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.”
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.