CHICAGO — Ohio State vs. Michigan. Two weeks in a row?
While it seems highly unlikely, it is a scenario that could play out if the Big Ten adopted a championship game into its schedule. The debate of whether it could happen was stirred at last week’s Big Ten Conference Kickoff.
Since the Atlantic Coast Conference is petitioning the NCAA to have a title game when Miami and Virginia Tech join it in 2004-05 — despite the conference having just 11 teams and not the required 12 — many media wondered whether the Big Ten and its 11 teams should have one game determine its automatic BCS bid.
Nearly every coach expressed concern for their student-athletes’ well being and shot down any desire for wanting a title game.
“I am not in favor of expanding the season,” Indiana coach Gerry DiNardo said. “A championship game is certainly a unique experience for both the schools and the players. It has to start with the players and what is best for them. With an expanded season players run a larger chance of getting injured and it’s just not worth the risk.”
Some players, while maybe not wanting a title game for the BCS, are not afraid to expand the season any more.
“I don’t think a playoff would be a bad idea,” Ohio State defensive tackle Darrion Scott said. “I really don’t think computers should determine the rankings. A playoff would be good, it would make the season a lot more exciting.”
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, an avid supporter for keeping the season as short as possible, also stated he didn’t like the possibility of playing Ohio State or any other team twice in one season.
“I’m not in favor of that NFL playoff style,” Carr said.
That’s Bull: Indiana safety Joe Gonzales had the best What-Did-You-Do-Before-The-Big-Ten-Kickoff-Luncheon story.
Apparently Gonzales was in Spain visiting his brother Nick until late last Monday. He had been overseas for 10 days, completely unaware that he was one of two players chosen to represent the Hoosiers in Chicago last Wednesday and Thursday.
When he returned home, he found 17 messages waiting for him — 12 from Indiana’s sports information director telling him he needed to be ready to go to Chicago.
While his trip from Bloomington to Chicago was uneventful, his trip to Spain was quite the experience.
“I went to Madrid, Barcelona — saw the Olympic Village, and went to Pamplona for the running of the bulls, which was probably the craziest event that I’ve ever seen in my life,” Gonzales said.
As for him running along side the 2,000 lbs. beasts?
“I thought about what (DiNardo) would do to me and it was out of my mind,” Gonzales said. “They ran the biggest bulls (for the last day) and these bulls were like two meters high at the shoulder. They just ran down the road and trampled people. It was the most bizarre experience in my life.”
His most visible memory was watching a lost bull — a bull that separates from the pack and that begins chasing the runners behind it — gore an English accountant through the leg.
Offensive linemen never looked so inviting.
Two Lost?: Carr made two announcements regarding the status of incoming freshman Jeff Zuttah and sophomore fullback Sean Sanderson.
“I’m not sure on Jeff Zuttah,” Carr said. “He took some recruiting trips this summer. He’s free to leave. He would be immediately eligible, and I think there is a chance that he will leave and play somewhere else. But I don’t have anything definitive at this time.
“We’ve suspended Sean Sanderson for the season, and I will re-evaluate his status after this season is over. (His suspension) has to do with attitude and his approach to academics. They were not acceptable in terms of what I expect of a Michigan football player.”