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: Nov 9, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2010 1:43 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

This article has little teeth.  If interested in conference expansion, the best source on the web is at .  I have also written some stuff that actually includes analysis at: .  Check out those sites if interested.

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2010 1:29 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

The Big Ten will be considering a lot more than just football and AAU when evaluating candidates for the alleged expansion.

Since: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: April 19, 2010 12:40 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Connecticut? Forget it.  Non-AAU member (without the cachet of Notre Dame), and an obnoxious fan base with a sense of entitlement. Rutgers and Syracuse deliver more than this nouveau riche newcomer to big-time athletics.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2010 12:36 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..

I know the Nebraska fans will hate to hear that, but everything from the team, to the revenues, to the academics do not fit whatsoever.

Either way, this whole thing is a strong arm hostile takeover, and some of these teams and others should cross their fingers or turn on the panic mode with the other leagues after the "shock and awe' the big10 is doing with all of this.

there is going to be a college football wasteland once the Big Ten gets done expandin
really does sum up what will happen to the "left over" and "left out" teams.  Not to mention some of the "nearby competing leagues " cough cough..

;     &nbs
 Ah well, maybe the big ten will finally hire some play by play guys that aren't miserable and get some better programming then the garbage on when there isn't a game, heh..

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2010 12:21 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Notre Dame brings class to the Big 10?  Really?  The Irish will never join the Big 10 and surrender the contract with NBC.  It doesn't make fiscal sense.    That and they are about as classy as a the morning shift at a strip club.  Let them be independents, so they can pick and choose who will kick their butts from Saturday to Saturday. Bringing Pitt in would give Penn State a viable rival with the kind of bad blood that rivals Michigan/Ohio State, minus the Toledo history.  There is nothing as whimsical as that, just a bunch of blue collar folks who can't stand each other's schools.
Rutgers is the only viable way to tap the "New York Audience".  Remember a couple of years back that Oregon struck a deal with MSG to try and gain the same viewing audience.  I just don't know that the fan base in the city is what people make it up to be when it comes to college sports, especially with football, maybe moreso with basketball.
Syracuse would be interesting, but in all reality you are adding someone to occupy the cellar of the conference in football, the program is struggling and would be destroyed in the conference.  Missouri and Connecticut are interesting, on the football front I would want only Missouri.  Basketball opens up a whole other conversation, as with any of the aforementioned teams, I think that the Big Ten or whatever it will be called will become one of the stronger conferences in the coutnry, not on cue to be the best, but it will make for some GREAT hoop.

Since: Apr 13, 2010
Posted on: April 19, 2010 12:16 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn - that's a lot of mediocre football to toss in with the mediocrity of Minn, Ill, NW, Ind, Purdue.And seriously, UConn can't even sell out its 40k stadium and it's football highlight is beating a bad ND team last year. 

Since: Nov 30, 2009
Posted on: April 19, 2010 12:13 pm

Rating the Big Ten expansion candidates

Yawn, let me know when something actually happens.  Big 10 expansion speculation is now as exciting as Brett Farve retirement discussions

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