Friday: Nebraska vs. Maryland (Huskers win 3-1)

sklarbodds

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Heck ya! Big Friday win! Now that's a Friday night starter performance! Our weekend staff is really coming together!
 

coolonetoo

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May 12, 2003
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Minnesota/Rutgers entire weekend canceled (Minny home series) due to east coast weather canceling all flights. Rutgers can't make it to Minneapolis. This could have ramifications for B1G standings including final standings.
It means Minnesota will be unbeaten after three weeks of conference play. With all the wins on the road.
 
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May 29, 2001
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Minnesota/Rutgers entire weekend canceled (Minny home series) due to east coast weather canceling all flights. Rutgers can't make it to Minneapolis. This could have ramifications for B1G standings including final standings.
Weak ass effort by Rutgers to get off the east coast. First flight cancelled and they bailed on the whole weekend, very disappointing.
 

saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
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Here's Minnesota's conference slate this year (home series in CAPS, current RPI followed by where that ranks in the conference in parentheses):
at Ohio State (105, #10)
at Michigan State (64, #7)
RUTGERS (97, #9) <<cancelled>>
at Indiana (49, #3)
NEBRASKA (57, #5)
ILLINOIS (193, #12)
at Penn State (159, #11)
PURDUE (86, #8)

Here are the conference teams Minnesota (46, #2) is not playing in the regular season:
Iowa (61, #6)
Maryland (54, #4)
Michigan (32, #1)
Northwestern (279, #13)

They play the (currently) RPI Nos. 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 in the conference and miss the Nos. 1, 4, 6, 13 teams (and series against #9 cancelled, and Minnesota is #2). While teams have no control over their conference schedule, they caught a lot of breaks this season. Happens in every B1G sport now with the size of the conference, which is a shame because the regular season titles and tournament seeding now come down more to who you do and don't play rather than just whether you get to play a team at home or away.

I have sympathy for them because now they only play one home game between March 12 and April 18 (April 4 vs. NDSU) and they will have some rust going into next week (midweek game at NDSU then weekend at Indiana). But as Lincoln Gopher said, it was out of their hands and Rutgers didn't really try to make an effort to make the weekend work.

On a similar note, I think it's pretty bad that Nebraska and Iowa don't play each year in baseball (or Nebraska not getting a home series for years in the series).
 
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saluno22

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Weak ass effort by Rutgers to get off the east coast. First flight cancelled and they bailed on the whole weekend, very disappointing.
Was there consideration to doing a Sat-Mon series or a Sat-Sun with a doubleheader one day?
 
May 29, 2001
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Here's Minnesota's conference slate this year (home series in CAPS, current RPI followed by where that ranks in the conference in parentheses):
at Ohio State (105, #10)
at Michigan State (64, #7)
RUTGERS (97, #9) <<cancelled>>
at Indiana (49, #3)
NEBRASKA (57, #5)
ILLINOIS (193, #12)
at Penn State (159, #11)
PURDUE (86, #8)

Here are the conference teams Minnesota (46, #2) is not playing in the regular season:
Iowa (61, #6)
Maryland (54, #4)
Michigan (32, #1)
Northwestern (279, #13)

They play the (currently) RPI Nos. 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 in the conference and miss the Nos. 1, 4, 6, 13 teams (and series against #9 cancelled, and Minnesota is #2). While teams have no control over their conference schedule, they caught a lot of breaks this season. Happens in every B1G sport now with the size of the conference, which is a shame because the regular season titles and tournament seeding now come down more to who you do and don't play rather than just whether you get to play a team at home or away.

I have sympathy for them because now they only play one home game between March 12 and April 18 (April 4 vs. NDSU) and they will have some rust going into next week (midweek game at NDSU then weekend at Indiana). But as Lincoln Gopher said, it was out of their hands and Rutgers didn't really try to make an effort to make the weekend work.

On a similar note, I think it's pretty bad that Nebraska and Iowa don't play each year in baseball (or Nebraska not getting a home series for years in the series).
You are right, the teams can't pick their B1G schedules. The Gophers did play Maryland, Michigan and Iowa last year winning all 3 series. The gophers did play Iowa earlier this year in the DQ Classic and beat the Hawkeyes.
 
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k9_r

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Jul 31, 2010
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Was there consideration to doing a Sat-Mon series or a Sat-Sun with a doubleheader one day?
From the Rutgers website..

April 7, 2017
PISCATAWAY, N.J.
- Rutgers baseball's scheduled weekend Big Ten series at Minnesota has been called off due to travel issues. The Scarlet Knights' Thursday flight to Minneapolis was canceled and no viable replacement options were available. Inclement weather has forced numerous flight cancellations in the area. The two teams are in contact about a possible makeup date later in the season.

Rutgers will return to action on Tuesday at Lafayette. First pitch is scheduled for 3:35 p.m.
 
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saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
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You are right, the teams can't pick their B1G schedules. The Gophers did play Maryland, Michigan and Iowa last year winning all 3 series. The gophers did play Iowa earlier this year in the DQ Classic and beat the Hawkeyes.
I did an exercise last year where I compiled all of the Big Ten conference schedules as far back as I could go through the team websites (mostly because I was frustrated that Nebraska and Iowa weren't playing that season and Nebraska had to go to Iowa City for 3 straight seasons). I think I was able to get back to the mid-90s, and to get that far I had to do some Sudoku-style maneuvering those last couple years. Was interesting to see the schedules evolve as the league changed scheduling strategies and added teams. Until Nebraska joined the conference, teams played all but one conference team (10 teams, 8 conference series), and it was fairly predictable who would roll off the schedule each season. Fun fact: the season Michigan and Michigan State didn't play each other in conference, they managed to schedule a non-conference series. For a time, Nebraska actually scheduled non-conference midweek games with Kansas State even when they were on the conference schedule.

The B1G used to have 4-game weekend series, with a DH scheduled on Saturdays (I noticed a lot of cancellations and imbalance in conference records under this system, because obviously you weren't going to play a tripleheader on Sunday). With regard to Michigan and Michigan State, they would rotate the games each year so Friday and Sunday were played at one location, and Saturday was played at the other school. Pretty neat setup IMO. I'd have to go back and look at what I compiled, but I want to say the conference switched to 3-game series in the early- to mid-2000s.

Anyway, then Nebraska joined the league, and that meant a given team played all but two conference foes. Still not that bad, but that only lasted a couple seasons before the conference expanded again with Maryland and Rutgers. So over the course of three seasons, B1G teams went from playing all but one other team to all but four, and no real adjustments to the conference scheduling practice.

Given the number of weekends in the season, there are only so many conference series that can occur without eating into no-conference scheduling. Then there are inherent difficulties as a northern league. Starting conference series earlier, and you increase the risk for inclement weather. So as it stands now, we have 8 conference series over 9 weekends given the odd number of teams.

<<In the Big 12, Nebraska was the 2nd northernmost school after Iowa State before they folded their program. From 1999-2011, Nebraska opened the conference season on the road 11 of those 13 seasons, with 9 of those in either Texas or Oklahoma. I'm guessing risk of inclement weather was a primary driver in this scheduling practice.>>

The Big Ten used to use east/west divisions in scheduling and for conference tournament qualifying. While an odd number of teams precludes this from being an even split, It would be nice to have some kind of proximate protected matchups (maybe 2 per team). Here's how I would match these up:

Illinois: Indiana, Northwestern
Indiana: Illinois, Purdue
Iowa: Minnesota, Nebraska
Maryland: Penn State, Rutgers
Michigan: Michigan State, Ohio State
Michigan State: Michigan, Ohio State
Minnesota: Iowa, Nebraska
Nebraska: Iowa, Minnesota
Northwestern: Illinois, Purdue
Ohio State: Michigan, Michigan State
Penn State: Maryland, Rutgers
Purdue: Indiana, Northwestern
Rutgers: Maryland, Penn State

This essentially creates three 3-team and one 4-team pods (names are subject to change, I just picked somewhere close to the geographic center):

Fort Dodge: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska
Danville: Illinois, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue
Toledo: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Allentown: Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State

8 conference series:
- 2 against teams within pod.
- 2 against teams from the other three pods.
- One home and one away in each of these pairs.
- Intra-pod games flip home/away each year, inter-pod games roll two years on, one year off for a given opponent and never playing a more than one home series between two teams in a three-year period.

Example...
Iowa:
at Minnesota, NEBRASKA
at Illinois, INDIANA
at Michigan, MICHIGAN STATE
at Maryland, PENN STATE

Minnesota:
IOWA, at Nebraska
at Indiana, NORTHWESTERN
at Michigan State, OHIO STATE
at Penn State, RUTGERS

Nebraska:
at Iowa, MINNESOTA
at Northwestern, PURDUE
at Ohio State, MICHIGAN
at Rutgers, MARYLAND

Michigan:
at Michigan State, OHIO STATE
IOWA, at Nebraska
ILLINOIS, at Northwestern
at Maryland, PENN STATE

Michigan State:
at Ohio State, MICHIGAN
at Iowa, MINNESOTA
at Illinois, INDIANA
at Penn State, RUTGERS

Ohio State:
at Michigan, MICHIGAN STATE
at Minnesota, NEBRASKA
at Indiana, NORTHWESTERN
at Rutgers, MARYLAND

Maryland:
at Penn State, RUTGERS
IOWA, at Nebraska
ILLINOIS, at Northwestern
MICHIGAN, at Ohio State

Penn State:
at Rutgers, MARYLAND
at Iowa, MINNESOTA
at Illinois, INDIANA
at Michigan, MICHIGAN STATE

Rutgers:
at Maryland, PENN STATE
at Minnesota, NEBRASKA
at Indiana, NORTHWESTERN
at Michigan State, OHIO STATE

Illinois:
at Indiana, NORTHWESTERN ... at Purdue due to imbalance
IOWA
at Michigan, MICHIGAN STATE
at Maryland, PENN STATE

Indiana:
at Northwestern, PURDUE
at Iowa, MINNESOTA
at Michigan State, OHIO STATE
at Penn State, RUTGERS

Northwestern:
at Illinois, INDIANA
at Minnesota, NEBRASKA
at Ohio State, MICHIGAN
at Rutgers, MARYLAND

Purdue:
ILLINOIS (due to imbalance), at Indiana
at Nebraska

Okay... this is where it breaks down, so I get the scheduling issue. Either Northwestern needs to drop their program :D to create four 3-team pods or two 6-team division, or Wisconsin needs to add a program to create two 7-team divisions.
 

RobsterMobster

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Weak ass effort by Rutgers to get off the east coast. First flight cancelled and they bailed on the whole weekend, very disappointing.
That's the issue with the Big Ten. About 5-6 teams care but most are indifferent and a few don't even try. Makes you wonder why they even have a team. I'd rather see about 10 teams in the league which allows better competition, RPI, and allow for some later OOC scheduling perhaps to help a teams RPI even more.

Get rid of Northwestern, Rutgers, Purdue for sure and that would at least give you a decent league overall.
 

saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
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That's the issue with the Big Ten. About 5-6 teams care but most are indifferent and a few don't even try. Makes you wonder why they even have a team. I'd rather see about 10 teams in the league which allows better competition, RPI, and allow for some later OOC scheduling perhaps to help a teams RPI even more.

Get rid of Northwestern, Rutgers, Purdue for sure and that would at least give you a decent league overall.
Purdue actually had a few really good seasons in the past decade and renovated their stadium. But I'd be happy if even one team you listed dropped their program from a scheduling structure standpoint. You still wouldn't be able to play everyone, but could split into east/west, reserve two spots in the conference tournament for division champs (not necessarily #1 and #2 seeds, just tournament qualifiers), and determine the division champs based solely on division record given the inherent imbalance in cross-division scheduling. You'd still have six spots left in the conference tournament as wild card spots.
 
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RobsterMobster

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Purdue actually had a few really good seasons in the past decade and renovated their stadium. But I'd be happy if even one team you listed dropped their program from a scheduling structure standpoint. You still wouldn't be able to play everyone, but could split into east/west, reserve two spots in the conference tournament for division champs (not necessarily #1 and #2 seeds, just tournament qualifiers), and determine the division champs based solely on division record given the inherent imbalance in cross-division scheduling. You'd still have six spots left in the conference tournament as wild card spots.
I know they had a few good seasons but they haven't put the effort in the stay competitive in half a decade. The last time they were good was Erstad's 1st season. They've yet to even make the Big Ten Tourney since. One of just a couple that haven't the last five years. I think they've decided it's a C sport to give something for older people to do after retirement in the spring. I'd rather we take a step closer towards the bigger conferences and that would mean dropping the consistently sub 200 RPI teams. I can see your point though, it's more so my thoughts on the subject since I know it'll never happen regardless.

I'd also drop the tourney back to 6 if there were only 10 teams.
 
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saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
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I'd also drop the tourney back to 6 if there were only 10 teams.
Agree. That first year they expanded to 8 when the conference only had 11 baseball teams was strange with a few sub-.500 teams in there. Still have a couple (including Nebraska a couple years ago in Minneapolis).

They would probably go back to a true double-elimination with 6 teams instead of the single-game championship we have now. For competitive equality, I'm all for the true double-elimination. But that would mean a giant programming hole on Sunday afternoon if the championship is won on Saturday night, and I would imagine poor attendance due to the "if necessary" nature unless the host team is playing (not that attendance has been even "good" when the host team isn't playing unless it's the next-closest team to the host city). Point being, there's some bravado to being able to point to the schedule and saying "THAT is when the title will be decided" rather than "well, it might be decided Saturday night, but make sure you stick around for Sunday in case the team from the losers' bracket wins.
 
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Truehuskerfan

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May 1, 2003
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From the Rutgers website..

April 7, 2017
PISCATAWAY, N.J.
- Rutgers baseball's scheduled weekend Big Ten series at Minnesota has been called off due to travel issues. The Scarlet Knights' Thursday flight to Minneapolis was canceled and no viable replacement options were available. Inclement weather has forced numerous flight cancellations in the area. The two teams are in contact about a possible makeup date later in the season.

Rutgers will return to action on Tuesday at Lafayette. First pitch is scheduled for 3:35 p.m.
I noticed that the Nebraska softball team is playing at Rutgers this weekend. They were able to work around their canceled flight to Newark and still got everybody there and just postponed yesterday's game and are playing a doubleheader today. I have to think if Rutgers really wanted to make it to Minnesota, they could have found a way.
 

saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
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Or stick with 8 teams and do what the Big 12 started doing when the big boys complained about their pitching being stressed trying to make it through the losers' bracket when they likely have a NCAA at-large spot locked up...

8 teams
Group 1: Seeds 1, 4, 5, 8
Group 2: Seeds 2, 3, 6, 7

Day 1
1v8
4v5
2v7
3v6

Day 2
4v8
1v5
2v6
3v7

Day 3
5v8
1v4
6v7
2v3

Day 4
Rest Day (I think)

Day 5 (championship)
Group 1 winner vs Group 2 winner

If there is a two-way tie in the group stage, head-to-head advances to the title game.
If there is a three-way tie in the group stage, higher seed advances to the title game. (maybe tweak this to be run differential in games among the three teams).

Everyone knows they'll be there for three games and possibly a fourth and everyone knows ahead of time when they'll be playing going into the tournament.

Just looked at the Big 12 wiki site for the baseball tourney, looks like they did this 2006-2010 and in 2013 (strange they brought it back for one year). Now they do an 8-team double elimination style with a single championship game now (and only scheduling 3.5 hours between start times instead of this 4-hour BS). They keep the two halves isolated instead of that crossover the Big Ten does.