The current Big Ten basketball schedule doesn’t make everybody happy. It means that some major rivalry games, like Indiana-Purdue, Ohio State-Michigan or Michigan-Michigan State, might only happen once a year. Depending on how the home and homes shake out, there could be a massive strength of schedule difference between squads. And Big Ten expansion has diluted conference strength, messing with RPI scores.
One possible solution? Just play more Big Ten conference games. And according to ESPN, the Big Ten is considering it. At least, according to Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo.
"I personally see us going to a 20-game schedule," Tom Izzo told ESPN on Monday. "I don't think there's any question it's going to happen -- and I'm not overly against it."
The Big Ten added two conference games and went from 16 to 18 back in 2007-08.
Delany said the coaches haven't voted on whether to go from an 18- to a 20-game conference slate yet. He said the logistics will have to be figured out, especially with recovery time for the players.
"If we do it, we need to present it in a healthy way," Delany said.
Two more Big Ten games (the league plays 18 right now) means two fewer non-conference games, although few Buckeye fans would complain if that meant two fewer shots at Jackson State or Florida Atlantic. Conference play would also start earlier, like in December (which it will this season), a time of year mostly full of bad non-conference games.
Two extra games could be a double edged sword. Not every major league plays that many games, leading to similar debates about comparing resumes that college football experiences. Depending on the luck of the draw, those extra games could hypothetically be against say, Rutgers and Nebraska, which could actually hurt a computer profile rather than help.
But I think most fans would rather watch Ohio State play any Big Ten team than most non-conference opponents. We’ll see if this actually ends up happening.