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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: May 19, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2010 1:17 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

I would have to STRONGLY disagree with the statement that Big East schools don't measure up academically with the Big Ten. PITT is a great academic school with a tremendous university supported hospital system that is absolutly CUTTING EDGE. I don't know about the other Big East schools so unlike you I won't comment on something I have no knowledge of but PITT's academics would be top 5 in the Big Ten.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2010 1:09 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

I love everyone talking about academics.....what a joke. Most of these guys will NEVER graduate anyway. If you want academics go play in the Ivy league.Dude, you have no idea what you are talking about.  Yes the Big Ten is an athletic conference, but it is also an academic conference.  Every single school in the Big Ten is is a top-100 (actually, top-80) rated academic institution, and the schools often collaborate on research grants.  Also, try to keep in mind that the research budgets in the Big Ten make the $240+ Mil the athletic departments split look like chump change.
The only BCS conferences that are even remotely close to the Big Ten's academic standards and standings are the ACC and Pac-10, and neither of those conferences have ALL of their schools rated in the top-100.

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2010 7:18 am

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Missouri makes the most sense from an athletic standpoint of the teams being considered....and Pitt can probably be put right up there with them.  Either of those schools would greatly enhance the Big 10 academically and athletically...Pitt more academically, Missouri probably more athletically (though Pitt is on the rise there).  Missouri would leave the Big 12 for the Lil 11 because like it or not, the Lil 11 makes more $$$ than the Big 12.  I mean the Rose Bowl is a 22 million dollar payout, while the rest of the BCS games are 14-17...what does that tell you??  Look at the annual reports (available for all to see)....the P10 and Lil 11 make more money than any other conferences, including the almighty SEC.  If Missouri moves, my bet is the Big 12 takes BYU....that was their original plan before the Texas gov Byatch made the "all Texas schools (or at least the ones that mattered to her) or no Texas schools" injunction leaving the Big 12 stuck with it's ball and chain...Baylor.  BYU has more money, more fan base, and multiple NCs in multiple sports.....more so than any other mid-major (it's about $$$, and BYU has more of it by a BIG margin than any other middy out there).  Utah will go to the P10 at some point....I think that's a given, and then Boise and TCU will rule the MWC, which will fudge along without it's two biggest money-makers, and two biggest fan bases....that's how I see it going down....Unless Pitt goes to the lil 11, then Utah and Colorado can go to the P10 and make it even more mediocre, while the MWC invites Boise and Nevada, and kicks the p10's butt every year.  Should be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2010 6:01 am

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

It'll be Missouri. It makes more sense.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2010 2:23 am

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Iowa sells out for football because the only other thing Iowa has is steers and queers and we all know what category you fall into.

No, that's Texas. I don't think Iowa's got too many steers. Pigs and corn, Iowa has a boatload of. Not as much in the way of steers.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: March 4, 2010 1:03 am

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Iowa State is the best team to move, then a WAC, MW or a C-USA team can slide over to the Big 12. While the expansion flu is spreading, adding a couple of teams to the PAC-10 would give all of the major conferences a championship game. That's just good business for the sport. 

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:37 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

and the most important fact NOTRE DAME has the NYC market locked up allready !

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2010 8:48 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Iowa sells out for football because the only other thing Iowa has is steers and queers and we all know what category you fall into.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2010 8:43 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Why would Nebraska want to join a lesser conference like the Big 10 when it has the Big 12? 

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2010 8:41 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Let's talk Big East adcademia.

Pitt is one of the finest medical schools in the world.  Not just the country....the WORLD.

West Virginia has more Rhodes Scholars than ANY other top college football school in the nation.

Syracuse is an outstanding all around academic institution.  In fact, it is ranked side by side with Northwestern in Journalism, each schools top programs

Rutgers.  There is no school in the Big Ten that rivals Rutgers academically.

Lousiville, UConn, Cinicinnati and South Florida, although not Ivy League contenders by any means, are on par with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.

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