Delany lists scheduling guidelines
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Friday that beginning in 2016 each conference member should play at least one game against another Power Five conference team, and zero games against FCS opponents.
“I’d call it an athletic director’s agreement,” Delany said. “I’m not sure that there’s penalties. We haven’t really talked about that. But everybody has agreed we have the nine conference games [beginning in 2016]. We have a commitment to schedule an intersectional game. We have a conference championship, and we have a commitment to play only FBS opponents.”
The Gophers won’t play an FCS opponent this year. They were originally scheduled to play South Dakota State in their opener but replaced it with TCU.
“We’re a year ahead; we’re a year stupid,” Gophers coach Jerry Kill said. “Look at everybody else’s schedule in the [conference].”
In the Big Ten West, four teams will play FCS opponents this year — Iowa (against Illinois State), Northwestern (Eastern Illinois), Purdue (Indiana State) and Illinois (Western Illinois) — while Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska will play strictly FBS teams.
The Gophers have one FCS opponent on next year’s schedule in Indiana State, and a 2019 game scheduled with South Dakota State. There was a $400,000 buyout to remove South Dakota State from this year’s schedule, but TCU picked up that tab as part of its contract with the Gophers.
“I’d imagine, if someone had a contractual issue, we would take a hard look at that,” Delany said. “But I think that’s the template that everybody thinks is best going forward from a variety of perspectives.”
BTN goes in-depth with Ohio State
Big Ten Network will launch a new show this month: “Scarlet and Gray Days: Inside Ohio State Training Camp.”
BTN President Mark Silverman said he’s not sure how similar it will be to HBO’s NFL show “Hard Knocks.” BTN also had to weigh the fact that it gives special coverage to one of the 14 schools.
“I think we can focus on all of our schools, and we can pick our spots as to when we can do more,” Silverman said, noting Ohio State is the defending national champion.
Long snapper leaves Gophers
Gophers long snapper Jared Hartman, who snapped for all 67 punts perfectly last season, has passed up his senior season to take a job with his civil engineering degree.
“That always makes you nervous,” Kill said about replacing a long snapper.
Redshirt freshman Payton Jordahl, from Perham, Minn., was ranked as the nation’s 15th-best long snapper in the 2014 recruiting class by 247Sports.com. He’ll have a chance to replace Hartman.
“He can cover well, and he’s got a good snap,” Kill said. “We’ve just got to trust him yet. Every once in a while something happens bad, so we’ll see.”