It’s spring, football is in the air

Ah, spring drills in college football are in full swing and, yes, although it is right in the middle of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, we’re talking football today.

  • First off, another one of our Mid-Ohio Valley high school grid coaches, St. Marys’ Jodi Mote, is going to be the head coach for the North squad in the North-South Football Classic the evening of Saturday, June 15 at Laidley Field in Charleston.

Mote’s North coaching staff is made up of Blue Devil assistant Steve Barnhart as well as two other head coaches, Keyser’s Sean Biser and Morgantown’s John Bowers.

  • Switching gears to college football: If you were wondering how the Big Ten will restructure its divisions in football when Maryland and Rutgers join the conference for the 2014 season, the new alignment apparently will be geographical, east and west, according to Bob Hunter of The Columbus Dispatch.

And if that’s the case, then Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers and either Purdue or Indiana would probably be in the east, with the west then consisting of Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and again either Purdue or Indiana.

The only sticking point reportedly to getting the deal done now, as you can see, is whether the Hoosiers or Boilermakers will be in the west.

That’s because the strongest argument against that move was that then the proposed eastern division ”would be much stronger” than the western one, which brought up a scenario that had Michigan State going to the west with Indiana and Purdue both in the east. But that idea didn’t fly very far.

  • Speaking of flying, it’s unbelievable how fast time flies by sometimes – or doesn’t.

The last time I went to a reunion of the 1968 OSU national-championship football team was in 2008 for our 40th anniversary get-together. That was the weekend Terrelle Pryor got his first start as a Buckeye in a win over Troy.

What makes our 45th-year reunion this fall when Penn State comes to visit Oct. 26, though, seem a longer time frame than five years is that Pryor will have been gone from Columbus three NFL seasons this fall after three years at OSU.

Anyway, this one will be a mild celebration for us of the ’68 season, what with our 50th anniversary event – wow, now that doesn’t just seem like a long time, but really is – only another five years down the road.

  • In case you haven’t seen it: Nobody can tell me that major-college sports is not a multi-million-dollar business. The newest Forbes.com list of “college basketball’s most valuable teams in 2013” has Ohio State fifth, with a value of $23.1 million and a profit of $13.6 million.

If that’s the case, can you even imagine what the Buckeye football program is worth? Probably billions.

But the traditional basketball powers of Louisville (net worth of $38.5 million), Kansas ($32.9 million), North Carolina ($32.8 million) and Kentucky ($32.1 million) top the list with Indiana ($21.8 million) sixth, Wisconsin at $19.8 million and Michigan State ($17.3 million) rounding out the top 10.

Contact Steve Hemmelgarn at shemmelgarn@newsandsentinel.com