When I created the Big Ten Expansion Index, I was 99.9% sure that the Big Ten was simply looking for the perfect school #12, which led me to write that the “Only Real Choices” for that spot are Texas and Notre Dame.  Since that time, lots of rumors have been circulated, including ones about Missouri, Texas and Pitt.  The latest rumor is that Rutgers is supposedly at the top of the wish list after the no-brainers like Texas and Notre Dame.  That spurred me to write essentially that Rutgers was fool’s gold in terms of delivering the ever elusive New York market, where Scarlet Knights fans then responded that I ought to be re-enacting the critical scene in Deliverance.

After mulling it over for a little while and engaging in a great discussion with all of the commenters out there (who I must commend for a multitude of ideas and incredible wisdom during a literally 24/7 debate), I’ve come to the conclusion that Rutgers could make sense in the Big Ten as long as it’s in a 14-school conference that concurrently has another big national name involved.  Personally, I think that 12 schools is really the perfect size for a conference in practice and I’ve gone over how there needs to be a massive value proposition in order to make a 14-school conference work financially.  However, the Big Ten may decide that the New York market is too big to ignore even if they don’t really watch college football out there.  If that’s the case, here are 3 ways to do it correctly in terms of adding packages of 3 schools:

(1) JoePa’s Dream Conference (Notre Dame, Syracuse, Rutgers) – If any conference really wants to secure the New York market as much as it could possibly be secured, it needs that old standby Midwestern university involved: Notre Dame.  The Irish arguably have the largest fan base in the NYC market simply due to the large Catholic population constituting the Subway Alumni.  Adding Syracuse and Rutgers on top of Notre Dame and current Big Ten member Penn State would get the 4 top fan bases in NYC, which would create a “penumbra effect” where all of those schools together would turn New York into a Big Ten town.  This league would effectively be a high rent version of Joe Paterno’s proposed Eastern football conference merged into the Big Ten.  For the geographically inclined, there’s also a certain elegance to this hypothetical conference as it’s a pretty natural extension of the Big Ten’s footprint.  Out of the 5 schools examined in the Big Ten study that was leaked, I’m fairly certain that this had to be the highest value 3-school combination since it legitimately locks down the Northeast for the conference.

(2) JoePa’s Quasi-Dream Conference (Nebraska, Syracuse, Rutgers) – I’ll reiterate that I truly don’t believe that the Big Ten will expand without Notre Dame or Texas involved, but if there’s one school that could prove me wrong on that statement, it’s Nebraska.  In my discussions with commenters, I’ve noted that Nebraska is really “Notre Dame lite” as an expansion candidate.  When you really look at everything closely, the Cornhuskers provide the same main attributes that Notre Dame would bring to the table: a national football brand name and huge fan base that trump the lack of a substantive home market.  If Nebraska has the national name without a great home market while Rutgers has a great home market without a national name, then putting those two together could make financial sense together when either one on its own as school #12 in a 12-school conference wouldn’t cut it.  Add Syracuse on top of those schools to further solidify the Big Ten’s presence in the Northeast and the conference can come pretty close to getting the same value as it would’ve gotten with Notre Dame.

(3) Game of Risk Conference (Texas, Texas A&M, Rutgers) – Let’s say that the Big Ten can nab the two Texas schools and Notre Dame continues to refuse to join.  If the Big Ten has the entire state of Texas in the fold, then it’s playing with house money where it can make a bet to shoot the moon with the New York market on top of it with Rutgers.  It would be like a game of Risk where the Midwest would be flanked by the two power schools in the Southwest (Texas and Texas A&M) and then two major East Coast schools (Penn State and Rutgers).  On paper, the demographic power of the Big Ten would be staggering, with 4 of the 5 largest TV markets in the country in the fold (New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas-Fort Worth), 3 others in the top 15 (Houston, Detroit and Minneapolis-St. Paul) and 6 of the 11 largest states by population (Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and New Jersey).  This is one of the best situations that you could possibly construct in terms of maximizing the number of households available to the Big Ten Network outside of heading into the state of California.  All of this assumes, of course, that Rutgers can actually deliver New Jersey households for the Big Ten Network (which is a very open question).

So, Rutgers fans, I’m not entirely opposed to your school joining the Big Ten.  However, the Big Ten is going to need a marquee name to come along in order to back up the risk that the conference would be taking on whether Rutgers can deliver its home market.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant @frankthetank111)

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  1. [...] #9 (3/6/2010) – How Rutgers could work in the Big Ten in 14-school conference scenarios (as long as at least 1 national marquee name also comes along) [...]

  2. mushroomgod says:

    No Syracuse. Syracuse is a private school with 19000 enrollment, an aging 50000 seat stadium that cannot be expanded, and some $50-60M less in research than the other Big 10 schools. Get off the Syracuse kick please….

    • Kyle says:

      Who would you invite in its place?


      • Richard says:

        For the East Coast strategy, Maryland. Syracuse may be OK, though. Even though their football stadium isn’t expandible, it’s a huge basketball stadium, and you could just have them agree to play home games against OSU, PSU, Michigan (ND as well if they sign on) in NYC/Meadowlands.

      • mushroomgod says:

        If you’re going to take 3—Rutgers, Pitt, and Missouri/Nebraska…….but I’d only take 1 — Rutgers or Pitt, then wait for the college landscape to change…

    • Tom says:

      Regarding Syracuse, anyone know if there are any plans for an outdoor stadium? For years Minnesota’s program languished by playing in the Metrodome, and even in recent years under Glen Mason, when the Gophers were actually relatively good, it was still a miserable atmosphere. TCF Bank Stadium may be the finest college stadium in the country now, and there is a new energy to the program. Whether Tim Brewster is the right coach is another question, but clearly the new stadium has been a success. I could see something similar happening with SU if they could come up with cash for it.

  3. TheBlanton says:

    The Big 10 would be a worse conference with Rutgers or Syracuse in it. It seems like by adding these schools, the Big 10 would become less relevant nationally. I doubt that either could be added without damaging the brand. Are the NYC market potentials worth the national prestige hit?

    • captainobviously says:

      of course NYC market potentials outways national prestige… NYC market potentials translate into checks from the cable companies to Big Ten coffers. National prestige is some mythical concept that exists in your imagination

    • Scott says:

      Personally, ignoring the overarching financial issues on the topic, (which I do know trumps all), I have absolutely no interest in Syracuse joining the Big Ten. It creates zero excitement for me. I care for Syracuse about as much as I care about Rice. And Rutgers provides me with only modest interest because I do see some potential with a school that size.

      I’m probably one of the few on this board who doesn’t care $.02 for Notre Dame. It might make great financial sense, but I’d prefer the idea of Texas joining a hundred fold. Texas is a great school with great academics, a great market, in a great town. And I’d be very pleased to have TAMU join, too, as part of a package. While Nebraska may not be particularly impressive academically, I wouldn’t be unhappy to see them in the Big Ten for football reasons.

      Besides Texas, the other slam dunk school out there no one seems to talk about is the University of Florida. I know it may not be a cultural fit, and no, they probably wouldn’t join, but they hit all the same buttons as Texas. Good academics, AAU member, excellent sports, great and growing TV market. And their president would love to be in a conference with better academics. FSU and Miami are several rungs down the ladder for me.

      The only other schools in the category of Texas and Florida of being slam dunks in my book are the obvious ones in the Pac-10, which I know would be beyond unlikely.

  4. Jeepers says:

    There have been rumors of a new stadium in Syracuse. I believe it would need to be built at the existing location. They could play at Giants Stadium etc while it’s built. And until northwestern is booted out, the private thing is meaningless.

    • Scott says:

      The differences between Northwestern and Syracuse are that Northwestern is a founding member of the Big Ten. The same criteria for joining the Big Ten may not apply 116 years later.

      Second, Northwestern delivers the Chicago TV market. Syracuse doesn’t deliver the same size market, so it’s of lesser value.

      Also, considering the importance the Big Ten places on academics, one should note that Syracuse did $36 million in research in 2006, less than 10% of the research Northwestern does. (Source: National Science Foundation.)

      As a point of comparison, in 2006, Northwestern’s research budget was almost identical to that of Texas’ budget–$419.985 million to $431.398 million.

      Still, Northwestern’s budget is just 7th in the Big Ten, with less than half the budget of the heavyweight in the conference–Wisconsin ($832 million).

      • Richard says:

        As an NU grad, I can tell you with certainty that Northwestern doesn’t deliver the Chicago market, and Syracuse brings more fans in upstate New York than NU has in Chicagoland. However, the research point is a valid one; Syracuse is on the same level academically as Mizzou & Nebraska.

      • Jeepers says:

        How much has Northwestern’s research benefited from being in the Big Ten though? You could argue that Syracuse’s research would increase as well. You could also argue that for any new team.

        The need to be a large public school may not apply 116 years later either. If they really want to be a national conference, then having a diverse range of schools is a good idea IMO.

      • duffman says:


        when i visit family in chicago i would say the tv’s i see out and about are watching illini orange more than northwestern purple.. but if it was my kids or grandkids going to college i would reverse the two..

      • Scott says:

        Richard: I haven’t lived in Chicago for years, but I’m guessing Chicago gets the BTN. And while I’d agree Chicago doesn’t follow Northwestern much, I’m guessing a BT school in Chicago’s metro area probably helps get the BTN onto cable in Chicago. How many actually watch Northwestern from that, I don’t know. Maybe most do watch the Illini.

        Jeepers: I agree, being in the Big Ten probably assisted Northwestern’s research capability, though I have no way of measuring how much. Likewise, being a BT member would almost certainly assist Syracuse’s research capability. But that’s not a selling point to motivate the Big Ten to invite Syracuse into the league. It’s a selling point for Syracuse to want to be in the Big Ten.

        • The combo of Illinois and Northwestern definitely delivers the BTN to Chicago (plus the multitude of other Big Ten alums within the city). Notre Dame is probably the most popular school in Chicago outright, although Illinois has the largest sheer number of alums.

          • Dcphx says:

            The way that the combined alumni of multiple schools deliver Chicago is how I would expect New York to be delivered if SU and/or RU are included. It’s not one school, it’s the confluence and synergy of them all. All that SU does is give the argument for a higher carriage rate based on the BTN historical negotiation stance on carriage rates.

      • Jeepers says:

        Notre Dame is also a private university. And a smaller enrollment than Syracuse. If the Pitt/Rutgers/Syracuse talk is all a move to get Notre Dame on board (likely, in my opinion) then having a 3rd private school can’t be a bad thing for ND.

  5. Ty says:

    Your take is something I brought up on a Rutgers site a month or so ago. I too am skeptical of Rutgers delivering NYC by itself, and suggested a combination of Rutgers/Syracuse would do the trick. Adding the BTN to both NJ/NY would have to cover the 11 + 1 = 13 concept you bring up in the past (which I agree with).

    That said, if both Texas and Notre Dame are interested, I can’t imagine how the Big 10 would choose Notre Dame. Therefore, I think an addition of Texas, Rutgers, and Syracuse would be an extraordinary addition that can’t be passed up.

    On a similar note, if both Texas and Notre Dame do seem interested, do you see the Big 10 offering to both of them, in which case, does the addition of Rutgers as a 14th team become the most valuable combination available?

    On a semi-related note, assuming the JoePa Dream comes true, where do you see ND lining up? An east/west division seems to make the most sense as you’re adding schools in the east plus rivalries (PSU). However, that would require bringing UM/OSU together in my opinion which puts you at 5. MSU likely doesn’t split from UM making 6.

    Does ND become the 7th seeing that they are in the Indiana which becomes the divided state? This means they don’t always play their in-state “rivals”. I know that doesn’t mean much now, but sharing a conference would create a bit more of a rivalry even if they are at different levels. Furthermore, the two divisions would lead to the most lopsided conference of any two-division conference.

    On the flip side, it seems Notre Dame would do better with their large number of alumni on the east coast, and help attendance at Rutgers and Syracuse as well as deliver more TV viewing. It’s getting ahead of ourselves, but just my two cents.

    Keep up the good work here.

    • cory says:

      If both Notre Dame and Texas are interested, you get the lawyers, Big10 presidents, and anyone else working 24/7 until the documents are signed ASAP. After than, everyone gets a month off, and you consider the options for the 14th team. At that point, the Big12 and even the Big East teams are very nervous about where they will end up. The Big Ten would have pulled a coup, so I imagine it wouldn’t take much to convince any other team to come along for the ride. So they’d start at the top and work down….1) Nebraska, 2) Missouri/Pitt, 3) Maryland 4) Colorado, 5) Texas A&M, 6) Kansas, and 7) everyone else. At that point, money and national appeal have been resolved by ND and Texas, so you can go after the geographic/rivalry fits (Pitt/Missouri) without problem.

      Rutgers and/or Syracuse are out of the equation if Notre Dame comes regardless of who else comes. Notre Dame delivers New York better than Rutgers and Syracuse combined plus it delivers segments into almost every other market.

    • Richard says:

      TAMU’s the 14th team if Texas comes; no way you get the Texas legislature to sign off on Texas moving without TAMU (plus, Texas wouldn’t want both TAMU and Oklahoma ending up in the SEC).

  6. M says:

    I (and apparently a number of other commentators here) are consistently confused by your inclusion of Syracuse. I am curious if you have any hard-ish evidence to support the idea that they have any more pull over NYC than Penn State (which is half the distance away), Rutgers (which is right next to it) or Notre Dame? Even if you just consider basketball, I would say that they are still 3rd behind ND and St. Johns. This is even before considering their low research output, substantially less than even ND. While I agree the conference would make something of an exception for ND, I cannot see an even bigger exception for Syracuse.

    For most of this discussion, I have considered Rutgers among the leading candidates, with Missouri, of schools that would definitely accept an invitation, but I agree with you that they make a lot less sense as a 12th school. The only scenario I can see for Rutgers is Texas requiring A&M which strongly suggests adding a 14th school (i.e. scenario 3). In scenarios 1 and 2, it seems much more likely that the Big Ten just stops at 12 with the “big fish”, either ND or Nebraska.

    You should probably get a higher res picture as well.

    As always, I’ve enjoyed the read.

    • kingottoiii says:

      If SU and ND were to play a midweek game at MSG in mid January SU would have 80% of the crowd. And it has been years since St Johns has had more people for a home vs SU. RU this year had to have a special promotion for a midweek game to prevent SU fans from taking over their arena, which is a PIA to get to from NYC. SU always has the biggest draw in the BET and preseason MSG tourneys they go to. I would bet that SU is #2 in NYC BBall fans behind only UNC.

      That of course tells you all you need to know about NYC and college sports. It is a national front running college sports city. Being best nationally has more pull than being good regionally. Local teams really don’t have any pull. Which is why ND would be the best get for the NYC market. Even Michigan would have more pull than either SU or RU.

      The only reason to add RU or SU is for BET fees in NJ and/or upstate NY. Neither school will really move the ESPN/ABC contract. Although RU if they were ever good could do so. But since they have never really been a factor in the BE or played a real OOC schedule, that seems unlikely. In fact SU has had more national attention the last two years than RU despite SU being 7-17 and RU being at the tail end of their greatest run in history.

      SU’s biggest problem is research. I wonder if the B11 would consider the affiliated SUNY-ESF and SUNY-Upstate Medical with SU since the two use and share a lot of SU’s programs and facilities.

      If not for the BET and its fee structure I think it would be ND, Texas, Pitt, Missou, Nebraska, and KU as the choices.

      • Rick says:

        Concerning Rutgers: “But since they have never really been a factor in the BE or played a real OOC schedule, that seems unlikely. In fact SU has had more national attention the last two years than RU despite SU being 7-17 and RU being at the tail end of their greatest run in history”.
        This is just not true concerning Rutgers Football since 2005 and their relevance in the BE Football picture. And if you are saying that Syracuse Football has had more National attention than RU Football recently then I really don’t know how you are coming to this conclusion. SU basketball yes, but not the football program. You can’t lump the two together and make blanket statements like that. It is just not credible. Rutgers at the “tail end” of an historic run? In fact they have laid the foundation since 2005 and in the beginning of a run of sustained success, not the tail end. There is no indication that this is the tail end. Wishful thinking I suppose from Rutgers opponents.

      • Jeepers says:

        Certainly not “fact.” But I think you could argue that SU had more national attention last year. My view is biased, but I heard nothing but a positive response to SU. I think that was a combination of a new coach and Greg Paulus.

      • Richard says:


        Don’t know where you’re located, but I spent the past few years in NYC before moving back to Chicago the middle of last year, and I certainly don’t think Syracuse football got national interest at all (besides as a running joke, I mean).

      • kingottoiii says:

        Rick who was talked about more on ESPN in FB? It was SU because SU played and beat real teams. Also because of SU’s history and tradition there was a whole segment on what is wrong at SU. Now it may not have been good pub but it is better than no pub. Besides 2006 RU hasn’t even been on the radar.

        Also who has played more recently on ESPN Sat night or on ABC regional? The answer is SU. To get on TV RU has been pushed to Friday nights, which the Big Ten looks down upon.

      • Jeepers says:


        NJ born and raised. Syracuse alum. Current Manhattan resident. I think it’s safe to say I know a little bit about the NYC market.

        Syracuse played 3 Big Ten schools last year. One win (Northwestern), one very close loss (Minnesota), and one respectable loss against the #5 team (Penn State).

        The general consensus on SU all year was “Greg Paulus? Didn’t he play basketball for Duke?” and “Hey Syracuse, shame about that last coach. Looks like things are improving, though.”

        “They have some good athletes on that team,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said following the No. 5 Nittany Lions’ 28-7 victory over the Orange in Beaver Stadium. “They’re lean and they can run. I was impressed with them and how hard they hit. They are a good, aggressive football team.”

        “We were tested in certain situations,” quarterback Daryll Clark said. “Our defense did good once again and bailed us out of a couple of situations where if Syracuse scores we’re in a difficult game. Their defense did a good job. They’re definitely a different Syracuse team than we played last season. They are really going to do good in the Big East this year. Definitely.”

        It should be noted that each of those observations was unsolicited. The opinions were spontaneous, offered in the middle of responses to questions pertaining to Penn State’s performance and not requests for a gracious SU eulogy. There were others.


      • Rick says:

        Greg Schiano is highly respected by the National coaching brotherhood. He has strong ties with JoePa and was on his staff early in his career. Rutgers is respected by the coaching community as well as a result. Schiano is coming to the Penn Stater conference center (Run by Penn State Hospitality Services) this month at Penn State to deliver a keynote speech at a prestigious PA athletics awards banquet. JoePa probably put his blessing on this. This program and this coach are no slouches, this is not a flash in a pan situation. This is not a bush league situation. There is credibility here. They are not going to harm the Big Ten image at all. Here is a link to details of the Schiano visit to Penn State.


      • duffman says:


        thanks for giving us a background, it is hard to tell sometimes with some bloggers.. wether they have ever been to some of the places they are discussing.. while 1 person is a limited sample size.. background helps.. in the blind word of blogs..

        i follow basketball, so the cuse is on my radar.. and some friends in chicago went there.. sorry about the loss to U of L.. i was supposed to go.. but heard it was an awesome game.. i have seen alot of BB in freedom, will miss the venue..

        i am beginning to feel like frank just wants more orange in the big 10 (illinois + texas + syracuse = alot of orange) *smile*

      • Jeepers says:

        Don’t get me wrong, something like 12 credits of my undergrad degree came from Rutgers. I’m glad Rutgers is winning as much as it pains me as a ‘Cuse fan. I have no problem with both programs joining the Big Ten. I just think it’s a mistake to choose Rutgers over Syracuse. SU brings much more football history and a great basketball program. A pre-made (old) rivalry with Penn State. And regardless of what other SU people say, I still think Syracuse (as a city/university) is pretty midwestern-y.

        To be fair, I’ll throw this out there. If Syracuse captures some of NYC with basketball (I think they do, especially after that 6 OT game vs. UConn), what happens if they join the Big Ten? Would they still be able to do that without the help of the Big East tournament at MSG? Would not playing in The Garden sever their link? Could be.

      • Jeepers says:

        Also, to stay on the negativity tip, would Jim Boeheim retire the minute a Big Ten invite was given? A lot of people think so. He’s gone on record saying he hates change. I think they’ll be okay with Mike Hopkins, his replacement (just a feeling), but something to keep in mind.

      • Rick says:

        Jeeps: that is a great question about Syr MBB and the Big East Tourney.

  7. michaelC says:

    I agree completely with the basic analysis in the article. The thrust of the following is to argue Rutgers is the best bet to be the first pony trotted out in an expansion to 14 teams

    The first question is whether the Big Ten is biased to be incrementalist regarding expansion. This blog and the excellent exploration of expansion ideas has made a compelling case for an expansion plan of more than one team. I agree with the take that if the Big Ten is expanding by only one team the calculus is different and rests mostly on the analysis of the existing national power of the Big Ten brand. Within that scenario, a move to take Rutgers may still be the best option absent Texas.

    I believe the Big Ten will implement a plan to go to 14. Place me in the camp for striking south (Texas + TAMU|Missouri) and east (Rutgers). I am convinced Texas is convinced membership in a diminished Big XII is not in its long term interest.

    Texas and Notre Dame decision making has some similarities in that they are both feel they can deal from a position of strength. In both cases, however their calculus depends crucially on the options they believe are available going forward. I think Texas is likely to be more realistic and conclude a move to another conference is best. It is an interesting question whether Texas is in a better position now, given Pac-10/Big Ten options, or in an uncertain future where the Big XII is wounded and the Big Ten / Pac-10 have committed to some strategy. An invitation to Rutgers and the suggestion the Big Ten is committing to an East coast strategy may be enough to convince Texas that its future choices are the Big XII, come what may, or the Pac-10. Deciding to move to the Big Ten with its increased media leverage would seem the logical choice.

    So what changes the decision making most for Texas? Suppose the Big Ten makes an invitation to Nebraska or Missouri or Rutgers. How are Texas’s options affected in each case? I would argue the opportunity in a Big Ten plus Rutgers and access to the East coast media markets is more important than the damage done to the Big XII in a Missouri/Nebraska move. The idea is that (1) the Pac-10 expands anyhow and hurts the Big XII by taking Colorado (at least) and removing the only plausible Big XII expansion candidates. (2) The Big XII can never achieve the critical mass necessary for a Big Ten/SEC-sized media
    contract. So it doesn’t matter if the first step in Big Ten expansion involves the Big XII from Texas’s perspective. In any case, the Big XII is a limitation and not an asset to Texas’s long term goals.

    For the Big Ten, the NYC market is too big to ignore when thinking strategically. Whether Rutgers or Syracuse delivers the market now or in the near future is not relevant when one is making a move for the next 20 years. What is the force in an argument that does not have a local team in that market? This is long term leverage a Texas cannot ignore. Given Texas makes a move, a conference local in the East coast market is more attractive than one covering the West coast.

    Rutgers is a great choice for the Big Ten. There are three arguments (well four). First, bear in mind there are only a handful of big time D-1 football teams in the Phila/Boston corridor: BC, Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn. New ones will not spring into existence — the only possibilities are one of the SUNY schools (Albany, Binghampton, Sony Brook) and UMass. Second, the Big East as a football conference is not stable and the recent choice of its new commissioner, John Marinatto, appears to reflect a continuing bias in favor of basketball. In particular, there appear to be no plans to expand or monetize football in such a way the Big East can forge a big payday. BTW, the candidate passed over for Big East commissioner, Tim Pernetti, is a football guy and is the new Rutgers AD.

    Third, the handful of D-1 football schools plus the stability of the Big East (as Gordon Gekko says “… its wreckable …”) means an effective strategic move is available to anyone. A previous commenter (on another article here) pointed out that if the Big Ten passes on the mid-Atlantic/NE, the ACC could lock it up in one move, forever.

    The pro-sports slant in Phila/NYC is undeniable, but big events will get covered and Big Ten football will get covered in a way the Big East has never been covered. The prestige of Big Ten football will further improve Rutgers recruiting in New Jersey and Florida. Combined with the investment the university has made and continues to make in football (and basketball will need to be upgraded) I think there is an excellent chance Rutgers becomes a consistently competitive Big Ten program.

    To summarize, I think that given the Big Ten is moving to 14 with some national brand in the mix. Making a strategic move in the NYC/Phila corridor is a compelling change that will convince Texas to jump. Rutgers is exactly the right move to achieve the monster national TV footprint and it is a near perfect cultural and academic fit with the Big Ten.

    • Rick says:

      Michaelc: great post. Extremely well thought out and presented. For those of us here in CT and NY Metro it is clear you have a good grasp of the NE corridor, NY Metro, NY TV markets and the issues we have in the Big East and how that relates to BT’s strategic expansion options and Rutgers.

      • duffman says:


        i love the post.. but history shows things do not work in a perfect world.. allow me to go outside the sports world for something to think about..

        the great silver rise and fall of the late 1970′s and early 1980′s..

        there was a guy from texas who started buying silver (and his family was involved in sports & oil among other things). for most of you that may not know.. silver is bought and sold in “contracts” so you make/lose money on trading paper and never take actual possession of the actual item. the difference is this guy was actually taking physical possession of the silver (think goldfinger in the bond movies). as i said before, he was in the oil business and did business with the saudis back in the days of the “oil” spikes.. if you waited in multi hour long lines to get gas, trust me you remember this!!

        the rumor was they were going to use the silver reserves to back a global currency based on actual silver reserves. in theory a brilliant plan.. as the US had actually been on the gold standard earlier in their history (providing a “floor” so to speak in value). the dollar in your pocket used to be a paper representation of gold the US government actually had in physical possession. the dollar in your pocket today is just a piece of paper based on you faith in the US government..

        anyway.. what these guys were doing at the time was legal.. but they made one big boo boo.. they never counted on the US government to change the law and make it retroactive.. the folks in texas got cleaned out, and life went on.. the point here is not that the government stepped in, but why..

        turns out not from public outcry, but their were a few very powerful folks on the other side that stood to lose massive sums of money. the difference was they had some political folks in their back pocket which the boys from texas did not. if you want to understand modern america, post ww II i would make the humble suggestion you study the following fellow (the U of chicago “nerdy nine” folks probably have his poster on the walls of their dorms) see link:


        as this man made me rethink my love of “game theory” and why it does not work as it should.. it also explains many reasons wall steet does not work as the average folks think it does.. but i will get off the soapbox now

        the point is, we as posters see what we desire – without actual access to what those at the top see – which skews our viewpoint. if history teaches us anything, if any TOP group skews favor, it will be corrected/limited by the other TOP powers (especially when it is $$$$ on the line). if the big 10 makes a major move on the east/south/west all at once.. a united pac 10, sec, acc, big east, and big 12 (all TOP powers – ie big enough to make a difference – would make a move) plus it might give the big 10 a real “black eye” in the media/public opinion. when the sec picked up ark and usc – it did not ruffle feathers, as they were not TOP additions.. same thing with the big 12 merger..

        but suppose “for argument’s sake” it had been reversed.. and the big 12 / sec / acc had become a MEGA conference 20 years ago.. do you think the big 10, pac 10, and big east would have sat on their hands..

        we keep talking like the big 10 goes to 14 (and the picks are for east and south markets). i think the smarter move is to keep looking at this as a one team expansion.. as it stays off the radar.. if they could rewrite laws after the fact in the silver thing, do you not feel they could do the same in college athletics?? i would argue they could….

      • michaelC says:


        You make some good points. The Hunt brothers (who tried to corner the silver market) were playing with bigger forces, however. So from a game theoretic perspective, they bet the powers that be would permit them to get away with what has historically been considered borderline if not illegal activity (hence the considerable secrecy with which they carried out their attempt). They were politically savvy so I suppose this possibility was considered and they calculated their own political pull could protect them.

        The situation here is quite different. First, there really are no laws that govern these types of conference affiliations. The NCAA only sets requirements for its members re: various standards for conferences to meet (# of teams to field, minimum number of teams to have a championship game, etc.) In particular conferences are not subject to antitrust issues. An affiliation decision for a university is a contract matter. It is driven by legal commitments under existing conference agreements and calculations of their best long term interests. As a practical matter, there are no effective means of stopping a school from leaving. As in many contracts, there are often clauses about notification and perhaps monetary penalties. These may be substantial, but not of a magnitude that will stop a move to a new conference offering a better deal. For example, I seem to recall Rutgers would have to pay $5MM to leave without giving a two-year notice (can someone with knowledge of the Big East deal after the ACC raid chime in here?) The extra money in the first year of Big Ten affiliation would cover that fee and leave Rutgers with a net profit over staying put.

        For public universities, as has been noted before, political pressure (at the state level) can come into play. It is true the university president and regents ultimately cannot stand against unified pressure from the governor and state legislature. But… the president and regents are duty bound to advance the long term goals of the university and in particular to explain how changing a conference affiliation is in the interests of the state.

        Even in Texas, where football evokes emotions of near-religious fervor, the advantages of moving to the Big Ten or Pac-10 will come down to exactly the sort of the analysis that has been given in this blog. They will look to see which scenario is best for Texas in the long run. For Texas, I think the factors they must consider are known. Better money and especially the upgrade in academic prestige are compelling arguments at the levels of state politics and alumni donors. For Texas, I think state politics is an issue to be managed during the decision rather than a primary consideration.

        Notre Dame is more complicated precisely because they are independent. In particular, it is nearly impossible to know how other factors are valued by the administration in deciding about the best scenario. For that reason, I think it is very hard to speculate on what moves the Big Ten could make to bring Notre Dame to a final decision about its future as an independent. Personally, it is hard for me to see them (and their fans and alumni) ending their historical exceptionalism and accepting a peer relationship in a conference. It is part of the ND identity now and speculating about how much that is valued is beyond rational discussion.

        This last point is why I believe it is not in the Big Ten’s interests, as an academically-minded conference, to bother with ND. It is a fine undergraduate school and first rate athletics are part of that identity. However, it is not in their DNA to be a major research institution and so will never be a true peer in the conference. Joining the Big Ten would be a marriage of convenience. Texas is a far better move at every level.

      • Richard says:


        Yes, but to counter any Big10 expansion, the ACC, SEC, and Pac10 (the Big12 and Big East would be too insignificant to matter if Texas leaves) would have to somehow coordinate between themselves, when there is no history of them doing so (and cultural differences keeping them apart). It’s conceivable that the ACC-Pac10 could ally together, and you’d have 3 powers on top of college football (Big10, SEC, Pac10-ACC). It’s hard to see how any collection of conferences could actually _block_ the Big10 from expanding, though. Unlike in the Hunts brothers cornering the silver market, where a small change in the laws could destroy their plan, what could other conferences actually do even if they did not want the Big10 to expand? It seems just as likely, if it looks likely that the Big10 would acheive hegemony (or a duopoly with the SEC) that the conferences, or the main schools in those conferences, would either join or ally with the Big10 or SEC rather than try to band together disparate members in an effort to counter the growing strength of the Big10 (& SEC).

      • duffman says:


        exactly what i have been saying all along.. you wind up in a duopoly .. and in such a situation the haves (big 10 and sec in your post) become us / russia.. then you have an arms race between the two.. and then they collapse.. *smile*

        or if you think ww II the germans picked italy and japan while the brits got the US and russia.. forcing people to choose sides make strange bedfellows.. but it happens..and to say having japan didn’t matter.. it forced us to fight two fronts, and extended the war past germany’s exit from said war..

        on a side note.. i knew the hunt brothers personally when i was younger.. it was not for secrecy (ie some mu ha ha dr. evil secrecy), it was they wanted to accumulate the most silver @ the cheapest price.. NBH was “thrifty” if nothing else..

        and yes.. maybe “religion” stops both ND and texas in the end.. ND = catholic Texas = football

        • Once again, I get it that “religion” could stop ND from joining a conference. I don’t understand it with respect to Texas, though. My impression is that they’re looking out for the best deal because that is what will keep its football program at the top. If Texas A&M is invited to the Big Ten, too, then that removes a huge emotional obstacle to getting Texas.

          • duffman says:


            as one of the BIG 4, they do not have to go out of state to recruit..

            why let other’s in when you have a monopoly.. why i argue they will not break up the big 12 to join the big 10. when i lived in ark, ark had to recruit texas.. not the other way around..

          • Richard says:

            Texas would always get the pick of the litter in Texas, regardless of the conference they’re in. Frankly, I don’t see why giving Illinois, Iowa, & Wisconsin access to Texas recruiting is worse than giving Mizzou, Nebraska, and Oklahoma access to Texas recruiting.

            The only way Texas can not hold on to in-state recruits is if they’re in a conference that is falling farther and farther behind in the financial arms race (as happened when the SWC was in it’s last days). That why I see Texas ultimately leaving for either the Big10 or Pac10 (I know many Texans dream of an independent Texas, but that would be folly long-term, since the SEC would take in OU and TAMU, and I think the administrators there know that). Would they sacrifice more money for co-top-dog status in the Pac16? Maybe, though I wouldn’t bet on it.

          • duffman says:


            they get the pick of the litter.. sans competition

            if, as has been postulated since the beginning of the blog.. that academics plays a part.. and you are mack brown going into a recruits home in the state of texas and play the “academic” card against M,N, and OK.. but you compete with big 10 schools academically.. and can not play that card.. now the kid may just want to get his knob polished, but the parents will want “academics” and mack brown just went from top to average… (and being parents they want him to play close to home)

            as for the collapse of the old SWC.. i was around.. the death penalty of SMU did it.. and ark (the only non texas team at the time) was the first to leave.. NOT a texas team!!(i always found it ironic that lou holtz came from 1 sec expansion team, and ended his career at the other.. what are the odds) the same thing happened en mass to the old Pacific Coast Conference (pac 10 for the home gamers).. had the PCC meltdown happened now.. ANY conference would have immediate issues.. people forget about SMU, but the money at that school was BIG.

            the gambling scandals in the late forties did the same thing to the east coast schools. it happens.. not often.. but it does happen.. let us say and god forbid it happens, that Michigan got the death penalty.. or it was a bigger scandal and got Michigan, MSU, and Penn State at the same time.. do you think the Big 12 could pick off Iowa.. and then the sec could go after tOSU, IU, and Purdue?? i am just trying to point out that the collapse of the old SWC, and birth of the Big 12 started with 1 team (SMU) going down..

            and a poster raises an interesting question.. keeping the big 10 name.. if they go after texas, and want to keep the big 10 name.. and texas has an ego.. is that a deal breaker?? what do you guys think? does the big 10 push to keep their name, or do they change?? what would the new name be??

          • Richard says:

            I somehow doubt that would be a dealbreaker.

            In any case, Texas won’t be the first to leave the Big12 either, but that doesn’t mean they won’t end up in the Big10 eventually.

    • Justin says:

      Check out the link below.


      In short, Colorado is ready to move to the PAC 10. CU must give notice by July if they are leaving for 2012 (which is when the PAC 10′s new TV deal would take effect), and since the PAC 10 presidents are scheduled to meet June.

      If an invitation comes in June, the Big 12 will be thrown into chaos.

      Prediction — if CU leaves, expect the Big 10 to “leak” stories that Missouri is the top choice. The loss of CU and the prospective loss of Missouri will spur Texas into action.

      • Theta says:

        Agree Justin. Texas isn’t going to make a first move. The demise of the Big 12 will give adequate cover and spur enough conversation to the thought of a new conference. I assume the PAC-10 will still try and get Texas and A&M as 13&14.

      • Dave says:

        Wow, I am so happy to read that link.

        I’m someone that really wants Texas to join the B10 (and I’m fine if that means Texas A&M along with a 14th team, even a team like Rutgers, has to join too). But, I’ve agreed with a lot of people here that it would be very hard for Texas to be the first team to leave the B12 mostly because of the political backlash that would come about, even if TA&M came too. But, if they can just wait until Colorado leaves then it would be significantly harder for people to make as big a fuss about it. I’m sure that some people would try to block it, but it wouldn’t be nearly as powerful an effort.

        One has to wonder, why the P10 wouldn’t go after Texas and essentially do so by pitching the idea that with them on board and Colorado they could make a Pac-10 Network that would rival the B10. Of course, the problem is that the P10 as a whole isn’t as academically appealing as the B10, it would stretch across 3 timezones then, there isn’t the CIC appeal, and the B10 with Texas would make money for everyone than the P10 with Texas ever could.

      • Richard says:

        Money. A Pac16 (or Pac12) with Texas would net Texas as much TV money as the current Big10 members get. Join the Big10, and the only schools that would come close to the TV money Texas gets would be other Big10 schools.

        Of course, Texas may decide it would rather be one of 2 top dogs in a Pac16 with uneven revenue sharing rather than maximize it’s TV revenue (but get equal shares as everyone else in it’s conference). That is the choice Texas will have to make.

      • duffman says:


        thanks for the link..

        they were talking about how many colorado alumni were living in the pac 10 foot print

        i wonder what that looks like for texas (especially in the over 40 or 50 age group). no i am not being against younger alumni, but more involved in donor size and power.. ie if i have 1,000 alums in kansas under 30, or 1 in alabama that is 60 and the CEO of a fortune 500 company – as a university president.. my guess is the alumni from alabama has my ear first!

      • duffman says:


        that was part of my original argument for texas to the pac 10!

        texas could throw their weight around more.. and if frank is right about texas wanting $$.. it makes more sense for texas

        again texas wants to be the sun or jupiter!! i can not see that in the big 10. they would have to be content to be average, plus the weather is better..

      • Richard, first, the PAC10 will not become the PAC16 in the next five years. No way.

        Second, the PAC10 with two more teams (even heavyweights like Texas and Texas A/M) will not overtake the Big 10 with its Big 10 Network in revenue. They might come close to equaling what the Big 10 gets, but no way would they go from 5 million per year per school to 25 million just because Texas is now in their conference?

        Essentially, you’re predicting that Texas could bring an extra 200 million in revenue, by snapping their fingers, for the PAC 10. If they have that kind of influence in this world, they should simply become independent.

      • Richard says:

        Uh, you’re agreeing with me. I said a Pac-whatever with Texas (and their own cable network) would come close enough to the Big10 that with unequal revenue sharing, Texas can make as much TV money as current Big10 members do. No where did I say it was possible for a Pac-something + Texas to overtake the Big10.

  8. Justin says:


    The link above shows that sentiment is moving strongly towards a Colorado invite to the PAC 10.

    I think this is the first domino to fall. CU has to give notice by July that it is leaving to mitigate the financial penalty. I think CU would clearly accept a PAC 10 invite.

    CU leaving the PAC 10 would throw the Big 12 into chaos.

    Prediction — if CU bolts in June, expect to see leaks within weeks on how Missouri is now the Big 10′s top option. Why? The loss of CU and prospective loss Missouri of will push Texas into action.

  9. Penn State Danny says:

    I tend to agree with Frank (maybe I have been reading this blog too much).

    Notre Dame is the king fish and will be until a decision is finally made.

    Texas is a close 2nd and probably has to bring A and M with it.

    Nebraska gets the bronze prize and is right on the bubble of being able to be added by itself.

    Rutgers (and for that matter Syracuse, Pitt, Missouri and Kansas) are for lack of a better word filler for if the conference expands to 14 or 16.

    It is all a big game of chicken. I am hoping sees that it is in their best interest to join. It would be “win win” for ND, the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the Big East. (ok a loss for the Big East with how the football and basketball schools will get along)

    • duffman says:


      ND stays independent for god’s sake (literally)..

      Texas stays in the big 12, or goes to the Pac 10

      big 10 picks up 1 to get to 12 (and renames the conference so PS and the other guy do not feel like the red headed stepchild)

      pac 10 gets to 12 teams somehow..

      and things chill out until the next round of “expansion” talks..

      • Dave says:

        I just want to say that you can’t expect the B10 to ever rename itself. The name “Big 10″ is already ingrained into the American college football fan psyche. It’s also a name that goes back generations, you don’t give up that kind of value just so that Penn State and the 12th team don’t “feel like the red headed stepchild”.

        Additionally, that would require renaming the BTN. That might seem like a small thing but it’s actually not. Would ESPN ever change their name, even if they were acquired by another company? Of course not, people know what ESPN is, they don’t know what KLPS (just so random name) is. The same goes for the BTN, people know what it is and have come to accept it (at least within the B10 footprint) changing the name only makes it harder to get people used to watching games there.

        Essentially, the name “Big Ten” contains too much value, history, and tradition to ever change.

      • Richard says:

        You seem to have some hangup about Texas joining the Big10. I can see ND staying independent even if it doesn’t maximize their revenue, but I don’t know why you’re so afraid of Texas joining the Big10 (or the Big10 growing in to some superconference). You don’t seem to have similiar hangups/trepidations about the SEC or Pac10 expanding to 16 teams.

      • duffman says:


        i grew up near the texas border.. spent alot of time in and around texas and texans.. i just think it is not as cut and dry as people think.. texas is a school and a state.. i just think the comments here not taking that into account..

        if the sec expands (realistically) it will be more like the ark and usc additions (ie ruffle less feathers).. to be perfectly honest.. in the end (all things we do not see) i see texas staying put.. and have stated so since the beginning..

        i have agreed about the $$ and research argument (ie texas to the big 10) but i still do not see it happening.. my #1 thought is that texas stays put.. and the big 12 reforms in a way that none of us see yet, but creates a better long term deal for texas (the school) than the pac 10 or big 10 will give them.. again for the cheap seats..

        texas = city state

        big 10 = confederation

        pac 10 = somewhere in between

        my point being.. the big 10 is not the deal breaker, texas is..

        and if the big 12 breaks up.. texas will have more power FOR texas than they will in the big 10…

        as i have stated in previous posts.. i am trying to think like texas, and their point of view.. not like a big 10 fan.. i have tried to give more weight viewed from the other side..

        think of the planets.. texas wants to be the sun.. or at least jupiter.. do you honestly see them getting this position in the big 10?? i can see it in the pac 10, but not the big 10..

        i agree that texas would be better in the big 10 than the pac 10.. but does texas (in their psyche see the same point). this is what i have been trying to point out!!

      • Richard says:

        You might be right, in which case if I was Jim Delany, I’d go all out and try for the 4 Cali schools + Washington. All of them would fit in with the Big10 academically perfectly, and if you rotate 3 Big10 teams through the West division while always keeping OSU+Michigan in the East, every team would still play Michigan & OSU at least 2/3rds of the time (PSU & Illinois would play OSU every year; Minnesota & MSU would play Michigan every year).

        Then Texas could either try to be king of its own castle and fall further behind in TV money, or join the 16 teams of the Big10 (with Rutgers and Syracuse/Maryland) to form the Big20. The original 10 Big10 teams would still play each other at least half the time, and PSU would still play OSU+MSU+Michigan half the time.

        Of course, I’m not Jim Delany, and the Big10 presidents probably wouldn’t approve of this plan.

      • duffman says:


        actually it is the best thinking!! don’t go for texas.. actually try to get a pac 10 to shift.. you create panic in the pac 10.. and you show texas you got the stones.. divide and conquer in strength..

  10. Dave says:

    I’ve started thinking less about what is happening (since that’s already being examined very well by Frank and others) but instead by what isn’t happening. We know that the B10 has hired a firm to look at 15 teams (remember, there are 10 others that we don’t know about) and their potential profitability for the B10. We can reasonably assume that the P10 has done the same thing or is conducting a similar investigation internally.

    But, we haven’t heard anything about those firms doing any external investigations (i.e. polling people) to determine such important factors as:
    1. If Rutgers was in the B10 would you [a New Yorker] be more or less likely to watch college football games?
    2. What do you [a New Yorker] think of Rutgers playing Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State?
    3. How often do you think you watch a college football game (never, 1 or 2 a year, 1 or 2 a month during football season, every game, bowl games, or other)?
    4. How often do you watch a college basketball game?
    5. Do you [a California native] feel that Colorado is a good “fit” for the P10?

    There are many such questions that could be asked, yet we haven’t heard of anyone being asked those questions. And be sure, we would’ve heard about that by now. Thus, we can assume that the only things being examined are facts, certainly including past TV viewing.

    What makes this so odd, is that in order to properly project future TV viewing by various population sections it is necessary to poll the people since the variables affecting their viewing propensity (conference affiliation, prestige, quality of games, etc.) would be so radically different for when a team changes conferences. Obviously, this is mostly directed at Rutgers joining the B10, but it’s likely that even if a team like Pitt or Missouri was being really considered that there would still be polling done to project viewership in new areas not only in that team’s home state but also in surrounding states.

    Essentially, I just don’t really know why we haven’t heard about anything like this yet. One conclusion is that such polling isn’t being done. That could be because the B10 doesn’t want to tip its hand. It could also be because the firm is supposed to establish if a school is an actual fit for the B10 and focus less on their future profitability for the conference.

    I don’t know why we haven’t heard about this sort of anything, anyone have some good ideas?

    • duffman says:

      thank you dave.. this is what i have been trying to say!!

      you said it better, and with fewer words..

      people inside a group will slant.. you have to put on the other guys shoes when exploring what happens in the BIG picture!!

      i think the leak was from the big 10′s side to “force” a decision, but if this was the strategy it will backfire.. (i think the pac 10 is doing this too.. but now they will look like the “white knight”).


      i am a basketball homer.. people i know laugh that i live where i do because it is an easy drive to see games.. IU & PU – big 10, UC & UL – big east, UK – sec, and X – a 10.. with close family in ark (texas and arkansas), chicago (illinois), and michigan (michigan state) i can get my fix when i visit family too. as an older basketball homer.. i would love to see the IU / UK get the respect that unc / duke gets now.. if i was under 30 i would believe it has always been unc / duke.. i would have no idea about IU / UK much less UC or UL and their history. “tobacco road” be damned.. basketball is big 10 + UK + UC + UL + ND (yes i was around when digger was a coach, but they have fallen since)..

      i will give the east coast their props in basketball, i just did not grow up watching it.. if i had i would be touting them (why if it was me, i would be real happy with the cuse being team #12 in a big 10 expansion).

      if it should not be clear enough.. my personal preference would that texas not go pac 10 just because having them even near UCLA would taint them .. as any good midwestern basketball fan should believe that they are the anti christ of college basketball and should be destroyed at any chance by any of the teams mentioned above. *smile*

      and yes i know wooden was an indiana boy that should have been the coach for iowa.. but it did not happen.. and yes i am old, but not old enough to remember iba, allen, etc..

    • Jake says:

      Dave – the kind of polling you’re talking about isn’t cheap. If the Big Ten has paid for it (and I imagine that is what the research firm is for), then whatever data was collected is for their own consumption, and they won’t disclose it to anyone if they don’t have to. They might share it with the school or schools that are invited as they make their case, but most of them won’t need a lot encouragement. As much as that information would benefit our discussions here, the Big Ten just won’t be giving it away.

      • Dave says:

        I agree that any poll results will nevere be known to any of us. But, I’m 100% certain that we’d find out about the polling itslef and even some of the questions.

        That certainty comes from the fact that if the consulting firm polled enough to have a statistically signifigant sample (which would be pretty large in a population as llarge and diverse as NYC) there’d be at least a few people that post on places like here, MGoBlog, Doc. Saturday, etc. So, as soon as they were done they’d post on the internet what happened. Heck, even if it was just some random blogger or someone that only cared a little bit about sports it would make its way over here.

        So, since we haven’t heard about any polling about the most important issue and reason for RU and ‘Cuse even being considered (namely, is it possibble for either or both of them combined to deliver a significant portion of the NYC market) then I’m assuming that it hasn’t happened yet. And since the consulting firm has apparently already given the results of their investigations into those 5 schools, I feel that they’re not going to poll. And without polling, I find it hard to believe that the B10 would take a huge chance like that. Thus, I don’t think the NYC area schools are really under consideration.

    • Pezlion says:

      That’s because tv viewing isn’t what matters to the Big Ten at this point. TV ratings affect advertising dollars, which in turn affect TV deals with ABC/ESPN. As I said, that’s not what matters. What is most important to the Big Ten is number of cable subscribers and the terms and conditions of their contracts with the various cable companies. Any increase in advertising revenue that the BTN can achieve is gravy. This information doesn’t require any polling. Just research.

      • This is true to a point, but you do need TV viewers in order to actually have leverage to charge a high rate for basic cable carriage. The Big Ten Network isn’t going to get into the entire state of New York just because it adds SUNY Buffalo. So, I think there needs to be some research (which would likely entail some polling) to see whether certain areas care enough about certain teams to the point where they would effectively demand the Big Ten Network to be carried on basic cable.

      • Pezlion says:

        That depends entirely on the terms of the BTN’s agreements with the cable providers. The press release from their agreement with Comcast states that the BTN must be provided on basic cable or a widely available digital cable plan in any state in which a conference member is located. Obviously I haven’t seen the document, but the people looking into expansion have. If the agreement provides for the same treatment to be given to any state in which the Big Ten was to expand at some point in the future, then it is all that would matter. Surely any provision would limit such expansion of the cable access to the addition of a major university, but I would guess that the flagship university of a state would qualify.

      • Richard says:

        Comcast can easily tear up that agreement at the first opportunity possible, so you’d still need a school that can carry its state.

        The BTN isn’t going to add Texas to its footprint by adding Rice, for instance, and Syracuse isn’t a flagship university.

      • Pezlion says:

        When I said flagship university, I was referring to Rutgers. And you’re going to have to explain how Comcast is going to just tear up that agreement without forking over a boatload of cash for event of default.

      • Richard says:

        Agreements don’t run until infinity. I reckon the current agreement is only for a few years at most, since market conditions change fairly rapidly in that space. When the time comes for negotiations of the next agreement, if not enough people in NJ/NY are interested in Rutgers/Syracuse, Comcast will insist that the BTN isn’t put on basic cable in NJ/NY like in the other Big10 states.

        The Big10 can’t just kick out Rutgers/Syracuse if it discovers that the school lacks appeal.

  11. SH says:

    Frank, I agree with you that it is really Texas/ND or bust. But these conversations about possible expansion candidates are certainly fun. A few observations:

    1. Some (not many) commenters continue to see UT (and A&M) going to the Pac-10. I really do not understand why UT or any of their fans would rather join the Pac-10 when the Big 10 could be available. If they went Pac-10, to me it would signal the B10 never wanted them, which I just can’t see.

    2. Funny, how Joe Pa’s name seems to come up so much. What does Joe Pa want? I realize he is simply the face of PSU and in that regard is the acting PSU figurehead. But I would suspect his input into this process is probably not much. However, one question I have with PSU, is how much sway do you think they have in the Big 10 as a whole, since they are the newest member. And how do you think that could affect any decisions? Would they rather incorporate NY over Texas – I don’t know. If there was any concern PSU could ever defect, I’m sure their input would matter more. I don’t think that is a legitimate concern, but curious on your thoughts regarding PSU’s input.

    3. Playing the what-if game, as we are. Do you think that Rutgers is a better fit as a 14th member than Syracuse (in your game of risk scenario). I continue to believe that Syracuse would be the better fit for many reasons. Better national profile and better tradition.

    • Justin says:

      The problem with Texas bolting to the PAC 10 if they would be making the first move, which is really what they are trying to avoid.

      Texas doesn’t want to be perceived as the school that triggered the collapse of the Big 12, which will inevitably result in the lessening of Baylor and Texas Tech as the SWC led to the demise of Rice, Houston, etc.

      Since the PAC 10 has indicated it will make its decision quicker, the timing probably doesn’t work for Texas. Plus, you’d be taking a financial gamble with the PAC 10. Sure, the PAC 10 with Texas and A&M would have a better TV deal, but it probably still wouldn’t get into SEC/Big 10 territory.

    • Richard says:

      3. Yes. Academically, they fit solidly in the Big10 (Syracuse would be the lowest in research, by far, of any Big10 school if they joined the Big10), they bring more TV sets, they’re closer to NYC, and their football program has been successful more recently. I’d also dispute that Syracuse’s national reputation is better than Rutgers. Even when they won some Big East titles back in the day, no one here in the Midwest saw Syracuse as some football power.

      • duffman says:

        true richard,

        but they are a basketball force.. look at attendance..

        every year it is UK or the cuse in total and average numbers

      • Richard says:

        Indeed. Don’t know how much basketball factors in to the discussion. If Syracuse basketball gets the BTN on basic cable in NYC better than Rutgers football can, I’m sure the Big10 would be more favorably inclined.

        • That has largely been my argument for Syracuse. If the Big Ten really wants the NYC market, then Syracuse could be an important piece because its basketball program does have a lot of legitimate long-term support in that market (not just fair-weather fandom). I know plenty of people think that I overrate Syracuse, but I think that duffman actually has a good point about needing to take basketball more into account in places like New York. While Syracuse is a weaker research school, it’s still a top 60 US News undergrad school and an AAU member, so it would be shocking to me that it wouldn’t be academically acceptable to the Big Ten. The lower enrollment doesn’t concern me as much either since it has a very good fan base. When you can sell 30,000 or more seats for basketball, that’s excellent fan support. Here’s a Wall Street Journal article from this past Friday examining Syracuse basketball fan support specifically:


          • duffman says:


            i see exactly what you say about the cuse.. that is why i asked about UK to the big 10.. if they go to 48,000 basketball arena, 80,000 plus football expansion, and 12,000 baseball (which are already in architect planning).. it just leaves academic.. and the current president is hell bent to be a top 20 public research university (the billion they just raised goes along way to making it a reality – the campaign was top 20 in 20 years). it makes me wonder.. plus you weaken the sec.. plus you get the golden triangle (lexington, louisville, and cincinnati).

          • mushroomgod says:

            I live 80 miles from the Kentucky border. Kentucky considers itself part of the South. They would have NO interest in joining the Big 10

          • M says:

            I am going to confess to knowing very little about the fan bases in college basketball. However, if the Big Ten invites Syracuse, it would be the first time ever that a major conference has made an addition based on basketball success (or delivering market access due to basketball).

            As far as academics, acceptance really depends on what the Presidents/Chancellors focus. Is Syracuse a quality undergraduate institution? Yes. Does it have respected graduate programs? Yes. Is it research oriented in a broad based way across many fields? Going off of the research expenditures, Syracuse spends a small fraction on research compared to any Big Ten school. It could go either way, but it only takes a small number (3) of “no’s” to sink any invite.

            For a comparison, what advantage would Syracuse have over Maryland? Maryland has a larger home market (DC vs upstate NY), is a strong basketball school, is closer to NYC (based on Google maps), and is a large research institution. The only advantage I can see for Syracuse is that it is more likely to say yes.

          • Jeepers says:

            Syracuse is hardly just a basketball school. But they do match up very evenly with Maryland for athletics. They have both won a championship in basketball and football, which is a very short list.

            Anyway, their football dropped off only recently. Current NFL pre-Robinson (previous coach) athletes include Donovan McNabb and Dwight Freeney. Not too shabby.

            And going back you have:
            Ernie Davis (Heisman winner), Jim Brown, Larry Csonka, Joe Morris, Art Monk, Jim Ringo, John Mackey, and Floyd Little.

            Jim Brown, man. Come on. Arguably the best NFL *athlete* (not just RB) ever.

            You can counter “That’s ancient history.” But isn’t history what the Big Ten is all about?

            It’s not that NYC doesn’t care about college football. NYC cares about winners. Get the wins and they’ll notice.

          • Rick says:

            Current NFL players: SU 14; Rutgers 20 Including Ray Rice, Shaun O’Hara All Pro in 2009. Gary Brackett Indy Colts Captain (Defense). McNabb and Freeney are both great no doubt. SU history is good.

          • duffman says:


            if you back and look at how frank set this up.. it is not people.. it is fan base and demand.. as if i am reading franks comment correctly.. a uk football team that goes 1-10 or 2-12, year after year.. and sell 70,000 a game is better than a team that goes 6-6 or 8-4, but only draws 35,000 a game.. have i got that right frank??

          • Rick says:

            Yeah I get that. Just posted that to show there are people, people who have TVs and cable, that like the idea of Rutgers to the Big Ten.

          • Rick says:

            According to this recent USA Today poll there are more than a few people out there that like the idea of Rutgers to the Big Ten.


          • kingottoiii says:

            Syracuse has the #1 (or #2 if you ask Northwestern) Communications school and a Top 5 Public Affairs school. Is that enough to make up for the extreme lack of research?

            The BTN has totally changed the way you have to look at these teams. Cable fees and programing take away from the power of football. Otherwise the BT would take Nebraska and be done with it. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ABC will still get most of the BT games. The BTN games are more B or C list games. And that is only 12 days a year. Basketball brings in a lot more programming.

            MD would be a much better addition than either SU or RU. The only advantage SU has is culture. The locals (who make up over 90% of the SU home game fans) are much closer culturally to the Midwest than the Northeast. SU alumni are all in Boston, NYC, Philly, DC, Miami, and Chicago. They rarely go to SU home games but often show up for SU road games where they live. MD has a NE and Southern culture. Which is why it would be very hard to get them to leave UNC and Duke. But if they were interested the BT would be dumb not to take them over the BE schools.

          • Richard says:

            I don’t think Mizzou would be better than either RU or SU. It has the same population base as SU and less than RU, it doesn’t give you a chance to play for NYC, and a good chunk of its home state is loyal to another school (KC is predominantly a KU town).

          • duffman says:


            it seems to be more research and science.. in this discussion.. but i am inclined to look at the arts as well as the science.. but that is me.. i get the impression if julliard had a good football team with a huge tv market and a rabid fan base.. it would still get a 0 for academics.. just my opinion by reading these blogs..

          • Scott says:

            The arts are great, but I think research is clearly the underlying issue here, and that means science. I say this because every school in the Big Ten is an AAU school. And any school invited would have access to the CIC. From the Big Ten’s perspective, they want someone who will add to that, not simply reap its rewards.

            And if the midewestern states are looking for more research dollars (and we’re talking billions and billions per year for the Big Ten schools–many times more than the money from a TV deal), they’d prefer a large state school (so senators and representatives can lobby for funds) with a big, very big, research department. Together with more large research-oriented schools and shared research facilities, all Big Ten schools benefit. (And we’re talking billions and billions of dollars per year. See next post.)

          • Scott says:

            If the research capabilities plays any role in the expansion of the Big Ten (and I think it does), it’s kind of interesting to look at what kind of research muscle the schools we’re talking about can bring to the table. I haven’t seen this laid out like this, so I hope I haven’t duplicated someone else’s work…

            First, the Big Ten:
            The first number is the national rank in research (and there are few foreign schools with research budgets in this sort of region, so we’re pretty well talking world ranks, too.
            #2 Wisconsin 832 million
            #4 Michigan 800 million
            #11 OSU 652 million
            #13 Penn State 644 million
            #15 MN 594
            #25 IL 476
            #34 Northwestern 420
            #37 Purdue 373
            #41 MSU 358
            #42 Indiana 355
            #44 Iowa 346
            #56 U of C 305

            That adds up to over 6 billion in research money in the year 2006 alone. This is really a staggering number. It’s bigger than the GNP of dozens of countries. No other conference comes anywhere close to this budget—even the Ivy League. In fact, Harvard would come in 29th on this list; Yale comes in 27th.

            FWIW, Johns Hopkins’ huge medical research budget puts them at #1 in the country / world.

            So how do the potential Big Ten invitees stack up?
            Let’s start with the names we talk about most.

            Texas is listed at #33, with a budget of $431 million. Their medical school is listed separately and would add an additional $180 million, making a total of $611 million. That would put them 14th in the US and 4th in the Big Ten. And if you include the University of Texas’ MD Anderson (in Houston), and I don’t know how closely they’re affiliated with Texas or if they’d be part of the shared CIC, that would add another whopping $457 billion in research, vaulting Texas into first place in the Big Ten. Of the schools most commonly mentioned here, Texas is clearly the most valuable in terms of research.

            The other school talked about all the time here is Notre Dame. At #138 in the nation, they’re not even in the same neighbourhood. They’re research budget of $79 million is a fraction of any Big Ten school, and as a comparison, it’s less than Drexel and Chicago’s Rush University, and just over that of Southern Illinois and the NM Institute of Mining and Technology.

            TAMU is often discussed on these boards as the poor little brother of Texas, but their research budget ranks #24 of $493 is comfortably in the middle of the Big Ten pack. They’re just as good a fit as Texas in this regard.

            Pitt may not fit in terms of its footprint, but it’s even higher than TAMU, #21 with a budget of $530 million. They would be right in the middle of the Big Ten pack.

            Nebraska, who’s education is often faulted on this board, would come in #47, with $333 million. So, just behind Iowa, at the tail end of the Big Ten.

            Rutgers is a bit futher back, #55 with $308 million.

            Missouri is #77 with $215 million, just behind Iowa State at #74, with $222 million.

            All these are a little anemic compared to the Big Ten.

            Worse, still, is Syracuse. #185 with just $36 million.

            Now for some of the less-discussed schools:

            Maryland is similar to Nebraska. #43, with $354 million. On the lower end of the Big Ten.

            People talk about Colorado going to the Pac 10. But at #23 and a budget of $513 million, they might be attractive to the Big 10, too. Again, right in the middle of the Big Ten and right with TAMU and Pitt.

            Kentucky is mentioned from time to time, and their research budget is better than I’d have thought. They’re just behind Nebraska at #52, with $324 million. If they’re aggressively trying to increase their research budget to get to #20, it wouldn’t be too far out of the question to get into the middle of the Big Ten pack.

            Virginia is #72 at $239 million. UConn is #78, virtually tied with Missouri’s budget of $215 million.
            As for the Florida schools, Miami is #79 at $213 million and FSU is at #90 at $186 million. Kansas is #84 with $196 million. Oklahoma is #95 with a budget of $179 million. Louisville is even further back, #108 with $136 million.

            Each of these schools is well below the research standards of the Big Ten.

            While it may be far-fetched, I’ve mentioned that I’m a fan of Florida joining. They’re #17, (the top half of the Big Ten), with $565 million.

            Another southern school that would shine in basketball and academics is UNC. They’re #31, $444 million—right in the center of the Big Ten. How about inviting Kentucky and UNC? I’m not a basketball fan, but that’s a little basketball power for you.

            Some of you talk about bringing in some Pac 10 schools. From a research perspective, why not? UCLA is #3 with $811 million. Washington is #6 (and I believe growing) with $778 million. Stanford is #8, at $679 million. Cal – Berkeley is #19 at $546 million. Arizona is #20 with $535 million. USC is #30 with $450 million. Every one of these schools would fit in perfectly with the Big Ten.

            So what’s the bottom line here?

            Texas again comes out on top. TAMU is fine, too. If only Pitt were located somewhere else, because they’re a great fit…. Colorado is a fine, too.

            Nebraska, Maryland and Kentucky are probably okay. Rutgers is really at the tail end of the Big Ten standard.

            I don’t know about any of the other schools we talk about.

            Florida and the Pac 10 schools are in the highly unlikely category, but would work great, too.

            All of these numbers are from 2006. Source: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf08300/pdf/tab31.pdf

          • duffman says:


            i am even more fascinated by UK now, especially if those are 2006 numbers.. in the past four years the new buildings going up on core campus is astounding.. people have wondered if their goal of top 20 in 20 was possible.. i had no idea as well just how much.. with the presidents background.. makes sense tho..


            a) state university
            b) in the golden triangle – (lex – lou – cin)
            c) with a loyal sports fan base – FB,MBB,WBB, baseball, etc
            d) natural established rival in IU, possible rival in MSU (nosebleed bowl)
            e) desire to be a top research university, and the power to accomplish it
            f) easy travel to most big 10 schools (3 – 9 hr drive)
            g) less turbulence than adding texas

            one big drawback tho.. charter member of the sec..

          • mushroomgod says:

            I live 80 miles from the state of Kentucky.

            I’ve put up with UK fans all my life.

            No way UK would ever come to the Big 10. No way. No how. Kentucky’s southern identity is very importnat to the whole state and to the university. They want nothing to do with midwesterners……this is NOT a Texas situation… TX has an independent identity that would survive being in the Big 10. UK fans think more like Domers than TX fans.

            Trust me on this….

          • duffman says:


            a) the largest “city” in kentucky is the 3 counties of “northern kentucky” which accounts for about 1/4 to 1/3 of Cincinnati’s population – as this gets counted in Cincy’s MSA.. people forget this is a large chunk of the states population

            b) kentucky folks are fine with folks in the midwest it is the north east and far west they might have issue with.. if you look at the settlement of Indiana, alot of families split off to farm the newly opened state.. since folks in KY and IN did not move much.. the family ties between states still exist (i descend from one such family – which is why i root for both in sports). as the midwest ramped up in industry 100+ years ago, many kentucky families migrated to places like chicago and detroit (my family included) but kept ties with their family roots. again.. historically they are a border state – and sold horses to both sides in the civil war.. i still have family in IL and MI and visit often.. while the broad fan base might appear as you describe.. i feel fairly confident that the folks at the top feel no such animosity to the midwest and southwest. the northern KY and louisville KY (the largest population centers) have large/strong catholic populations more in line with chicago.. which appears to be the centerpoint of the big 10.

            c) basketball is the #1 religion in the state.. the big 10 has IU and MSU, with UK.. it would crush future hopes of UofC or UofL as a factor in college basketball. put in that view, UK fans might not be so hostile to such a move.

            d) the current UK president is a UK / MIT grad with a desire to see UK as a top research institution.. not easily discounted

            trust me on this.. while i would agree.. it is not likely.. i would not rule it out..

          • mushroomgod says:

            I’m all too aware that there are LOTS of Kentuckians in Southern Indiana. Even the families that have lived here 100 years still consider themselves Kentuckians. Those UK fans who aren’t inbreeds are old South $$…if they could still keep slaves they would…in a heartbeat…..

          • Richard says:

            Er, Kentucky had very few slaves . . .

          • mushroomgod says:

            Richard—”The Sun shines bright on my old Kentucky hone; tis Summer, the darkies are gay….”

            They weren’t working for minimum wage….

          • Richard says:


            Kentucky still had relatively few slaves compared to other southern states.

            Interesting factoid: The order in which the southern states seceded from the Union corresponds almost exactly to the slave percentage of the state population.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Sure, compared to other Southern states, but a hell of a lot of them none-the-less..

            From Wikipedia—”The history of slavery in Kentucky dates from the earliest permanent European settlements…until the end of the Civil War….enslaved African Americans made up a substantial percentage of the population. Early Kentucky history was built on the labor of slavery, and it was an integral part of the state. From 1790 to 1860 the slave population …was never more than one quarter of the total population….In 1850, 23 percent of Kentucky’s white males held enslaved African Americans.”

            20-25% of the population is a far cry from “very few slaves”.

            A few years ago I was watching the Kentucky Derby and heard that line about ’tis Summer, and the darkies are gay…” Funny stuff….if you ever get the chance to visit Foster”S old Kentucky home you should go…very interesting….

          • duffman says:

            i take offense as some in my family live in southern indiana, and have NO desire to own slaves nor are we inbreeds. to characterize such a thing is narrow minded and not reflective of many people i know well in southern indiana. if you have had such experience, i am sad for you.. but it is not a correct “blanket” statement for people in indiana in general (north or south of IU).

          • spartakles78 says:

            I’m not sure you can get UK fans to forget 44 regular season SEC titles in b-ball. It also makes it easier for Rutgers to leave :)

            Richard, I think you’re right about the 10 state bit. If you go big with 5 invitations, then Texas, TAMU, and one other state school gets you to 14 members. This would leave space for 2 schools currently in states that are represented which would give Pitt & ND maybe the edge over anyone else. The lack of AAU membership may only be overlooked in one candidate.

          • Richard says:

            I was being a little facetious. I seriously doubt Delany & company would consider whether their footprint extends to only 10 states or not when considering candidates.

          • spartakles78 says:

            yeah, I was just trying to summarize all the very valid points for and against the various candidates in Frank’s blog like a checklist…you know secure the Texas & NY TV markets, keep up the conference academic profile, rule the college athletic world, hear the cries and lamentations of the media and fans of schools not chosen, and give a reason to prevent the coin toss for that 16th school. I hope Frank is getting some spiff from the Big Ten for doing their research.

          • duffman says:


            uk desires national championship banners, especially if you heard the coaches comment after winning the sec reg season against fla..

            i did not catch the whole thing.. but it was like.. who cares.. if you have ever been inside rupp.. the only thing they hang are championship game banners and jerseys.. they used to just hang NC banners, but now they hang participation in final game (pitino did that when he was coach). if they cared about sec banners they would be all over rupp.

          • Phil says:


            I hate to fall back on the NJ politics excuse again, but there is more background to your figures here.

            Most of the universities you mentioned have an affiliated hospital (I know Pitt does) so Texas’ number truly would be astronomical.

            The University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDJ) was part of Rutgers until a couple of decades ago, when it was removed from RU’s control in a political battle. It is currently run by the politicians as a separate entity and does not “count” in RU’s research dollars.

            There has always been a sentiment (and with current budget problems it is growing) that the UMDJ should be moved back into RU.

            I would think a Big Ten invitation would be more than enough grounds to get the state to make that move.

            Adding UMDJ’s annual research dollars to RU’s figures would put them well over $500 million annually.

            I was going to close my post with an “apology” for how screwed up things get by NJ politics, but then I remembered that the Big Ten deals with Illinois so people should be used to it.

          • Scott S says:

            Phil: Yes, the UMDJ could be added to Rutgers total. There are, in fact, other components that could be added to this school or that, and for some listings they include the state “system”, so maybe the figures could be lowered. But the list does give a nice ballpark range.

          • Rick says:

            UMDJ really isn’t part of Rutgers at this point so in all fairness, it should not be in their number like other state systems like Texas, Maryland, Missouri, and Kansas. The Wisconsin state system is another good example.

          • michaelC says:

            For Rutgers you should also add about $250mm for UMDNJ, the state medical school in New Brunswick which is a distinct financial entity but closely cooperates with many schools in Rutgers (e.g. nursing, pharmacy and various research centers).

          • Kyle says:

            What make you think UMDNJ would join the CIC along with Rutgers? I have a outsider’s perspective, but they seem like completely separate entities to me.

            UMDNJ itself broken up into 8 schools on 5 campuses, with their own grad and undergrad degrees as well as dual degrees with NJIT, Princeton, Rutgers, and Seton Hall.

          • Rick says:

            Scott, this is a great post and very informative. Thanks. To expand on it a little further, The World University Rankings (referenced by Richard frequently) published by the ARWU (Academic Rankings of World Universities) looks even deeper at Universities beyond just research. The criteria they use is 6-fold:
            1) # of Alum and Staff winning Nobel Prizes and Field Medals
            2) # highly cited researchers
            3) # articles published in Nature and Science
            4) # articles indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded
            5) and in Social Sciences Citation Index
            6) per capita performance with respect to the size of the institution


            The rankings as it relates to the current Big Ten and expansion candidates:
            #15- Wisconsin
            #18- Michigan
            #19- Illinois
            #20- Minnesota
            #22- Northwestern
            #26- Colorado
            #28- Maryland
            #29- Texas
            #30- UNC
            #31- Vandy
            #32- Penn State
            #37- Pittsburgh
            #38- Rutgers
            #39- Florida
            #41- Ohio State
            #42- Purdue
            #48- Michigan State
            #50- Texas A&M
            #51- Virginia
            #52- Indiana
            #56-70- Iowa
            #71-90- UConn
            #71-90- Cincy
            #71-90- Nebraska
            #91-112- Kansas
            #91-112- Kentucky
            #91-112- Missouri
            #91-112- Notre Dame
            #112-138- Syracuse
            #139-152- BC


            These are probably highly regarded rankings by the Presidents

          • Scott S says:

            Rick, thanks for the arwu link.

            Personally, I think people make too much of the US News and World Report rankings because they use criteria that isn’t of importance to actual education.

          • @scott – I agree that the US News rankings shouldn’t be the be-all end-all, but they’re kind of like the AP rankings in sports – as much as they shouldn’t matter, they do to the general public and it provides a “smell test” to where schools are placed in terms of prestige. In fact, the main complaint about the US News rankings is that they rely too heavily on the academic reputation score. However, that’s actually a fairly important score for the purposes of the academics portion of this discussion because it shows what the university presidents (who are the ultimate decision makers here) actually think of each other academically. If you want to know how university presidents perceive the academic value of universities, the academic reputation score in the US News is a good indicator.

          • Rick says:

            Frank you bring up a good point on US News Rankings. When looking at the various rankings I have always found it important to keep in mind what they are ranking and weight of importance each has. ARWU, US News, and Forbes are 3 that look at it from very different viewpoints. All are helpful in their own way depending what you are looking for in your smell test. When I was looking for schools for my daughters (4) I looked at rankings one way (they all ended up at small liberal arts schools) but when evaluating Big Ten candidates I look at them another way. Here is a list of candidates and their ARWU, US News, and Forbes rankings.
            (Forbes is for all schools, big and small, this was referenced in a chart in a previous post from an article in a Harrisburg PA paper, interesting chart, see methodology in previous post, basically student surveys, debt, Nobels, Who’s who, grad rates)
            (For the Forbes breakout of Public and Private go to link below)
            (US News is for National Universities, go to link below for complete list)
            (AWRU link below)

            The rankings as it relates to the current Big Ten and expansion candidates:

            ARWU-School–US News-Forbes
            #15- Wisconsin–39–415
            #18- Michigan—27–200
            #19- Illinois—–39–132
            #20- Minnesota–61–543
            #22- Northwestern-12-17
            #26- Colorado—77–187
            #28- Maryland—53–387
            #29- Texas—–47–174
            #30- UNC——28–68
            #31- Vandy—-17–77
            #32- Penn State–47–324
            #37- Pittsburgh–56–285
            #38- Rutgers—-66–437
            #39- Florida—-47–186
            #41- Ohio State–53–361
            #42- Purdue—-61–507
            #48- Michigan State-71-341
            #50- Texas A&M–61–190
            #51- Virginia—24—64
            #52- Indiana—71–266
            #56-70- Iowa–71–430
            #71-90- UConn–66–388
            #71-90- Cincy–T3–538
            #71-90- Nebraska–96–463
            #91-112- Kansas–96–425
            #91-112- Kentucky–128–545
            #91-112- Missouri–102–374
            #91-112- Notre Dame–20–50
            #112-138- Syracuse–58–371
            #139-152- BC–34–16




          • Thanks for posting that comparison – that’s extremely helpful. This illustrates how those Forbes rankings are completely wacky, though. I love my alma mater (Illinois), but how it could be almost 70 spots higher than Michigan on an overall list is just not reality. Wisconsin in the 400s? Minnesota in the 500s? BC ranked higher than Northwestern? Yikes. At least the ARWU rankings make sense regarding graduate research strength and the US News rankings have a generally realistic semblance of where schools stand in terms of undergrad programs.

          • Rick says:

            Yeah this Forbes list is insane, but it is what their methodology produced (student surveys, post grad debt, grad rates, Nobel and other prizes, who’s who of alums, etc.) I did strip out the small privates and here is a new list with a second Forbes number for publics (and the private # for NW, Vandy, ND, Syr, BC). Still quite loopy. Take it for what it is worth.

            ARWU-School–US News-Forbes–Forbes split out Publics
            #15- Wisconsin–39–415—-over 100 nr
            #18- Michigan—27–200—-26
            #19- Illinois—–39–132—–14
            #20- Minnesota–61–543—-over 100 nr
            #22- Northwestern-12-17–15
            #26- Colorado—77–187—-22
            #28- Maryland—53–387—-99
            #29- Texas—–47–174—–19
            #30- UNC——28–68——-7
            #31- Vandy—-17–77——69
            #32- Penn State–47–324—67
            #37- Pittsburgh–56–285—52
            #38- Rutgers—-66–437—over 100 nr
            #39- Florida—-47–186—-21
            #41- Ohio State–53–361—86
            #42- Purdue—-61–507—-over 100 nr
            #48- Mich State-71-341—77
            #50- Texas A&M–61–190—23
            #51- Virginia—24—64—–6
            #52- Indiana—71–266—–47
            #56-70- Iowa–71–430—–over 100 nr
            #71-90- UConn–66–388—100
            #71-90- Cincy–T3–538—-over 100 nr
            #71-90- Nebraska–96–463–over 100 nr
            #91-112- Kansas–96–425–over 100 nr
            #91-112- Kentucky–128–545–over 100 nr
            #91-112- Missouri–102–374–92
            #91-112- Notre Dame–20–50–46
            #112-138- Syracuse–58–371–over 100 nr
            #139-152- BC–34–16——-14

          • Playoffs Now! says:

            Excellent post, Scott.

            Not sure why my lengthy response just now to this post was inserted way ahead of it, though.

          • duffman says:

            playoffs now..

            some times it works.. and sometimes not.. i noticed the same with my post.. you think it will place in one spot, and it appears somewhere else..

          • duffman says:

            like just now.. *smile*

          • I have no idea why people’s comments are f**ked up. I apologize for the inconvenience – if I could fix this on WordPress, I’d do so.

          • duffman says:

            every blog is different.. each with + and -

            the best one was a blog where you had plenty of room to read and edit.. so you could proof it before posting.. and could go back and edit if you did not the flow after reading.. oh well..

            you are forgiven if you can tell who / what the little picture is by your post.. it looks like a persons photo, but the image is too small to make out..


          • duffman says:

            haha.. it did it again, i tried to hit the reply on your apology post and this time it put it at the bottom..

          • duffman – You mean my avatar? That’s baseball great Oscar Gamble, whose Afro transcends time and space.

          • Jeepers says:

            Heh. The thumbnail makes it look like a white guy with a cowboy hat.

          • duffman says:

            hard to see .. thanks for the head up.. man i miss the 60′s and 70′s – we may never see fros like that again.. i weep for the youth of today..

            didn’t he play for the sox and the cubs?

            jeepers.. yeah that is what i was thinking to, cowboy hat or pimpin hat.. just looks really hard to see that small….

          • Yes – that picture is from one of his White Sox baseball cards. I’m a huge Sox fan, by the way.

          • duffman says:


            the cub’s get the national love for the “loser” thing..

            the real fan are sox fans

          • SH says:

            Ugh, this is such a tiresome and weak comeback. Because the Cubs have a venue people actually want to go to in a fun neighborhood and can claim a national fan base, they must not have real fans. Look, every sport has its bandwagon franchises. Unfortunately, the Sox are not one of them (the White Sox that is).

            Real fans root for the Cubs, real fans root for the Sox.

            Be happy that you have a recent WS title, most Cub fans would love to be in your position. But, for now the WS will never be as popular or loved as the Cubs – deal with it.

          • Playoffs Now! says:

            I may have missed something when I said that Syracuse had basically no chance. Would their inclusion automatically move the BTN to a higher in-state rate for all of New York state? If so, then they do have a good shot, and then if ND takes the bait (but I wouldn’t automatically rule out the P10 as an option for them) then adding Rutgers and Syr sounds very strong financially, probably more than a ND, Rut, and Nebraska combo. Plus every conference needs a few weaker teams to keep your BCS option teams from having too many losses. Then just add 2 from TX, CA, or FL, either now or after the shakeout, and financially you’ve got it about as strong as you can get.

            The only bigger blockbuster with any chance would be adding ND and the 4 Cal schools. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a Cal school trial balloon that option trial off the record in the next couple of months to pressure any wavering P10 school to approve expansion. (Unless those Cal schools want expansion to fail so as to leave for the B10+.)

            Probably the best alignment to preserve the most rivalries is:

            East – Rut, Syr, PSU, OSU, Mich, MSU, ND, NW

            West – UT, aTm, IA, MN, WI, IL, PU, IU

            (If Syr doesn’t bump the BTN fee up in NYS and they take Neb instead, simply swap PU and IU for NW)

            Simple, stable, and basically balanced. The old B10 teams in the west might grumble, but in a 9 game conf sched it would be easy to set up the rotation so that each year every west school plays one of the 4 eastern marquee teams – ND, MI, OSU, PSU.

            No need for confusing and unwieldy pods that would still leave big holes for conf champ controversies. And if the dominoes keep falling so that a majority of BCS conferences go to 14 or 16 teams, you could see the NCAA allow an extra regular season game per year (enabling 10 conf games/year) or a second round of internal conf playoffs. Even then pods aren’t a good idea, you could end up with a 1-loss team 2nd in their pod sitting home while a 3 or 4 loss pod winner plays in an internal playoff game, so better to have each division winner play a wildcard with the winners meeting in the conf champ game.

          • Richard says:

            That would depend on the pull Syracuse has. If ND joins, it’d be much easier to get NY state with Syracuse.

          • Rick says:

            It will be interesting to see how Cablevision handles a situation where you have Syracuse, Rutgers, ND as part of a 14 or 16 team BT. Could it be that Syracuse brings in the in-state carriage rates for Up-State with a 7 mil pop, of .70-.80/mo and RU brings in the same carriage rates for NJ with 9 mil pop, and Cablevision remains a tough negotiator for NYC/LI/Westchester, with 12 mil pop, on carriage fees and will only pay out of state rates like .05-.10. Would the BTN allow for, or negotiate down to, out of state fees for NYC/LI/Westchester of say .05/mo even though technically in is in-state because of Syracuse. I am sure Cablevision will try something like that, they held Yankee fans hostage for 2 years with the Yes deal. How much pull would the ND piece have in the NYC negotiations for carriage rates. I would find it hard to believe Cablevision will cave to normal in-state carriage fees.

          • duffman says:


            for the sake of the argument .. could you explain carriage rates a bit more and how they are computed.. ie sorta translate your terms into NET $$ and how you calculate..


          • Rick says:

            Duff: carriage fees are what the Big Ten would charge Comcast or any cable provider on a monthly basis to carry the Big Ten Network on their basic cable lineup. Comcast would then roll it into the monthly fees they charge the consumers who have their cable. It usually is like .70/month per household. If there are 4,000,000 households that would be 2.8 million a month or 33million a year.

          • duffman says:


            thanks.. can you take me deeper..

            a) i get the flat rate.. but does it work in reality.. if the big 10 is getting majority from football, any breakdown on actual numbers??

            ie.. 12 month year.. but football in sept, oct, and nov = 3 months or 1/4 of year.. (especially as BTN does not get bowl revenue.. that should accrue through national tv.. ie ESPN, FOX, etc..) and how does it correlate by success of team in conference.. say IU is blowing chunks in football and the fans do not subscribe to BTN.. go one step further and on sliding scale.. how does this affect net numbers vs “projected” consumer demand.

            b) the difference between in state vs out of state and penetration rates??

            and what are the likely net income numbers looking like compared to projected rates..

            c) with the “basketball” discussions – how would this affect the numbers ??

            i was in st. louis this past spring and saw the new st. louis U arena (which somebody quoted at 20,000 seating). i know i keep making a big deal about this.. but if basketball runs 3 – 5 months (including conference, but excluding NCAA) and you have a game ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 so you have much more programming to fill air time.. how does this translate to the bottom line (ie growth market before ANY expansion via revenue only).

            d) will majority disconnect from BTN after football and will almost all disconnect after march.. (when the NCAA begin) meaning no revenue from basketball (march,april,may,june,july, and august). ie what keeps me paying during these six months for no programming??

          • duffman says:


            sorry.. addendum to above..

            e) how does non wire affect the BTN.. ie.. games broadcast to cell phones as i thought that went through the carrier (ie verizon) and the supplier (ie ESPN). this may seem like a duh, but i have an old cell with no text and no videos.. so i never really thought about it….

          • Rick says:

            Duff: I am by no means an expert and cannot answer all these questions. I just know some stuff from research and reading. I don’t have the BTN. I am in CT. I can answer some stuff though (and this is a really simplistic view, there are alot of others on this and other sites that know alot more) :
            In-state/out of state: The BTN can charge in-state fees in states where there is a Big Ten school in that state; usually .70-1.10 per month. If the state does not have the BT school in that state the fees charged the cable company are lower, as low as .10/month.

            As far as football/basketball: If the BTN is on basic cable it is part of the whole lineup. It doesn’t really matter what season it is, the fees are built into the consumer’s monthly total cable bill. They are not really going to cancel cable for one season to another are they? If the BTN is only on premium “Sports Pack” and not on basic cable then you could pay the $6.00/month during whatever season you want and then cancel, that is the way I have it here in CT. Not on basic.

            I don’t think it goes much deeper than that. No need to get hung up on the football/basketball thing or projected growth market etc etc stuff. You either get it on basic cable and it is year round and the cost is rolled into your monthly bill and you would really never cancel your cable or you only get it on a premium Sports Pack that you pay extra for and can cancel at any time. I depends how your cable company offers it.

          • MichaelR says:

            Good point about Cablevision. I mean, this is a company that has raised brinksmanship to an art form. They went for a long time without the YES Network which carries the most popular franchise in NYC, the Yankees. I feel they would resist the in-state subscription rate even if the expansion brought in RU, SU and ND. They are such a tough nut to crack that it might even dissuade Delany from the northeastern strategy and look to the west.

          • m (Ag) says:

            “No need for confusing and unwieldy pods that would still leave big holes for conf champ controversies”

            Pods aren’t divisions, pods are components that form divisions. Your ‘pod’ is merely your permanent opponents.

            Basically, you have 2 divisions for 2 years (each containing 2 pods), then you rearrange things and have 2 different divisions for 2 years. After 4 years, you return to the initial schedule.

            Each team has 1 set of conference games in year 1. In year 2, it has the same opponents, but with home and away reversed. In year 3, the 3 other teams in the school’s pod remain on the schedule, but the other opponents are the teams they didn’t play the first 2 years. The year 4 schedule is the same as year 3, but the home and away is reversed. After that, everyone goes back to the year 1 schedule.

            With a 14 game conference, you can give everyone 3 permanent opponents and play every other team in the conference twice in 4 years. This is with only an 8 game conference schedule.

            With a 16 game conference, you need a 9 game schedule, but you can still have 3 permanent rivals and play everyone else twice in 4 years.

            As an example, if you add Texas, Texas A&M, Rutgers, Notre Dame, and Nebraska, you can use use pods to get the following 2 sets of divisions:

            Year 1 & 2:
            ‘North-i’: Mich, MSU, OSU, NW, ND, Ind, IL, PU
            ‘South-e’: UT, A&M, Neb, IA, PSU, Rut, MN, WI

            Year 3 & 4:
            ‘North-e’: Mich, MSU, OSU, NW, PSU, Rut, MN, WI
            ‘South-i’: UT, A&M, Neb, IA, ND, Ind, IL, PU

            The teams that are in your division all 4 years are your ‘pod’. Obviously, you can change which teams are in which pod (along with the names of the pods), but the point is that every year your division setup is no more complicated than the SEC or ACC divisions.

            Only 4 teams are not in your division in either setup. Since you play 2 teams out of division in year 1 & 2, and 2 teams out of division in year 3 & 4, you will play these 4 teams as well.

            {Note these are the pods I used:
            North = Mich, MSU, OSU, NW
            interior (i) = ND, Ind, IL, PU
            exterior (e) = PSU, Rut, MN, WI
            South = UT, A&M, Neb, IA
            and I know the geographic names aren’t quite right}

          • m (Ag) says:

            “With a 14 game conference”- I meant “a 14 team conference”

            “With a 16 game conference”- again, should be “a 16 team conference”

          • duffman says:


            you are correct i am a sox homer, i should have not been one to gloat. my apologies….

          • Rick says:

            MD does not seem to be on the radar screen right now so not really relevant in the discussion posed by Frank’s latest thoughts. SU communications and PR depts are excellent. no doubt. They don’t really have much weight though in the highly respected World University Rankings ( SU 113, RU 38, PITT 37) which I believe the Big Ten probably values high.

          • ezdozen says:

            Doesn’t basketball extend the relevancy of the Big 10 network?

            If people add the package for football… but cancel it in November… how much revenue does it bring? Meanwhile… if they keep it through basketball season… that doubles the length of time it is relevant.

            If you are a cable company… wouldn’t you be more inclined to add the Big10 Network to basic cable if it has relevancy for the majority of the year than if it is fall only?

            So, while I think basketball ordinarily does not impact a situation… it is very different for the Big 10 because they have their own network.

            Fox doesn’t care about promoting Family Guy humor. They do care about the viewers it brings in. If Syracuse can bring the NYC market from December to March–the winter, TV-watching months… that has to be a factor.

          • Rick says:

            People are going to cancel basic cable? Maybe a premium “Sports Package” for $6.00/month like now in NY Metro but I doubt basic cable.

          • mushroomgod says:

            private, 19000 enrollment, $60M less in reserch $ than last Big 10 U. aging 50000 seat indoor football stadium rated as one of the worst football venues, and a hell of a long way from every other school in the Big 10…………….pass!!!!!!

    • m (Ag) says:

      I posted something like this on a post here some time back, but Texas might prefer the Pac 10 because:

      1) Arizona and California are seen as much closer culturally to Texas
      2) Baseball is much better off in the sunny Pac 10
      3) They can likely take more geographic rivals with them. We believe the Big 10 would take A&M, though we’re not sure. The Pac 10 would certainly take A&M, and maybe several other Big 12 schools at once (Texas Tech might even get in, if Texas pressed)
      4) More appealing road trips for alumni

      Yes, the money would definitely be worse and the academics would be a bit worse. Alumni are the ones who make the donations to the team, though, and these 4 issues all might make alumni happier.

      • M says:

        Just a few questions:

        On point 1: really? Do Texans really see themselves as more like Californians than those in the Midwest? From an outsider’s perspective, it would be difficult to come up with a pair of large states with less in common. I have never lived in either state, but I went to school with a large number of Californians who viewed Texas as the destroyer of all that is good in the world. Before I started reading conference expansion speculation, I do not believe I had ever heard of California being mentioned as culturally similar to Texas.

        Point 2 is unassailable.

        Point 3 is simply wrong. The only Big XII school other than Texas likely to get a Pac-10 invite is Colorado. Even Texas A&M which would be a good fit for the Big Ten would be hard-pressed to receive unanimous approval from the likes of Cal and Stanford, who might even view just Texas as one “redneck” school too many. Texas Tech is not going to be allowed into the Pac-10 (or the Big Ten) under any circumstances.

        Point 4 I would concede, but keep in mind that these trips would be substantially further away and more expensive, and that Chicago, Madison, and Columbus are fun towns too.

      • duffman says:

        1.. hispanic = texas, california and hispanic is where the growth is.. among other things

        4.. ummm sunny cal in feb.. or snow in madison.. hey i love chicago.. but given the choice, i like to visit friends there in the summer…. and not alot of sporting events in the summer.. hot chicks @ the beach versus columbus!?!? are you a male??

        • The weather during football season, though, really isn’t as big of a factor as people perceive. The weather definitely sucks in Big Ten country during January and February, but football season is long over by that time. While it certainly can get cold in mid to late-November in the Midwest, that’s balanced by having generally perfect football weather in September and most of October. No one can compare with Southern California weather, but it’s not as if though Texas is in a warm-weather conference today with having to travel to Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri. Colorado and Kansas.

          • Jake says:

            Also, Texas in September can be miserable. October’s usually okay for fans, but still a bit warm for the players. A trip to Madison or Happy Valley for an early conference game would be bliss.

          • duffman says:

            yeah.. but usually your non conference are your first, sorta like exhibition games in the pros.. the latter part of the season is your conference games as they impact your bowl standings harder.. ie.. if tOSU lost to Michigan or PSU near the end of the season, pollsters will cut them slack.. if they lost or beat duke (in football) for their season, the pollsters would be “meh” if they win, and give MAXIMUM drop in ranking if they lose..

            in the big 12 north vs big 10 weather issues.. texas is in the south, so their “main” schedule is the warmer climates of the big 12.. if they went to the big 10.. ALL the teams become weather sensitive, instead of some.. same with travel distances…

          • Richard says:

            In football, if TAMU is brought along, it works out to being 3-4 games north of Texas instead of the 2 games north of Texas currently. Even if you count a trip to OSU as “southern”, that’s still just a difference of 2 games a year. Is the difference of 2 games a year in a colder clime worth $10M?

            The ratio’s the same for other sports as well (about 1/6 your games could be in a colder climate), and really, it’s not exactly freezing in the Midwest in October or November (or April).

          • Agreed – weather should be a non-issue for football. It’s definitely an issue for baseball, but as popular as that sport is at Texas, that’s not going to get in the way of a deal occurring if that’s what both parties want. It would be like Syracuse not wanting to join the Big Ten in order to protect its very popular and successful lacrosse program.

          • Jake says:

            Duff – The Big 12 has been doing conference games in September lately to give ABC/ESPN something to put in primetime. I’m not sure if the Big Ten would go for it, but you can get a lot of exposure if no one else is playing meaningful games that week.

            As for the rankings, it might not be a bad idea to have a couple of your power teams go head-to-head early in the year. One of them has to lose, and if you get it out of the way early they’d have more time to recover in the polls. I’m not saying Michigan-OSU should play in September, but UT-PSU might work, if Texas joins. Inter-divisional games might be the best ones to play early, since you wouldn’t lose the drama of the chase for the title game.

      • m (Ag) – At least from what I’ve seen from Texas alums, there isn’t a decided advantage between Big Ten or Pac-10 membership. The factors that you just mentioned are certainly favorable for the Pac-10, while the money and academics angle (along with the fact that it’s more than just USC when you have Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State in the fold) favors the Big Ten. The time zone also favors the Big Ten. The geographic distances are a wash overall. So, my impression (and this is just what I see personally) is that there isn’t going to be some type of uprising for Texas to join one conference over the other if only because there’s general agreement that the Big XII is very poorly run.

      • Mike says:

        “there’s general agreement that the Big XII is very poorly run”

        I find that ironic since the rest of the Big XII complains that Texas runs the conference.

      • m (Ag) says:

        “On point 1: really? Do Texans really see themselves as more like Californians than those in the Midwest? From an outsider’s perspective, it would be difficult to come up with a pair of large states with less in common. I have never lived in either state, but I went to school with a large number of Californians who viewed Texas as the destroyer of all that is good in the world. Before I started reading conference expansion speculation, I do not believe I had ever heard of California being mentioned as culturally similar to Texas. ”

        Well, the city of Austin is much more liberal than the rest of the state. But I wasn’t really talking about politics.

        Economically they see more in common with Silicon Valley. Texas (and certainly those that go to university) sees itself as a state looking to the future technologically, and the culture of venture capital isn’t really different from the oil exploration culture that has been a part of Texas history.

        Socially they see more in common with a state that went from a part of Mexico to part of the old west to a large, modern state with large numbers Mexican and Central American immigrants. Also, they don’t feel any particular affinity towards Chicago or New York, but watch Hollywood TV and movies as much as the rest of the country.

  12. Adam says:

    For what it’s worth, I do not think that a 14-team league can be made to work, no matter what the ostensible financial benefits are. Football is the King Kong of the college sports world, and there just aren’t enough games to go around. A 14-team league is split into 2 Divisions of 7. You play a 6-game round-robin in your Division, and at least 2 games against the opposite Division. If one of those games against the opposite Division is locked in, that means that 7 of your 8 opponents are the same every year.

    Of course, there are many proposals bandied about to remedy this. They are usually variations on these 2 themes:
    1. A 9-game league schedule. This is a money-losing proposition, as non-conference games allow all league teams to bring fresh money into the conference. It is my understanding that the Pacific-10′s experiment with this has not been universally acclaimed. Moreover, it means that everybody is getting an uneven number of home and road games every year–something that could easily affect the divisional races.
    2. A complicated series of pods and rotating divisional alignments. While many of these have been proposed and I’m sure a lot of work went into them, I do not think any variation on this can work. Rotating pods to form ever-shifting Divisions make it fairly difficult (it seems to me) to manage any rivalries except those placed within the smallish pods. And, in a world where any sports columnist who runs out of ideas can just write a populist screed complaining about the BCS (when the actual BCS formula itself basically makes sense; the problem is with trying to have a 2-team playoff for the national title, not the formula), I have a hard time seeing where there would be any sustainable support for such a complicated solution (which would also, incidentally, create an ACC problem of weird Divisions nobody particularly cared about).

    • Richard says:

      No one cares about journalist screeds. I do think pods can work, but in any case, no one says you have to have a fixed interdivision rival.

    • No cross-divisional rival. The Big 12 doesn’t do it. The SEC does. There would be a longer gap between cross-divisonal foes than even the SEC has right now (every 3 years they cycle through the five cross-divsional teams they don’t play yearly); I believe it would be five years between playing all of your cross-divisional foes.

      Pods wouldn’t work well for 14 teams, or at least I’ve never seen it work. They could work very well for 16 teams, but I’d be shocked if the Big 10 could or would want to pull that kind of expansion off.

  13. John says:

    Scenario #1: The league will stay at 12 if ND agrees to come. The presidents will not risk RU and Cuse not towing the financial line and having to subsidize their conference payouts with ND generated money. Senario 1 is unlikely.

    Scenario #2: The state of Nebraska has a collective 700K TV households in the entire state according to Nielsen DMA information. That will generate approx $6M/yr for the BTN if all 700K were to get the BTN and the cable companies were to agree to the average $.70 a subscriber for a footprint state. Add the projected $15M generated by a championship game and NU barely pays for itself let alone adds any money to the existing conference member’s coffers. Risking Cuse and RU on top of a break even proposition is risky and unlikely.

    Scenario #3: This in my opinion is the only plausible way RU “might” make it into the BigTen. The BigTen will not take two BigEast programs under any circumstances as it would dramatically dilute the value of the BigTen brand. Even adding one program like RU is a gamble.

    Will viewers tune in to watch RU get clobbered week in and week out by programs like Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, and Michigan? To think they would compete for a BigTen title any time soon let alone on a consistent basis is shear folly considering they can’t even win a BigEast title in a watered down league. Additionally, RU has virtually no viewing interest outside of a 25 mile radius of Piscataway and none east of the Hudson, and that’s winning 7-9 games a season. How much viewing interest will they have winning 4,5, or maybe 6 playing in the BigTen. Probably about as much as Indiana and Northwestern. The BigTen doesn’t make multi million dollar decisions based of the hopes and prayers of programs that have little tradition and viewing interest. And besides, the BigTen Network is already carried by all the major Cable companies in NY/NJ/Conn. Will adding RU in any scenario (with Texas and TAM) really change things in how RU sports is perceived? Not from where I sit which is looking out my window across the Hudson at the upper west side of Manhattan. Unless the Yankees, Mets, Jets, Giants, Rangers, Devils, Nets, and Knicks all decide to relocate to Bangor Maine, RU isn’t going to financially do much for the BigTen. In my opinion, adding Rutgers under any scenario would be a colossal mistake.

    • Rick says:

      The BTN is not on basic cable in the NY Metro market. It is on premium “Sports Packages” for additional fees of @$6.00/month. I know that is true for Cablevision IO and Comcast. In Fairfield County CT where I live (considered the NYC Metro TV market) it is only available on Comcast “Sports Pack”. I do believe in some areas of NJ it is available on Verizon Fios basic, not positive.I believe that is primarily Central/So. Jersey. So why wouldn’t the BT want to combine ND and RU and SU in Scenario #1? Basic cable for NJ (9 mil pop), NY upstate (7 mil pop) will provide nice revenue and the prospect of .05-.10 a month on some portion of NYC/LI/Westchester(12 mil pop) cable is a pretty attractive reason. ND alone does not put the BTN on basic cable. You put ND/RU/SU together with the draw of PSU and the Big Ten in general, then getting it on basic cable and highly penetrated into the NYC/LI/Westchester market is not as much of a far fetched gamble as it is being made out to be. ND/NEB/RU and the whole BT package is also very attractive to basic cable. So would TX/aTm/RU and the whole BT package. I just don’t buy some of the projected failure talk of Rutgers as part of different scenarios put out there by Frank. I think Frank as nailed it pretty well. I also don’t buy the awful TV viewing projections that have been put forth. The Big Ten is looking into this and so far, if we can believe the leaked info, it passes the smell test. They must see something they like about the prospects of RU and the BTN.

      • Rick says:

        I think the NY market is more than a Pro Sports town. Having lived here for 45 years I have seen this first hand. And I think NY likes, and will like even more, the “New” Big Ten even more with expansion from NJ/NY to Texas/Nebraska and points in between like a certain city in Indiana. A look at the attendance #’s of the Kickoff Classic over the years gives us a brief view of the attention that NY will pay:

        Games with Big Ten teams (Giants Stadium 78k capacity):
        2000: PSU v. USC; 79k
        1996: PSU v. USC; 78k
        1991: PSU v. GT; 77.5k
        1999: Ohio State v. Miami; 73k
        1983: PSU v. 71k
        1986: Ohio State v. Alabama; 68k
        1995: Ohio State v. BC; 63k
        1987: Iowa v. Tenn; 55k
        1997: Wisconsin v. SYR; 51k
        1992: Iowa v. NC State; 46 k

        Kickoff Classic games with Notre Dame
        1989: ND v. Virginia; 77k
        2002: ND v. Maryland; 73k

        KOC games with Nebraska only:
        1994: Neb v. West VA; 58k
        1988: Neb v. Texas A&M; 58k

        All other KOC games with non BT/ND/NEB
        Avg attendance: 52k (6 games)

        While Rutgers Stadium is 52k capacity (with expansion capability built into the current design), they will be playing certain BT games at the new “Meadowlands” stadium to open this April. They will be playing Army there this fall. Rutgers has PSU and UCLA on the schedule for 2014 and beyond and I bet they end up at the new Meadowlands.

        Syracuse has ND on the schedule after 2014 there.

        I just don’t see any reason NY Metro will not embrace the Big Ten expansion into this market. It’s a Big Time Market that likes Big Time Sports. That includes college football not just Big East basketball.

    • captainobviously says:

      If, and only if, the Big ten bags ND or UT, it could be worth it to subsidize the NY schools for a time (as long as revenue is > $22m per school)… It’s a reasonable investment to capture such a long term strategic prize.

  14. spartakles78 says:

    Seems like the Big Ten should offer 5 schools at once. This would give cover to the individual schools. If TAMU is not one of the 5 offered and Texas state politics makes the Longhorns delay their decision while the other 4 accept in the meantime, it makes that last spot even more valuable to everyone. If less than 4 accept, it opens a spot for two Texas schools. If no one accepts, then the Big Ten can keep its $22 mil per and set the bar for any school that was not invited on what they need to do to be more attractive. After 3-5 years past and expansion talk recurs and now its $28+ mil per we’ll see how the landscape is.

    • Richard says:

      Except the least valuable schools are the most likely to accept. The Big10 wouldn’t want to be stuck taking in Syracuse and no one else.

      • That’s a great point, Richard. The schools that are actually worth getting are the ones that are going to need a lot of prodding and negotiation. A lot of people are acting as though the Big Ten is just going to add a school that’s easy to invite, which I don’t believe is going to be the case at all. Texas and Notre Dame might ultimately say no, but that doesn’t mean that the Big Ten is going to not work hard to entice them.

    • duffman says:


      agreed.. it is a fine line.. you “water down” or .. you hold out for the perfect 10.. they can both fail.. yet by doing nothing, you do not get to 12 and get a conference championship game..

      • ezdozen says:

        Is the $15 mil worth taking on a 12th team that does not add revenue? If they can’t land someone who brings in $8 mil, they are breaking even or losing money.

        Meanwhile… the Big 10 has had more publicity with this issue since….Mich/OSU game?

        If this causes Pac-10 to blow up the Big 12 (Colorado and Utah maybe?)… well, that makes life easier for the Big 10. If it can work something out with Texas and be just fine. The Big 12 can add Houston and TCU and be just fine. This takes the pressure of Texas (Colorado bailing and Big 12 surviving).

        The Big East is left alone and fine.

        Notre Dame is left alone and fine.

        The Big 10 can always use the “expand to 14″ issue several years down the road to regenerate MORE interest if necessary.

        Why go to 14 now if you can save it for down the road???

      • ezdozen says:

        Also… the Big 10 might benefit from holding off on the East Coast to see what happens with Penn St. in the post-Paterno era. Maybe it goes smoothly. Maybe not.

        If your Eastern flank is mediocre… that might not help KEEP revenue streams flowing. A network that sucks is a network that sucks.

      • Richard says:

        Well, the Big12 won’t be “fine” after losing Texas, even if it adds TCU and Houston (especially if it loses Colorado and/or Nebraska as well). It will survive as a BCS conference, though, like the Big East.

        As for waiting to see how PSU does, it’s harder to get a cable channel in than to keep it there, so if anything, PSU strength right now is an argument to expand in that direction. In any case, they’ll still be a big population state that has the richest talent pool of any Big10 state even after JoePa goes.

      • Stopping By says:

        Lots of speculation/assumptions on the board here about the Pac 10 taking/going after Colorado and Utah if they can’t land the holy grail (Texas and A&M).

        My question is…if the Big 12 is up for grabs, why would they take Utah over lets say a Nebraska? I realize Utah has the bigger TV market in SLC but Nebraska would seem to bring the bigger “name” and national following. In articles that I have read, Osborne seemingly is willing to jump ship at the first decent offer (although I’m sure he prefers Big Ten).

        Pac 10 needs to move first due to expiring TV contracts and Big 12 2 year notification process. It would be interesting to see what Nebraska would do if the Pac were to put them to a choice of accept Pac 10 invite or wait it out in the Big 12 (and pray the Big Ten invites them).

        I personally don’t see conferences going past 12 – just my opinion – and I doubt Nebraska would be the sole invite to the Big Ten. They would easily be the most conservative university in the Pac but if the money is right…..

      • duffman says:

        when you open the gate.. you can not always close it..

        we seem to agree the big 10 and the sec are strongest.. and their border is uofl and uc.. if the sec thinks the big 10 is going for a big jump.. say 14.. they may retaliate and expand to 16.. from a purely financial standpoint.. they are probably the only other conference that can do it.. then you start looking at what a 16 team sec might look like.. the problem with turf wars is when it escalates..

        i feel when any BIG conference (big 10, sec, pac 10, big 12) strays well out of its historic footprint.. there will be a new “civil war”.. peace is preserved with a feeling of balance..

        i still think it is telling there i traffic on a texas .. big 10 jump, but not a peep from the pac 10.. sometimes silence can be as telling as sound.. maybe in the end the NCAA (as governing body) steps in.. then again you get back to a political solution, with unintended consequences…

        the NCCA.. to maximize its value.. has a self interest to see many financially viable conferences..

      • duffman says:

        what is the financial penalty for not giving the proper notice.. as any good financial negotiator knows.. sometimes it is best to pay the penalty.. just to stay off the radar..

      • Stopping By says:

        I don’t understand any reasoning for the SEC to grow in response to a bigger than 12 team Big Ten. Unless I am mistaken (and it wouldn’t be the first time), the SEC’s mega contract with ESPN and CBS is all sewn up for 15 years. Any additions just cuts the same pie more ways (albiet a very big pie), so what incentive to current SEC universities have to increase teams?

        They can’t negotiate more from ESPN/CBS even if the additions are OU and A&M unless they have an expansion clause – and even then, why would ESPN/CBS give them more money when no one else can even afford to match what they are currently paying?

      • duffman says:

        stopping by..

        not if it wound up as 12 teams.. the sec comment was if the big 10 jumped to 14…. if they did not put a clause in there for changes in sec composition (hence re negotiation) then the sec needs to fire their law firm .. if big ten becomes the big 14.. then the sec might go to 16.. again it was an escalation thing, and protection of turf issue.. if the big 10 went to 14.. and the sec did not grow.. they would not be growing their footprint..

      • Richard says:

        Utah brings even fewer viewers than Nebraska (BYU commands the most viewers in Utah), so there’s no reason for the Pac10 to choose Utah over Nebraska if the Big10 doesn’t want Nebraska.

        As for the SEC, even if there is a clause for expansion, I doubt it would increase per-school payout for the SEC schools (there’s no reason for ESPN to incent the SEC to increase its negotiating power). As for the “protecting it’s turf” argument, what moves could it take to protect in the short-term that it could not do in the long-term? The Big10 won’t take away any SEC school. It won’t be able to take away any Big10 school. If it wants Louisville or Cincy or WV, they will always be there and available. If it wants to raid the ACC, they could do that any time. It won’t contest with the Big10 for the Northeast. The Big10 won’t take Oklahoma, and I expect Texas to take TAMU with them regardless of where they go. The only possible expansion candidate it could contest with the Big10 is Mizzou. Still, though, they’re set for the next 15 years. Unlike the Big10, they’re incentives aren’t set up to reward expansion.

      • Stopping By says:

        @ Richard or any Nebraska fan…

        So Nebraska brings more fans and more buzz then Utah. Ok then, back to my thought, if the Pac 10 (which needs to act before the Big Ten – and assuming they don’t land the UT A&M grail) invites Colorado and Nebraska – does Neb accept or wait it out in the Big 12 and pray the Big Ten will take them?

      • Richard says:

        They’ll probably feel out the Big10 first to find out if joining the Big10 is likely. If not, they’re going to the Pac10; no way they’re staying in a sinking Big12. Texas can afford to wait because any conference will always make room for Texas. Nebraska does not have luxury.

    • m (Ag) says:

      5 schools at once?

      Sure, as long as the schools are Texas, A&M, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland.

  15. TheBlanton says:

    Taking Rutgers or Syracuse drops the Big 10 further behind the SEC and a potential 12 team Pac 10 (With Colorado and Utah). Meaning more people nationally will be tuning in to see Colorado vs USC, than Syracuse vs Penn State.

    There are only 3 expansion options that improve the Big 10 brand not diminish it.

    1. Texas and A&M (with or without ND)
    2. Nebraska and Missouri (with or without ND)
    3. Only ND

    anything else would be expansion for the sake of expansion and i doubt it would bring in any more viewers, especially amongst the casual fan. Who would rather watch the SEC, or Pac 12. If they wanted to expand based only on getting a team or teams without thought to improving the product why not just invite Iowa State and Pitt?

    One thing about Texas politics. If Texas and A&m Go to the Big 10, If Texas actively lobbies the Big 12 to immediately take in TCU and Houston (or Rice.)Texas immediately goes from 4 BCS schools to 6, an overall win for the state of Texas and a easy sell to the Politicos. Big 12 keeps its games in Texas and it’s Texas TV markets intact, also making a more competitive overall conference.

    • Paul says:

      Nebraska, Missouri and Pitt. That will work. I don’t see Texas joining the Big Ten.

    • mushroomgod says:

      It wouldn’t be “expansion for the sake of expansion”. It would be to add the champ. game, which is more important for visibility than $…the football coaches don’t like being off the TVs for 3 weeks…hurts recruiting….the football coaches are the ones pushing for expansion. The other reason for expansion is to provide an eastern travel partner…..

      I think the Big 10 adds Rutgers, then awaits developments….

    • ezdozen says:

      “No. I think that’s a bad idea. It’s a bad idea. To me, that’s all about money and it’s about fan interest, wouldn’t it be great?”

      Yeah… who cares about fan interest?

      Oh yeah… money is not important either. How did he keep a straight face?

      • Richard says:

        It’s a weak rationale, but no Big10 administrator would support a playoff, because the Big10, due to having it’s own network, cares more about people paying interest to the regular season games than other conferences. It’s also why Delany doesn’t support expanding the NCAA basketball tournament. He doesn’t want to turn his vast collection of Big10 conference basketball games (90% of which are shown on the BTN) in to a huge, extended preseason.

  16. TheBlanton says:

    If Texas and A&M manage to stay together, in either the Big 10 or Pac 10, Texas would surely maintain the RRR with OU in Dallas, and schedule Baylor, TXTech, and Rice as OOC games. That would be 8-9 games in the state of Texas and only 3 to 4 out of the state every year.

    As the UT/A&M game will always be Thanksgiving, the last out of state road game for TX would be the last week of September or the first week of November in most years. Hardly prohibitive travel, weather wise.

    • duffman says:


      that is just football.. recalculate based on ratios ie for every football player we have 4 non football players.. and my guess is they will be traveling in bad weather to the big 10.. and the other sports @ texas have already said they do not want to travel where it is cold..

      and if you don’t think cold weather matters.. why do you think the superbowl is played mostly in the southern US

      • Richard says:

        Source please. Considering that the Longhorns are already in a conference where half the schools are in cold weather states (and OK isn’t exactly balmy in the winter either), the cold weather argument is pretty weak (counting nonconference, the majority of their games will still be in Texas, plus a decent number of sports in the winter are indoors).

      • Kyle says:

        The Superbowl is in the South or a Dome, because it’s a football game that relies on traveling fans to fill it.

        But what other college sport is remotely like that? Every other sport is either indoors or played later in the spring. The only possible exception is Baseball, but their early season is spent playing regional teams anyway.

  17. Jake says:

    If the Big Ten had just wrecked the Big 12 by taking UT and A&M (going past the 12-team mark in the process), why would they give their 14th spot to Rutgers? At that point, every team in the Big 12 would be begging to get in, and several of those could guarantee quite a bit, while Rutgers’ value would still be largely speculative.

    Sure, there are a few ways Rutgers could join the Big Ten without being a financial drain, but there are enough schools out there with more to offer that I don’t see it happening. I still think UT alone will be the move, A&M be damned.

    • Richard says:

      NJ actually has (slightly) more people than Missouri or Colorado, and a lot more than Nebraska or Kansas, plus, it’s right next to (and includes) the largest media market in the country. Unlike KU or Mizzou or Nebraska, it also meets the academic/research criteria easily. Mizzou might be a safer choice, and Nebraska has more of a brand name, but if the Big10 lands Texas, it could afford to try to hit a home run without fear of striking out instead of shortening up to protect the plate, so to speak.

      • Rick says:

        Expansion candidate state populations:
        Texas: 25 mil
        NY Metro: 12 mil (NYC, Long Island, Westchester)
        NJ: 9 mil
        Upstate NY: 7 mil
        Missouri: 6 mil
        Colorado: 5 mil
        Kansas: 3 mil
        Nebraska: 2 mil

        PA: 13 mil
        MD: 6 mil

      • captainobviously says:

        this is true… netting a whale like UT gives the Big Ten the financial wiggle room to gamble a bit and go after the NY market… when you’re up by 11, in their territory, and it’s 2nd and 4 you can afford to air it out and go for the jugular.

    • Rick says:

      Why would they consider RU for spot 14? I think by reading between the lines some I believe the Big Ten wants to penetrate the NY Market and no other market in the Big 12 other than Texas even comes close. That’s why. If they are going to expand why not go after a huge market while they are at it?. Why not I would ask? The Rutgers value as part of the new Big Ten and the BTN in NY/NJ basic cable I believe is hardly speculative.

      NJ. pop: 9 mil
      Mo. pop: 6 mil
      Co. pop: 5 mil

      • Jake says:

        NJ may have more people, but how many of them are interested in watching Rutgers football? If Texas played any decent Big Ten team, the game would be on the television of pretty much every sports fan in the state. I don’t care much for the ‘Horns, but if they played OSU, PSU, Mich (in a good year), or even Iowa or Wisconsin, I’d tune in. Rutgers say the same thing about the NJ/NY market? I’m not sure.

      • Rick says:

        Alot. Interest would be high for RU Big Ten matchups

    • mushroomgod says:

      There is a need for an eastern travel partner for PSU……….

  18. greg says:

    Ignore me, just posting so I start getting the thread emailed to me.

  19. Steve says:

    Let me get this straight. Rutgers plans a stadium expansion that it can’t afford for $102 million. A $30 million fund raising campaign flops, so they end up borrowing the entire $102 million with annual interest payments of $6.9 million. Now they’re trying to schedule concerts in the stadium to pay down the debt. In the mean time, they want to overhaul the basketball arena. Does this sound like a Big Ten caliber school?


    • Pat says:

      Rutgers financial strategy sounds a lot like “Obama Care” and the federal deficit. Buy now, let the next generation worry about the bill.

      • Rick says:

        It sounds like fixing something now that needs fixing instead of passing it off to future generations and keeping your head in the sand like the problem doesn’t exist. It sounds like prudent planning, foresight, and doing the right thing, not unlike Health Care reform.

    • Rick says:

      Yeah, it sounds like alot of schools and their infrastructure upgrades. It sounds to me like good planning for the future growth of the Athletic programs. It sounds like a forward thinking Athletic Administration. It sounds visionary like many Big Ten caliber schools.

    • Phil says:


      You still don’t have it straight.
      =The stadium financing issue needs to laid at the feet of NJ politics, not RU fan interest. Originally, the state was supposed to pick $30mm of the stadium cost, then budget issues cancelled that. Because they were hung out to dry by the state, then-Gov Corzine stepped in and said he would work to get them private donations for the $30mil. Months later, he had to leave RU holding the bag because the state said the governor wasn’t legally allowed to get involved in raising private donations for RU. RU’s last minute drive to get donations happened to coincide with the beginning of the 2008 banking crisis, which removed a major source of $$$ in this area.
      -RU is now looking to hold concerts because they can. They were given some state money for their previous stadium expansion in the early 90′s. Part of the deal with receiving that money is that they agreed to not stage any concerts, so they wouldn’t be competition for the Meadowlands, which was owned by a NJ govt agency. Now that the old Giants Stadium has closed (the new one is owned by the Jets and Giants, not the state), RU is free to hold concerts and will do so.

      • Rick says:

        Phil, in the words of Paul Harvey…”and that is the rest of the story”. Good background to what really is going on.

  20. Terry says:

    I just read this whole thread. The most interesting thing I saw was someone’s comment that a Pac 10 expansion would come out of a June 2010 meeting for a July 2010 contract negotions for 2012 Pac 10 TV deal.

    If that is the case, then Pac 10 will be moving quickly. Probably more so than Big 10.

    But with the requirement for Pac 10 unanimity, it probably means that there is no Pac 10 expansion for this new TV contract.

    Also note that IIRC, the BTN price is .10 per household for states where it plays and $1 per household for states it doesn’t. using that pricing model, if Nebraska has only 700K TV households, picking up Nebraska is not very profitable.

    Also note that St.Louis already has BTN on extended Basic, not Sports Premium. So picking up Mizzou ain’t much of an upside. I don’t know which price StLouis got, but it is possible that picking up Mizzou might actually lose money for the BTN.

    I think the decision will come slowly. Same with Pac 10.

    • Mike says:

      The PAC-10 schools need more money. If I remember correctly, they are looking for an additional 6-7 million per school for this TV contract. The easiest way to do that is through expansion and grabbing Texas. I think the PAC-10 could agree on that.

      Where Nebraska becomes “profitable” is when you negotiate with ABC. Nebraska has a national fan base and if you can add Neb-OSU, Neb-Mich, Neb-Penn St. that adds three top tier games that any casual college football fan will take an interest in. Does that offset the low home population? Maybe.

      A big mistake the Big 12 makes is leaving profitable games unplayed. Nebraska is scheduled to play Oklahoma or Texas, not both (Neb. plays A&M the same years it plays Texas). If the Big 12 wants a better TV contract it should find a way to get its “sexy” teams to play more often. No one cares when the Big 4 (NU, OU, TX, TAMU) of the Big 12 play Baylor or Iowa St. However, there are at least 4-6 of those games every year.

      • Richard says:

        Everyone wants Texas; who Texas chooses is the question.

        As for the Big12 maximizing big games, yes, they can do that, but they’ll always suffer from the disadvantage of having the smallest footprint, population-wise, of all the maor conferences, and of having over that population in one state only.

      • Too little too late.

        Even so, the Big 12 North has been so lame recently that who would you be dying to see play each year from the North? Mizzou? Kansas? These fixed rivalries you speak of would likely include UN vs. OU (a good one, to be sure), Texas vs. Colorado (historically CU was good), A/M vs. Mizzou (some nat’l appeal, not much), Ok St. vs Kansas (again, some nat’l appeal). The problem with the Big 12 is there are some bottom feeders traditionally and when their stars go through slumps (most notably UN and CU), the conference suffers.

  21. ot says:

    The Big Ten expansion sweepstakes is turning into a cross between a high-stakes poker game and “Kabuki Theatre” in the words of the Ohio State University president.

    Knowing that neither Notre Dame nor Texas want to be the 12th school in the Big Ten, the Big Ten only has one logical choice for its 12th school:


    Adding Rutgers alone will net the Big Ten at least $100 million in new revenue: about $85 million/year from Big Ten network subscriber fees ($1/month x 12 months/year x 7 million expanded basic cable subscribers in the New York City TV market) and another $15 million/year from the football championship game.

    After grabbing Rutgers, the Big Ten can then work on bagging Texas and Texas A&M as the 13th and 14th schools. That move will get the Big Ten Network onto expanded basic cable in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin.

    Once the Big Ten gets to 14 schools, Notre Dame may have no choice but to beg the Big Ten for admission as the 15th school or risk falling further behind in revenue.

    Asssuming that the Big Ten will be willing to take Notre Dame as the 15th school (no guarantee since Notre Dame will bring ZERO additional expanded basic cable TV households to the Big Ten Network), the Big Ten can one more spot left to hit a home run.

    The logical “home run” target for the Big Ten’s 16th school?

    The biggest football brand name in the #2 TV market: USC.

    Now you can see why the Pac-10 needs to get moving with its own expansion and TV network plans. If the Big Ten were to poach USC from the Pac-10, the Pac-10 will lose its #1 moneymaker.

    • Rick says:

      With the money part of the Rutgers market you can only reasonably assume .70-.80/month for NJ only (cable carriage rates for out of state ie: NYC/LI/Westchester will only be, maybe .05-.10/mo.). NJ pop 9 mil (1/2 = TV households). NYC/LI/WestC pop 12mil/3 for households. Then divide the revenue in half due to arrangement with Fox in a 49/51 split. So the number for RU is alot lower than your number. Still a big number.

  22. Scott says:

    I have to say, this is the best-behaved board I’ve ever seen. On each of these pages on Frank’s site, Frank’s articles are great, and everyone’s responses are intelligent and respectful. It makes these pages eminently interesting to read. Sports websites are not known for such good manners and thoughtful comments.

    • duffman says:


      which is why we are posting here..

      in the days of the internet “dirt road” (before the “information superhighway”) most communication was like this.. (could have been that it was not commercial, and restricted to research(.edu), military(.mil), and non profits(.org)). well thought out, researched, independent thinking.. all finding a place to exchange and interact without physical distance..

      then along came the masses.. and commercialization.. and the wonders of “progress”.. now it is harder to find a place where it does not degrade to one line name calling of why me/mine is better than you/your….

      frank.. thanks for offering such a place !!

      everybody else.. thanks for the time taken to think things out, i have enjoyed reading this quite a bit..

  23. OrderRestored says:

    Yeah, it’d definitely be hard pressed to get any SEC team to leave the money in that conference. It wouldn’t make sense to make a lateral move like that for Kentucky.

    • I think that we can be fairly certain that the SEC will come out unscathed in this round of realignment. The Pac-10 is also very likely to be safe. The ACC probably doesn’t have that much to worry about, even though there’s still a chance that a school like Maryland might move if invited. That’s why the attention is focused on the Big XII and Big East.

  24. MIRuss says:

    Here’s the flaw with the Rutgers – Syracuse-Pitt or any Big East Logic: The ACC already went in and pilfered the “Best of the BEast”. IF they, the ACC, in theory had their pick of the BEast, and they chose BC over Syracuse, a questionable market at BEST with everything else that Boston has to offer, WHY ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH would the Big 10 even begin to consdier Syracuse, Rutgers or Pitt for their expansion? Frank, don’t be swayed by all these people and their “logical” arguments….It’s Texas, Notre Dame, and another Big 12 school or just the perfect one. If that doesn’t materialize, it will continue to be the Big 11.

    ‘Nuff said…..

    • To be fair, the ACC did originally want Syracuse. The Orange would be there now if it weren’t for the Virginia legislature effectively forcing UVA to block ACC expansion unless Virginia Tech was taken. I agree that there needs to be at least one of Texas or Notre Dame in the fold to make expansion work (with a very slight chance that a scenario with Nebraska could materialize). There’s also quite a bit of risk with any of the Big East candidates – I’m OK with taking that risk if another big name is on board, but definitely not as school #12 in a 12-school conference.

      • Jake says:

        That still doesn’t explain why the ACC took BC. I’m not sure I’ll ever really understand that one. Sure, it’s a good market, but how popular are BC sports in the area? I know that Beanpot hockey thing is big, as college hockey goes, but football and basketball? I don’t know.

        As for the Nebraska scenario, I don’t see it. If the Big Ten takes the Huskers (or the Tigers, or anyone else from the Big 12, really) and not the ‘Horns, Texas will scream that the sky is falling and flee for the Pac-10 in a heartbeat. I don’t think that’s something the Big Ten wants – a Pac-12 with UT + CU would have a population base of around 80,000,000, making their proposed TV network a real rival to the BTN. If the Big Ten takes anyone from the Big 12, they’ll take Texas. They may take A&M or Nebraska (or both) along with them, but Texas is the key.

      • omnicarrier says:

        After initially rejecting both BC and SU and being forced to take VT to get Miami, both BC and SU vowed not to negotiate with the ACC again.

        When the ACC found no takers for #12, the ACC returned to BC and SU. One kept their word not to negotiate with them, the other didn’t.

      • Rick says:

        Thanks for the backstory Omni. I have always valued your input on this issue, from my vantage point here in CT, from your Rutgers Scout postings.

      • Jake says:

        That’s very principled of Syracuse. And if they end up getting a Big Ten invite, it might pay off financially as well.

        So, that removes Syracuse from the question, but the ACC still chose BC over Rutgers, Pitt and everyone else in the Big East. Has anything fundamentally changed in the last seven years?

      • duffman says:


        think of BC as “catholic lite” – ie, if you can’t get the girl.. you date her kid sister. if you can’t get ND.. BC is probably next down the line.. it opens up the catholic viewers, it opens up scheduling with other catholic schools, and it gives you a footprint outside of your core footprint..(ie.. your alumni are probably well dispersed in the footprint of all the other conferences).

      • Richard says:

        The Big10 has a cable network, the ACC didn’t. The dynamics change a little because with a cable network, you care about how many people in a region care enough about a school to switch to a cable provider that has BTN. With a traditional TV deal, you care more about how many people nationally would tune in to a game involving a certain school.

  25. Jason says:

    I think Mizzou should be another asset within these three options, possibly the #2 option, or maybe add another option. Missouri I think would be another good choice if adding three besides Texas, A&M and Notre Dame. I know they’ll be a definite if Big Ten went to 16, which I know it won’t.

    • Richard says:

      I see Mizzou as very bleh. Their academics are borderline, they don’t have a national following, their fans don’t travel, they don’t have the potential of capturing a major media market, and while they bring enough eyeballs to pay for themselves, they won’t increase the current members’ share of the pie. Mizzou’s the one school of all the possibilities bandied about that I just can’t rationalize.

  26. Playoffs Now! says:

    Nice to see the heavyweight academics and research angles come back into proper perspective here. Those numbers will eliminate otherwise qualifying candidates.

    I think we can narrow the list down to the following:

    CO, NE, MO, TX, aTm, ND, KY, Pitt, MD, Rut, and Syr

    with a few major wildcards that would only come as package deals:

    P10 raid – USC, UCLA, Cal, Stan, and maybe Wash

    SEC raid – FL, GA, KY

    ACC raid isn’t likely because you probably can’t pry away VA without taking VT and the Carolina schools are permanently intertwined. Maybe FSU, but it is already on the academic bubble and a frontier outpost unless similar bubble team Miami comes along.

    So barring a Hail Mary blockbuster raid, it is down to the first 11 schools I mentioned, and several of these can almost be eliminated:

    CO – Alumni and recruiting bases are on the west coast, would only look toward Big Ten (sic) for the huge money and if they can’t get over the P10′s unanimous vote requirement (P10 expansion is not at all a sure thing, even if most of them want it. Which is why a P10 raid of the Cal schools if the expansion vote fails isn’t unthinkable.) Besides, all windows in Denver face west (toward the Rockies.)

    KY – Admin probably inclined to join for money and academic prestige, but can they persuade the alumni and fan base? Coaches and AD might think they have a better shot at contending for conf titles, but can they persuade the alumni and fan base? Did I ask if they can persuade the alumni and fan base?

    Pitt – Perfect academic/research fit, but doesn’t expand the TV market and thus iffy financial impact. (Nice alumni base in east coast markets might help a bit, but probably not enough.)

    Syr – bubble in so many ways that have be rehashed to near death here, but the research aspect seems to be the most incompatible. Likely end up with too many other qualified candidates for a single team expansion, so probably only joins as part of an east coast package strategy (same for Pitt, but even less so.) But an east coast package only happens if the conf permanently writes off a future addition of either ND or the Texas duo. So unless Texas of ND joins this round I think going to 12 and holding will be the initial strategy. Get the exposure of the conf champ game (and the recent report suggests that there are enough candidates to do that at a net financial gain) and then play the waiting game. You can always do an east coast duo/trio/quad after seeing how things shake out. As the big money dog, any east coast school the ACC might try to lock up will give you a final shot before they commit to the ACC.

    BTW, the B12 will NOT automatically collapse if CO or NE or MO leaves. They could easily plug in BYU, a TV wash and a strength of schedule improvement. A second and third departure might be filled by TCU, UH, or even NM or CO St. If Texas wants in an academic superior conference it will look to the B10+ or P10. However UT’s current formula of being the big dog in a conf that bobs in or near the BCS top 2 with a financial situation that suits there needs may remain their preference. My guess is they’ll end up upgrading to another conference, but that isn’t a certainty nor a slam dunk when the myriad of factors are weighed.

    Bottom line, the most likely B10+ expansion right now is, in no particular order:

    1 – ND
    2 – ND + two
    3 – Texas duo + one
    4 – either NE, or MO, or Rut, or maybe MD (not sure the money is enough to pull them away from the ACC)

    For option 4, I’d say 50% Ne, 40% Rut, 5% MD, 5% MO

    B10+ is NE’s first choice, but they’re surely sending lots of flowers and candy right now to the P10, too.

    • duffman says:

      someone mentioned alumni footprint.. (i think in reference to colorado to the pac 10).. is there an alumni footprint document out there that might give an idea of where the target schools alumni actually reside now??

      playoffs now..

      so you are saying it will be the fan base at UK .. *smile*

      i thought Indy and Columbus were some of UK’s strongest active alumni chapters (oddly enough, i think texas had a pretty active chapter as well – i was out in austin a few years back when they played MSU in one of the NCAA regional) again, if you travel to watch basketball (and i do) UK is always represented.. might be the same thing for tOSU in football, but i do not travel to watch football..

      teams that travel in basketball.. UK, IU, KU, and UNC.. after that it seems like there is a big drop.. (this is based on my non scientific individual experiences, and it heavily weighted by the cost of the scalper price “ie.. efficient market indicator of demand”). i can say the opposite end of the spectrum is duke.. either they do not travel, or they do not drive up ticket prices..

    • Jeremy says:

      Nice point and to add BYU would be good for the away games in texas due to the fact there is alot of mormons living in texas.

    • Jake says:

      The departure of CU, Nebraska or Mizzou by itself may not be that damaging to the Big 12, but it could lead to other, more critical developments. Losing any of those three would cost the conference a bunch of eyeballs – Colorado and Missouri are the conference’s most populous states outside of Texas, and Nebraska has a large following outside of its home state. If one of those three looked ready to split, UT could use that as the excuse they need to get the heck out of Dodge blame-free. At that point, if the Big Ten for some reason isn’t interested, they’d at least give the Pac-10 another call.

      Also, I’d like to see BYU in the Big 12, if only so they can play road games at Baylor. Talk about a Holy War.

  27. Jeepers says:

    Re: Academics

    I’m a creative guy, not a business guy, but I’d think a university president isn’t going to need to look at some rankings to make a decision if a university is academically acceptable. I mean, it’s kind of their job to know these things. I’d imagine there is a lot of “who you know” going on in there, as well.

    Guessing, but I’d think the conversation would go something like this. “I’m okay academically with schools X, Y, and Z. What other information do you have to sway me?”

  28. Xenon says:

    I think the BigTen is looking for a GAME CHANGING move.

    I think the BigTen is looking for TWO main things, and the best way I see to get there is to expand to 16 teams.

    1) Rewrite the BCS rules. When Kramer formed the SEC, he made three big changes that resulted in the SEC becoming the dominant conferences. He a) created a 12 team league, b) created the made for TV Conf Champ Game, and c) created the BCS system (actually the Bowl Alliance or the Bowl Coalition which ever was first) with rules guarenteeing the SEC access. I think the BigTen is looking for something similar. A COMPLETELY NEW MODEL that makes the dominant conference and lets them rewrite the rules in their favor.

    Image the following. The BigTen and SEC get together and decide to form the next reincarnation of the BCS, called the Bowls Integrated for Greatness Series – the BIGS. In the BIGS, any conference (say the SEC and BigTen since they are making the rules) that has 16 teams gets TWO automatic bids to the BIGS (one for each division champ) AND has can have one more At-Large Bid. Any conference with less than 16 teams can have one Automatic Bid, and at most 1 at-large team.

    The BigTen grows to 16 by decapitating the BigEast and BigXII North. The SEC grows by decapitating the ACC and perhaps the BigXII South. The Big East simply could never grow to 16 football schools, and the ACC would be hard pressed to have 16 all sports schools. The PAC10 could never find 6 more schools that all of their presidents could agree on, and the BigXII just got whacked and probably could never grow to 16 either. POW – the BigTen and the SEC just set themselves up for 2 or 3 BCS payouts every year, and clearly delinated the line between them and rest of the field.

    2) Make the BigTenNetwork National. To REALLY make some money, the BTN needs to become standard national channel, like ESPN2 or USA Network or TNT. Adding one more or three more teams doesn’t do that, but 5 more and being the only (or one of two) SuperMegaUltraConferences just might get to national status, especially if those include the plains and the NorthEast.

    Adding Missouri or NYC or Nebraka DOESN’T make the BigTen Network standard cable channel national. BUT all three together might just do it.


    I think the BigTen is either going to go “all in” and do something HUGE, or stick with 11.

    • duffman says:


      i think you are on target!!

      i think long term there may be a pre empt to block any “grassroots” playoff that (in your example is big 10 / sec = super 32) would put the current bowls out of business.. (and it appears to be a VERY profitable business for the schools – current bowl system). the smart strategic move would to control the schools your conference gets in.. and from the comments on this blog it sound like there are four levels:

      a) masters of the universe.. big 10 and sec
      b) masters of their universe.. pac 10 and big 12
      c) masters of their own domain.. acc and big east
      d) the rest..

      one thing i have not heard here is talk of the NIKE schools.. (supposedly there are 20 NIKE schools in the US, that nike supports because of their broad athletic appeal.. if i understood it correctly, broadness of sports was more important than individual.. so if you were IU (primarily basketball) you were not in.. but if you were (MSU) fb, mbb, wbb, etc.. you are one of the 20.. anybody know a link that lists these 20 if they exist?? i would guess that Oregon is one, because of history.. but my guess is the rest are BIG state schools that footprint well for NIKE. if this is public information.. it should indicate athletic value, as NIKE would want economic value on their backend.

      • duffman says:


        looks broad.. and i am guessing what they give to tOSU and Air Force are not equal..

        if there is a top 20 of “favored” schools in that list was more of what i was looking for??

      • duffman says:

        there was talk when brooks (formerly with Oregon, a NIKE school) went to UK (also a NIKE school) it was to ensure UK’s football brand (and vis a vi) protect NIKE’s economic brand.

        lest you do not think corporations do not affect college sports i offer the outback bowl years ago with PSU and UK. UK probably was not qualified to play PSU that year, but OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE was the bowl sponsor, and the guy that started it was a UK alumni.. lest you think i am picking on UK, i could do the same for many teams in ANY major conference….

        point going back to an earlier post.. about high status alumni.. and corporate influence.. OSU got a big boost from Pickens (150 – 300 million).. and U of L with many new athletic buildings and a new stadium (already being expanded) is HQ for Pappa John, and home to their founder..

        it would be interesting if the major austin techs.. like DELL.. are native grads.. or footprint in other conferences outside the Big 12!!

      • Jake says:

        Not sure about 20 favored programs, but here are the 10 that got the Pro Combat uniforms last fall:


      • duffman says:


        haha .. no.. aside from tOSU, Texas and OK, who else is “historic”?? if it was sec.. it would be BAMA.. and i do not see ND, Michigan, USC, Nebraska.. etc..

        when i first saw this i thought it was a spoof.. and was really funny..

        no.. the list of 20 .. would be all around.. like UCLA, Tenn, Uconn, MSU.. it would NOT just be football programs….

      • Mike says:

        ND, Mich, Tenn, UCLA, and Neb are Adidas schools.

  29. M says:

    What happens next?

    So far these are the events that I consider significant (i.e. events that actually, or at least supposedly, involve someone with the conferences, not some school saying they would/would not consider the conference):

    Big Ten announces expansion consideration
    Pac-10 announces expansion consideration
    Big Ten/Pac-10 may or may not have had contact with Texas
    Big Ten says it has list of 15 schools, releases list of 5

    What do the commentators here think will be the next action? To me, it seems like the nearest definitive date is the July deadline by which a Big XII school must notify the conference if they are leaving. I think that this deadline weighs more heavily on the Pac-10, as they have an upcoming television contract negotiation. Thus I believe that the next action will be the Pac-10 inviting Colorado, Texas, and/or A&M, perhaps after their meetings in June. They may also invite Utah at this time. Any thoughts?

    • Jake says:

      The Pac-10 won’t officially invite Texas until they’re sure they can get them, and Texas won’t give them that until the Big Ten has made up their mind. If the Pac-10 wants to give up on the Longhorns, they could go ahead and invite CU and Utah by this summer, but they might regret that. I predict several months of rumors and speculation before anything happens. The July deadline is big, but not all-important.

      The Mountain West may invite Boise State by the end of June, if that does anything for you.

  30. Mike says:

    Missouri’s Gary Pinkel. Why the Big 12 isn’t working and what it loses by going to the Big Ten.


    Q: Big Ten expansion has been a major story line the last few weeks and will be for months to come. Where do you stand on Missouri being a candidate to join the Big Ten?

    A: I like the Big 12. We’ve established ourselves in what’s been a huge recruiting emphasis, which was our plan when we got here. We went from 13 to 33 guys from Texas. It’s hard to argue that it hasn’t been successful for us with some of the impact players we’ve gotten from Texas.

    But, that being said, one of the really big problems with this league is the TV contract. Two areas of the TV contract, really. First of all, the TV contract itself. In the next five years, per year Illinois will get about $12 million more (from the Big Ten’s TV contract) for their athletic budget. Multiply that by four years for the four years we have left in our contract. So, the University of Illinois is getting $48 million more. That’s hard to understand. I think it’s about $14 million more in the Southeastern Conference. It’s hard to explain that to anybody.

    Another issue we have in this league is you look at the SEC and the Big Ten, and they have revenue-sharing. They understand you’re as strong as your weakest link and that the strength of your league is important. So, you share TV revenue. Even though we’ve been on the upper side of that ourselves, it’s not the right thing, in my opinion, for the Big 12. So, there’s some issues here. Those things are out there, and that’s kind of disappointing. Other than that, they’re not going to let me make decisions anyway.

    It can be a great league, but there are things financially that are absurd. I can’t even explain it.

    Q: Would moving to the Big Ten be devastating for your recruiting efforts in Texas?

    A: Well, I think it would be a real shift. We do studies on this and we know every county in the country and how many BCS players sign form each one. I believe last year, within five to 10, I think there were 55 players in the Big Ten from the state of Texas. We have close to 35 on our roster right now. One of the reasons one of the decisions was made was because this is Big 12 country as far as a media standpoint. I don’t know. You’d have to make a shift. And all that you’ve done, all the relationships you’ve established in recruiting, you’d have to adjust. And that might happen to anybody who goes to the (Big Ten), whoever it is. And academically, obviously, the Big Ten is very prestigious.

    Like I said, I like the Big 12, but it’s kind of disappointing when you can’t solve issues. And I’d say those financial issues impact the North Division more than they do the South.

  31. Pat says:

    Notre Dame to host Maryland at FedEx Field 11/12/11.


  32. Jeremy says:

    Notre Dame will not join this phase of expansion. I can see Big Ten go after 12 team league or nothing. Maybe 14 later on this decade.

  33. duffman says:

    as a general point on the importance of academia..

    to illustrate i offer bridge and chess….

    in chess your skill is based on constant competition
    so if you play a higher ranked opponent, and beat them your rating goes up – if you lose over time, your ranking goes down

    in bridge your skill is based on accumulation
    so it explains why if you play in a national tournament, some “masters” exhibit such poor play.. and why the people with really high points are the “blue hairs” who have played long enough to accumulate points

    some of these posts talk about the academic importance, yet some of the mechanisms are based on when you got in.. and not what you have done since..(a major reason they should never issue a football / basketball poll till at least the middle of a season). ie.. all things can be manipulated.. and no i am not about to pick on Harvard.. it is just an example..

    say we look a Harvard, which we can all say with some degree of certainty is a good academic school. we can also agree that they are one of the older institutions of learning in the USA. the issue is if you do not look carefully on how something happens.. it can skew based on an unintentional bias.. i know you may be asking who cares.. but anybody who invested in old line bank stocks a few years ago, got a serious wake up call when they eliminated 200 years of dividends, or failed entirely..

    just something to think about..

  34. ot says:

    The Big Ten has made it very clear that each additional member has to be revenue “accretive”.

    The only schools that can “accret” revenue to each of the 11 existing Big Ten member are:

    1. Rutgers will bring up to $80-85 million in revenue from expanded basic cable carriage fees (for the Big Ten Network) in the New York City TV market. The Big Ten can earn another $15 million from the football championship game when the Big Ten reaches 12 members.

    2. Texas and Texas A&M would bring another $50-60 million in expanded basic cable carriage fees from Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin TV markets. The Big Ten will be willing to take both schools because they bring 2 top 10 TV markets and 4 top 50 TV markets.

    3. USC would bring at least another $50-60 million in additional revenue from expanded basic cable carriage fees in the Los Angeles TV market. The Big Ten can earn additional revenue if the Big Ten Network can get expanded basic cable TV carriage in the San Diego TV market.

    The Big Ten might NOT want or need Notre Dame because Notre Dame would bring exactly ZERO additional expanded basic cable TV households to the Big Ten Network.

    The most likely scenario in my opinion: the Big Ten will stop at 14 schools after Rutgers, Texas, and Texas A&M are added unless the Big Ten sees a need to accept Notre Dame as well (as the 15th member).

    USC would make sense as the 16th member after Notre Dame is added, but not before that, unless the Big Ten wants USC and Stanford in order to grab expanded basic cable TV households in both Los Angeles (#2) and the San Francisco Bay Area (#6).

    • Jake says:

      Notre Dame may not bring in more viewers in its home state, but remember that this is a school that has a national fan base – NBC’s not the brightest, but there’s a good reason they gave the Irish their own TV contract. Notre Dame will bring in viewers across the country and force providers to either add the BTN or move it to a more accessible tier. Notre Dame probably has more fans in NYC than Rutgers, and they have ‘em just about everywhere else, too.

    • Rick says:

      ot: please keep in mind that Rutgers will not get expanded basic cable rates out of state (ie: NYC./LI/Westchester) like they will in NJ. NJ will likely be .70-.80/month with @85% or so penetration. Out of State rates or more likely to be .05-.10/mo. You can’t use the $80-$85 mil number as a basis for your rationale for Rutgers. It is not realistic. While I agree adding Rutgers is a good decision by the Big Ten I can’t justify using your calculation as is. It needs to accurately reflect reality.

    • Richard says:

      Texas and TAMU will bring more cable fees than Rutgers because Texas has more people than NJ+ NYC (assuming there’s little appeal for Rutgers on Long Island, Westchester, or Fairfield, and I can’t understand why there would be). Whether Rutgers can put the BTN on basic cable in NYC is an open question, while Texas+TAMU would put the BTN in every household in Texas. SoCal is between the two in population (I guess it’s debatable whether USC delivers San Diego, in which case it would be closer to metropolitan NY in population).

      I also very much doubt USC would be willing to fly 2+ hours for every away game in all sports, non-revenue or no (unlike Hawaii, they have DivI schools close by). For California, it’s the whole Pac-10 Cali foursome or nothing (it would be worth it too, since California has 37M people).

      As for ND, they make sense as part of an Eastern strategy, if your goal is to put the BTN in every household of the Northeast megalopolis (population:50M!). However, you may need Rutgers, Syracuse, Maryland, and maybe BC as well to capture that whole region, and even then, that may not capture all of that region.

      Finally, to calculate how many households a school has to bring to the BTN to be worthwhile, just use the existing Big10 memebers to figure that out. The existing Big10 footprint is 67M, or roughly 6M per school. Each current school receives about $12M from the BTN, so 1M people = $2M, roughly. Since the current members wouldn’t want their share of the pie to decrease, each new member(s) would have to contribute at least 6M people added to the Big10′s footprint.

      • Rick says:

        I believe the basic cable for Cablevision and Comcast for the NY Metro market would include LI, Westchester, and Fairfield. I don’t believe they would split it all up. So I think it would be fair to use the 12 mil pop number as the NY Metro number in addition to the NJ 9 mil pop. Even so, it is still less than Texas especially since the Texas rev number will be all in state carriage rates and RU would be part in state for NJ and part out of state for NYC/LI/Westchester/Fairfield.

    • Rick says:

      ot: Be careful with discounting ND and their TV value. They have huge TV value. As part of the BTN package they will be a very valuable partner in negotiating in state and out of state carriage rates. They have a huge draw in NY Metro in particular (especially when Kelly turns that ship around this fall). In addition, their value is huge when factoring in the non BTN TV piece of the BT revenue pie and future negotiations. If the BT can get them they absolutely should.

      • I agree. As important as new households are to the Big Ten Network, it’s false thinking that Notre Dame isn’t more valuable to the conference than schools than Rutgers, Missouri or anyone else that happens to be outside of the current conference footprint. Adding Notre Dame would almost certainly warrant an increase in rates for the Big Ten Network both within the current Big Ten markets and could possibly catapult the BTN onto basic cable nationally. That’s really what ND could represent: turning the BTN into a must-have channel everywhere (not just within Big Ten states).

  35. Pat says:

    Interesting article and chart on “How the BTN Makes Expansion More Likely”. I didn’t know that the vote to add Penn State in 1990 was only 7-3. Who the hell were the 3?


    • Paul says:

      Three things on that chart stand out.
      1. The large number of living graduates from Rutgers.
      2. The excellent national television ratings for Pitt. 3. The high academic ranking for Colorado from Forbes.

      Still not entirely sold on Rutgers.

      • Richard says:

        It’s too bad they didn’t analyze Texas and ND; I would have liked to have seen how their average TV ratings compare.

      • Richard says:

        OK, so in 2007, ND had a very mediocre average rating of 1.9 on NBC, 3.0 in 2006, and 3.7 in 2005 (which was the high in the recent past). Frankly, this makes ND seem like a rather unimpressive candidate, as national TV ratings are one of the few strong points in their candidacy (the other one being that they’re close to everybody in the Big10).

      • Richard says:

        For perspective, here are the most watched college football games in 2009 (they give viewers instead of ratings, though):

      • Rick says:

        Interesting chart and way to look at the candidates. Just seems a little puzzling why the writer would use a Forbes list of University Rankings when it probably doesn’t reflect what the University Presidents actually are looking for on the academic side. The other info on the chart seems relevant to a certain extent. Pasted below is the methodology for the Forbes list and the link to the Forbes site. On that site you can separate out Publics and Privates, the rankings on this chart is a mixture of both including small liberal arts schools, hence Wellesley #5, Amherst #8, Kenyon #22.

        Methodology: In conjunction with Dr. Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University, and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), Forbes inaugurated its first ranking of America’s Best Colleges in 2008. They based 25 percent of their rankings on seven million student evaluations of courses and instructors, as recorded on the Web site RateMyProfessors.com. Another 25 percent depended upon how many of the school’s alumni, adjusted for enrollment, are listed among the notable people in Who’s Who in America. The other half of the ranking was based equally on three factors: the average amount of student debt at graduation held by those who borrowed; the percentage of students graduating in four years; and the number of students or faculty, adjusted for enrollment, who have won nationally competitive awards like Rhodes Scholarships or Nobel Prizes. CCAP ranked only the top 15 percent or so of all undergraduate institutions.


      • Scott S says:

        Forbes uses ridiculous criteria to rank a college. Using the Who’s Who as a basis for anything is absurd. Have you ever been approached by them? Good lord… The amount of student debt? What does that have to do with the quality of education? That has to do with how wealthy your parents are. Student evaluations? Students are more likely to give high rankings to those profs who give out A’s. And how would they know if they’re prof is better than a prof at another school they’ve never attended? How can you put a Colby College (no offense to anyone here who attended Colby College) ahead of the Ivies and the cream of the Big Ten or Pac Ten?

    • Richard says:

      I thought it was 8-2 with Indiana and Michigan against. Also though a 75% supermajority was needed to approve expansion.

    • M says:

      According to “Bowls, Polls, and Tattered Souls”, the three were Indiana, Michigan, and Michigan State. I think it is a 2/3s majority, so 8 would have to vote for any new expansion.

    • duffman says:

      humm.. with stadium size and living grads.. would like to see kentucky

      i am guessing they already have a national tv following

  36. m (Ag) says:

    So, if you’re talking about adding an East Coast team as part of a 3 team package, is U of Miami interesting to the Big 10? I know its been brought up, but I don’t remember any big discussion.

    Its a school that’s a definite national name, but whose fans don’t fill their own stadium that often. The Big 10 probably wouldn’t be able to charge the “in state’ cost of the BTN for all of Florida, but they should be able to in the Miami area itself (over 5 million people). Plus it’s excellent recruiting grounds, and you’ve also said it gives the Big 10 schools a chance to play near their alumni.

    My understanding is that Miami wanted 2 East coast teams with them in the ACC to continue to play close to alumni in the region. So there’s a chance they’d consider moving to the bigger payday of the Big 10 if they get to play in a division with Penn State and Rutgers.

    Would the Big 10 consider an expansion that lead to a division: Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Miami?

    • Richard says:

      I’d consider Miami, but I’m not a Big10 Prez. Donna Shalala was Chancellor at Wisconsin, so they have the connections (and is one smooth political operator; she’s pretty much single-handedly responsible for causing the Big East and ACC to look the way they do now). Still, they’re not AAU, though they’re shooting up the rankings.

      Anybody up for a Big20?
      East Coast:



      West Coast:

      Texas gets to rule their fiefdom, and ND stays independent, but nobody can come close to challenging the Big10 (20) for financial supremacy.

  37. OrderRestored says:

    Based on the information I’ve gained from this blog here is a table I made up comparing each candidate numerically. The lowest number in the index is the best candidate. The Athletic revenue numbers are for the 2007-2008 fiscal year; but other than that the infromation should be current. The catagories included are:

    new TV market possibilities,
    national influence,
    academic prowess,
    football tradition (the driving sport),
    overall athletic reputation,
    athletic department revenue.

    I rated each catagory from 1-5 with 1 being the best of the 5.

    Rutgers: 2, 5, 1, 4, 2 Total: 14
    Pitt: 4, 3, 2, 2, 5 Total: 16
    Syracuse: 1, 2, 3, 5, 4 Total: 15
    Nebraska: 5, 1, 4, 1, 1 Total: 12
    Missouri: 3, 4, 5, 3, 3 Total: 18

    I realize that some of these numbers should be weighted for importance; but it isn’t clear on here what factors should be weighted where. What do you guys think?

    • Richard says:

      I wonder how much “athletic department revenue” matters, since the new school won’t be sharing ticket revenue. I also wouldn’t say Syracuse has more national influence than Pitt. Maybe 10 years ago. Not now.

      Daryl Gross firing Pasqualoni and Steve Pederson firing Solich are the 2 biggest blunders I’ve seen in college football in my lifetime. I can’t believe Gross still has a job.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I believe geography and “fit” are still important considerations.

      For example, Syracuse is a private school with 19000 students. Although it has a solid academic reputation, it has some $60M less in research $ than the lowest Big 10 school. It is not a good fit.

      Location is also important. Can the fans of visiting schools easily attend? Do the minor sports all have to travel by plane? Missouri and Pitt need some points over Neb., Syracuse, and Ruthers there.

    • duffman says:


      with you guidelines.. UK should be included..

      and just for a real “out of the box” thinking..

      you add UK to get ND.. people on here forget that ND had a really good BB program.. with UK and ND “out of state following” ..

      odd as it sounds.. uk is a border state, with no rival (the state has been pushing the U of L thing for the last 15 years.. but the close rival is UT.. and they havent beaten them since like 1982 or 1984, not ground for a good rival).. it also takes southern OH and southern IN out of the sec market, and into the big 10 market)

      • Scott S says:

        You seem to REALLY like Kentucky…

        I like them, too, actually, for the reasons you mention, plus I have a personal bias for them, too, in that my mother’s an alum and used to tutor Rupp’s BB players in English way back when they were the dominant program in the nation.

  38. glenn says:

    i thought it was a quaker.

  39. OrderRestored says:

    Definitely. The Frank Solich firing was probably one of the most absurd moves made at a major college football program. It has taken Nebraska, what?, 7 years to win as many games as Solich did the year he was fired. The name Pederson is probably just as bad as any four letter word in Husker Nation.

  40. fifthangell says:

    Outgoing Michigan athletic director Bill Martin & incoming athletic director David Brandon quoted on conference expansion at a faculty meeting yesterday:


    “Brandon said adding to the conference brings about “a tricky set of issues” driven by elements like recruiting, broadcasting, academic standards and geographic location.

    In dealing with recruiting, Brandon said it would be important to have inroads in states where many high-quality athletes live.

    Martin added the Big Ten is now coping with the issue of changing demographics. He said most of the athletic population now lives and the South and that coaches are forced to recruit in Southern locations to find the best players.

    High schools have opened in the South and high schools have closed in the North,” Martin said.

    He said the number of football players in the state of Michigan, for example, is dwindling, which is why it is becoming more common to see players from Texas and other southern states.”

  41. mushroomgod says:

    Most recent comments from the PSU president suggest, to me, a split between different interests in the Big 10. The football coaches want to go to 12 for a champ. game, and probably don’t care much who is chosen…Their preference probably would be for a “fit” team like Pitt or Mo. Joe wants an eastern team…

    Delaney and the college pres. are unsure they want to go to 12 unless ND or TX is available….

    • Rick says:

      Could you link those comments from the PSU pres concerning the coaches preferences, champ game, and where Delaney and the presidents are unsure of 12 if ND and Tex are available? I have not seen that and it sounds like interesting reading. Thanks

    • Jake says:

      I think we know who will win that argument. The Big Ten hasn’t added a team in 20 years, and they aren’t going to add just anyone now. If ND and Texas (or someone of that caliber) aren’t available, I doubt they’ll do anything.

    • Richard says:

      Looks like he’s trying to soften up the alums for a move.

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Yeah, a lot of “fearful” tones in this piece. You need to establish that there is a “threat” out there to the precious Irish commodity, otherwise, the move will be seen as unnecessary.

        This rhetoric will change in time, I predict, because the Irish don’t want to be seen as a reluctant member at the end of the day. They want to boast that this move is not just about “avoiding the bad” but also “seizing what is good.” But they must establish first that there is indeed a “bad scenario” out there for ND before he can have full support in seizing the best option for ND.

        And unless Notre Dame is ready to take over Big East football and stage some sort of weird coup, the Big 10 will be the best scenario to seize.

    • Jake says:

      Notre Dame discusses expansion! Was there white smoke?

    • Dcphx says:

      So the first crack in the ‘we’re not interested’ armor comes from ND, next up is Texas/aTm. I agree with Richard, this is ND softening up the alumni for a move that the university is ready to make. It will be justified one of three ways
      a. The B10 was going to take multiple BE schools if we didn’t say yes and that would have caused a domino effect on all sports and the BE conference. This will be the same justification that Texas uses (with MU/CO/NU being the stalking horses).
      b. The BCS is threatened by ND’s special status that other independents don’t have (some would say that’s a collusion/anti-trust case that the US Attorney General might get behind with support from Congress & the Executive branch) so if we want to compete for national titles, we must be in a conference and we choose the one with the best $$.
      c. Both a and b, plus the B10 is adding Texas and aTm so we’re really joining an enhanced B10 that is an improved fit to the B10 that we turned down 10 years ago (psst but it’s really just a crapton of cash).

    • Rick says:

      Sounds like the Big Ten+1 (ND) is not going to move ND off the dime. Delaney’s big move/vision of 14-16 gets their (ND’s)attention.

    • Richard says:

      BTW, if the Big10 adds ND, UT, TAMU, FSU, and Miami, the Big10 would be in 10 states.

  42. Justin says:

    Huge story today with Big 10 implications. See below


    In short, the ND athletic director basically implies that if the Big 10 goes to 16 teams, it could change the landscape of college athletics and force ND to join a conference. He mentioned that a 12 team Big 10 would probably allow ND to remain independent, but ND could not risk being left out if college football consolidated into several “superconferences.” He also referenced the collapse of the Big East as forcing ND’s hand to protect its other athletic programs.

    Meaning? I think ND just showed its hand. If the Big 10 goes to 16 teams, it will land Notre Dame. The Irish aren’t going to give up their independent status unless they are going to the most financially lucrative conference.

    If you’re Delaney and the conference presidents, you have to know ND is in play. Is it worth going to 16 team to land the Irish? If you add 2-3 Big East schools (ie Rutgers, Cuse), ND is basically advising its alumni that it will have no choice but to follow.

    I think ND is still the Big 10′s #1 choice.

    So how about ND, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt and Uconn?

    You take over all the major media markets north of the missisippi river.

    • Richard says:

      North of the Ohio, you mean?

      For a “Eastern strategy”, how about ND+Rutgers+Syracuse, and then either Maryland+BC/UConn or FSU+Miami.

      Or ND+Rutgers+Maryland+FSU+Miami.

    • Jake says:

      North of the Mississippi?

    • I think that a 16-school conference is still out of reach (at least in the near future), but if ND wants to be in a 14-school scenario, then that’s a done deal. We could have the JoePa Dream Conference that I described (with Rutgers and Syracuse joining the party or, for those that don’t like my love for ‘Cuse, maybe Maryland to bring in the DC area) or a national monster if you can get the Texas schools.

      Here’s my theory about ND all along: their ability to be independent is contingent upon having an open spot in the Big Ten as a safety net. Talk about the Big Ten adding just 1 school like Missouri or Rutgers doesn’t remove that safety net – the Irish would continue to correctly assume that they could still join the Big Ten in the future with that type of smaller move. The Big Ten going up to 14 schools, though, especially if you’re talking about names like Texas or the virtual destruction of the Big East, is probably going to remove that safety net forever. Whether they want to admit it or not, ND needs an open spot in the Big Ten in order to be comfortable with independence. If that spot could be legitimately gone forever, then ND has to make a REAL choice about independence TODAY as opposed to deferring it into perpetuity on its own terms.

    • m (Ag) says:

      I still think the Pac 10 could be a better fit for Notre Dame.

      If we accept that Notre Dame isn’t necessarily concerned with making every last dollar and that they value a national schedule that connects them with Catholics around the country, then the Pac 10 can do better for them, even if the Big 12 stays put.

      Look at what the Pac 10 could look like even without adding a current BCS school:
      Division A: WSU, OSU, ASU, Stanford, USC, Notre Dame
      Division B: UW, UO, UA, Cal, UCLA, (Rice or TCU)

      Every school would have 1 permanent cross divisional rival, with Notre Dame getting the Texas school.

      -With this conference, Notre Dame would travel to Arizona, Texas, Northern California, and Southern California at least once every 2 years, making the school relevant in large Latino states who are a large part of the nation’s Catholics.

      -They could convince the conference to play only an 8 game schedule, leaving them 4 games to play rivals Navy, MSU, Purdue, and BC. This would give them games in every region in the country except the deep South, and they could occasionally swap one of those rivals out to play a Florida team.

      -They would get 2 traditional rivals (Stanford and USC) on their annual schedule.

      -Since Notre Dame and the Texas school can start games 2 hours earlier than the West Coast teams, their non-football teams will frequently be featured on the new ‘Pac 10′ cable station as the early game. This will further their exposure to a national audience, and be a plus for recruits. Their reputation, of course, will help get the network on cable systems around the country.

      -NBC might decide to bid for the new Pac 12 national package, keeping Notre Dame’s affiliation with the network.

      If Notre Dame joins the Big 10 it will be playing few games outside of the midwest. I think it keeps more of its mystique in the Pac 10.

      • Richard says:

        4 hour plane rides to the West Coast (and related travel costs) for their non-revenue sports as well? When I floated the idea of the Big10 taking the 4 Cali Pac10 schools, I included 4 (instead of just USC, for instance) because they’d still have some opponents within busing distance. Would ND turn down more money and closer opponents for the West Coast?

        Remember that a 14 or 16 team Big10 isn’t going to be all Midwestern (unless you consider Texas and the East Coast to be part of the Midwest).

      • Jake says:

        Rice? Where’d that come from? I know we’ve been talking about academics a lot (and they play good baseball, as the Frogs found out on Sunday), but Rice? I’m still surprised they got into C-USA.

        And I’m not sure that the Pac-10 will help ND maintain a national presence better than any other conference; the games in the Northwest wouldn’t do a whole lot for them. The eight conference game schedule might be a sticking point for ND, but that shouldn’t be a problem in a 12-team league.

        Notre Dame has played maybe 4 or 5 games in the South (only one, against FSU, in the deep South) over the last decade. I’ve wondered why they don’t schedule some contests with Miami, since there are for sure a bunch of Catholics down there, and they just seem like schools that would be compatible. I’m intrigued by Frank’s suggestion about the Big Ten inviting Miami; them plus Texas and Notre Dame would make for a national conference that would be nigh-impossible to surpass. No one seems to have discussed it much on here, though.

  43. Bob says:

    Interesting interview with ND’s athletic director today in SI. Sounds like he’s open to joining a conference if ND’s hand is forced.


  44. greg says:

    With ND’s “announcement”, my prediction…

    ND, Texas, Texas A&M, Rutgers, and … ?

    (Pitt/Nebraska/Mizzou. I don’t think Cuse makes the cut. If I had to guess, I’d guess Nebraska.)

  45. Gopher86 says:

    A little Notre Dame smoke for the day:


  46. M says:

    What I love best about the ND comments is they are exactly what would be said if the Big Ten was looking for a 14th school with Texas/A&M already in the conference.

    “relatively small … or they could be seismic.”

    Seismic indeed.

  47. OrderRestored says:

    What about the Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Nebraska scenario? The pefect candidate in Notre Dame along with the NYC market in Rutgers and the National brand name in Nebraska. I think this would really be a conference to get excited about….but throw the Texas teams in there and it gets even more exciting. Look at these divisions if Notre Dame, Nebraska, Rutgers, Texas, and Texas A&M are added:

    Texas A&M

    Notre Dame
    Michigan St
    Ohio St
    Penn St

    If you can’t get excited about that possiblity then your college football pulse must be non-existent.

    • Richard says:

      If they go to 16, I’m almost certain they’d go in to pods. Illinois and Minnesota wouldn’t want to go over a decade without playing Michigan so I’d see





      III and IV will always be in opposite divisions. The only rivalry broken up would be Purdue-ND.

    • Michael says:

      Why would anyone WANT to have a 16-team conference?

      If each team only plays 8 other teams, that leaves 7 who weren’t played.

      I happen to disagree with the notion that “bigger means better.” For example, people fall all over Big East basketball, yet they seem to have forgotten basic math. Last year, they got 8 teams into the Big Dance, which is 50% of the league. That’s certainly solid, but not earth-shattering. On many occasions, the ACC sent 5/9 teams, and has also sent 7/12. I know the Big 12 has done that as well, and maybe the Pac-10 has sent 6/10. Just last year, IIRC, the Big Ten sent 7/11. It makes no sense why that is not more impressive than 50%. (I’m not trying to dog the Big East. I’m just trying to make a point.)

      So adding more teams does not necesarily make a conference better from top to bottom. It also precludes round-robins in basketball and frequent meetings between old rivals.

      Personally, I’d prefer the Big Ten add Notre Dame let that be that, but I anticipate the additions to be Texas, Texas A&M, and Notre Dame, totaling 14.

      I know that Frank says that A&M isn’t a must from Texas’ point of view, but I also think that UT will want to continue annual series with A&M and OU. Having a Big Ten slate with games against perrenial Top 25 teams Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Iowa, and (traditionally) Michigan is plenty challenging, but to add OU and A&M as non-conference games, not to mention any other inter-sectional games, would be a lot to ask of UT. Making A&M an in-leage game would ease that burden significantly. I believe that the Big Ten would prefer adding UT with A&M over any group of teams without UT, unless Notre Dame is in that group.

      • Richard says:

        Returns to scale. You get a disproportionately greater positive effect if your product is far more attractive than #2. That’s why Super bowl ads cost far more than 10 ads shown on programs that each reach a 1/10th the audience the Super Bowl does. In this discussion, controlling 2 of the 3 markets (Texas Florida, and Northeast) + the Midwest is worth more per school than controlling just one market + the Midwest. Of course, schools 15 & 16 would have to deliver a bunch, which is why only Texas, Florida, and schools that can secure the Northeast are discussed.

    • Michael says:

      West Division East Division

      Texas Notre Dame
      Texas A&M Purdue
      Wisconsin Michigan State
      Iowa Penn State
      Minnesota Michigan
      Illinois Ohio State
      Northwestern Indiana

      Schools aligned next to each other would be permanent non-division rivals.

      With Notre Dame, Texas, Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan, I think the NYC market will be as interested in getting the Big Ten Network as it would with Syracuse and/or Rutgers.

    • yahwrite says:

      This is what I’ve been thinking. With 16 teams I think they would have to go to 9 conference games. 7 in division and 2 cross division, every nondivision team would be played once every four years. Not ideal as one conference, it becomes two conferences with a championship game.

      Look at all the new natural rivals and traditional games for Thanksgiving weekend:
      Michigan-Ohio State
      Michigan State-Notre Dame
      Penn State-Rutgers
      Texas-Texas A&M

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Possible, but Iowa and Minny always finish off with each other. Change Nebraska to Wisconsin for a finale (which is a MUCH more exciting game too!) and you’d have your rivalries perfect.

      • Richard says:

        Minnesota use to play Wisconsin as it’s season-ending game. I guess Iowa felt left out since it had no other close rivals. If Nebraska joined, they’d make a natural rival with Iowa.

  48. SH says:

    And that was meant as a reply to Duffman’s Cub comment above. And I don’t want to turn this discussion thread to a Cubs-WS trash talk blog.

    But a little baseball discussion can’t be a bad thing.

    Like I said, I wish we Cub fans had a recent WS title. I just hate the quick retort of real fans root for the Sox – uh no.

    Now back to the Big 10 expansion debate.

    • duffman says:


      like i said, it is like an involuntary muscle reflex or something..

      it is frustrating tho.. cuz i keep trying to get it to attach to your reply.. but it keeps shooting it someplace else..


  49. Rick says:

    I will be curious to see how flexible the BT will be with Cablevision because Cvision will be a very tough negotiator on this, very tough. The flexibility the BTN had in the Philly market with PSU in-state fees might be a good indicator.

  50. Xenon says:

    OK, so what does the ND news conference mean?

    Is ND interested in the BigTen afterall?
    Does ND want a bigger NBC contract?
    Does ND want a BigEast Invite?

  51. Jacob says:

    I’m surprised no one has posted this yet:

    From the link: “I believe we’re at a point right now where the changes could be relatively small or they could be seismic,” “The landscape could look completely different. What I have to do along with Father Jenkins is try and figure out where those pieces are falling and how the landscape is changing.” -Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame A.D.

    • Rick says:

      it was posted at 1:44 this afternoon. two different articles, one by SI.com and one by espn.com. check postings from earlier in the day to see those articles.

  52. MichaelR says:

    At the end of the day, I don’t think ND will join the Big 10. Research will be the deal-breaker, and I also don’t think ND is ready to submerge its brand identity into the vast cooperative that is the Big 10.

    As noted by Scott above, ND will bring little to the CIC. As a research institution, they’re not in the same league as any CIC institution. ND is a great school. But it has more in common with most ACC or Big East schools it has in common with the Big 10.

    Meanwhile, much of the school’s alumni base (older, more conservative Catholics) will be turned off by any association with some of the research initiatives of NU and the big public universities, particularly some of the cutting-edge medical research. There will be controversies (remember the Obama commencement speech folderol) that will be unhappy for both ND and the other CIC schools.

    ND is committed to its sense of exceptionalism, as shown by its dealings with the BCS and Big East. It would require a major attitude adjustment to get with the Big 10′s ethos of cooperation as equals. And I don’t think the Big 10 would be inclined to offer ND an opt-out from the CIC, for instance.

    While ND extends the Big 10 as a national brand, it will not add an extra cent in home-state BTN subscription revenues, as Indiana is covered. So if BTN is driving expansion talk, ND is not much better than Pitt and not as effective as Rutgers even.

  53. [...] Texas schools, would simply adding 2 Big East schools be enough?  The scenario that I described as “JoePa’s Dream Conference” where the Big Ten would add Notre Dame, Rutgers and Syracuse could also represent a seismic [...]

  54. DavidPSU says:

    Many Thanks to Frank for such well-thought blog postings. I hope that Jim Delaney is reading this.

  55. Scott S says:

    See, I’m thinking when the topic veers from how Rutgers might fit with the Big Ten to slavery in Kentucky 150-200 years ago, we might need a course correction. Perhaps that discussion might be best conducted in a different forum.

    • Adam says:

      I disagree, Scott S. I want no part of southern universities as members of the Big Ten precisely (or at least in large part) because of that legacy.

  56. [...] Syracuse, Boston College and Maryland)  – This is simple enough: let’s take the original “JoePa’s Dream Conference” that I had proposed with Notre Dame, Rutgers and Syracuse as additions and then tack on Boston [...]

  57. [...] largest TV market.  (This is “JoePa’s Quasi-Dream Conference” that I wrote about here.)  Adding Syracuse and Nebraska as schools #12 and #13 allows the Big Ten to disrupt the current [...]

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