what the guys over at MGoBlog.com wrote on this topic since Michigan has been one of traditionally stronger Big Ten teams. In a post with the headline “Big Ten Should Take Its Baseball and Go Home,” they offer that leaving the NCAA might also allow the Big Ten to tailor a schedule to something more MLB-friendly, or even join a relevant minor league so they could compete for a championship bigger than the Big Ten. Read the whole thing here.

What do you think? Comment below.

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aroznowski on 3/1/2012 @ 6:32pm EST Said:

For as cool as it would be to have BTN air something other than replays of past football and basketball games during the summer, I must say that I oppose this idea. The NCAA’s spring sports should be played in late winter and the spring and not in late spring and summer. Even though the Big Ten has been a glorified mid-major in baseball the last couple of years, denying Big Ten schools an opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament and have a shot at making it to the College World Series is just plain wrong. However, I do kind of like the conference’s proposal. It would probably be best if the college baseball season started in September, went though October, resumed in late March or early April, and then ended in late June with the College World Series. The weather in September and October is much better for playing baseball than the weather in February and March. It doesn’t matter where in the country you are. Besides, the first two months of the college baseball season are currently overshadowed by college basketball. The fact that these games would be overshadowed by a major NCAA sport wouldn’t change if the season began in the fall.

Coldstream on 3/1/2012 @ 10:24pm EST Said:

I’d like to remind our Big Ten associates that there is a team in the conference that has made the CWS since 1984…three times in fact. Nebraska has shown that northern teams can compete in baseball, with some effort put into it by the schools.

If our conference standards for quitting the NCAA, taking our ball and going home are failing to compete for championships lately and losing to the SEC, we might as well look at starting summer football.

JStewKC on 3/2/2012 @ 8:27am EST Said:

Saying “We suck so we are going to go play by ourselves in the summer” is just a stupid idea. You can play intramural in the summer and feel good about yourself by winning a game if you want, but don’t bring down the whole conference.

JEFF HINSLEY on 3/4/2012 @ 3:22am EST Said:

Nah , lets stick to ncaa baseball tradition. B10 champs maybe another conference team can just recruit better and coach there schools to the cws in omaha- jeff

Jeff in Nebraska on 3/4/2012 @ 5:17am EST Said:

Now Cornhusker Men this where you can compete for the conference here but that pitching needs to improve . Need a closer and timely / clutch hits as well ? Having a new coaching staff thats learning there self goin be tuff but can be done . I like Coach Erstad but if we kept Anderson I thought Nu chances were pretty good on winning B10 never the less this is what you got so learn and improve as season goes on and lets win the B10 , lets recruit theses local young men they play some pretty good ball ask Creighton ,UNI for example

Houston Buckeye on 6/9/2013 @ 10:28pm EST Said:

I’m unsure about the splintering of the season, but I absolutely love the idea of going to a summer schedule. I say start it on the Friday after the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (why compete with the best damned tournament on the planet and besides who pays attention to college baseball during the heat of conference races, and the Tourney), and conclude with a championship tournament (similar to Omaha I’m assuming) around Labor Day (again, no need in competing with college football). You could use wooden bats, play against minor league teams (great idea btw), try and pull some other northern conferences in, and have the only show in town as far as live college sports go from late June through September. Who knows if it is extremely successful the southern and western leagues may even join up. Because the Pac 12 and now the SEC now have networks (and the ACC thinking about it) they all need live content too. And what better than playing baseball in its natural season. The only concern i’d have is the MLB drafting Juniors and Seniors and signing them during the season/playoffs. On another note the NCAA realy needs to permit those schools that want offer more scholarships. Who came up with 11.9 anyway. If you want to turn college baseball into what football and basketball are, you have to offer full scholarships s not only the rich kids can afford to play.

john ferry on 7/21/2013 @ 5:26pm EST Said:

How many OTHER sports carry over from first semester to second semester? Certainly basketball. How about wrestling, swimming, golf, tennis?
The competitive balance of college baseball, not to mention budgets, is messed up when some schools play 20 home games while others play 40.
Practice is already held for several weeks in the fall. Games in mid-September to mid-October, especailly on football weekends, have lots of potential. Weatherwise and otherwise.
In February, basketball is peaking. Who wants baseball then? Does television want games then?
The the 1978 Nebraska baseball team opened on March 12 and finished its 56th game on May 13, why are we playing games on February 15? This season, regular games might have gone to May 18.