Tom Izzo thinks Big Ten expansion will have effect on conference title race

Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

The Michigan State coach is concerned that the Big Ten's expansion will de-emphasize its conference title in basketball.

The Big Ten's expansion with the additions of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Maryland Terrapins will change the dynamics of the conference, and potentially not in a good way, as far as Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo sees it. On Tuesday, Izzo spoke with reporters about the conference's new look and how it could affect the importance of the basketball conference title.

"Are we going to play four teams twice and 12 teams once?" Izzo said. "That would definitely ... determine a champion every year, I think. And then you get like the NFL with mediocrity, so you're eighth in the league and you have a chance to win a national championship, which a lot of people are going to say is good. Being a traditionalist, I don't."

(via Detroit Free Press)

The big item for Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany as far as basketball goes -- and one addressed by Izzo at the beginning of that quote -- will be how to determine conference scheduling in basketball. Delaney says that he wants to add more conference games, but it's unlikely that balanced scheduling can be achieved with 14 teams. The ACC, for instance, has a rotating schedule system that means some teams play others only once in a season.

Maryland and Rutgers are both currently negotiating their exits from their respective conferences, but are expected to become members of the Big Ten in 2014.

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