Sunday’s game (though the outcome stunk) was one of the best basketball games I’ve watched in a long time and it was obvious the rivalry factor only added to the intensity. It’s a shame OSU and Michigan only meet once. The ACC wouldn’t dream of UNC and Duke having home and homes some years and single meetings most others. The Big Ten may not have a dominant basketball rivalry like UNC and Duke but there are several that absolutely deserve protected home and home status.
Right now the Big Ten only protects three rivalries - specific to the intra-state matchups: Indiana-Purdue, Michigan-MSU, and Illinois-NW.
Not only does Ohio State not have a protected rival in Michigan but to make matters worse Ohio State gets increased games with “regional rivals” Rutgers, Maryland, and Penn State. (Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin get the same “regional rivals” status). It’s utterly ridiculous that Ohio State plays Rutgers and Maryland with greater frequency in a decade than Michigan and Indiana.
I’d love to see the following - 5 protected games for each Big Ten school, and among the remaining 8 teams, 6 single-meeting matchups, and 2 rotating home and homes.
(3 would be adequate to cover the key rivalries / premier matchups but results in more imbalance in opponent quality, so I’d prefer 5 as follows).
OSU - Mich, Indiana, MSU, Purdue, PSU
Mich - MSU, OSU, Purdue, Indiana, MD
MSU - Mich, OSU, Indiana, Purdue, Wis
Indiana - Purdue, Illinois, OSU, Mich, MSU
Purdue - Indiana, Illinois, Mich, MSU, OSU
Illinois - NW, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, MD
Wisconsin - Minn, Iowa, MD, MSU, NW
Iowa - Minn, Wis, Neb, Illinois, NW
Minn - Iowa, Wis, Neb, PSU, Rutgers
Nebraska - Iowa, Minn, NW, PSU, Rutgers
NW - Illinois, Neb, Rutgers, Wis, Iowa
MD - PSU, Rutgers, Wis, Illinois, Mich
PSU - MD, Rutgers, OSU, Neb, Minn
Rutgers - MD, PSU, NW, Neb, Minn