Blog Entry

New developments in Big Ten expansion

Posted on: April 18, 2010 4:09 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2010 5:36 pm
 

It seems that some values may have to be compromised in this expansion-go-round that was turned up a notch on Sunday.

The Big Ten prides itself on the academic exclusivity of its institutions. All 11 universities are members of the Association of American Universities. As you can read here, the AAU is a "nonprofit organization of 62 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada.  Founded in 1900 to advance the international standing of U.S. research universities ...

"AAU member universities are on the leading edge of innovation, scholarship, and solutions that contribute to the nation's economy, security, and well-being.  The 60 AAU universities in the United States award more than one-half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in the sciences and engineering."

Neither Connecticut nor Notre Dame, two schools prominently mentioned in Big Ten expansion, are AAU members. One line of thinking has it that commissioner Jim Delany wants Connecticut because it would help the conference's reach in the Northeast (New England and New York area).  The addition of Notre Dame would have a national impact.

Even without Notre Dame, Delany could conceivably make a run at the New York market with a three-school combination of Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse. 

That's why Sunday's reported meeting of high-ranking Big Ten officials is so important. The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday that the conference's expansion timetable has moved up. It would have been easy for those Big Ten officials to meet considering the AAU is meeting in Washington D.C. through Tuesday. That's the same day as when the BCS meetings begin in Phoenix, lasting through Thursday.

Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman is one of the 11 members of the AAU's Executive Committee.

To get an idea of how academically exclusive the Big Ten is, consider that the BCS conference with next most AAU members is the Big 12 (seven). The Pac-10 has six.

Comments

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: April 18, 2010 11:26 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion


From the Big Ten's perspective, these four have more to offer than any Big East or Big 12 member, with the possible exception of Texas. Perhaps collectively their football prowess isn't quite as strong...... What do they have to offer?

Are they in strong TV markets? Not really, the B10 Network wouldn't benefit from them nearly as much as a Rutgers

Will they bring in money academically? No, on average they would be a drain on the existing schools

Best all-around athletic institutions? Not even close! They are (were) strong in basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. Hardly huge revenue sources.

Not saying that the ACC schools don't have a lot going for them, it just isn't what the B10 is looking for.

J





Since: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: April 18, 2010 11:11 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

HIGHLY doubtful. I can't see the ACC breaking apart and it wouldn't benefit the Big Ten all that much. If the expansion is more than 1 team it has to be centered around the Big 12. This is not the tight-knit ACC of the '70s, when Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke comprised more than half of its membership. Expansion has changed the conference considerably, and I don't think these four feel the same loyalty to the league they did before it grew to 12 teams. If these four could go in a package deal, preserving these longtime rivalries in a new league while gaining the economic and academic benefits of Big Ten membership, I have no doubt UMd, UVa, UNC and Duke would jump ship and let the remaining eight members find their own way (perhaps in a merger with the Big East football schools, which would create a strong 16-team all-sports conference, but one that would still make substantially less money than the Big Ten).

From the Big Ten's perspective, these four have more to offer than any Big East or Big 12 member, with the possible exception of Texas. Perhaps collectively their football prowess isn't quite as strong, but they are solid academic institutions that would add to the Big Ten's research consortium and have some of the best all-around athletic programs in the country, with an array of NCAA titles in various sports over the past decade.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: April 18, 2010 10:28 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

Totally a non-issue??? The NCAA oversees 1,000 schools. There are 62 in the AAU. That, to me, is a fairly exclusive country club. You're dismissing Iowa State athletically because of what it is academically. It is part of a conference that earned more than $100 million in athletic revenue last year. It plays in (this season) the best basketball conference in the country. To say AAU is totally a non-issue is not having a grasp of the forces at work.

The Big Ten presidents will make the decision, not the ADs.

dd



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: April 18, 2010 10:23 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

That's the point of the blog...Can they join? Not only can they, they and the Big Ten wouldn't even think twice if both sides agreed. That's what I'm saying. These conferences are going to have to compromise some academic values. Don't forget what this is about -- ruling the world (ego) and subscriber fees (Big Ten Network).



Since: Feb 19, 2009
Posted on: April 18, 2010 9:17 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

Any of you who are linking new Big 10 inclusion to membership in the AAU are being misled or don't understand the organization. There are quite a few other schools who could easily become members of the AAU. Just look at who is in it now. Iowa State? Buffalo? Oregon? Please. Several schools have simply chosen not to join. UConn, for example, could be there tomorrow. Totally a non issue. If the Big Ten feels UConn will fit the conference template of academics and athletics and opens New England to the Big Ten Network, they will be invited. In fact, of all the schools being mentioned, other than Notre Dame, and Pitt, UConn is the most logical choice.



Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: April 18, 2010 8:56 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

But of the AAU schools listed above, the package that would make most sense for the Big Ten would be the ACC foursome of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke HIGHLY doubtful. I can't see the ACC breaking apart and it wouldn't benefit the Big Ten all that much. If the expansion is more than 1 team it has to be centered around the Big 12. It is a releatively new conference and there are many unstable relationships. Also, the Pac 10 is looking to expand and focusing their efforts on the Big 12 as well. My guess is that Rutgers is the only viable East Coast university being considered.

J



Since: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: April 18, 2010 8:49 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

Notre Dame is a special case, the one non-AAU member the Big Ten would have interest in. Connecticut doesn't meet that criteria.

But of the AAU schools listed above, the package that would make most sense for the Big Ten would be the ACC foursome of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke. All are good academic schools, bring new markets to the Big Ten and have some of the nation's best all-around athletic programs with NCAA titles within the past decade in men's and women's basketball, men's soccer and other sports. Those four would add athletic and academic value to the Big Ten; Notre Dame could be the 16th member, with Syracuse, Rutgers, Nebraska or Missouri taking ND's place if it declines.



Since: Apr 1, 2010
Posted on: April 18, 2010 8:26 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

The sharing of a billion dollar research fund means that football dollars are only a part of the financial discussion for the Big Ten, as compared to most conferences.  Big Ten institutions are also, along with charter member the University Chicago, part of the , which shares a $5.6 billion research fund

The Big Ten is almost assuredly going to want to maintain the distinction of having all members as part of the AAU.  But at minimum, any school would need to be a research focused institution with a likelihood of attaining membership and a commitment to working to do so.

Big 12 - Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa State, Texas A&M, Texas

Pac 10 - Arizona, California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington

SEC - Vanderbilt, Florida

ACC - Virginia, UNC, Duke, Maryland

C-USA - Rice, Tulane

MAC - Buffalo

Big East - Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse

While a strong indicator of the type of school the Big Ten will want to add, the AAU membership issue must not be absolutely essential. After all, Notre Dame is not an AAU member and they have been a Big Ten pursuit for many years.  But Notre Dame has strong academics, a commitment to research, and is they type of school that would be a logical AAU member.




Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: April 18, 2010 7:57 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

Mark my word...Nebraska is not going to join the big ten.




Since: May 24, 2008
Posted on: April 18, 2010 7:20 pm
 

New developments in Big Ten expansion

I highly doubt the WAC and MWC would merge together.  The entire reason the MWC was created back in 1999 was to break away from the WAC (it used to be a 16-team conference for 3 years, I believe).  If anything, the MWC will try to pick up Boise St. and continue to attempt to become a BCS conference.  I am very curious to see what will happen with the Big Ten expansion.  I grew up on the coast of Florida and this seems like a Category 5 hurricane that is about to make landfall.  When it's all said and done, there is going to be some serious changes.  For better or worse...I don't know, but it will definitely be something to watch.



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