Big Ten, Pac-12 agreement is interesting
The format is simple: 24 teams (12 from each conference) will play each other every season. The agreement includes all sports, but football will make the biggest splash. It could evolve into something similar to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in college basketball, but a challenge such as this on the gridiron will much more fascinating, especially from Ohio State's perspective.
Reportedly, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is already concerned about the scheduling aspect of Wednesday's announcement.
Smith does not want the Buckeyes to play more than one "difficult" non-conference game in a season. Beginning in 2016, and again in 2017, OSU starts a series with Oklahoma. Ideally, Smith would like the football team to land a Pac-12 creampuff in 2017 to offset the mammoth game against the Sooners.
Be careful what you wish for Gene. Schedules are set years in advance, and there's no telling what team will emerge from the Pac-12 five years from now.
For example, Washington State has been a cellar-dweller for years in the Pac-12, but with Coach Mike Leach recently hired, who knows what the status of the Cougars' program will be in 2017. Likewise with Stanford. Any school scheduling the Cardinal five years ago probably thought it was securing a guaranteed win. Then Andrew Luck elevates his team to top-5 status.
The good news for OSU fans is there will be potentially one more marquee non-conference football game to circle on your calendars, starting in 2017. The bad news is winning a national championship just got a bit more difficult.
- Mark Podolski | @mpodo