Friday, July 30, 2010
Should Big Ten open season at Rose Bowl?
We all know that the goal for every Big Ten team, aside from winning a national championship, is to end its season at the Rose Bowl.
But what about beginning the season in Pasadena?
The Pac-10 and Rose Bowl officials are considering an annual kickoff game, not unlike the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta every year. The Los Angeles Times' David Wharton reports that the game could pit the Pac-10 against the Big Ten every year (there's only one mention of the Big Ten in his story).
The two leagues have met in similar events like the Kickoff Classic and the Pigskin Classic, but the Rose Bowl opener would be an annual event.
This is unquestionably a great idea for the Pac-10, which sorely needs national media attention and would get it with a big-time matchup at the Rose Bowl in late August or early September.
But is it a good move for the Big Ten? Could be, but I have my doubts.
Unlike the Pac-10, the Big Ten isn't desperate for national buzz, especially with the Big Ten Network in place. This would be a virtual road game for Big Ten teams, especially if UCLA, which plays its home games at the Rose Bowl, or USC was the opponent.
Although Ohio State is the reigning Rose Bowl champ, the Big Ten has endured recent struggles in Pasadena and against Pac-10 teams on the road. It's simply not an easy trip to make.
There's also the difficulty of scheduling. Are these one-game deals, or would Pac-10 teams return the games and travel to Big Ten country?
All that said, if structured correctly, this could be great for the Big Ten, especially programs that don't play in Pasadena very often. It would be an easy sell for fans, and a way to get national exposure.
But if I'm sitting in Columbus, Ann Arbor or State College, I don't know how often I'd want to participate without a home game in return.
More importantly, what do you think?