The Big Ten Title Game Really Needs to Be Outside

The Big Ten Title Game Really Needs to Be Outside


The Big Ten Title Game Really Needs to Be Outside

Let me preface this argument by saying that of course it’s self-serving: I’m a Wisconsin alum, I’ve been to all five of their Big Ten championship game appearances in Indianapolis, and the indoor dome does not suit the team’s composition when they play programs stocked with five-star recruits like Ohio State and Penn State.

With that out of the way, it is antithetical to the Big Ten conference’s brand of football, where all of the teams play outside to hold the championship game in a dome in Indianapolis.

I could be talked into a solution where the Big Ten plays its title game rotating amongst some of the historical venues like the Big House, the Horseshoe, Happy Valley, Camp Randall, Memorial Stadium (Lincoln), or even Kinnick in Iowa. This would probably cause media members to complain incessantly each time the game isn’t in Ann Arbor or Columbus, but I don’t really care about those concerns.

Another solution would be to hold the game at Soldier Field in Chicago, which is located closer to more of the Big Ten schools than Indianapolis is, or to have it at MetLife Stadium outside New York (I know the B1G is mostly a midwestern conference, but their basketball tournament is held at Madison Square Garden so I don’t see why their football game couldn’t be out there as well). Random other classic stadiums like Lambeau Field and Notre Dame Stadium would also be fantastic.

I do not want to hear about how it would be too cold. The game takes place in early December. B1G games were outside a week ago, and NFL games are happening in places like Green Bay, Chicago, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh for another two months. The elements do not detract from football, they enhance it. (This is another reason I’d love an eight-team playoff with games on campus: How would the mighty SEC perform in cold, miserable weather?)

This is nothing against Indianapolis, which does a fine job hosting the game every year, even if its bars do not quite have enough capacity to handle the massive influx of revelers. But, Big Ten football should be played outside, and it’s a travesty of justice that this doesn’t even appear to be a discussion for going forward.

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