It may take some getting used to, but next year's twelve-team Big Ten (meanwhile, the Big 12 is reduced to ten -- go figure) will have a championship game between the winners of the... well, they don't have names yet, but there will be two divisions. This game will be played each year likely on the first Saturday of December, and in 2011 it will be Saturday, Dec. 3 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.â†µâ†µ
Today, the Big Ten and Fox Sports announced a deal where the network will televise the Big Ten title game for its first six seasons, from 2011-16. The winner of the game will play in either the Rose Bowl, or depending on the BCS standings, in the BCS National Championship Game.â†µâ†µ
If the latter still exists. Death to the BCS. Anyway...â†µâ†µ
Last September, SB Nation Chicago's Hilary Lee wrote an impassioned plea for the Big Ten to consider Soldier Field for its title game -- saying we tough Midwesterners can take a little early-December cold and that many well-known NFL playoff and title games were played outdoors in the cold, including the famous Ice Bowl in Green Bay in 1967.â†µâ†µ
Perhaps this will happen in the future; the Deep Dish assumes that in addition to Indianapolis, the "Mall of America Field" (formerly the Metrodome) in Minneapolis and Ford Field in Detroit will get consideration. But for TV and for the Big Ten, there's no better place than Chicago -- we'll show the nation this weekend when Northwestern and Illinois face each other on ESPNU in the Wrigleyville Classic.