When news broke that Ohio State men’s basketball would indeed host Michigan during the 2013-2014 season, but would not be making a trip to Ann Arbor, someone–perhaps jokingly–asked Buckeye athletics director Gene Smith if he might add a second game against the Wolverines to their schedule since the Big Ten had failed to do so.
“We would not do that,” Smith told MLive.com. “We will schedule nonconference and manage around that. Missing Michigan a second time — yeah, it bothers us. But we’re not going to fall on the sword.
There has been some talk that the Big Ten will start protecting certain rivalries so this won’t be as much of an issue moving forward.
However, that’s basketball and another AD has suggested he might add a Big Ten team if he needed to do so in order to address shortcomings in the league-issued football schedule.
“There’s no rule against it,” Purdue’s Morgan Burke told The News-Sentinel. “You might play another Big Ten team as a non-conference game. You might. You could say, you know what, we want to position our league to play for national championships. To do that, strength of schedule will be a determining factor. If Penn State isn’t on the schedule I could call (Nittany Lions athletic director) Dave Joyner and say, Hey Dave, do you want to play? Our fans might react better to that than other alternatives.”
It seems improbable a Big Ten football program would actually go this route. After all, the teams most likely to improve strength of schedule are probably also the least likely to want to travel. They would insist on a home game.
Plus, in Purdue’s case, the Big Ten has already promised to protect their series against Indiana.
It is interesting, though, to see teams are considering the option.