Big Ten Football: Jim Delany's Idea For Friday Night Games Won't Work

By Brandon Cavanaugh
Jim Delany proposes Friday night Big 10 games
Alberto E. Rodriguez-Getty Images

If there’s one thing that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany knows, it’s how to make a buck. Heck, I’m a guy who was at the epicenter of college football‘s “Big Bang” when it came to conference expansion and scrambling for more money. I’ve praised Delany for his shrewd ability to churn out more duckets for every school in the conference. However, while he’s had some great ideas that have resulted in fantastic returns, there has been the occasional major blunder.

Legends and Leaders anyone?

I like Delany’s refusal to sit idly by while other commissioners play it safe. He’s the one making cellphones ring. His latest idea of playing Big Ten football on Friday nights is another Legends and Leaders, but worse. Almost immediately people screamed, “Won’t someone please think of the children!” Not in the Helen Lovejoy way, but they’re right. Let’s put Friday aside for now. What about Sunday? Because Sunday is untouchable, that’s why.

Football is the game in America. College football’s big business, but going up against the NFL is not unlike a Houston Texans rookie offensive lineman taking on J.J. Watt. Delany, the NCAA and the Avengers combined will not defeat Roger Goodell. No, not even with Iron Man. Goodell won’t allow the NFL’s lineup to be dented.

Delany knows this, so instead of 11 a.m. kickoffs, why not package conference games for Friday night? I understand the theory, but the negative far more than outweighs the positive. For teams like Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers, this is a great chance for exposure. However, you can’t limit this package to the lightweights and expect sponsors to line up.

All teams have to be a part of it and guess what? The big boys won’t be interested. Friday nights give the prospects they’re recruiting a proper night to shine and those school’s coaches a chance to scout them. Why would Nebraska, Ohio State or Michigan throw not only that away, but the opportunity to host said prospect just so the Hoosiers can get some extra love?

Maybe, just maybe a Big Ten school or two would be willing to play a non-conference game on a Friday every year and it’ll fly (I doubt it). Kudos for drawing up a new theory, Mr. Delany and keep them coming.

Good job on not throwing anything in about player safety, too.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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