Big Ten + 5

Ok, after seeing the dollar signs, and money, I didn’t like it at first, but the Big Ten will be 16. I didn’t think the scheduling would think and then I was looking at it as 2 divisions of 8. But if you look at 4 divisions of 4. It would work. Granted some scheduling would have to be tweaked but I think this is what is going to happen now.

And with that, I think the schools invited will be Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse and Maryland. The amount of money that will be brought in by the 5 schools with the Big Ten Network would be somehwere around 60-70 million a year on cable subscriptions. Then add in advertising. That is a lot of money for the Big Ten! Think instead of 22 million a year increased to 35 million a year.

So here’s now how I think it happens and will look. *NOTE – just quick thought of division names*

~the four schools west of the Mississippi

~Next four western schools

Ohio State
~The Big Ten won’t make the same mistake the Big XII did, keep UM & OSU together and put in 2 weaker football schools

Michigan State
Penn State
~MSU gets thrown in with the 3 most east schools, keeps the 2 land grant schols together. Adds 2 schools East with Penn State.

The divisions are mostly regionalized and keeps some of the schools together. And each team would then be assigned a rival from another division, to preserve rivalries. Rivals would be the following:

Illinois – Missouri
Indiana – Purdue
Iowa – Penn State
Maryland – Ohio State
Michigan – Michigan State
Minnesota – Wisconsin
Nebraska – Northwestern
Rutgers – Syracuse

Now on to the scheduling and figuring out the championship game. You’d still play 8 conf games. 3 games verse your division, 4 verse another division and 1 rival game. (this isnt my idea, I’m borrowing it, just adding it into the way I would set things up. To view my schedule click here.

So in this scenario the West plays the MidWest, Great Lakes plays the East. This would rotate yearly. And if your rival game is in a division you play, it would be sorted out with a different team you don’t play. So the 2 Big Ten Championship game participants would be determined by the 7 like games the 2 divisions play (West/MidWest & GreatLakes/East). The rivalry game would be a tie breaker.

So in this scenario you don’t get Michigan-Ohio State back to back weeks, but you still get THE GAME at the last week of the regular season. Other traditional rivalries are procteted even though there are different divisions. You keep Purdue-Indiana and Minnesota-Wisconsin and Mich State-Michigan. And create some new ones with Illinois-Mizzou and Iowa-Penn State (it’s budding)

I think this is the seismic shif that will shake and shape college athletics. I think an offere will be made to Notre Dame, and they will say “NO”. Then they will be left behind. I think they will have to join what is left of the ACC & Big East or be left out of the 4 team – 16 team leagues. I don’t think in the end 64 teams + Notre Dame will work. There will be too much power weilded by the Big Ten and then SEC.

What happens after the Big Ten goes to 16? The Pac-10 adds Utah, Colordao, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma & OK State. The SEC adds Miami, FSU, Clemson & Louisville. There’s 16. Then I think Notre Dame’s hand is going to be forced to join something or be left out. I think they go with the rest of the Big East and the 8 teams left from the ACC. That would leave 2 spots open. I think Kansas would be targeted and legestative pressure would take KState.

Their’s your 64 team Championship league. Sorry ISU, you don’t fit. The MT West, Conf USA, WAC, MAC, SunBelt and the Big XII left overs would create a mish mash of about 3-4 leagues and be set.


Who's in your 5 - SuperHeroes

Soundoff on WHO TV Sunday Nights has this little feature, and I may "Borrow" it. Sunday night it was "who is in your 5 for Favorite Super Heros."

So here we go.

#5 IronMan - Marvels version of Batman. Rich, and how many armor toys does he have?

#4 Iceman - he's just cool! And he can create his own transportation.

#3 Wolverine - A pure bad ass. Claws coming out of his hands. Regenerates his energy and is almost unbreakable.

#2 Daredevil - I may be the only one who enjoyed the Ben Affleck Movie, but dude is a blind lawyer and takes on everyone.

#1 Batman - dude is rich and and like Jack Nicholson's Joker says: "where does he get all those wonderful toys?"


Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My….

This past weekend was the 2nd Annual Anderson-Nielsen Mother’s Day trip to the Omaha Zoo. Saturday morning bright and early we headed over to Omaha, though our trip got off to a rocky start. When getting Addy ready to go and combing her hair, we found a tick on her head. That was fun trying to get it off. I think we used 8 matches or so on its body. The thing was toasted. Then tweezers to get it out. Addy was, and still is, kind of freaked out about it. Especially after seeing a picture of one zoomed in on my iPod. So the whole day at the zoo Addy had on a hat. And said on the way back, “Daddy, when we get back to Iowa I need to wear my hat”.

So after that we met up with Kim & Jason and headed west to Omaha. We got off to a little later start than last year I think but got to the zoo at 1020. The parking lot was packed already but the line was short getting in there. For those who aren’t reading this, if you haven’t been to the zoo there, you can spend a day or more there. We were there for 6+ hours and didn’t see everything. Last year we were there probably 7+ hours and didn’t see everything. First exhibit was just a little pond of ducks and other birds, and the “peacops”(as Addy said it) that were walking around. Brady has his map out ready to go check out everything.

Then after that, I was attacked by a Hungry, Hungry Hippo!

And we were then off to a few other exhibits.

Eventually we then saw the Bears, and then gorilla’s. The sun bear’s claws look like they could just rip a arm off. I did wish we could have seen the polar bear swimming. I think that is the one thing about zoo’s that the visitors would like to change. Let’s see the animals in action. The gorilla’s were moving around a bit. They look amazing. It’s weird how human they are. We were talking like do you ever wonder what they are thinking when we are looking at them? After that was a few photo ops with some gorilla's.

Then the great thing about the Omaha Zoo was that they allow you to take a cooler in there. Lunch came and went, then Brady was excited to go see the cats! I’m with him, they were pretty cool. The tigers were mostly relaxing but you got a up close shot of their paws. The lions were more just hanging out far away that we couldn’t get a great look but if there was a battle royal of cats…the Tigers would maul the Lions. Later on we saw the cheetahs, I think the should have let a gazelle go in there to see how fast the cheetah goes. After the cats was the aquarium, which I swear the building was heated. Brady was ready to eat calamari!

Got to see sharks, rays, and a sea turtle (which was hanging out the same spot in the aquarium as last year). Brady then crashed and we walked around to the other exhibits. While he crashed we saw some cranes, prompting Jason & I to do our best Daniel Larusso impersenation.

He woke up just in time for the Madagascar exhibit with the zoombafoom lemur’s. they were pretty cool. The elephants and the sea lions (and Brady was sure there were sea tigers too!)

After that we headed to the hotel. Instead of going out for supper we ordered in Valentino’s pizza. Great idea! It was really good. The pizza didn’t stand a chance with the 8 of us hungry like lions and tigers and bears. Afterwards we all swam for a bit. The pool was really warm, until you went to the hot tub. If you went back it was really cold. Kids loved it. Brayden got a cold though so we headed up stairs to get a bath and into pjs. By the time the girls got up he was ready for bed and playing with cars. After the girls got cleaned up Addy curled up in a ball on the chair and was out. Brady, Shawnna and I were up till about 1045. Watched a bit of Betty White on SNL. She was hilarious.

Sunday slept in till 830. Yes that is sleeping in with a 2 year old. Got cleaned up the van packed and ready to go eat at Wheatfield’s. After a 40 minute wait (with reservations) we got in. Got water spilled on my by accident from Shawnna. I think her mimosa had too much champagne in it. But the food was great. I had to have the omelet taken away from me because I was stuffed and didn’t want to feel overly uncomfortable. Next was a stop at Whole Foods – Des Moines, why don’t you have one? Wouldn’t it work in Jordan Creek? – and to a mall. There after the kids played in a play area, Addy took the next step to growing up. She got her ears pierced. 5 years earlier then I wanted her too, but I was out voted 3-1 by the adults there. They do look good on her.

Next we were east bound and down with Brady sleeping before we left Omaha. He slept Omaha to our garage. Drove around 300 miles on the van this weekend, but to see how much fun the kid had and how much fun we all had, it’s worth every penny and mile. Only 363 days till the next trip to the zoo. Hopefully Brady is potty trained and we are stroller free!!


Big Ten Expansion

Everyone has a thought on Big Ten Expansion and the affects it will have on the college sports landscape. I put out a blog a while ago on who I thought the 12th team might be. Then shortly after the Big Ten said the would entertain expansion, the Super Conference notion’s came up and there is talk of a 14 and 16 team Big Ten. Then the Pac-10 expanding to 12 to get a title game and then the SEC doing the same as the Big Ten. So the landscape is going to feel a shockwave after the Big Ten says what they are going to do.

The small shockwave and what I think would be the best would be Notre Dame joining the Big Ten and adding it to 12. I think there is a chance yet that this happens. 25-30 million dollars a year and less travel and more tradition is better than 8 million for just an outlet of one of its sports. The Big Ten Network would give it more money and an outlet for all sports. Add 1 if it is ND, signed sealed delivered. Get the Big Ten Title game ready at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The bigger shockwave will come if the Irish don’t make the smart move, and the Big Ten then adds 3 schools. I truly believe that if the Big Ten gets Notre Dame, they won’t go to 3. They won’t need to. If the Irish say no, look for a 14 team conference. The talk of 16 is too many. It would dilute the product I think. Sometimes you can be TOO BIG. So going to 14, who are the 3 teams? I think it is obvious that the Big XII and Big East are the targets. The 3 teams being Rutgers from the Big East and Missouri and Nebraska from the Big XII.

All 3 are a part of the AAU, which all 11 Big Ten institutions are a part of. Rutgers brings in the New York New Jersey market to the league. They have updated facilities, and they have a good football and women’s basketball program. Some may say if the NY/NJ market was so big in college sports, why isn’t the Big East more of a commodity. Well would you get up for South Florida and Cincinnati coming to the New York area, or Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State? The answer is simple.

Missouri brings in 2 other big markets too in St. Louis and Kansas City, and Nebraska the Omaha market. More television revenue. Both schools are also getting hosed in the Big XII that is controlled by the schools down south. The Big XII’s TV package is terrible and both would increase their yearly revenue by somewhere around 2-3 times. They also get to join the Big Ten bowl alliance and have the options of 2 BCS bowls, the Capital One Bowl, Outback, and Gator bowls. There is no other conference that has better bowl options then the Big Ten.

I think the divisions would look like this:
Division 1
Penn State

Division 2
Michigan State
Ohio State

Add Notre Dame, and its easy and clean, otherwise, the other conferences better get ready to go and prepare to feel the Big Ten shockwaves.

What’s in your bucket?

Bucket list?

This past Sunday night on WHO’s Soundoff I heard Andy Fales say he crossed the Kentucky Derby off his bucket list this past weekend. That kind of got me thinking. What is on my bucket list? What do I want to see or do before I die? Am I even too young to have a bucket list? Now I know some of the things other’s I’ve heard will have more access to getting to these things than I will so my bucket list would probably not be as “fancy” as the others. Would I have a different bucket list for my sports events than regular life events too? I think that I would have to separate it because sports would dominate more than other life events. And my listing would probably be more realistic things I can do instead of like climbing Mount Everest or riding a horse in the Kentucky Derby.

So here…we…go….

Sports Bucket List:

1 – Iowa Rose Bowl – I’ve got to do my first Iowa bowl, but I want to get to Pasadena sometime when the Hawkeyes are there.

2 – Wrigley Field in October – I’ve been to Wrigley for opening day and in the summer, and the first home game after 9/11, but I want to go to a game there in October, preferably the NLCS or World Series.

3 – All 11 Big Ten Football Stadiums – I’ve been to a few, but want to hit them all. Been to Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, and Minnesota at the dome. Will get Minnesota’s new stadium this year. I’d like to also do all 11 with my son too someday.

4 – Brickyard 400 – It’s the Indianapolis Speedway with the best racing sport. I think the Indy 500 has lost a little luster, and also taking my son there would be AWESOME.

5 – The Masters – Seriously, who wouldn’t want to watch the world’s best in one of the most beautiful places, Augusta National.

And now on to the regular life stuff…..

Life Bucket List:

1 – Go white water rafting – ever since I was young and saw this on TV, I thought it would be a huge rush and be just a blast to do.

2 – Take Shawnna to Italy – I know this is one place she really wants to go to, and I really want it to be a surprise should I be able to pull it off. The history and food and site seeing would blow both our minds I think.

3 – Take the family to Disney World – I want to knock this one off in the next couple years while the kids are still young and loving the princess’s, Mickey Mouse and the Cars characters. Seeing the kids take it in young would be the best.

4 – Go camping and canoeing on the Boundary Waters with Brayden. This will have to be something later down the line, maybe when he’s 10-16. Something a father and son can do.

5 – Go parachuting – again another rush that I think would be awesome, and have heard it is amazing.


As good as i once was.....

•Found out this weekend, I’m not in college any more. a hangover that I would have been over by noon in college, took me till 930 pm to feel normal. Oh to be in college again.
•That being said, had a blast this Saturday night at the piano bar with Kim and Jason and Shawnna. The piano man played Good Ole Boys, You never call me by my name and the Iowa Fight Song, 3 times! It was AWESOME!
•Got Jason a cool gift for his bday. 2 nerf guns! It was awesome!
•Had my first day that I had to come to work in 7 years on a Saturday. Did it for a co-worker who is taking over some processes and is swamped and wanted to get a jump over the weekend on the work.
•Addy came into work with me and it was funny to see how excited she was about the automatic soap dispensers.
•Mom & Dad took the kids this weekend so we could go out, and took them on a road trip to Pella. Kind of like what we did when I was younger. Brought back some memories and the kids had a lot of fun too.
•Brady woke up Sunday and couldn’t walk. Slept on his foot wrong and crawled most the day. It was kind of funny. When we got home I had to run May baskets over to Kim & Jason’s and he wanted to go with, said if he wanted to go he had to walk. He got right up and walked on it.
•Work still dominated by Wachovia and will soon be by the upgrade.
•Can’t wait for the weekend, going to the Omaha Zoo with Kim & Jason and the kids for round 2. Wheatfield’s on Sunday. Looking forward to it.