Ohio State fans are speaking up, and athletic director Gene Smith says he's listening.
Smith's inbox is "blowing up" this week with messages from Buckeye fans about the possibility of the Michigan game moving from the final regular-season Saturday. The flood of feedback prompted Smith to respond Friday in a video message posted on the school's athletics website.
The main points:
No final decisions have been made about Big Ten division alignment or scheduling. Smith reiterated that the league is far along as far as divisions, but hasn't had many discussions about scheduling. "We've been focused 100 percent on divisional alignment," Smith said on the video, "and we're getting close, and we've talked a lot about moving from eight conference games to nine conference games. That discussion was pretty complicated."
The most interesting part of the video was what Smith said about fan feedback. "Over 90 percent of the people want us to keep [the Michigan] game at the end of the schedule," he said.
Big Ten AD's have a "target date" for moving to nine league games. From what I've been told, it's the 2015 season.
The ADs and league officials will have another conference call next week. Smith anticipates one more conference call or in-person meeting, where "we'll begin the process of talking about scheduling: who will play who where. Every consideration will be on the table."
Smith urges patience from the fans and said he won't publicly discuss the "sensitive deliberations" regarding divisions, scheduling, etc.
So Smith is paying attention to you.
But will he and the Big Ten give you what you want in the end?