Just saw Nathan Brixius post on using operations research and Microsoft Solver Foundation to help with the Big Ten realignment and now am interested in seeing someone do it for the Pac10/12. Wondering if the other parameter and goal should be the Big Ten network ratings – since the goal of most of these realignments is to maximize the revenue….
The Big Ten is an intercollegiate athletic organization composed of eleven (yep) schools from the Midwest. Big Ten schools compete in a number of sports, but the one that receives the most fan interest is football. Big Ten schools compete in the highest division of college football, the Football Bowl Subdivision. Recently the Big Ten extended an invitation to the University of Nebraska to join the conference as the twelfth member institution starting in 2011. As a result the Big Ten has decided to realign itself into two six-team divisions. Schools in the same division will be guaranteed to play each other each year, and the champions of each division will play each other in a Big Ten championship game. There’s been a lot of talk about how the divisions will be selected. There are a number of considerations, including geography, rivalry, revenue, and the overall strength of each team. Realignment will have long term financial implications for Big Ten schools, and more importantly an emotional impact on football crazed fans such as myself. So what’s the right way to make such a decision?