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.
The Big Ten hasn't decided yet whether its football championship game should rotate among cities or stay in one place, whether it should always be indoors or occasionally risk the elements outside, or whether a home-field advantage would be too large to hold it on campus.
But at least the league knows where the first game will be: Indianapolis.
Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the NFL's Colts for the past two seasons, will host the league's inaugural championship game in December of 2011, the Big Ten announced on Thursday.
The commitment to the new domed stadium -- just a few blocks from Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Big Ten basketball tournaments are played in March -- is only for one year, however. The conference wants more time to do a thorough investigation of all those other questions about venues, and perhaps allow various stadiums to make a pitch for the game. But it needed a firm commitment for 2011 much more quickly for planning purposes.
Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Soldier Field in Chicago, Ford Field in Detroit and Browns Stadium in Cleveland have also expressed interest in hosting future title games, and Metrodome stadium commission chairman Bill Lester said last week that Minneapolis will want to make a pitch once the future of the Vikings' home is resolved.
The Big Ten will split into two divisions next fall with the addition of Nebraska, setting up a game that will determine the league's automatic berth in the BCS.
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