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Big Ten athletic directors have a lot of decisions to make for the future, including the possibility of playing nine or even 10 conference home games per season starting in 2014. If the league does go that route, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has an idea.
"I would like to see more neutral sites in those scenarios," Smith told ESPN.com. "We've got a great stadium in Chicago, one in Detroit, one in Indianapolis, and now we have the East Coast. So I can see more neutral sites for conference games."
The idea wouldn't be totally new for the Big Ten. In 2010, there were two such neutral-site league games, as Indiana played Penn State at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and Northwestern and Illinois met in Wrigley Field.
"Neutral sites are great; those are just great opportunities," Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips told ESPN.com. "They have to be in the right places and have the right matchups, but the fans have responded in a positive way to some of those neutral-site games. We need to listen to them and we need to pay attention to those things. We may not do everything that the fans want, but that’s what's made our game so great and more popular than it’s ever been."
The addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the league in 2014 brings more possibilities, as the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights both have pro stadiums nearby. Rutgers played Army at MetLife Stadium in 2010, and in Yankee Stadium in 2011. The school reportedly received a $2.7 million payday for the 2010 game, nearly twice what it made in a typical home game.
The finances are tough to ignore. Rutgers' High Point Solutions Stadium seats about 53,000, and Maryland's Byrd Stadium has a capacity of about 54,000. How much more money could those two cash-strapped athletic programs make if, say, Rutgers played Michigan in MetLife (capacity: 82,500) or the Terps moved a home game against Ohio State to FedEx Field (91,700)? Indiana's "home game" against Penn State at the Redskins' stadium let the Hoosiers pocket an extra $2 million.
Big Ten athletic directors have a lot of decisions to make for the future, including the possibility of playing nine or even 10 conference home games
for the northwesters v. illinois it's a cute idea. otherwise no thanks. i love watching home/away games. neutral is stupid and i highly doubt the ad's would be cool with losing the revenue for a home game
I tend to think this is only for a handful of teams. When the big four are playing at Rutgers or Maryland, those games probably will be switched to Fed Ex Field in DC or Met Life in NY. Even Northwestern may play some games in Soldier Field. The big four will never move one of their home games to a nuetral site.
If you're Rutgers or Maryland and you're hosting B1G-time programs like Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State, the kind of college football powerhouses you've never gotten a chance to play a game against at home, looking at playing off-site at a bigger stadium nearby makes a lot of sense (and cents).
Even Purdue-Indiana in Indianapolis...neither probably sells out when it's hosting their game in November, so why not take it indoors where the distance between the campuses is equi-distant and environment is more comfortable? Especially if it's over Thanksgiving weekend when the campuses are likely to be dead?
But other than that, as the article stated, the big boys aren't the ones who need to play a home game off site. It's the schools with smaller stadiums.
As long as it is a road game for OSU, I have no problem with a neutral site.
road game: ohio state at michigan in cleveland browns stadium. i like the sound of that haha
Leave it to GS to alienate fans even further.
Gene Smith is probably the most inept athletic director this school has ever seen....
I can't stand Gene Smith.
Yes, the half-court football game at Wrigley was hilarious.
I wouldn't mind a OOC game played in Indy vs a BCS school, kind of like they do already in Atlanta and Dallas.
that would be sweet. id be ok with that
To heck with neutral fields...F Indy or the Detroit dome (whatever that dump is called)...WTF do they know, they're pansy domes too. Nothing beats the hostility (good sportsmanship hostility) of a home field. I love it when teams visit the Shoe...here it is, deal with it. Same when we travel, I love the noise of the Big Outhouse and silencing their fans, or Wiscy, et al. Would love to go to the Swamp or Bama and duke it out in front of their fans, that's the beauty of college ball. Neutral schmootral, let's get it on in the real deals. How about the Sissy Dome in GA...bring it on baby...let's show those Rebs OSU ball. Smith needs to stop being a dope.
I'd like that too, but there is no way in Hell that any SEC school would play us in The Shoe! If we play a "neutral" site game, I'd rather play in Indy than Dallas or the capital of the south...Atlanta.
Alabama played in Happy Valley but do you think they'd come to Columbus? They said no to Madison. We had Tennessee and UGA on board for a minute. I'd love to see it but I think the only way is a "neutral" site game. We already know our fans would take over Indy.
Just my two cents.
This post was edited by Buck that 18 months ago
'IExceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.' Smith
I keep looking for schmootral in the dictionary...is there an alternative spelling?
I found it in the IndyDog edition of Websters, there's a few more good one in there too :)
The B1G generally plays its OOCs in September so it's not weather that's keeping the SECs away. And the SEC schools do play decent OOC opponents, including Alabama, which has played against Michigan, Va Tech, PSU in recent years, and will play a home and away series with Michigan State in 2016 and 2017.
Here's who we have on tap starting 2014:
2014--Va Tech (plus Navy and Cincinnati); 2015--Va Tech; 2016--Oklahoma; 2017--Oklahoma and UNC; 2018--UNC and TCU (plus Cincinnati); 2019--TCU; 2020--Oregon (plus Boston College); 2021--Oregon (plus Boston College); 2022--Texas; 2023--Texas.
If Smith (and/or his successor) can sprinkle in a few prospective Top 25 and Top 50-caliber BCS teams to augment what's already on the books (Iowa State, Kentucky, Cal, WVU), Ohio State's OOC looks to be about as competitive as anyone could expect.
Is that Websters or Schwebsters?
Its my belief this strategy would not involve the teams with the big stadiums. This is probably an idea for teams with small venues for when they play other teams who have a strong fan base that travels.
I usually go to 2 buckeye road games a year and we dominate those stadiums with the exception of PSU, Michigan, and Nebraska. They could sell more tickets if they had a bigger capacity. I believe that is what they are thinking.
"The only thing That Team Up North will be tasting this year is the salty tears of defeat" - UFM
That was seriously pathetic. I couldn't watch that game on principal alone.....talk about poor planning.
I'm with you on that 100%
Playing on a neutral field does nothing.....you want to prove you're the best.....travel and play #2 Texas on their home field ala 2006.....
Or have #2 Texas play in the Shoe ala 2005!
The home and away series is what I like best.....and beating the best team on their home field is a better measure of where you are than playing on a neutral site that has absolutely zero history for either team.
Neutral field games suck, are stupid and I don't watch them. I have yet to watch the B1G championship game....and the attendance at the last one was pathetic!
I have yet to even tune into the Red River Rivalry game! If they played home and away.....I might be more interested.
Same with Florida vs. Georgia in the cocktail party.
Principle is the correct usage here not principal ... You see a 'pal' is your friend
What a wonderful and unique idea, wonder how many hours GS laid awake dreaming this wet one up? Just what I always wanted to do...leave the shoe and 105000 fans and go to Detroit with 75000 fans (if lucky) and get mugged.
yeah that's right...in the 7th grade I got a good paddling from my principal not my principle. LOL....
No problem. Please stay focused when you post and it wont happen again.
Absolutely horrible idea. Unless it is only meant for places with small stadiums. Like Maryland. tOSU fans going to that game would be like trying to stuff a semi through a walk-in door. But other then that, the idea sucks. To me, that's part of the greatness of college football. Playing on your home field in front of a packed house, or playing in someone else's packed house. Not in a half filled Browns Stadium.
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