Big10/BigEast Challenge!

This had to be bumped to the front page. As always, outstanding work by formerlyanonymous! - MnB Dave

Yesterday Jim Delaney and the Big10 conference announced a deal with the BigEast to create a yearly faceoff of the Big10 and BigEast teams in an early season tournament.  The site for the 2009 challenge is St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida in late February.  I'm not sure of the stadiums they will be playing in, but those two cities are home to the Rays and Phillies respectively.   Mgoblue builds it up this way:

The tournament is scheduled for the same week that major league pitchers and catchers report to spring training, which will add to the buzz surrounding the event. Games will be played in venues in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, including Bright House Field, Knology Park and Progress Energy Park/Al Lang Field, with marquee matchups scheduled as part of nightly doubleheaders. There will be eight inter-conference contests daily, with the two extra Big Ten teams competing against each other in a non-league game.

Only eight or 12  BigEast teams (Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, St. John's, USF, and West Virginia)  will participate despite the Big10 sending all 10 teams.  This will lead to at least one pair of Big10 teams playing each other in a non-conference game.

The schedule is available on the BigEast website:

Day 1 – Friday, February 20
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
Penn State vs. St. John’s
Illinois vs. Iowa
Michigan State vs. Connecticut
Michigan vs. USF
Northwestern vs. Georgetown
Minnesota vs. Seton Hall
Indiana vs. West Virginia
Purdue vs. Cincinnati

Day 2 – Saturday, February 21
Michigan vs. Cincinnati
Purdue vs. USF
Penn State vs. Northwestern
Ohio State vs. Connecticut
Indiana vs. Georgetown
Illinois vs. Notre Dame
Minnesota vs. West Virginia
Michigan State vs. Seton Hall
Iowa vs. St. John’s

Day 3 – Sunday, February 22
Michigan vs. St. John’s
Ohio State vs. Cincinnati
Minnesota vs. Michigan State
Northwestern vs. Connecticut
Indiana vs. USF
Iowa vs. Georgetown
Purdue vs. Notre Dame
Penn State vs. Seton Hall
Illinois vs. West Virginia

Michigan's faceoff with St. John's tenatively scheduled on Day 3 should be one to watch.  The two programs have recently become the flagship mid-major/northern programs in a sport dominated by the south and west.  If any students happen to be big baseball fans and are spending spring break in Florida, this happens to be the first weekend of spring break.


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