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Michigan Thursday: Thoughts On the Word 'Formal'

Big House BobSenior Analyst IIMay 13, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 21: Kevin Leach #52 of the Michigan Wolverines jogs through the tunnel before the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 21, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 21-10. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

I keep reading these reports on the Big Ten and the universities they didn't offer spots to. The replies from the universities and the Big Ten seem similar:

Universities: We haven't received a formal offer to join the Big Ten.

Big Ten: No formal offers have been sent out. 

The use of the word "formal" intrigues me. It's clear that the Big Ten doesn't want to be turned down "The Bachelor" style like they were the last time they asked Notre Dame to join the conference. It seems to me that the Big Ten is following the same process as athletic directors do when they are trying to hire a big name coach. If your not familiar with the process, here it is. 

When a big time program like a Notre Dame wants to hire a big-time coach, they don't want the interview process and a possible "no thanks" to be all over the media. So they work through third parties to "gauge interest in the position." If the interest comes back to be "no thanks," ND doesn't lose face by offering a candidate that turned down the position.  

It seems to me the Big Ten is doing the exact same thing with the universities on the list like Missouri, ND, Rutgers, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, and so on. Why else would Missouri be meeting internally on the possibility of moving to the Big 10 if they didn't have a reason to? So yes, the Big Ten might take 12 to 18 months to reach a final decision, but when that time comes they will know for sure who is in the Big Ten boat and who isn't.

  • Sam Webb from Scouts and Detroit News does his regular Thursday article on Kris Frost from North Carolina. I'm guessing playing in the Big Ten and colder weather doesn't bother this young man. :)  Kris plays wide receiver and linebacker. Last year was his first year on defense and he dominated.
  • Former Wolverine Jon Runyan, who is now running for Congress in New Jersey, learns that there is no privacy when your running for office. Jon reveals that he got a DUI while in college, paid some taxes late, and had a copyright issue with a book on his NFL Career.
  • Sam McGuffie is getting some early pre-season run in this article. I love how everyone talks about his YouTube highlights, high school career stats, ND game, but fails to mention his three concussions. Stay safe Sam. 

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