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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FW: Smith says no OSU-Michigan decision reached

Update regarding Ohio State/Michigan rumor, from Blogging The Buckeyes (Columbus Dispatch)…



The Ohio State football blogosphere was abuzz today after a message board post claimed that OSU athletics director Gene Smith told some students at a seminar that he "expects" the Ohio State-Michigan game to be moved to early November and that the OSU and UM would be placed in opposite divisions once a 12-team Big Ten begins play next year.

Not so, Smith told the Dispatch this evening.

He said his comments were misconstrued. He said the Big Ten has not reached a decision about divisional alignment or the timing of the OSU-Michigan game. All he was doing was laying out the possible scenarios involving the future of the OSU-Michigan rivalry -- that the schools either would be in the same division or wouldn't and that that would still play the final regular-season week or not. He said when he answered a question about the possibility of OSU and Michigan being in different divisions and playing earlier, the student must have misinterpreted that as being the scenario that had been settled upon.

Smith said he had "no clue" which scenario will be adopted and that a decision is expected to be reached by the end of this month or early September. School officials had a conference call last Friday and are still in the data-gathering stage, Smith said.

He said his overriding concern involving the Ohio State-Michigan game is that the game be played every year. That is unlikely to be an issue. It's virtually a given that the Big Ten's biggest rivalry will be played every year.

"All I know is I went into this thing (insisting) we've got to play every single year," Smith said. "I was going into the meetings open-minded to ensure we do what's best for conference from that point on."

He said the school officials dealing with realignment have been working together smoothly.

"I'm highly confident that in the end we'll all be happy," he said.

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