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Preseason Rose Bowl - Should Big Ten Commit?


Adam Rittenberg and Matt "Dr. Saturday" Hinton jumped on the news from the LA Times last Friday that the Pac 10 (soon to be 12) is considering a season opening matchup in the Rose Bowl, similar to the old Pigskin Classic and the College Kickoff currently played in Georgia every year.

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All of the details are still unknown, but suffice it to say the Big Ten is definitely being mentioned as a possible yearly opponent. What that means exactly, is anyone's guess. It could be a rotating slate of Pac 10 vs. Big Ten teams in Pasadena each year. Or an LA-based team (UCLA, USC) as constant host to a Big Ten team.

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The issue for the Big Ten, however, would undoubtedly be travel and the related issue of reciprocity. You would be hard pressed to find a Big Ten fan who didn't want to see their team play in the Rose Bowl, even if it were at the beginning of the year. However, as Rittenberg points out, there are concerns:

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Unlike the Pac-10, the Big Ten isn't desperate for national buzz, especially with the Big Ten Network in place. This would be a virtual road game for Big Ten teams, especially if UCLA, which plays its home games at the Rose Bowl, or USC was the opponent.

Although Ohio State is the reigning Rose Bowl champ, the Big Ten has endured recent struggles in Pasadena and against Pac-10 teams on the road. It's simply not an easy trip to make.

There's also the difficulty of scheduling. Are these one-game deals, or would Pac-10 teams return the games and travel to Big Ten country?

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But if I'm sitting in Columbus, Ann Arbor or State College, I don't know how often I'd want to participate without a home game in return.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.