With the Big Ten to hold its first championship game in 2011, commissioner Jim Delany was looking for the perfect venue to host the conference’s two best teams. That venue came in the form of the home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts: Lucas Oil Stadium. With little time to research possible candidates, Delany said it was the easiest decision he has made during a tumultuous summer.
“I wanted to get it accomplished so we could tell our television partner where it would be broadcast,” Delany said. “We know the people in Indianapolis, we know they have a great facility, we know they are teed up to have the Super Bowl in 2012 and I said to athletic directors, we’re not making this a long-term commitment. It makes a lot of logistical sense.”
Delany made his comments from a downtown Seattle hotel as Michigan faced the NCAA infractions committee investigating Rich Rodriguez among others. Rodriguez has come under the watchful eye of the head of college football for rules infractions at West Virginia as well as Michigan. The commissioner declined to comment on the Rodriguez situation.
Some of the best online sportsbooks favored the Mountaineers during that time, but the school might have to forfeit some of those wins depending on the findings.
The venue for the championship game following 2011 is still undecided, but Delany is open to all suggestions. He is also looking for a place for his men’s, and women’s basketball tournament to take place. Delany said he is not opposed to packaging the three together as part of a deal.
“We can go visit people who have interest and then make what I would say is a little more of a global decision about those three events,” Delany added.
As for the 2010 Big Ten Championship, Ohio State has been set as the overall favorite by Bodog sportsbook to win. Terrelle Pryor will try to lead his team to their sixth straight conference championship, and Jim Tressel’s seventh since joining the program. The Buckeyes’ line is set at 2/5.
If the Buckeyes can remain undefeated, and win their conference championship, they will have a real shot at a BCS National championship. The last time they claimed a national title was in 2002 against Miami, and Tressel is hungry for another. The Buckeyes face Miami in the second game of the season.
“The last time we played, we played for the championship. These guys were probably in grade school,” said Tressel “Everyone in America knows the last three or four years they’ve gotten better and better and better. They look like the Miami of old.”
NCAA football sportsbooks have set the Buckeyes among the favorites to win the 2011 BCS Nationals Championship at 5/1 odds.