Hey, let's give Barry Alavarez credit for telling like it is.
And let's give the Big Ten credit for stepping up and putting an end to one of the most ridiculous practices in college sports.
Speaking to WIBA-AM radio in Madison, Wisconsin, this week, Alvarez broke the news that Big Ten officials have agreed to no longer play FCS schools during the non-conference portion of their schedules. He also said recent Big Ten schedules, which have included far too many of those games, have been "ridiculous" and "not appealing."
Alvarez did not elaborate on this supposed ban, and he did not say when it would take effect. The Big Ten has also yet to formally confirm Alvarez's statement.
That being said, let's all agree that this would be wonderful news if true. The fact that powerhouse programs like Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan even pretend that fans are interested in watching (and buying tickets to see) games against such low-level opponents is, as Alvarez noted, completely ridiculous. It's an insult to the fans who have supported these football behemoths throughout the years, and with all due respect to the Appalachian States of the world (who, as we all know, upset Michigan a few years back), some of these FCS teams just aren't physically prepared to compete against the elite of college football.
The Big Ten has rarely been seen as a forward-thinking league of late, but this move, if true, would be a very good one indeed--not only for Big Ten fans, but for college football as a whole. Indeed, if the Big Ten does impose such a ban, the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and other power conferences would need to follow suit, lest they open themselves up to criticism. Besides, once college football rolls out its new "playoff system," strength of schedule will be more important than ever before; do you really think voters and/or committee members will look favorably upon a team that put a guaranteed 'W' on their slate?
I think not.
In other words, Mike Slive, the ball is in your court.
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