If you haven't already begun to emerge from offseason hibernation, today brings a double jolt to remind you that the start of college football season is closer than you might imagine.
For starters, we're a month away from hitting the field against Marshall in a rare Thursday night tilt in the Shoe. Closer to the now, Big Ten Media Days kickoff today in Chicago.
For those of you near a TV, both the Big Ten Network and ESPN News will air coverage beginning at 11am ET. For the rest of us, the network will also stream all of the press conferences online (Tressel goes on at 2pm ET). If you want to turn things up to eleven, you can follow us on Twitter, as we'll be on the scene weighing in with an appropriate amounts of snark and reverence. HEY, THERE'S JOE PATERNO! Also, a quick thank you to everyone that submitted a question last week.
We'll spend the day discussing the media's preseason picks for top teams (Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin), offensive player of the year (Pryor with a slight chance of Clay, igniting howls from Penn State fans if it is the former) and defensive player of the year (Clayborn), but the better part of today will be spent with one eye towards 2011. Indeed, you'll soon know the thoughts of every coach in the league on the addition of Nebraska, divisional alignment, a championship game, and future expansion.
Unfortunately, we likely won't be getting any hard information on divisions or the championship game, but Dr. Tom Osborne will be in the house to help hammer out some of those details in the hopes of announcing something soon.
Speaking of big games, the Pac-10 said the idea of hosting a marquee annual kickoff game pitting a league team against one from another conference is in the discussion stage. The report mentioned the Big Ten as a potential partner, but with plans to hold the event at the Rose Bowl, I can't imagine Jim Delany would be too eager to play two guaranteed "home" games for Pac-10 teams every season. It makes sense in January, but if we're talking about a season opener, may I suggest Soldier Field?
When John Maynard Keynes was criticized for having changed his monetary policy during the great depression, his response was brilliantly succinct:
When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
Well, the facts have changed, sir. After long having advocated more open practices based on the USC model of weekday openness and Saturday curb-stompings, the problems the SEC and, well, USC, are currently experiencing remind us that sometimes the Kremlin/Lubyanka setup on Olentangy River Road really is the way to go.
The tailgate is coming and it will be fierce. We'll have more details soon (including a pretty neat surprise), but keep the morning and early afternoon of Saturday, the 11th open and set your GPS to 40.010804,-83.027458.