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Mark Hollis Has Big Ideas for the Spartans and the Big Ten: A Fan's Take

Yahoo Contributor Network

As Big Ten athletic directors meet to discuss the future of college football, Michigan State Spartans AD Mark Hollis has been vocal about what he thinks is best for the team, and college football in general. He spoke out on the Rose Bowl, future season schedules, and several other key issues. Here is a look at some of his ideas and how they might affect the Spartans.

University of Michigan-Michigan State Night Game

Hollis said that he liked the idea of the two teams playing a night game, but the television networks simply haven't asked for the nighttime match. The University of Michigan AD, Dave Brandon, hasn't shown any interest in the idea. It is possible that the later game would lead to much more rowdy crowds, since fans of both sides could potentially have all day to drink before the game even gets underway. The bigger question would be enough outside of the state of Michigan would be interested enough in watching the game to justify its prime time placement.

7 Win Requirement

Bowl eligibility could be changed to require a team to win at least 7 games to qualify for a bowl game. Hollis has said that he is in favor of such a requirement, but his plans for more difficult nonconference games could be problematic with such a requirement. While Michigan State is planning some exciting match-ups against the University of Oregon, other schools could use the requirement to pad their nonconference schedules with easier games. Hollis pointed this fact out, saying "If now you have to have (to win) seven games to be eligible, it's, 'Let's play four teams that nobody has ever heard of in order to get our first four wins,'" It is comforting to know that Michigan State won't be one of the schools to take the easiest route to Pasadena.


Since it is so easy for a school to use an easy schedule to do better than teams with competitive schedules, Hollis is pushing the strength-of-schedule concept. The idea that Michigan State could go 3-1 in nonconference games and possibly edge themselves out of bowl game eligibility simply because they played a tougher schedule than another school is unacceptable. In fact, it is part of what is inherently broken about college football in general. Regulating the schedules so that a bigger school doesn't play four weak schools to boost their record seems like common sense, but the reality is that the games is played that way under current rules.

It looks like Hollis has not only the success of the Spartans in mind; he also is concerned that the school represent itself with dignity and pride. Considering that the Spartan football team is doing increasingly well every season, they could very well become a true example in the Big Ten and all of college football.

Whitney Levon lived in the East Lansing area for several years, and officially adopted the Spartans as her favorite college football team.

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