Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
How would you design the perfect Big Ten Conference?
I often read ESPN's Big Ten blog, trying to get up to speed, and there is a lot of talk about continued expansion, division re-alignment, and possibly tweaking the schedule so Big Ten football teams play nine or even 10 conference games each year.
Maryland and Rutgers will make it a 14-team league in 2014. Conference athletic directors will meet several times in coming months, and it sounds like there is strong support to focus divisional re-alignment on geography.
I'd like to hear from Star Tribune readers:
* Do you favor more expansion? If so, who should be added -- North Carolina? Georgia Tech? Virginia? Texas? Others?
* How would you split the divisions? Is it time to scrap "Legends" and "Leaders" for some new names?
* What's the ideal number of conference football games and why?
* Are the Houston Astros ready for the American League? (Sorry that's a topic for my old blog. Let's keep this discussion focused on the Big Ten.)
|Miami - LP: M. Dunn||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter||3|
|Arizona - WP: T. Cahill||7||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop||5|
|San Francisco - WP: J. Machi||12||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: C. Bettis||10|
|Texas - WP: M. Perez||3||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: S. Gray||0|
|Houston - LP: J. Fields||3||FINAL|
|Seattle - WP: F. Rodney||5|
|Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon||5||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton||2|
|LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri||4||FINAL|
|Washington - WP: D. Storen||5|
|Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera||3||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw||5|
|Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman||10||FINAL|
|Toronto - LP: T. Redmond||8|
|Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo||6||FINAL|
|Detroit - LP: E. Reed||4|
|St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha||2||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: J. Niese||3|
|Minnesota - WP: C. Fien||6||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke||4|
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda||1||FINAL|
|Boston - WP: J. Lackey||5|
|San Diego - LP: T. Ross||2||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse||5|
|Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels||2||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke||5|
|Red Bull New York||4|