College baseball isn't fair to Big Ten schools, Delany says. And for 10 years, he's fought like hell to level the playing field. He gives himself an “A” for effort.
“But if I were giving myself a grade for getting on base and driving in runs, it would be a very low grade.”
Perception says the Big Ten doesn't care about baseball. But no administrator in America has pressed harder to revamp the system. Delany's biggest ideas:
• Adopt a national start date in March or April and move the season deeper into summer.
• Devalue the RPI, which favors Sun Belt schools.
• Ditch the current method of national seeding and return to regional qualification for the College World Series.
College baseball's answer: No. No. No.
Then, last summer, Delany formally proposed the CWS move from eight teams to 10, with the two new slots reserved for cold-weather schools. Cold shoulder again.
“I've got no more proposals,” Delany told the World-Herald. “I'm out of ideas. What else can we possibly do?”In response to Delany's proposals, Sun Belt commissioner Wright Walters had this to say:
The problem is you want your conference to take away opportunities for my teams, to play on the stage our teams created in 1947.Just kidding! That's what Delany said, with a few minor alterations, about BCS access this past winter when the Mountain West pitched a fit about the uneven playing field.
I supported Delany then, and I support the principal now. The major conferences, Big Ten and SEC foremost among them, drive most of the interest in college football. The stage is their stage, and if they don't care to cut ever-larger slices to conference that cannot fill 30,000 person stadiums, then swell. But the converse applies as well in those rare circumstances where the Big Ten can't compete against the big boys like, uh, Cal State Fullerton and Fresno State. The College World Series is their big stage, and the Big Ten shouldn't be guaranteed a few spots on that stage just because it has teams north of the 40th parallel.