Cranky old man Barry Alvarez likes Big Ten title played indoors


The Big Ten will play its initial championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but the newly expanded 12-team conference (well, next year) is still deciding on a location beyond 2011.

Wherever the conference decides, former Wisconsin coach, and now athletic director, Barry Alvarez does know one thing: he wants it indoors.

And who could argue?

“My initial reaction is (at) that time of year, why roll the dice that you might have a really bad day and affect your crowd and play on the field?” Alvarez said. “I would want the best team that we have represent us and I wouldn’t want the weather to be a factor.”

Says the guy who coached in freaking Wisconsin.

“I know traditionalists (say) that football’s meant to be played outside, but no one said you have to be uncomfortable to play this game. No one has said you have to play in bad conditions when you have the opportunity to play in good conditions.”

Unless the Big Ten decides on an about-face and play the championship game at one team’s home stadium (a la Pac-12/Conference USA), this seems like a logical argument. As a conference not accustomed to championship games, making sure both sides are content is an immediate must. Fans who travel and spend money on hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and more are going to want to watch the game comfortably.

I understand the idea of Lambeau Field is sexy, but 10-degree weather and blustering winds are definitely not.

Other potential sites for future title games include Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit.