Illinois Athletic Director Wants The Big 10 To Name The Fighting Illini And Michigan Co-Champions

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David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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Illinois wants a share of the Big 10 regular season title.

Michigan won the B1G regular season title after going 14-3 in conference play and Illinois finished second with a conference record of 16-4. Despite having more wins than the Wolverines, Michigan’s better winning percentage won them the title. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

However, athletic director Josh Whitman thinks it’s not fair because Michigan had games canceled and played three fewer total matchups.

Whitman wrote the following in part in his letter to the B1G:

In a year where, because of the different numbers of games played, we cannot fairly distinguish one team from another, declare Michigan and Illinois co-champions of the regular season. It was a straightforward solution to a complicated problem.

We should not have had to advocate for ourselves – this is the right outcome for the Big Ten and one that it should have proactively sought. But nonetheless, we were left to fight our own battle, and despite our advocacy, I learned late yesterday that our efforts were unsuccessful.  Michigan will remain outright champions.

I can honestly see Illinois’ argument in this situation and it has some merit. The Fighting Illini played three more games and crushed Michigan in their only matchup this season.

So, it’s not like Illini is just slinging around this claim for no reason. They had a slightly worse winning percentage, but they also won two more games.

However, you simply can’t bend the rules. It doesn’t work that way and it’s not a precedent anyone wants set.

Michigan had a better overall winning percentage, despite losing to Illinois, and that means they’re the champs.


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We don’t have to be happy about it, but it’s the right call. You know how Illinois can get revenge? Go out and win the B1G tournament or win March Madness. Trust me, if that happens, nobody will remember not winning the regular season.