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Chard
07-26-2007, 11:28 AM
The Big Teneleven is considering expansion (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/bigten/2007-07-25-network-expansion_N.htm) with some of the same yay or nay arguments heard about the ACC expansion. Guess who is in the crosshairs?

Scoring Point
07-26-2007, 01:16 PM
I live in Chicago and have been a Big Ten fan since childhood. While expansion talk periodically rears its head, as far I can tell, the only school of real, clear-cut interest to the existing members is Notre Dame, and they remain a distinct longshot. None of the schools in the (distant) second tier - Syracuse, Rutgers, Missouri, Nebraska and possibly Pitt - have sufficient appeal to offset the negative of having a 12th mouth to feed economically.

Interestingly, I have also heard that even with the addition of a 12th member, a 2 division format and championship game would not be a given, as they would be viewed as potentially diluting the traditional end of season rivalry games - most notably Ohio State-Michigan, but also Iowa-Minnesota, Indiana-Purdue, etc. - that are core to the Big 10 football culture. Which further cements the position of the prevailing "Irish or nobody" camp.

Schwarz
07-26-2007, 03:10 PM
I can't see Notre Dame giving up their NBC TV contract, their BCS "bye" and their unshared bowl revenue to join a conference for football.

Chard
08-09-2007, 11:13 AM
Given the article on the front page I gather that there is more to this story than just rumblings. A conference championship or the Big 10 would add extra revenue. Extra revenue for the conference, extra quan for the city that hosts the events, extra greenbacks for the shirt makers, hot dog guys, gas stations, hotels, bookies, etc. I think the rumblings are turning in to boardroom whispers.

The fallout of this could be monumental. I don't think the ACC will be affected since the new members have bought in recently. An older member school would not want to leave the tradition, prestige and money of ACC basketball. Who does that leave? Well, the Big East (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_East_Conference)has a glut of member schools so why not them? Okay, so only 8 actually play FBS football. If they take Rutgers or Syracuse then what does the Big East do? Take another football school? I just don't see an SEC team leaving. I don't see a Big Twelve team leaving either. Does Notre Dame sneak into the equation? They are a member in all the other sports so why not join up? Well, a lucrative TV contract is why. Anyways, I don't see a current member of a BCS conference leaving for the Big East. The Big East doesn't have that championship game.

Where does the new Big East team(s) come from? Conference USA or the MAC seem like the only choices due to geography. Marshall or ECU could be good candidates with some football respectability in their history.

Anyone else want to take a stab?

Scoring Point
08-09-2007, 01:03 PM
I'm not sure it is fair to say that this is picking up steam, as the story linked by the DBR is based on the same, recycled quote from Big 10 commish Jim Delany. I haven't seen or heard anything yet to change my views expressed above.

BUT
I agree with the DBR that talk of adding Rutgers is really a joke. I would tend to put Syracuse and Missouri at the head of my distant 2nd tier (1st tier is ND alone, which remains a distinct longshot in my view). Syracuse would make some sense geographically and demographically, and though they seem very tightly woven into the Big East fabric and history, their flirtation with the ACC suggests a willingness to at least consider a move.

Missouri would be even more logical in my view. They have a strong hoops tradition, an up and coming football program under Gary Pinkel, with a 62K stadium in Faurot Field, and a heated, existing rivalry with Illinois in both revenue sports. Their addition would allow for a fairly clean East-West divisional split (PSU/OSU/IU/PU/UM/MSU and Wisconsin/Northwestern/Illinois/Iowa/Mizzou/Minnesota) if the conference chose to go that way, whereas adding Syracuse would require splitting up either the Michigan or Indiana schools. The potential demographic pop is not as great, as St. Louis and, to a lesser extent, KC are already peripheral Big 10 markets, but I would argue that anyone who thinks Big 10 expansion eastward would somehow make the NY Metro area care about college sports, especially football, is on crack.

MulletMan
08-09-2007, 01:45 PM
I don't think that this is remotely near happening. Delany has made it clear that they are thinking about it, but in a very limited capacity. IF the Big 10 were looking to expand, which I still think is a number of years away (in fact, I think the NCAA allowing them an exemption to have a title game with a 5 team division and a 6 team division is more likely), I'd rank the wish list like this...

1. Notre Dame - This was pursued once in a very weak way, but clearly it makes more sense than nearly any other situation. ND fans complain that joining a conference would change thier traditional rivalries, but geez... they play 3-4 Big Ten teams each season anyway! So join the conference, keep USC, Stanford, and 2 of the 3 Acadamies on the schedule and call it a day. ND keeps thier NBC-exculsive contract for OOC games. Joins the ESPN-ABC contract for the rest of the games, and still get a butt-load of money. They might lose thier automatic BCS berth, but that might be a moot point in a few years. A lot would need to be worked out on the money end, but I think tons of fans would love to see ND in the Big 10.

2. Pitt - This makes sense geographically, from a rivalry standpoint, and would help Pitt regain some of thier football excellence (that's right... I saw Dan Marino play in the Cotton Bowl... Pitt was once a powerhouse!). The natural rivalries with PSU and OSU are already there, and Pitt is right in between College Park and C-bus. From the Big10 side, they add another basketball school, and a potentially good football school. Plus, this gets the Pitt b-ball team assured of post-season conference tourney revenue every year... unlike the Big East.

3. West Virginia - Very similar scenario to Pitt, although I rank them lower, because I feel like they have less incentive to move since they have a pretty good chance each year at getting an automatic bid to the BCS from the Big Least (oops... my bad). That money might be offset, however, by the chance to play in a conference title game each season. See the same deal as Pitt on the bball side of things as well.

4. Louisville - Again, a Big East team with the chance to move up... and let's not kid ourselves... regardless of the football success of the past couple of seasons, the Big East is not going to be a legit power. So I'd rank Louisville a bit lower on the list because I still see them as a basketball school, and the Big 10, at heart, is always going to be a football first, basketball second conference. Now, that said, if Louisville suffers in Petrino's absence, then they drop on the list. You have to think, however, that the Big 10 would love to gain Petino and his guys on the basketball side of things. Again, I have to think that this kind of move would really help the revenue stream into Louisville as well.

5. An SEC school with Kentucky as the leading candidate - I guess my question would be why? Would your fan base wnat to see you play OSU in basketball or Florida? Would your fanbase want to see UK play Michigan in football or Tennessee? The money would be comparable in each place, and the regioinal ties would hurt to break.

6. A Big 12 school with Mizzou as the leading candidate - See above... especially with Mizzou playing football in the WEAK Big 12 North in which, in any given season, they can sneak into the Big 12 title game. Seriously... UT, OU, OSU, TAMU are all on the other side of the conference. They essentially need to beat Nebraska once to win the division... why leave that scenario to be matched up with Big 10 beasts like Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and OSU?

7. Other schools listed in these various articles like Rutgers, Syracuse, and others - Makes no sense. Regardless of the Big 10 network, no one has pipe dreams of Syracuse games getting 7 milliion people in NYC to subscribe to the Big 10 network to watch football games. Ditto for Rutgers. Here's the other issue with both of these schools... they only bring one sport to the table. Cuse has decent bball in recent years, and Rutgers had good football for 2 seasons. Other than that, who cares?

8. A small school from the MAC or C-USA - Miami (OH), Bowling Green, Marshall... yeah, I just don't see it. To compete in the Big 10 you need to have mucho dinero, and these schools just can't compete on that level. the only reason to add one of these schools is to get two 6-team divisions to get you to the football title game. If that's the sole interest, then I'm sure any of those schools would jump at an invite. However, I don't see that happening.

So that's my analysis. Hey look at me, I can make shot in the dark speculations! Can I have a column on the net?

:D

Classof06
08-09-2007, 02:57 PM
Growing up in Big 10 country, I'd say that Pitt is the logical choice. West Virginia would also be a good choice as they are the major public university in their state. If they decided to go C-USA, I'd guess Cincinnati for geographical reasons.

A-Tex Devil
08-09-2007, 03:10 PM
That's funny. I've typed and deleted a couple of posts with wild conference speculation. I can say it is no secret that the Big Ten has put out feelers to Texas and Nebraska as well as Rutgers and Missouri. I, too, believe this is WAAAY premature and the Big Ten won't do anything until they know whether ND is interested at all after their NBC contract is up.

All that being said, I still think that by the middle of the next decade we may see five 14 to 16 team conferences, essentially creating 10 "mini" conferences. It all hinges on ND though. So as for my speculation, I think it will play out like this:

Big Ten -- adds ND, Rutgers, Pitt, WVU, Missouri
Big Twelve -- loses Missouri, adds TCU, Colorado St, Air Force, Houston and Boise St.
Pac 10 -- adds Utah and BYU, perhaps Fresno State and Hawaii.
SEC -- adds Louisville and 3 teams out of the UAB, So. Miss, S. Florida, Tulane, C. Florida group
ACC -- adds Syracuse, UCONN, maybe S. or C. Florida or even ECU.

In a perfect world, the Big Ten would add ND, the Big XII would kick out Baylor and add TCU, and the Pac 10 would add Utah and BYU. You'd have 5 power conferences with 12 teams, and a bunch of "mid majors." I just think the money is going to push for more, especially once ND makes a decision.

Scoring Point
08-09-2007, 03:53 PM
I seem to have given Pitt short shrift in hindsight - they would be a legit option and make sense for all the reasons noted by Mullet Man

Kentucky is an an intriguing possibility, but I am not sure whether the allure for them would be strong enough to break ranks with the SEC. Also, I am not sure they would pass muster with the existing Big 10 members academically; the same could be said for West Virginia and especially commuter schools like Louisville and Cincinnati, none of whom would bring necessary demographic upside, either, in my view

Mullet Man's comments re: Missouri are fair; I was looking at them more from the standpoint of the existing conference members, whom I believe would rank Mizzou pretty highly, perhaps second only to Notre Dame, as an option

No matter what, I agree with Chard's original post that the Big East is set up to be a net loser in any next wave of expansion, either by losing Pitt or Syracuse to the Big Ten, losing their affiliation with Notre Dame, or suffering a domino effect (e.g. Missouri to Big 10, Arkansas to Big 12, West Virginia or Louisville to the SEC)

Buckeye Devil
08-11-2007, 07:40 AM
ND makes the most sense geographically, but I agree with previous posters that there is no way that ND will be in the Big 10 anytime soon. I don't know how serious the overtures were towards ND 7 or 8 years ago, but is was clear that they gave it no real consideration at the time. ND makes way too much money off of NBC to give that up and play the revenue sharing game with conference members.

If the Big 10 really wants them, then Big 10 schools should just quit playing them in football every year! ND reaps a lot of Big 10 benefit without being a conference member. U of M will continue to play them per the long deal they just worked out, plus they always seem to play MSU and Purdue. Add USC into the mix every year and another decent team or two and ND has a quality schedule year in and year out.

Playing ND in football is a real benefit but by doing so schools play right into their hands. My point is that teams that play them every year and others who clamor to play them (see OSU about 10 years ago) have pampered ND and contributed to this conference snobbery on their part. They have no real incentive to be in the Big 10 or any other conference.

So where does the Big 10 go for a 12th member and then what would you call the conference anyways? Other posters have made the case why potential candidates would or would not join and I frankly don't think there is any real reason for any of the schools mentioned to join. IMO, the Big 10 will have 11 for several years to come. I would be just as happy being from Big 10country if they dropped Northwestern from the conference and have each team play 9 conference football games and have a round-robin format in basketball again. There would be equality for all conference members. Just look at Duke's basketball schedule from last year in comparison to other ACC schedules. It wasn't right. Expansion is not always a good thing.

coblue
08-11-2007, 10:27 AM
They could surely get Colorado State and why not try for Colorado who may be tired of getting battered around.

smvalkyries
08-12-2007, 02:15 PM
I suuggest the ACC add 4 more teams- any teams except South Carolina and their 600 SAT's and move to two divisions- #1 a return to the real ACC and a second division with all the interlopers. That's the only way we will ever get back to a basketball round robin- Who cares if it really isn't one conference but two banded together to have a football playoff- I don't think the ridiculous NCAA requirement requires one real 16 team conference as long as the 2 eight team conferences are labelled as one.

johnb
08-15-2007, 09:48 AM
Traditionalists would leave the conference unchanged, but the ACC is full of traditionalists, and money got to them. So...

Nebraska has been floundering of late (for them) and may believe they are a more natural fit in the upper midwest than in the southwest. If the Big Ten added ND and Nebraska, it could annually compete with the SEC as the country's best conference. Neither adds as much as a Syracuse in basketball, but the Big Tennish sees itself as first and foremost a football conference. IMHO, Missouri just isn't very good athletically, nor is any school in Colorado. And as for the southeastern and eastern schools on the list, I just don't see the guys in Columbus and Ann Arbor wanting to seek out schools and alumni with whom they have no connection and who would also add little in terms of national PR. Pitt would be my next choice, especially given the Penn State link.

DevilAlumna
08-15-2007, 03:27 PM
Traditionalists would leave the conference unchanged, but the ACC is full of traditionalists, and money got to them. So...

Nebraska has been floundering of late (for them) and may believe they are a more natural fit in the upper midwest than in the southwest. If the Big Ten added ND and Nebraska, it could annually compete with the SEC as the country's best conference. Neither adds as much as a Syracuse in basketball, but the Big Tennish sees itself as first and foremost a football conference.

Ha! If you think the ACC is full of traditionalists, then Nebraska is busting at the seams. We will never give up the chance - and it has been, is, and will be for awhile yet, only a SLIM chance - to beat Oklahoma in football during the regular season.

We also like the chance to upset the Jayhawks in basketball every now and then. :D (Sorry, RockChalk)

A-Tex Devil
08-16-2007, 04:34 PM
We will never give up the chance - and it has been, is, and will be for awhile yet, only a SLIM chance - to beat Oklahoma in football during the regular season.

NU already gave up that chance 2 out of every 4 years (unless the teams play in the Big XII Championship Game). That, IMHO, is a one of the biggest factors in the recent mediocrity of the Big XII North in football, I think. There are no real traditional rivalries among those 6 teams in football. Perhaps KU and K-State, but one of those teams is usually horrible. They are trying to increase the "rivalrocity" of Nebraska-Colorado (yes, I made up a word), but it still lacks. KSU-Nebraska? Maybe for a couple of games a few years back.

Cf. Every game in the SEC is a rivalry it seems like. And the Big XII South has UT-A&M, UT-OU, Tech-A&M, OU-OSU, OSU-Tech which all seem bigger amongst the rival fans than anything the Big XII North is putting out these days.

johnb
08-21-2007, 12:37 PM
Reviewed the map, and it's obvious that Nebraska's rivalries are affected by the fact that it is really in the middle of nowhere. Aside from Colorado--which is at least in Colorado--the other schools in the former Big 8 and 10 are easy drives from at least a couple of other schools. I guess NU is near the Kansas schools and Iowa State, but, as mentioned, those schools tend to be beneath the football radar.

I grew up an Oklahoma fan and still get juiced about watching the Nebraska game. The North-South Big XII effectively puts them in different divisions, however, and it would only be by leaving the conference that Nebraska would get to guarantee an annual OU game. Nebraska would sell out games against Kearney State, but OU-Nebraska would be on national tv regardless of conference alignments (think of the Florida teams), and it seems better for recruiting and the fans to play the upper midwest teams rather than snoozers like K State and Colorado (though the trip to Boulder is a plus).

Indoor66
08-21-2007, 01:52 PM
Reviewed the map, and it's obvious that Nebraska's rivalries are affected by the fact that it is really in the middle of nowhere. Aside from Colorado--which is at least in Colorado--the other schools in the former Big 8 and 10 are easy drives from at least a couple of other schools. I guess NU is near the Kansas schools and Iowa State, but, as mentioned, those schools tend to be beneath the football radar.

I grew up an Oklahoma fan and still get juiced about watching the Nebraska game. The North-South Big XII effectively puts them in different divisions, however, and it would only be by leaving the conference that Nebraska would get to guarantee an annual OU game. Nebraska would sell out games against Kearney State, but OU-Nebraska would be on national tv regardless of conference alignments (think of the Florida teams), and it seems better for recruiting and the fans to play the upper midwest teams rather than snoozers like K State and Colorado (though the trip to Boulder is a plus).

Distances are far greater in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 10 than in the eastern conferences. The only thing in the ACC that is comperable travel to some of those trips is BC to Miami or FL State.