What are the five key questions going into the season that need to be asked at Big Ten football media days?
Big Ten Team Previews, 5 Things To Know
East Indiana | Maryland | Michigan | Michigan State
Ohio State | Penn State | Rutgers
West Illinois | Iowa | Minnesota | Nebraska
Northwestern | Purdue | Wisconsin
Big Ten Media Days
July 18-19, Chicago, IL
5. Q: What’s next for the Big Ten under Kevin Warren?
Not everything was perfect during the reign of retiring Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.
Could the conference have done a better job of handling the Penn State nightmare? Uhhhh, you think?
There were a whole slew of other PR problems to deal with from member schools. Ohio State had a massive issue last year. Maryland had a massive issue last year. Michigan State had a really massive Larry Nassar issue, and …
During Delany’s tenure, the Big Ten became really big, really rich, and really powerful.
The schools are taking treasure baths from all the cash flowing in. The Big Ten Network is doing fine, the TV contracts are strong, and the league is dominant in terms of reach and exposure.
No pressure, new guy. Just replace the man who was a legend at changing the business and landscape of major college athletics.
New commissioner Kevin Warren – the 55-year-old COO of the Minnesota Vikings – is inheriting a monster.
While he’ll mostly be in charge of keeping it all going, in this job, he’ll have the leverage and muscle to be a Delany-like power broker to shape college athletics as we know it just when several major issues are on the table.
Start with the College Football Playoff. These things tend to go in cycles on the field, but if the Big Ten is firmly established as the second-best football conference going, it’s a problem when it’s been three years in a row – after Michigan State got pasted by Alabama four seasons ago – without the champion being in the show. It’s not a good look for the Big Ten, or for the College Football Playoff.
This is where Warren can carve out his own niche right away – figure out the CFP expansion plan that makes sense for everyone – especially the Big Ten – and don’t fight it as much as Delany did.
Under Warren, the Big Ten will have the chance to be an innovator when it comes to creating the best way to better compensate and take care of the revenue-producing players – or else the courts might just figure it out first.
Speaking of getting paid, considering the massive alumni bases – and how Michigan fans, particularly, are among the biggest line-movers – the Big Ten has to be proactive in handling the sports betting tsunami beyond the talking points of it all supposedly being bad for college sports.
Is expansion going to be back on the table? Almost nothing is too crazy to try at this point to try if you’re the Big Ten. Texas? North Carolina? Syracuse? – Why not give it a shot?
Why not try to be the progressive leader on as many main issues in college athletics and the Big Ten as possible from Day One?
Again, no pressure, Commissioner Warren, but before you leave to be the next Commissioner of the NFL, just solve every big talking point in college athletics and keep making millions upon millions of dollars for the Big Ten.
Or just do the latter. For now, that’s good enough.