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Does the Big Ten really need night games in November?

Beaver Stadium AP

The Big Ten has slowly been warming up to the concept of playing night games in November. Could 2014 be the season the Big Ten plays under the primetime lights in the final month of the regular season?

“We’re more [amenable] to that first November Saturday,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith recently told ESPN.com, “and I think some of us will be willing to look at that second Saturday in November if the contest is right.”

Translation: The Big Ten is considering it, but not quite ready to make it official.

The Big Ten has long been against playing night games in November, primarily for weather concerns. It’s cold in the Big Ten in November, and temperatures only go down at night. Has the Big Ten suffered by not playing night games in November over time? Probably not, considering the big money media packages the conference has lined up, although not having some of the best teams and best games on in a national spotlight time slot does have an impact on how a particular team or the conference can be viewed by the public, or the media.

Night games bring a certain level of enthusiasm for games, and younger fans get fired up for them far more than a noon kickoff. Some night games have brought record attendance figures in the Big Ten as well, so there does seem to be a benefit to adding at least one more primetime game on the schedule if possible. It helps if the conference has a game worth placing in a prime time slot though. Looking at the Big Ten’s 2014 schedule, that does not appear to be the case as it things look right now on the first weekend of November, but Ohio State’s road trip to Michigan State on November 8 couldĀ be worth considering.

What can be said about the Big Ten is they are willing to embrace changes to conference philosophies. The Big Ten’s recent expansions (Nebraska in 2011, Maryland and Rutgers in 2014) helped lead to the extension of the regular season schedule and a conference championship game. That ended up stretching the Big Ten season to the final day of the season instead of being left idle while the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Pac 12 were still playing games.

The Big Ten does not really need to play extra night games, but if there are a few extra bucks to be made you can bet Jim Delany and the conference will find a way to make it.

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13 Responses to “Does the Big Ten really need night games in November?”
  1. cfballfan1 says: Feb 19, 2014 9:28 AM

    If there’s more money involved, Delaney is on it. He may have some pushback from lil’ Davey Brandon, who is afraid to play their rival MSU in a night game because “things might get too rowdy.” translation: “we don’t want to get our butts kicked on national TV in prime – time.”

  2. crindal3000 says: Feb 19, 2014 9:30 AM

    the big 10 needs any extra National exposure it can get.

  3. 24mountaincreeks says: Feb 19, 2014 10:16 AM

    You know who complains about cold weather football games?

    People not from cold weather.

  4. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 19, 2014 10:20 AM

    Night games bring a certain level of enthusiasm for games, and younger fans get fired up for them far more than a noon kickoff.
    ______________________________

    Same reason that LSU does so well in night games….

    Fans have a lot more time to booze it up and loosen those inhibitions and vocal cords.

  5. rolltide510 says: Feb 19, 2014 12:00 PM

    You know who goes to sub-zero football games and claims not to be cold and kinda brags about it?

    Not me, that’s who.

  6. chunkala says: Feb 19, 2014 12:04 PM

    8 to 80, my sentiments exactly, younger = drunker.

    I don’t know what kind of national exposure the Big Ten needs sgame outside of Florida?ce its getting handsomely paid and it’s already populated with prestigious ACADEMIC universities unlike the SEC and Big 12.

    Question – when is Florida ever going to play another out of conference away game outside the state of Florida against a major conference opponent? It’s been almost 25 years since their loss to Syracuse. I would say they are afraid of the cold weather.

    Also, when was the last time Michigan State won a national champ in football, oh yeah, decades.

  7. rolltide510 says: Feb 19, 2014 12:10 PM

    Hmmm, only took six posts this time for Big 10 fans to try to justify sucking at football because they have “good academics” nobody outside of their region cares about.

  8. crindal3000 says: Feb 19, 2014 12:11 PM

    In the big 12 Nebraska had night games in November it was never that cold. Typically in the 30′s or 40′s. Big deal.

  9. philliesblow says: Feb 19, 2014 12:20 PM

    A 2 1/2 hour drive, getting home around 2 a.m., in late November, possibly battling snow as well as avoiding those drinking all day before kickoff? Yeah, sign me up.

  10. michiganstillsucks says: Feb 19, 2014 12:49 PM

    rolltide510, go fix your teeth, you backwoods joke.

  11. manik56 says: Feb 19, 2014 12:58 PM

    Ohio State alumnus and Columbus residemt. Put me in the no November night game camp. Indiana was a 330 kick this past year and it was awfully cold. I can only think of one colder football Saturday in my 21 years of attending games (2000 Mich and it was largely because I was a student and thought it was a good idea to not wear a coat). Night games only get colder. C deck people get heavy wind too.

    Do people not watch Noon games on TV? Has anyone looked at the match ups on the average Saturday? A marquee matchup would get big ratings. Each night has two or three marquee games to compete with.

    My gut tells me Coach Meyer is a driving force behind this but Columbus, Ann Arbor, & East Lansing are not Gainesville.

  12. rolltide510 says: Feb 19, 2014 2:40 PM

    michiganstillsucks says:
    Feb 19, 2014 12:49 PM
    rolltide510, go fix your teeth, you backwoods joke.

    ——

    I guess the prestigious academic institutions of the B1G don’t spend much time covering proper usage of commas.

  13. normtide says: Feb 19, 2014 11:10 PM

    Haha, all this talk about cold weather games and the b1g doesn’t even want to play in them. Classic.

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