Via Jon Chait, that would be the proposal to move the annual Ohio State vs. Michigan football game from its traditional slot at the end of the season. Earlier this year, the Big Ten stole Nebraska from the Big 12, thus increasing the number of Big Ten teams from 11 to 12. Traditionally, the Big Ten championship has been awarded using a complex and archaic formula whose origins are shrouded in the mists of time but can be best summarized as “the team with the best record at the end of the season wins the league championship.” Twelve teams allows the Big Ten to split into two divisions, the winners of which would play in a lucrative new nationally-televised championship game. If Ohio State and Michigan are in the same division, that means only one of them will be able to play in the league championship game in a given year. If they’re put in different divisions, which seems likely, that creates the potential for the traditional season-ending game to be followed by a repeat game in the league championship a few weeks later.
A league with any respect for the game and its fans would get to this point and say “let’s not do the division thing” but the greedheads running the Big Ten will undoubtedly go ahead with it anyway. Their only plausible defense is that Michigan is so unlikely to contend for the Big Ten championship that these problems are mostly theoretical. Think about it: first the Wolverines would have to defeat whatever Division I-AA patsy they’ve invited to Ann Arbor to kick off the season–a 50/50 proposition at best–then they’d have to survive the annual “Remember When These Teams Where Actually Good At Football? Yeah, Me Neither” Bowl matchup with Notre Dame, and then they’d have to defeat multiple consecutive league opponents with various unfair advantages like competent coaching.