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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 14, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:48 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

While the money from the BTN outways the money from CBS, ND doesn't have to share BCS money with any conference. They get to keep it all for themselves. When you add that up to the NBC money, it actually pans out better than joining the B10. With Notre Dame in the Big 10, the network's value increases significantly, as will it's payouts. And all those years Notre Dame doesn't make the BCS, they get a share of usually 2 BCS bowls anyway.  With Notre Dame in the conference, they can make the case for 3 BCS bids, or an expanded BCS, or whatever the hell else they want to do, since they'll have some of the biggest guns in football.



Since: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:43 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

All the Big 10 wants is Notre Dame and a championship game. I think the Big 10 would like to return to an era where their football schedule was all that mattered and just being the team in the Rose Bowl was the prize at the end of the year.  They could make the entire season really matter more to the fans than any post-season.



Since: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:36 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

The Irish will never join the Big 10 and surrender the contract with NBC.  It doesn't make fiscal sense. Seeing as how the Big Ten owns their network, I think they could manage to survive with the 2 contracts side by side.  Give up 100 years of great football because of a few years of NBC contracts?  Not likely.



Since: Nov 11, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:18 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

"This AAU issue is a bogeyman. Notre Dame and BC are not AAU, neither is UConn. But is anyone saying their academics are not on a par with Minnesota, Buffalo, Iowa State or Oregon, which are AAU schools?"

ND,BC and UCONN are not near the same league as the others you mentioned -- this is about top tier research. Look up the AWRU world ratings for research schools. ND and BC would be by far the worst schools in the Big Ten by any research measure. Note that I know ND and BC are fine undergraduate institutions -- my comment is not intended to be disparaging. It is simply that both ND and BC do not fit with the research focus and culture of the other Big Ten  schools. If they joined it would make for a pretty good hockey league, though.



Since: Nov 11, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:05 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

I'll second that.

The analysis at is light years beyond anything on this website. It includes an improving picture of the probable money added by each candiate school and discussion of the strategy for Big Ten expansion.





Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:04 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

One thing htat everyone seems to be forgetting about Notre Dame: BCS rules for Notre Dame. If ND joins the B10, then they would lose the special rules that they enjoy.

Consider: If ND joined the B10, they would have to finish in the top two to get a BCS bid. As of now, they only have to be in the top 16 teams in the BCS rankings to get a BCS bid. For instance, in the 2006- 2007 season, Wisconsin finished higher in the BCS rankings than ND, but because it was third in the Big 10, it was eliminated from BCS bowl bids. However, seeing that ND doesn't have any other "conference" teams to contend with, they were awarded a BCS bid over teams that had a better record and BCS ranking.

While the money from the BTN outways the money from CBS, ND doesn't have to share BCS money with any conference. They get to keep it all for themselves. When you add that up to the NBC money, it actually pans out better than joining the B10.

Until college football eliminates the special rule for ND, it has absolutely no incentive to join a conference for football.



Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 5:47 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

every big ten school made more money from the big 10 network contract than notre dame made from the nbc deal.



Since: Feb 19, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2010 5:41 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

This AAU issue is a bogeyman. Notre Dame and BC are not AAU, neither is UConn. But is anyone saying their academics are not on a par with Minnesota, Buffalo, Iowa State or Oregon, which are AAU schools?
If a certain team(s) makes sense, admission to the AAU will either be pursued (if a necessary criteria), or it will be ignored. 

As for the teams that make sense, I think Dennis Dodds is right on. The triumverate of Eastern schools UConn, Rutgers and Syracuse, along with Notre Dame and (pick one) BC, Missouri, or Pitt. If ND balks and stays Independent, other combinations become viable.

Rutgers-- Football is growing (it's been a sleeping giant for years, now it is awakening). It's Womens BBall is strong.
Syracuse---Football tradition making a comeback. BBall (men's) has won a NC and has a big venue.
UConn--- Hall of Fame Coaches and multiple NC's in both men's and women's BBall. Football is the surprise here. Looks like they will be fielding a great team this year and building for the future. Stadium can be expanded.
BC , Missouri and Pitt all have pluses. ND is ND.

Should be interesting.



Since: Mar 14, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2010 5:35 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Very Simple, you're an idiot.  Thank You



Since: Nov 22, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 5:04 pm
 

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Notre Dame is the only non-AAU that the Big 10 will consider because they are one of the biggest cash cows in the college athletics.  The only shot Nebraska has is for the Big 10 to go to 16 teams and take Missouri and Kansas as well, and that likely won't happen as those three are all charter members of the Big 12 going back to 1907 when it was the Missouri Valley conference.  College football is not a big deal in NYC and football should not be the reason to go after and NYC area team.  Basketball however, would be a legit reason to target and NYC area school because more people in NYC will care about the BTN if there is a good college basketball team in that market.  As for Texas, not a chance in hell UT leaves the Big 12 without Texas A&M going with them, that's just the way the politics in Texas work.  Both schools have over 45,000 students and a national following and two of the most rabid fan bases in the country.  No conference gets one without the other.  Ultimately I think the Big 10 expands by gets ND, Pitt, and Syracuse.  ND is no longer a football power and will be a middle of the road school most season in both football and basketball.  Pitt will be able compete in football occasionally, but will mostly be a middle of the road team and in basketball they will be near the top just about every year and have enough recurits that come the NYC area to generate some interest there in basketball.  Syracuse will likely be a doormat most years in football, but will be a power in basketball just about every season and will deliver the NYC market for basketball and generate enough revenue to make it worth the Big 10's while to add them for basketball.


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