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Big Ten Drops The Ball, Snubs Soldier Field For Title Game

Big Ten picks Indianapolis, not Chicago, to host its championship game.

Soldier Field is by far the best choice to host the Big Ten championship game. This is obvious to anyone who understands what Big Ten football is all about.

So it probably shouldn't surprise me that the suits who run things in college football have chosen Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis as the host of the first five Big Ten title games.

I like Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, but it drives me nuts when he says that things like "fan comfort" and "the consistency of planning for both teams" are good reasons to play the Big Ten title game in a dome in Indianapolis, rather than in the elements in Chicago.

Look, real Big Ten football fans aren't worried about "comfort" when they go to a game. Real Big Ten fans embrace the elements as an integral part of Big Ten football. And "consistency of planning?" What Big Ten fan doesn't love that having to plan for potentially lousy weather is a part of our sport?

Delany is at least paying lip service to the possibility that the Big Ten will play its championship game outdoors in the future, but it would be more than five years away.

"I don't think we've made an unequivocal statement about outdoor football (in December)," Delany said. "We want to get off to a stable start with our championship game and launch from there."

The truth is, what Delany means by "a stable start" is an atmosphere that's pleasing to wealthy donors and corporate executives, and that means a dome, not outdoors in Chicago in December.

Still, Delany is doing his best to soften the blow for Big Ten fans in Chicago.

"We love Chicago," he said. "It's our home, and to me, it's the best sports city in the country."

The Big Ten is dropping the ball by failing to have its conference championship game in the best sports city in America.