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.


Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 2:44 am

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

I know everyone says Texas is out of the picture, but frankly if the Big Ten is serious about expanding by more than just a single team they need to find out what Texas wants... And give it to them.  We already know from the academia side of things they want to be associated with AAU teams. 

The main reason is simply the ego of the SEC will require them to expand also if only to keep up and the possibility of losing teams to the Pac10 and Big Ten could leave the Big12 in a weakened position where they either have to raid the SEC for 2 of the 3 replacement teams (thinking LSU and Arkansas with of course the other being TCU) or possibly get locked into BYU's "no athletic events on Sunday" edict along with ????. 

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2010 12:29 am

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Further to your point about research focus, part of the reason that ND rejected membership in the past was the associated membership in the CIC, the academic side of the Big Ten, which also includes charter mermbe Univeristy of Chicago.  The CIC is heavily focused on research and not undergraduate teaching which is ND's institutional focus.  I don't think anyone means to say that ND is not of the same caliber school as other Big Ten members, save Northwestern perhaps, but it just has a different and not compatible focus.  That will continue to be an obstacle in discussions going forward.

Since: Jan 23, 2010
Posted on: April 21, 2010 6:17 am

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

ur an idiot shut up

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: April 20, 2010 9:48 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Indiana mediocre?  Come on Indiana is not even close to being mediocre...

Since: Apr 20, 2010
Posted on: April 20, 2010 8:01 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Ha! You really don't know much about Nebraska do you?

#1 How does the team not fit with the Big 10? It has a better history than Penn State, more National titles than anyone but OSU, and more wins than everyone except Michigan. Not to mention the best fans in the country (304 sellout streak, what's the highest for anyone in the Big 10? Hmm)

#2 The revenue doesn't fit? Really? That's funny considering it's the 4th best program in the nation in terms of making a profit behind only Notre Dame, Texas, and USC

#3 And how does the academics not fit? Sure it's not Northwestern, but it's one of the top, if not the best, engineering research schools in the entire country, and I'm sure they would be easily added to the "Circle of Research Institutions" or whatever that's called.

No, more likely they won't take us because we're happy in the Big 12.  We have ample access to Texas recruits, which is better than anything the Big 10 has.

Since: Apr 20, 2010
Posted on: April 20, 2010 6:05 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Just think if title 9 was not around NCAA hockey at the CUSE!!!  The B10 is great for hockey.  Only dreaming.  Its a must that we (CUSE) must the move!!

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: April 20, 2010 5:30 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

So Michigan can have two schools, but PA can't?

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: April 20, 2010 2:23 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

5 Stars for someone FINALLY realizing that Nebraska would be the bottom of the barrel, absolutely freaking ridiculous and moronic choice of all.. PackAtHeart, you and I are in absolute agreement.  Nebraska can't stand the fact that Mizzou is getting attention over them, so they've been frantically waving their arms trying to get the Big Ten's attention.  I don't think they even get a look unless it's a three team expansion and their best shot is in a five team expansion.

Since: Oct 13, 2009
Posted on: April 20, 2010 1:51 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

UCONN #2?  Are you serious Dodd?  Did you go UCONN or something?  The BigTen would court Notre Dame, BC, Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt (and probably others) long before UCONN.  Are you seriously getting paid for this?  As you said their not an AAU school which is going to be a huge deal.  Additionally, they don't bring any media market by themselves, their football team is not relevant and while mens b-ball is their bread and butter, it certainly DOES NOT qualify them for this conversation.  If ND says no and the BigTen goes the 16 team east coast JoPa super conference route(Frank the Tank Blog).... UCONN wouldn't even be in the top 4.  Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers, BC would all receive invites before UCONN.  We are all dummer for having read this.  I award you no points.  And may God have mercy on your soul.

Since: Apr 20, 2010
Posted on: April 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

You are very wrong about the fiscal sense thing. Notre Dame actually stands to make $17MM to $22MM more per year with the Big Ten than they do with NBC.  NBC just provides them with their own exclusive network, certainly not more money.  They would also save a lot on travel costs with all of their sports travelling to Big Ten schools instead of Big East. 

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