Can North Carolina Finish the Job? Or Will the Big Ten Break Through?
The 2014-15 season will be the first of the head-to-head era of head coaches, although the Big Ten schedule is different for each school and is no longer dictated by conference alignment.
This has been an interesting season for head-to-head coaches for the Big Ten as the schedule has been somewhat of a roller coaster (for those not familiar with the term “roller coaster”, it basically describes a situation in which there are multiple ups and downs and the end result is different than planned). The good news for conference heads is that there are currently eight (as of this writing) head-to-head games remaining. But it is the head coaches’ job to make sure their team has a chance to beat their opponent and it is the coaches’ job to make sure they can win that game and not have the losing streak continue. It is also the coaches’ job to make sure the games they are playing do not dictate their schedule in the future.
In addition to the head to head games (excluding the NC State and Clemson games), the SEC has two games remaining as well (Kentucky and Tennessee) and so does the ACC (South Carolina and Georgia Tech). In the Big Ten, the two contests currently remaining are at Penn State and Illinois while Michigan and Minnesota will head into the final game at home against each other.
Now, there are two schools (Penn State and Illinois) who have two games remaining. The NCAA sanctions were handed down when Michigan and Illinois were found to have committed illegal benefits to players. What this means for the coaches with Penn State and Illinois remaining is that they will have to be extra careful on the way to the games. This does not mean that the coaches with these two games are not going to have success, but they will have to make sure everything is 100 percent correct in order for them to have a chance to win. If the coaches are wrong, they could lose the game and the conference will be out of the NCAA for a year. In the past, coaches have been extremely careful in their preparation. It is not the easiest thing in the world to prepare for a game and then be wrong and not know that they are wrong, but these are the sacrifices made to be here. If the NCAA sanctions were to be lifted, it is possible that Penn State and Illinois could play in two national championship games