Blog Entry

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Posted on: April 19, 2010 11:35 am
 

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany travels to the Arizona desert this week which is kind of fitting. For some unlucky schools, there is going to be a college football wasteland once the Big Ten gets done expanding. The BCS meetings this week in Phoenix could be where it all starts. Out of public view, mind you, but it could start. Delany could begin the process of notifying affected conferences that he is about to raid them.

With that in mind, it's time to rating the Big Ten expansion candidates in terms of relevance:

1. Notre Dame: If the Big 16 (or whatever) is able to lure/coerce ND into joining, the other schools don't really matter. Notre Dame brings everything -- class, quality football, eyeballs to the Big Ten Network. The two parties will have to figure out how to do deal with the NBC contract. That's really just a detail once the school decides to join, though. At issue: ND must decide that after 22 years without a national championship, it's better chasing a Rose Bowl every year than hoping for a BCS bowl in some years.

2. Connecticut: A UConn/Syracuse/Rutgers triumvirate maybe makes New York care enough about the Big Ten for the region's big cable carriers to start putting the Big Ten Network on the basic tier. Theoretically, you get New Jersey, New England and, maybe, New York. Taking UConn would be a big of a departure for the Big Ten because it is not an AAU school.

3. Missouri: Outside of getting Notre Dame and turning on New York, Missouri is the next biggest "get" for the Big Ten. It is virgin territory from which the BTN could reap a big profit. Kansas City is a Kansas town (followed closely by Missouri), but St. Louis is a Big Ten/Illinois/Mizzou town. With the likes of Ohio State and Michigan coming to Columbia on a regular basis, cable carriers would have to consider  featuring the BTN on the basic tier. If it's five teams, then count Missouri in. Delany could boast of having markets from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Ocean to New England.

4. Rutgers: By itself, Rutgers does little in the New York market. If the Big Ten took just Rutgers, it could be taking it on the come. We all remember how the region got turned on 3 1/2 years ago. It could happen again. Most likely, Rutgers needs a partner or partners in expansion.

5. Syracuse:  Almost a tag-along at this point. The 'Cuse by itself doesn't make sense because it doesn't bring a market or consistent football. Basketball is great, but that's not what this expansion is about at all. 'Cuse football is going to be better. We all know that. But does the Big Ten expand hoping Syracuse will get good? No, the school would be  a throw-in with Rutgers and UConn if Delany chooses to influence New York (see No. 1) 

6. Pittsburgh: There is little buzz about Pittsburgh at this point. The Big Ten is already in Pennsylvania with Penn State. When Joe Paterno talks about adding another school in the East, that kind of eliminates Western Pennsylvania.

Comments

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: September 3, 2011 10:46 am
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Nebraska is NOT an AAU member.



Since: Aug 29, 2011
Posted on: August 30, 2011 5:48 am
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

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Since: Sep 27, 2009
Posted on: May 6, 2010 11:55 am
 

From the Redundant to the Ridiculous

Sorry, being critical isn't normally my style, but after the previous two posts...

As a backdrop to my comment, check top of page 4.  Had you read that and the other blog posts here, bardman , you might have chosen to spare us your megadose of elitism.

tcp , as for your off-the-wall nonsense about UCF, ECU, and USF joining the SEC, neither of us will be around long enough to see that happen.  No disrespect to the three (particularly ECU), but they have a long way to go tradition-wise to even be considered;  their more logical destination being in filling eventual vacancies in the Big East.  SEC expansion will come from the ACC, BigXII, or combination of both.






Since: Oct 7, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2010 2:42 pm
 

Don't Forget Academics

While the SEC, Big East and others are primarily athletic conferences, the Big Ten was founded as an academic union over a hundred years ago.  Then those schools started playing sports against one another.  All 11 members of the Big Ten are members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), and exclusive group of research colleges held to high academic standards.  By contrast, there are only two SEC schools who have been invited to join (the Big Ten has more AAU members than even the Ivy League).  University presidents (not Athletic Directors) will ultimately decide who joins.  They may be swayed by TV money, etc, but they also are very cognizant of their conference as an academic powerhouse first, that also plays sports.  That being said, the only schools being mentioned that are members of the 60 school AAU are: Syracuse, Rutgers, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, Pitt, Vandy.  You could also through in Kansas, Nebraska, Virginia and Maryland.  I don't think (unless greed is the only factor) that the university presidents will go away from the core values of the Big Ten as an academics first alliance.




Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2010 1:13 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

I don't see ND or Mizzu joining the Big can't count to 10.   There best chance is to raid the little sisters of the poor Big East and pick off Rutgers, Syracuse, and UConn.  I could see the Sec trying to match the 14 teams with either UCF and USF or East Carolina and USF.  Either way that would be 4 teams from the big east.  Under those circumstances does the Big Eeast lose their football part of the conference?  Would Cincy and Pitt then go to Big 10 while the SEC then gobbels up the WVU and Louisville?

Maybe a crazy off season



Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2010 2:04 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

I agree 100% Notre Dame would bring tons of viewers, and it adds another powerhouse program. Uconn and Rutgers would be good fits, especially with Cuse too. Then by getting missouri they would have a viwer base across the country......




Since: Apr 24, 2010
Posted on: April 24, 2010 10:17 am
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

HilbyPirates quote, "Dont think for a second by the way that Ohio State isnt loving putting Cincy back on their place.  The last thing Ohio State wants is for Cincinnati high school players to think they can go to BCS games by going to Cincinnati."

Best comment I've read so far.  Insightful.



Since: Apr 24, 2010
Posted on: April 24, 2010 10:09 am
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

HappyFunGo, you need to stop generallizing about "mediocre teams".  Purdue has traditionally been a pretty strong competitive team in the Big 10. Yes, as of recent they've had some tough years.  Northwestern, also known as "NU" and not NW as you listed it, is coming off two consecutive bowl seasons, 9-3 and 8-4 records, and has one of the most dynamic young coaches out there with Fitzgerald.  Minnesota, well, Minnesota is always going to be Minnesota.  I'll have to give you that one.  Also, the Big 10 expansion is not just about football.
Yanks87, ND would make more, yes more money, by joining the Big 10.  I know it's really hard to believe that ND could actually make more TV money (22 million with the Big Ten versus the 15 million they get now from NBC) AND have substantially reduced travel costs for ALL of their teams.  Pretty cool concept. Join a conference, get more money, reduce expenses, and gain even greater exposure for all of the other sports. Money talks.




Since: Apr 22, 2010
Posted on: April 22, 2010 7:23 am
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Why no mention of Cincinnati? They are comparable schools, and Pittsburgh is the 17th largest media market in the U.S., and Cincinnati 24th. But soon Cincinnati and Dayton will be considred one SMSA and will be far ahead of Pittsburgh. And why is Syracuse even in the mix? Pitt has a bigger football stadium but plays some games at Heinz Field. Cincy could merely play additional games at Paul Brown. I hear metnion of a great Pitt-Penn St. rivalry; Ohio State and Cincy would be at least as big.



Since: Apr 22, 2010
Posted on: April 22, 2010 7:21 am
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Why no mention of Cincinnati? They are comparable schools, and Pittsburgh is the 17th largest media market in the U.S., and Cincinnati 24th. But soon Cincinnati and Dayton will be considred one SMSA and will be far ahead of Pittsburgh. And why is Syracuse even in the mix? Pitt has a bigger football stadium but plays some games at Heinz Field. Cincy could merely play additional games at Paul Brown. I hear mention of a great Pitt-Penn St. rivalry; Ohio State and Cincy would be at least as big.


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