What is the current state of the Big Ten?
Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
First, an exciting announcement. I've been working on ways to make it easier to buy ads in this newsletter. Now, we have a fully automated system ready to go. This single form lets you know ad pricing, what dates and slots are available, and even lets you book the ad, all without sending a single email. I hope this is useful, and I look forward to promoting your brands, your events, your social handles and your stuff in this newsletter.
Speaking of forms, you still have time to fill out our super quick survey on what YOU think the NCAA Constitutional Convention should focus on. What should NCAA 2.0 be responsible for? What isn't working? If you have thoughts, please fill out the form here. I'd love to hear from all of you, but I'd especially love to hear from more athletes and academics.
By now, the latest episode of Going For Two should be available wherever you get your podcasts, but especially if you get your podcasts from either Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
We continue our State of the Conference preview series by going back to my ancestral home, the Big Ten. To keep me from rambling on too much about Ohio State, we're joined by our friend, Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic and BTN.
In this conversation, we discuss:
- What exactly is this Alliance between the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC that everybody keeps talking about, what does it mean, and why are calling it the most haughty, Big Ten-sounding thing possible?
- After a very difficult start to his tenure, what do Big Ten stakeholders think of Kevin Warren now? Is he capable of pulling off such immense...statecraft?
- Is Big Ten membership likely to change in the next five years?
- You don't have to squint too hard to find potential holes in this Ohio State roster...but does anybody have a prayer in keeping them from winning another conference title?
- What makes the malaise surrounding Michigan and Nebraska football particularly depressing?
- Central New Jersey...is it even a place?
We've done similar previews with experts on the SEC, ACC and Pac-12, and will have episodes on the Big 12 (such as it is) and the Group of 5. The podcast publishes every Wednesday, and if you enjoy it, it sure would be neat if you gave it a nice review, and maybe shared it with some friends!
My cohost, Bryan Fischer, also had a neat little #scoop yesterday.
Should note NCAA said WBBT can use it a few weeks ago, but will officially be part of branding in Minneapolis and beyond now. We’re a few years away from the formal bid process, but increased chatter next cycle will include a joint MBB/WBB Final Four as early as 2027.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer)
Aug 17, 2021
The KHF report, published a few weeks ago, made it clear that the NCAA had major structural problems that led to equity issues with the women's basketball tournament. Making the branding and messaging consistent is one of the easiest fixes, but it certainly wouldn't be sufficient.
The college athletics world is focused on conference realignment, the NCAA constitutional convention, NIL, the start of the Fall sports season, and a bunch of other (important) issues...but it's important to not let this report fall through the cracks and joint the dozens of other well-meaning, thoughtful white papers that get trapped in subcommittee hell and ultimately forgotten. A better NCAA and a better student experience requires action and urgency.
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To sponsor a future Extra Points newsletter, please click here. For article ideas, newsletter feedback, FOIA tips, athlete NIL sponsorships and more, I'm at [email protected], or @MattBrownEP on Twitter.