Michigan State's Alan Haller hints significant changes in Big Ten
May 24, 2022
Alan Haller, the athletic director of Michigan State, has said that change was coming to the Big Ten football program. However, he was not specific about what changes would happen.
During an interview with the Detroit Economic Club, Haller said that discussions about the league's future had already started. The discussions were held last week at Big Ten headquarters in Chicago. When asked about the changes in the Big Ten, he said that the conference's officials were still working on them.
Haller's comments Monday indicated that the Big Ten was moving in the right direction. Haller noted that Michigan State had a seat at the table because of its history of academic success and competitive excellence. However, he said it was vital that the members of the Big Ten remain engaged in the discussions regarding the league's future.
As the athletic director of Michigan State, Haller focuses on making sure that the university's name is still at the table. He noted that there would be changes, which would be handled in a balanced manner.
Although he did not provide many details about the conference's plans, Haller noted that it was likely that the Big Ten would eliminate divisions in football before any other changes take place.
Altering conference championship games
Following the NCAA's decision to alter its rules regarding conference championship games, other conferences, including the Power Five, started holding their own discussions about their future.
The NCAA's decision to change the rules is widely regarded as something significant. It will allow conferences to create better title-game experiences by eliminating the traditional practice of having division winners face off.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has always been in favor of division alignment. It was a cause championed by the conference's other members, including the Pac-12. Meanwhile, the Big 12 put its plans on hold following the NCAA's announcement. The other major conferences, such as the SEC and the Big Ten, have yet to announce plans regarding division changes.
The Big Ten started to realign its divisions in 2011 following the additions of Maryland and Rutgers. Since then, no team from the West has won the league's championship game. Splitting the divisions could help eliminate the league's championship game imbalance.
Even if the league were to expand to 12 teams, creating a balanced schedule would still be hard. Since there would still be teams playing nine conference games, rivalries would likely be protected. It is still not clear precisely what the future holds for the league.
Michigan State's football coach, Mel Tucker, has a lot of work to do to lead the football program. Earlier, Tucker refused to talk about the recent verbal spat between his former colleagues, namely Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher and Alabama's Nick Saban.
Fisher and Tucker worked together at LSU in 2000. Tucker then went to Ohio State the following season, while Fisher stayed at LSU until 2006 before becoming a head coach at Florida State. Tucker then spent one year working under Nick Saban at Alabama in 2015. He started his career as an assistant under the former Michigan State coach in 1997-98.