As we enjoy a glorious first round of the NCAA Tournament, which included Notre Dame losing to my long-time bracket busting favorite Ol’ Dirty University, there have been rumblings that that the real plan for the Big Ten is a permutation of JoePa’s Dream Conference, with an expansion threesome of Notre Dame, Rutgers… and Boston College.  Hawkeye State of the ever esteemed Black Heart Gold Pants (whose love for freedom fighter J Leman knows no limitations) had heard these rumors and then commenter Justin noted the same thing in this posting last night.  Now, I’m just an unfrozen caveman lawyer/blogger, so I’m certainly not reporting this as news or fact.  However, this doesn’t seem to be a far-fetched scenario considering that I believe that the Big Ten has a two-pronged plan to both add large markets for the Big Ten Network and grab at least one national marquee football name.

I’ve seen a number of people bring up BC as a Big Ten expansion candidate before and, frankly, I never took it seriously.  As I’ve noted before, the ACC is a fairly tight-knit group, while BC isn’t exactly high on the Boston sports agenda.  That being said, if the Big Ten inviting BC is ultimately the final hook for the conference to grab Notre Dame, then I believe that it would move forward.  While Boston is definitely a pro sports town, BC at least has the advantage of being the clearly designated major college football home team in that area, while the New York City area really doesn’t have any single school of that nature.  Thus, there’s a reasonable argument that BC, for all of its issues of supposedly not delivering its home market very well for the ACC, still would have enough pull (in conjunction with Notre Dame and Penn State) to get the Big Ten Network onto basic cable in Boston (whereas a school like Syracuse, by comparison, would be speculative in terms of its ability to deliver homes in the NYC market).  That turns BC into a pretty powerful asset for the Big Ten in and of itself.  Let’s also not forget that this could create a kick-ass Big Ten hockey league.  (Illinois doesn’t even play Division 1 hockey and I’d be excited to see that type of league formed.)  At the same time, the ACC may not really care if BC stays or not – it may just as soon grab Pitt and/or Syracuse instead and say goodbye to BC in a mutually agreed upon separation.

Now, the Notre Dame fan readers out there will likely point out something that a lot of non-ND fans don’t seem to realize: the Irish and Boston College really aren’t that close emotionally.  There’s a perception that they’re tied together as the only two Catholic universities that play FBS football, yet they really didn’t play on a regular basis until the 1990s.  Notre Dame arguably cares about 3 schools: Navy from a historical and emotional standpoint and USC and Michigan from a marquee competitive standpoint.  Everyone else would be expendable, including BC (who is rolling off of Notre Dame’s schedule in the coming years).

Still, the Big Ten inviting BC would effectively remove the last two “non-emotional” arguments that Domers have against Big Ten membership: the inability to play a “national” schedule and having no peer institutions in a conference that’s dominated by large public flagship universities.  If the Notre Dame/Rutgers/BC additions were to occur, I fail to see how Notre Dame’s schedule would be materially different from what it is today.  Assuming that Notre Dame continues to play Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and BC annually within conference play plus USC and Navy in non-conference play, the Irish would be retaining 6 of its 8 main re-occuring rivals.  Pitt would fall off of the schedule, but it would be replaced by Penn State in the Big Ten, which delivers the same market as Pitt and is a much larger national name.  The one true loss would be not playing Stanford anymore, but Notre Dame would still be heading to California with its USC rivalry and the Irish would in turn be playing the likes of Ohio State (which, even with its Midwestern location, provides much more of a “national game”) and get some direct access to prime recruiting territory in the state directly east of Indiana.  Add in a regular trip to the ND-fan heavy New York area at Rutgers and it’s very hard to argue that the Domers would lose much of its “national” schedule at all while concurrently adding some much better teams.

Meanwhile, the other major Notre Dame complaint is that it would be a member of a conference without any of its institutional peers, thereby putting itself at risk of being on the losing end of a lot of “11-1″ or “13-1″ votes in the Big Ten.  I’m not exactly sure what issues with respect to athletics would be so different between Notre Dame and the rest of the Big Ten that there would be that wide of a gulf – as some commenters pointed out, no one has ever pointed out anything specific that ND has an objection to other than joining a conference in the first place.  Certainly, Northwestern is a higher-rated private university with tougher admissions standards than Notre Dame and we haven’t seen any type of acrimony between NU and the supposedly “big bad public schools”.  If there’s any major conference in the country that actually has upheld high academic standards, it’s the Big Ten from top-to-bottom.  The discussion occurring in the comments section in the “Notre Dame to the Big Ten: Thy Will Be Done?” post has been fascinating.  I agree with alot of commenters that it’s incredulous that some Domers think that there’s some type of academic downgrade by moving to the Big Ten (once again, it doesn’t seem to bother the people in the tougher academic environment at Northwestern) or that improving graduate research will somehow be toxic to the Notre Dame undergraduate experience (as several commenters have noted, ND actually has been ramping up its graduate research capabilities on its own and that the school has been doing itself a disservice by downplaying this fact to its alums, who mistakenly still think that the undergrad focus continues to prevail and use it as another excuse to not join the Big Ten).

Look – I have a lot of friends that went to Notre Dame and Domer commenters such as Rich have been presenting viewpoints in a very civil manner on this blog knowing that he’s going to be critiqued.  I completely understand and respect the emotional foundation that ND alums have towards independence.  I’m not going to argue with that and it’s pointless for anyone else to do that, either.

It’s just that the Notre Dame supporters need to understand that the stand that they are taking is simply that: completely emotional.  The financial advantage of independence is now gone since the Big Ten’s TV revenue completely trumps Notre Dame’s NBC contract.  Now that Notre Dame doesn’t schedule the likes of Miami, Florida State, UCLA and Tennessee anymore, the “national” schedule of yesteryear is dead and its hypothetical conference schedule in the Big Ten would actually draw more national interest than a game against Washington State in the Alamodome.  The academics in the Big Ten supercede all of the other BCS conferences, so it’s not as if though there is some type of greener pasture for Notre Dame elsewhere on that front.  Finally, if Boston College were to join the Big Ten, then Notre Dame wouldn’t even have the argument that it doesn’t have any peer institutions within the conference.

There’s no problem with those emotional ties per se.  The fact that any of us watch and care about spectator sports at all is a fairly irrational practice.  However, I do have a problem when those pure emotions are attempted to be supported by substantive arguments that don’t hold water anymore (if they ever did in the first place).  At the end of the day, do you want the leadership of any organization that you care about, whether it’s a charity, company or university, making long-term decisions based on pure emotion?  Good intentions based on tradition aren’t necessarily enough to make sound decisions for the future.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111)

(Image from Sports Illustrated)

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  1. [...] UPDATE #11 (3/19/2010) – Rumors that the Big Ten is looking to add Boston College, Notre Dame and Rutgers. [...]

  2. Jeepers says:

    Just adding myself to the list.

  3. M says:

    I don’t know about acrimony, but if had a nickel for every time I heard “The Big Ten and Northwestern”….

    I don’t think the ACC would even fight BC leaving. They would add Syracuse or Pitt in a heartbeat and consider themselves better off. The original 7 are very tight-knit. The others not so much.

    On the voting issue: Do you have any example of a contentious vote? Personally, other than about expansion, I haven’t heard of any voting controversies in any conference (other than the Big East with basketball vs football and the Big XII with Texas vs the world).

    As I said when this first came up, I do not think that focusing on ND is a positive approach for the conference. Whatever the reasons, ND has demonstrated in the past that even if the administrators and faculty are behind a move, the alumni will simply not tolerate it. I have not seen anything to remotely convince me otherwise. I am not saying the conference should definitely expand, but rather that the decision to expand or not should not be affected by the consideration that ND might someday change its mind.

    • Rick says:

      @Scott S: This post relates to the Scott S comments on the US News Reports College Rankings (it is probably going to be out of sequence):

      In answer to your question as to “what has changed for Rutgers in the rankings since 1997 in the eyes of US News”, the most prevalent analysis (cited below and in the link) is that:
      1) The methodology changes periodically depending on who is the lead statistician
      2) The methodology and weights of criteria has changed over the years
      3) Generally, the ranking is based on Fame, Wealth, and Exclusivity
      4) It is not peer reviewed
      5) Rutgers alumni giving and endowment has lagged behind other Universities during that time period and those are heavily weighted by US News

      Further reading:

      There has been much debate since the late 1990s about both the usefulness and political correctness of college rankings in the United States. Some higher education experts, like Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have argued that such rankings as the U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, “[The] U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine’s rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity.” He suggests that there are more important characteristics parents and students should research to select colleges, such as how well students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.[2]

      have been compiled since 1983 by the magazine U.S. News & World Report and are based upon data which U.S. News collects from each educational institution either from an annual survey sent to each school or from the school’s website. It is also based upon opinion surveys of university faculty and administrators who do not belong to the school.[39] The college rankings were not published in 1984, but were published in all years since. The precise methodology used by the U.S. News rankings has changed many times, and the data are not all available to the public, so peer review of the rankings is limited. As a result, many other rankings arose and seriously challenged the result and methodology of US News’s ranking

      The U.S. News rankings, unlike some other such lists, create a strict hierarchy of colleges and universities in their “top tier,”. Rather than ranking only groups or “tiers” of schools; the individual schools’ order changes significantly every year the rankings are published. The U.S News Tiers rank from Tier 1, the highest, to Tier 4, the lowest. The most important factors in the rankings are:
      Peer assessment: a survey of the institution’s reputation among presidents, provosts, and deans of admission of other institutions
      Retention: six-year graduation rate and first-year student retention rate
      Student selectivity: standardized test scores of admitted students, proportion of admitted students in upper percentiles of their high-school class, and proportion of applicants accepted
      Faculty resources: average class size, faculty salary, faculty degree level, student-faculty ratio, and proportion of full-time faculty
      Financial resources: per-student spending
      Graduation rate performance: difference between expected and actual graduation rate
      Alumni giving rate
      All these factors are combined according to statistical weights determined by U.S. News. The weighting is often changed by U.S. News from year to year, and is not empirically determined (the National Opinion Research Center methodology review said that these weights “lack any defensible empirical or theoretical basis”). Critics have charged that U.S. Newsintentionally changes its methodology every year so that the rankings change and they can sell more magazines. The first four of the listed factors account for the great majority of theU.S. News ranking (80%, according to U.S. News’s 2005 methodology), and the “reputational measure” (which surveys high-level administrators at similar institutions about their perceived quality ranking of each college and university) is especially important to the final ranking (accounting by itself for 25% of the ranking according to the 2005 methodology).[40]
      A New York Times article reported that, given the U.S. News weighting methodology, “it’s easy to guess who’s going to end up on top: Harvard, Yale and Princeton round out the first three essentially every year. In fact, when asked how he knew his system was sound, Mel Elfin, the rankings’ founder, often answered that he knew it because those three schools always landed on top. When a new lead statistician, Amy Graham, changed the formula in 1999 to one she considered more statistically valid, the California Institute of Technologyjumped to first place. Ms. Graham soon left, and a slightly modified system pushed Princeton back to No. 1 the next year.”[41] A San Francisco Chronicle article argues that “almost all of US News factors are redundant and can be boiled down to one characteristic: the size of the college or university’s endowment.”[42]
      Some higher education experts, like Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have argued that U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, “[The] U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine’s rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity.” He suggests that there are more important characteristics parents and students should research to select colleges, such as how well students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.[2]

      So, looking back to 1997 in the US News Rankings and trying to evaluate a school’s ranking performance is dubious and flawed at best. ARWU is a much more reliable and statistically valid methodology when tracking rankings over the years.

      • Scott S says:

        Rick, thanks for the lengthy and thorough reply.

        I know the US News rankings are suspect, and I, too, find fault with the methodology. I also know it’s tough to differentiate a Harvard from a Yale from a Princeton to place them in order, let alone comparing all the state schools and putting them in some sort of reasonable order.

        And how do you compare a small, private liberal arts college with a school emphasizing science like an MIT or Cal Tech? They don’t even offer the same classes.

        Even in looking at a single large school, like Big Ten school, one could be strong in Art but weak in Zoology. So where do you rank them? That’s why I used to like the idea of the old Gourman reports, as they ranked departments. But even that is pretty arbitrary. They used to give out numbers like 3.32 for one school’s chem department and 3.31 for another.

        I was curious about Rutgers because I know nothing about them. I dont think I’ve ever even met someone who went there. What makes me wonder is if most of the Big Ten schools have stayed the same over the years in the US News rankings, as was suggested, why has Rutgers been dropping in their rankings? Is it all from diminished alumni giving?

      • omnicarrier says:

        I think alumni giving says a GREAT deal about the quality of the education at an institution.

        It shows either their graduates are not doing well in the real world or that their graduates are not crediting the institution where they earned their degree for their doing well.

  4. Penn State Danny says:


    This just doesn’t “feel” right. I know that BC is a long trip from the rest of the ACC. They are also a long trip from the rest of the Big Ten.

    I don’t see BC being a lure for ND either. I think that Pitt fills that bill better.

    Finally, I can’t see the ACC letting a team go just to pick another team (Pitt,WVU,UConn) that they didn’t want in 2003 or even Syracuse, who they did want but represents a downgrade in football and interest from BC.

    I still think it will be Rutgers, Pitt and ND to the Big Ten. I am unsure what to believe at this point. Once those posters started with the “USC to the Big Ten” rumors, all bets were off.

    • I get what you’re saying that this may not “feel” right. If I were to pick a school from the ACC that would fit best in the Big Ten, it would be Maryland. I’ve heard the argument that Pitt would somehow be a better lure for Notre Dame, but I don’t think it gets to the crux of what I think is ND’s main issue. If it was simply a matter of joining a conference where ND would retain the maximum number of its rivals, then the Irish would’ve been in the Big Ten already since it has long rivalries with Michigan, MSU and Purdue plus dormant rivalries with Penn State and Northwestern. I don’t think that’s really what the last holdback. Instead, it’s about ND not wanting to be the institutional lone wolf in the Big Ten as the only religious-based undergrad focused school (much like Texas likely wouldn’t want to be the geographic lone wolf wherever it ends up). Pitt doesn’t address that problem, but BC does (and, in fact, it’s the only school in the country that does).

      That’s also what the Big Ten would have to take into account on the flip side. I don’t think that BC’s geography is an issue – if anything, it will be looked at as a plus if the BTN becomes a basic cable channel in New England. The main thing for the university presidents is whether they are comfortable with inviting 2 Catholic schools to a conference whose image is aligned with large public schools. When you think of the Ivy League, you think instantly of elite private institutions. The Big Ten similarly conjures up an instant image of a group of graduate focused schools with big-time sports. That’s why I’ve long felt that Texas is really the best institutional fit for the conference despite location. Notre Dame has the bigger national name and sits in the middle of the Big Ten’s footprint, but when you strip away those items, it’s the same type of institution as BC. Are the Big Ten university presidents OK with that? We’ll see in the coming months, but my gut reaction is that they’d pull the trigger on this hypothetical option if it’s available. Adding 3 schools that you kinda/sorta want doesn’t make up for not getting a school that you REALLY want. If a particular school is the final hook to get the biggest national whale out there (ND), then it’s tough to pass up.

      • Nittany Wit says:

        I disagree…ND’s holdback is not that they don’t want to be the lone wolf as the only religious or catholic school in the Big Ten. ND is used to being the lone wolf and does want to give that up on a national scale. So why would they want to share that in a conference? Adding BC doesn’t remove that roadblock, in fact it gives ND additional competition in a regional conference where in certain years they won’t even be the best catholic team in their division/league. Right now ND can clean up among the parochial league recruits, but if they can’t beat BC in the big ten, then how long before they lose that recruiting advantage?

        It is like Monopoly…ND is currently the only independent with a national football appeal and legitimate chance at the BCS. They get market coverage across the entire country which helps with enrollment and their prestige. And they don’t want to give it up unless it is clear that someone has a better Monopoly and will outpace them.

        Notre Dame wants to be the lone wolf…BC won’t entice them to come to the Big Ten. The only thing that will entice them is if they realize that it is untenable for them to play teams from the Big East, Big Ten, and Pac 10 every year like they have been. Once this is a problem (aka when conference go to 14 or 16) then ND will lose the ability to play quality opponents from across the land and they’ll be ready to create allegiances. Right now, they aren’t looking to do that with BC or any other school. Until they realize that they aren’t King of the Mountain, they will have no interest in pairing up. And when they realize this, they won’t be dictating to be paired up with BC.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I know that I wouldn’t be comfortable with adding BC and ND—don’t know about the presidents…

        To me, it’s not catholics v. athiests so much as public v. private and huge v. small.

        I’m an IU fan. The other day my son, who is a brilliant math student and wants to be an engineer, and I visited Purdue. That campus is fricking immense. It doesn’t look or feel like ND or BC. Neither do 10/11 of the Big 10 campuses….

        You are correct that ND and BC are not good institutional fits…throw in Rutgers and you’ve made huge changes in the make-up of the Big 10.

        Substitute Pitt for BC and I’m OK with it…if ND doesn’t like it, move on.

    • CTBucki says:

      I agree with Danny. The arguments that we’ve all marshaled against Rutgers can be very easily transferred to BC, too: small and indifferent fan base; middling football prowess; solid-but-not-stellar academics.

      But extending invitations to BOTH schools? What happened to 11+1=13? What happened to Penn State setting the bar for expansion? Two out of the three schools listed are pretty far down the “ho hum” list and aren’t within driving distance of splashy moves. I don’t buy for a second that each of these schools will bring in $25 mil+ and add in the implication that BC is only getting an invite to remove a little insecurity on ND’s part, and this is just too much of a reach. We’re talking permanent membership here. I hope the Big Ten has enough foresight to realize a permanent invitation to a very short-term need is poor planning.

      And then to just watch Texas take their mega millions over to the Pac-10, knowing that there’ll be a whole lot of future meetings in the Rose Bowl? It makes me ill.

      I don’t mean to belittle Rutgers or Boston College. I’m sure both are great and have some passionate fans. But after dreaming of a 12 team conference with Texas or ND for months now, seeing BC and Rutgers tossed around just for their potential feels like a cheap money grab with no plausible argument for anything else.

      • Rick says:

        @ctbucki: Concerning BC you said:

        “middling football prowess; solid-but-not-stellar academics.”

        I would tend to equate their football program to that of Wisconsin. Although Big Ten tier 2 Wisconsin is more than a middling program.

        BC: 2006-2009= 70% win/loss; 2-2 bowl games, 3 BCS Top 25 finishes, 24 players in NFL, 10 drafted, 6% of recruits 4/5 stars. GSR 91%, APR 80th %, US News rank 34, ARWU rank 139, $35 mil research, $1.6 bill endowment.

        Wisconsin: 2006-2009= 73% W/L, 2-2 bowls, 2 BCS Top 25, 21 NFL, 14 drafted, 8% of recruits 4/5 stars, GSR 65%, APR 70th.

        • CTBucki says:

          @Rick – I certainly don’t mean to ruffle any feathers and can see the comparison. But at the risk of sounding more like a fan than a president, the Big Ten doesn’t need another Wisconsin. There are plenty of teams able to win 6-9 games every year. Those kinds of teams make the Big Ten more, well, like the Big Ten.

          The Big Ten needs another Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan (circa 1997), a “WOW” school that’ll draw the numbers of viewers that the Big Ten wants. I’m afraid that neither BC nor Rutgers fits that bill.

          This rumor is like something peddled by a snake oil salesman. Contrary to the conclusions drawn here, mixing lead, copper, and mayonnaise in a pot does not create gold. Likewise inviting schools located in big markets does not translate to incredible TV numbers. If it did, Rutgers games would be bigger draws and the ACC would be loath to see BC go.

          Anyway, I’ll freely admit that my opinion today is colored more by disappointment in maybe not landing Texas than it is by any grounded opinion of another school. If you’re a BC or Rutgers fan, you can smartly dismiss my posts as nothing more than sour grapes =)

          • Rick says:

            @CT: yeah you are in a tough spot so I can understand the sour grapes with the diminishing probability of getting a WOW school. Texas publicly states their non-interest, Notre Dame hates you, USC is a big stretch, Florida/FSU/Miami highly doubtful, TAM is silent. Maybe you should consider the collective sum of the benefits of Rutgers/Syracuse/Nebrasda/PITT/Mizzou will produce the WOW you are looking for.

          • @Rick and CTBucki – I think that it’s somewhere in the middle of your debate. Despite some down years, Notre Dame IS a WOW school. Texas would also be a WOW school. The issue is that the Big Ten would likely need to take some non-blockbuster schools in order to get either of them. This was the case with the ACC trying to get Miami to join. Whether that worked out well is up for debate, but it appears that unless the Big Ten is simply satisfied with adding a single school that it could’ve added a long time ago (i.e. Rutgers or Missouri), then it’s going to require a 14-school conference. I agree with CTBucki to the extent that I firmly don’t believe the Big Ten will make a move without either ND or Texas involved, while I also agree with Rick that there are other schools on the next tier that could likely end up in the Big Ten.

            I don’t think that the Big Ten would consider BC without ND. However, if BC greases the skids, so to speak, to get ND, then it becomes a viable option. I’m not saying that it’s a no-brainer option, but I still think that ND sitting out there is a very big deal to the Big Ten’s leadership. BC is a very good academic school and sits in a great market, so this isn’t a case like, say, Texas Tech possibly having to be shackled with Texas and Texas A&M.

          • UWGradStudent says:

            Your comment that Wisconsin is a 6 to 9 win per year program is somewhat misleading. Since 2005, Wisconsin has won an average of 9.6 games per year

          • UWGradStudent says:

            Your comment that Wisconsin is a 6 to 9 win per year program is somewhat misleading. Since 2005, Wisconsin has won an average of 9.6 games per year, including a 12-1 season in 2006. Since 1993, which is commonly seen by as the resurgence of Wisconsin football (the program was in shambles in the 70s and 80s), the football team has averaged 8.5 wins per year.

            Additionally, Wisconsin basketball has never finished worse than 4th in the B10 under current coach Bo Ryan, who started in the 2001 season. Under Bo Ryan, the Badgers have a 216-81 overall record and 107-43 B10 record and three B10 championships. This is the highest conference winning percentage of any coach in B10 history (Bob Knight and Tom Izzo are second and third, respectively). The Badgers have made the NCAA tournament every year that Bo Ryan has been coach.

            Hockey is a revenue sport at Wisconsin, and has a rich history including 6 National Championships (most recently in 2006). We lead all of college hockey (and several NHL teams) in attendance.

            While I will not argue that Wisconsin is not on the same athletic level as Ohio State, it is still 5th nationally in athletic department revenues (as of 2009), ahead of Notre Dame, Penn State and USC.

            Wisconsin is a research powerhouse as shown by the already discussed research expenditure rankings (second nationally). Additionally, I have heard that the UW graduates the most PhDs of all American universities (I can’t find a link to this statistic at the moment).

            With these characteristics, it is hard to see how a school at the level of Wisconsin would not be a big “get” for the B10. I think the B10 would be delighted to get a school at the same level of both academics and athletics as Wisconsin.

            My personal feeling is that the B10 should remain an organization of the best graduate research institutions, meaning I would vote no to Notre Dame and yes to a Texas or possibly Maryland, Rutgers, TAMU or Pitt. Those schools would be likely be seen by B10 academics as equals.

            One potentially relevant anecdote: when selecting a graduate school, I was considering UW, UIUC, and VA Tech. My advisor was enthusiastic for both UW and UIUC, but said he would be “disappointed” if I went to VA Tech. Nothing against VA Tech; they have many good programs, including the one I was considering. However, this does give an indication which schools are considered at the same level as B10 schools.

            UW Alumnus, Graduate Student
            BS Engineering 2008
            MS Engineering 2010
            PhD Engineering 201?

          • Richard says:

            Yeah, I wouldn’t say BC is like Wisconsin. They’re more like Iowa or Minnesota (athletically). In research, they’re far away from both Wisconsin and Minnesota, who are both powerhouses in graduate research.

          • Scott S says:

            As per my earlier posts on this page, I think your attitude would be shared by most Big Ten alums in the sciences and engineering, particulalry the further you go in your education. I think in these fields, we think of ourselves as simply not the same sorts of institutions as private undergraduate-based universities like BC and ND.

            I bet this attitude would be less prevalent, though, for those BT alums with degrees in English, literature, philosophy, communications, etc–where private schools do a very good job and would be cosidered completely equal.

          • UWGradStudent says:

            For those that are interested, here are the statics compiled by the NSF on doctoral degree granting institutions:

            UW-Madison was third in 2008 in total number of doctoral degrees granted, behind UC-Berkeley and UT-Austin:

          • Scott S says:

            UWGradStudent: Wikipedia states Wisconsin is currently 2nd in doctorates awarded.

          • Scott S says:

            Oh–you beat me. Your information may be more up to date.

            Also, in quoting research budgets, I used 2006 numbers. Wisconsin was #1 in the BT with $832 million. Wikipedia states that in 2007 UW jumped to $913 million–a 9.7% increase in a year.

            Incidently, the University of Michigan had been behind Wisconsin in 2006 ($797 million) and 2007 ($823 million) but Wikipedia states Michigan crossed the billion dollar mark in 2008. It would be interesting to find Wisconsin’s number for 2008 to see if Michigan has passed Wisconsin.

      • mushroomgod says:

        Rutgers isn’t too small… has 35000 and is the state school for NJ….it’s too far east for my preference but it’s a hell of a good institutional fit…it’s a big research school…BC is none of that….no BC please….

        • John says:

          Rutgers a good academic fit? Not when you consider the academic trajectory RU has been on for more than a decade. The numbers don’t lie and they show just how far academic standards at Rutgers have collapsed. In 1997, USNews & World Reports pegged Rutgers as the 45th best university in the country. In 2010, thirteen years and hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the football sinkhole later, Rutgers tumbled to #66th where it is tied with UConn, eight spots worse than Pepperdine, eight spots worse than Syracuse and 14 spots worse than Yeshiva. Slightly over a decade ago, Rutgers had reason to dream big, to hope to become one of the nation’s leading research institutions. Today Rutgers is fighting off the University of Delaware.

          As Rutgers fell 21 spots, most other universities moved very little in the rankings. Illinois, for instance, moved from #50 to #39. Wisconsin went from #41 to a tie with Illinois at #39. Univ Calif at Irvine went from #37 to #46. No top 50 school in 1997 moved as many rungs, up or down, as Rutgers did in the 13 years that followed which shows how stark the academic decline at Rutgers has been.

          I don’t think RU makes the cut academically and athletically and I believe it would be a colossal mistake to extend them an invitation.

          • Rick says:

            @John: The US News and World Reports rankings is a combination of small Liberal Arts Colleges and National Universities using ranking criteria that is based on methodology that does not compare the two on key criteria that is important to comparing National Universities and what the Big Ten Presidents may find more important in their decision. Comparing apples to apples, The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is a more valuable ranking when evaluating National Universities and for this Big Ten decision. Their methodology:

            The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is first published in June 2003 by the Center for World-Class Universities and the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and then updated on an annual basis. ARWU uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance with respect to the size of an institution. More than 1000 universities are actually ranked by ARWU every year and the best 500 are published on the web.

            Ranking highlights:
            Rutgers: 38
            Emory: 55
            Rice: 54
            Indiana: 52
            Univ. of Virginia: 51
            Texas A&M: 50
            Michigan State: 48
            Brown: 43
            Purdue: 42
            Ohio State: 41
            Carnegie Mellon: 40
            Univ. Florida: 39

            While US News may serve a purpose for some folks in evaluating Colleges and Universities, I think that most people in academic circles value the methodology and significance of the ARWU rankings as more pertinent to Big Ten expansion evaluations.

          • Scott S says:

            John, that’s an interesting post–(the one on 3.21.10 at 3:47, as it seems posts are starting to get scrambled again.)

            Rick your response at 6:37 is very good, too. I agree that AWRU is a better guide for larger schools and certainly for grad schools in the sciences. I think it’s also more accurate for how foreigners view US schools, if only for the reason that a foreigner is more likely to have heard of a UCLA over a Claremont McKenna or a Michigan over an Oberlin.

            It’s interesting how a strong sports team really raises the profile of a school, too. How many students would prefer to go to a USC over a Cal-Davis (an excellent school) simply based on having USC’s name drilled into their heads on TV sports?

            The US News, Forbes and several others do seem to use a metholodology that values the strengths of private schools, such as selectivity, class sizes to professor ratios, and so forth. It would be interesting to know what has slipped with regards to Rutgers in the eyes of US News?

  5. Justin says:

    People have to remember its not that BC would deliver or Rutgers would deliver NYC.

    Its that Notre Dame and Penn State — the two largest fanbases on the East Coast — in conjunction with the home state schools of Boston and NYC could deliver those markets. You can also add the fact that Michigan and OSU are routinely ranked among the top 10 favorite college football teams when they poll fans in NYC.

    Does it stop there? I don’t know. I tend to think there is a good argument for adding Syracuse and Connecticut. You add CT to the footprint, and Cuse and CT arguably are the two most popular basketball programs in NYC.

    Plus, you don’t want the ACC potentially adding those teams and then the NYC cable providers having a reason to keep the Big 10 network on a sports tier.

    This would allow Pitt to go the ACC as the 12th team which actually makes a lot of sense, since Pitt would be a new market for them as the 12th team, yet be closer to other schools then BC.

    • @Justin – This makes a lot of sense. While I think people are correct to be skeptical that NYC or Boston could ever really be great college sports towns, part of the reason is that there has never been a conference that has housed all of the most popular schools in those areas at the same time. The fact that ND has continued its independence and Penn State is in the Big Ten effectively prevented the Big East or any other conference from ever getting real traction in the Northeast. As a result, college sports fans in those areas are very dispersed among different conferences and schools. I don’t believe that NYC and Boston could ever care about college sports in the same manner as the Texas markets would. However, if getting the main schools that people care about in those areas under one roof could get NYC and Boston to approach something closer to the level of college sports interest in Chicago (which is a decidedly pro sports city but with a healthy concentration of college sports fans that follow the Big Ten), then that’s extremely valuable to the Big Ten.

      • Justin says:

        Its really not even about “caring” as much as Texas. All they need is to get the channel on basic cable TV.

        I think the Big 10 is very interested in Texas, but I’m sensing the Longhorns — keenly aware of their status of the #1 revenue maker in college sports — are playing hardball. Texas may feel that the Longhorn Sports Network is a viable network that it can make demands on the Big 10 that may seem far-fetched to Big 10 fans (i.e. take multiple Texas schools, unequal revenue sharing).

        It could be argued that while the Big 10 prefers Texas over ND, the Big 10 vastly prefers the other schools that would encompass a 14-16 team Big 10 (Cuse, BC, Rutgers) then the teams it may have to take to lure Texas (A&M, TTU, OU?).

  6. MIRuss says:

    Frank, as always, great, thought provoking post on this latest development. However, for reasons that are said (and some unsaid) I am not entirely sure that The Domers give two hoots about BC and whether or not their “in”. Maybe, but it seems to me that the Domers are only concerned about themselves. And I’m not entirely sure, as PS Danny states, that the ACC is just going to “let BC go” when they pretty much had their pick and rejected Syracuse (who I can’t stand – sorry and Rugers).

    The Pac 10 still holds the first “Domino” in all of this…Let’s not get too far away from the basics: The Pac 10 needs to make a move to keep up with the Big 10 & SEC. Without more markets, they’re toast. Texas will not make the cut with Cal and Stanford. Colorado and (wild card) Utah are likely, but still don’t present much in the way of new markets. Nebraska, Missouri and the original Big 8 are pissed at Texas, who seems joined at the hip with A&M and others, and will be nervous about being a Texas centric conference if anyone bolts (the SWC failed remember)…So I am not ready to just dismiss the Texas-Texas A&M – Rutgers (or other Big East) scenario.

    No, I think things like this take time. BC was #8 on the list (Maryland, I believe, was the highest ranked ACC school). And after all, you said it yourself: If we’re going to raid a conference anyway, why not grab the best? It’s any president’s fiduciary responsibility to make the decision that is long term advantageous to his university. $100M over 10 years is a pretty good decision….

    • Hopkins Horn says:

      As a Texas fan who’s been following this closely, I wanted to ask you about your statement that “Texas will not make the cut with Cal and Stanford.”

      I know that it s generally believed that Stanford alone nixed Texas moving to the Pac 10 15-20 years ago, but has there been any indications in recent years that such opposition would still stand in today’s changed environment? And on what basis are you including Cal as a school opposed to adding Texas to the Pac 10?

      • @Hopkins Horn – I certainly don’t think the Pac-10 would ever pass on Texas in today’s environment. There might be some pause about Texas A&M, but I think they’d pull the trigger there, too. The problems that I’d foresee are the intimations that Texas Tech might still have the political clout to block any move by the top 2 Texas schools, and TTU would absolutely be a non-starter for Stanford and Cal.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          Thanks, Tank.

          Re Texas Tech: is this all driven solely by the post a week or two ago by someone who ran into UT President Bill Powers at an event and asked him the realignment question, and Powers responded with that reference to Tech?

          If that’s all there is, it strikes me as being a bit dubious. I’m not questioning the accuracy of the post or that Powers might have actually said those words. However, the way the poster told the story, he seemed to imply that he was at an event at which it would have been expected for Tech alums to be attending, and Powers, ever the politician (I was at UT Law when he was a prof, and I can see the man being awfully good in situations like this), threw in the line to head off any Tech-centric questioning he thought was coming.

          If there’s more to the Tech-tied-to-Texas angle than this story which I’ve missed, then I’ll reconsider. But if that’s all there is, I don’t think it’s enough to assume that Tech still has the clout to stop Texas and A&M. Bob Bullock is dead. He can’t stop it from the grave. He was good, but not that good.

        • Stopping By says:

          Agree w/ Tank – I see no way that anyone in the Pac denies an invite to TX (as long as TX doesn’t demand so much $$ that the schools don’t benefit). A&M they would take, but does A&M want the Pac 10? They would easily be the most conservative school in the conference. Tech as is would be a negative vote is my guess – but if they were provided with academic milestones they were required to improve to….well, lets just say the Pac needs $$ and IMHO they may be willing to make consessions if required.

          • MIRuss says:


            With respect to the Pac 10 – Texas & AM issue: Either you (And I might be misquoting you) or someone else stated “somewhere” that the demands Texas would put on the Pac 10 would be similar to what they enjoy in the Big 12 currently. That is, they would want uneven revenue sharing commensurate with what they bring to the table. IF you didn’t say it, I believe it must have been someone from the LA times (?) that stated it and while it might not be Stanford or California that kill it, one of the smaller market schools would more than likely vote no as this would be a non-starter.

            I know this isn’t your area, but what we need is an in depth, well thought out “gambit” that the Pac 10 is looking at. Because, as I said (or you stated but I have been repeating) the Pac 10 holds the cards right now. But if they don’t agree to the Texas Terms, well, that might send Texas & AM in another direction…where the Texas split would start more equitably.

          • Richard says:

            The Pac10 already shares TV revenue unequal, due to USC. In fact, the top-heavy Pac10 is almost an exact mirror of the top-heavy Big12, with USC int he role of Texas, UCLA int he role of TAMU, etc.

        • MIRuss says:

          Frank – I think I’m finally getting the hang of responding! I posted below, but also wanted to state here that your earlier model for the Big 10 11+1=13, when applying it to the Pac 10, I think the model looks more like 10+1=11.5, with Texas bringing ALL the 1.5 and then some. So, yes, the Pac 10 would see this as a no brainer, but wouldn’t that give them pause? Texas will want a greater share of the revenue that they bring to the table (LA times?) and that will be a non-starter for a lot of the smaller Pac 10 markets. I just don’t see Texas & AM as a good “fit” for what exists right now in the Pac 10.

  7. OrderRestored says:

    If this happens, and Texas says ‘no thank you’ to the Pac 10, where does that leave the Big 12 and Pac 10? Could this expansion just stop here and be idle again for 15 years? I could really see this happening.

  8. Adam says:

    Of course, as everybody who’s been following my comments knows, I don’t want BC. It’s not the Midwest; can’t even really be characterized as a somewhat Midwest-like portion of an eastern State (like PSU or Pitt or Syracuse).

    More importantly, though, I don’t necessarily agree that ND would be that much of an institutional outlier. There is a Notre Dame Nation out there, which is why I said in another post that Notre Dame has a presence akin to a public school, both within the Big Ten footprint and elsewhere. Boston College does not have that kind of a presence. I don’t live out there, but at times I question whether Rutgers does either (even though it *is* a public school).

    • Justin says:

      If the Big 10 adds ND, BC and Rutgers, it is definitely ceding its reputation as a Midwest conference in hopes of being recognized as the “northern” conference.

      We’d basically be combining the midwest and northeast media markets.

      To succeed, I feel we need to go to 16 teams and add Uconn and Syracuse. Otherwise, our presence on the East Coast would be somewhat scattered. If we are going to lock down the Northeast media markets, I don’t think you can leave any other conference with any sort of presence.

      Rutgers, BC, ND and PSU would certainly give the Big 10 the stranglehold on the East Coast for football games, but basketball, we would still be second banana.

      I think you need to add Uconn and Syracuse. Then, the conference literally stretches from Wisconsin to New England with no gaps in between.

      • Justin says:

        Also, if you add Connecticut and Boston College, you’ve added the two largest universities in New England, so you may be able to get the Big 10 on basic cable TV in every New England state — especially if you create an eight team hockey league

        Big 10 hockey division

        Notre Dame
        Michigan State
        Ohio State
        Boston College

        • Richard says:

          Syracuse plays hockey, so you can replace UConn with Syracuse, and maybe add llinois and PSU if the Big10 starts a hockey league.

        • WhiskeyBadger says:

          The wcha seems too strong to break up to me (holding half the national titles over any stretch), and I couldn’t see losing schools like north Dakota and Denver, schools that have nothing but hockey, but are very good at that one sport. But that is the fan in me. From a fiscal stance, does anyone have an argument for splitting up the wcha and ccha? Would anyone really make more money?

          • Adam says:

            I think everybody could be better off if you split out the Big Ten schools, and combine the remainder of the CCHA and WCHA (or at least portions). Having a Big Ten hockey league would get more games on TV and would increase exposure and fan interest in the sport generally, which is good for everybody. And the lower-end CCHA and WCHA teams, which are now being subsidized by the Big Ten programs, could instead sustain themselves with a new league incorporating NDSU, Denver, and so forth. But most importantly, a Big Ten hockey league may well add 2 new programs (Illinois and PSU) and would give the sport its first legitimate chance at breaking into the mainstream (or at least as mainstream as hockey gets).

        • MIRuss says:

          Justin – Not sure Big 10 Hockey would be a money maker, but the BTN would absolutely love it! I have been watching the CCHA playoffs on the BTN and Fox Sports (GO BLUE!) and I have enjoyed the action.

          One comment: To hell with Syracuse! I am not sure what the fascination is with this school. However, the ACC didn’t think they were the right school and chose BC, Va Tech, and Miami. Hello? That needs to ring some bells with the posters here. IF they went all the way to Massachusetts vs. taking a NY school, should that tell you something?

          • Rick says:

            @MIRuss: Syracuse did not end up in the ACC, that is true. The ACC passed them over…not entirely true. Syracuse, BC, and Miami were the original 3 pegged for expansion. Then 4 things happened:
            1) The Big East sued Miami, BC, and the ACC. Not Syracuse, they were not on record with any comments so they were not included in the lawsuit.
            2) the Virginia state govt got involved and demanded VT be included, they got their way.

            The next 2 happenings it is said to have occurred (depending on who recounts it)
            3) The ACC courted Notre Dame. They declined.
            4) The ACC went back to BC and Syracuse, Syracuse was fed up and declined any further talks, BC accepted.

            So the combination of lawsuits, government intervention, backroom dealings with ND, and the ACC’s final negotiations with Syracuse and BC ended up with the result that Syracuse did not end up in the ACC. According to most accounts, they were not passed over but their admission to the ACC was a casualty of law and politics (both governmental and backroom).

      • Richard says:

        I definitely think the Big10 would need Syracuse. Not sure UConn is needed. They’re in a small population state, and frankly, I believe ND would get the BTN in to all the other unaffiliated NE states as well as NYC better than UConn.

        It’s too bad Syracuse isn’t a regional power any more.

        • MIRuss says:

          Rick – Sorry – Didn’t know or didn’t follow the ACC expansion that closely. In fact, I had thought I read somewhere that Syracuse was never part of the picture due to The BEast insisting that Syracuse stay on for Basketball reasons. Needless to say, I wasn’t following along with the financials and could have really cared less. So, Virginia sued to get VA Tech included into the predominantly better football contract – that makes sense. But why would Syracuse bow out of more money? BEast Basketball (Boeheim) commitments? That doesn’t make much sense. I would like to understand more…If Syracuse was “fed up”, wouldn’t they be just as “fed up” being a bottom feeder in the Big 10?

          • Rick says:

            @MIRuss: There were a couple of things that were going on at the same time in regards to the SU/ACC situation. (and variations of this depends on who’s spin is believed)
            1) Syracuse part of original 3 school deal. ACC really wanted Miami as a priority above all else.
            2)Syracuse was not happy with the about face of the ACC and the VT/UVA controversy.
            3) The ACC invited Miami and VT only initially after the VT/UVA controversy. SU not happy
            4) Over the next year, the Big East circled the wagons, put in place exit penalties, invited Louisville, USF, and Cincy as all sports members.
            5) Supposedly SU and BC gave the Big East commitments to stay.
            6) Jim Boeheim went public with his desire to stay in Big East.
            7) ND was rumored to be talking with ACC. Syracuse not happy.
            8) ND does not join.
            9) Supposedly BC continued back room lobbying with ACC.
            10) ACC comes knocking on SU and BC door.
            11) SU not happy with the way the whole situation wss being played out. Feeling “played”.
            12) SU decides to honor their word to the BE. Backs off ACC interest
            13) BC doesn’t and joins the ACC.

            Mind you, this is what circulated from an SU point of view. The BC point of view will vary in that they say they never pledged to stay in Big East. The ND point of view is that they never spoke to the ACC. The ACC will say they got what they wanted. All in all I tend to lean towards the SU view. Needless to say, SU was not really passed over but was really pissed off.

          • omnicarrier says:

            After the ACC didn’t expand with either SU or BC in June of 2003, both schools pledged to each other that neither would consider a later ACC offer to be #12.

            BC later claimed that pledge was predicated on the football schools splitting from the bb schools. We’ll never know for sure, since the split never happened.

            SU made it publicly clear they would no longer consider ACC membership and meant it while at the same time saying they would keep their options open in regard to the Big Ten.

  9. Nittany Wit says:

    If the Big Ten expands to 14, will ND be able to indefinitely maintain yearly rivalry games with Purdue, Michigan State, and even Michigan?

    If the Big Ten grabs Rutgers, Nebraska, Missouri or Rutgers, Pitt, BC, that moves increases the level of competition plus throws in a championship game. At some point, Purdue or Michigan State’s AD may have less flexibility to schedule ND on an every year basis. Without it’s Big Ten rivalries intact, ND’s schedule takes a big nose dive.

    • @Nittany Wit – I think that some type of viable schedule formulation would be worked out so that no one in the Big Ten would be losing its top rivalries. Adam has pointed out the difficult process that it would take to get the NCAA to change its championship game rule so that divisions wouldn’t be required and the conference can just pit the two best teams against each other at the end of the season. As difficult as that might be, I’d really like for the Big Ten to push for it if it goes up to 14 schools so that it can simply have 3 or 4 protected rivalries per school and then everyone else would mostly play 2-years on/2-years off.

      Here’s a story on the ACC trying to change the championship game rule to allow for conferences with 10 schools to stage it (back when it was in limbo as to whether it would add BC):

      This story seems to imply that FBS schools actually do have control to allow for a waiver without having to deal with the FCS and lower-division schools. If I were the Big Ten, I’d push very hard for it because I think that the other BCS conferences (especially ones that would contemplate going up to 14 schools like the SEC and ACC) would want the flexibility of not having divisions.

      • Richard says:

        Or just forgo a championship game. Then you would’t have to split in to divisions. You also wouldn’t run the risk the ACC does of hosting a championship game in a geographically dispersed conference and finding out that nobody shows up because neither school is anywhere close to the championship site.
        Plus, with no divisions, a lot more games on the BTN become must-watch TV as there would be tighter title races and fans would have rooting interests in more games.

      • Nittany Wit says:

        I was not clear..but I was meaning if the Big Ten went to 14 teams without Notre Dame. I think this is the case that Notre Dame must weigh since there is the potential that scheduling will become more difficult with Big Ten teams.

      • Adam says:

        Frank, the legislative process has changed since 2003. The Management Council was abolished, and instead there is a Leadership Council and Legislative Council which both report to the Board of Directors. It could be that I am misunderstanding the legislative process anyway; diving into that maze is like going Through the Looking Glass. But as I understand it, to get a rule changed in the NCAA Division I Manual, it would be: Football Issues Committee–>Championships/Sports Management Cabinet–>Legislative Council–>Board of Directors.

        • @Adam – Gotcha – thanks for clarifying the process.

        • SH says:

          I continue to maintain that the B10, particularly an expanded B10, will have significantly more leverage than the NCAA on this issue. This idea of how to set up divisions and host a conference title game is meaningless for the NCAA. It just doesn’t affect them. The NCAA has only one real asset – the men’s basketball tournament. The other tournaments pale in comparison.

          The worst thing that could happen to the NCAA is for them to wake up one day and find out that there are 4 major conferences who decide they can settle who the best basketball team is on their own without splitting the pot. I don’t think this would ever happen, but if you are the NCAA why would want to piss of the B10 or P10 (it could be an issue for them as well) over something that doesn’t affect you.

          I don’t really believe this will be an issue. Ultimatly, I think the B10 will be able to set up divisions as they see fit. Maybe a geographic alignment just makes sense, because that is what we are all used too.

  10. Nittany Wit says:

    I’m not so sure that Rutgers must carry NY or BC would have to carry Boston. These are large enough markets that the Big Ten Network wants to get its foot (or more of its foot) in the door. Right now, Pitt and WVU are the biggest name opponents for Rutgers fans to get excited about. Swap those two out with Michigan, OSU, PSU…big difference. Even Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan State are on par with Pitt and WVU. Rutgers is the reason to get the foot in the door, but the opponents are the reason why people will watch. Same deal with Boston. The question shouldn’t be if they can carry the market (the rest of the Big Ten will help in this aspect), but whether they carry it better than any other New York, Boston, or New England team. I think the answer to that is yes.

    • Rick says:

      @Nitt: I totally agree with you here. This is exactly what I’ve been saying about the “Big Ten Package” is what the NYC or Boston markets will buy. Rutgers/SU/BC/UConn are the vehicles to get it in. Those markets are much more inclined to get excited about the Big Ten powerhouses coming to town than the ACC and Big East competition. Personally I don’t think not having Notre Dame is a deal breaker. Nice but not a deal breaker.

  11. Richard says:

    I think it’s more about TV footprint & money than anything else, so yes, if the Big10 added BC & ND (along with Rutgers, Syracuse, and Mizzou/Pitt/Maryland), it wouldn’t be a collection of top research universities any more. However, all these schools are still good undergraduate institutions (Mizzou would be the worst of the bunch), and top to bottom, the Big10 would still be at worst tied for being the best conference academically (only the ACC could argue they’re as good). More importantly, 14.3M people in NE, 19.5 in NY, and 8.7M in NJ = 42M people. If adding 4 schools gets the BTN in to the households of all those states (+ adding 1 school to get Missouri’s 6M people), then it makes about as much sense as adding 2 schools to get Texas’s 24M people.

    I think that decades from now, there will be 3 dominant conferences in college football: the Big10 in what were the Union states dring the Civil War, the SEC in all the Confederate states (except Texas and NC), and a Western Conference that stretches from the plains on west. The ACC will be the 4th major conference; significantly behind the big 3, but significantly ahead of all the rest. Its stature in football would be equivalent to that of the Big East back when it still had Miami, VTech, and BC. It still would be one of the top conferences in basketball but the only state it would have unconditional control over is its heartland of NC (maybe Maryland and Connecticut as well).
    NC would also be the only significant state that isn’t in the footprint of one of the big 3.

  12. Jeremy says:

    In 2006, BC was creating attention because they were in first place. Even though it was a short span it shows that Boston fans care little more if they win. If Rutgers and BC join the B10, right now they will be competing for last to middle of the pack. Seeing Ohio st , Michigan, or Penn st is cool, may draw fans becuase they want to see the good games. Both Rutgers and BC will sell well agaisnt ND the three others I listed,but unless they can beat MSU, Wisconson, Iowa a fair amount of times then the fans wont go to games.

    Here is games agaisnt B10+Notre Dame and Rutgers

    Oct 242009 @Notre Dame Lost 16-20
    Nov8 2008 Notre Dame Won 17-0
    Oct 13 2007 Notre Dame W 27-14
    dec 28 2007 (Bowl game) MSU W 24-21

    I thought they played more games agaisnt B10 I guess not.

    Another thing I noticed how small of a stadium they have 40k but it is fine for now becuase they will need to get thier feet wet for a couple years agaisnt B10 competition.

    If the division system was set up east and west it would be even harder for BC and Rutgers to tally wins if they have to play the best of the best every year.

    • Rick says:

      I think both BC and Rutgers will consistently be in the Football tier with Wisconsin, MSU, Iowa. We are not talking about cellar dwellers here. PITT the same. Syracuse will soon, within 3-5 years.

  13. chris says:

    The only fans of BC are alumni and their family, and possibly random people with Jesuit ties. BC doesn’t fit in with the rest of the ACC. Massachusetts doesn’t care about BC. The city of Boston doesn’t care about BC. Even BC doesn’t care about BC (they have a HARD time drawing their own student body in for games unless it’s basketball VS Duke/ UNC or football against ND).

    If the ACC and BC decide to part ways, I think it just increases the odds of ND joining the ACC.

    • Richard says:

      Trust me, most Chicagoans don’t care about Northwestern either, yet Chicago is still a solidly Big10 city. Granted, it’s smack dab in the middle of Big10 territory, but unlike Texas or SoCal, the Big10 doesn’t need the Northeastern schools to deliver their home market all by themselves, because a ton of Big10 students come from there and a ton of Big10 alums end up there. The big question is whether adding BC (along with Syracuse, Rutgers, maybe UConn) to all the rest of the existing Big10, including the Eastern school of PSU, is enough to put the BTN on the basic cable tier in all the households in NE, NY, and NJ. If the answer is “yes”, then it really doesn’t matter what ND does at that point.

      • Michael says:

        Chicago is a Big Ten city not because of Northwestern. Rather, it’s a Big Ten city because it’s the #1 destination for Big Ten grads.

        For example, I recently read an article about the state of Michigan’s concern about “brain drain.” A generation ago, graduates of UofM and especially MSU would find work in Greater Detroit and other Michigan cities. Now, there are more people going to Chicago than anywhere else. (And who can blame them? Chicago is only 4 hours from Lansing and has a superior economy to Detroit’s. Moving there wouldn’t make a 22-year-old new graduate feel like he/she is moving across the country.)

        Likewise, the Big Ten is headquartered in Chicago. Every time I’ve gone there I’ve seen people wearing hats & shirts for Wisconsin, Illinois, NW, Purdue, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, & Ohio State, not to mention Notre Dame.

        • Richard says:

          Indeed, but my point is that the Big10 sends a lot of alums to the Eastern cities (NYC, Boston, and smaller ones) as well, so adding a BC or Rutgers (or maybe UConn) + ND may be enough to tip the balance to where cable providers will face enough pressure to add the BTN to the local tier.

          Plus, it’s fits in with the research strategy in one way. It’s true that BC isn’t a research powerhouse (neither are ND or Syracuse, though Syracuse are at least AAU). However, Northeasterners, after decades of getting the BTN and seeing Big10 teams come to town may start identifying with the Big10 to the point where NE,NY, & NJ can be called “Big10 country” (and not see the Big10 as a Midwestern conference any more, but a Northern one). When that happens, companies there may start sending some of their research dollars to the top research schools in the Big10 like Michigan, Illinois, and PSU. This is something that can never be acheived with Texas or Florida. Even if UT+TAMU are added (or FSU+Miami), Texans and Floridans will never see their state as being part of “Big10 country”, just as New Englanders these days don’t see themselves as being part of “ACC country”.

          • Michael says:

            I agree that New Englanders might not ever see themselves as part of “ACC country,” and neither would Texans see themselves in “Big Ten country” if their schools were in the league.

            But those schools could open up some doors for companies to send research dollars to the CIC, just like in the Northeast. Remember: Houston is second to NYC for having the most headquarters of Fortune 500 companies. That number may very well increase as the state of Texas grows in population. Texas is also one of the most stable states during the recession. Unlike other Sun Belt states like Arizona, California, and Florida, where boom-and-bust real estate is killing their economies, Texas isn’t dealing with those problems.

    • Rick says:

      I’ve been to BC home games vs. Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Rutgers. All packed houses. They will come out to see teams other than ND. They would draw well for Big Ten games. They did however avg 35k in 45k seat stadium last year.

      • chris says:

        It’s not hard to have a packed house for FSU or VT. If BC was truly packed for Rutgers, I give them kudos.

        BC would draw well for Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. I expect the attendance to remain apathetic for the rest of the Big Ten home games.

        • Rick says:

          They do have attendance issues outside of marquee games, my point was ND is not their only opponent that they get full houses for, although they enjoy very much beating them, as they have 5 out of the last 6 times they played since 2002.

    • Michael says:

      I would disagree that BC doesn’t fit in w/ the rest of the ACC. BC & Wake are a lot alike; they’re like Duke-lite. Both are relatively small, sectarian private schools. Both are great schools which still are a bit overshadowed in their own states. (BC is in the same metro as Harvard & MIT, not to mention Amherst, Williams, Tufts, etc. Wake has a great medical school yet is probably only the third-best in the state, to Duke & UNC.)

      Honestly, the chancellor of BC seemed relieved to join the ACC. He was pleased to be associated with ACC schools rather than a number of the Big East schools.

      Oh, but geographically? Yeah, I think BC is a weird fit, too. Pitt would have made a lot more sense.

      • Richard says:

        Well, for schools like BC, Syracuse, and Pitt, the ACC is a better place to be than the Big East. That doesn’t mean the Big10 wouldn’t be both a better place and better fit than where they are now.

  14. Michael says:

    BC? It just doesn’t sound right.

    If there’s anything I’ve been further convinced about on this blog, it’s that research capabilities are a high priority for Big Ten expansion. So, with the CIC strength being just as important to Big Ten presidents as athletics revenue, why would they invite the least research-oriented ACC school for the sake of getting Notre Dame, which itself is also well below all Big Ten schools? That would be basically getting down on their hands and knees and begging Notre Dame to join.

    Look, BC and Notre Dame are excellent schools, but neither are research stalwarts, and research is what the Big Ten is all about. I simply do not see Big Ten presidents inviting BC to be the league’s first non-AAU member for the main purpose of luring a second non-AAU member. Would they do that with Pitt, Rutgers, or Syracuse? Maybe. BC? Nah.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Agree 100%, and hope that you are right….

      Look, everyone sees ND as the exception to the rule. If ND, Pitt, and Rutgers were added, Rutgers and Pitt would be good matches for the Big 10 schools….nd wants to increase it’s research footprint….all is kosher…adding BC instead of Pitt or Missouri makes a MAJOR change, IMO…..

  15. Michael says:

    Going back to the idea of getting Texas to join, wouldn’t a good strategy for the Big Ten be to invite A&M first? Unlike UT, A&M doesn’t have the same kind of massive revenue streams and certainly won’t be creating its own network. A&M knows the SEC won’t be inviting them any time soon because of the SEC’s long-term TV contracts, and it knows the Big 12 offers nothing financially compared to the Big Ten. A&M thus should have plenty of motivation to join the Big Ten.

    Worst case scenario, UT doesn’t bite, but the Big Ten Network still gets on basic cable in Houston, if not DFW and San Antonio. The Big Ten could also try to lure in UT by inviting Missouri, which offers one of the BT’s best non-Texas TV markets, or Nebraska, one of the Big 12′s biggest national names. If that still doesn’t budge UT, at least the Big Ten doesn’t have to compromise by inviting a school it doesn’t want like Texas Tech or an Oklahoma school. For the 14th school, the Big 12 could try for Notre Dame first. If ND doesn’t bite, then invite whichever school offers the most value among Rutgers, Syracuse, and Pitt.

    At worst, the Big Ten ends up with a large, land-grant AAU school in Texas with an 80,000+ seat stadium, a huge national name in Nebraska or another market in Missouri, and either Notre Dame or an increased presence in New York City via Rutgers or Syracuse.

    That makes a lot more sense to me than adding BC for the sake of Notre Dame. A&M, Nebraska, Mizzou, Rutgers, & Syracuse are great additions by themselves. BC, by itself, is no net gain.

    • SH says:

      Not that I necessarily agree with that strategy, but I tried to make a similar point a few blogs back. On its own A&M should be one of the top schools on the second tier of schools (after UT and ND). I tried to score it using Frank’s numbers from his original index, and it was rigth there with Syracuse and Nebraska (in my subjective scoring).

      I agree with Frank and others. Expansion, at this time, does not make sense without UT/ND. Unless one of those schools is ready to make the jump, the B10 should stand pat. Let the P10 start the dominoes.

      • Theta says:

        The Big 10 would just have to convince Texas that they were serious about taking A&M by themselves. That would focus the minds at Texas.

        • @Theta – As great as that sounds in theory, I think that would be hard one to pull over on Texas. I don’t know if they’d take that seriously (and I’m not sure if they even take the Big Ten’s threat to take Missouri or Nebraska seriously). The main way to get Texas to act would likely be via the Pac-10 inviting Colorado (thereby destabilizing the Big XII and giving Texas a reason to move).

        • Theta says:

          I was thinking the Big 10 taking A&M after CO went to the PAC-10. I think Texas and A&M will stay together but it might be easier for the Big 10 to get A&M first. The Big 10 needs to be working on both not just Texas.

          It would be another excuse for Texas to leave. “See its not our fault, CO and A&M destroyed the Big 12.”

          • MIRuss says:

            Theta – Good Logic. Texas is the prize and there needs to be other angles investigated as to how you get them where you want them to go. Talking to A&M is a great move, makes sense, and separate Texas from the discussion, but forces them into it none the les…The Big 10 has lots of different ways to play this. That being said, I do think $warbuck$ eventually buckles and says yes, ending this whole discussion and the Big 10 will sit at 12 for years to come.

  16. c says:

    Big 10 options and affinity

    Big 10 has a number of options based on it’s financial and athletic success with unique CIC and TV channel.

    The down side of an expansion is dilution of existing games among member schools. And no expansion will gain votes without a super majority vote.

    Affinity applies to geography, research level and institutional type: large dominant state school being the Big 10 norm.

    If Texas is out, the Big 10 could make a comfortable decision to expand to a 12th team for a conference game and add a major market or select a school based on CIC qualifications or unusual athletic appeal.

    If the financial prize is the NY metro region market with first mover advantage and unique Big 10 channel incentive, then the question is whether there is a desire to expand beyond 12 and truly capture the intended market by including not one but at least 2 schools in that market.

    If the Big 10 is willing to expand to 14, then RU, SU along with a 14th school makes sense. If ND is not in, then UConn makes a lot of sense as a major state school that has potential to attract the New England market and connect well with RU and SU along with PSU.

    With respect to ND and BC, I doubt BC would be happier in Big 10 than an ACC with private schools like Duke, Wake, Miami and public schools like UVA, UNC, GT. BC would be on an island in the Big 10 as it is in ACC unless it was part of a 16 team Big 10.

    RU and SY and UConn have a geographical proximity and recent rivalry in football that could work well with PSU.

    ND is the top choice as team 12 and could maximize a 14 team conference that expanded to the NY metro region but BC as team 14 just confuses the issue. If BC is such a key partner for ND, then why are they ending their long term series?

    If ND insisted on BC, the Big 10 might be better off in terms of affinity and markets by adding UConn to RU and SU.

    • Richard says:

      BC wouldn’t be on an island in the Big10 if Rutgers and Syracuse and/or ND are added. If it comes down to a choice of Rutgers + ND&BC or Rutgers + SU+UConn, I believe the former would have a better chance of putting the BTN on basic cable all across the northeast than the latter.

      • c says:

        re options for teams 12-14 (Richard)

        I’ll believe BC as team 14 when I see it.

        However, rate the odds (not prefernces or wishes)

        1) ND, RU, SU

        2) ND, RU, BC

        3) RU, SU, UConn

        4) just add ND

        5) just add RU

        6) midwestern state school or Pitt

        7) shocker: Texas and Texas A&M

        8) 16 team Big 10 including ?

        My guess is 5

        • c says:

          Re additional option

          Should have added

          9) RU, SU, Pitt

          10) add your own

          • Rick says:

            How about:

            ND, RU, Nebraska
            ND, RU, Mizz
            ND, RU, PITT
            RU, SU, Neb
            RU, SU, Mizz
            RU, PITT, Neb
            RU, PITT, Mizz
            PITT, SU, Neb
            PITT, SU, Mizz

    • I agree with most of this regarding affinity, although if the difference between getting ND or not getting ND is replacing one of Syracuse or UConn with BC, then I still think the Big Ten makes that move. If ND isn’t really insistent upon BC and simply cares about whether the Big East survives or not, I’d rather see the ND/Rutgers/Syracuse combo.

      Let me be clear – I don’t think the Big Ten would or should add BC without ND, too. However, the other BE options are not so far ahead of BC in terms of attractiveness that the Big Ten would pass on ND simply for that fact. BC is NOT like, say, Texas Tech – there’s value there where I think it works.

      ND is still much more important to this process than a lot of people are giving them credit for. Adding multiple BE schools and/or Mizzou alone simply does NOT come close to making it worth it for the Big Ten to expand. The Big Ten Network has made the bar to be invited to the Big Ten much higher than before (not less) and the Big Ten has passed on all of those usual suspects many times over the past couple of decades. If you’ve got a school like Texas in the mix, then you can afford to ignore ND. If Texas isn’t in the mix, though, then ND is critical if the Big Ten is going to be expanding by multiple schools, especially if it wants to implement an East Coast strategy.

      Also, don’t discount the East Coast bias in both academia and the media. The academics that run universities are disproportionately from Eastern cities or trained at schools within them. The media people that are going to working with the Big Ten on its TV deals are also disproportionately from the New York area specifically. Unless the Big Ten is literally adding a Texas-sized market to the West, then there are a ton of media incentives and academic biases that lead the Big Ten toward the Northeast.

      • SH says:

        Frank, I still believe that the B10 wants ND and would take them. But at this point, with the bad blood that exists (I assume there is some ill-will), do you think the B10 would let ND give any demands. I know they wouldn’t do it publicly. They may allow ND to make demands (such as we will always be able to play Navy and USC and one other non-conference or such), but a demand such as we want this school to join?

        I have no clue whether they would insist on BC, and I agree there is value in BC to some extent. But at this point, if BC were to join with ND, wouldn’t everyone know it was because ND forced them to be included. And would the B10 want to give BC the satisfaction?

        • @SH – I don’t know if the Big Ten would “give in”, but there’s going to have to be some give and take if you’re dealing with anyone that’s really worth getting (whether it’s ND or Texas). that’s justs a practical reality – the Big Ten has a lot of leverage (much more than what the national media seems to be giving it credit for), but this isn’t going to be some type of unilateral hammering down of terms on candidates. At the end of the day, if BC meets the conference’s academic and TV market requirements (and I think it does at face value), then the Big Ten would be foolish to let hubris get in the way of getting a deal done. From an athletic and TV market standpoint, there’s not so much differentation between BC, Syracuse and Pitt that you’d glaringly say, “NFW are we taking BC. They’re just unacceptable.”

          Let’s not forget about the money, too. The Big Ten is likely going to approach ND and tell them how much they’d make if the conference took ND/Rutgers/Syracuse vs. ND/Rutgers/Pitt vs. ND/Rutgers/BC or a number of other combos. It’s not as if though this is all going to be done blindly (well, you never know with ND, but the bean counters are going to at least examine it). Is ND going to seriously choose a scenario where it’s not making the maximum amount possible if it’s giving up independence? That’s doubtful. Maybe that points to BC or it could put Syracuse ahead. I don’t think ND cares about any of those schools enough to forego a higher revenue stream – they’d want the highest revenue producing combo, whoever that might be (and the Big Ten would want that, too).

    • Justin says:

      I would bet that BC fans far prefer the Big 10 to the ACC, especially if you are including several of its former Big East rivals, and especially ND.

      The only school that BC has any sort of history with in the ACC is Miami. In a 16 team Big East, they’d be renewing rivalries with Notre Dame, Syracuse, Rutgers for starters.

      BC used to play PSU when both schools were independent.

      If you create a Big 10 hockey league, its a no brainer.

      • c says:

        Re BC prefering Big 10

        In a 16 team Big 10 as you listed, BC would no doubt prefer Big 10.

        Does Big 10 want to expand to 16 to accommodate ND and/or to capture Northeast market?

  17. Nittany Wit says:

    I certainly wouldn’t mind adding BC, but I’m not sure that the advantages of the Big Ten over the ACC would be enough to have them jump ship. Other than money, it seems that they are a better fit with the ACC than with the Big Ten. If I’m targeting a ACC school, I think that Maryland is the choice. Fits academically, athletically, research wise and opens some new markets. However, I think that this is a hard deal to pull off and not sure that Maryland would want to leave the ACC.

    If the Big Ten got Rutgers and Maryland, then the ACC would probably add Pitt (maybe Syracuse) and the Big East would have two spots left to fill. The most realistic options for the Big East are Buffalo, ECU, Temple, or Central Florida. Which leads me to believe that the Big East would disintegrating and Syracuse and UConn would end up making 14 teams in the ACC. The question here though is would NY swing Big Ten for football or ACC for basketball. In the end, the more prudent thing might be to let the ACC out of it so that the Big Ten could pick and choose.

    The more I think about it, the more I feel that Rutgers will be the first team picked if the process is going to play out stepwise. That just opens the door on the Big East and then the uncertainty helps out with either Big 12 teams or with ND. If they want BC, then obviously BC must be the first school selected along with Rutgers.

    However, I still think the best choice would be to pluck Nebraska first. It’s not the wow that ND or Texas would be but it messes up the big 12 and immediately lets the Big East know that they better get on the horn to the Big Ten if they want any chance before Missouri gets taken.

    • M says:

      As someone living in Virginia, BC may be the worst fit of any school with any conference. They are geographically and climatically isolated, a Catholic school in a southern conference, smaller than any other school in the conference, and a football focused school in a basketball focused conference. I am positive that they would jump at the chance to be in any conference with ND and that the ACC would not be particularly upset to see them go. They have only been in the conference ~5 years.

      Maryland would be a much more significant loss to the ACC, though personally I think it is much more of the “Big Ten type” than BC.

    • Mike B says:

      If you want to de-stabilize the Big XII, the school to take is Mizzou, not Nebraska.

      Not that that’s the objective (buhahahah).

      • Nittany Wit says:

        Why so? Missouri already wants out, but Nebraska would like to stay if possible. Taking Nebraska would make it obvious that Missouri and Colorado would start looking to leave. If Missouri left, I think it would be easier to find a replacement (aka Louisville or Colorado State) to keep the Big 12 North intact

        • Richard says:

          Mizzou has the people. Granted, they could replace with BYU, but it’s not a certainty that the Big12 would be able to maintain even the TV money they have now without their second most populous state.

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          Why do you think Nebraska wants to stay? Tom Osborne was practically begging for an invite last month.

          • Mike says:

            Osborne said he would listen if someone called. He is very aware that Nebraska could be left out if the Big Ten goes east and the Pac 10 takes the Texas schools. In the Big 12, Nebraska is in a good position; a division with no traditional powers, 1 game a year in Texas, only scheduled to play Texas or Oklahoma not both, and bus trips to multiple schools. To Osborne, the revenue gap between the Big 12 and the Big Ten is manageable. That’s not to say he thinks the Big 12 is perfect.

  18. Penn State Danny says:

    Does the 27 month notice required by the Big East mean taht something could happen by the end of THIS month?? 27 months from 4/1/2010 would be 7/1/2011. Do the academic years start on July 1st of a given year?

    If not, is there a date for which we should be on the lookout?

  19. Scott S says:

    Boston College is a very good undergraduate institution. However, with that said, if we, as Big Ten presidents, are now considering Boston College to the Big Ten, I think we’ve gone from adding Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant to adding “Big Country” Reeves. At least in terms of athletics and research.

    Can you see the CIC, which has to sign off on any Big Ten additions, okaying Boston College? We’ve already discussed Syracuse’s paucity of research; well, BC is ranked directly below Syracuse, doing less than 36 million dollars per year. That’s less than half of Notre Dame’s research budget, and Notre Dame isn’t a research school. It’s approximately 4% of Wisconsin’s research budget (the school to whcih Rick compares BC, at least in football and the school of which CTBucki (misguidedly) says we don’t need another.)

    $36 million dollars is less than the research budget of Howard, Memphis, and Loyola (Chicago). Are these schools Big Ten material?

    I just can’t see the Big Ten prostating itself before the golden dome, comproming their standards completely, in hopes of landing Notre Dame. There are greener pastures.

    • Richard says:

      Well, I don’t think Harvard’s going to leave the Ivy League

      • Scott S says:

        I know this is meant tongue in cheek, but while the academic arm of the Big Ten would love Harvard, Harvard isn’t a good fit either. Their teams are not good enough to compete, and I’m guessing the TV market they draw isn’t substantial either.

        The point I’d like to make is that it has to be a perfect fit–a very good academic institution,including the graduate schools and research I’m guessing, excellent sports, substantial TV market. What do you think…does BC fit that profile?

        • Richard says:

          I think it’ll come down to whether adding BC will be able to add surplus TV money. Adding BC by itself may not, but if ND insists on BC for some reason, and adding BC & ND (along with Rutgers) gets the BTN on basic cable in NYC, New England, and New Jersey, then it makes sense.

          Another thing to keep in mind is that Delany likely would not like to see the ACC expand northward and eventually make the Northeast all theirs.

          • @Richard – I agree with this. Maybe the calculation is that the ND/BC/Rutgers combo gets the BTN on basic cable at full price in NJ and MA and basic cable at a reduced price in the rest of the NYC area and New England. That would more than pay for itself in a heartbeat and really lock down the Northeast for the Big Ten. Other conferences might have some presence in the Northeast via Syracuse, UConn and/or Pitt, but it would be like the markets where the ACC competes with the SEC (with the Big Ten in the SEC position). I don’t know how seriously I can take this BC talk, but it’s more than plausible based on the criteria in the Big Ten Expansion Index.

        • @Scott S – the perfect fit on those parameters is Texas. Thats why they ranked #1 in the Big Ten Expansion Index. Other than that, you start getting into unattainable schools like UCLA and Florida. Everyone else has some “flaws”. Rutgers is great except for the actual sports history. ND and BC don’t really have great graduate research programs. Pitt fits in all ways except for bringing in a new TV market. Syracuse may or may not bring eyeballs in the NY area and isn’t a top tier graduate school, but has such a great basketball fan base that they might be key in an East Coast strategy. At that point, it’s balancing the pluses and minuses of each.

          • Richard says:

            Except geography, which may be a consideration not just because of costs, but also because of intangibles (it’s usually easier to develop a rivalry with a school that’s close by rather than one across the country, increasing ticket sales + fans can travel to a closer site, maybe increasing alumni support) & for research money & job placement purposes: it’s easier to get companies in adjacent regions/states to eventually consider themselves part of “Big10 country” and start looking in to funding research projects at Big10 universities & hiring grads from Big10 schools.

    • Rick says:

      Scott, you are right, I compared the BC Football program with the Wisconsin Football program. I was not referring to them in comparison to the Wisconsin research money or the non-athletic factors.

    • @Scott S – I think a lot of people are grossly overstating the supposed academic inferiority of BC compared to the rest of the Big Ten. Is Dartmouth a weak academic school compared to Nebraska or even SUNY Buffalo because it isn’t a member of the AAU, so the Ivy League should kick them out? Would the University of Iowa thumb its nose down at Amherst based on academics? That obviously doesn’t jive. I believe that the university presidents think more of the academic “smell test” of general perception than looking at actual research amounts. On that front, Boston College is one of the top 30 hardest schools to get admitted to in the country. The general perception of BC is that it’s a good academic school and I don’t think that the Big Ten university presidents would think that they’d be lowering itself academically. BC isn’t a graduate-focused university, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad academic school. That’s far from the truth.

      Also, I’ve long believed that the academic factor is completely understated and ignored by the vast majority of the population when looking at Big Ten expansion. However, there’s a flip side where there’s a concentration of very educated followers who almost know too much about the academic factor, which obviously isn’t a bad thing by itself but it clouds the judgment of the ultimate end game of providing maximum revenue opportunities for athletics. To me, there’s going to be a pool of academically acceptable Big Ten expansion candidates (and if ND is academically acceptable, then BC certainly should be, as well). Once those schools have passed that bar, though, then they’re going to be evaluated solely on how much revenue they’re going to bring to the table for sports. Pitt isn’t going to get an advantage over, say, Syracuse, because it has more research dollars – it’s simply going to be compared to the other academically acceptable schools in terms of what they can bring to the Big Ten Network and national TV contracts. The Big Ten will look at the team or teams that provide the best revenue opportunities and make their moves from there. The CIC exists for the benefit of Big Ten members, but it’s ultimately a supplemental concern as opposed to the driving force behind expansion. The Big Ten Network, on the other hand, is definitely the main factor in looking at expansion scenarios.

      Once again, I’m not saying that I support BC going to the Big Ten at all. However, there are reasons why it could make sense and it’s unfair to say that BC would be somehow academically unacceptable.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I think you’re grossly underestimating the importance of research dollars and enrollment….at the end of the day, the university presidents are going to want the expansion schools, with the exception of ND, to look like the present Big 10 schools. BC and Syracuse don’t. I think and hope they won’t be invited….

      • Scott S says:

        I stated at the outset of my post that Boston College was a “very good” undergraduate school, so I’m not sure how this got to be interpreted as though I thought it was an inferior school.

        What BC isn’t, however, is a major research university. What it isn’t is an AAU member.

        Does this matter? Is it just a “smell test”–the university is good enough either in undergrad or grad school or based on some other criteria? Once the pass the “good enough” level, are they, as you suggest, going to be judged simply on how much sports revenue they bring in?

        I can’t speak for the CIC, but if they have to sign off on a new member, then it may not be a simple matter of saying they’re good enough as an undergrad instiution and what do they bring in terms of eyeballs on the TV. I’m thinking that it’s probably not a conincidence that every other member of the Big Ten is a big-time research institution and AAU member. And from the CIC’s perspective, if the schools share to at least some degree, research facilities, materials, and projects, would the CIC be willing to bring in a member as an equal who does something on the order of 1/10 of the research of even the smallest Big Ten school? The CIC may be thinking, what do we get out of BC’s joining? Does this addition add to the profile of the CIC or diminish it?

        I don’t honestly know the answer. But I’m guessing that possible TV markets for football revenue may be all that matters–perhaps not to university presidents–but to the CIC.

        • Scott S says:

          Let me correct that….

          I’m guessing that possible TV markets for football revenue may NOT be all that matters to the CIC.

        • Richard says:

          The question is just how the CIC would suffer from adding a BC (or ND, which the CIC/Big10 was willing to add before). If a school has little in the way of research capabilities, they likely wouldn’t participate much in the collaborative research done by the CIC schools, but that’s not a net loss; they’d contribute little and take away little. Sure, adding a research powerhouse would be better for everyone, but in research, there’s nothing forcing the schools to have to collaborate or share. The calculus is different on the athletics side, because each new school would take away a share of the TV & bowl money, plus how popular/good they are also has an affect on ticket sales, so a school that contributes little in the way or TV viewers or attracting bowls or game attendees would be a net negative. After all, stellar research institutions like Stanford, Cal, & UCLA don’t tie in their research collaboration with their athletics (nor do Ivies nor Ivy-equivalents like MIT and CalTech) and they do fine. It’s likely that the CIC/Big10 would expect the new members to upgrade their research/academic infrastructure & reputation (which is why schools like Oklahoma and WVa aren’t in the discussion, because they have too far to go), but ND certainly wants to do that, and I believe BC would too.

          • Scott says:

            I’d agree with all this except Oklahoma and West Virginia having further to go on research than ND or Boston College. Iowa, the lowest Big Ten school, did $346 million in research in 2006.

            In comparison, Oklahoma did $179 million. West Virginia did $122 million.

            Notre Dame was at $79 million and Boston College was $35 million. And both have much smaller graduate departments and less than half the graduate students of OK and WV.

            So ND and BC have a longer way to go if they were to develop larger grad departments. Frankly, I just can’t see private Catholic universities ever competing with large state universities on this front, or ever wanting to try. It’s just not what they are.

  20. Playoffs Now! says:

    Boston, (thanks to MIT and Harvard) is a huge research hub, with all the associated private and support firms and resources. Seems there is potential synergy if such a research-driven conference adds a local affiliate. Penn State had to make agreements to upgrade in certain areas, couldn’t BC also agree to ramp up their research programs? Not to imply that such is a simple process easily implemented.

    As to the suggestion of adding Neb to pry Texas loose, that would be the best way to insure that UT does NOT join. It seems clear now that the B10+ has an eastern strategy, where the most money and largest demographics are located. Texas isn’t going to be a lone outpost, wants to bring along aTm, and I don’t think the B10+ wants to go beyond 16. If UT is going to join, the expansion will happen in increments, and they won’t be moving in this first round to 12 or 14. Plus the loss of a team or two or even three in the B12 can easily be plugged with eager schools such as BYU, Utah, Houston, TCU, or even NM or Boise.

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      Forgot to add: Being able to claim your conference stretches from Iowa to the Hudson River is one thing, quite another to be able to market yourself as the dominant league for the entire Midwest and Northeast, stretching from Minneapolis to Boston. BC and UConn may not have the huge local following found in many B10+ or SEC states, but what school besides ND is more influential in New England, or even close? Having the dominant regional sports college(s) matters and can be translated into dollars, even in Pro Sports towns.

    • Mike says:

      I’m not so sure the Big 12 will survive losing Nebraska. Uneven revenue sharing only exists in the Big 12 because Neb, Texas, Okla, and TAMU vote in a block to keep it (it takes 9 votes to change it). If Nebraska leaves the Big 12, Texas probably loses its favored position and gets even less TV money than before.

      The Big 12 will exist as long as the 4 big money schools (NU, UT, OU, TAMU) are together. Colorado and/or Missouri leaving would hurt but it isn’t fatal.

    • Scott says:

      As I said in the post above, BC, in my opinion, has way too far to go to become a research institution. You’re talking a ten-fold increase to even reach the bottom rung of the Big Ten.

      From a research perspective, too, religious universities are not ideal candidates to ever become major players in research.

  21. Jeff says:


    Love your blog. Here are my thoughts on Big Ten expansion and how it’s going to shake out…

    I believe that the B10 will ultimately expand to 14 schools and begin by inviting Syracuse and Rutgers in order to try and capture the NY/NJ markets. After these 2 schools have accepted, the B10 will release some vague statement about how they are are still “evaluating” who they would like to invite as their 14th member. What this really will be is a message to Notre Dame that says “this is your last chance to join.” ND, seeing the writing on the wall, will decide that it’s in its own best interests to join. This will also give the B10 some cover b/c it will make it look like ND approached the B10 not the other way around.

    While all this is happening, the Big East will begin to break apart. Pitt, West Virginia, UConn, and Louisville will all join the ACC/SEC. I see Pitt, WVU, and UConn joining the ACC for several reasons. All 3 of those schools would fit in geographically as opposed to the SEC, they all have traditional rivals in the ACC, and together with the other ACC schools it would make the ACC by far the best basketball conference. Louisville will join the SEC b/c of its rivalry with Kentucky and it would help raise the basketball profile of that conference. The SEC will probably also grab a school from the ACC, perhaps Clemson or Georgia Tech. The Big East will probably merge with another conference, maybe Conference USA, but will no longer be a power conference.

    After realignment, the B10 will obviously split into 2 division to have a championship game. While many people have suggested some sort of straight geographical split, I don’t see it happening quite that way.

    Division 1 will consist of PSU, ND, Syracuse, Rutgers, Michigan State, Purdue, and Indiana. Division 2 will consist of Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, and Minnesota. Each team would play every team in their division and 3 teams from the other division with one of those 3 being used to schedule a traditional rivalry if needed. At first glance you would look at these division splits and say no way that would happen b/c Division 1 is much weaker than Division 2 but allow me to offer the reasons why I think this is how it will happen.

    First, this maintains a majority of the rivalries within the B10. The only rivals that would be split up would be Michigan/Michigan State and Penn State/Ohio State and these could be scheduled in. Second, it puts ND in the same division as all of the schools in or around NYC/NJ. That means that every year ND is playing at or against PSU, Syracuse, and Rutgers. A combination of those 3 school and ND would ensure that The Big Ten Network would be offered on basic cable all along the Northeast thus successfully capturing those markets. Third, the divisional split would be used to entice ND into joining. It would already have 2 of the schools from the B10 (Purdue and Michigan State) that they already play on their schedule (Michigan could also be scheduled in as ND’s rival from the other division). It would also add PSU and Syracuse, 2 schools that ND has a history of playing, and it would also place ND in the easier of the 2 divisions, thus ensuring them an easier road to the B10 Championship game. By having an easier schedule, ND would also still be able to schedule many of the schools they already play, like USC and Boston College, and not have to worry about having to make it through a grueling B10 schedule on top of that. It may seem like I’m alittle too worried about ND (I’m not a ND fan, for the record), but ultimately I feel that getting ND into the conference far outweighs making a few concessions in order to make that happen.

    Well those are my thoughts on expansion, let me know what you think. Thanks!

    • c says:

      Re sequence of invites (Jeff)

      I doubt Big 10 will want to first invite 2 schools like SU and RU as a way to pressure ND into the conference.

      More likely they will have 3 possible options: a 3 school expansion including ND or a 3 school expansion without ND or a one school expansion.

      They are unlikely to add 3 schools unless the package is decided and agreed to up front by all parties including ND and the Big 10 Presidents.

      With respect to ACC, they lack their own TV network and lack a concensus to expand further at this time. Doubtful they would want to be seen as being responsible for further weakening of Big East.

      Only if ND explores joing the ACC would they likely get involved. After the Big 10 acts then it will be interesting to see whether they want to remain a southern based conference or take northern teams left out of Big 10 expansion.

      If Big 10 only expands by one school they seem unlikely to expand.

  22. Ryan says:

    There’s no way BC leaves Hockey East, even if it does move to the Big Ten for other sports. There’s no way they maintain their recruiting capability in the northeast if they can’t promise that the kids will get to play UNH, Maine, BU, etc.

    I think a Big Ten hockey league is a great idea…but the pipe dream that BC would be the linchpin in creating one is shortsighted because there is no way it would happen.

  23. Jeremy says:

    I was thinking if you allow Rutgers and BC you could market Boston vs NewYork/NJ. They better they get the bigger the rivalry will get.

    The arguement of Notre Dame will leave Independence/Big East if the realignment gets in a bad position for them to leave to B10. If people argue that Rutgers are not that important than why would they make Notre Dame feel they should leave. Now if a Syracuse or a Pitt left they would feel inclined to go.

    I understand the “lonewolf” idea. They get talked about every day on Espn during football season. If they joined the Big10 they would be compared to teams that are better than them in Big10 instead of them selves alone.

  24. M says:

    I am still curious as to why this rumor is being taken more seriously than the Pitt one. I haven’t been able to find any legitimate or quasi-legitimate source that has suggested this scenario. The closest is the Iowa message board claiming a radio source (which in turn claims a Michigan source). Anyone have a link to something better?

    • Richard says:

      Same reason why Rutgers & Syracuse are considered more seriously than Pitt. Just as Rutgers & ‘Cuse hold the potential of caturing the NYC market (maybe with ND), BC (with ND), holds the promise of capturing the entire New England market, which has a substantial population. Pitt, on the other hand, brings little in TV money and has no potential of bringing more.

      • Kyle says:

        …but at the same time we could say that BC brings little in research money and has little potential of bringing more.

        Looking at research/academic expansion, Pitt and Texas are far more attractive than Rutgers and Syracuse which are both ahead of the ND and BC.
        We have to consider this like both University presidents as well as TV execs.

        • Richard says:

          Yeah, but unlike TV money, which has to be shared, no school in the CIC is dictated to in terms of how much research money it has to share. Bringing in a strong research school is a positive, but I’m not sure bringing in a weak research school is worse than the status quo.

          • Scott S says:

            Richard, I’d argue that bringing in a school that doesn’t do much research is an opportunity cost to the other Big Ten shools.

            Imagine you could bring in a UCLA to the Big Ten (#3 on the list of overall research), and in a new state. UCLA is likely nearing a billion dollars in research per year, if they haven’t already hit the mark. That’s brings a lot of clout.

            You now have more elected officials (senators, reps) lobbying for more research dollars (they won’t lobby much for a private school, and there’s not much point to lobbying for research dollars for even a public school that doesn’t do much research).

            The Big Ten then realizes more collaborations, bigger multi-university projects (more dollars), more shared resources for all the schools, profs and students can move from school to school easier (without higher tuitions), access to larger libraries is effectively expanded, and shared computers (a work in progress for CIC schools) makes transfer of information easier.

            That’s not seen to nearly the extent to a school emphasizing undergraduate studies. That’s why I can’t help but feel the next candidate(s) will look more like the other Big Ten teams.

    • c says:

      Sources for rumor of ND, BC, RU to Big 10 (M)

      Inevitably “trial balloons” are going to be floated to gauge reaction and perhaps steer the discussion. Sources for such rumors could include persons close to Big 10 or specific schools or fans with their own preferences among others.

      Almost any scenerio can be plausible: Pitt, ND, RU, Nebraska, Texas, USC (LOL), combinations of schools and on and on.

      As mentioned, this is purely a rumor at this stage, though it is perhaps one of many possible packages that are being explored.

      However, is it really based on preliminary negotiations between ND and the Big 10 study committee?

  25. Adam says:

    I tend to agree with the skepticism on this. ND is a one-off exception whose objections are qualifiable. They’re a private school . . . but with a following comparable to or greater than a public school. They’re smaller than the other Big Ten universities . . . but they have over 10,000 students, are within shouting distance of Northwestern, and have uniquely devoted, active, and visible alumni (making the effective size of the school somewhat bigger). They are not a major research player . . . but they (or at least, the faculty) have a fairly well-known desire to change that. You add those qualifications to the fact that they’re in the heart of Big Ten country and have longstanding associations/rivalries with several Big Ten schools, and each factor reduces the degree to which Notre Dame compromises on what the Big Ten “is.”

    Boston College takes every objection you could lodge against Notre Dame, amplifies it a bit, and is not mediated by either geographic or institutional connections/rivalries/affinities. I just don’t buy it.

  26. R says:

    Frank, Great posts, but don’t forget the twins!

  27. Scott S says:

    I’ll add something more to the point about the CIC. I don’t know how many here have been involved in grad school science research, but the reason I think the CIC is germane to this discussion is that top research schools like those in the Big Ten are geared to a large degree for doing just that….research. And large grants are not given out in fields like art history and philosophy, but in engineering, medicine and the sciences. So this is the group with clout. Professors are expected to publish new research, and to do so frequently. So undergraduate classes are often seen as irritations that take them away from their research. And small, private religious or liberal arts colleges that just teach undergraduate students but don’t do real research are just not considered peer institutions by the PhD’s in research schools. A lot of times professors in the undergraduate-oriented schools are looked at as professors who couldn’t compete on the cutting edge of their respective fields. If they could compete, they’d be at a serious research school. (This is not my statement, just the view I have often perceived.)

    Excellence in the sciences and engineering is the same reason international rankings of US universities don’t rate Notre Dame or Georgetown or Lehigh or Boston College anywhere near the Big Ten schools. Unlike, say, the US News & World Report, which ranks these private schools substantially higher. The criteria used to judge schools are just wholly different. (And as I went into the sciences, I, too, just can’t look at Notre Dame in the same way I’d look at, say, Michigan or Wisconsin.)

    In any event, if the CIC has the power to nix a candidate proposed for admission to the Big Ten, which I believe they do, I think their opinion will come into play. Though it appears they signed off on Notre Dame years back, (though I don’t know what the sentiment was at the time), it can’t be a coincidence that every school in the Big Ten is an AAU member and big player in research. Notre Dame may be the exception, (though it wouldn’t be in my mind), but otherwise, I think we’re talking a large state research-oriented school.

    I agree 100% with Frank that the obvious school is Texas. It presses every button. Clearly the best choice, in my opinion. The other home-run candidates (Florida, UCLA) just aren’t candidates for one reason or the other.)

    If I were to bet on another team being invited, it would be Nebraska, which hits on football big time, has a larger following than their footprint and its research levels lie between Iowa and Univeristy of Chicago. I’m sure some of the research the Big Ten is doing is to see whether their reach extends enough outside their footprint to justify the invitation.

  28. loki_the_bubba says:

    Yes, of course Texas is the best choice. Texas is best for everything, I’ve lived here all my 50 years so I know this ;). But the University of Texas is not the type to go all in without very strong motivations. And right now I don’t see anything but a wide range of futures. Not the kind of thing that would make Texas move.

    There have also been a huge amount of conjecture about scenarios. It really only boils down to three that are realistically head and shoulders above all others:

    1. Notre Dame alone
    2. Nebraska only
    3. Some east coast assembly of three out of Rutgers, Syracuse, Connecticut, BC, West Virginia, and Pitt.

    Nothing else really passes my smell test.

  29. hsk says:

    As a BC alum I find many of these posts very entertaining. Especially from those who question BC’s academics. Do a quickie “which school is harder to get in to” analysis….case closed. BC has absolutely nothing in common with the Big 10 schools, other than perhaps that the air gets just as cold sometimes. The notion that ND would be more interested in joining the Big 10 if we came along is really funny as well. ND is quite threatened by our success, and would much rather keep us in “little brother” status. Are we a super large, research oriented institution ? No, but we aren’t some tiny liberal arts college. We have some great schools of Law, Business, Education, Nursing and Social Work.

    Don’t know where this will eventually end up. Personally I enjoy the ACC very much, and hope we stay where we are for as long as we can. In the ideal world there could be a true “Big East” all- sports conference with BC, UConn, Syracuse, Army, Rutgers, Navy, Maryland, Temple, Penn State, Pitt, West Va., and Notre Dame. That, would be fun.

    • Richard says:

      When Big10 people on here talk about academics, they’re usually referring to research, not undergraduate rankings (or even professional school rankings). Would the CIC add 1-3 schools that are good in undergraduate education and have decent to good professional schools but not heavyweights in research (ND, BC, and Syracuse, though Syracuse is at least AAU)? Again, I think it comes down to money; both TV money and additional research money from making a part of the country feel like it’s in “Big10 country”. In a way, BC is fortunate to be the only major football-playing school in New England (other than UConn, which suffers from being in a state with 2M people).

    • Scott S says:

      If you’re referring to my posts, I’ve tried to make clear that I believe BC is a very good school. This is, in fact, the third time I’ve said it on this page. I know a couple VERY smart people who went to BC for undergrad–and loved it.

      What it is not is a major graduate-level research institution, particularly in the sciences and engineering. (Read my posts on comparative research numbers that bear this out, or check it out yourself at

      My point in bringing this up is that if the CIC (the Big Ten’s communal research organization) has the power to veto a new school (and I understand that they do), then they may prefer another large research university to a smallish Jesuit school, and that would likely mean a state schools. (The other biggies in research, such as the ivies or Johns Hopkins or MIT, don’t have much in the way of comparable sports teams, so aren’t really candidates even though their academics are obviously top notch).

      As for ranking schools, you could do so in a lot of ways, and there are many like yourself who like to go by selectivity. However, it’s hardly “case closed” issue. If you think about it, admission rates don’t really reflect on the quality of those teaching–in other words, the quality of education provided. If that were the case, maybe a student would want to know how many Nobel laureates or Fields Medals or Pulitzer prizes or other various awards a specific school or department may have.

      Selectivity could be a function of the quality of student at a university. But that’s more true if you’re comparing private school to private school, But private to public? Not so much. I say this because state schools are supported by state taxes. As such, their job is not to keep people out–it’s to educate the masses (who have supported the school with their taxes.) For example, there is an underlying principle at the University of Wisconsin called the Wisconsin idea, which refers to the concept that the university’s work should extend to the boundaries of the state and beyond.

      It’s been my experience, too, that people from the east place a much higher value on private schools. I know many people who went to schools like Colgate, Bucknell, Lehigh and Swarthmore and would NEVER have considered a public school. I gather there’s a whole stratification of these schools–”if you can’t get into this one, you could drop down a rung and get into that one…” though I couldn’t tell you which school belongs on what rung. I think this attitude is much less prevalent outside of the east coast. For instance, there are dozens of small private schools that are considered excellent and prestigious that I wouldn’t ever have considered for one reason or another.

      • Adam says:

        Scott, I don’t totally understand why you speak of the CIC as though it is a separate, independent actor/entity. The CIC is a function of the membership. I e-mailed the league office back in December and they were cagey on some of my questions (they would not confirm what the required vote was to invite a new member) but they did confirm that non-members of the Big Ten (i.e., Chicago) don’t get to vote. Beyond that, it’s a decision that’s going to be made by the COP/C. The CIC, a program of the Big Ten (in effect) also ultimately answers to the COP/C. If the COP/C wants to do something, I don’t see how the CIC can stand in the way.

        • Adam says:

          I’ll quote Scott Chipman. I e-mailed him with the following questions and he responded with the answers in all-caps:

          What I am interested in are the league’s bylaws on this issue. E.g., it is oftentimes said that a prospective member must belong to the AAU. THAT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT

          It is oftentimes said that a prospective member must be in a state containing a current member, or an adjacent state. THAT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT

          But nobody actually quotes the bylaws, or what it would take to amend those bylaws. Personally, I am especially interested in knowing what the voting majority needs to be to admit a new member: 2/3rds? 3/4ths? Unanimous? Does the University of Chicago have a vote (due to their CIC involvement)? NEW MEMBERS WOULD BE ADMITTED BASED ON A VOTE BY CURRENT PRESIDENTS AND CHANCELLORS ONLY.

          (I followed up to push him on the majority or 2/3rds or 3/4ths question and he said “THE VOTE IS NOT PUBLIC INFORMATION”)

          • M says:

            I know that when Penn State was invited, Indiana, MSU, and UM voted against, which would imply that the require proportion is 2/3s, or 8 of the 12.

            Technically I suppose the percentage could be anywhere from 60.1% to 70%, but 2/3 seems most likely.

        • Scott S says:

          Very interesting, Adam. Thanks much for providing the transcript of the exchange. (Honestly, though, why are they so cryptic? Why would the percentage of the vote required to approve a school is secret? What’s up with these people?)

          Yes, the CIC is a communal organization comprised of Big Ten schools.

          To be clear, I certainly have no knowledge of how the behind-the-scenes machinations of Big Ten expansion would work. I cannot accurately say how freely the Big Ten presidents can act on this issue.

          However, I was under the impression that any decisions made by the university presidents required the approval of the CIC. In other words, the presidents vote, yes, but I am somehow under the impression that the CIC had the approval to veto the choice. But I do not know that to be the case.

          I can’t recall how I came to be under this impression either, otherwise I’d provide a link. However, in doing a quick search, I do see other websites that express the same belief.

          Here’s one:

          (Read the yellow square in the center halfway down the page.)

          Here’s another

          Feel free to do your own searches with Big Ten Expansion CIC veto as your search words. Maybe you can confirm or debunk this belief.

          I think it’s true that AAU membership is not a requirement written into the bylaws. I think it’s true, too, that heavy research is not required for membership.

          However, as EVERY Big Ten school just so happens to meet those criteria, and as the Big Ten is the only conference where that’s true–even the Ivy League doesn’t meet these criteria–I think the Big Ten conference is rather proud of this.

          Further, even if I’m wrong and the CIC does not have veto power, I would think that any group that’s bringing in $350 to a billion dollars in research PER SCHOOL and some $7 billion overall (these are the numbers we’re talking about in the Big Ten) might have a bit of clout in stating a preference for future candidates, especially when we’re comparing that to $22 to $30 million per year per school in TV money. Yes it’s a lot, but it’s a small fraction of the research cash. So which takes presidence?

          So how far does CIC power go? I cannot truthfully say, but I did another quick search and came up with this article that expresses my understanding of the topic pretty accurately:

          Finally, my comments on the views of “peer institutions” by those involved in heavy scientific research comes primarily from working for several years in graduate-level genetics lab at UW. Wisconsin is very strong in this field and arguably the leader in the US in stem cell research, which not only is a potentially huge research cash cow, but stem cells will quite probably prove to be the biggest breakthrough in medicine over the next few generations. The ramifications of stem cells in medicine will likely prove to be astounding. (Need a new heart following an MI? Need a new liver or pancreas because of previously fatal cancers? Let’s grow you a new one–made of your own cells. No rejection. You walk out, good as new…)

          For this reason alone, I’m guessing Wisconsin may not be overly enthusiastic about having Catholic universities join the CIC.

          I also have several good friends who are involved with big-dollar research in engineering who hold similar views on what constitutes a “good” school. (Surprise, surprise…in their opinion, too, it’s research schools.)

          So I may be wrong, but this is how I perceive the CIC mindset.

          • Scott S says:

            Correction: In my March 20 post at 8:53 (hopefully right above this comment, but who knows where it ends up), in my 6th paragraph from the bottom, I mixed university PRESIDENTS with PRECEDENCE and came up with presidence.

          • @Scott S – My understanding is that there isn’t any type of CIC veto power simply because the university presidents control the CIC just as they control the Big Ten. The only difference is that the CIC also has the University of Chicago’s input. Maybe the U of C might vehemently oppose a school’s inclusion within the CIC, but that wouldn’t have a procedural bearing on who gets into the Big Ten. (Granted, this might have a practical bearing on whether an expansion candidate is academically acceptable.)

          • @Scott S – That’s a good point about the stem cell research. In the Big Ten Expansion Index post, the very first comment came from my friend Sully, who’s a Notre Dame alum, noting that potential conflict of interest for any Catholic school that is involved in the CIC.

          • Adam says:

            The CIC does not exist as some kind of separate organization. It is governed by the Provosts of the member schools. But the Big Ten is governed by the COP/C. The CIC can’t stand in the way of something the COP/C wants to do because the Provosts who govern the CIC answer to the chief executive officers who sit on the COP/C.

            The articles you link to were written in the immediate aftermath of the Big Ten’s decision to explore expansion. I think they reflect the fact that compatibility with or the ability to contribute to the CIC is going to be something the COP/C considers; i.e., one leg of Frank’s point (way back when) that anybody proposing Cincinnati as an expansion candidate doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

          • Adam says:

            Frank, can you delete that last sentence fragment? I edited what I wrote but forgot to delete that. At any rate, ignore it.

          • Adam says:

            I also find it questionable that the vote is not public information. 10 of the 11 schools are public schools. If I can go into my school’s library and look up the salary of any faculty member who works there (and I’m told that information is on file there), it defies belief that the league’s constitution and bylaws and the minutes of its meetings are not also in the public sphere.

          • @Adam – I’m not sure why the voting requirements aren’t public information, but I know why the Big Ten would take pains to keep it under wraps in this expansion process: to avoid what happened with the ACC and Virginia legislature in 2003. It was public knowledge that the ACC needed a 7-2 majority to add any new members. UNC and Duke were openly against any type of expansion at all. Thus, it would just take 1 other ACC school to block expansion entirely. The Virginia legislature knew this and pressured UVA to not vote for any type of expansion unless Virginia Tech was included. This effectively forced VT into the ACC.

            So, imagine if it came to light that it would take one more vote to block any type of Big Ten expansion. If the Big Ten were looking at one or more Big XII schools, Iowa politicians could put a ton of pressure on the University of Iowa to get Iowa State into the conference. It could happen on the Big East side, too, with Pennsylvania politicians possibly pushing Penn State to admit Pitt. The Big Ten could end up having to take political favors in order to expand in those scenarios, which it certainly doesn’t want to do.

            As a result, I wouldn’t want those vote requirements out in the public if I were running the Big Ten.

          • Playoffs Now! says:

            All of a sudden expansion can wait. Those Palm commercials with the chick in the red dress have me obsessing, “Who is she?!”

          • ot says:

            I don’t buy the “BC to the Big Ten” story.

            It makes no sense at many levels:

            1. BC is not a “research” institution.

            2. BC didn’t even show up in the leaked William Blair report, which favored Rutgers over Mizzou and Pitt (assuming that there was no need to research ND and Texas).

            3. The Boston TV market has fewer TV households than the state of New Jersey. That makes Rutgers a better candidate than BC.

            The way I handicap the Big Ten expansion:

            12 members – Rutgers

            14 members – Texas, Texas A&M, and either Rutgers or Notre Dame

            16 members – Texas, Texas A&M, Rutgers, Notre Dame, and USC

            I am assuming that the Pac-10 will not expand. There will be at least one school (i.e. Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, Stanford) that will block Pac-10 expansion because 1) that school doesn’t want to be in the division opposite USC, or 2) the expansion candidate isn’t up to “academic standards”.

            Any failure by the Pac-10 to expand (or to start its own TV network), in my opinion, will turn USC into an expansion target by the Big Ten. The LA TV market has 5.5 million TV households, about 3.5 million of which has cable or satellite TV.

          • Justin says:

            Just a thought.

            If ND required a rival to be brought along, instead of Boston College, how about…the United States Naval Academy?

            Location? Check. Navy is situated in the heart of the mid-Atlantic.

            National appeal? Check. We know Navy grads live all around the country. They have a huge bowl following especially along the coasts.

            Academic reputation? Check. I’m not sure about their research dollars, but this is the United States military, so my guess is they have a lot of dollars at their disposal.

            Is a five team addition of Navy, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pitt crazy?

            Or a five team addition of Navy, Rutgers, ND and the two Texas schools?

          • Justin says:

            This is how a 14 team Big 10 could look with Navy, Rutgers and ND.

            Notre Dame
            Penn State
            Michigan State

            Ohio State

            Maybe there could be one “protected” cross-division opponent — UM/MSU, OSU/PSU, etc.

          • Rick says:

            Interesting idea, but in all other sports but football, Navy is a very valuable member of the Patriot League and fits very well with the League’s academic/athletic balance. I think they would be totally out of their league athletically aside from football.

          • Justin says:

            Oh I have no doubt they would struggle in every other sport.

            However, Navy could probably compete for a lower-echelon bowl bid in football, and I doubt they would pass up the $22 million+ simply because their non-revenue sports were overmatched.

            Further, if I were Swarbrick, I think Navy is the team that I would require the Big 10 to take as an incentive to get ND. Why? If ND plays Navy every year as a conference game, they would only have to reserve a spot for USC in the non-conference, and it allows them considerable freedom to schedule in the other 2-3 non-conference slots.

            Would the Big 10 presidents object to Navy in the same way they would object to Texas Tech? I doubt it. Navy could put the Big 10 on basic cable in Maryland, and in conjunction with Rutgers, ND and PSU, gives the Big 10 a solid presence from NYC to DC.

          • @Justin – I honestly think that Navy is more wedded to independence than even Notre Dame. It saw how its rival Army struggled to compete just in C-USA, where Army went back to independence in a few years. Therefore, it definitely doesn’t want to repeat Army’s mistake in joining a conference that’s over its head in terms of competition. It’s simply extremely tough for the service academies to play week-in and week-out against even “mid-major” schools (much less a BCS conference). As of now, Navy plays 3 or 4 games against BCS schools and the rest against fairly weak competition. This usually yields them 6 or more wins per year where they can go out and sign their own bowl deals. Air Force pretty much needs to be in a conference for scheduling purposes since there are fewer teams to play against in the West, but Army and Navy are perfectly fine with plenty of Eastern schools that want to play them. Plus, the service academies happen to be schools where TV money is completely irrelevant – they’re completely funded by you and me (the taxpayers).

            Now, I’d love to see more Big Ten schools play the service academies more in the non-conference schedule as opposed to MAC schools, but Navy wouldn’t work as a conference member. For them to jump up to the Big Ten would be a massive undertaking when they’re only playing 3 or 4 BCS schools per year as it is (and outside of ND, they’re usually lower-level BCS schools like Duke).

          • Richard says:

            They won’t do much for research (but then again, neither would BC). The US military doesn’t conduct research through their military academies (who’s only mission is to train officers to defend our country). Will they place the BTN on extra TV sets anywhere?

          • Justin says:

            I have to think Navy, ND and PSU could allow the Big 10 to possibly get on basic cable in the metro DC area.

            This is all about ND — but certainly Navy only adds to the academic clout of the conference. As long as ND joins, you’d have 4 college football heavyweights in Michigan, OSU, PSU and ND. Navy isn’t going to compete for the Big 10 title, but then again, if they made a run at a division title every 10-20 years, it would be a huge story similar to NW’s Rose Bowl run.

            Would you rather have Navy or BC if you were the Big 10? I think its a closer call then people think. I’d bet the Big 10 bowls would much prefer Navy.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Good Lord………

          • ot says:


            I have written this before and I will write this again:

            In my opinion, the “perfect” rival for Notre Dame to bring along to the Big Ten to be admitted as a pair is…

            … USC

            USC brings to the Big Ten:

            1. One of the strongest college football “brand names” (and arguably the strongest football brand west of the Rocky Mountains.)

            2. Los Angeles TV market of 5.5 million households, about 3.5 million of which has cable or satellite TV (The San Diego TV market accounts for another 1 million households.)

            3. Existing rivalry with Notre Dame

            4. Less than 15 miles from Los Angeles International Airport for ease of access by visiting Big Ten teams.

            I am waiting for one of the Pac-10 schools (i.e. Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, or Stanford) to vote “no” on expansion. That will be the catalyst for the Big Ten to seriously look at USC.

          • mushroomgod says:

            USC? Good Lord II

          • mushroomgod says:

            What’s so interesting to me about all of this is the delimma the Big 10 seems to be in…..

            Frank is right when he talks about the Big 10 being at it’s height in terms of bargaining power….however, there’s no ideal “solution” here; if there was, it already would have happened…

            Unlike the USC or Florida plans, which I think are completely unrealistic and unworkable, I think the Texas plan has real potential….there’s a different feel to Texas….it once was it’s own country, after all…a Big 10 + Tx +A&M arrangement would almost be like a merger….like ND and the Big 10….Problem is, the Tx talk is not realistic unless or until the Big 12 starts to fall apart…therefore, the Tx plan would have to be to first see what the Pac 10 is going to do with Colorado….if they left, the Big 10 could go to TX with a TX/A&M/Mo. or Neb. plan….however, I have no sense that the Big 10 wants to wait for all that to play out.

            As to ND, no way ND joins as the 12th team….no cover for their AD… to get them to join the Big 10 might have to play a game of chicken….saying we’re going to take Rutgers and Pitt…you might as well join…..problem is, I don’t think many Big 10 presidents/fans/alums WANT Rutgers or Pitt or Syracuse or U Conn w/o ND….so you have to tell ND you’re gonna do something you don’t want to do in order to get them to join….

            Even the simple 12th team scenerio has problems. In most respects, Neb or Mo would be the best 12th team, except….one of the reasons for the 12th team was to have an eastern travel partner, plus both schools would be rated #12 in the Big 10 in academics…Pitt looks good except for few TV sets, plus in the 90s in the Director’s Cup. plus ?s about the size of their fan base….we’ve talked a lot about the issues with Rutgers and Syracuse….

            It’s going to be hard to get 8(?) votes for any plan under these circumstances….what I think happens is that the Big 10 “settles” on Rutgers and goes to 12 for the championship game…then awaits developments….

          • Justin says:

            I think the problem with Texas is it requires the PAC 10 to first take Colorado.

            Is that enough? Probably not. The Big 12 would probably replace Colorado with BYU, and while Salt Lake isn’t Denver, the BYU fanbase is spread more throughout the Western base, so it may not be viewed as a huge loss.

            I think the Big 10 almost has to take Missouri immediately after Colorado announces its intention to bolt to the PAC 10 to really make Texas nervous.

            Under that scenario, the Big 12 would be hit by a significant 1-2 punch in a short time period, and everyone would be looking for their own interests.

            As I said earlier, you’ll know how serious the Big 10 is about Texas if Colorado announces its departure for the PAC 10, and within days, you start hearing that Missouri is the frontrunner to join the Big 10. That would be an obvious ploy to force Texas to consider their own situation.

          • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

            well put. I think you’ve summarized the dilemma well.

            Except nowhere did I see that a factor in expansion was having an “eastern travel partner” for PSU.

            I’m still betting that the Big 10 shoots the moon…Texas and aTm come first (quietly of course), which then makes the Big 10 JUST national enough that Notre Dame has enough “reason” to join.

            The biggest hurdle the Big 10 has to wait out is, as you’ve said, that Colorado needs to begin the process by joining the PAC10… and Texas and aTm CANNOT bolt for the PAC12. If I hear that A) the PAC 10 isn’t expanding or B) the PAC10 is adding Colorado and ?Utah?, then will I breathe a bit easier.

            Texas and aTm are the crown jewels in this expansion phase.

          • Playoffs Now! says:

            Regarding changing the rules to let conferences with less than 12 teams play a championship game, perhaps a big question to ask is, “Will some conferences in effect downsize to 10 teams as a result?”

            …Western Alliance…

          • Justin says:

            The problem is adding Colorado and Utah allows the PAC 10 to hold a conference title game, but the overall difference on the PAC 10 revenue would be neglible.

            If we take the PAC 10 at its word that its primary objective is to close the gap with the Big 10 and SEC, then the PAC 10 needs Texas.

            In other words, the Big 10 could probably expand its footprint and net more money with Texas or Notre Dame as the centerpiece. However, for the PAC 10, its Texas or bust.

            For that reason, I feel that the PAC 10 is Texas’ future home. The PAC 10 will grant certain demands to Texas that may be non-starters in the Big 10. Unequal revenue sharing? The PAC 10 already has this arrangement. 2-3 Texas schools to the PAC 10? Every PAC 10 state has at least two schools in the conference, and California has 4 — so Texas would certainly not be imposing any crazy demands by insisting that Texas A&M, Houston and Texas Tech are part of expansion.

            I could honestly see the PAC 10 going to sixteen teams — Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Colorado, Utah and who knows (UNLV? New Mexico?). By doing that, the PAC 10 eliminates the Big 12 and Mountain West as viable competitors, and drastically shifts the playing field for its new TV contract.

          • Adam says:

            There’s something to be said for Justin’s point. If you mix things up enough, you might be able to get a network to talk itself into overpaying for the uncertain value of the radical new entity’s broadcast rights.

          • @Justin – I honestly think the opposite with the Pac-10 because of the unanimous vote requirement. All it takes is one school to nix everything and you can count on Stanford to be that school. If you think that the Big Ten’s university presidents are stringent, Stanford is downright reactionary. Stanford is probably the one school in the entire BCS that doesn’t give a crap about athletic TV money – their endowment is close to $1 million for every single student on campus and is arguably the single most prestigious academic university in the country outside of the Ivy League. They actually voted against Texas itself back in 1990s, so it impossible for me to think that Stanford would even give two seconds to think about the likes of Texas Tech and it’s a stretch to think they’d even approve Utah or Texas A&M.

            It’s understood that the Pac-10 as a group would need to do something radical in order to improve its revenue streams, but the fact that any single school can hold up expansion by itself will likely prevent any radical plan from being implemented. A lot of expansion followers seem to think that the Pac-10 would somehow be more willing to bend on some its requirements and be more outside of the box regarding expansion compared to the Big Ten in order to catch up in revenue, but the opposite is actually true. Stanford is a school at the very top of the academic mountain and where athletic revenue is a rounding error. Unless the other Pac-10 members kick Stanford out (and they won’t), you’ll be hard-pressed to see any Pac-10 expansion unless Texas and one of either Texas A&M or Colorado decide to come by themselves.

          • Richard says:

            Or unless USC & UCLA (or maybe even just USC) get fed up enough and says they’re going to form a new conference with Texas and their posse + whoever in the Pac10 wants to join them (assuming Texas is willing to join this new conference as well).

          • Jake says:

            Now, why did that comment go waaay up there? Anyway, Texas + California + a couple other states = a mighty conference indeed.

          • Jake says:

            Frank – If Stanford insists on putting their self-interest ahead of that of the conference (not that there’s anything wrong with that, they can vote how they feel), and the Pac-10 can’t implement a rule change where they only need maybe a 3/4 majority to expand, there’s always the possibility that USC, UCLA and some others leave to join or form a new conference. I’ve often dreamed of a league joining Texas to California, with maybe the Arizona schools thrown in, to create a true Southwest Conference. If the SoCal schools took off, and Cal as well, Stanford wouldn’t have much choice but to tag along. Anyway, my dream conference:



            Or they could dissolve the Pac-10 and reform with the same membership just to spite Stanford. Sort of like the No Homers Club, but with cheerleaders.

          • Adam says:

            I would never recommend kicking Stanford out if I was part of the Pac-10, but as an outsider, what are they bringing to the table to the other 9? They’re a private school, so they almost inevitably won’t have the following of the public schools (lots of “me too” fans who never went there but follow the sports). They dominate a whole bunch of sports that lose money and don’t do much to speak of in football or basketball. I am left to question whether they can really fairly be said to “deliver” any markets (is their following that big in northern California?).

            If they’re such an obstacle to what the other 9 want to do, what do they offer in return?

          • Richard says:

            Academic reputation.

            I believe the “non-revenue” sports actually bring in so much money for Stanford that they’re not a net drain (or if they are, not by much). Stanford actually has the highest revenue of any athletic department in the Pac10 (more than USC!). Of course, that doesn’t help the other schools much. That’s why USC (and UCLA, to a lesser extent) will ultimately be deciding what the Pac10 will look like in the future.

          • Richard says:

            BTW, times are different (tougher) now. I don’t think Stanford will stand in the way of any arrangement that can keep it from cutting sports programs or laying off more staff:

            Strapped Stanford might cut some sports teams:

            Stanford Athletics Announces 13% Staff Reduction:

          • Richard says:

            The schools are public institutions, but the Big10 isn’t. Just because most of it’s members are public doesn’t mean anything; a good chunk of the AAU (just to use an example) is comprised of public schools, but you can’t use freedom of information laws to force the AAU to give out information it doesn’t want to disclose.

          • Scott S says:

            Thanks to your input, Frank. I’ll defer, then, to you on the matters of CIC veto power.

            How much influence the CIC has in lobbying university presidents might be a remaining question.

            I hate to get into the religion thing, but truthfully, I think it’s a major issue for the Catholic schools. It’s one reason Catholic schools don’t really do it (at least to the degree of the BT schools).

            Health care research is already an astronomical business–Johns Hopkins, for instance, is the #1 research university in the world, doing some $1.5 billion in research all by themselves. So health care is one of the major areas where research dollars already flow.

            Michigan, another leader in medicine (and in the stem cell field), has now passed the $1 billon mark in research and just built a lovely new biomedical science research building for just this sort of research.

            Wisconsin is busy overhauling it’s entire campus. The medical school portion of the campus, at the far westward end, is expanding aggressively eastward, and in the central portion of the campus, UW is spending $375 million just on a building known as the Institute For Discovery, which will sit directly across the street from my old genetics lab. It aims to coordinate and bring together a variety of scientific disciplines, including genetics, biology and engineering.

            This means, in part, stem cells, a field in which Wisconsin’s Jamie Thomson (educated at Illinois, btw) likely already has a Nobel Prize coming his way. At present, only Harvard approaches Wisconsin in this field.

            This is already a big deal– (few outside the sciences realize how big a deal it is)–and it’s going to be an even bigger one. Still, while it promises a quantum shift in the status of medicine, it makes me wonder whether Notre Dame and BC would wish to associate with those schools at the forefront of this field.

            (Of course, they do alrady associate with Pitt, which has a stem cell research center…but I’m guessing most at Notre Dame and BC don’t know this.)

          • Adam says:

            Richard, it was my understanding that if the membership of an organization is sufficiently dominated by public schools, it becomes a state institution. See Brentwood Academy v. Tenn. Secondary Sch. Athletic Ass’n, 531 U.S. 288 (2001).

            If anything, the nature of the Big Ten Conference seems to apply to the logic of Brentwood better than the actual facts of Brentwood do. The Big Ten is governed directly by the COP/C, which consists of 10 chief executives of public universities who directly represent their individual institution’s interests. The TSSAA (or any other high school association) has a much more indirect relationship between its individual members and the overall organization.

      • Richard says:

        I agree that the East Coast has an elitist attitude to private vs. public schools. One reason for that, though, is because many East Coast states didn’t bother building a strong public university system (or in some cases, _any_ public university system) until after WWII, which is why Cornell somehow became NY state’s land grant university.

        The other difference is that the Midwest has a disproportionate share of good public schools. In all the states covered by the SEC (which has a population footprint that’s a fraction less than the Big10), there’s exactly one public school that’s as good or better than the worst Big10 school (Florida).

        Out west, California, Washington, and Colorado have some good/great flagship public universities/systems, but other than in those states, that whole area that’s west & north of Texas doesn’t have a public school that’s as good as the worst Big10 school.

        • Adam says:

          This cultural concern makes me recalcitrant to expand/admit an eastern school for reasons along the same lines as those I indicated earlier left me unhappy with going after the Texas schools.

        • Rick says:

          This is an interesting point Richard. The preference for Private colleges over Public Universities in the northeast is strong. Rutgers and UConn are the only D1 Public Universities with strong academics and athletics. There are not alot of choices. There are a ton of strong Private school choices though. In addition, the northeast places a very high value on the benefits of a strong Liberal Arts education in small to medium size Liberal Arts Colleges. These are primarily found in the northeast and mid-atlantic states however if you check the student bodies at Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, Oberlin, and The College of Wooster you will see plenty of northeasterners. I for one sent 3 of my 4 daughters to small Liberal Arts Colleges (Colgate University, Gettysburg College, and The College of Wooster (OH).) My 4th daughter went to UConn. I would never have considered anything other than a Liberal Arts education for them at a small Liberal Arts College. I thought they would grow and flourish the best in that kind of learning environment. Many northeasterners feel the same way. My 4th daughter started out at one but transferred to UConn. It was where she always wanted to go and that was what was best suited to her. So I can see how the northeasteners would place a higher value on the academic benefits of BC, ND, and Syracuse than others as BT expansion candidates. They don’t think it is elitist or better just a different educational approach that could compliment the current Big Ten membership. That is up to the Big Ten Presidents to decide. I am a northeasterner who went to public HS and Rutgers University. I can see both sides to this.

    • Scott S says:

      One more interesting tidbit about admission rates… Which school would you perceive as “better”–the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamon or Dartmouth? What about California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo or MIT? If you go by admission rates it’s Puerto Rico and Cal Poly. Is this case closed or is there maybe more to it?

      BTW, I’ll certainly agree with you that BC is good academically in the graduate studies of law, education, nursing and social work. Again, all evidence BC is a very good school indeed. However, these are not major fields in research (engineering and sciences)–which I’m guessing is what the CIC would prefer. Simply put, a larger, more powerful CIC in more states at state schools means more lobbying power for more research dollars.

  30. Scott S says:

    I kind of agree with you about Texas. They may not see a move to the BT as advantageous–though I personally think Austin (much more than Texas as a whole) fits with the Big Ten and I believe the Big Ten affiliation would be good for the university.

    I also kind of like Colorado as a school that would fit, though with a population of 5 million, their state’s demographics isn’t ideal.

    Another reason I like Texas and Colorado–as a fan, compare road trip destinations like Boulder and Austin………to Lincoln (Nebraska) or New Jersey Rutgers).

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      “I’m not so sure the Big 12 will survive losing Nebraska. Uneven revenue sharing only exists in the Big 12 because Neb, Texas, Okla, and TAMU vote in a block to keep it (it takes 9 votes to change it). If Nebraska leaves the Big 12, Texas probably loses its favored position and gets even less TV money than before.”

      But where are most of the others going to go? The B10+ is going to take 1-2, 3 at the most, and probably zero B12 schools. The P10 won’t expand to 16, and probably not even 14, without Texas. So the best option for the majority of B12 schools is to stay in a B12 that miximizes its revenues, meaning keeping Texas. If the loss of NE means they can vote themselves a higher split, Texas will declare its intentions to leave. The P10 door will always be open to them, even if unstated. Likely the same for the B10+ until they reach a 16 school buildout. The SEC is always an option, as is crazier schemes like the Texas schools becoming western extensions or halves of a BEast remainder or the ACC. Texas just needs one of those options to work, and could even survive as an independent. So even when they have the votes, the B12 schools aren’t going to make Atlas Shrug.

      Here’s how I see the most likely scenarios for Texas right now, in order of highest probability:

      1) P12 & B12: P10 adds Colorado and Utah or Nebraska plus a conference championship game. B12 stays at 12 by adding as needed from a pool of BYU, Colo St, Utah, and maybe UHou, TCU, NM, Lou (including if MO and/or NE is grabbed by the B10+.) P12 and B12 announce a ‘Western Alliance’ to share in the startup of a cable network and for all negotiated TV rights. (Maybe also that every team will have one game each year against the other conference.) Less new revenue per school but probably easier to implement and fewer political pitfalls.

      2) P10 & B12: P10 does nothing, B12 does nothing, but they form a ‘Western Alliance’ and agree to cooperate on starting a cable channel and pooling TV negotiations. B10+ expansion doesn’t touch B12 (or if it does, B12 fills holes as above.)

      3) P20: P10 doesn’t expand. 10 B12 teams either vote to disband the B12 or withdraw (not sure on the conference rules for this) to form a ‘Central 10′ division of a ‘Western Alliance’ with the P10. A virtual conference where each division still operates basically independent of each other while pooling resources for a new cable channel and TV negotiations. Play a 9-game division schedule then meet for an alliance championship game. A bit more revenue per school, avoids the conflicts of splitting off P10 schools into divisions. Even easier to pull off if the B10+ grabs MO and/or NE.

      What B12 team to leave behind is sticky, from a pool of Baylor, ISU, KSU, and OSU. Baylor at 14K students is likely, being the only private school, but ranks higher than many B12 & P10 schools in the US News rankings (doesn’t appear in the US Top 152 of the research-heavy ARWU rankings.) Has a huge $880 million endowment, 2 to 3+ times larger than the other three schools. Texas might prefer to keep them as a nearby opponent, less likely to demand a bigger revenue share, and often a schedule breather. OTOH, UT is hot about the Baylor Bball coach’s sleazy recruiting practices. May be resolved by a bigger school luring away the coach after this season’s success, and just-named Baylor president Ken Starr is likely inclined to clean up the program’s methods and reputation.

      OK St. may be at the bottom of the 3 remaining state schools, being the next smallest at 20K, with just a $310m endowment, ranked low in US News, and not appearing in the Top 152 of the ARWU. However it is the best of the three overall in sports and has the huge political moneybags of T. Boone Pickens behind it. Quite likely that a standard Chicago Payout to The Most Ethical Administration in History will produce enough political pressure to keep them included.

      K. St, isn’t much better, at 23K students and a $260m endowment, but they do make a decent showing in the ARWU rankings. Usually good in Bball but Texas isn’t thrilled with their football JuCo strategy. Then again, Texas may have substantial influence but not necessarily total say.

      ISU’s big strength is in academics, doing well in the ARWU rankings and a long-time AAU member. 25K students, $450m endowment, and a usual schedule breather. Remember that Texas, OU, and NE prefer a schedule just tough enough to get into BCS faux-title game consideration, but not so tough as to produce more than one loss per season. A big reason why they might not jump at some of the super conference scenarios that might provide more revenue in theory. And why Texas might love to see the B10+ take MO and/or NE. Effectively booting a weaker school like Baylor or ISU from the B12 is a nasty task they would prefer to avoid if B10+ expansion does their reduction for them.

      4) P16: P10 goes to 16, Texas brings 2-3 neighboring schools plus CO and 1 or 2 of Utah/NE/KS/MO. Texas isn’t going to join the P10 as an outpost with few neighbors, they’ll want a central/southwest division to compete in (and separate from USC.) So aTm and TTech are requests, and likely OU. TTech (29K students and $680m endowment) is not quite as far out academically as some present it. In the ARWU Top 152 US rankings they are in the 113-138 grouping alongside Syracuse, Temple, Georgetown, OU, and BYU. That is above the 139-152 grouping that includes Boston College, and UConn, and just below the 91-112 grouping of ND, MO, Wash St, KS, and KY. TTech knows their position is otherwise tenuous and thus Texas can count on them to agree to substantially uneven revenue sharing. UT likely would want OU to keep them out of the SEC, maintain them as an in-conf game, and insure continuation of the Red River Shootout in the Dallas area. If I were Powers I’d suggest to OU that “We’ll insist on your inclusion if you assign a 50-year commitment keeping the RRS in DFW.” Texas may prefer KS to NE, Utah, or MO, but in a P10 expansion may not win that decision. Biggest impediment is moving the AZ school into a central division, perhaps bought off by a higher revenue split and an annual game with the SoCal schools. One way in a 9-game conf sched is 7 division games, 1 non-div game rotating between two pairs of schools, and 1 non-div game rotating between the rest. Such having the UA play USC and ASU play UCLA one year and UA-UCLA, ASU-USC the next. The other permanent cross-pairs could be Cal & WSU vs Texas & CO, St & Or St vs NE & aTm, UW and OR vs OU & TT. Or similar. 16-team conference provides higher revenues per school, but more disruption means more difficulty in getting all P10 schools to agree, plus riskier politics.

      5) P14: P10 goes to 14, adding CO, Texas, aTm, and either TT, OU, NE, MO, or Utah. Most revenue per school, but too many compromises for the Longhorns. Texas becomes an outside minority in a conference instead of joining in a merger of near equals. We’re now in the highly unlikely options.

      6) Big Tent: After lengthy investigation and negotiation, either the numbers never pencil out or other factors prevent P10 and B12 from expanding, collaborating, or merging. Texas and aTm join the Big Tent in the conference’s second recent round of expansion.

      7) West16 (or 14 or 12): P10 fails to expand, creating much dissension. USC or all 4 Cal schools negotiate creation of a new super conference involving 12 to 16 select former B12 and P10 teams, and perhaps a MWC or WAC team or two.

      8) SEC16: Texas, aTm, OU, and KS join the SEC. Pollsters soon after vote for the first 3-loss nat’l poll champion.

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        Miximize, the new maximize…

      • Mike says:

        If Nebraska leaves, Texas will see the writing on the wall just like it did when Arkansas left the SWC. They know they will lose their advantages that currently make the Big 12 comfortable for them. I predict that they will do just what they did before. Approach the Pac 10, and the Big Ten. This time those two won’t pass on the Longhorns. Texas won’t care about its current conference bretheren, its business not personal. If Oklahoma St. ends up in the WAC its not their problem (if you don’t believe me ask Rice, TCU, and SMU). Expect Texas to be very proactive. The risk the Big Ten takes is that if they take Nebraska (without a hand shake agreement from Texas) to destablize the Big 12 to get Texas (resulting in a Big Ten plus NU, UT, and TAMU) is that Texas goes west (although there are worse things than being stuck with the Cornhuskers).

        I will reiterate the point I made before. Losing Missouri or Colorado might cost Texas money depending on the replacement, but losing Nebraska means equal revenue sharing and that will cost Texas a lot of money. Believe me Texas doesn’t want to subsidize Baylor, Kansas St. and Iowa St any more than they already are.

      • Mike says:

        Texas just needs one of those options to work, and could even survive as an independent. So even when they have the votes, the B12 schools aren’t going to make Atlas Shrug.

        If Big 12 small schools have the votes and Texas is still a part of the conference they will know that Texas doesn't have any better options and they can do what they please. They need Texas, but if Texas needs them then I expect them to vote in their own interest which is equal revenue sharing (they might even propose Major League Baseball style just to make equal look more rational).

      • Jake says:

        Playoffs Now!: When ranking the current Big 12 schools as expansion candidates, one of the most important considerations regarding OSU is OU – if you already have the latter, you don’t have much use for the former, but taking OU without OSU may be politically difficult. I guess you were talking about Obama, but T. Boone Pickens probably has a better chance of influencing the Oklahoma legislature, which is more likely to have a say in any conference move by its state schools. Most of those things could also be said for K-State as well (except no Pickens factor).

        Also, don’t put too much emphasis on the National Championship. I know it seems important, but that’s thinking like a sports fan. The title game pays out the same as any other BCS bowl, so as long as you’re getting your two BCS teams per year, it’s not really a primary concern. Plus, as conference realignment progresses, who knows what may become of the BCS.

        • Richard says:

          No, it’s still important because winning (or at least contending for) national titles brings in the money from alums/boosters and increases applications. Still, I’m not sure _how_ important it is.

        • Adam says:

          To some extent, thinking like a sports fan matters. The sports programs are beneficial to the school because people think like a sports fan. Everybody knows a school gets a spike in applications when they win a national title or make a run in the tournament or whatever. If you foreclose yourself from the national title *too much*, you risk the emergence of alternative power bases.

  31. Jake says:

    I’ve been wondering about the Big East – just how many schools do they have to lose before they call it quits as a football conference? Let’s say the Big Ten takes Rutgers, Syracuse and BC, and then the ACC takes Pitt as a replacement. Does the Big East add 3-4 C-USA-type schools and solider on, or do they just pack it in and go their separate directions? If the former, what’s the breaking point? Would losing four or five do it? The SWC lost four of its remaining eight members in ’95, and that was that – is half what it takes?

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      The thing to remember about the collapse of the SWC is that there was a huge gap from most of the group that bolted to the remainders (I would rank them: Texas, A&M, Houston, Tech, Baylor, TCU, Rice, SMU.) The gap from Texas to SMU seemed much wider than the spread in the BE. Plus all the remainder were in one state, not spread across four states.

      • Jake says:

        I get that the Big East now is a different situation than the SWC in ’95, but it’s the closest comparison I could think of. The biggest factor seems to be the BCS bid. If the SWC had one of those back then, could TCU, SMU, Rice and Houston have stuck it out, invited four or five replacements, and kept going, or would they still have said farewell to 80 years of history and sought shelter elsewhere?

        I think the Big East will reload if they lose three or fewer, regardless of who they are. Five plus, I think they call it quits. What about four? Is four too much to replace? I’m not sure. If Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers and UConn (or replace one of the last three with WVU) were gone, could UL, Cincy, USF and the other one draw in four C-USA schools (or TCU)? Would they keep the BCS bid and the decent TV contract after losing all of that?

        • Richard says:

          Well, the remaining schools will try to keep the BCS bid however they can, whether that means merging with the strongest MWC teams, merging with what’s left of the Big12, or gathering together the best non-AQ schools from around the country. It’s likely that if the strongest/most appealing teams outside the Big10, SEC, Pac/Western12/14/16/20, and ACC all gather in to one conference that that conference will still have a BCS bid.

        • Cy says:

          As a WVU alum, I desperately want my alma mater to get out of the Big East sooner rather than later. The SEC would be the best case scenario (WVU even has long-buried rivalries w/ a handful of SEC schools), but I’d even consider joining the All Cash Conference if they have an opening.

          The Big East in football is an utter joke. Let the 8 catholic schools keep the name on the basketball side, and blow up the conference.


          Reading a lot of the message board posts from ECU, Memphis, UCF alums about how they are the ‘obvious choices’ to replace any departing Big East teams. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that the conference has had to look that deep in the barrel.

  32. George says:

    I had a crazy (and probably completely unrealistic and stupid) idea that I thought of when considering two points:
    1. People question whether adding 1-3 Big East teams to the B10 would deliver Eastern markets.
    2. People have suggested that if the B10 would stop scheduling ND, it would be forced to join (weak schedule and loss of prominent rivals).

    The solution: Add the entire Big East – as a “B” league.

    Here’s how it would go.
    - The BTN contracts the Big East to broadcast their games. Their current TV deal is $13 million, so the B10 gives them a bit more.
    - The B10 agrees to schedule a considerably greater number of games against the Big East in OofC play (say each B10 would play 2 Big East teams a year). Tell ND that with this schedule the B10 just can’t seem to fit them in.
    - Whenever this new partnership occurs, the champion of the Big East becomes the 12th member of the B10. This allows the B10 to hold a championship game. This 12th member gets a 1/12 cut of B10 money. HOWEVER, if this 12th team does not finish with a winning B10 record (or some other established criteria), boom, they’re back in the Big East. They would be replaced by whoever the champion was that year.

    The thinking would be that a BTN with all of the Big East teams on it, plus the Big East teams playing a greater number of B10 opponents, would push BTN into the entire Eastern market.

    After a couple of years of this, ND decide that they actually need to be in the B10. At that point, the B10 adds ND as the 12th team and tells the Big East to get lost.

    Comments on this whimsical idea?

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      I don’t think the BE would go for that.

      But the MAC would.

      • Rick says:

        I think they would be more than insulted. I could hear it now and it would end with……….”where the sun don’t shine”.

      • George says:

        I’m not saying this is a likely or even plausible scenario.

        That being said, could the BE really tell the B10 to “stick it”, when the B10 could reply “Alright, we’ll just invite Rutgers, Syracuse, and Pitt. Have fun playing basketball BE.”

    • PSUGuy says:

      I had a very similar thought concerning the BTN and purchasing another conferences game. I figure however it would be with the Pac-10, not the BigEast.

      Way I figure it, Big10 already has the mid-west population centers saturated, a strong presence in the mid-atlantic, and with expansion will either have another large populous state (Texas) or futher expansion into high population eastern markets.

      However, if they cherry pick 1 (or 3) teams form the BigEast what does that leave? Population densities thin as you head further south (and they tend to be staunchly SEC anyway) and anything left in the NYC / NE area will be “smallish” (ie: they won’t dominate a market, maybe compete, but not dominate).

      Now on the other hand if the BTN were to enter into an agreement with the Pac-10 (which is already shares a long history with and has much more in common with, academically, than the BigEast) you could realistically see an ocean to ocean college sports centered network featuring the biggest names in the NCAA in the largest population centers in the nation.
      Does the Big10 “cut in” the Pac-10 for a % of profits? Most likely not. But giving them a secondary income stream (in addition to the pittance ESPN will be throwing at them) might be liked by the Pac-10 AD’s and the Big10 folks might be willing to part with some “Big10 Centric” programming to increase viewership (and therefor money) and also to help out another “academics oriented” athletic conference.

      To be honest though, I only see this happening if (when) the BTN gets a BTN2 channel.

    • Adam says:

      The conference doesn’t schedule non-conference games. I have to believe that if the league could control how they schedule non-conference, the league would not have been allowing Notre Dame to pursue a “best of both worlds” approach for the last, you know, 40 years or whatever.

      • George says:

        They don’t schedule the games, but the conference can effect who gets scheduled. Look at the basketball B10-ACC challenge. The individuals schools didn’t happen to schedule those games.

        And my point is that the B10 shouldn’t let ND have the “best of both worlds”.

        • Adam says:

          There are lots more games to go around in basketball, and even there, the league office arranges for 1 non-conference game for each team. With only 4 non-conference games to go around, I don’t think it’s credible to suggest the teams would cede that discretion to the league office.

          Plus, if they were going to do that, they’d have done it already. For example, Bo Schembechler called for something like that for years. It went nowhere because it isn’t what the membership wants.

      • greg says:

        While the conference doesn’t schedule non-conf games, the Big Ten and MAC did come to an agreement a few years ago to schedule more games between the two leagues.

        After Delaney’s earlier comment about partnering with “possibly dozens” of schools, I think a large move by the BTN to televise Pac10 or other schools may be more likely than even B10 expansion. A conference expansion is “permanent”. A TV deal carries less risk.

        The Pac10 has a pretty terrible TV deal, and I could see the BTN become their 2nd or 3rd carrier, replacing Versus/TBS/FSN or whatever their other games are on at the moment.

        • Adam says:

          Do you have details on this Big Ten/MAC agreement? I am not familiar with it. It was my understanding that the individual Big Ten schools which were in states with substantial MAC presences (here’s looking at you OSU, MSU, and UM) had a deal with the in-state MAC schools to play 1 of them every year and rotate it around, or something like that, but I didn’t know of anything negotiated at the league level.

          • greg says:

            I don’t have any details, I just remember it happening. I don’t think it had any specific stipulations, or if it was even a contract, or just a gentlemen’s agreement. I’ve always thought Big Ten v. MAC non-conf games benefit both sides.

            While googling for info, I did find this news release from 2008 that the Big Ten and MAC combined their football instant replay programs, and the article mentions that they’ve worked together on other efforts.


    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Wouldn’t this absolutely kill the BE as a BCS bid? “Our champion is the 12th best team in the B10.”

    • Richard says:

      Promotion/relegation in college football. It’s great to think about as a sports fan, but almost certainly unworkable.

  33. Vincent says:

    Frank, you mentioned a possible Big Ten “northeastern strategy.” If Notre Dame remained recalcitrant, wouldn’t a Syracuse/Rutgers/Maryland combo work? SU and Rutgers together would probably be enough for the BTN to get a foothold in the NYC metro market, and Maryland’s influence in Washington/Baltimore would fill the gap. Add A&M and Texas to the mix, and the Big Ten has locked up the NY to DC corridor and the two top programs in Texas.

    • Rick says:

      Add PITT and Nebraska to those 3, or ND and PITT, or ND and Nebraska and it looks like a pretty nice 16 team option with great eastern media market revenue potential, great football brand value, great basketball exposure, east and west expansion, BT network coverage from the plains to the Atlantic, and solid academic additions that fit in the Big Ten.

    • Justin says:

      There is northeastern strategy without Notre Dame.

      Its the chicken or the egg argument. The Big 10 would only invite three (3) Big East schools if they knew it would dislodge the Irish from their independent status. Its fascinating to think how this would work but the Big 10 would basically have to receive an acceptance from ND before inviting the other schools.

      The worst case scenario for the Big 10 is that Pitt, Cuse and Rutgers accept and ND declines. Then we’ve added some questionable schools in terms of revenue and we’re still missing the big football draw in NYC.

      I personally think 16 teams with 4 four (4) divisions of 4 is the way to go. At least with 16 teams you have the four division format which is intriguing, plus you can saturate the NYC market.

      I would take Pitt, BC, Syracuse, ND and Rutgers. That should give you every state north of Washington, DC. Uconn would probably fill BC’s spot in the ACC.

      Big 10
      East – Syracuse, Rutgers, Penn State, Pitt
      West – Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota
      Midwest – OSU, UM, MSU, Northwestern
      Cenral – ND, BC, Indiana, Purdue

      Every team has a “rival” to end the season against except MSU and NW who would have to play each other. This division is probably most acceptable to ND who plays BC and Purdue regularly every season. It would only compel them to also face Indiana on a regular basis, but one game in a grand scheme against.

      Here is how a hypothetical ND schedule could work.

      Arizona State in Dallas
      at Michigan
      at Rutgers
      Michigan St
      at Purdue
      at Iowa
      Boston College

      • Richard says:

        NU and U of I are split (as are ND from UM and MSU and PSU from OSU). I don’t really care, but the poobahs might.

        I think, even with a 14 or 16 team league, the Big10 may not stage a championship game, especially if ND is one of the teams, because of the difficulties with splitting the divisions.

  34. Jeremy says:

    If Nebraska wins the National title for football next year or Mizzouri wins either National title or for football or basketball this year or next would they jump as contenders for expansion?

    This is just hypothetical but maybe a present buzz could help thier cause

    • Richard says:

      Recent success certainly helps. I doubt the Pac10 would have taken the Arizona schools if ASU hadn’t been dominating the WAC in the ’70′s, and Miami wouldn’t have been so appealing to the ACC if they hadn’t be consistent national title contenders when they joined.

      I even heard that Baylor snuck in to the Big12 because they had been relatively better (compared to TCU, SMU, Houston & Rice) in the last years of the SWC.

      Of course, sustained success is what really makes schools attractive.

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        When the SWC collapsed any analysis of recent success would have put Houston ahead of both Baylor and Tech. Baylor was in because of the political pull of the Lt Gov and Speaker of the House.

  35. Vincent says:

    Another reason to keep things clandestine are the schools themselves, who could face political ramifications if word got out. For example, it might behoove University of Maryland officials to keep things under wraps because some members of the school’s fan base, overly obsessed with the Duke basketball rivalry, would scream bloody murder despite the many financial and educational advantages it would give the school.

  36. M says:

    I realize this is the epitome of the shortsighted fan, but the whole “invite Cornell” idea looks a lot more reasonable today than it did Wednesday.

  37. Vincent says:

    Southern Cal to the Big Ten? Simply don’t see it. Some Big Ten schools may see logistical problems with traveling to College Station and Austin, but I think most of them view (metro) Los Angeles as a place to earn a trip on New Year’s Day, not visit between September and May. Troy is only an 800-pound gorilla west of the Continental Divide.

    Assuming Notre Dame won’t change its mind, I see Big Ten expansion scenarios as these:

    12: Rutgers

    14: Rutgers, plus these possible combinations — Syracuse/Maryland, one of those two plus Missouri, or Texas A&M/Texas

    16: Rutgers, Syracuse, plus three of the following: Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Texas.

    Pittsburgh brings nothing new to the table market-wise, so even if Ed Rendell plays Mark Warner with the folks at PSU, I don’t see it happening, and why I rank Maryland over Pitt.

  38. N.P.B. says:

    The 12-team rule derived from an arbitrary decision 20+ years ago, and is causing convoluted scenarios (sort of like the luxury box ruling in pro sports and the subsequent need to built new stadiums). The rule should be revisited.

    (I’m in Providence) I wish the Big East returned to its roots of being primarily a basketball league. The football schools are leading to some odd realignment scenarios. FWIW, basketball-wise, Rutgers would not be missed (as a basketball-only fan, I’d like to see them leave– we already have Seton Hall in NJ), and Notre Dame barely. Talk of invites to Memphis, East Carolina, et al, really makes for an unappealing future Big East– especially when these scenarios are mostly driven by relative newcomers West Virginia and recent newcomers Louisville and Cincinnati.

    As far as BC– they were a perfect fit in Big East, but they’re an odd match for the ACC. And it is true that interest in BC in New England doesn’t stretch much beyond BC alums.

  39. Scott S says:

    I’ll state from the outset that I don’t think the Big Ten could or would pull anyone from the Pac-10. It’s a two to three time zone difference, the Big Ten has a long relationship with the Pac-10, and I don’t know that any school there is unhappy.

    Personally, I think it would be easier to pull Florida from the SEC, (as they’d have more to gain from the affiliation than the Pac-1O schools, but that’s not going to happen either.

    However, if the Big Ten could pull someone from the Pac-10, they really have a lot of “wow” schools to choose from–USC (academics are good, but particularly for their sports), UCLA, Cal, and Stanford particularly for stellar academics. And I’d add Washington in there, too, mostly on the academic side.

    It’s interesting to see how the athletic departments rank in the Pac 10 versus the Big 10.

    I was surprised to notice that six Big Ten teams appear before the first Pac-10 team–and the first Pac-10 team showing up on the list isn’t who I’d have expected.

    Ohio State ($117.9 million)
    Michigan ($99.0 million)
    Wisconsin ($93.5 million)
    Penn State ($91.6 million)
    Iowa ($81.1 million)
    Michigan State ($77.7 million)
    Stanford ($76.6 million)
    USC ($76.4 million)
    UCLA ($66.1 million)
    Cal ($63.9 million)
    Minnesota ($63.8 million)
    Purdue ($62.1 million)
    Washington ($60.7 million)
    Illinois ($57.2 million)
    Oregon ($56.6 million)
    Indiana ($54.8 million)
    Arizona State ($53.6 million)
    Oregon State ($47.2 million)
    Arizona ($47.0 million)
    Northwestern ($41.8 million)
    Washington State ($39.6 million)

    The top five Pac-10 sports earners on the list above are also the schools you’d like to have the most, if you were the Big Ten.

    Adding in some of the other teams we’ve been talking about…

    Texas ($120.3 million)
    Ohio State ($117.9 million)
    Florida ($106 million)
    Michigan ($99.0 million)
    Wisconsin ($93.5 million)
    Penn State ($91.6 million)
    Notre Dame ($83.3 million)
    Iowa ($81.1 million)
    Michigan State ($77.7 million)
    Stanford ($76.6 million)
    USC ($76.4 million)
    Nebraska ($75.4 million)
    Texas A&M ($74.8 million)
    Kentucky ($71.2 million)
    UCLA ($66.1 million)
    Virginia ($65.4 million)
    Cal ($63.9 million)
    Minnesota ($63.8 million)
    Purdue ($62.1 million)
    Boston College ($61.2 million)
    Washington ($60.7 million)
    Illinois ($57.2 million)
    Oregon ($56.6 million)
    Virginia Tech ($56.0 million)
    Indiana ($54.8 million)
    U Conn ($54.7 million)
    West Virginia ($54.8 million)
    Maryland ($54.1 million)
    Arizona State ($53.6 million)
    Colorado ($52.6 million)
    Rutgers ($50.2 million)
    Missouri ($49.1 million)
    Oregon State ($47.2 million)
    Arizona ($47.0 million)
    Miami ($46.8 million)
    Florida State ($45.4 million)
    Syracuse ($44.7 million)
    Texas Tech ($42.8 million)
    Northwestern ($41.8 million)
    Pitt ($39.7 million)
    Washington State ($39.6 million)

    My hat is off to Boston College here. They’re earnings are extremely good for a private school–generating more sports dollars than Frank’s Illinois.

    In research, the Pac-10 / Big 10 comparison is interesting, too. (These figures are 2006, so a bit dated.)

    Wisconsin ($832 million)
    UCLA ($811 million)
    Michigan ($800.5 million)
    Washington ($778 million)
    Stanford ($679 million)
    Ohio State ($652 million)
    Penn State ($644 million)
    Minnesota ($595 million)
    Cal Berkeley ($546 million)
    Arizona ($536 million)
    Illinois ($476 million)
    USC ($450 million)
    Northwestern ($420 million)
    Purdue ($373 million)
    Michigan State ($358 million)
    Indiana ($355 million)
    Iowa ($346 million)
    Arizona State ($202 million)
    Washington State ($196 million)
    Oregon State ($190 million)
    Oregon ($57 million)

    Again, the top Pac-10 schools on the research list above just so happen to be the schools you’d most want in the Big Ten.

    I know it isn’t going to happen…but Adding UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford and Texas would make a sixteen-team Big Ten…

  40. OrderRestored says:

    All this talk about USC (or any Pac-10 school) being a candidate or even the Florida and Texas schools being candidates really makes me sick to my stomach. Not due to the lack of validity for any of these candidates; they are all great candidates….just not for the Big Ten. Reading through this I started trying to imagine a conference stretching from sea to shining sea or from Michigan to Florida and it just screams money grubbing. What about the fans in all this? They are the ones who have pushed interest in athletics to the point where these athletic departments can make the millions that they do……spreading a conference out across country seems a bit like biting the hand that feeds. Now I understand there are Big Ten fans in Texas/Florida/California who would benefit from the expansion into these areas; but they are the minority. Keep the Big 10 conference in ‘Big 10 territory’. I hope the University Presidents and AD remember it is the thousands of fans who fill their stadiums every Saturday who keep their athletic departments afloat before they make a rash decision.

    • Richard says:

      How is stretching the conference across the continent “biting the hand that fed it”? And yes, I can attest to there being many Big10 alums in both NYC and California. I definitely missed being able to attend Big10 games when lived in those plces, yet now that I am back in Chicago, I certainly would not be upset if California or NYC teams are added, because, frankly, how would that hurt me?

      • Adam says:

        At least for my part, because I resent the Big Ten chasing money instead of being true to what it is, which is a Midwestern league of elite universities.

        • Richard says:

          Personally, I’d be more upset if they didn’t chase money.

          • Adam says:

            It’s much like playing FCS opponents. I’d rather *not play a game at all* than play an FCS team. It just isn’t right, no matter what the supposed financial benefits are.

          • Richard says:

            Goodness, I know you have a Big10 superiority complex, but it’s defies any logic to compare playing Rutgers (or Miami or Texas or USC) to playing a FCS school.

          • Adam says:

            I don’t mean to liken USC or Rutgers to an FCS school. I mean only that there are lines that should not be crossed irrespective of the financial gains. There’s a famous quote about that, something about what profit there being in gaining the world and losing one’s soul.

          • Richard says:

            I guess where we differ is that I don’t consider the Big10 expanding beyond the Midwest to be akin to losing it’s soul, and even if that’s the case, it lost it’s soul way back in the early ’90′s when it admitted PSU.

    • Jake says:

      Fans will still be able to see at least six (seven or eight for some schools) home games a year. Most fans don’t travel anyway, so playing road games across the country isn’t a big deal. Plus, every Big Ten game is on national television, which is a tremendous service to fans. Also, keep in mind that there are plenty of Big Ten alums/fans in Texas, New York, California, Florida or any other potential expansion state who will be thrilled to see their team come to the area on a regular basis. Sure, the Big Ten schools are trying to make more money, but they’re also trying to create a more exciting league for their teams.

  41. OrderRestored says:

    It would hurt the fan’s in the Big 10 region who wish to attend their favorite team’s conference road games. I’m not saying it’s wrong to have road games in California and NYC; but that is what non-conference games are for. If you want to schedule games so that a large portion of your fan base in NYC or California can see games; then schedule NON-conference games in their region. ‘Biting the hand that feeds’ is referring to making it nearly impossible for the normal fan to travel to road games WITHIN conference. What normal fan is going to be able to make the trip from Happy Valley to LA or Gainesville or Austin in a weekend to catch a road game? Conferences stretching these kinds of distances are bad for the game.

    • Richard says:

      With the major programs (and even the middle-of-the-pack Big10 programs; basically, everybody except Northwestern & Indiana), 7 home games or even 8 home games will have to be the norm (to make enough revenue to fund all the non-revenue sports). That means you can’t have that many non-conf away games far away from the Big10 region. Also, I don’t believe you’re right that adding more schools would necessarily change the away games situation that much. For example, if you take my Big20 scenario, all of the original 10 Big10 schools would play exactly 5 conference games (out of 72) over 8 years in California/East Coast/Florida. That’s less than half a game a year. Any school could just easily schedule non-conf games against Cincy, Pitt, or bordering schools like Mizzou, Kentucky, or WVa if they’re so concerned about having away games their fans can travel to. In fact, since the Big20 would require a 9 game conference schedule, there would actually be _more_ conference games within the 7-state footprint of the original Big10 than we have now.

      • Richard says:

        Sorry, I can’t multiply or add today. 5 games (out of 36) over 4 years. Still, 31 games would be in the 7-state footprint of the original Big10 instead of 32 games currently. Not a big difference.

    • Scott S says:

      I don’t know…if I go to a Seahawks game, I see a lot of Packers fans there. Some have moved to the region and go because the Packers are in town. Some might travel once or twice per year for a long weekend simply to go somewhere new or somewhere they like.

      I’d imagine there are more than a few Penn State alums who might now live in Dalls and would love to make a game in Austin, or whoo might now live in NYC and would love to see a game there–or who’d love to visit LA for a weekend.

      A national schedule is what Notre Dame supposedly prides itself on. Why larger schools with larger alumni bases couldn’t do the same thing, I don’t know… Big Ten teams travel pretty darn well.

      • Adam says:

        I have little interest in accommodating those who have abandoned the region. Good riddance to them.

        • Mike R says:

          I see a lot of alums from my school in NY and LA when I’m there on business. I think that’s a strength and its to be celebrated. “Good riddance” isn’t something I’d say to them.

        • Scott S says:

          Really? Someone gets transferred to a job outside the Big Ten footprint and it’s, “go to hell”?

          And good riddance to all the donations contributed by alumni in other areas?

          Are you lobbying that the Big Ten schools turn down all the research money that comes from Washington–we’re talking billions–that is helping to finance Big Ten schools? After all, it’s not Big Ten-area cash?

          And all the research money that comes in from the industry based in the south and west–you’re turning that down, too?

          I’m pleased most of us don’t think this way.

          • Adam says:

            I’m not advocating that anybody turn down money that’s voluntarily contributed or available through grants or whatever. But I have little desire to add schools outside of the Big Ten footprint because there are alumni living there and they’d like to see the Big Ten teams come to town more often in a systematic way. I have little desire to accommodate someone who has abandoned the region. If they abandon the region and want to keep donating due to emotive ties to the school or whatever, more power to them. I don’t care to *accommodate* them, but I also wouldn’t advocate *overtly rejecting them*. I’m not looking to evangelize.

          • Richard says:

            The Big10 is one of the strongest/richest conferences around _because_ its schools and region send its people all over the country (alums to the East Coast and Cali, retirees to Florida and Arizona). Would the BTN (which has turned in to a cash cow) been viable if no one outside the Big10′s footprint watched it? Would pretty much every single Big10 football game be available to anyone in the country who’s willing to sign up for a sports package (and many times you don’t have to) if its alums and people weren’t scattered throughout the nation?

            Hell, would the Big10 schools be the research powerhouses that they are if they didn’t draw students and faculty from all over the world (and send them out again)?

            Look, if you want to be a regional chauvinist, the MAC is perfect for you; most of the grads of those schools don’t even leave their home state, much less the Midwest. Those schools also don’t affect many people (or have much of a reputation) outside the Midwest (or really, their home states).

            However, it’s disingenuous to say you support a Big10 school and then pour scorn on places outside the Midwest when so much of it’s reputation and money were built and donated by people from outside the Midwest.

          • Adam says:

            Any coalition that amounts to much has uneasy alliances within its membership. I doubt that Tim Geithner and James P. Hoffa share many affinities, even if they both need each other to maintain electoral power (you might say the same for, say, your conservative evangelical minister of choice and your conservative CEO/businessman of choice). That there is some mutuality of dependence doesn’t mean they have to agree or see eye to eye. Sure, the Big Ten’s significance comes (in part) from its extra-territorial influence. It’s one thing to accept/acknowledge that and another to embrace it. It’s a balancing act I’m content to let the development office at my school handle. I don’t want *league membership* to play a part in that balancing act.

        • Michael says:

          My wife and I live in Indiana now. The rest of our family lives in the Carolinas. My wife and I went to college in the Carolinas.

          Adam, following your line of thinking, I’ve “abandoned” my heritage, my alma mater, and my loved ones. If my friends and family shared in that attitude, I’d be called a scalawag or “dam*ed yankee.”

          • Adam says:

            It wouldn’t stun me if they did. Nor would I especially blame them; like the President said not long ago, most countries and places think they’re exceptional. If they think they’re exceptional, they think life there is preferable to life elsewhere. If they think life there is preferable to life in Indiana, they ought to think like that. I happen to think they’re wrong, although I’m not going to try to prove that to them (or anybody else). But I think those of us living in the Midwest (and who take living in the Midwest seriously) ought to have the courage of our convictions, too.

          • Michael says:

            Then I suppose all those people who founded your ideals of the Midwest–Catholics, East Europeans, anti-slavery advocates–were just as guilty for “abandoning” their regions. Shame on them for leaving the places they were born, regardless of the poverty and oppression they were facing in their original countries. How dare they come to America to try and make a better life! How dare all those black people subjected to Jim Crow laws abandon the South for a dignified lifestyle in the Midwest!

            Fortunately, my friends and family care about me for me, not for my location. They’re not so shallow that they’d turn their backs on me for moving when I needed to move.

            I’ll be the first to say that while I’m embarrassed by much of the South’s ugly parts of history, just as people in Indiana are embarrassed by Indy’s former status as home to the KKK, but I am proud to be from the Carolinas. From the Civil War until well into the late 20th century, the Carolinas were crippled by generational poverty, backwards thinking (including racism), and the devastating loss of its entire economy. But in the past few decades, places like Research Triangle Park, Charlotte’s banking centers, and many other innovative new companies have helped the Carolinas emerge with a bright future. Just because I’ve moved doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on that, just like Italian-Americans didn’t reject their heritage when the came to the U.S. in the late 1800′s/early 1900′s. I certainly hope, Adam, you haven’t disowned every friend and relative you’ve ever known just because the move south of the Ohio, east of the Appalachians, or west of the Plains. I understand your desire to keep the Big Ten as a Midwest-only conference, but taking it to a personal level will only hurt yourself.

          • Playoffs Now! says:

            Yeah, some of the rationalizations using Original Sin slavery cheap shots at anything southern are ridiculous. Completely ignores the many race riots instigated by whites in northern cities at various times of the 20th century. Detroit’s in 1943 is not exactly an example of open-armed tolerance, just down the street from Big Ten flagship U. Michigan.

          • Richard says:

            The segregation & Jim Crow laws are more recent, though I don’t think what happened in the past should determine expansion as much as the character of the schools as they are currently.

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            You folks do know that Austin is filled with hippies and liberals now, right?

          • Adam says:

            I cast no shame on someone for coming to the Midwest; it’s a wonderful place to live, and if you’ve moved here, you’ve made the smart choice in my book. But I don’t blame those who live elsewhere from disagreeing with me, either; indeed, if they’re staying where they’re at, they ought to disagree with me (presumably, they think it’s better). I’m confident I’m right; they’re confident they’re right. I am not looking to prove anything to anybody outside the region. But I want to preserve the regional identity (which has nothing to do with hippies and liberals).

          • Scott S says:

            Michael: My nephew is just graduating from Duke in a couple months and I’m heading down to Charlotte, myself, to visit family.

            Just curious, though, about your feelings towards UNC. Personally, I think they’re another great candidate school, as I view them as I would the Big Ten schools. However, would you agree that the’d likely have as little interest in the Big Ten as, say, Florida?

          • Scott S says:

            Adam: The midwest has nothing to do with hippies and liberals? Have you been to Madison? Were you around in the 60′s? Have you been to Chicago?

            I’ve got to say, if your interest is to insulate yourself from anyone holding a different point of view or a different background, universities are not the place for you.

          • Adam says:

            I’d also note: none of the characteristics I’ve mentioned (farmers, factory workers, Irish/Polish/Slovak/etc. Catholics) are somehow Midwestern in a way people who don’t fall into one of those baskets is not; only that, because of those combinations of demographic groups coincided here (along with any number of the other factors I’ve mentioned; e.g., the legacy of the Land Ordinance of 1785), it has had an enduring effect on life and culture to this day. One need not be Jewish to be affected by the substantial Jewish presence in New York City. Everybody (or, so many people that we can make a fair cultural characterization of the area) who lives in San Francisco is shaped by the presence of their Chinatown, even if they don’t live there or even rarely visit it.

          • Adam says:

            Those ongoing effects, by the way, are not even necessarily an unmitigated positive thing. You could at least argue that the Midwest is like a basketball team that hits a few 3-pointers at the beginning of a game and then gets addicted to that the rest of the contest. After World War II, what with the rest of the world being devastated, the Midwest could sustain enormous numbers of low-skilled, high-paying manufacturing jobs, to the point that it has re-shaped the vision a lot of people have of the “American dream” and whatnot; our infrastructure is still basically designed for a world in which anybody who finishes high school (or comes close) can get a good-paying job and support their family. That may well have been something that was only sustainable for a fairly brief moment (historically) of exceptional circumstances due to the aftereffects of World War II. But, it still powerfully characterizes this region, for good or ill.

          • Richard says:

            Maybe that’s true for Michigan. Chicago has probably the most diversified economy of any city. If you want to see boom-bust cycles, head out to California; their economy is nothing but a series of boom-bust cycles.

  42. OrderRestored says:

    You are missing the point, the whole idea of having a conference is playing teams within your region that you can form REGIONAL rivalries and long lasting series’ with, not to see what teams you can throw together to make a few more bucks. A non-conference road game against Pitt isn’t going to measure up to what a conference game against Pitt would mean; conference games mean more to fans. Scheduling close non-conference games is not an answer to the problem, rather a slap in the face to fans. I (and I know there are many more people like me) would much rather have Notre Dame or Pittsburgh in conference than USC or Florida or Texas because I know alum from Notre Dame and Pitt. They live in the region of my alma mater (Michigan) and there are regional bragging rights at stake. There are bragging rights at stake with playing teams like USC and Florida as well……’s called the National Title and that is where those games belong. A 20 team conference would be a nightmare; it looks like a great idea on paper, but it screams NFL. The day College Football goes that route is the day it loses the mystique and uniqueness that has made it a national phenomenon equally intriguing both for the guy who lives in LA and is a die-hard UCLA fan and the guy who lives in Anywhere, Nebraska who is a diehard Nebraska fan.

    • Adam says:

      Amen (again)

    • Richard says:

      I guess playing USC every year really killed the ND mystique.

      Let’s just say we don’t agree and leave it at that.

      • Adam says:

        Richard makes a valid point here, although I would argue that the “Notre Dame mystique” is not something that it is a worthwhile thing to pursue if commenter Rich’s brand of in-your-face, proselytizing exceptionalism is the byproduct. Most people consider themselves exceptional in some way (just like most religions claim a monopoly on soteriology), so in and of itself that really isn’t something worth getting irritated by, but there are some variations on it that I find more palatable than others. I’d much rather the Big Ten were content to stay within its bona fide footprint, for richer or for poorer, than try to be some kind of college sports Death Star.

        • Mike R says:

          Adam: With Notre Dame you would most assuredly be getting that sense of exceptionalism (whether you find it “in your face” is up to you). That’s part of why I don’t think ND would be a happy member of the Big 10 and the Big 10 would be a less harmonious league with ND as a member. Better for both to remain separate.

          • Adam says:

            Possibly. I tend to think that they would be broken of that after a few years. Their Independent status enables the worst elements of their fan base to be the loudest and proudest; league membership would (I hope) empower the saner elements of their fan base and, over time, shift perceptions of what makes for exceptionalism in their fan base. I mean, I sense relatively little difference between the ND attitude and, say, the sense of elitism that I think most people perceive emanating out of Ann Arbor, *other* than Ann Arbor does not see league membership as somehow inconsistent with their exceptionalism.

            Perhaps that is merely wishful thinking.

    • M says:

      I think I speak for a lot of people here when I say I am for a college sports Death Star.

      More seriously, there seem to be three approaches to college athletics:
      1. Quality schools with major athletics (Big Ten and a number of other schools)
      2. Quality schools with athletics-as-extracurriculars (Ivy League, Nerdy Nine)
      3. Semi-pro teams that happen to play at a community college (SEC with exceptions and a few others).

      In my view, if 20 or 30 type 1s want to join together under the Big Ten banner, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. At that point the divisions would be the original conferences and they would only play regularly in the conference championship (or playoffs). In some sense, that was how the original Pac-10/Big Ten/Rose Bowl relationship worked.

      Conferences should be more a group of schools with similar goals and values, rather than simply the nearest geographic collection. I would be far more upset if the conference added a school that is geographically close but not an institutional fit (e.g. Louisville, Cincinnati, any MAC school) than if it added a school that was out of region but of similar type (e.g. Texas).

      Also, your school (Michigan) has one of the most national and international alumni bases of any school in the country. Growing the conference “footprint” would allow not only a greater connection to those alumni, but also increase the visibility to potential new students in that area whether it is NYC, Texas or California.

      Having said all of that, the only reason Pitt is not the “slam-dunk” favorite is television money.

      • Adam says:

        I do not recognize a distinction between those scenarios: adding Louisville/Cincinnati/MAC and adding Texas are the same sort of wrongness. You’re right that a conference should be more than *mere* geographic proximity, which is why I would never argue that OSU should form a league with the 23 other FBS schools also located in Ohio. But geographic proximity matters *to some extent*, and the Big Ten as currently constituted basically observes that. PSU is the marginal case, but as I’ve argued elsewhere, there are defensible reasons to view central and western Pennsylvania differently; they enjoy many aspects of the Midwest’s unique blend of agriculture, heavy industry, and 19th century anti-slavery sentiment and dominance of urban life and politics by European “ethnic Catholics” (Poles, Irish, Slovaks, etc.).

        Texas doesn’t have that, Los Angeles doesn’t have that, New York doesn’t have that, Boston doesn’t have that. What I described above is what I identify with as a Midwesterner, and for richer or for poorer, it’s what I want to remain, what I want my alma mater to remain, what I want my alma mater’s league to remain.

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      A 20 team conference would be a nightmare; it looks like a great idea on paper, but it screams NFL. The day College Football goes that route is the day it loses the mystique and uniqueness that has made it a national phenomenon equally intriguing both for the guy who lives in LA and is a die-hard UCLA fan and the guy who lives in Anywhere, Nebraska who is a diehard Nebraska fan.

      That’s an odd assertion, since a 20-team conference is basically 2 current P10-style conferences that agree to play a championship game between their conference (now division) winners. Is the P10 ‘NFL’ with no mystique or uniqueness? If the B12 slims down to 10, becomes the central division of a P20, plays a 9-game division schedule and then plays the P10 division winner in a conf champ game, is that really so devastating?

      Now I can see how the B10+ going to 20 (unless perhaps PSU is spun off into the new 10) would be very disruptive and kill a lot of tradition. But super conferences in other situations don’t have to produce such upheaval. Might make sense for an ACC plus eastern leftovers or a new mixmash of MWC+WAC+CUSA+B12 left behinds.

      • Adam says:

        Personally, I have no idea what it would do for them. That’s a choice they can make for themselves. I certainly would oppose NCAA legislation prohibiting those kinds of arrangements. On the other hand, I do not want the Big Ten to get involved with that sort of arrangement. Those are choices others should be free to make, but which we should not make.

  43. OrderRestored says:

    You are missing the point, the whole idea of having a conference is playing teams within your region that you can form REGIONAL rivalries and long lasting series’ with, not to see what teams you can throw together to make a few more bucks. A non-conference road game against Pitt isn’t going to measure up to what a conference game against Pitt would mean; conference games mean more to fans. Scheduling close non-conference games is not an answer to the problem, rather a slap in the face to fans. I (and I know there are many more people like me) would much rather have Notre Dame or Pittsburgh in conference than USC or Florida or Texas because I know alum from Notre Dame and Pitt. They live in the region of my alma mater (Michigan) and there are regional bragging rights at stake. There are bragging rights at stake with playing teams like USC and Florida as well……’s called the National Title and that is where those games belong. A 20 team conference would be a nightmare; it looks like a great idea on paper, but it screams NFL. The day College Football goes that route is the day it loses the mystique and uniqueness that has made it a national phenomenon equally intriguing both for the guy who lives in LA and is a die-hard UCLA fan and the guy who lives in Anywhere, Nebraska who is a diehard Nebraska fan.

  44. OrderRestored says:

    Scott –
    Once again I’m not against playing away games in larger concentrations of alumni (like Dallas); but schedule it as a non-conference game. The Ohio St/Texas series was a great thing for college football; as will be the Penn St/Alabama game coming up this year. They do not however need to be conference games. Keep conference games regional and play the non-conference games wherever the alumni bases away from the region are if need be.

    Richard –
    Notre Dame is not part of a conference at all therefore every game for them is a non-conference game and this really does not apply to them; and yes I’d say the Notre Dame mystique has dropped off quite a bit in the past 20 years. I enjoying reading your posts and agree with you on about 90% of the things you say; but this is one area where we will have to agree to disagree.

  45. I tend to agree with Richard with expanding beyond the Midwest. Part of this is more than just money – it’s about looking 20-30 years down the road and ensuring that the Big Ten is still in a strong position in terms of population and demographics (and that’s important for both sports and academics). The conference’s two standard-bearers – Michigan and Ohio State – happen to be in states that aren’t growing in population or even declining. We could be looking more like the Big XII (filled with schools in the Corn Belt that are falling far behind the rest of the country in population) over the coming decades than conferences that have established bases on the coasts or Sun Belt. Granted, these demographic changes take place over many years and it’s not as if though we’re in impending doom (and I believe Richard has pointed out that the Great Lakes states’ access to freshwater is going to be important from an environmental perspective), but it’s a big factor in terms of maintaining long-term relevancy.

    The Big Ten is in a very strong position now compared to other conferences, yet we’d be foolish to think that’s a permanent position. We have to think strategically to ensure that we’re in the same position many years from now. Otherwise, we could end up having an arc like General Motors (the classic Midwestern company), which peaked in the 1950s, allowed its advantages to be chipped away over time and then didn’t act until it was too late. I think the Big Ten would be smart to get itself aligned with places outside of the Rust Belt for long-term survival (whether it’s tying itself to the NYC area or going towards the Sun Belt).

    • Mike says:

      >>We could be looking more like the Big XII (filled with schools in the Corn Belt that are falling far behind the rest of the country in population) <<

      @Frank – Can you expand on that thought? Just looking at the states of the Big 12 they all seem to be trending up in population.

      • Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa all have very slow population growth compared to the rest of the country (and their population bases are already small to being with). Missouri’s growth looks to be about the same as Illinois and Indiana, which is OK, but still slow relatively speaking compared to other parts of the country. The Oklahoma City area is doing OK, yet the rest of Oklahoma has very slow growth, too. Texas and Colorado are the only 2 states that are truly growing at a rate comparable to the major coastal markets or the Southeast. (Granted, Texas is massive and has a huge impact.) This is mostly explained by how populations have shifted to a handful of the largest metro areas, which the Big XII has a dearth of outside of main Texas cities and Denver (Missouri has good-sized markets like St. Louis and Kansas City as of today, but they are generally being passed over by a lot of people in the Midwest in favor of heading to Chicago or the Twin Cities, so they aren’t really great growth markets for the future). Here are some projections for state populations in 2030 from the Census Bureau (granted, the numbers might be skewed since these projections were done prior to the housing bust in places like Florida, Arizona, California and Nevada):

        • Mike R says:

          Despite their upset loss, I think Kansas is a potential “wow” school for the Big 10. Great basketball, new TV households for the BTN in KS and MO, fits the profile for Big 10 schools — midwestern, AAU member, Union state during the Civil War (i.e., culturally and historically like the Big 10 schools). As a “get” bringing in KU would certainly lead SportsCenter (unless Tiger is up to something somewhere).

          • Richard says:

            Low population state, and academics/research are subpar. Plus, basketball doesn’t bring in the mone football does. Furthermore, with KU, you may get entangled with KSU in the Kansas legislature.

            Nebraska, Mizzou, and KU all are about the same academically (a bit below the lowest Big10 school in research). Mizzou brings enough people but has little tradition, Nebraska brings a brand name in football but has few people, KU brings a brand name in basketball but also has few people (and may be entangled with KSU).

    • 84Lion says:

      Frank, the Big Ten has been around for over 100 years and continues to prosper. Rust belt states have survived the fall of the railroads and steel industries and will survive the fall of the auto industry should that come to pass. My question is, how much of your roots and tradition (if you are the Big Ten) are you willing to compromise to maintain that “strong position?”

      Or, to look at it another way, which failing Big Ten school do you kick out first when it becomes obvious that school is compromising that “strong position?”

      I think you’ve got to look at heritage and roots as much or more as you look at dollar or growth advantages. If I’m “thinking like a University President” the intangibles are gonna have importance too.

      • @84Lion – That’s definitely a fair point. I guess it depends upon what roots/tradition matter the most. Is it “sensible” geography? Is it commitment to graduate research? Is it athletic rivalries? It would be easy enough if there was a school out there that fit all of those factors, but I don’t think it’s out there. Notre Dame and Pitt are the obvious non-controversial picks, but the former probably will refuse to come alone and the latter likely wouldn’t meet the financial objectives of expansion (which defeats the allure of the it to the current members in the first place).

        So, who from outside of the current footprint wouldn’t really detract from the Big Ten’s roots while also strengthening the conference for the future? I still think the Rutgers/Syracuse/ND combo would be the best on that front if we’re going up to 14 schools. Rutgers has the public university/graduate research credentials, Syracuse has more of a large Midwestern school feel despite the fact that it’s private, and ND obviously is an instant football rival for everyone and a national name. When I see those 3 schools, I can envision seeing the Big Ten logo on their fields and think that they would make sense. I agree with everyone that says that BC wouldn’t feel right, although I do think the financial argument from the TV sets in the Boston market means that no one should completely discount them.

        • Richard says:

          I think Rutgers and Maryland both meet the criteria of being additive (in TV money), being good research schools, and being close enough geographically to eventually consider themselves “Big10 country”. Maybe Virginia, UNC, and Duke as well, if you keep going in to the ACC. Other than those schools, no one else fits all 3 critera perfetly. Even ND isn’t a perfect fit because they aren’t a research powerhouse. Of course, whether any ACC school would join is another question.

          • Rick says:

            I really like the Rutgers/Maryland combination of academics, geographic fit to existing BT states, large TV markets in populous and wealthy state, new/rekindled recruiting grounds, competitive athletics. Personally I would add Nebraska to get to 14 after that. They fit all criteria except for TV money but I think that is offset to a certain extent by the football brand value. Go 16 and add Syracuse and Missouri. NY to DC media lockdown, westward expansion into good Mizz TV markets, big time football brand in Neb. I think this combination is a wow and fits just about every criteria that we originally heard as being important in the decision.

        • Mike R says:

          Frank, do you think ND would actually paint the Big 10 logo on their football field? The image alone would make legions of ND fans blanch.

          • Adam says:

            Actually, come to think of it, how many Big Ten teams actually paint the logo on the field? I’m not seeing it in my mind’s eye, but then again, maybe I’m so used to seeing it that it blends in.

          • @Adam – I think you’re right about the lack of the Big Ten logo on the field at most schools. It’s usually on the basketball court, though.

          • Jeepers says:

            I’m pretty sure I remember a Big East logo on the ND basketball court. The no logos thing only counts for football?

  46. Vincent says:

    PSU is the marginal case, but as I’ve argued elsewhere, there are defensible reasons to view central and western Pennsylvania differently; they enjoy many aspects of the Midwest’s unique blend of agriculture, heavy industry, and 19th century anti-slavery sentiment and dominance of urban life and politics by European “ethnic Catholics” (Poles, Irish, Slovaks, etc.).

    Texas doesn’t have that, Los Angeles doesn’t have that, New York doesn’t have that, Boston doesn’t have that. What I described above is what I identify with as a Midwesterner, and for richer or for poorer, it’s what I want to remain, what I want my alma mater to remain, what I want my alma mater’s league to remain.

    You could make a good argument for Syracuse in this, too. Upstate New York has a different, somewhat midwestern mindset from its downstate brethren, especially from central New York on west.

    Frank’s comments about population explain what the Big Ten may be looking for. If it took in my favored three of Syracuse, Rutgers and Maryland, they plus Penn State would make the Big Ten the big player in the NY to DC corridor, with its huge, affluent population. That would give the Big Ten something to bolster and complement its midwestern base

    • Adam says:

      You’re right, of course, re: Syracuse (indeed, the Midwest was initially settled by people who mostly came from upstate New York). I have familial connections to the MAC as well (my mother and most aunts and uncles attended MAC schools), and while in a perfect world I would probably just as soon not have SUNY-Buffalo in the league, I don’t find it *offensive* in the same way BC, Rutgers, Texas, USC, or any Florida school would be.

    • Scott S says:

      First, I’m pretty sure most states and most universities under consideration are anti-slavery by now. What things were like 150 years ago isn’t germane to conditions today.

      Many BT schools are in states with agriculture, but that’s not a distinguishing characteristic–Name me a state with a school under consideration that has no signficant agriculture… New York does. Texas does. Florida does. California does…

      Heavy industry is disappearing in the midwest. That’s hardly a defining characteristic.

      You mention Catholic heritage–you might want to note that all Big Ten schools are secular / religion neutral, and every Big Ten state has huge numbers of non-Catholics. This is not a defining characteristic either.

      Your concept of what it means to be a “midwesterner” might mean something to you, but it’s not as clearly defined than you seem to think. People in the plains states refer to your midwest as the mideast. To them, the midwest is the plains states. To them there’s the west, the midwest, the mideast, and east.

      • Adam says:

        The present-day doesn’t especially matter; the point is that those places are marked by that *heritage*. (Every day, our legal system gets closer to a completely codified “civil law” system, but we retain the practices and procedures of the English common law because it is a permanent, inalterable fixture of who we are. History matters.) Whether or not heavy industry completely disappears in the Midwest, it will never change the fact that Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh et al. will forever be indelibly marked by that heritage. Whether urban life is any more dominated by Catholics, it will never change the fact that it *once was*, which leaves an indelible mark on the area that makes it different from, say, Nebraska, or Kansas.

        I have no control over what people in the plains states think. They’re free to think whatever they want. I have no desire to “correct” them or instruct them otherwise. I’m not looking to change the world here, or set up some kind of exemplar for the rest of college sports/America/the World to live up to. But I am what I am, and we are what we are here, and I don’t think we should try to be something different. I find the Big Ten charming precisely because it has become the richest conference *without* an NFL-type overt campaign of whatever-it-takes-to-dominate.

        • M says:

          The amusing part about your Midwest definition is that is fits the New England area perfectly- urban Catholics (Boston has one the highest Catholic percentages of any major city), heavy farming (which as others have pointed out, occurs everywhere), former industrial glory (New England formerly was the leading producer of textiles and machine tools), and 19th century anti-slavery (Maine became a separate state for the sole purpose of maintaining the balance).

          Strangely enough, the urban Catholics you describe as integral to the Midwest are completely unconnected to the anti-slavery view. The vast majority of your “ethnic-Catholics” (Czechs, Poles, Italians) came long after the Civil War was over.

          Furthermore, the Big Ten became the richest conference in no small part because it made the first, largest, and most successful “out-of-region” grab (PSU).

          You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but I do not think your arguments withstand examination.

          • Adam says:

            There isn’t a necessary correlation between Catholic urban dominance and anti-slavery sentiment; just that they co-existed (if anything, I suspect that the Catholic urban dominance would have cut the other direction; working-class urban Catholics tended to support the Democratic Party, which was often ambivalent on the slavery question for fear of a flood of freemen further depressing their wages).

            It also seems to me that the heavy industry that typified the Midwest (things like steel, heavy equipment (bulldozers, tractors, etc.), automobiles, etc.) is pretty different (in culturally significant ways) than the east’s tradition of textiles, machine tools, and firearms.

          • Richard says:

            OK, you’re splitting hairs, here.

          • Adam says:

            No way. The east coast’s industrial background mentioned comes out of the artisinal tradition, segueing into what we’d call the skilled trades today. By contrast, the traditional Midwestern industrial enterprises provided the sort of massive employment opportunities for relatively low-skilled laborers that evolved into the backbone of the post-war emergence of a widespread middle class. I’m not familiar with anything out east on the scope or scale of, say, Ford’s River Rouge Complex; and even if the Rouge Complex was an outlier (it was at one time anyway the largest factory in the world), comparable installations, even if smaller, were nothing remarkable here.

            This notion that there’s agriculture elsewhere is also a canard. There’s still a DuPage County Farm Bureau, but I doubt that anybody considers agriculture to be as culturally meaningful there as it is elsewhere. The fact that there’s local agricultural activity is neither here nor there. I mean, consider that the first stirrings of Midwestern settlement in the early 19th century were a lot of people in upstate New York (and elsewhere in the northeast) who found they were running out of farmland. Conversely, the agricultural opportunities in the Midwest were so expansive and remained so lucrative that European immigrants continued to buy up Midwestern farm land into the 1920s. Of course, this series of culturally significant events was affected by the Land Ordinance of 1785, which comprehensively surveyed what would become the Midwest, helping to regularize land titles here and help absentee purchasers buy land more easily than the metes and bounds system used out east.

          • M says:

            To sum up, your requirements seem to be heavy-heavy industry in low paying factories in the near past not medium-heavy industry in high paying textile sweatshops in the further past; urban Catholics but not the kind found in Boston (or LA presumably); high agricultural activity currently, but farming in the past does not seem to count (New York and Massachusetts were once the breadbaskets of the country); anti-slavery history but not including prominent abolitionists such as Massachusetts-based Frederick Douglas or New York-based William Lloyd Garrison.

            This doesn’t even take on the notion that the current Big Ten schools are in states with these properties: Iowa and Minnesota hardly have or ever had heavy industry and Michigan is hardly a high-agricultural state anymore. The Catholic thing works, but would also for nearly everywhere in the country outside of The South, which is probably the only region which doesn’t satisfy the anti-slavery either.

          • Adam says:

            I speak of the Midwest having a *combination* of all those factors (a “unique blend” of those factors, to quote myself). Individually they existed elsewhere; here, they were concurrent.

            Iowa and Minnesota were obviously affected less by heavy industry, although they were touched by it (or similar industries). Minnesota, for example, had mining (the need to ship this stuff made Duluth a major port city). All manner of industry is based in Iowa: John Deere, Winnebago, Lennox, Maytag (formerly), etc.

            Farming on a Midwestern scale is not known in the east, so to say that New York and Massachusetts were once the nation’s breadbasket is neither here nor there. But it’s pointless to argue about: if you want to dig around for what look like false equivalencies to me and not to you, you’ll keep finding them. I’m content to know that I’m not alone; I happened to see this in the Wikipedia article on the topic:
            “While some point to the small towns and agricultural communities in Kansas, Iowa, the Dakotas, and Nebraska of the Great Plains as representative of traditional Midwestern lifestyles and values, others assert that the declining Rust Belt cities of the Great Lakes – with their histories of 19th- and early-20th-century immigration, manufacturing base, and strong Catholic influence – are more representative of the Midwestern experience.

          • Richard says:

            You can find any set of characteristics that fit one region and only one region perfectly, but why you consider that specific set of characteristics to be sacrosanct (instead of another set that pulls in the Northeast, or pulls in the Plains states, or pulls in California, or excludes Michigan) is something that I can’t understand.

          • Adam says:

            Well, instead of further historical allusions and whatnot I’d just say this: there’s a reason that the Big Ten has been the group of schools it’s been for as long as it’s been. It’s a geographic collection that didn’t occur by happenstance. Even at the time the league formed, other associations of schools with broader geographic scopes (but less intimate institutional relationships) were forming; the AAU, for example, included Stanford and UC-Berkeley as charter members in 1900. I tend to think that means there is something inherent or natural in the cultural heritage and bonds I’ve described here.

          • Richard says:

            I think all it means is that all the major football-playing northern schools at the time who were within a day’s train ride away from Chicago decided to get together to form a conference.

          • Rick says:

            According to the Wikipedia Big Ten article, the Big Ten (not called the Big Ten) was formed primarily to address sports issues as you said Richard.

            “On January 11, 1895, the presidents of the Universities of Chicago, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin; Northwestern and Purdue Universities, and Lake Forest College met in Chicago to discuss the regulation and control of intercollegiate athletics. The eligibility of student-athletes was one of the main topics of discussion.”

          • Adam says:

            Rick, if anything, my sense of the Big Ten’s formation cuts against Richard’s formulation: the issue was the regulation of athletics, not forming a league for competition. It was a lot more along the lines of the AAU or (even more so) the NCAA at its inception: concerned with administration, not convenient league play.

          • Richard says:

            Right, and no segregation/Jim Crow laws, which is why Mizzou and Kentucky were never serious possibilities (and why Iowa joined):


          • Richard says:

            Convenient league play was also an issue. Back when the fastest mode of transportation was by train, few schools west of the Appalachians were going to join a league on the East Coast (much less the West Coast), and they weren’t going to admit a segregated school.

      • Scott S says:

        The history stuff is quite interesting to me, and this is exchange is fun to read. Honestly, it’s never dawned on me that someone would have defined the Big Ten by the surrounding culture going back 150 plus years, or that someone would argue the Big Ten should be bound or limited in future decisions because of who we might have been in the past.

        With that said, while your definition of the “midwest” may be correct, I can’t help but notice that my family, which has been in the midwest since the 1840s, wouldn’t fit your definition of what a midwesterner would be. (That is, they weren’t in agriculture; they weren’t in factories; they weren’t Catholic; and they weren’t from the ethnic groups you mention.)

        Even if we were to use your definition, though, what once may have been true 100, 150 years ago is the past. New people from other areas are moving in. Old people from the area are dying or moving out. And the young people of today are quite different from their grandparents and their grandparents’ grandparents. The references to 1785 and the slavery stances pre-1860′s, while interesting, have no bearing I can perceive on the issue currently at hand.

        The Big Ten is the home of quality research-based universities, the likes of which could scarcely be imagined 150 years ago. The whole purpose of that research, often done by professors with an origin outside the Big Ten, is to improve our lives, our health, our society–to improve our futures. It’s the exact opposite of a wish to bind ourselves to a stagnant definition of a 150-year-old past as you perceive it.

        As the Big Ten looks to add more members to assist research and improve TV revenues (a technology that didn’t even exist in the times you’re quoting) for sports (most of which didn’t exist 150 years ago)–it doesn’t make any sense in my mind to remain inward-focused and provincial in our outlook.

        • Richard says:

          Well said.

        • R says:

          Thankyou Scott S for writing a reply that I was incapable of without using the vernacular.

        • Scott S says:

          Thanks, Richard; thanks R.

          I really find Adam’s comments quite interesting. It’s all well thought out and expressed very well. I think he’d be a very interesting person to have over for dinner.

          You know, I grew up in a fairly insular environment, in an area was quite racially homogenous. When I went off to university, though, I had roommates from Jordan, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and Italy. The guy next door was from Libya (perhaps the quietest, most gentle guy on earth), and just down the hall was a guy from what is now Belarus (arguably the hairiest guy on earth). And I thought it was a great experience.

          (I’m talking the different cultures being a great experience–not the Belorussian’s hirsutism. Honestly, you’d head off to the communal shower and you’d think you had just seen a musk-ox.)

          When I moved to Chicago, I dated a lot of women from all over the place (Mexico, Poland, Italy, Iran, Norway…) and I ended up moving to Canada and marrying a woman from Japan and adopting a baby boy from Vietnam. At our wedding, we had under 75 attendees, but every continent except Antarctica was represented. So from my perspective, the idea that people attending school in upstate New York or Maryland or Florida or California are too different is like saying that white is just too different from ivory, cream or ecru.

          Maybe it’s just that I can’t perceive the differences Adam sees. Or that the differences are, to me, point of minutiae, not points of division. Regardless, I think it’s healthier and more productive to define the world not by our differences but by our similarities.

          Personally, I would define the Big Ten as a group of very good, large, (mostly) public universities, heavily involved in cutting-edge research. The commonality I see in the Big ten is our desire to educate ourselves, broaden our vision, study the world through research–in order to improve it.

          And while one could say Texas, as a state, is just too different–I can’t help but think of my uncle on his ranch and the punk clubs I used to frequent in my time in Chicago and see much greater differences, even though my uncle and I were both in the “midwest” footprint.

          Yes, Texas has its differences, but to me the University of Texas, along with schools like UCLA, Florida, Maryland, UNC, and Cal all share the same goal, the same view, the same purpose. They are, to me, the same sorts of institutions, irrespective of differences in geography, state history or vocational history. In comparison, focusing on the differences in people–seems, to me, almost tribal in outlook.

  47. Jeremy says:

    This shows how of the top 10 2 from B12 2 from B10 and 3 from Pac10. Now if the Pac10 can get either Colorado or Texas they can make a statement that they are number 1 in green techonology research. I think this side of research is important because their is alot of money for private and public funding for development. The elite USA research shcools will have to compete for the grants.

    I looked further in this Notre Dame recieved $18.5 million for 5 years for clean coal tenchnology from the federal gov. I think for expansion it may be the deciding point if they can show promise in this area.

    • Scott S says:

      Or…as the Big Ten already has two schools on that “green technology” list, if the Big Ten can get Colorado and Texas, the Big Ten could make that statement about being “greenest”.

      Personally, I view Texas as the biggest potential prize to add to the conference, and I wouldn’t want to encourage them to go to the Pac-10 when they could come to the Big Ten.

    • Scott S says:

      As for Notre Dame’s research grant, I’m not sure if that would be the deciding factor between it and my preferred school, Texas, as Texas received similar money from the DOE at the same time as Notre Dame. (As did Michigan, Purdue, Northwestern and Penn State among several others.) But it does help Notre Dame’s research profile.

  48. c says:

    Re: regional rivalries-Big10 network-dilution-expansion

    The Big 10 has a coherence of geography and institution type, dominant large state schools, that makes it a successful conference.

    The Big 10 network is the new wild card that challenges what in the past might have been perceived expansion targets.

    What the Big 10 decides may end up being compromises based on the desire of “midwest” oriented schools vs schools that are concerned with the negative impact of expansion and hence dilution of games against existing rivals and conference members vs members who may want to take a first mover, strategic goal of maximizing reveenues and expanding markets.

    All these factors and more including the suitability of candidate schools as contributing CIC members makes this a very complex and interesting situation.

    Facts are being gathered and revenue projections but I doubt the decision makers in the Big 10 right now have formed a concensus beyond wanting to evaluate their options.

    Probably the options will only become clear as the direct negotiating process begins with “primary targets” after an internal Big 10 concensus is determined.

    If after direct negotiations begin, and Texas seems out and ND is maybe or hesitant, although the safe prediction is the Big 10 adds one school for a playoff game, I’ve come to the view that the Big 10 may well decide to go after a continguous northeast market that targets RU, SU and possibly Pitt or UConn to lock up these markets even if ND is not included.

    (In conclusion, subject to change based on the next rumor, I doubt Maryland or BC are leaving the ACC and now doubt Texas will join the Big 10 and ND may or may not join.

    If ND has any sense they should either join the Big 10 or the ACC and secure their future. Whether they require one or more partner schools is another variable. If they do, they may end up in the ACC with a large number of smaller size schools, including 4 private schools. I doubt the ACC would go beyond 14 even with ND so this becomes another interesting wild card.

    • Richard says:

      Don’t know why you doubt Maryland & BC would leave. I guess Maryland has its basketball rivalries, but BC doesn’t have much attachment to the ACC, and the money’s better in the Big10. The only other thing I can think of is that BC doesn’t want to join a conference of research schools (though Maryland undoubtedly would be happy to). In any case, if the Big10 goes to 14 without ND, Texas, or Maryland, it’s likely be RU, SU, and Mizzou. Pitt & UConn would be bring too few TV viewers to make sense, and this way, the western members get something out of expansion as well.

      • Rick says:

        Richard: you think they will go for Mizzou over Nebraska?

        • Richard says:

          As a fan, I’d much prefer Nebraska over Mizzou, but I think they’ll go for the certainty of new cable subscribers over the uncertainty of how much value Nebraska’s greater national appeal will deliver. Of course, this is all conjecture; when the candidates are this close, it will in all likelihood be determined by a mixture of personal connections, narrow self-interest (of the Big10 schools), and what promises the candidates will make (about improving academics and other stuff), none of which we know anything about.

          • Patrick says:

            @Richard – “a mixture of personal self interest”

            Interesting thought, and something that I had not thought of. So I checked…..

            MINN AD Maturi – ND Grad 67′
            OSU AD Smith – ND Football & Coach
            PSU President Spanier – Former Chancellor at Nebraska
            WIS AD Barry Alverez – Nebraska Grad / Football – Former ND assistant coach – well known relationship with Nebraska AD Tom Osborne

            Those are the only connections I found with any of the schools being tossed about. Maybe not so strangely 3 ND connections / 2 NU connections.

          • @Patrick – Here are some connections going the other way:

            Missouri Chancellor Deaton – PhD Wisconsin
            Syracuse Chancellor Cantor – Former Chancellor at Illinois
            Pitt Chancellor Nordenberg – JD Wisconsin

      • c says:

        Re: Maryland and BC (Richard)

        With respect to Maryland, my impression is they feel affinity with public schools like UVA and UNC and the other schools in ACC. I also expect Miami and FSU to return to their history of fielding highly competitive teams.

        While the Big 10 money is far greater than the ACC payout, my sense is the conference remains stable and attractive and therefore affinity may play a bigger factor than simply dollars. However, the CIC may be a critical variable and perhaps Maryland should be considered a possible candidate.

        The other question I have is whether Maryland alone can carry the DC market if UVA and VT are dominant in Virginia and Maryland fields an average team.

        Put another way, the ACC owns the DC market because they have 3 regional schools in that geography. Adding Maryland in and of itself is not a great guarantee in my opinion.

        The key is the package of adds and the markets being targeted.

        Somehow I believe ND is going to end up joining a conference to secure their long term future. The question is which conference they choose.

        With respect to BC, I simply don’t believe they are going to be offered for reasons cited in my prior post unless the Big 10 wants to expand to 16 which I doubt and wants to strategically blanket the northeast. There might be a logic to such a move, but the politics of getting a “mid-west” based conference of large state schools to expand to BC would be another question.

        Until the Big 10 reaches a preliminary internal consensus and actually begins to talk to various schools, it is hard to know what options are going to end up being considered.

    • PSUGuy says:

      The more I think about it Texas would prefer to be the big fish in a small pool and ND just isn’t smart enough to join a conference (I speak to their alumni mind you).

      If the Big10 could pull down Rutgers, Syracuse, and Maryland for an “East Coast push” that would be a big win in my book. Sure ESPN and the talking heads would call it a “weak” expansion since there’s no big names in football, but the schools in mention are no slouches in athletics and have top notch academics. Add in the television households and the alumni base and you’re looking at literally millions of dollars for the schools while adding solid “depth” to the conference.

  49. johnnyy the boy says:

    I’m BC guy & native NYer and I too find the posts questioning BC’s academics funny – when I got admitted it was statistically the hardest school to be admitted to in the country, surpassing Yale. In NY, NJ, Conn, BC is a very coveted institution by high schoolers, basically BC and NYU compete for most desired school in the region every year. If it’s graduate chops that matter, arguably BC is tops in philosophy and theology, rep-wise. BC also has made great strides in graduate chemistry too. But make no mistake, BC is priority-one undergrad focused, and we all like it that way.
    That said, I agree with Frank – all you have to do is pass the smell test and for the B11, BC does. Expansion isn’t about academics, it’s about sports revenue. BC continually draws very well on TV in the northeast and would do better in a big ten conf, I believe, since the ACC has erred by not making BC-Miami and annual matchup. I do think hockey is an odd duck – it has a very hard-core following, and I question if BC would leave hockey east for a big10 league- after all, we’re competing for the national championship every year already now.
    Anyway, expansion is about TV. BC does very well, has a long very good football tradition and it’s a heck of a nice autumn roadtrip for the RV crowd.

    • mushroomgod says:

      I disagree that expansion will not be about academics as well as TVs.

      No doubt BC is a great school, BUT….

      The Big 10 schools are all huge research institutions…these are huge public institutions with 40000 students…that is their identity. NW, the only private school, still has an enrollment of 19000 and gathers huge research dollars…..

      ND, BC, and Syracuse do not fit this profile. All “belong” in the ACC as far as “fit” is concerned. Because of geography and tradition, ND makes more since in the Big 10, but the same considerations do not apply to BC and Syracuse.

      No BC or Syracuse in the Big 10……

      • @mushroomgod – I see the concern with BC as not being an academic fit (although my hunch is that the Big Ten university presidents find them academically acceptable regardless of the lack of graduate programs), but I don’t think that’s the case with Syracuse. Even though it’s a private school, it’s fairly large where it feels more like a flagship (it has about 50% more undergrad students than Northwestern), has AAU membership and has strong ties to the public SUNY system in terms of research collaborations. (This is where Syracuse’s research abilities might be understated since some of its work could be credited to SUNY institutions.) The state of New York really doesn’t have a true flagship university, so Syracuse has taken on that de facto role despite its private status. I think that Syracuse would fit pretty well in the Big Ten (at least as much as a private school in the Northeast could be).

    • Scott S says:

      I may have been the most outspoken on this board discussing BC’s academics. Yet, although this is the fourth time on this page I have expressly stated that BC is a very good school, and I haven’t read any comments where someone has disparaged the school, somehow the BC grads on the board have found reason to take exception. So I’ll apologize if I haven’t made adequately clear that I feel BC is an excellent school.

      However, being an excellent school doesn’t mean there aren’t differences. For example, 1) BC is a Catholic, Jesuit school. I’m guessing almost every BC student finds this an important distinguishing characteristic. Yet every single Big Ten school is secular. 2) BC is not a small school, but most Big Ten schools are quite large in comparison. 3) My biggest qualm is that BC does little in the way of research. Their total was under $36 million in total research in 2006. In comparison, research is the emphasis of the Big Ten schools, on the order of $7 billion per year. Yes, BC has strong graduate departments in theology, philosophy (also, as has been pointed out law and nursing). But none of those departments does significant research. In fact, BC would have to increase its research ten-fold to reach the levels of the lower end of the Big Ten schools and over twenty-fold to reach the levels of the higher end of the Big Ten.

      So yes, BC is a great school. Their focus is just different from that of the Big Ten schools.

      Will the Big Ten operate by the so-called “smell test”? None of us can really speak for the Big Ten, but maybe it will. I kind of think there might be more to it than that, but we’ll see.

      Is this possible expansion just about sports? That’s certainly a driving force. Maybe the only driving force. But I would think that there are voices in the Big Ten that would like to see any new affiliations enhance the research capabilities of the existing Big Ten schools, the budget of which is many times that of the athletic budget. Hence, I rather think any new schools would have to hit both criteria. But I don’t speak for the Big Ten or any university, so what do I know? I guess we’ll see.

      So while I don’t see BC as a good fit, again, it’s a fine school indeed.

  50. Vincent says:

    (In conclusion, subject to change based on the next rumor, I doubt Maryland or BC are leaving the ACC and now doubt Texas will join the Big 10 and ND may or may not join.

    Maryland officials won’t openly court the Big Ten, but they’re certainly interested — the money from Big Ten membership would dwarf what it currently gets from the ACC. They are being very discreet in College Park, based upon what happened with ACC expansion in 2003 and the likely outcry from some in the fanbase who are overly obsessed with the Duke basketball rivalry.

  51. Terry says:

    You know, by now I haven’t a clue what “will” happen.

    But I would LIKE the B10 to get a growth school, not a fading one. Big 10 football is fading due to National demographics and changes in communications and TV. Texas is a growth school. ND is not. And the other are WAAY not.

    At the end of the day, the BTN has been amazingly well run and is a bright spot. Let’s not go back to ho-hum.

    I am not confident, but we will see…

  52. Jeepers says:

    Assuming the Big Ten goes to 14 (not 16) I don’t think there is any rush to go after BC. They are such an oddball in the ACC, that I could see them leaving even if the ACC were to start making (slightly) more money than the Big Ten. Can just pick them up later, if need be.

    I like to look at these expansion things way down the road. Sure, you could throw teams like Missouri/ND/Syracuse into the Big Ten and if you squinted your eyes really hard you might almost think they’ve been there all along. What’s that really solve? Is the conference more competitive? Maybe. Does it expand the footprint? A little.

    Point being, the more I read about this expansion, the more I’m liking the idea of a 16 team conference. You achieve two things. 1) PSU finally makes sense in the Big Ten and 2) You go from a Midwest conference to a Midwest and Northeast conference. I’m not going by scheduling–can worry about that later. Most important, right now, is to get some teams that “fit.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if ND is telling the Big Ten they want to join, but need help (killing the BE) convincing the alums.

    I don’t know how many of you have actually been to Rutgers, but they sure don’t feel like a Big Ten school to me. Sure, on paper maybe. This is no knock on Rutgers. I’m saying that adding them, alone, just turns them into another oddball PSU (albeit a PSU without all the PSU wins). I think you really need to just lock up the whole northeast.

    With 16 teams, I think you do go after Rutgers, Syracuse, and ND. That leaves two spots.

    1. BC can suffer in the ACC for all I care (thanks for explaining the Syracuse “snub” much better than I could, Rick).
    2. UConn is late to the party.
    3. Maryland may be too entrenched in the ACC.
    4. Pitt bad market.

    Of those 4, I like Pitt and UConn. Or BC.

    While the CIC and research talk has been very informative, I think you guys are focusing a little too much on the details. This is a sports expansion, and as long as the school is passable in academics and research, they’ll be okay. There are no PSU-like homeruns this time around.

    Re: Syracuse, research, and SUNY. I’m no expert on the money aspect, but I can add that there is a SUNY ESF (environmental science and forestry) directly next to SU. They basically share all the resources and benefits as an SU student. Dorms, cafeterias, graduation ceremonies. Stuff like that. Might not mean much, but at least there is *some* SUNY connection.

    I still stand by my belief that Texas is off the table, and possibly never was on the table. I don’t know about you guys, but I could easily see a school like Texas leaving the Big Ten 20 years down the road (going independent, or forming/joining a new conference). Can you imagine how embarrassed the Big Ten would be in a situation like that?

    And I think people mentioning Florida/USC/etc are crazy. At least wait for some rumors to surface before you go mentioning stuff like that.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Jeepers–Haven’t been to Rutgers. Why doesn’t it “feel” like a Big 10 school to you?

      • Jeepers says:

        @mushroomgod I associate the Big Ten with schools that define the city they’re in. Ann Arbor says UM. Champaign says Illinois. Columbus says OSU. New Brunswick is basically urban sprawl. The only reason I ever went to New Brunswick was to take some classes, and to go to the humongous strip malls. You’ve made it clear you hate Syracuse, but they certainly define the city they’re in. There is a lot of Orange pride in the city of Syracuse.

        Just FYI, as someone who grew up in NJ, I always tell people that NJ can be split at the Raritan River (which Rutgers straddles). North of the Raritan the population is much more dense. South of the Raritan is where you’ll start to see the more quaint towns.

        Funny side note, if you remember the 3 nipple scene in Mallrats, that was right near Rutgers in what used to be the US1 Flea Market! Heh.

        Again, just my own personal feeling. I think the “feel” of the Big Ten needs to be redefined to make a school like Rutgers fit. Which is why I think you need more Northeast schools to come with them.

        • Jeepers says:

          Also meant to add. I’ve said that the tri-state area likes winners. I don’t think the college football market sucks because we aren’t interested. We’ve just been kind of locked out of exciting football. If schools like OSU and Michigan came around more, I think we’d pick up in interest.

          I remember when PSU joined the Big Ten. There was a lot of excitement in the media. But to be honest, I haven’t really heard much about them since then. It’s one thing if area teams are playing PSU, but when you consider sport-following NYers despise places like Boston and Philly, PSU might as well be in Alaska.

  53. johnnyy the boy says:

    @Scott S., just defending BC, I don’t think you’re being out of line in your arguments.
    A couple of more wildcards re. BC to chew on – JoePa coached BC’s coach Frank Spaziani, and since Spaz was made HC JoePa has discussed adding BC back to its sked (at least a home and home). BC also is closely knit with the Red Sox, which are looking to build a marketing company with BC as its main focus (besides the Sox, of course). That in turn, means an agreement with NESN, the regional sports network the Sox own. Lastly, the original Big East football formation shows the dangers of adding schools you hope/expect will become competitive by being in a bigger/better conference – Temple was expected to be the Philly power once it joined with the BE, but instead it stunk and got kicked out. Would the BigTen really want to chance Navy, which even though it has had success of late Army has mulled dropping div. 1 football in recent years?
    Circling back to academics — I honestly don’t see the research argument here being an impediment – it is not as if a grad student at OSU wanted to use resources at BC they would be denied today anyway. I think only the Ivies actually bar researchers from other institutions with any regularity (but I could be wrong). BC is a member of the Boston Consortium, which is every library in the Boston area (but Harvard) and has agreements with MIT for engineering programs and UC-Dublin in Ireland for certain humanities programs. BC also has a very influential research arm in its School of Social Work on financial planning and retirement, which just got a huge federal grant. My point being, BC may be undergrad focused, but it does have notable graduate programs and draws students from a ll 50 states and 30 or so countries. Also, BC is in the midst of nearly doubling its campus by adding a seminary it bought adjacent to its Chestnut Hill campus, providing room for more fascilities. BUT – I believe all of those matter little, b/c expansion is about football, which in turn is about TV ratings/money. ESPN? was thrilled with the ratings for the Emerald Bowl this year – and it was east coast driven
    I couldn’t find the comment about BC snubbing Syracuse, but if it’s about ACC admission, it was the Virginia governor who forced out ‘cuse and demanded VaTech in its place. In the end the ACC felt BC brought more to the table. Syracuse and BC have made up anyway, ‘Cuse is back to being BC’s regular end of season rivalry game, starting next year.

    • Scott S says:

      Actually, your comment about BC’s purchasing a seminary (or portion thereof), is interesting. For instance, from what I can see online, the buildings are to be used for the School of Theology and Ministry, the university’s Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and online programs of the Church in the 21st Century Center. See To my mind, spending a good sized chunk of money to expand it’s theology department makes BC sound LESS like a Big Ten school–not more.

  54. Vincent says:

    This talk about Navy to the Big Ten is absurd unless the conference alters more than a century of policy and allows football-only members. You want the DC market for the Big Ten? You bring in Maryland (probably not as the 12th member but as part of a 14-team scenario). Case closed.

  55. mushroomgod says:

    To follow-up the “dilemma” post above….even just going to 12 is a problem. Rutgers would seem to be the obvious choice, but it’s location 3 hours east of PSU, plus it’s medocre sports history makes everyone hesitant….imagine the ego test when 75% of the sports world says “You took RUTGERS? This is it??” That’s why, regardless of the TV set factor, I still think there’s a decent chance the 12th team would be Pitt…..

    As to ND, are they really worth screwing with if you have to expand the way THEY want to expand, and you have to drag all of their administrators/fans/alums in kicking and screaming? Do you really want to listen to that for the next 10 years?

    • Richard says:

      Eh, who cares about their fans. It’ll just make beating them more satisfying.

      As for expansion, I think 14 or 16 with ND makes more sense. Adding Pitt as just the 12th school wouldn’t make sense in terms of TV money, and money trumps ego.

    • @mushroomgod – I agree with the first part about the “ego test” if Rutgers is the only school invited. It makes financial sense in theory (which is the #1 factor), but if the Big Ten wanted Rutgers alone, they could’ve been added many years ago. I know my reaction would be, “That’s what we’ve been waiting for all of these years?!” There are lots of scenarios where Rutgers fits in very well in a 14-school conference, yet I think most people in Big Ten country would be blue balled (for lack of a better term) if that was the single move.

      I’d still be completely shocked if it was Pitt as team #12, though. Pitt is a great all-around fit in the traditional conference structure, but it’s not as if though it’s a national headline-grabber, either – they’re simply the conservative solid option for the conference. If maximizing revenue is the primary goal of expansion (and I think everyone from the Big Ten has actually been pretty clear that’s the case), then I just can’t see Pitt being included. Notre Dame or a small market/national name like Nebraska would at least bring the prospect of some new TV sets nationally and/or raise subscriber rates in the current footprint, but Pitt just doesn’t have that kind of pull outside of its home market.

      Once again, I hate sounding so down on Pitt because I emotionally like that school on so many levels, yet they simply don’t bring value to the Big Ten Network (which is the single biggest source of additional revenue for the conference from expansion). In essence, Pitt is a great asset to any conference… as long as that conference doesn’t already have Penn State. The only chance that Pitt has to get into the Big Ten is in a 14-school scenario (and I still think that’s slim). If there is any justice, Pitt will eventually find a home in the ACC where what they bring to the table can be maximized and utilized in a way that the Big Ten can’t.

    • Also, re: ND – I think that’s a fair point about hearing ND complain about conference membership in perpetuity. No one wants to hear that. That being said, anytime that you’re dealing with a party that has a lot of leverage, then it’s going to be a give and take. The schools that bring the most value, like ND and Texas, are going to have some prima donna attitudes. Still, the Big Ten is filled with alpha dogs like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, too, so there are some checks and balances there. There’s a very long list of schools that would willingly beg and assimilate to get into the Big Ten, but the problem is that those schools wouldn’t add anything. I don’t think that the Big Ten has waited all of these years to expand simply to find a school or multiple schools that are convenient and will not b*tch and moan – like I’ve said, the Big Ten could’ve added all of those schools a long time ago. The schools that are worth the time to go after are going to be harder to get. I think there’s a good chance that the Big Ten has decided that dominating the East Coast in a 14-school league is the main strategy (and believe me, I began this process thinking that there was NFW that the Big Ten would move past 12 schools), which means that the conference actually wants to pursue a course that aligns with what would force ND to join.

      • Mike R says:

        I think Penn State — even though it was bringing a lot to the Big 10 — did not come into the conference as a prima donna. Bryce Jordan, while he was committed to doing the best thing for PSU, understood that his school would become a part of the league as an equal and not a specially-privileged member.

  56. loki_the_bubba says:

    Regardless of what happens over the next eighteen months, these hundreds of pages of well thought out posts, arguments and counter-arguments should give everyone an insight into how difficult it will be to come to a conclusion that will satisfy a majority of the school presidents, much less the entirety of any given fan base. Balancing athletics, academics, revenue, tradition, geography, and scheduling is a herculean task. There is no right answer. There is no wrong answer. Just infinite shades of gray.

    OK, there IS one hard fact. My school, Rice, will be left out again…

  57. Playoffs Now! says:

    If the B10+ wants Texas right now, they’ll have to take aTm and TTech. You are competing with basically the status quo and the P10, and apparently UT sees both as preferable right now. They don’t want to be an isolated outpost with aTm and have significantly reduced influence compared to what they have right now or think they could get in the P10. (In fact UT’s current stance might even be to include OU.) That doesn’t leave much room to lure ND, who may hold out unless the BEast is gutted. Taking just Rutgers or Syracuse or Pitt may not be enough.

    And the B10+ would be foolish to first add a marginal school on the hopes it would trigger conference collapse and force a hesitant target to join, certainly not when Texas has at least 2 realistic competing options to the B10+. Given the higher population, they would probably be wise to go for a ND+Rut+Syr/MD/BC/Pitt expansion (or perhaps ND+Rut+MO if they are confident ND is enough to close the deal on NYC cable access and can live with MO not being a successful lure for the Texas schools.) At 14 that still gives them the option of chasing Texas and aTm in a second expansion round if the P10 and B12 options for UT don’t pan out.

    Bottom line, unless the B10+ is ok with a UT+aTm+TT+ND+Rut/MD/Syr, and that is a package ND will go for, they are probably going to have to settle for getting just one or two of the Texas, ND, Northeast Strategy targets. Any one of those three will still be a good expansion for the B10+.

  58. Theta says:

    To follow up on some of the Texas talk. Texas doesn’t want to have it’s name out here on blogs or in the news with other leagues expansion talk. They have political considerations to deal with so no chatter helps. Everything we hear publically from them will most likely be a smoke screen. As a Texas alum the talk of bringing Texas Tech is a joke.

    I doubt the Big10 will make a move to invite a school like Rutgers, Sryacuse or Neb/mizzou unless they have confirmation from the true targets, Texas & ND that they will come. How the process unfolds will be orcastrated to provide the nessacary cover.

    Hopefully CO going to the PAC10 happens this summer and this thing gets going.

    • Playoffs Now! says:

      Not a joke at all. Texas wants to bring multiple teams with them because it is in their interest to do so. More regional schools that share interests/needs/views when it comes to conference votes. Regional schools that reduce travel costs and related issues, plus political factors and the related financial issues. Of course there can be a trade-off between revenue and the number of schools UT brings.

      You may consider it a smokescreen, but it is consistent with Power’s statements the last few years, long before B10+ expansion talk. He’s been pushing for the state to have more Tier One schools and that TT and UH should be two of those fast-tracked to such status. For a couple of years now there has also been back room talk among the local sportswriters that UT was contemplating bringing in UH and maybe TCU and realigning the B12.

      Being the big fish in a somewhat smaller pond has worked out well for UT. Being just another big fish among several big fish in their faraway pond may not be in Texas’ best interest. Right now UT appears to be exploring various options in between those two extremes. Taking a few schools, a decent chunk, or perhaps the entire B12 with them in any combo might be in their best interest, depending on plenty of variables.

      • Justin says:

        Texas is more likely to end up in the PAC 10 then the Big 10 if Texas Tech, Houston or Oklahoma are part of the package.

        As I’ve said before, a strong case can be made that the Big 10 presidents prefer Texas over ND, despite past overtures to the Irish. However, the Big 10 presidents far prefer the potential traveling partners of ND — Pitt, Cuse, Rutgers — then the traveling partners of Texas — OU, TTU, Houston (exception of Texas A*M).

  59. M says:

    Not sure what to make of this story. It says that the Pac-10 is looking to see if they can play a championship game without expansion.

    Personally, I do not think that a championship game would that big of gain for the Pac-10 schools (too far spread apart, not enough support) but it would be a fairly easy boost even if it is slight.

    This leak could also be posturing of course.

  60. M says:

    Pac-10 says that it might try to play a championship game without expanding.

    Personally, I do not think that a CCG would be a great asset for the Pac-10 (fanbases too spread apart), but it would be an easy boost.

    Of course, this leak might be pure posturing.

    • @M – I saw this story today. I’m probably going to write a blog post based off of this (not just about the title game itself, but what it means for Pac-10 expansion in general and how it could effect the Big Ten’s plans).

      • M says:

        I’m curious as to what it means myself. Does this mean they are giving up? Did they talk to Colorado and get the cold shoulder? Did they decide that there wasn’t a legitimate 12th school to try? Is this a way to only add 1 school and still have a CCG? Are they so handcuffed by the unanimous rule that this is all they can do? Did Colorado ask for money or help with the leaving fees for the Big XII and the Pac-10 said no? Did Powers leave Ralphie’s decapitated head somewhere on campus?

        I just cannot see this path as solving any of the problems that forced them to address expansion in the first place.

      • Jake says:

        Too bad this wasn’t an option back in ’03, or BC might still be in the Big East.

    • Adam says:

      Some of the comments in this story are downright weird.

      “‘That’s a possibility,’ Scott said. ‘Initially, it doesn’t make much sense but I’ve had a couple of conversations …’
      “Scott added there could be a ‘logic gap’ in such a move.”

      Isn’t it a red flag if you’re calling into question your own idea?

      “I do think our conference is very well laid out for the possibility of a network. While we don’t have as many states or the population, let’s say, of the Big Ten, there’s logic to the way our conference is laid out.”

      ??? What does this even mean? The conference is “well laid out”? Does he mean 5 different pairs of schools? What does this have to do with a network? Was this just free association day at the Pac-10 Conference?

      The photo selected to accompany the article may just be unfortunate, but it seems consistent with what seem to me like oddly uncertain and confused comments coming from the Commissioner.

      Also: I continue to think (although I may be proven wrong) that if the UT-OU-TTU debacle could not induce change in the 12-team rule, nothing will. Not to mention that I would not anticipate the FCS teams going along with something that will mostly benefit the FBS schools. They’re annoyed by the FBS schools hogging all the attention (they felt that the I-A/AA labels subordinated them unfairly), and making it easier to stage high-profile CCGs doesn’t seem consistent with their grievances.

      • Richard says:

        I think it just comes down to 2 things about the Pac10:
        1. They desperately want to increase their TV dollars.

        2. They have no good way to get there. Adding Colorado+Utah (or BYU or Nebraska) won’t do it. Adding UT+TAMU would, but it looks like Texas wants to brings it’s posse and/or start its own network, and likely would demand so much through unequal revenue sharing that the net gain to the existing members would be minimal anyway. No one else is close enough.

  61. Patrick says:

    Frank and others,

    First off, congrats on a terrific blog and some very intelligent posters. Everyone seems very hung up on ‘Acedemic Standing’ as a qualifier for entry to the Big 10. I would argue that from a financial standpoint, and an 11+1=13 standpoint that entry has much more to do with acedemic research. All of the Big 10 Universities + University of Chicago are part of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Meaning they all SHARE RESEARCH, and that is HUGE $$$$$. Most Big 10 universities spend roughly 5 to 10 times more on research than they make on athletics. While the undergraduate ranking may be important, I think it is much more important to concentrate on what kind of graduate research the potential university is doing and how much they are spending. If Wisconsin spends $832 million and Michigan spends $809 million on acedemic research each year, do they really want to share that data with Notre Dame that only spends $77 million? Quid pro quo. The university presidents know that each university has good and bad undergrads, the question is how impressive are the graduate programs, how much money do they spend on research, and how would that help my university?

    • Patrick says:


      I think Big 10 goes to 14…. Nebraska, Pittsburgh, and Missouri.

      Iowa – Minnesota – Wisconsin – Northwestern – Illinois – Nebraska – Missouri

      Purdue – Indiana – Michigan – Michigan St. – Ohio St. – Penn St. – Pitt

      Natural rivals, balanced, can’t wait!

    • omnicarrier says:

      “Meaning they all SHARE RESEARCH, and that is HUGE $$$$$.”

      They do not share the $$$, they share resources. And if being part of the CIC means more federal $$$, then why does Pitt and others outpace PSU in terms of federal grant $$$ awarded? Not to mention several schools far exceeded IU in federal research grant monies.

      The CIC is a great organization but far too many message board fans put too much weight on it. ND realized very quickly in 1999 that the resources of the CIC would be great for the faculty, but it really wasn’t going to increase their research grant monies significantly.

      It’s one of the reasons why the faculty were overruled by the admin and the Irish chose not to join back then.

      • Patrick says:

        You are correct, they are sharing resources and trading research data…. not cash. I don’t believe that being in the CIC increases your federal grant money, that has to do with research proposals. But if you invest $800 million each year, and generate $800 million worth of reseach results, data, labs, techniques, etc. Why share that information with a university that only spends 1/10th of what you do? That is why ND is not an AAU member. Make no mistake, these large public research universities look at that research (patents, discoveries, Nobel prizes) as their main products.

        Pitt is an outstanding research university, but so is Penn State. Again being in the CIC isn’t going to increase your $$$$ but it will increase your information and techniques…. which translates later to prestige and $$$$.

  62. Jake says:

    Richard – you beat me to it. Guess I should refresh from time to time.

  63. omnicarrier says:

    For those wondering why BC might be given some consideration, all one has to do is look at the regional cover maps that are still available for the ABC 3:30 games where a Big Ten match-up went head-to-head with an ACC match-up.

    Of the 33 times this happened where I could still find the coverage map, the ACC match-up was shown in Boston 23 times even though only 6 of those 23 games actually had BC playing.

    Also, over the past three years, the ACC match-up is being shown in NYC much more often than it had in the past. In the first two years of BC being in the league, the ACC match-up got NYC over the Big Ten 3 times. Over the past three years it’s been Big Ten – 12, ACC – 9, match-up of Top 10 teams outside of both leagues 3 times.

    This is why expansion eastward is going to happen for the Big Ten, not westward.

    The Big Ten needs to decide what it wants to claim as its own. My gut is telling me it will want to lock up NY and NJ if at all possible – which is why the strategy will be ND, SU, and RU.

  64. NDx2 says:

    While I only speak for myself, I think I can give you some insight as to what is going on with Notre Dame.
    1) There is a strong divide between the majority of alumni and the ND administration and faculty, which has been the case since at least 1999. The alumni rose up — I think somewhat to the shock of the admin at the time — and forced the admin’s hand even though the admin wanted to join the Big Ten and the faculty senate had voted overwhelmingly to do so. Ever since then, the admin has been about the task of paving the way for this to occur . . . and I think it has had some effect. While I think the same overall opposition among alumni exists, I also think there is more of a sense of resignation at this point.
    2) The reason ND (admin/faculty, not alumni) wants to join the Big Ten has nothing to do with athletics or money and has everything to do with academics. They want AAU membership and believe that joining the Big Ten is the surest path to that. Conversely, alumni by and large couldn’t care less about that and, instead, want to preserve the things that make ND unique, which has absolutely nothing do with generating millions of dollars of research funding and everything to do with playing a national football schedule, winning a lot more than we lose, and graduating players with non-kinesiology degrees.
    3) To the average alum, the WORST conference affiliation would be joining the extant Big Ten as the 12th and final member. Most of the reasons have been well stated here. We have little in common with all but Northwestern (and the University of Chicago if it is included), and are far less research oriented than any Big Ten school. There is a lot of unresolved historical animosity to the Big Ten going back to the Rockne days when we were blackballed and forced to go it alone, due in large part to the anti-Catholicism of Yost and Crisler . . . which we did. But most importantly — and this one hasn’t been discussed here — is that joining the extant Big Ten immediately changes us overnight from a national program to a regional, northern Midwest program. It conceivably does grave damage to our recruiting base, and marginalizes us to the rest of the country. Consider, for example, that after PSU’s bowl win this year, Joe Pa complained that nobody west of the Mississippi knew who his senior QB was. Why was this?
    4) Adding BC to the mix does nothing for ND. In my personal opinion — and on this I might part ways with some of my fellow alums — the only thing that would make the Big Ten materially more palatable would be for Texas and A&M to also join. For lack of a better description, that “smells” like a different Big Ten than exists now and obviously would enlarge the conference’s footprint substantially. What I have no feel for, though, is whether the admin cares enough about our football legacy to condition our capitulation to the Big Ten on something as consequential as that. I suspect not, but I truly don’t know.

  65. Vincent says:

    The Pac-10 dissolving wouldn’t be that unprecedented. In the late 1950s, its predecessor, the Athletic Association of Western Universities, dossp;ved pver some intraconference squabbles. I could see it happening again, led by Southern Cal and UCLA, if Stanford tries to singlehandedly veto expansion.

  66. duffman says:

    here was a site that shows the numbers….

    in an earlier post i commented that the sec had better numbers.. as the big 10 is 2+2 (tOSU, PSU, Michigan, and a floater) and the sec is 4 + 4 (BAMA, UF, UT, LSU, UGA, and 3 floater’s). this means their are more “draw” games to choose from..

    which might explain the differential.. as the big 10 has the top 3, but the sec has better average #’s (sec @ 76,288 vs big 10 @ 71,769).. it also helps illustrate why the pac 10 and acc have bad tv contracts…

    in going back to frank’s 11 + 1 = 13 theory.. you really might have to add stadium size as a component.. BC’s capacity is around 40,000. nebraska is around double this number.. while i know everybody keeps talking tv revenue, you still need to create long term fans. if you never see it live (or tailgate) is your desire to view later as strong. ie.. going to a live game or games reinforces loyalty..

    what do you think?

    • Richard says:

      Depends on whether Rutgers or BC are willing to play some home games in their nearby NFL stadiums. We know Syracuse is willing to play in/around NYC.

      • Rick says:

        Rutgers would have no problem playing there. They have in the past and will again. What they have been hesitant to do is cave in to demands of Notre Dame for unequal home and away splits, as well as unequal splits on tickets, game revenue etc. when looking to play at The New Meadowlands. Rutgers refuses to be drawn into deals like that. Notre Dame is classic for that. If the games are conference play and it is treated as a home game that is a different story. I can foresee games in The New Meadowlands with OSU, UM, PSU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Texas, even Notre Dame (if they can treat others as equals) being a huge draw at the gate and on TV. Major attractions.

  67. Jeepers says:

    Totally random thing I thought of when I woke up this morning (feel free to point out the flaws here).

    I’ve said before that losing the Big East basketball tournament at MSG worries me for the NYC market. If the Big Ten were to expand with a lockdown on the Northeast, would it be possible to have a split conference bball tourney?

    The Big Ten West could play somewhere like Chicago. The Big Ten East could play at MSG. Then those winners meet somewhere like Indy to have the semi-final and final games.

    Problems I see are the existing BE contract with MSG. And NYC would only be a regional, not the focal point.

    Anyway, just an idea.

    • Adam says:

      This does remind me of something worthwhile. The Big East Tournament is, in my opinion, one of the really amazing events in sports. Like all conference tournaments, it is something of a sideshow to the NCAA Tournament a week later. Moreover, it is not implausible to think that it’s kind of a “meh” thing to do after you’ve played 10 weeks of conference games; doesn’t that sort out who the best team is? Yet the Big East Tournament almost always has some absolutely amazing basketball games get played. It’s a fun event to watch and I have absolutely no horse in that race. Meanwhile, the Big Ten Tournament is pretty blah every year. At one time, I felt that was because conference tournaments are just lame, but I feel like the Big East Tournament shows that if the Big Ten decided to really emphasize the tournament, it could be something special. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t winning the Big East Tournament kind of the primary goal for the conference portion of each school’s schedule? I think it would be pretty cool for the BTT to evolve into something like that, but it’ll require the league office and schools buying into the notion that the BTT is the big deal.

      • @Adam and Jeepers – The Big East Tournament is definitely a great event. Some of the “meh” feelings about the Big Ten Tournament are historical – it only started in the late 1990s and even then, the Big Ten regular season championship has always been what’s most important. Meanwhile, winning the ACC and Big East Tournaments are emphasized much more than winning the regular season titles. In particular, back in the days when each conference could only receive one bid to the NCAA Tournament, I believe that the ACC was the first conference to send the winner of a conference tournament as opposed to the regular season champ, which made those tournament games incredibly heated. Those were truly do-or-die games and that historical bad blood carries on to this day. Meanwhile, the setting at Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament is fantastic. It would be even better if St. John’s could get back on its feet again.

        • Adam says:

          Yeah Frank, I agree that the regular season title is what matters in the Big Ten. But I look at the Big East Tournament and think, should that continue to be what we emphasize? Because it’d be pretty sweet to have something as awesome as the Big East Tournament for our teams to be a part of. But that raises the next question: is that a perceptual change that anybody can actually make happen?

          • Richard says:

            Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I don’t think so. 18 games where you play most teams both home and away should matter more than a weekend of games.

          • Adam says:

            That is entirely logical, Richard, but it also cuts against the practice in virtually every sport of elevating post-season play over regular season play. The BTT is certainly a “postseason within a regular season” (FRE 805!), but the Big East seems to treat it like a typical postseason. In one sense, it’s illogical, but man, it sure is entertaining.

  68. Sportsman•24 says:

    Frank, excellent blog(s).
    All, excellent posts, mostly.

    While athletics & finances (including the BTN) have been the driving forces for BT expansion, I read that another consequence (intentional or not) is a desire to diversify the research done by the CIC. If that’s the case, then the COP/C will indeed have a different academic “smell test” than just solid undergraduate programs. I don’t remember where I read this, or if it’s accurate, but it’s something to consider. If this is the case, then the odds of schools like BC & SU are greatly diminished. I don’t believe this would affect ND, as they bring enough to the athletic side of the table to compensate. Also, I was wondering if ND did join tBT, could they be an athletics-only member? They would be an excellent compliment to UChi on the academics-only side. It would appease some Domers, in as much as they wouldn’t have to sacrifice their “beliefs”, for the sake of research.

    There isn’t a perfect candidate. Every institution has at least one flaw. There are some far-fetched institutions that are being thrown out there as candidates. I don’t believe tBT will reach any further west than NE, much less attempt to harm tP10 in any way. The BT has strong traditions, including their relationship with tP10. Also, I don’t think they’ll attempt to go southeast (ie: UF, FSU or UMia).
    I do think tBT will target tB12, tBE and/or the northern ACC schools.such as BC & MD.

    IMO, tBT has to verify whether or not UT will join.

    If UT says yes, then what? Will UT require/request that TAMU to be invited as well? (I don’t think they’ll even mention TTU, OU or others as UT will know that they are non-starters for tBT. Assuming UT & TAMU are a package deal, then tBT adds 1-3 of the following… ND, RU, SU, NU or MU.
    If UT says no, then they can become the Big T.E.N. (The Entire North) by taking 3-5 of the following… ND, RU, UConn, Pitt, SU, BC, MD, NU or MU.

    My preference would probably be UT, TAMU, ND, NU & Pitt. I think the population of TX and the Brand Value of ND & NU will offset the lack ot new TVs that comes with Pitt’s addition. I think Pitt fits on too many levels to leave them out.

    Sorry about the length… long-time reader, first-time poster.

    • omnicarrier says:

      “While athletics & finances (including the BTN) have been the driving forces for BT expansion, I read that another consequence (intentional or not) is a desire to diversify the research done by the CIC. If that’s the case, then the COP/C will indeed have a different academic “smell test” than just solid undergraduate programs. I don’t remember where I read this, or if it’s accurate, but it’s something to consider. If this is the case, then the odds of schools like BC & SU are greatly diminished.”

      Wouldn’t that then depend upon what research the Big Ten is not doing at all, or at least not doing significant work in?

      Not sure if any of this applies to that question but, there is a mistaken notion about SU that I think needs to be cleared up – it’s research monies are low not due to the quality of graduate research being done but moreso because much a lot of it is in the social science areas where the big $$$ is forthcoming. However, even that is beginning to change under Chancellor Cantor.

      SU is the lead institution for New York State’s Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy initiatives. SUNY ESF is located right on the same campus grounds and their students and our are basically the same – sharing classrooms, cafeterias, etc. SUNY ESF used to actually belong to SU. As did SUNY Upstate Medical with SU also has working arrangements with. Is the Big Ten already strong in this area?

      Or how about SU’s partnership with IBM on its new “Green” Data Center? The article attached is a little old since the Data Center is now operational and its research in regard to information security.

      Or how about SU’s Burton Blatt Research Institute for the Advancement of Persons with Disabilities – which most consider the premier organization of its kind globally included an unprecedented partnership with the World Bank in developing best practices in reducing poverty, inclusive education, and protection of human rights?

      btw, both the University of Iowa and University of Illinois are partners in BBI.

      How about the Maye Research Group at SU which this past July announced a partnership with the Brookhaven National Laboratory at SUNY Stony Brook?

      Or how about various research being done at SU’s top-rated Maxwell School in the areas of Public Affairs, International Policies, Aging, etc?

      Or the Center for Population Culture through another of SU’s top-rated schools – S.I. Newhouse with several different research centers under it?

      Or what about SU’s partnership with JPMorgan Chase?

      None of the above changes the fact that in terms of volume of research, SU doesn’t measure up to Big Ten institutions but in terms of offering diversity in research areas, I think SU may have that covered.

  69. Sportsman24 says:

    Re: omnicarrier on March 25, 2010 at 12:39 am; Idk where this post will end up, but…

    I didn’t know about SU’s research. Excellent points. I shouldn’t have generalized SU like that, as I have little/no knowledge about their type(s) of research. All apologies. Also, it’s interesting that the U’s of IA & IL are working w/ SU on a project. I wonder if that means anything.

  70. efhanesjr says:

    “The academics in the Big Ten supersede all other conferences.” Really…even the ACC? Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, I believe, are pretty equal to and definitely considered more academically ELITE than the combo of say Northwestern, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Minni. Big research schools in the Big Ten? No doubt. Great combo of big research and good academic reps? True. More elite from top to bottom than the ACC schools. No…..

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