Blog Entry

How the Big Ten Should Expand

Posted on: March 3, 2010 9:33 am
 

Since the news broke that Jim Delany and the Big Ten were looking into expansion, numerous teams have surfaced as the front runner.

First it was Pittsburgh.  They have strong football and basketball programs, and they would create a natural in-state rival for Penn State.  Pitt makes all the sense in the world.

Next was Missouri.  This time the reasoning was the outstanding academics the school offered.  The football program would become one of the mid-to-upper teams in the Big Ten.

Then, out of the blue, Texas surfaced.  This choice made no sense, and at the same time, the most sense in the world.  Texas would provide a huge media market for the Big Ten Network, strong football and basketball programs, and offer the recruiting gold mine that is the state of Texas.  The obvious draw back would be the distance.

Now Rutgers is the hot name floating around.  The New York media market appears to be the deciding factor in this perspective choice.

Whichever school the Big Ten decides to add as their 12th team should not be the last addition in this expansion.  I think the Big Ten should be ahead of the curve for once, and begin the formation of a Super Conference.  They should expand to at least 14 teams, but preferably 16 teams or 18 teams.

We all know that Notre Dame would be the best school to start with, but I think they have made it clear they prefer to stay independent for the foreseeable future.  Instead begin with the 3 “local” schools that have already been heavily mentioned in the media.  Just think what adding Pittsburgh, Missouri, and Rutgers would do for the Big Ten.  Athletics, academics, and media are all strengthened by the addition of these three schools at once.  The Big Fourteen sounds pretty good to me.

If the Big Ten feels like getting really ahead of the curve, look at two or even four more schools and complete the Super Conference.  Cincinnati and Nebraska are the two schools that make the most sense.  It keeps the conference in contiguous states, provides a natural in-state rival for Ohio State, and adds a couple more good academic programs.

The Big Eighteen sounds even better to me though.  Let’s not forget the talks that Texas and the Big Ten just had, so that makes 17.  You don’t have to look far for an 18th team.  Adding Oklahoma would make this new Super Conference contiguous again, and preserve its rivalry with Texas.  These two schools would again escalate an already improved athletic side to the conference, as well as adding solid academics, new recruiting possibilities, and huge media markets.

Let’s say Delany can’t convince the higher ups at UT and OU.  Go ahead and add Syracuse and Iowa State.  That creates two more natural in-state rivalries and keeps the Super Conference contiguous still.

Now, the new Big Ten (Big Eighteen) will undoubtedly have large hurdles with traveling, football scheduling, divisions, and many other things.  Have no qualms about this though, the Big Eighteen will figure out a way to resolve all of these issues, because there is an obscene amount of money to be made by doing so.

Super Conferences are the way of the future, for football at least.  The Big Ten should be ahead of the curve and add the best and brightest before it is too late.

Category: NCAAF
Comments

Since: Aug 16, 2008
Posted on: March 31, 2010 3:09 pm
 

How the Big Ten Should Expand

Texas and Rutgers on the other hand are too far away geographicly to make financial sense.

Cross country, track, swimming, wrestling, volleyball and other non-revenue sports would have another huge trip added to their in -conference schedule.  And these sports typicly already cost much more than they bring in without a 1,500 mile plane ride to Austin.


I agree that the travel expenses would increase more than it would be worth for those sports.  However, I think with the amount of money the new Super Conference could make from football and basketball, it would be worth it.  On the other hand, who is to say that this Super Conference wouldn't be just for football and basketball?  The Big East already has Notre Dame basketball, yet no football program.  I bet it wouldn't be an issue to keep smaller sports in their current conference, or create smaller sub-conferences for them.

Huh?  What in-state rival are you talking about for Syracuse?  If you're thinking Rutgers and Syracuse are in the same state, you better take a geography course.  Syracuse is in upstate New York and Rutgers is in New Jersey.

Ha!  I would have really freaked you out if I would have left my comment about New Jersey being a rich recruiting ground in there.  My mistake, all the talk about the New York media market must have jumbled my brain for a bit.

I wouldn't add Syracuse or Rutgers if it was 100% up to me, but it seems like the Big Ten is leaning that direction already, so I thought I would just give a little push.  Also, with whatever expansion they decide on, I wouldn't expect to see Ohio State and Michigan in the same division.  I think they will have an Oklahoma-Texas type game in the middle of the season, yet still be able to meet in the Conference Championship game.



Since: Jan 20, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2010 11:02 pm
 

How the Big Ten Should Expand

Go ahead and add Syracuse and Iowa State.  That creates two more natural in-state rivalries and keeps the Super Conference contiguous still.Huh?  What in-state rival are you talking about for Syracuse?  If you're thinking Rutgers and Syracuse are in the same state, you better take a geography course.  Syracuse is in upstate New York and Rutgers is in New Jersey.
If Big 10 expansion is going to occur, I would not add Rutgers or Syracuse.  The Big 10 is historically a mid-west conference and both of those schools are in the east.  I could see adding Pittsburgh, for the natural rivalry with Penn State (and it's farther west than PSU), and even Iowa State for Iowa.  Even Cincinnati would be a good choice for the Big 10 expansion, though Ohio State's primary rival (at least in football) is Michigan.  I would be surprised if Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska would jump to the Big 10 (or Big 18 if you want to call it that).  Missouri may be a good choice.  Another school, currently in the Big East, that may be appropriate for the Big 10 is Louisville.  Notre Dame would be a good fit also but, as you've said, they do not appear to want to join a conference, at least in football.  There's a couple of schools that could join in basketball only, such as Notre Dame and Marquette, both of whom are currently in the Big East.  So, if the Big 10 were ever to expand to 16 teams (18 for basketball), here's how I would like it to look (though I'm not sure yet what they should call the conference - I think it's weird that they still call it the Big 10 with 11 teams in the conference).  Hey, if they'd expand to 20 teams, they could call it the Big 10 Squared.  Laughing  (even though 10 squared is not 20).  just kidding, of course.
I would divide it into two separate divisions.
East Division:
  • Ohio State
  • Cincinnati
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Penn State
  • Pittsburgh
  • Indiana
  • Purdue
  • Notre Dame (basketball only)
West Division:
  • Illinois
  • Northwestern
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Iowa State
  • Wisconsin
  • Missouri
  • Louisville
  • Marquette (basketball only)



Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2010 5:57 pm
 

How the Big Ten Should Expand

Pitt, Missouri, and Syracuse make sense.  Partly due to quality programs in football and mens basketball (knock the Orange in football if you want).  Partly due to quality academics. And partly, and more importantly their proximity to the already existing Big10 schools.  Syracuse would be a haul for the Golden Gophers and Iowa, but not a whole lot farther than the trip to Happy Valley.  Adding Missouri, Pitt, or even Iowa State wouldn't increase the current schools travel expenses too much.  But adding these wouldn't open up the Big10 to a significant amount of new fans. Aside from the cities of Pittsburg, St. Loius and Kansas City.
Texas and Rutgers on the other hand are too far away geographicly to make financial sense.  Sure Rutgers would open up the New York market to the Big10 Network, and UT the entire LoneStar state.  But on top of opening up those markets, schools would have to make that trip in every sport.  Thats asking a lot of the sports budgets around the conference.  Bus trips would basicly be out of the question, and flights to either would get expensive fast.  Cross country, track, swimming, wrestling, volleyball and other non-revenue sports would have another huge trip added to their in -conference schedule.  And these sports typicly already cost much more than they bring in without a 1,500 mile plane ride to Austin.  Having the Longhorns in the Bigwhatever for football and basketball would be great, but those two big ticket sports are just a slice of overall conference activities.
If and when the Big10 expands it will have to be in the general area of the Midwest,IMO.  Otherwise all 11 current members will be losing to large a part of their cut without much benefit to each of the current members.
I'd like to see Missouri. It would add St. Louis and Kansas City to Big10 country, both have always been active cities for the NCAA. (national championship host cities) And the Dome would be a possible home for a future Bigwhatever championship game (in a revolving situation with Ford Field, Lucas Oil and the Metrodome).  But if Notre Dame would just give in and join it would be best.


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