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: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2010 8:05 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Offers are being made as we speak to Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. Bottom line: There is no way OSU, MSU, or UM would leave the Big 10 for the Big East.  This is for numerous reasons: tradition/prestige, competitiveness, academic/reasearch, rivalries, travel distances, financial - the list goes on and on.  These schools had been in the B10 for decades before the Big East even existed.  There is honestly no reason such a move would make sense to any of these teams.  PSU has not been in comparatively long, but would not likely leave due to prestige and financial reasons.

Also, the concept that the Big East is only prey and not predator is far-fetched.  The Big East has taken from other conferences as well as they've given.  However, if you look at who they've pursued, the teams have come from C-USA, the A10, etc., all of which suffered considerably as a result.  The Big East has done this not only to restore numbers from the recent ACC grab, but earlier in their own expansion efforts as well.  Just because they largely tore apart mid-major conferences rather than "BCS" conferences does not free them of the "predator" label.

The Big East was driven by greed, participated in establishing a standard which nurtured and encouraged others' greed, and suffered from the greed of those others as a result.  The NCAA is being irreparably harmed by consolidation of all the power in too-few "major" conferences and needs to stop this pattern before they kill the system entirely.

Since: Mar 3, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2010 7:37 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

The logical choice is Notre Dame.  They have enough of a following to maintain and/or increase the Big 10 revenue structure.  Syracuse and Rutgers are flops/liabilities.....Pitt won't leave the Big East because they have little competition other than WVa...Mizoo won't leave the Big12 for the 10, that would be useless, if anything they need to go to a smaller conference..perhaps CUSA. 

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2010 7:11 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

CHUCKOBFO, your analysis is a bit skewed. First of all, very few colleges even field a hockey team. Second, you are not seriously going to suggest that Big Ten basketball is better than Big East basketball, are you? Your sample is 3 games from last year's tourney. The Big East always has the #1 or #2 conference RPI, year after year. Look at the national championships across the conference, both recent and back in "the day." Third, Big East women's basketball is CLEARLY the best, and a lot more people care about women's basketball than women's volleyball.  And last, the Big East just beat the Big 10 in the baseball challenge tourney in Tampa Bay last weekend, 17-13. And in most conference rankings that I have seen, the Big East is at worst, even with the Big 10 in football, and rated higher in most of them (don't forget, for football, you have to consider we only have 8 teams and the Big 10 has 11). The Big 10 is better at the top, but the Big East has much more balance than the Big 10, which usually has more than its share of bottom-feeders.

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2010 7:03 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...


Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2010 6:05 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Actually, it's been closer to 50 years since Minnesota was "an absolute national power."  Maybe it's been since Bud Wilkinson played for the Gophers, I'm not sure...

Since: Feb 11, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2010 5:26 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

as far as RUTGER'S goes the BIG-X would gain absolutly nothing ! the tri-state is no where near BIG-X ideology, not even close ! in the BIG APPLE the BIG-X is not big at all ! first of all the BIG APPLE already has there own BIG-TEN starting with the 1.YANKEES 2.METS 3.GIANTS 4.JETS 5.RANGERS 6.ISLANDERS 7.DEVILS 8.KNICKS 9.NETS 10.LIBERTY saying that, RUTGERS is barely a blip on the NEW YORK sports radar ! further on no self respecting NEW YORKER would be caught dead watching the BIG-X channel, seeing they look at midwesterners as mostly manure farmers and goat herders, this whole theory of of the LITTLE TEN invading the REAL BIG BIG TEN, THE BIG APPLE is laughable at best !

Since: Apr 24, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2010 4:19 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, no chance the conference that makes the most money is losing any team.  Sorry Big east, football rules.

Since: Dec 30, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2010 4:16 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

Link for this mularkey???  I haven't seen anything of the sort reported ANYWHERE....

Since: Aug 28, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2010 4:08 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

PITT is the only fit, maybe. Great academics, research. Good teams. but small football stadium to be an elite or upper tier BT football program. You average 53k a game. BT doesn't need anymore small stadium markets. We have are fill already in the lower tier of the BT. The BE area is consumed in Basketball and pro sports. Midwest/uppermidwest handles both pro and college or just college sports in some areas. Makes for better college tv contracts even though less populated. 3,000,000 in iowa and we sell out at the stadium for 70k and everyone subscribes to cable because the cable company knows the importance of having the BT network available to the whole state who lives for college sports. More people in Iowa probably follow the BT and/or college sports than NYC. So big media networks don't always work. Good luck to the BE in anything they decide to do. I lways enjoy watching them because no matter what I'm a college fan thru and thru!

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2010 3:55 pm

Big Ten expansion at the speed of light ...

I've heard this conversation but haven't had much thought to it.  
I don't think the Big 12 would put up much of a fight if the Big Ten wanted Iowa State to become the 12th school. Think about when the ACC moved to 12 schools and there was such a big deal about football powers Miami FL and Florida State being in the same division. No worries now, right?
Iowa State makes the most geographic sense and the fact that it currently is in a "Big Six" conference should be more satisfying that taking a mid-major that is hot at the moment or an iffy entry from the Big East.  It would also give the Big 12 an excuse to find a new 12th school and they have a lot to choose from, starting in the state of Texas.

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