A letter from mgoblog's mailbag (three letter emphasis mine):
What are the chances that Michigan will play one night game at home over the next 2-3 years? I would love to see Michigan Stadium all lit up for a home game v ND, MSU, or PSU. I don’t support the idea of playing "the Game" at night. Can you please tell me what your thoughts are on this subject.
Guess where this is going? Right, the tried and true rivalry dialog.
It's nothing groundbreaking or exciting, but there is a subtle enough shift happening here that it's probably worth pointing out. Penn State finally beat Ohio State and Michigan in the same season, won the conference championship for the second time in four years, and have recruited in a way that gives them (at least in theory) a shot at back to back auto-BSC bids.
And that's the ticket to filling the void.
Now, I don't know that I have a major issue with being rivalryless. Sure, it would be great, but in a lot of ways I kind of like how different opponents fill different roles on our schedule either year.
But whether I like it or not, winning causes power shifts, and statements like this one (control-b mine)...
"I don't think there's a kid on Ohio State who joined that roster not thinking about the opportunity to play Michigan," said Rick Pizzo, a studio host for the Big Ten Network. "I don't think that kids joined that roster thinking about the opportunity to play Penn State. Whether that will change in the future? Perhaps, but right now that's not the case."
...become somewhat fulfilling. I'm not arguing that Penn State will displace a tradition in a conference that get off on such history, but, as they say, winning solves a lot of problems. Rivalry fretters should keep that in mind.