The Big Ten is changing quickly, mostly for the better. It still needs to do something about those division names, though. What an embarrassing, un-ironic catastrophe.
The most recent change within the conference came over the weekend, when brass voted on what to do with its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as the football title game. The men’s tournament, which had been held — and been successful — in Indianapolis for the past four years, will now flip flop between Chicago and Indy for the next five seasons.
“The Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments have been held jointly in Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse for the last four years and will be back in the Circle City in 2012, 2014 and 2016,” the release said. “The 2013 and 2015 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournaments will return to Chicago and the United Center, which hosted the inaugural men’s tournament in 1998 and on seven total occasions, most recently in 2007. The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held in suburban Chicago for the first time when the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., hosts the event in 2013 and 2015.”
In its 15-year history, the Big Ten tournament has only been played in the Windy City and Circle City, so it makes sense to keep it in these two places, which are capable and logistical for hosting not only the tournaments, but the meetings, dinners, conferences, etc. that come with them. Some wanted to keep Indy as the permanent host, but I don’t see the problem with getting Chicago back into the mix. It’s the better city, and it’s where Big Ten headquarters is located.
This news is relatively tame when you consider the B1G chickened out and opted to put its next four — and first four — football title games in Lucas Oil Stadium, an indoor facility. The Big Ten going under the roof in December? No Solider Field? No Lambeau? Uber weak.