Blog Entry

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Posted on: March 2, 2010 11:20 am
Edited on: March 3, 2010 11:04 am

If this were a child birth, the head would be showing.

Big Ten expansion is moving along faster than Joy Behar's mouth. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that it makes financial sense for the league to add any one of at least five candidates -- Notre Dame, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse or Pittsburgh.

The story goes on to say those are only the "obvious" candidates. There could be others. In a sidebar, Rutgers is identified as the favorite! Missouri is second and Pittsburgh is third.

Whoa, slow down. I thought we were only in the discussion stage. Based on what has broken in the last few days, we're going to know a 12th Big Ten/11 team by the summer. Maybe more. The league isn't going to necessarily stop at one. If the Big 12 and Big East weren't on alert before, they are now.

This report answers a key question I had about this whole thing: Which of those schools bring enough to the table financially to guarantee a minimum $22 million payout per year. This tells me that the Big Ten TV partners -- Big Ten Network, CBS and ABC/ESPN -- have signed off on expansion as a profit center.

The Big Ten has hired an investment firm to analyze candidates. Last week Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez was quoted as saying the league had hired a research firm to look at 15 potential candidates. Alvarez the right school or schools would have to "buy their way in" to the Big Ten.

At least he was being honest about it.

I talked to a source familiar with the Pac-10 who said he isn't sure that league will do anything. Unlike the Big Ten, there aren't the slam dunk candidates out there. Utah and Colorado, for example, don't deliver that much to a 12-team league even with the addition of a championship game. He reminded me that Pac-10 fans, in general, don't travel well. What if you have, say, an Arizona-Stanford championship game?

Here's my overview from last month.

Keep those seat belts fastened. There's going to be turbulence. For sure.



Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: March 12, 2010 2:00 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Texas can't keep Gary Johnson's jock size confidential.  How do you expect something like this not to leak?  It makes NO geographic sense, little financial sense, and little common sense.  I sure hope you are right though! Wink

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: March 11, 2010 4:16 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

I have had more than my say on this subject but this last rejoinder truly will be my last...the Big Ten or Eleven or whatever is the most arrogant of all the conferences. You claim to be the most lucrative in sports and that may be so but why is that so...what is their about your teams that make it so valuable. You enjoy only one true major market and that is Chicago...the rest are small markets at best. You claim to be the best conference regarding academics...well, sports fans, have you ever heard of the Ivy League? I'm just saying you folks are okay but far from superior in any category.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2010 4:15 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...


Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2010 9:56 am

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

its SO much more than athletic oriented fellas.  The Big Ten Conference is a premier conference ACADEMICALLY as well.  Every university in the Big Ten is a top 100 school.  The Big Ten Conference has a SIX BILLION DOLLAR research grant.  That is Billion...  with a 'B'.

No school currently in the Big Ten Conference is going to leave to go somewhere else- no other conference even comes CLOSE to offering the type of money this conference can provide for BOTH academics and athletics.  Whoever the Big Ten offers to join- they will be tripping over themselves to run over here and join...  in order to get their hands on the money we can throw at them.

the exception to the rule was Notre Dame- they turned down the Big Ten offer back in the 90's (I believe) mostly based on their unwillingness to share the exclusive rights to their TV contract in football.  Which makes sense $$ from an athletic standpoint...  but it was very shortsighted and foolish from an academic standpoint- given the amount of additional funding ND could have received in grants and research from a conference level instead of as an Independent.

The Big Ten will eventually expand to 12 teams, personally I expect it to be either Pitt or Mizzou.  Both schools have slight flaws:  Pitt doesn't have its own football facilities, and Mizzou is a bit low on acedamics, but both schools could benefit and improve themselves from the Big Ten in the long run.

carry on!

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2010 12:02 am

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

If they make an offer i believe it will be with pitt.  Big Ten is a huge sports market but also you have to look at acedemics.  Also, very important to the big ten.  No school in the big ten is not rated the the top 100 best universities.  It will be pitt.

Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2010 7:54 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Why not get the Detroit Lions? They play on the same level! lol

Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2010 7:42 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

By Glod's post, you can tell it is basketball season.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2010 2:05 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...


Rutgers picked up a lot of interest by just making some minor bowl games the last couple of years. Why would Kansas leave Big 12 basketball? If I were the Big 10, I'd grab school(s) from the Big East who have both football and basketball programs. If it were 1 school, they should take Rutgers. If it were 3 schools, they certain should float the idea to Missouri and Kansas, but doubt they (at least Kansas) would move to the Big 10. If Missouri came with the Big 10, I'd be somewhat suprised, but would be happy to have them. I liked your points about the available markets and what would make sense to gain maximum exposure. Pittaburgh's natural rival is as much WV than PSU. Notre Dame is going no where.

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2010 1:22 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Not bad for a rookie...should have been done 20 years ago when it was feasable.

Since: Feb 22, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2010 12:13 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Forget the Big 10.

Group 1:
  1. Army
  2. Boston College
  3. Connecticut
  4. Navy
  5. Penn State
  6. Rutgers
  7. Syracuse
  8. Temple
Group 2:
  1. Cincinnati
  2. Central Florida
  3. Louisville
  4. Memphis
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Pittsburgh
  7. South Florida
  8. West Virginia
Group 3 (Basketball only):
  1. Depaul
  2. Duquesne
  3. Georgetown
  4. Marquette
  5. Providence
  6. Saint John's
  7. Seton Hall
  8. Villanova

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or