Big Ten Division-palooza

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Big Ten, Sports
Tags: ,

As we pull away from the images tonight of people burning Jim Delany UNC jerseys all across the state of Ohio and on a day that BYU officially declared its independence in football,  joined the WCC for non-football sports and announced long-term deals with both ESPN and Notre Dame (with BYU killing off a self-termed “prenuptial agreement” with the WAC in the process, meaning that even Mormons know that it’s something that you need to have ‘cause when she leaves your ass, she’s gonna leave with half), the Big Ten has finally ended months of speculation by announcing the following division alignment:

Michigan State

Ohio State
Penn State

Michigan – Ohio State
Nebraska – Penn State
Michigan State – Indiana
Iowa – Purdue
Northwestern – Illinois
Minnesota – Wisconsin (EDIT – Oops on somehow forgetting this one initially. Badger fans were already pretty raw.)

Let’s put aside the fact that the Big Ten has ignored my advice and legions of fans across the country and then called up my 13-month old twins to punch in random letters on a Garmin system for the geography of this division split.  (On a side note, right when the Big Ten Network special about the divisions started, the twins simultaneously started screaming in sounds that I thought would only be possible if a hyena breeded with Mariah Carey.  As a result, I apologize in advance if my writing is a little punchy.)  Believe it or not, I don’t want to just be a hater that’s gonna hate.  In fact, there are a few positives as to how the divisions shake out:

(1) Maximum Marquee Matchups – When Jim Delany continuously harped on “competitive balance” as the main factor determining the divisions, that was really code for “We need to split up Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska evenly.”  Even though schools such as Iowa and Wisconsin have been quite strong performers on the field over the past 2 decades (making a KISS East/West split within, in my humble opinion, acceptably balanced) wasn’t as important as getting 2 of the 4 “marquee brands” into each of the divisions.  I still believe that Michigan – Ohio State would’ve been better off as a division game, but at least the Big Ten made the wise decision to continue to make that into the final game of the season.  The chances of a rematch in the championship game the week afterward is fairly weak (as Mr. SEC pointed out, cross-division rivals Alabama and Tennessee have never met in the SEC Championship Game) and even if it were to occur, the ESPN hype machine that makes Yankees – Red Sox Grapefruit League spring training games seem like Armageddon will run at full tilt.  I also don’t believe that there’s any chance that, in the event that both Michigan and Ohio State already have their division games clinched heading into their rivalry game, the teams will mail it in like playoff-bound NFL teams in week 17 because the bowl system and BCS ranking criteria (whether for the national championship game or at-large berths) demand that schools don’t take any week off.  Beyond that, the TV networks are going to be giddy over being able to broadcast Ohio State – Penn State, Michigan – Nebraska and Penn State – Nebraska.  Whatever you may think of the division alignments right now, there’s no doubt that all of us Big Ten fans (and more importantly, sports fans across the country) are tuning in for those matchups.

(2) Setup for the Illini Dynasty – I try not to be an Illinois homer here, but when I see 2 division annual games Indiana and Purdue and the cross-divisional preservation of the LOL Trophy game with Northwestern (OMFG I miss the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk), the Illini might actually make it to consecutive bowl games within the next 4 decades.  Will we fail despite being given a cupcake schedule (at least relative to other Big Ten teams), the largest alumni base of any school in the nation’s third largest market, and a prime recruiting location between Chicago and St. Louis?  Absolutely!  But, we can’t say that Jim Delany didn’t try to help a brother out.

(3) The Death of the Altoona Bowling League Trophy With a Lion Mold-a-Rama Pasted on the Side (AKA Land Grant Trophy) – YES, THAT TROPHY DESERVED TO DIE, AND I HOPE IT BURNS IN HELL!

Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t issues here.  For one, Wisconsin is going to put more miles on the road than the Barbasol truck driver.  Wisky has ended up being the only school that doesn’t have ANY current protected rival within its own division, lost the Heartland Trophy game with Iowa and aren’t getting the opportunity to start a natural annual rivalry with Nebraska.  At the same time, hearing that Iowa and Purdue would have a protected rivalry felt like one of those reveals at the end of “Dating in the Dark” where the guy finds out the girl he’s been hitting on all week has back hair.  (I have a preternatural love of all varieties of blind dating shows, just like all red-blooded American males.  Am I right?!  Hello?  Anyone?)  That matchup just sticks out badly.

Overall, I’m numb from the divisional alignment discussion, although I REALLY wish that I knew about the Big Ten Division Creator before today since it’s on the level of the NBA Trade Machine as a time waster.  (Never fear – there is also a Pac-10 Division Creator.)  Processing the division split over the course of the day (with the knowledge that the date of the Michigan – Ohio State game wouldn’t be moved), I’ve basically come to the conclusion that it could’ve been worse.  It still smacks of the gerrymandered divisions of the ACC, but at least the setup allows for a full slate of compelling games on paper.  Regardless, actual football games will be played tomorrow, so be sure to grab your Rotel and Velveeta.

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

(Image from mpopek’s Twitpic page)

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  1. schwarm says:

    Based on the map above, how about the “yin” and “yang” divisions?

    • m (Ag) says:

      That seems to be the best option. I’ve personally decided that’s what I’ll call them, regardless of their ‘official’ names.

      But can someone clarify for me, which division is ‘yin’ and which is ‘yang’?

      • spartakles78 says:

        It is black (yin) and white (yang), dark and light, male and female, downward and upward, etc. Remember each teardrop is not completely black or white. Each has a dot of the other color within (Madison & Evanston?). There is continual movement between the two energies. Today yin is the left and yang is on the right. Tomorrow, the Tao of the Big Ten…

  2. Ben says:

    I’m a Purdue fan and I wasn’t aware that Purdue and Iowa had a rivalry..

    • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:


      It looks like Iowa and Purdue have a rivalry as of 2011. We’ll have to come up with some trophy to play for…..maybe a Hawkeye sitting on top of a train locomotive,….drinking a boilermaker….

      • m (Ag) says:

        If you’re going to invent a trophy, you should call it the ‘Delany’.

      • Josh says:

        I like “The Empty Appointment Book.”

        Dear Boilermakers: I’m looking for an escort to the Big Ten Crossover dance. Are you free to hate me on a random Saturday in October?

        Dear Hawkeyes: Why yes, we do have that date free. It would be lovely to spit on you that day. Indiana had the only spittoon in the whole state, and they thoughtlessly keep lending it out to Michigan State.

      • Vincent says:

        Whatever the trophy is, it better damn well be black and gold.

    • M says:

      The trophy has to be Tupperware, cause Iowa and Purdue are the leftovers.

      • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:

        Tupperware? Empty Appointment Book? There are lot of comedians on this blog.

        No, seriously, you guys are clever and funny, that’s what keeps bringing me back to Frank the Tank’s blog.

        I can’t top your trophy suggestions for the new Purdue v. Iowa rivalry…..

        But, I understand that the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk isn’t being used anymore, maybe we could just appropriate the discarded trophy for the made up rivalry….it would still be better than the Land Grant Thing or the Governor’s Bell.

  3. Patrick says:

    I like the divisions. If UW would have the courtesy to move their Madison campus to Kankakee we could just call it Big Ten North & Big Ten South….. with the added advantage of a shorter drive for the 25,000 Chicago students in Madison.

    The schedules really tried to pit all of the big dogs against each other and the also-rans get a much easier road. I guess that’s one way to make everyone finish around .500. Competetive Balance?

    Does this schedule mean that in 2013 Nebraska gets the ‘other’ cross-divisional schools? Like Illinois, Indiana, Purdue instead of PSU, OSU, and Wisconsin for Home and homes? Awesome!

    • zek33 says:

      There’s no way they’re going to make it that unbalanced.

      It’d be unfair for Nebraska to have to rotate 2 years that are a maximum gauntlet every few years. Plus there’s an odd number of teams (5) rotating in the 2 rotatable spots, soon to be 3 spots.

      Even still, these schedules are just for the next 2 years, I don’t think they’ll have significant bearing on the future years in terms of which of the 2 the teams are playing.

      These schedules were set up to maximize Nebraska’s entrance as a made for TV event.

      • Patrick says:

        Agreed. Maximize the tv dollars. I can’t wait until the 9 game schedule in 2015. Only 2 teams that aren’t played…. maybe they can have 2 divisional permanant cross-overs and rotate the other 2 schools.

    • Vincent says:

      In 2013, this will start anew, as Wisconsin will go westward (where it belongs). PSU, OSU, Illinois, IU and Purdue will welcome two eastern newcomers, most likely Maryland and Rutgers. You’ll then see two years of an 8-game conference schedule, expanding to nine in 2015.

  4. jj says:

    I love that ugly ass trophy. Someday the sparties will hoist it. someday.

  5. jcfreder says:

    Frank, don’t give me another heart attack today – add in in the Wisconsin-Minnesota protected rivalry!

  6. Husker Al says:

    I’m happy with the divisions. KISS didn’t appeal to me from NU’s match-up perspective, but this strikes the right balance.

    I don’t even mind the brutal schedule for the first two years.

  7. aps says:

    Never like to see someone getting screwed and that is what has happened to Wisconsin. Just not right to split them from all of ite rivals and neighbors.

    From what Delany said, expansion will be reviewed in december. And if they expand east, maybe Wisconsin can go back to where it belongs in the west.

  8. jj says:

    By the way, rotel is a better product than barbasol.

    rotel is more honest. it’s all like, hey i am shitty cheese in a can and you can eat me watching football.

    barbasol is al like, hey you can shave with me and it won’t rip your face into hell. But that’s a lie. It’s like shaving with lava soap. Though lava does have other things going for it.

  9. greg says:

    Hawks last in the Northwest Airlines division.

    Welcome Huskers! See you Nov. 26, 2011!

  10. Monstrum says:


    Kick ‘em out and replace with Notre Dame, I say.

    (J/K,love you, Badgers.)

    • tt says:

      delany is clearly punishing Wisconsin for its poor choice in geographical placement in his master plan by taking away their rivals

      • Monstrum says:

        True story.

        In all seriousness though: Nebraska needed a rival, and Iowa was the obvious choice. So unless you want to keep the Wisc.-Iowa-Minn.-Neb. bloc in the same division, either Minn. or Wisc. has to split off. And if you’re going to put that bloc in the same division as Michigan (and therefore MSU), it becomes too strong with Wisconsin. You have to keep Minn. and boot the Badgers.

  11. bullet says:

    Given the TV driven #1 above splitting the 4 brands and then splitting IA/WI, IMO it was the best that could be done. Its not too strange (as would WI/MN in the barbasol division) that people can’t figure it out. Vandy is west of Auburn. So Wisconsin is NW of Northwestern. Don’t like their schedule on the last weekend. You really need to help the weaker programs at the end of the season so that they draw. MSU/NW, MN/IL and in bad years for both teams WI/PSU could be yawners even for the fans of the teams.

    And PSU is losing a legend. OSU is due for a downturn. Maybe that Minnesota game will be necessary for IL to win the Barbasol.

  12. Big Ten Jeff says:

    I alluded to this on the last post, and it’s really nice to see that (flying under the radar, cough, unintentionally) the Big Ten is dealing with its Illinois problem by paving the way for the Illini to get better (if only they’d get better) with a sweet schedule setup! ILL-INI!!!

    • Chas. says:

      What this means is that in the game of division alignment Ron Guenther straight up trounced Barry Alvarez. The Illini reclaim all our rivals (we even get Michigan the first two years) and the Badgers lose Iowa and Northwestern. Next step: actually winning on the field.

      Fearless prediction: with this division set-up, when the Big Ten title moves to its home in Chicago, the Illini will be the annual home team in the championship game at Soldier Field, until the rest of the league complains about the unfair advantage and moves it back to Indy just like the BTT.

      • @Chas. – FWIW, my understanding is that Ron Guenther has the tightest relationship of any Big Ten AD with Jim Delany. Guenther somehow is the longest-tenured AD in the conference.

        Also, I’m still peeved that the BTT was moved from the United Center. Let’s hope it rotates back when the current contract with Indy expires.

        • StvInIL says:

          Big ten Tourney? me to Frank. it was the best. Not that i mind it switching to Indi every couple of years, but not only was it a nice professional venue to see the games, the Illini own that Biatch. I even remember one woefully underachieving Illini team going to the finals and losing. but it was fun.
          Yeah, I’m an a NU football fan and an Illini BBall junkie.

  13. Jake says:

    Ahh, division alignments. What a nice problem for a conference to have. I’m going back to the Mountain West board now to wallow in the meltdown. You can almost taste the religious bigotry over there. Go Frogs.

    • M says:

      TCU fan? Why does your school keep destroying conferences (SWC, WAC, CUSA, MWC)?

      • Jake says:

        We just can’t help ourselves – we’re more toxic than AIG, apparently. And we’ve got our eyes on the Big East next.

        • bullet says:

          Someone pointed out all the conferences and teams TCU has left. I haven’t taken the time, but I suspect Idaho rivals them. Idaho even got the Pac 10 dissolved in the late 50′s (The 4 Cal schools and UW left, but eventually let the Oregon schools and WSU rejoin them-but not Idaho).

          • Vincent says:

            The conference you write of, the predecessor to the Pac-8/10/12, was actually named the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU), not to be confused with the American Association of University Women (AAUW). I don’t think it played a round-robin in football, and that Idaho rarely faced teams south of Oregon.

            I also believe at one time, the University of Montana was a member.

          • bullet says:

            Montana was a member, but they left in the 20′s.

          • M says:

            Idaho might be second in conference killing, but it’s not particularly close. Even if you count the Pacific Coast Conference and the WAC twice, Idaho still only has 4 kills in 60ish years (PCC, Big West, Wac x2). TCU has 4 kills in just over 15 years (SWC, CUSA, WAC, MWC).

  14. toddmz says:

    Thanks for the kind words about the Division Creators.

    Here’s the final divisions (final grade of 92 A+):,7,3,5,8,6|9,10,11,2,1,12

    Hopefully I can find some other fun timewasters to create in the future. Since conference expansion never ends, you’ll probably see more of these in the future.


  15. jj says:

    Here’s something from Mandell. Big Jim had it right at first and others talked them out of it. You want the end games to serve as mini playofffs.

    It’s for this very reason, in fact, that the Big Ten actually considered moving the OSU-Michigan game earlier in November. Delany said Wednesday night he initially favored the idea of saving the last two weeks of the regular season solely for divisional games. But then word leaked out, and the fans spoke — loudly.
    “There’s no doubt their voice mattered,” he said. “… At the end of the day, I was convinced that a mix of traditional games and trophy games throughout the nine weeks was preferred over saving the last two weeks for divisional games.”

    • Vincent says:

      What Delany should have done was left just the final week for divisional games. If you’re ending the season the last Saturday in November, that means you could play Michigan-Ohio State the next to last game of the season, but in the same week of the calendar year (next-to-last Saturday in November) where it’s been for quite some time. Perhaps OSU and Michigan fans would have screamed bloody murder, but to the rest of the nation, they would have looked like crybabies; it wouldn’t have been as if the game was being moved up to mid-October, for heaven’s sake.

      • jj says:

        that would be ok.

      • SideshowBob says:

        I thought that too, especially since there has been some crying about moving the tOSU/UM game to after Thanksgiving this year anyway. Playing it the Sayt before Thanksgiving and then another game the weekend after (in division) then the CCG would have been a better solution IMHO.

  16. M says:

    For Illinois, their every year schedule already had Northwestern and Indiana. How is adding Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue as every year opponents make their schedule easier?

  17. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Division names: NFC North and AFC South.

  18. Todd says:

    Resistance is futile.

  19. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Is it just me, or did the Big Ten just become the “New Coke” Conference?

    • zek33 says:

      You know, in a strange way if you tilt the geography slightly, this is the same result as the SEC. Auburn/Wisconsin and Northwestern/Vandy are your geographic mismatches.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        zek – But in the SEC, no states are split, and all divisional states are contiguous. Frank’s map markings make the divisions look much better than when one looks at the states as a whole. The Blue division is fairly compact, while the Red division is fairly F**ked up.

  20. Steeler49 says:

    There is no question who won and lost the divisional game…. Michigan won and Wisconsin lost. The Wolverines get to keep OSU as the final game of the season, keep MSU and Minnesota and add Nebraska. Wisconsin who badly wanted the Huskers as the crossover game, instead gets Minnesota.
    From a Penn State perspective, we got hurt by having to go to Columbus back to back years (And not ending the season against the Buckeyes). But I guess we ended up ok. I am glad we are rid of Michigan State. The Spartans do nothing for me (Bring back the Pitt Panthers pleaseeeeeeee)

    • Paul says:

      From a purely competitive perspective, Wisconsin has it better. UM’s cross division game is against the toughest team in the league. Wisconsin gets Minnesota.

      • MIRuss says:

        Yes, but hasn’t that always been the Wisky way for the last 20 years under Alvarez? The Cheeseheads have always played down to some lowly opponents pre-season and now they can “play down” in the conference as well….

        Alvarez had a say and I’m sure he was seeing this as an advantage for Wisconsin and to hell with rivalries…

      • Josh says:

        That’s Iowa’s blessing in the “West” division. Sure, everyone is complaining about Purdue as a protected rival, but Michigan has to play tOSU every year and UNL gets PSU. The Hawks have an easier path to the Championship game.

        • Sportsman24 says:


          With all due respect to PSU, you may want to check Iowa’s record vs. PSU (especially over the last 10 years).

  21. Booster says:

    I’m very pleased. Minnesota was nearly screwed out of most of their historic games and suddenly all of them remain intact.

    Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska….all good. That is the right way to treat the 3rd largest market in the B10.

    Only Wisconsin got screwed. No Iowa, no NW and no Michigan.

    When the schedule goes to 9 games, UW needs to get a 2nd protected game vs Iowa.

    • Josh says:

      The Gophers even get the Little Brown Jug back every year. Well, not exactly. They get to give it to Michigan every year now.

  22. greg says:

    farkin add.

  23. loki_the_bubba says:

    I did not watch the show. Did they confirm or deny the rumor that cross-division games will only count as tie-breakers?

  24. loki_the_bubba says:

    Add two teams in the east and Wisconsin moves back to the Northeast. Looks too perfect…

    • Bamatab says:

      loki, as I stated in my post below, if they were to move Wisc to the western division, how can they maintain competitive balance which seems to be the top priority? Any two teams that they add won’t be to the caliber of Wisconsin, unless they view Pitt as an equal to Wisconsin (and I don’t see that). I do agree that it seems that this could be a possibility. But what are your thoughts on the competitive balance aspect of moving Wisc out west?

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        As noted below. Historically, Pitt + ND >>> Wisconsin.

        • tt says:

          but, also noted below, ND ain’t joinin…

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Fine, then add Pitt, Maryland, Rutgers, and UConn to the east and Wiscy and Illinois move effortlessly to the west. There are a lot of ways to solve this map issue. We’re not dealing with the Danzig Corridor here.

          • tt says:

            1) I like it, bold move
            2) by going to 16, switch to pods or keep divisions?

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            I developed a visceral hatred of pods in our years in the WAC16.

          • StvInIL says:

            16 teams and Pods would suck. Just my humble opinion.

          • bullet says:

            Frank seems to think nothing else is likely to happen now. Maybe they just wait for ND to go to 14. ND + Rutgers, move WI northwest.

            ND is joining. Just going to take another 10-20 years.

          • @bullet – Yeah, what I’ve been seeing more and more are indications that all of the eastern talk was really aimed at getting Notre Dame out of its comfort zone to consider joining the Big Ten. In order to make future expansion viable, then the Big Ten Network MUST get basic clearance in the entire NYC market, and my understanding is that ND would do a better job of that than any of the schools that are actually located in the East. The Big Ten would’ve gone to 14 or 16 with Notre Dame and/or Texas, but without either of them, it’s a tough sell from this point forward.

  25. Bamatab says:

    It seems that the Big Ten got what it wanted with the high profile games and balance. As an outsider, I’m probably going to have a hard time remembering which teams are in which divisions, but that was inevitable with the Big Ten wanting to split up the big 4.

    What I can’t figure out is why didn’t Wisc raise more cain publicly than they did (which was none) on this format. They got gypped out of their trophy game with Iowa, out of their closest geographical game with Northwestern, and out of the possible rivalry game with Nebraska that Alvarez publically stated that he wanted. The way that Wisc’s schedule is setup the 1st two weeks with Nebraska on it, and the fact that they didn’t put up a public fight especially when Alvarez has been so vocal during this whole expansion ordeal, makes me wonder if they do indeed plan (as some have already been speculating) to expand further to the east and have already promised to move Wisc to the western division.

    In order for them to maintain competitive balance (which seems to be top priority) then you would think they must be planning on bringing in Pitt and either Rutgers or Syracuse. But even with those two teams, I don’t see how they can maintain competitive balance by moving Wisc out to the western division. So with that said, again I am confused at Wisc’s silence with the short straw that the drew on this deal.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Add Pitt and NOTRE DAME and it appears to be very balanced.

      • Bamatab says:

        I don’t see ND coming in the next wave (which I’m guessing will be just 2 teams). Especially with ND scheduling both Texas & BYU for multiple games. While I do think that ND is their end game team, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. They will have to get two other teams first, I would think.

      • tt says:

        we’re potentially on the newest rise of the independents — I can’t see the biggest name indie school (ND) suddenly joining a conference. that said, adding pitt and rutgers, then moving wisc to the western division wouldn’t be bad. psu/osu/pitt vs mich/neb/iowa/wisc. the western half would be a little more heavy, but as a buckeye, I’m ok with that ;)

        • Vincent says:

          Pitt only gets in if the Big Ten expands to 16. Connecticut’s not in the running (not AAU), and if the Big Ten goes to 16, the newbies will be Rutgers, Maryland, Pittsburgh and either Virginia or Syracuse (with Missouri as an extreme longshot).

  26. zek33 says:

    I know I was heavily in favor of East-West originally due to KISS.

    But this Northwest/Southeast split has really grown on me. Competitively this is the best way to maximize TV matchups and get the biggest traveling schools visiting other locations.

    Only Wisconsin is really misplaced in all of this, but that may be fixed if a school like Pitt. comes in later… (although I still think Maryland/Rutgers is preferred…)

    Everybody seems to have won in this format except Wisconsin, hopefully that can be rectified someday…

    • tt says:

      Everybody seems to have won in this format except Wisconsin, hopefully that can be rectified someday…

      Wisconsin was definitely given some concessions for their divisional placement (they get to be Nebraska’s first Big Ten game), but you have to wonder if these divisions were created with the idea that we’ll be expanding to the east coast soon and Wisconsin’ll be place appropriately soon enough…

      • psu4life says:

        Wisconsin gets access to top recruiting grounds in ohio and pennsylvania plus will also gain into maryland and new jersey if both Maryland and Rutgers are added into the eastern division later. Sustained success and possible national championship talent far exceeds a rivalry game with Iowa.

        • @tt – Illinois and the Chicago area specifically is a huge recruiting area for Wisky, too.

        • jcfreder says:

          The recruiting aspect is overblown. First, the Badgers have already had “sustained success,” and the likelihood of UW being a national championship contender because recruiting will somehow pick up in Penn and Ohio is pure speculation and probably wishful thinking.
          I have to think that a lot of people here are correct in thinking that Wisconsin isn’t making a huge stink about this because they’ve been assured they’ll move to the west later. The scenario where UW would stay in the East even after adding two eastern teams is borderline ludicrous; they’d be playing natural rivals Iowa, Nebraska and NW at most 1 every 3 years in that scenario.

      • StvInIL says:

        Wisconsin has taken a few for the team with this alignment. I do not think for nothing. I think
        1) They get the first Nebraska game
        2) They (are told) know for sure eastern expansion is coming
        3) They (are told) know for sure they are headed back west after expansion.

        • bullet says:

          I get the impression WI cares more about OSU than UM. They probably care more about IL than NW. They still get MN. PSU is a good consolation for UNL. Main loss is IA. They almost certainly get IA back if they still have 12 teams when they go to 9 games (5-2-2).

          • jcfreder says:

            As a UW resident, grad, and fan, I think thats almost exactly backwards. If both Mich and OSU are of even quality, Wis would prefer Mich (although if Mich never puts it back together, who knows). NW is a bigger rivarly than Illinois. The fact that we get PSU is pretty irrelevant; given that it was certain that UW was going to be in a division with 2 of the big 4, I think the UW fanbase would have preferred Neb and Mich over PSU and OSU pretty easily. Then, looking at the rest of the league, we wanted Minn, Iow and if you had to pick another team, NW. Wisconsin gets NONE of those in its division. Thats why this setup is more or less the worst case scenario for UW. But enough doom and gloom; I do hold out hope they’ve been assured that 2 eastern teams are coming.

          • UWGradStudent says:

            As a Wisconsin fan, assuming relatively equal strength between Ohio State and Michigan, I would choose a game with Michigan every time. I would rather play Northwestern than Illinois (easy road trip and a budding rivalry over the last few years). Minnesota is out of our division, and I really don’t want to have an incentive to cheer for Minnesota when they play other teams in our division. PSU doesn’t really excite me; I would much rather play Nebraska. And we lose Iowa, which is an incredibly balanced and competitive series (I think the all time series is even to within one game). There is really nothing for us in this alignment.

          • Adam says:

            As a Michigan fan, I am with jcfreder and UWgrad with regards toward playing Wisconsin (and vice versa). I’m not complaining too much, but a perfect scenario for me would be to trade Iowa for Wisconsin, a competitively even trade, and Nebraska for Penn State, also even enough in my opinion.

            I won’t speak for other Michigan fans, but I would rather be focused on playing more Great Lakes teams, one of the reasons I’m excited to see NW every year. I liked the Great Lakes/Great Plains setup I described above, but this is OK I suppose.

    • Vincent says:

      Pittsburgh’s had some moments of late, but I don’t think it’s that much stronger of a program that it would inherently have long-term success. Maryland and Rutgers have been bowl regulars over the past decade, have roughly the same level academics and research, and bring far more from a market angle than Pitt could.

      I have no qualm with Pitt in a 16-team Big Ten, if that ultimately turns out to be the case; but if you’re going to park at 14 for a few years, Rutgers and Maryland get the first invites.

      • schwarm says:

        Pittsburgh should have been a BCS team last year, and historically is much stronger than Maryland or Rutgers.

        I’m turning on extra channels on my satellite today to get the Pitt/Utah game. Fat chance if it was Rutgers or Maryland.

        I think IF the Big Ten wants to go to 14, they should add at least one team with some brand appeal.

        JMO, but IF they want to go to 14 in the near future, add Pittsburgh and one more eastern team for the markets. I think ideally it would be Maryland and Pitt. We hear about Rutgers being a lock, but they are like Missou, available at any time. If you can get your foot into the ACC, then do that sooner rather than later. Then wait out ND.

        • gregenstein says:

          Agreed there schwarm. Saying Pitt is about the same as Rutgers or Maryland is almost an insult. They’ve been a fairly consistent Top 25 team over the past few years. Rutgers had 1 good season 5 years ago, and I can’t even remember when Maryland had a good football team (worth watching).

          From a market perspective it might make more sense to get Maryland or Rutgers, but not from a TV ratings standpoint. Alas, there will be no further expansion without Notre Dame IMO. You can’t get NYC without the Irish.

          • m (Ag) says:

            FWIW, winning percentage since 1993 (rank among all programs in the country):

            30. Notre Dame 60.9%
            37. Virginia 57.7%
            56. Connecticut 51.7%*
            61. Syracuse 50.2 %
            68. Pittsburgh 49.3%
            69. Maryland 49.0%
            94. Rutgers 40.2%

            * since joining Bowl subdivision in 2000

            Picked 1993 because that is supposedly what Delany did to ‘balance’ the 2 Big Ten divisions.

            I’d say the Big Ten is better off going for the big markets with Maryland and Virginia or Maryland and Rutgers. Rutgers is for New Jersey; if they get the whole NYC area, that’s a bonus. I’d find UConn more intriguing than Pitt for the Big Ten.

            Pitt would be more attractive to the ACC, giving it a presence in Pennsylvania.

  27. OSUMBuckeye says:

    Go Southeastern Division… S-E-D! S-E-D! S-E-D!!!!

    Could be funny, but the natural opposite is the Northwestern Division, a name which I think 5 teams might not like.

    • mushroomgod says:

      1. “Great Lakes” and “Great Plains” or…

      2. “bo” and “woody”—(not pokitically correct, but the best choice)

      • tt says:

        delany did say that they were going to look at the long history of great players and coaches for names for the divisions, division trophies, and conference trophy

        • yahwrite says:

          Amos Alonzo Stagg Division

          Jay Berwanger Division

          Legendary coach and the 1st Heisman winner. Both from the University of Chicago, as most know, an original member of the Big Ten. I saw this suggestion on Black Heart Gold Pants comments.

          • Vincent says:

            Well, if you can persuade Stagg Chili to be a sponsor, that takes care of one division. As for the other, I can’t think of any product named Berwanger’s.

            Personally, I’d go for either the West-East or North/West-South/East format. Giving conferences names conjures up thoughts of the 1980s NHL and “the always-humorous Norris Division.”

          • mushroomgod says:

            That’s pretty bizarre, because I thought of the exact same names as possibilities.

            I also think the “Kinnick” division should be considered. War hero, H winner…and who hates Iowa? No one….

            Maybe the “Grange” and Kinnick” divisions?

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Vincent – I kind of like that – the Southeastern Division of the Big Ten Conference. Then, when Ohio State or Penn State wins the Big Ten Conference Championship Game, their fans can chant S-E-D, S-E-D.

          • jcfreder says:

            As far as I’m concerned, feel free to name trophies after people. But anything other than West and East (or something similar) as division names will sound cheesy.

          • @jcfreder – Think about it: the Rotel/Barbasol division names wouldn’t be that crazy. There’s already the Barclays Premier League and Sprint Cup Series and these divisions are clearly about maximizing revenue, so we might as well have division naming rights auctioned off to the highest bidders. It’s actually golden for the sponsors – every Big Ten game mentioned on SportsCenter and newscasts across the country is likely going to refer to the division names, it’s in the daily newspaper standings, etc. In a DVR world, this is an insanely effective product placement. I’m scaring myself because we’re probably headed down this road sooner rather than later.

          • jcfreder says:

            At that point, I think you have to go Rotel (West) and Velvetta (East). If I know anything from watching the BTN, the Rotel/Velvetta combo in the championship game will be tasty.

          • Hodgepodge says:

            Considering how the Big Ten is whoring themselves out for revenue, I figure they’ll take the highest bidders on the division names. It’ll be something like the “Ford Motors” Division and the “Johnson&Johnson” Division.

          • greg says:

            I’ve long thought it will inevitably be Ford v. Chevy Divisions.

    • StvInIL says:

      The Norhwestern division? Oh the “Wildcat division”

      I like!

  28. Carl says:

    Go Lions, beat the Cornhuskers!

  29. I’m hugely happy to be in the same division with Illinois, as I live in the southwest suburbs of Chicagoland.

    My neighbors across the street are Illini (their daughter was the Grand Marshall of the 2009 Homecoming Parade) and I tailgate with them every time the Nittany Lions play in Champaign.

    I believe the Big Ten will add a second protected cross-over game when the conference expands to nine non-con games. (This will happen in 2015, per Barry Alvarez.)

    I have to think Wisconsin gets the first pick after giving up so much during this round. Ta-da! Wisky and Iowa will play every year.

    The Land Grant Trophy won’t die, it just won’t be played every year. But I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that we’re done with the fake season-ending “rivalry” with Michigan State. (I could see MSU being Penn State’s second protected rival when we go to nine conference games.)

    I happen to like Spartan Stadium and look forward to seeing Penn State play there in September or October some years rather than on a predictably dreary day in late November.

    • @Penn State Clips – I know that the Land Grant Trophy won’t actually die. However, it does DESERVE to die. That POS is what happens when kindergartners try to put something together from IKEA.

      • tt says:

        in all fairness, sometimes putting together IKEA shit is hard….especially if u refuse to look at the instructions….

      • mushroomgod says:

        That thing looks like it weighs about a 1000 pounds………..

        I propose a “Hall of Fame” trophy for Neb-PSU that would have little statutes of Jopa and Tom O. on the top….

        • spartakles78 says:

          since the guy wearing that lion suit is suspended, now is the chance for Sparty to stick that pelt on a spear and create a new trophy. no blood, no foul…

  30. UWGradStudent says:

    As a Wisconsin fan, this sucks. The only divisional game that excites me is Ohio State. We really don’t have much history with any of the other teams in our division. Far fewer road trips to Iowa or Northwestern. No potential rivalry with Nebraska (no one will remember who played Nebraska first, that is a horrible conciliation prize). So much for Barry being considered influential in this process..

    One thing that I don’t think people are paying enough attention to is the fact that cross-divisional rivals have an incentive to cheer for their rivals in games against their divisional foes. I now have a reason to hope that Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan win their games against Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois, etc. That sucks. I hate our rivals. I would like nothing more than to have Minnesota lose every game they ever play. With these divisions, I now have a very real incentive to cheer for them to win all their games against my division with the obvious exception of our rivalry game. That is not what college football is all about.

    So how about it Michigan fans: will you cheer for Ohio State when they play Nebraska or Iowa? Ohio State fans, will you cheer for Michigan when they play Penn State or Wisconsin? What if that game would strongly influence your division race? These sorts of scenarios will be pretty likely in the future. Keeping rivals in the same division would mostly avoid this problem. Is any of this worth a potential championship game rematch? Not in this fans opinion.

    • tt says:

      don’t worry, delany said that the expansion process is only on “pause” til december. as stated by posters earlier: once the big ten goes up to 14 or 16, wisconsin’ll be placed in the west with iowa, minnesota, ane nebraska

    • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:

      UW Grad,

      You bring up a very insightful and valid point.

      From my point of view it would be ALMOST ABSURD for me to pull for tOSU to beat Northwestern, (I always want tOSU to lose) yet in a close divisional race I may be put in that exact position of rooting for tOSU. Never thought of that…… Divisions will complicate things.

      Sorry Wisconsin got the short end of the divisional alignment. I’ll miss not playing for the Heartland trophy every year. One advantage for the Badgers may be the opportunity to get eastern exposure and pick up recruits in PA and Ohio.

    • MIRuss says:

      @ UW Grad:
      This looks like it has Barry’s fingerprints all over it…As I commented above, Wisconsin isn’t exactly nationally renowned for a “Any Time, Any Where!” attitude when it comes to scheduling pre-season. So, I’m sure Barry looked at this and was licking his chops at the opportunity to win the division and take a shot at the Big 10 title game…

      AS far as rooting for tOSU…Ahem…Let me state that I’m a Wolverine fan and rooting for those sucks is kind of like kissing your manager’s ass…You do it because you have to, but it leaves a real shitty taste in your mouth afterwards….

      Besides, you can’t fight city hall, not at this point….

  31. Gary says:

    watching the special tonight, I couldn’t help but think of how much more intelligent and on the ball Delany appeared in contrast with how Beebe of the Big 12 appeared a couple of months ago. Of course sitting next to Gerry Dinardo will make anyone look intelligent by contrast.

    • StvInIL says:

      Hey Dinardo is at least a very lucky man. I marvel at all the good quality coaching jobs he has had and failed at. Yet he kept getting them till he got a good gig at the Big Ten network. At which he does a fine job by the way. Better to be lucky than good.

      • @StvInIL – Agreed. Dinardo was a horrible coach, but he’s a pretty entertaining analyst. He’s on WSCR in Chicago frequently, too, and he’s strong enough that he could easily have his own radio show.

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Dinardo was a pretty good coach for LSU during his first 3 years. He had a great DC in Carl Reese (who lived across the street from me). In 1997, after LSU beat #1 Florida 28-21 in Tiger Stadium in prime-time on CBS, in one of the most exciting games I’ve ever attended, Carl Reese got all the credit for his defensive schemes, and Dinardo got jealous. Their relationship was never the same. After the season, Mack Brown & UTx hired Reese away from LSU, and Dinardo replaced him with former Illinois HC Lou Tepper. Tepper’s defenses just didn’t work in the SEC, and as things got worse, Dinardo practiced the team into the ground – and got fired after 2 losing seasons.

        • StvInIL says:

          So then, all things considered, was he really a pretty good coach? I know LSU can get a few athletes into school. This alone should get you to 6 – 6. Now a conference championships, that’s about the coach.
          I really don’t want to bash the man. I actually kinda like him now. But I think as a head coach he was oft over his head. And that’s OK. Some guys are way better assistants than they have the potential to be as head coach.

          The extra rub for me is that African Americans get few opportunities as head coaches in major college football yet Dinardo was able to screw up quite a few jobs. Just my observation and humble opinion.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Stv – after Curly Hallman and 6 straight losing seasons, Dinardo went 7-4-1, 10-2, and 9-3, with bowl wins over a Nick Saban led Michigan State team, Clemson and Notre Dame. I’d say that’s pretty good. After two losing seasons, he was gone and needed to go. Although nowadays, pretty good at LSU will get you fired.

            BTW – I don’t think he kept getting “quality” coaching opportunities. He got a stepping stone/graveyard job at Vandy, moved up to LSU (but LSU was at its lowest point ever), and after getting fired at LSU, coached in the WWE/XFL, and then for the Hoosiers, another graveyard job.

            Dinardo certainly ain’t Vince Lombardi, although they are alums of the same high school, but when he was at a football school, he was a decent-to-pretty-good coach for the first 3 of his 5 years at LSU.

          • StvInIL says:

            Alan, this is precisely the point I’m making. What you call a grave yard job would look plenty good to unnamed African American coaches coming up. Another thing. A guy would have to be a complete moran to not be able to win at LSU. I mean, what’s stopping you. Let me answer that. Nothing! Not academics, not money, not for lack of athletes. I can’t honestly comment on what kind of coach Dinardi would be today but in the jobs department, he was definitely over- served.

          • Richard says:

            Why LSU didn’t win more often (post-segregation and pre-Katrina) is one of those unexplained mysteries of life. Through the ’70′s, ’80′s, and 90′s, LSU won only 3 conference titles. In that span, Arkansas won 5 and Tennessee won 5.
            Granted, Arkansas won most of theirs in the SWC, and Tennessee has more tradition, but neither has nearly as rich a talent mine as LSU in their own state and have to recruit heavily from out-of-state.

        • Hodgepodge says:

          Tepper’s defenses didn’t work real well in the Big Ten either.

          • Richard says:

            His defenses tended to be good; but his Illini teams couldn’t score. His 1994 team allowed an average of only 13 points a game, yet managed to go only 7-5.

          • greg says:

            Agreed that the defenses weren’t his problem. He was a good DC, a terrible head coach. He’d go super-conservative in an already-poor offense and coached a bunch of game scores out of the 60s. I attended a 3-3 tie in Madison in 1995, worst game I’ve ever been to.

          • Hodgepodge says:

            I guess I’m just remembering his final season when the Illinois defense couldn’t stop anyone.

  32. loki_the_bubba says:

    ‘-palooza’ is an overused meme.

  33. metatron says:

    Frank, have you read this?

    You were almost entirely correct on every point.

  34. Monstrum says:


    Kick Northwestern out of Rotel, replace with Indiana, beg M&M MINIs to sponsor.

    Michigan State


  35. GreatLakeState says:

    I think they did a good job.
    I do think with Michigan State and Northwestern improving that their division is a little tougher.
    If one team got the shaft its Wisconsin.

  36. MaroonHoosier says:

    OH MY GOD, I JUST FIGURED IT OUT: Rotel Division (IA, IL, MI, MN, NE)=5 states vs. Barbasol Division (IL, IN, OH, PE, WI)=5 states…

    5 + 5 = 10! It’s the Big Ten!! 10!!! GENIUS!!!!

    Seriously, though, can we have an in-depth analysis about how this alignment will result in adding Notre Dame in ~20 years?

  37. duffman says:

    Morning Folks, TODAY HAS ARRIVED!!

    This has by far been the longest off season I can ever remember, and I am old! some quick recap and thoughts.

    FIRST: I was not for what happened, but it looks like I was spot on about what the Big 10 would do on Divisions (flip Northwestern and Wisconsin and I would have gotten a perfect score). Long term it makes sense, and tells me that the western front has been won for the Big 10. I said how the Big 10 split this thing would be most important in what it indicated for the future rather than the present or past. Which leads me to the next point.

    SECOND: My projected splits for a 12 team to expand to 16 teams looked like this (using FtT’s names):

    PSU, tOSU, IU, PU, NU, and Illinois

    UNL, UM, MSU, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin

    so that if MD, UVA, Rutgers, Pitt / ND are the 4 adds, all they have to do was shift NU and Illinois to the west and look like this

    MD, UVA, Rutgers, Pitt, PSU, tOSU, IU, PU

    UNL, UM, MSU, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, NU

    under the announced realignment this can still happen with minimal movement as tOSU, PSU, IU, and PU are all in the Barbasol together. All 4 eastern adds could be made at once, and would only displace Wisconsin and Illinois to the Rotel Division. This should mean that UT, KU, and Missouri will not find a home in the Big 10 (otherwise it seems like they would have made a point to leave Wisconsin in the Rotel Division). If somebody can find fault with my thinking please feel free to show me what I have overlooked.

    THIRD: While I am loathe to credit Lee Corso with anything (41 – 68 – 2 while coaching IU), :( I must say “not so fast my friend” to Frank on his (3) point. If I am right in my thinking the mighty pissed off badgers could see a quick return to the happy swimming pool of Ro*tel (from an image of a very early post on this blog) with Frank’s Mighty Illini hand in paw. Enjoy beating up the state of Indiana while you can Frank, come somewhere between january 2011 and june 2011 it could be westward ho if the Big 10 expands. While I agree that the Land Grant will be lost to ancient history, I would just put a sheet over the Heartland and store it for a year or so. I am still of the opinion that the Big Red / Bucky Badger Battle is still on the horizon, so be patient Wisconsin fans as your day in the sun will happen.

    I may get back on later today, but I will probably be glued to the TV for this evening.

    • StvInIL says:

      Duffman, you can’t give velveeta a little love?

      • Adam says:

        Why does Michigan have to get stuck out west? I keep seeing this.

        Culturally, I believe they fit much better with the East teams, with the exception of NW and Wisconsin, which is loaded with even more Chicago students than Michigan. I’d rather play the PSUs and Pitts and Marylands over the Iowas and Nebraskas and Illinoises, with the lone exception being my love for the Jug. I do not like this plan right hurrr…

        I like most of those additions, but is there any way the Big Ten expands while Michigan can remain in a more Eastern division? I feel like there are too many alumni and prospective students in NYC/DC markets to ignore if the Big Ten expanded its footprint again.

  38. Hank says:


    I still don’t like Michigan and Ohio State being in different decisions. But c’est la vie.

  39. HerbieHusker says:


  40. mushroomgod says:

    Effect on expansion???

    Given present 5-1-2 plan, “unprotected” teams in opposite divisions play once every 2.5 years.

    If Big 10 stays with 12, but goes to 9 games with a 5-2-2 format, unprotected teams in opposite divisions would play one every 2 years.

    If Big 10 goes to 14, with 5-2-2 format, unprotected teams in opposite divisions would play once every 3 years.

    The difference in playing once every 2 v. once every 3 years is huge, imo.

    Also, if 2 eastern teams are added, if one is not named Pitt, moving Wis to the west will make that division too strong.

    I’ve resisited, like the plague, the thought of a Pod system. It seems rather gimmickry to me, and I’m sure most fans would initially react the same way…..but I’ll have to take a second look, because you want to play teams in the other division more than once every 3 years.

    • Vincent says:

      I’ve always sensed the pod system would be a prerequisite in any 16-member Big Ten involving Notre Dame. I suppose it could be done even in a 16-team setup without ND, though how you would set up pods to optimally have Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan in separate groups is beyond me. (Although separating OSU and Michigan does set a precedent of sorts.) Pods for a 14-team Big Ten are something I’m unsure of.

      Also, I think Pitt is being somewhat overvalued as a football program compared to Maryland and Rutgers. Yes, it has a history of national titles…but so does Minnesota. (No offense intended, Gophers fans.)

      • mushroomgod says:

        What I’ve noticed about Pitt football is that it is the “default” program when there are questions about PSU. For example, Pitt is absolutely cleaning PSU’s clock in recuiting this year because JoPa has been ill, and there are questions about how long he’ll be around. Pitt is in a fertile recruiting area and also competes very well with RU for NJ recruits.

        I understand your questions—urban U, relatively small fan base, somewhat smaller enrollment, rented stadium….but I think the tradition and recruiting advantages are such that Pitt will be a .500 to .630 type team in the BT over time……

        • Phil says:

          They haven’t been a .500 to .630 type team in the Big East.

          • mushroomgod says:

            All-time football record excluding ties 663-478….58%….BE record since 2000 41-28 59%…overall record since 2000 74-28 61%. They did suck in the 90s, but were a national power in late 70s, 80s.

      • StvInIL says:

        I think that Pitt is perceived as that not only has a significant football history but a team/school that cares about football. Maryland, no-so-much. Maryland in my mind is a large flagship state university that has football team but really loves its basketball over its football. Personally I believe if they change the focus that Maryland would be a far more productive football program. But at this time their identity is definitely more basketball in the mind of a Midwesterner. To an Easterner that image may be more balanced.

        • mushroomgod says:

          I agree with this…..Pitt may not have lots of fans, but those they do ha\ve expect to win about 60-70% of the time. Maryland fans are used to losing.

          • Phil says:

            In the last 15 years of the Big East, Pitt has a 50-54 conference record and one 4-way share of the conference title.

            It is amazing how the success of the Marino/Dorsett era still allows them to be on of the most overrated programs in the country.

          • StvInIL says:

            Dave Wanstedt another nice guy and over-rated coach. It seems that he may have things running smoothly now. We shall see. The (current) Big East is one conference chalk full of upstarts.

      • Bamatab says:

        Vincent, I don’t think you can even compare Maryland or Rutgers to Pitt. Pitt actually claims 9 national championships (although only 1 since the 1940s). It also has a history of being a top 20 team in all time wins.

        Rutgers is a Johnny come lately which only went to one bowl game before the 2005 season (and the 4 bowl games that they’ve been to since 2005 have been no nothing bowls). Heck, they haven’t even won the Big East since joining them and only have one 10+ win season in their history (2006).

        Maryland has been (in my opinion) a major underachiever over the years. They should have enough highschool talent around them to be a contender most years, yet they historically haven’t been. With that said though, they have at least won the ACC in the past and I think they do claim a national championship back in the 50s. I think with the right coach, they could become a national contender. But I still don’t think their potential would be enough to move Wisconsin to the west.

        • SideshowBob says:

          Maryland and Pitt seem pretty similar to me. The big difference historically is that Pitt was awesome in the early years of college football. But since WWII, they haven’t been much different — one MNC each, some good years and major bowls, a lot of mediocrity, years of sucking.

          I don’t see how the gazillion MNCs Pitt won in the early years of college football counts for anything at this point. They haven’t been able to leverage that history into any sort of sustained success. I mean, Army was a powerhouse once upon a time, but no one is suggesting that history is important to evaluating the team today.

          Plus, I think there is a bit too much focus on Pitt being good right now. Yet, that 10 win season was the first time they hit double digits in wins in almost 30 years. And they’ve had years of missing bowls this decade (let alone their suckitude in the 90′s). I think they’ be a Minnesota or Illinois in the Big Ten, not Wisconsin.

    • bullet says:

      14 teams, 5-1-3 and you get everyone at least every other year.

      • mushroomgod says:

        There you go…..guess I had it in mind that Wisky would need 2 protected cross-overs…but not if they go west.

        I really think RU and Pitt will get the call in December.

        I understand the MD over Pitt argument but adding MD instead of Pitt does create an esst-west imbalance once Wisky is moved west…..

        • mushroomgod says:

          Actually, bullet, the 5-1-3 format won’t work under existing rules. Apparently, you must play every team in your division…you would have them playing only 5 of 6…so you would need a rules change…if that happened the 5-3-1 format, with 1 absolutely protected intradivisional game, and 1 interdivisional game would work..

    • Well Played Mauer says:

      Actually if the Big Ten where to use a pod system they really would not ever need to use the term “pod” when tell the public about it because the “pods” would really be nothing more than a scheduling matrix used to comply with the assassin NCAA rules that weren’t ever meant for division I football to begin with.

      For example:

      Say in 2015 they add Pit and Notre Dame. The pods could look like this:



      Penn State
      Ohio State

      Notre Dame
      Michigan State

      The two 4 school pods would never change divisions.
      the two 3 school pods switch divisions every two years.
      The schools in the both 3 school pods play each other every year. The schools in the 4 school pods have two permanent rivals from the 4 school pod and play one of two the remaining schools from the other pod for two years at a time.

      This would use the 5-2-2 schedule. The “all important” “competitive balance” is pretty much maintained. They will never have to worry about a division being up or down because they change every two years. The western four get to play each other every year. Nebraska gets two big brand names on the schedule per year. The TV suits will be happy because there is the “chance” of a tOSU-UM rematch. During the regular season ND, UM, tOSU, & PS will play each other every year. And No school will go more than two years without playing in another school’s stadium.

      Now that all sounds incredible convoluted; and it is.

      But all the Big Ten every need tell John Q Public is:

      ” The rivalries in are Conference are two important to be broken up by divisions, so we have taken steps to perverse as many rivalries as possible.”

      Here are the steps:
      1. Each school in the Big Teen will have 5 permanent rivals they play every year.
      2. The schools will be placed into two round robins, the winners of each round robin will play in the CCG.
      3. The round robins will be reorganized every two years.
      4. No schools will go more than two years without playing. [same as now]
      5. No school will go more than two years without playing in another schools stadium. [same as now]

      I have basically outlined the same conference layout and scheduling twice. But it sounds a lot nice the second time around doesn’t it? ;-)


  41. KingOttoIII says:

    I don’t like splitting Mich and OSU. But if you are I would have done the following…

    First of all taking FB and BBall into account there should be 3 pods of…




    Each FB division should have two teams from each pod which results in…



    I think that is about as fair as you can get the divisions. For cross divisional games you play your pod mates every year (2 games) and then rotate the other 4 games each year. For example Michigan would play division mates Neb/Iowa/MSU/Purdue/Indiana every year then OSU/PSU every year then Wisc/Minn one year and Illinois/NW the next for 9 games total. So Mich would play 7 of the 11 other teams yearly and the other 4 every other year. Meaning they see those 4 at home once in 4 years. Under this setup you lose zero current yearly battles and play as many teams on a yearly basis as possible.

    For BBall we go back to the pods. You play every team once (11 games), your pod mates twice (3 more), then two teams from each other pod for 18 games total. For example Mich would play everyone once then OSU/PSU/MSU twice as well as a 2nd game against Illinois/NW/Wisc/Minn one year and Purdue/Indiana/Neb/Iowa the next. So Mich would play 3 teams twice a year every year and 8 teams twice a year every other year.

    I think this system for FB and BBall is the best for keeping rivalries.

    • mushroomgod says:

      As I mentioned before, the “pod” system is alien to college football fans….if you were going to go with a pod system, you’d first have to have a massive educational program, or you’d get a giant “WTF” when it came out…….

      • StvInIL says:


        StvInIL is deeply in WTF mode on pods. StvInIL is not a simple man. I believe the masses would appreciate a simple arrangement. I mean do any of you use the term “the bowl championship division” or “ division I”?

    • bullet says:

      B12 uses divisions for bb scheduling but don’t officially have divisions. You have a tourney with everyone anyway. I can’t think of any sport other than fb that really needs divisions. Basketball has scheduling to decide, but it doesn’t have to be in divisions.

      • jcfreder says:

        I agree that there’s no need to use divisions in basketball. Particularly these divisions, which are manifestly imbalanced for basketball purposes.

    • crpodhaj says:

      If I had 16 teams in my league, here is how I do it:

      16 team league with nine game season (Division-Pod Scheduling System):

      Ohio St. – Michigan
      Penn St. – Notre Dame

      Wisconsin – Nebraska
      Minnestoa – Iowa

      Pitt – Notre Dame
      Rutgers – Maryland

      Northwestern – Illinois
      Indiana – Purdue

      There are no divisions per se, nor do the pods create divisions. This is simply a way to schedule teams. Take Ohio St. in the above example. They would always play everyone in their “pod.” Then they would play everyone on the left side column. That is nine games. After two yesrs (home and home), they play everyone on the right side column. Four years, everyone in the conference has been played at least twice, home and home. You could still have a conference campionship game with the best two teams in the league; there are no division winners, just match up the best two teams for an end of the year, winner goes to the BCS / Rose Bowl blast. Just the way I would do it.

  42. Gopher86 says:

    It’s fairly obvious that these Divisions allow for an eastern expansion. Add two schools to the ‘East’, move Wisconsin to the ‘West’. It stays balanced and the geography improves.

    Wisconsin is really the only school that got hosed in this divisional split: no Iowa game, no NW game and no Nebraska game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Delany told them to just be patient.

  43. mushroomgod says:

    Lets talk division names a little…….

    – Great Lakes and Great Plains…

    – Bo and Woody…

    – Kinnick and Grange (war hero, H winner, who doesn’t like Iowa and the the first nationally famous college player)

    – Griffin and Grange..

    – Paterno and Yost (that would really piss off ND)…

    – Ameche and Nagurski…

    • Hank says:

      two of Stagg, Berwanger, Grange, Kinnick, Nagurski or Yost.

      Stagg and Berwanger would be my vote.

      • mushroomgod says:

        I like Stagg because he represents the early years…but I think 2 U of C guys would be a bit much….how about Stagg and Osborne to represent the past and the future?

        • Hank says:

          Nothing against Osborne I just don’t think you can go with some one living let alone an active AD. I would like Yost so that both are coaches but suspect there would be resistance to a Michigan guy. So if no Berwnager or Yost I would go with Kinnick because of his war service. So Stagg and Kinnick.

          • mushroomgod says:

            Didn’t really want to mix coaches and players…..but Stagg and Kinnick sounds pretty darn good to me……..

            The Kinnick war hero angle is something a lot of fans might not know about….very appealing…,.

        • Richard says:

          Having 2 UofC guys is probably a plus because they’re neutral. Name it after Yost, and the non-Michigan teams would object, etc.

        • ChicagoRed says:

          Devaney would work, he started the whole modern day Nebraska football program, 101-20-2, 83% wins, 2 NC’s AND he’s a Michigan native that coached at 4 Michigan high schools, and was an assistant with Duffy Daugherty at Michigan State teams.

      • bullet says:

        I still like Murray Warmath and Johnny Pont divisions. Lots of coaches have won at Ohio ST. and Michigan. When was the last time someone won the B10 at Minnesota or Indiana? 1967-Murray and Johnny. You could introduce the teams at the ccg. As Ohio St. enters, you could say Heeere’s Johnny! And you have to love a division named Murray.

    • jj says:

      I like Black and Blue

      Or anything that does not include bo, woody or yost.

  44. loki_the_bubba says:

    In my continuing efforts to keep you abreast of the mid-major expansion world, the WAC has announced an expansion committee to identify potential new members by spring. The committee is manned by a subset of the member ADs consisting of all six of them.

    They do claim that FSU and Nevada will compete in the 2011-2012 school year, but I have some doubts…

  45. coldhusker says:

    My god did Nebraska get a tough schedule in 2011. I guess this is TPTB hazing the new guy.

  46. BuckeyeBeau says:

    Winners and Losers from the Divisional Split:

    Big Winner: With due respect to Steeler49, JCFreder and UWGradStudent above, Wisconsin is the big big sinner (and Alvarez is a genius). Reasons:

    First: Bowl Eligibility until the End of Time. Being in the “East” Division, Wis plays three B10 “cupcakes” and Wis also gets a protected rivalry game with the fourth B10 “cupcake” (Minny). So, that is at least three wins a year; add three more easy games in the OOC schedule and Wis is bowl eligible every year.

    Second: Ranked consistently. This is a corollary of the first point. If you are a one-loss team at the end of October, you are ranked.

    Third: Good TV Ratings During the Year. Since the B10 is back loading the “big” games, a ranked Wisconsin will end up playing games against other ranked B10 teams. Ranked vs. Ranked is good for TV ratings.

    Fourth: End of Year Ratings Bonanza. Alvarez wanted Nebraska as the end-of-year team. Instead he got an equally good annual end-of-year match up with Penn State. That is a giant giant GIANT upgrade over Minny (and even Penn State thinks it’s a better match up than MSU). So another marquee game for Wisconsin. Alvarez CORRECTLY understands that Wiscy needs TV ratings to be a national power. PSU moves the needle; Minny does not.

    Moreover, since tOSU will have finished divisional play by the last weekend, the PSU/Wiscy game is highly likely to determine the divisional winner. So, great match up and relevance at the end of the year. That is GREAT for Wisconsin.

    Misc.: Add to that a yearly tilt with tOSU and frequent games with MI and with NEB and with Iowa, Wisconsin has a lot of good games that will garner good ratings. Add to that the possible occasional Iowa/Wisconsin CCG and it’s all good for Wiscy.

    Alvarez is thinking Big Picture National Stage; not local rivalries with upper-midwest teams that used to be great.

    Other winner: The B10 Conference.

    Rankings: with the way Wiscy is now scheduled, the B10 has six or seven teams that can be legitimately ranked each year (MI, tOSU, PSU, Neb, Wiscy, Iowa and Other). Obviously, the elite teams might be “down” at times (MI now, PSU during the “dark years” and NEB under the coach who shall not be named; a poster above suggested tOSU is due for a downturn). Likewise, both Iowa and Wiscy will have to maintain their current level at least. The “Other” accounts for the occasional uprising of NwU, MSU, IL or Purdue.

    TV Ratings: Aside from a lot of extra “good” games because Neb has been added, with this set up, on the last weekend of the season, there will be three high-powered B10 games: MI/tOSU, Neb/Iowa and PSU/Wiscy. That is a SIGNIFICANT upgrade over MI/tOSU and PSU/MSU. This will be TV ratings gold.

    Lots of Star Power for CCG: Everyone seemed to focus a lot on a MI/tOSU rematch in the CCG.

    But a Neb/PSU rematch is also likely. Either would add to the TV ratings. But in addition, you also get possibilities like: MI/Neb, Neb/tOSU, various permutations with Wis and Iowa plus a possible Wis/Iowa match which would help keep the juice in that rivalry.

    Other winners: Hmm… suppose I could join the Illini bandwagon. But if IL is going to “profit” from the in-division cupcakes, you might say Purdue will also “profit”. Interestingly enough, this divisional split might add a lot of “juice” to the IL-IN-Purdue triangle.


    I’d say Michigan (again, with due respect to Steeler49 above). Michigan ended up in the tougher “west” division and didn’t seem to get anything in exchange. By contrast, Iowa ended up in the tougher division but got to have Nebraska as its end-of-season game.

    I’d also say Nebraska was a loser here too but longer term. Once MI regains its elite status, Neb will have a tougher road to the CCG. But, for the next couple of years, Nebraska’s path to the CCG is basically through Iowa (even though Neb plays both PSU and tOSU in the next two years).

    Not a bad way for Nebraska to join.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      geez, and i can’t even get my corrections in the correct place. as noted: “winner” not “sinner”

    • jcfreder says:

      BuckeyeBeau, you do a good job highlighting some silver linings for Wisconsin, but your conclusion that UW is a winner in the new setup is too counterintuitive and ultimately incorrect.

      Rebutting some specific points: first, bowl eligibility is not affected much by this setup. UW has been to 15 bowls in 17 years (since the start of the Alvarez resurgence). Given their cake non-conference schedules, it shouldn’t be hard to win 6 or 7 total games. The divisional setup doesn’t affect this much. Plus it seems foolish to me to just assume that Illinois and Purdue, in particular, are just going to continue to suck indefinitely (particularly where Purdue has been near 500 in the BT since 1993.)

      Nor does Wisconsin play more games against the power teams of the league. Under the old setup, they got Iowa once, OSU, PSU and Mich 80% of the time, for 3.4 average games against these teams. Now, they get OSU and PSU 100%, but Mich, Neb, and Iow only 40%, for a total of 3.2 average games. That is, they play the top tier LESS under the new setup (while Mich, OSU, Neb and PSU all get MORE games against the top tier than before). And in any case, OSU and PSU are not traditional rivals for UW , or at least I would put them below Iow, Mich, and the potential of Neb. But UW lost all three of those teams.

      As for the season-ender against PSU, that’s only going to get ratings if it gets carried nationally (as oppopsed to say the Iowa-Neb game, which is probably going to be the West championship game for a few years). And as I said before, it’s not a heated rivarly, at least yet. (Keg or no keg).

      Bottom line is, switch NW and Wis, and I feel more confident in UW winning the West than I do in them beating out both OSU and PSU for the East. If anything, the easier schedule gives UW a chance at more 9-win seasons rather than more division titles, because they are in the division that will be harder to win given OSU’s recent juggernaut status. None of this worth dropping Neb, Iow, Mich and NW, diminishing the Min rivalry by making it non-divisional, and making the divisional roadtrips super long for the fans.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        Excellent points and appreciate the insight.

        You say: “None of this worth dropping Neb, Iow, Mich and NW, diminishing the Min rivalry by making it non-divisional, and making the divisional roadtrips super long for the fans.”

        Obviously, tough to argue the travel point.

        And so you know, i preferred Frank’s KISS. That would have solved ALL of the rivalry problems and kept everybody within reasonable driving distances.

        As for your larger point about the “good” not outweighing the “dropping” of MI, Iowa, NEB and NwU, etc., it is not like those games are gone. For now, those are two years out of six and starting in 2015, those will be two years out of four.

        In any event, I continue to think consistent 9-10 win seasons for Wiscy in the easier SW Division is long-term really good for Wiscy. I remember the days when Wiscy was just another Minny and NwU on the schedule. Even if CCG appearances are rare, being ranked and bowling every year is the foundation for eventually knocking off PSU and tOSU and becoming a national CFB power.

        Also, don’t undervalue the Eastern Time Zone for raising a program’s TV and national profile.

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          to clarify: Wiscy and NwU were terrible programs at the same time. I remember NwU breaking the longest losing streak. (IIRC, they still have that record? or did Duke “win” that dubious distinction?) Interestingly enough, both had revivals at about the same time.

        • m (Ag) says:

          “As for your larger point about the “good” not outweighing the “dropping” of MI, Iowa, NEB and NwU, etc., it is not like those games are gone. For now, those are two years out of six and starting in 2015, those will be two years out of four.”

          Right now, it’s 2 years out of 5, although the schedule isn’t the way they would likely set it up if this was a permanent arrangement. If they were setting it up for the long term, Nebraska’s schedule (as an example) would probably look something like this (with maybe some schools switched):

          Year 1: @Wisconsin, OSU
          Year 2: @OSU, Purdue
          Year 3: @Purdue, Illinois
          Year 4: @Illinois, Indiana
          Year 5: @Indiana, Wisconsin

          Of course, they scheduled the same 2 opponents year 1 and year 2, so this seems planned for the short term.

          Similarly, if they go to 9 conference games and only have 1 fixed crossover rival, they will see the other teams on average 3 years out of 5. Doing it the same way would screw up home/away splits over 5 years, though it all would average out over 10 years.

          Doing it that way:
          Year 1: @Wisconsin, OSU, @Purdue
          Year 2: @OSU, Purdue, Illinois
          Year 3: @Purdue, Illinois, @Indiana
          Year 4: @Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin
          Year 5: @Indiana, Wisconsin, @OSU
          Then year 6-10 is the same as 1-5, but with the home and away reversed. This means you sometimes get ‘home’ games 2 years in a row against the same team.

          It took me a while to figure out how to make the home/away schedules to work normally and not have one year on/one year off schedules, but I found you can do it by having some schools go off your schedule for two 2-year breaks every 10 years, while some schools go off your schedule for one 3 year break and one 1 year break:

          (W=Wisconsin O=OSU, P=Purdue, L=Illinois, N=Indiana)

          Year 1: @W, O, @P
          Year 2: W, @O, P
          Year 3: @L, O, @N
          Year 4: L, @P, N
          Year 5: @L, P, @W
          Year 6: L, @O, W
          Year 7: @N, O, @W
          Year 8, N, @L, W
          Year 9: @N, L, @P
          Year 10: N, @O, P

          Still averages to seeing each team 3 years out of 5, but I think I got the home/away correct.

          • m (Ag) says:

            OK, an even better way would be to have schools have two 1 year breaks and one 2 year break every 10 years, playing one home and away series in between.

            Example, Nebraska’s series versus Wisconsin:
            Year 1 play
            Year 2 play
            Year 3 skip
            Year 4 play
            Year 5 play
            Year 6 skip
            year 7 skip
            year 8 play
            year 9 play
            year 10 skip

            However, I’m not going to come up with a full schedule doing it that way.

          • BuckeyeBeau says:

            wow; that’s impressive. thanks for doing all the homework. I was thinking it was a simple three games with six cross-divisional opponents (so basically one out of two years). But completely forgot to factor in the permanent divisional cross-over.

            I’m glad to learn this since, of course, 3 of five is better than 3 of six years.

          • m (Ag) says:

            OK, since I got the hang of the scheduling and have a little more time, here is a schedule with two 1 year breaks and one 2 year break for each opponent:

            1 @W O @P
            2 W @L P
            3 @N L @O
            4 N @W O
            5 @P W @L
            6 P @N L
            7 @O N @W
            8 O @P W
            9 @L P @N
            0 L @O N

            If they want to have H-A-S-H-S-A-H-S-A-S (H=Home, A=Away, S=Skip), this would be an example:

            1 @W O @P
            2 W @L N
            3 @O P @N
            4 O @W L
            5 @P N @L
            6 P @O W
            7 @N L @W
            8 N @P O
            9 @L W @O
            0 L @N P

            I don’t like the idea of playing a single game and not playing the year before or after. But this schedule does give each team an equal number of home games before skipping a year, which is good for trophy games.

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          and i see that Bielema says Ohio and Penn are the best recruiting states.

          So, again, another reason that Wiscy is going to do okay with this divisional alignment. You can’t undervalue how being in the SEast Division will help with recruiting. Over the long run, may even allow Wiscy to eclipse Iowa.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        also, see post below from Brian on Sept 3 at 4:00 am. He (along with others) breaks down the divisions on the basis of rough power rankings.

        His conclusion is that the division breakdown helps Wiscy (might make Wiscy a Tier 1 program) and hurts Michigan (might cause them to fall from the elite).

    • MIRuss says:

      Never, ever dreamed I’d agree with a suckeye…But it seems we’re thinking along the same lines here. Everyone seems to think the “play anybody that we can pre-season as long as we know that we’ll destrory them” Wisconsin Cheeseheads lost out on this deal. I took the contrary view that Barry was being Barry here and looking at the regular season as survival with all the chips being in the CCG…And anything can happen in that game once your there, but you have to get there. Barry insured bowl games, winning streaks and numerable CCG appearances for the next two decades…

      Brilliant, really…

      • Richard says:

        I’m not sure about CCG appearrances. They have to go through both OSU & PSU. The Northwest, on the other hand, is wide open, as neither traditional power there has a fertile recruiting ground that they own and so have to recruit nationally. I suppose the path is simpler in the SE (beat OSU & PSU and you’re in), but in the end, I think Wisky guaranteed themselves a string of winning seasons but have a tougher road to the championship game.

    • mnfanstc says:

      Logic like this is why I absolutely love to hate the perennially over-rated Buckeyes…

  47. BuckeyeBeau says:

    wow … sigh… gotta proof read: obviously, Wiscy is a WINNER (tho might be a sinner too). grrrr…

    • Richard says:

      Pac10 is in the same boat as the old Big12 in terms of being top-heavy. USC may be playing for a bigger share of the TV pie (the NW teams had been grumbling about being locked out of SoCal if they were put in a separate division, there are rumors that the Pac10 may give them TV concessions to for them to sign off on the divisions, and this is USC telling them just exactly who it is that needs whom.

      • bullet says:

        Don’t understand what TV concessions they could be referring to. Pac10 is 55% appearances, 45% even, less balanced than the B12 which is 50/50.

        • Richard says:

          Well, USC probably wants to keep it that way while the NW teams want it to be more equitable, and USC is letting them know just who is the alpha and who are the b*tches.

          • bullet says:

            UW has been talking about switching it to 100% equal and they would normally be one of the schools on the “haves” side.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Shouldn’t have been unexpected, though I think Haden’s quote will be overblown. Keeping their options open gives them more leverage in conference. Perhaps also a signal that if Delany kicks off Super Conference realignment we shouldn’t assume that the outcome will be B10+6, SEC, ACC, and P16 survivors in a 4×16=64.

      Probably also shouldn’t assume that the BCS is going to survive in any recognizable form.

  48. jj says:

    I kind of was joking, but Black and Blue would work well. The new mark would be colored that way and it is a good marketing strategy. It signifies the identity of the league.

  49. Richard says:

    Looking at this on a new day, I can’t see why Wisconsin & Northwestern weren’t switched. Mind you, as a Northwestern fan, I’m estatic about how this worked out. We get Nebraska. We get Michigan (big name who’s very beatable; the best of both worlds). We keep our rivalry with Iowa. We don’t have to go through OSU or PSU to get to the championship game.

    However, if NU and UW were switched, the divisions would make great geographic sense, and I think the competitive evenness would be improved.

    The Big10 used records since 1993, but going forward, I think the SED is more loaded than the NWD. The 2 schools best positioned to be powers in the Big10 in the future are OSU and PSU because they’re the only 2 traditional powers that also are in fertile recruiting areas and don’t have to share their big home state with another Big10 team.
    Michigan & Nebraska are a step below because they have to recruit nationally to get players (as an aside, back in the days when 90% of OSU’s players were from Ohio, which was not too long ago, Michigan was already getting most of it’s players from out of state, and most of its skill players from the Sun Belt; now that nearly everyone recruits nationally and is on national TV, the advantage that Michigan & Nebraska use to have will fade and I see them going down the route of ND). Wisconsin, MSU, & Illinois are on the next tier (Illinois solely because they are also well located with regards to recruiting even though they don’t do well). The worst positioned are Iowa, Northwestern, Minesota, IU, and PU (Iowa and NU have done very well with their resources).

    Give the top 2 schools 4 points, the second tier 3, the third tier 2, and the bottom tier 1, and in the current setup they add up to
    Northwest division: 11
    Southeast division: 14

    Switch Northwestern & Wisconsin, however, the points add up to
    Northwest division: 12
    Southeast division: 13

    Really, the only argument for why Wisconsin and Northwestern weren’t switched is if MSU was insistent on playing in Chicagoland regularly (but then, West Lafayette & Madison aren’t far).

    • @Richard – Yeah, I would’ve liked that better since Wisky would’ve kept all of its rivalries and it makes more geographic sense. My guess would be that the *perception* of the competitive balance came into play here, where putting all 4 of IL/NW/IN/PUR into the same division would’ve shackled that side with the image of being OSU/PSU and the 4 dwarves. I also think giving each division a team located in Illinois, which is a key base for recruiting for kids coming into school and then Big Ten alums to live after they graduate, was a big factor in splitting up Illinois and Northwestern. Everyone wants regular Chicago market exposure (even the power programs like OSU).

      • Richard says:

        True, Frank, splitting up the Chicagoland TV market may have been a bigger consideration than I realized. In fact, if you want to maximize TV viewership, you’d split all of the states with 2 schools between the divisions (Michigan & MSU, IU & PU, etc.) but then you’d end up with the type of mess that the ACC created, where its virtually impossible for anyone to remember what division each school is in. At least now, the division between northwest & southeast is pretty clear, so long as you remember to switch NU and UW.

        • zek33 says:

          Look at Michigan State AD’s comments yesterday, he said that after Michigan, playing in Chicago at Northwestern was his second most important consideration.

          You don’t have the same dynamic in Indiana because it doesn’t have Chicago or the massive recruiting battleground of Illinois. Splitting up Northwestern/Illinois must have been important to quite a few schools.

          Not including Northwestern in the West would somewhat reduce the exposure those teams get from traveling to Chicago…, that’s probably why they preferred to have Northwestern in the division as opposed to Wisconsin.

          • zek33 says:

            Of course, I’m speaking of Michigan/Michigan State/Nebraska, and while I think Iowa/Minnesota would have preferred to keep Wisconsin in their division, Chicago/Illinois are important to Iowa as well.

            There was no way they were going to all agree to a division without any Illinois/Ohio/Pennsylvania exposure, so Northwestern/Illinois had to be split.

  50. bullet says:

    Read in the San Jose paper that Delany said the entire schedule would be re-evaluated after the 2012 season.

    Lots of things could be read into that-expansion, moving UM/OSU after the initial furor dies down, looking at which non-division rivalries to keep.

    The verbage was the entire schedule, not the divisions. Don’t know if anyone heard this in the news conference.

    • zek33 says:

      Yeah, one other thing he said was that he was looking at divisions that are built to last (next 25-50 years).

      That to me means that he’s looking at moving the games on the schedule, but he intends to keep these divisions even if we expand.

      Thus, adding two the east, means a shift of one to the west, not a rewrite.

      One other thing is that if we do move to 16 perhaps we do stay in divisions and not go to pods, or he doesn’t think we’ll get to 16 in the next 25-50 years…

  51. Richard says:

    BTW, if 2 eastern schools are added, I don’t think it’s as simple as just moving Wisconsin west, because I expect Michigan to press heavily to be in the same division as the East Coast schools (they send a ton of alums east, especially to NYC, and would not be happy with being stuck out west). Thus, I think a straight east-west split, either splitting the state of Indiana (PU west, IU east) or the state of Michigan (MSU west, Michigan east) would make the most sense if the Big10 expands east to 14. I’m more inclined to split Indiana, because if the Michigan schools are split, Michigan’s annual interdivisional rival would be MSU, which means the Little Brown Jug would be played for infrequently, and I don’t think anyone wants to do that to the oldest rivalry trophy game in college football.

    The competitiveness would be a tad unbalanced, but no more than under KISS. Using the points system I detailed above, and giving the Eastern schools 1 point each:
    West: 11
    East: 15

    • zek33 says:

      I think you move Illinois to the West if you add 2 eastern schools, particularly if they’re not powers.

      That way the Eastern schools get to hit the newer recruiting grounds more often, but the West is guaranteed games in Chicago/Illinois once a season.

    • Richard says:

      ….unless the 2 schools you add are Miami & FSU. In that case, you could attach them to the “West” along with Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minny, and NU. If you assign them 4 points in competitiveness (because of their fertile recruiting grounds), the balance would be
      West: 16
      East: 17

      Oh, and think of the interdivisional rivalries(!):

      Jumping the shark? Eh, those 2 schools are really the only 2 that add enough juice to make further expansion worthwhile if you rule out ND, Texas, and the West Coast (and at this point, I wouldn’t want ND or Texas). Maybe in a decade when they are AAU or almost there.

      • michaelC says:

        As noted many times already Miami and FSU are not AAU and, though good academic schools, not in the same league as the rest of the Big Ten.

        Nebraska is the weakest academic member now by a significant bit (I do however expect them to move up in the standings and joining the CIC will help to ensure that). It is hard to believe the Big Ten presidents will agree to expand with two more schools that are significantly below the research rankings of the member schools. The next phase will be biased towards academic standing in the sports prowess/academic balance.

        The move to 14 will almost certainly be some combination of Pitt, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia, Syracuse. The smart money will be on Rutgers + Maryland (assuming they can be lured from the ACC). [Rutgers is already a done deal from the RU side -- just waiting for the invite.]

        • Richard says:

          That’s why I said it may have to be a decade or so down the road. By research metrics, FSU is already at Nebraska’s level; they’re just not AAU. Miami has also improved academically tremendously. I know FSU is pushing for AAU status, and Miami may qualify in 10 years as well.

          Rutgers and Maryland qualify academically, but unless the revenue for the BTN grows by some power law for each new school added (which may be the case; I don’t know), there’s not a lot of impetus to add them any time soon, since they’re not going anywhere.

        • StevenD says:

          The Chronical of Higher Education – 21 April 2010

          Research heavyweights that can make good arguments for joining the AAU include Boston University, Dartmouth College, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, North Carolina State University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Georgia, and the University of Miami.

  52. PSUGuy says:

    FWIW, PSU has been shifting its schedule quite a bit lately.

    They still have Virginia in 2013 & 2014.
    They just added Navy in 2012.
    They just rescheduled Syracuse in 2013 (Meadowlands) with another two game set in 2020ish.

    The interesting thing is I cannot find any mention of Penn State games (OoC or otherwise, from official sources) for the 2014/2015 season.

    Those WERE the years we were scheduled to play Rutgers as one of our main OoC games.

    If I were wearing the tinfoil hat (and I am) I would use that info as added proof Rutgers will be a future addition and Syracuse is not.

    • PSUGuy says:

      Chck that…should have been Rutgers in 2015 & 2016.

      • Nostradamus says:

        I think you were right with the 2014/2015, and I’ve seen nothing to say the games have been unscheduled.

        • stp147 says:

          While they used to be on the Penn State Athletics site (and they have mysteriously disappeared), the games you are referring to that have been scheduled are listed below.

          Syracuse (Meadowlands)





  53. michaelC says:

    To echo points made by several, I agree that one thing we can take from this divisional alignment is that the Big Ten will expand East and that it will expand sooner rather than later. One consequence (as has been noted) is that ND is not part of the immediate expansion plans given their scheduling moves to make long term commitments to BYU and Texas. With renegotiation of TV rights coming up, I think it is quite likely there is another round of expansion this winter. Rutgers is the obvious choice. I’d be thrilled to see Maryland join to complete a move to 14 teams.

    Re: Wisconsin
    I think the suggestion that Barry ‘lost’ battles in the division negotiations or has less influence at the level of the commissioner is incorrect. To my eye, the lack of official gnashing of teeth in Madison is not evidence for sucking it up, but rather offering to take one for the team as part of the bigger expansion plan. Again as noted by many, an expansion east allows Wisconsin to move to its natural place and rejoin (division) rivalries with Iowa and Minnesota and create one with Nebraska (And I’ll venture to predict this Red on Red fight will emerge as a notable rivalry for both schools.)

    In short, this is evidence for Barry’s position as a member of the inner team directing the execution of the expansion strategy.

  54. MichaelR says:

    Gotta say Penn State made out pretty well here. Annual rivalry games with Ohio State and Nebraska. PSU-UNL has the potential to be a “The Game” for both schools.

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      yes, concur 100%. I think the conference was at pains to make PSU “happy” or at least not unhappy. And the PSU/NEB will be one of the best games in the B10.

  55. Penn State Danny says:

    I love the new set up. We get to play Nebraska and OSU every year. We upgrade our end of season game playing Wisconsin instead of Sparty. We can hopefully put the LGT to rest once and for all.

    I don’t like the back to back trips to Columbus but so be it.

    I expect that Rutgers gets the invite this December (or next June). I also think that there will be another team but I am totally clueless on who it would be. I prefer Pitt for old time’s sake or Maryland.

    Is there ANY way that the Big Ten would only expand with Rutgers in the next round? What if no one else meets all of their criteria (like Pitt and Syracuse) or doesn’t wan to come (like perhaps Maryland and definitely Notre Dame)??

    • zek33 says:

      There’s not going to be any odd addition; no #13 alone. It’ll be a pair for sure.

      If Delany can’t get ND and Maryland says no, if he doesn’t think Rutgers/Syracuse or Rutgers/Pitt. doesn’t work, we’re not expanding.

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        re: the back-to-back @OSU games in 2012 and 2013. I read this morning on BlackShoe diaries that such was needed to balance future home and homes for everyone in the B10, but also a “make up” for a pair of @PSU games that OSU had to play back in the 90s. Didn’t go research it, but throwing it out.

        • SideshowBob says:

          I would imagine the main reason for the shift was so that Ohio State wouldn’t continue to host both PSU and UM in the same years and then be away to both in alternating seasons. Now, they’ll get one away, one home each season.

          And to expand on that, PSU gets Neb and OSU home in alternating years. Nebraska gets Michigan and PSU at home in alternative years, and same with UM and Neb/OSU. So, I think it’s just a big system to make sure all the big four get a big home game each season.

          • Hank says:

            I think you are wrong re Michigan. Michigan gets both Nebraska and OSU at home in 2011 and both on the road in 2012.

          • Hank says:

            also I think you’re wrong on Nebraska. Nebraska has both Michigan and PSU on the road in 2011 and at home in 2012 per the schedule at the Big Ten site.

            So the X division teams get the ‘brand names’ one at home and one on the road while the O division gets them both at home or both on the road.

    • PSUGuy says:

      To the first part of your post…not only do we have those games, but OoC we have Alabama, Virginia, Navy, & Syracuse over the next couple years (through 2013). Seems like an awesome schedule.

      The more I think about it though, the more likely the invites are going to be Rutgers and Pitt.

      Pitt and even Rutgers have been decent over the past couple years and by having all three the Big Ten becomes the only “local” recruiter in PA/NJ (while further solidifying Phile and entering NYC officially).

      Also, by adding these two specific programs you add excellent “second tier” programs that, IMO, would contrast nicely to the Iowa/Wisc pairing to the west (assuming Wisc moves back west).

      As for academics…IMO, either of this pairing easily trumps Nebraska (and even some other members of the Big Ten).

      At this point though I can’t really say I think 16 is going to happen (heck, 14 might not even). It was, however, interesting to note that Delany specifically mentioned pod based systems of playing in his conference last night (albeit in reference to Olympic sports) so then again the move to 16 may not be as out there as I think it now.

      • doogie says:

        I may be old fashioned, but I have always thought of college sports as a having a largely regional audience. I went to both Illinois and Purdue and I can remember looking at the schedule and thinking…what’s a Rutgers?

        All this talk about adding east coast teams that nobody cares about in cornfied country is a real stretch, IMHO. There are too many TV networks out there competing against each other to make larger conferences. I see the Big 10 stuck at 12 for a decade at least.

        • mushroomgod says:

          Well I agree, but I see the “region” as including NY and PA. Think Gettysburg and Antetiem. Think North v. South.

          • PSUGuy says:

            Yeah, TBH once the Big Ten invited PSU the “mid-western” moniker doesn’t make much sense anymore.

            They have schools in the Great Plains, Mid-West, & Mid-Atlantic.

            I can’t see how someone could see that otherwise.

          • Paul says:

            In Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York are considered to be “great lakes” states, because they border Lakes Erie and Ontario. By that regional definition, only Iowa and Nebraska are the outliers. So it’s really a combination of great lakes and great plains. Not a real stretch.

          • Hank says:


            except the conference seems focused on broadening the national reach of the conference. choosing names like Great Lakes and Great Plains for the divisions would reenforce a regional association.

  56. mushroomgod says:

    Some debate above about Pitt’s potental as a football program in the BT….

    Looking at the history (Wikipedia), Pitt football has certainly had its up and down periods, more so than most schhols. Overall WL record, less ties, is 663-478–58%…but look at the history…

    From 1915-23, Pop Warner won 3 NCs and went 60-12-4.. Jack Sutherland was 111-20-12 from 1924-38, with 9 claimed NCs by one standard or another.

    About 1938, in the midst of great success, the U “began introducing polies designed to de-emphasize the athletic programs”. About this same time, the U sought admission to the BT.

    According to Wikipedia, “Pitt had placed its athletic programs under the Big Ten’s supervision in 1939, which newspapers…chatracterized as a probationary admission….” However, OSU eventually blocked Pitt in favor of MSU to retain its recruiting advantages in Western PA. The more things change……

    Pitt was mediocre for about 15 years, then pretty good from ’55-’65, then downright bad from ’66 to’72.

    In 1972 Johnny Majors was hired. Majors was highly successful until he left for Tenn. in 1981. Jackie Sherrill took over and was 50-9-1 until he left for A@M in 1981. So from 1972-81 Pitt was about as good as anyone…….

    After Sherrill, Pitt hired Mike Gottfried from Kansas. He was 27-16-2 but was fired in 1989. During this time, Pitt “implimented a policy of heightened entry requirements for athletes, above those of its peer institutions…” Gottfried fought those policies and ended up being fired. Pitt football then sucked from ’91 or so until Walt Harris came in in 2004 or so. Harris eventually left for Stanford and DW came in in 2005….

    What I take from all this is:

    – Pitt is somewhat smaller than most BT schools, and there has historically been some debate as to how much football should be emphasized….

    – When football HAS been emphasized, the program has been VERY successful…however,

    – Coaches still don’t see the job as a top 10-15 job. Pop Warner left for Stanford.Johnny Majors left for Tenn (his a.m.). Sherrill left for A&M. Harris left for Stanford.

    • PSUGuy says:

      Good write-up on Pitt and I think fair pros & cons.

      FWIW…Pitt has double the number of undergrads and more post-grads than Northwestern and compares very favorable (size wise) to Iowa.

      IMO, nothing I’ve seen here, or previously, make me think any differently on just how much of a Big Ten school Pitt already is.

      • duffman says:


        I don’t think there is much disagreement that Pitt fits the Big 10! I kept thinking the only issue was the footprint overlap, and if the views Pitt brought with PSU already there was enough to entice the BTN issue.

      • mushroomgod says:

        My two biggest concerns with Pitt would be 1) size of the fan base; and 2) olympis sports programs.

        As to #2, everyone knows how important FB is to western PA…..but does Pitt, which is 90% a private school, have the necessary resouces to put into the ‘olympic’ sports? Both RU and Pitt have been in the 90s in the Sears Cup ratings.

        As to fball, I stick with my earlier prediction that Pitt would be a .500 to.630 team in the BT.

    • duffman says:


      thanks for the info!

      you watching IU tonight?

      • mushroomgod says:

        I am indeed; in fact, I am riding the crest of excitement over IU football and will personally go and watch the Hoosiers take on the mighty Towson Eagles. Or Bulldogs. Or whatever they are. I will give you a full report.

        • duffman says:


          I got the pregame on BTN right now!

          I have actually been to Towson in the past few years (well by it at least) as I was in Baltimore for a funeral and got lost. I stopped at an intersection and was at Towson. The nice students were kind enough to help me find my way to where I needed to be.

        • duffman says:


          at first I thought they were gonna give the the tOSU game, but got IU so it was cool. Loved the defensive play in the first half, that is one big dude. only things I did not like were the IU linemen bent over at the end of the 3rd period looking tired on tv and the shots in the stands looked pretty empty. Again it was TV so could not see the stuff not on camera. Somebody needs to put some zip in the student section.

      • StvInIL says:

        Duffman, I might be wrong, won’t be the first time, but I personally think IU has had better talent than Minnesota over the past 6 years. Maybe not in terms of depth but better football players. Either coaching or luck eludes them. Or both on a given Saturday.

        • duffman says:


          Actually the season record last year did not reflect on field performance of IU in certain key upsets that were prevented by terrible calls by the the refs. If you watched at least 2 key games (one in particular) you know the real story.

          • Ross Hatton says:

            Yeah..I love how Indiana fans say the Michigan game was robbed from them on that ruling.

            I believe they have forgotten they were passing from the what, 5-10 yard line? A win was far from guaranteed.

          • jj says:

            i was there. it was.

          • duffman says:


            Sure there was the one, but there were at least two other calls that went UM way that were almost as bad a call. We will have to agree to disagree.

          • StvInIL says:

            I saw that game. And felt bad for Indi. My feelings as a nutral was that they got about a seasons worth of bad calls in one game. They all went against Indi.Just saying. Funny thing is when your a winner you end up on the right side of these games. Indi has to shoot for winning games by 10 instead of 4 I guess.

  57. Playoffs Now says:

    OBTW, it is Thursday, Sept 2, and the new phone book is here.

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Well lookie here. On the first day of college football my true love gave to me,

      One frontpage wikipedia article:

      The 2005 Texas Longhorns football team represented The University of Texas at Austin during the college football season of 2005–2006, winning the Big 12 Conference Championship and the national championship. The team was coached by Mack Brown, led on offense by quarterback Vince Young, and played its home games at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. The team’s penultimate game, the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game, was won by the largest margin of victory in Big 12 Championship Game history. Texas finished the season by winning the 2006 Rose Bowl against the University of Southern California Trojans for the national championship. Numerous publications have cited this victory and this team’s season as standing among the greatest performances in college football history. The Longhorns finished as the only unbeaten team in NCAA Division I-A football that year, with thirteen wins and zero losses. (more…)

  58. gregenstein says:

    Frank (or anyone really),

    Am I missing something? Lots of people are talking about more expansion, which I agree might be on the table, but doesn’t it make sense without Notre Dame? My understanding was that, without Notre Dame or Texas, it’s probably not worth it (nobody wants a smaller piece of the B10 $$ pie). I’d love to see Pitt added, but I know they won’t be added without ND coming along. Am I wrong about this? What makes everyone so sure that more expansion for the B10+2 is on the horizon within say, the next 5 years? I think we’re at 12 teams unless Texas shifts their paradigm.

    • Hank says:

      I’m with you Greg. I don’t think there will be any further expansion without one of the two ‘brand names’ we’ve discussed at length. Unless I’m missing something I just don’t see the financial math working for say Rutgers/Maryland. And with recent developments out west I think the case for economics compelling Notre Dame to join a conference has been weakened… at least for awhile. I think we are at 12 for at least a decade.

    • Ross Hatton says:

      I don’t really agree with all the people saying the divisions are a sign of expansion in the near future. Sure, it looks nice from the standpoint that Eastern teams could be easily added, but I do not think that is significant for two reasons:

      1. I think the divisions do reflect the Big Ten’s commitment to competitive balance and major rivalries. That appears to have been the main consideration in these divisions; I definitely do not think the divisions would be made as a plan for future expansion plans that may or may not yet be known.

      2. As we have all seen recently, ND has been scheduling a lot of teams for several years down the road. I take this as a sign we won’t see more expansion until the Big Ten contract is back for renegotiation, if ever. Just like people said when it seemed like Missouri/Rutgers were the only viable options, there is no reason to make a move now when you can take the wait and see approach.

      • Hank says:

        re your second point Dave Brandon, may he burn in hell, was on WTKA this morning and mentioned the Notre Dame contract. As most probably know Michigan and Notre Dame have an agreement to play each other until something like 2030 but with an occassional two year hiatus to accomodate each other. But they only contract a couple pf years out at a time and balance is a handshake agreement. Which is how its been for a long time. Brandon said they would formalize the contract out to 2015 or 16, the usual pattern, but hold it there until they settle the question of moving to 9 conference games so they can accomodate any changes we need to make.

    • StvInIL says:

      I would add though that I think that incrementally adding schools ratchets up the pressure on ND as the Dominos continue to fall. My feel is 14 is where the conference wants to be but maybe they go 16 if ND id triggered into joining. At this point I could care less about the pompous Irish. They remind me of a catholic joke, told to me by a catholic friend. It’s a seen in heaven and St Peter says of the Catholics, they like to pretend as if they are the only ones here.

    • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:


      Big Ten Expansion looks highly unlikely, unless ND or UT pick up the phone. And that is looking less likely now than it did 2 months ago.

      One thing that we learned from this round of expansion is that adding teams to a conference is difficult. It involves exit fees, lots of legal issues, and negotiations. Expansion doesn’t happen unless there is a very compelling reason for it. For example, the BT getting to 12 teams for the CCG. Look how difficult the UNL addition has been, and UNL was a ‘home run’ school that enabled the BT to get the CCG. No one can see any compelling reason for expansion at this time, nor are there any ‘hr’ teams available.

      Ironically, one of the things that the BT established with the addition of UNL is to set the hurdle very high for any new school accepted into the BT. Penn St and Nebraska have both set a high hurdle for any new BT member. The potential list of expansion candidates is very short.

      Rutgers and Maryland do not have enough votes from the BT schools to get an invite. I think the BT will watch the developments and wait to see how UNL and the CCG impacts revenue. The BT did amazing well in this round of expansion, now it’s time to enjoy the new format (in 2011) and to reap the rewards from a stronger, more marketable BT line up.

      • drwillini says:

        Agree that PSU and UNL set the bar high. Disagree that the addition of of UNL was difficult. It was done in a week. If these things make sense for both sides they are slam dunks, if they don’t they never happen.

      • drwillini says:

        Agree that UNL and PSU set a high bar. Disagree that the addition of UNL was difficult. It happened in a week. If a deal liek this makes sense for bothsides it can happen in a hurry, if it doesn’t, then it takes forever.

        • BuckeyeBeau says:

          yes, and add further evidence of how quickly the MWC added Nevada and Fresno.

          however, i would echo Hawkeye/Gator’s point about UNL being a difficult “add”. Yes, it was done quickly, but breaking into divisions and re-doing the schedule has proven to be contentious and difficult. Honestly, how many tOSU and MI fans would have said “no” if here was even a hint that The Game would be in jeopardy (sp?)

          Likewise, how are the Wisconsin fans feeling about the NEB addition now that various rivalries have been diminished?

          So, although it sounds easy to “add a team” in practice it has proven difficult.

          As an aside, from what I understand, adding PSU was difficult and painful too.

          • StvInIL says:

            In the end its irrelevant how they feel. The conference has changed and some will get there feelings hurt. The rest can live with it. Wisconsin’s keeping its mouth shut and Some tOSU and UM fans which the that they stayed in the same division. This time it’s a couple of Big boys who take the burden. But it should be those who have the most to gain that get the lion’s share of the burden. Other than Wisconsin, it’s not so bad overall. Its all about the conference comrades!

  59. Playoffs Now says:

    OK, got all the remote control favorites programmed for opening night:

    IA St-N.Ill
    Ohio St-Marshall
    Minn-Middle TN St
    W.TX A&M-Grand Valley St
    Western NM-Northern AZ

    Yeah, I’m that hardcore for opening week.

  60. [...] Big Ten Division-palooza As we pull away from the images tonight of people burning Jim Delany UNC jerseys all across the state of Ohio and on a [...] [...]

  61. Sportsman24 says:

    Add… but it shouldve been East/West.

  62. Paul says:

    Minnesota has the hardest schedule. Wisconsin has the easiest.

    Here’s how I figure it.

    I put the Big 10 into four tiers.

    Tier 1: tOSU, UNL, PSU (4 points)
    Tier 2: UM, WISC, IOWA (3 points)
    Tier 3: NW, MSU (2 points)
    Tier 4: PUR, ILL, IND, MINN (1 point)

    Using this scale, both divisions add up to 15 points.

    If you add up the annual opponents of each team (including cross division rivals), the schedule difficulty comes out like this:

    01. Minnesota (17)
    02. Michigan, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois (16)
    06. Penn State, Nebraska (15)
    08. tOSU, MSU, Iowa, Northwestern (14)
    12. Wisconsin (13)

    Maybe Alvarez was pulling the strings?

    The two biggest factors determining schedule difficulty are (a) the strength of the cross division rival and (b) the fact that the good teams don’t have to play themselves.

    Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan State get an advantage over the “big four” because their cross division rivals are weaker. (The inequity could be remedied by adding a second cross-division rival.)

    • Paul says:

      To clarify, I only counted division teams and cross-division rivals (not the two rotating teams added to fill the schedule out to 8 games).

      • Brian says:

        First, I believe you meant to list Purdue as a 2. Otherwise, all your numbers involving them are off by 1. I’ll use 2 as the Purdue value for my numbers below.

        Second, let me say I don’t totally agree with your tiers. Michigan is either a 4 (based on the long view) or a 1 (based on recent history).

        However, using your numbers for the next 2 seasons the schedule difficulty is:

        01. Nebraska (22)
        02. Indiana, Michigan State (21)
        04. Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue (20)
        09. Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin (19)

        The NW division generally has it a little easier than the SE, except for Nebraska. The totals are 120 for both. Nebraska has the worst draw (+2 compared to the rest of tier 1), though Michigan State is close (+1 to Purdue, +2 to Northwestern). Indiana suffers slightly among the bottom tier (+1 to both Illinois and Minnesota). The second tier all get the easiest draw, so they win overall.

        Over the long haul, it would be:

        01. Minnesota (21.8)
        02. Illinois, Indiana (21.2)
        04. Purdue (20.8)
        05. Michigan (20.4)
        06. Michigan State, Northwestern (19.6)
        08. Nebraska, Penn State (19.4)
        10. Iowa (19.2)
        11. Ohio State (18.8)
        12. Wisconsin (18.6)

        Again, the totals are 120. This time the top of the SE does well, and the bottom suffers with the NW in the middle. The biggest loser is Michigan (+1.2 to Iowa, +1.8 to Wisconsin), with Purdue close behind (+1.2 to Michigan State and Northwestern). Minnesota suffers among the bottom tier (+0.6), and the top tier is all close. The clear winner is Wisconsin with the easiest draw and a sizable gap to the rest of tier 2 (and most of tier 1), but Ohio State also does well (+0.6 to the rest of tier 1).

        Big picture, Wisconsin should grow while Michigan will struggle to return to tier 1 (they may trade places in the hierarchy). Ohio State has a good chance to stay at the top while Penn State may struggle to stay above Wisconsin. Purdue may drop to Illinois while Minnesota and Indiana become a fifth tier.

        If Michigan returns to tier 1 status, Minnesota and Iowa will suffer a lot as their gaps double to the rest of their respective tiers. Purdue will get closer to on par with the rest of tier 3. Ohio State will lose the advantage over Penn State, but Nebraska and Michigan will both be 0.6 behind.

        If Wisconsin goes to tier 1 instead, tiers 2 and 4 maintain the same schedule strength gaps. Purdue will fall even further behind in tier 3, maybe even getting knocked to tier 4. Nebraska and Ohio State would have equal schedule strength but Penn State would fall behind. Michigan would still struggle to catch up with the hardest schedule among the top 6, and Iowa would find it hard to catch Wisconsin.

        In summary, these divisions and rivals should really help Wisconsin while hurting Michigan, Purdue and Minnesota. That seems like a good trade for Wisconsin getting moved east.

  63. Jubilation says:

    If and when the Big Ten expands to 14 and then 16 teams it is going to require a few things for expansion to happen.

    1) Unless ND going to have to have AAU membership

    2) Competitive Balance(ie good football team) and be a large new market.

    3) Have pretty good research abilities.

    4) more than likely a public university

    That is why when all is said and done I think these are going to be the schools that will join the Big Ten.

    Notre Dame: Just too good of a fit here, it will get done sooner than later.

    Georgia Tech: A new AAU member (2010), in a town that is crazy about college sports (Atlanta) in a very large and growing market (7th or 8th largest media market).

    Pittsburgh: In everything but adding new TVs it is a very good matchup for the Big 10, and with Tech and ND joining that is much less a concern

    Rutgers: Adds some NJ market and helps a bit with the penetration into NYC.

    Your divisions

    East: Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Wisconsin,Indiana, Purdue

    West: Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Iowa, Notre Dame, Illinois, Northwestern

    Top rival games: Ohio State/Michigan, Penn State/Nebraska, Notre Dame/Georgia Tech, MSU/Indiana, Wisconsin/Minnesota, Iowa/Purdue, Rutgers/Northwestern,Pittsburgh/Illinois

    • schwarm says:

      To me, GT is an intriguing possibility, but I wonder just how much of a possibility it really is. Are their fans/administration interested in the Big Ten?

      It would be fitting if a team that bailed on the SEC for recruiting issues ended up giving the Big Ten a outpost in the South.

      • jj says:

        If they want to go south, I think GT and Vandy make a nice pair.

        I also still think ND and Navy would be the home run to end all home runs. Navy’s bigest problem is the BB issue. Other than that, lining these 2 up gets you every tv in the nation and tons of other focus. It is not AAU, but both are sufficently unique that it won’t matter.

      • duffman says:


        It is my understanding that GT bailed because BD had issues with BB that did not involve what was made public. It came up later when GT wanted back in but the SEC said “no soup for you!” (well not really but you get the gist). In any discussion about GT, it should be noted that UGA dominates the state, and the Atlanta market when it comes to recruiting, media, and footprint. A comparable would be Vandy vs UT for the Tennessee market, as GT would always be the lesser flea.

        • schwarm says:

          What I read was that he objected to signing huge numbers of football players for what was essentially a tryout freshman year. SEC would not lower the number of signees, so GT left. Don’t know if that’s accurate.

          Even if GT is not the dominant team, they are still a good team.

          Just like Rutgers would give NYC Big Ten Alums a close venue, GT would put Big Ten games in the hub of the South. I’m guessing there are as many or more Big Ten alumni in the South as on the East Coast.

          GT to the Big Ten seems like an unlikely prospect, but not out of the realm of possibility.

    • Richard says:

      I don’t see ND joining ever. Vandy also doesn’t make sense (they make as much sense as adding Rice; Rice at least is in a bigger city). The 4 will likely be out of the pool of Maryland, Rutgers, GT, FSU, and Miami (this is in a decade, by which point FSU & Miami are likely AAU).

      I think you bring in GT only if a Florida school comes along, since my themselves, they don’t deliver too much.

      Add Rutgers, GT, Miami, and FSU, though, and the Big10 would cover virtually all the major markets to the east and north of Texas (only exceptions are the heart of ACC country and Boston).

    • StvInIL says:

      You would probably have to swap ND with Purdue or Indiana. ND is definitely eastward oriented compared to the West Div.

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Guys – I written this a few times in other threads, but the Big Ten taking Southern teams would be an unmitigated disaster for the conference. Right now, the Big Ten is only comprised of dominant schools in their markets/states. The state of Indiana may be the only exception, but I think of ND as a national school, not an Indiana school.

      By taking GA Tech or Vandy, the Big Ten wouldn’t even dominate the cities where those schools are located. For example, Tennessee v. Mississippi State would get more love in Nashville than an Ohio State/Vandy match-up.

      The SEC is currently generally perceived as having a better football product than the Big Ten. Coming into Southern markets with 2nd-tier teams would only confirm that perception.

      The Big Ten taking Vandy and/or GA Tech makes as much sense as the SEC taking Cincy and/or Pitt.

      • Richard says:

        Depends on which southern teams. I agree that Vandy makes no sense (besides which, they have no reason to leave), and GT only makes sense if 1 or more Florida teams come along. Getting Miami and/or FSU is worth it, though.

  64. drwillini says:

    What are is the timing of the new network TV contract? Seems as if the much anticipated eastward expansion occurs, there would be a motivation to at least get it locked in so that the media market expansion would be properly valued.

    • PSUGuy says:

      2015 is when the tv contract expires.

      Thus the original 12-18 month timeline. It would have added new teams in 2011. They would have started playing in 2012/2013 and a new contract would have been in place by 2015. Almost no lost time where more teams have to share the same pie.

      IMO, if further expansion happens, it happens at the end of this year, but whether it does or doesn’t happen I just don’t see it happening again for another 10-20 years (depending on when tv contracts line up).

      • StvInIL says:

        End of the year sounds good. I mean after january. it gives a media bump to the confrence in the off saeson.

      • R says:

        IMO, they already know who they want, but when Nebraska came up so fast, decided to do a solid no brainer with class. They didn’t decimate another conference(at least enough of the COP/C told Delaney no more Big 12). Brings up a question. Do any of you think Delaney wanted to add Missouri too, and got the ‘no more’ from the COP/C?

        As a former eastern Pennsylvanian, I think Rutgers and Maryland would be excellent adds. Again, the COP/C would not be authorizing the destruction of a conference. I have never accepted the theory that you take three Big East schools (Pittcusegers) to attract ND. ND aint coming, for which I am eternally grateful!

        Additionally, we have been down this GT/Vandy road quite a bit. I just don’t get it. Why would the Big 10 want to be in places where they are marginalized? The universities of Georgia and Tennessee own those towns, plus you also have pro football on top of you in the same city.

        • Richard says:

          Yeah, Vandy makes no sense at all, and GT, I think, only works if they’re part of a southern strategy where you bring in 1 or more Florida schools (or NC schools, if they bite).

          The big problem with Maryland and Rutgers is that they’re not compelling athletically/financially. Unless revenues for the BTN increase by some power factor just by adding schools, there’s no reason to rush to add those 2.

          • Vincent says:

            As someone stated earlier, Rutgers and Maryland complement Penn State (and boost its value) in New Jersey, New York, Washington and Baltimore — something that will be important for PSU in the post-Paterno era. In those affluent, populous markets, the BTN can boost its presence on area cable systems, thus getting a windfall in subscription money.

            Maryland and Rutgers are compelling where research is concerned, a major source of revenue for Big Ten institutions. Improving your access to NYC-based corporations, NJ-based pharmaceuticals and federal research grants (Capitol Hill is a Metro ride from College Park), and RU and UMd would add to the Big Ten academic brand and research $.

        • cfn_ms says:

          Maybe this is a dumb question, but why is Maryland always talked about and never Virginia? Don’t the Cavs have a much better school (which presumably matters here)? Football seems around a awash, and as noted many times, no one seems to care about basketball.

          Is it just because Maryland is closer? (though I didn’t think it was by much) Is it because people think they can help deliver the Baltimore area instead of just DC? Or am I missing something important?

          • Vincent says:

            A good question, and I hope I can provide some good answers:

            1. Maryland better fits the Big Ten land-grant institutional model than Virginia. College Park has made significant improvements in academics and research over the past two decades, and its student population has become more selective. UVa has a somewhat smaller enrollment than Maryland; it may well be a bit stronger academically, but the difference has diminished in recent years.

            2. Athletically, Maryland has traditionally been stronger. All things being equal, it still has an edge in football.

            3. Maryland is perceived as probably easier to pry than UVa, which has more cultural ties to the south in general and ACC in particular, e.g., a longtime rivalry with the University of North Carolina (though it’s stronger from UVa’s perspective than it is from UNC, which has its own rivalries with NCSU, Duke and Wake). Maryland is more of a border state, and with its D.C. and Baltimore suburbs, it really doesn’t have much of a southern focus anymore.

            4. Maryland has considerably more “pull” than UVa in the D.C. metropolitan area; geographically, it’s inside the Capital Beltway, and College Park can be accessed by Metrorail. In contrast, Charlottesville is about two hours from Washington -- if there are no traffic jams on U.S. 29.

          • duffman says:


            vincent can correct me if I am wrong, but terp fans that I know seem to have less love for the carolina schools as I have heard the term All Carolina Conference many times and seemed to have a crack in the armor for ACC schools.

            In an earlier blog the scenario discussed was Big 10 adds Maryland and Rutgers to get to 14. This allows the SEC to add VT and A&M. With VT taken care of it would free UVA. So the next adds could be UVA / Pitt / ND / UNC (pick 2) for the Big 10 to get to 16. The SEC would probably pick up NC State + 1.

          • Vincent says:

            What Tech does really wouldn’t influence UVa that much; that rivalry is comparatively young (as recently as the 1960s, Tech’s big rival was Virginia Military Institute).

            Tech going to the SEC wouldn’t necessarily translate in UVa going to the Big Ten, though it might be tempted to in a 16-team scenario if Maryland and UNC were there, too. However, I would be shocked to see UNC in the Big Ten for a few reasons:

            1. As stated earlier, it’s the Tobacco Road equivalent of Texas, the “alpha dog.” It wouldn’t have that sort of leverage in the Big Ten, even with a Chapel Hill alum in charge.
            2. It would be hard for UNC to bid adieu to its principal in-state rivals, not so much Wake but its two cohorts in the Research Triangle. Any UNC move to the Big Ten would likely require that State end up in the SEC at the same time, for political reasons. And UNC would probably have to continue to play NCSU and Duke in sports (which it likely would anyway, if only for economic reasons).

            I wouldn’t be opposed to having the Big Ten go to 16 with Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina; that would enable the conference to blanket the mid-Atlantic. But whether it could successfully woo the last two remains up in the air.

    • zek33 says:

      Well, apparently Delany has reopened negotiation of the terms of the contract for the remaining years due to the addition of Nebraska.

      He is having the CCG as a separate game for now. Perhaps he will have the CCG align with the main TV contract and then group them in 2016, but we’ll have to see.

      Either way, any expansion is immediately valued because of the renegotiation clause.

      • bullet says:

        ccg is a carrot to renegotiate the rest.

      • RedDenver says:

        Maybe this is the reason Nebraska is playing all the big games the next 2 years. Delaney could make the case that the current TV contract only covers the existing 11 teams, which means the Neb schedule is open for bidders. That along with the CCG might force a renegotiation of the TV contracts.
        Here’s the 2011 games:
        Ohio State
        Michigan St.
        @Penn State

        reverse the home/away in 2012

        • CGE says:

          …or maybe B10 wants to do an apples/apples comparison to see how UNL does with ratings with the rest of the biggest brands. It may be a good way to help with future marketing and scheduling.

          If the biggest names are not all scheduled the same year, comparisons may be more difficult.

  65. mushroomgod says:


    Went to IU-Towson last night. I will only say that you won’t need to save your $ for a warm bowl game……

    BUT, did you see that James Blackman Jr., out of Ft Wayne, #5 prospect in class of 2014, committed to IU basketball? I’m sure you remember James Sr. and his high school duels with Steve Alford. Also, Yogi and Zeller were at the IU football games last night. AE is working hard on those guys trying to get them to commit. I think it’s going to happen. IU basketball is definately back, in a big way…….

    • duffman says:


      with cal at UK, little ricky at UL, and the tan one at IU all we need is for ND or UC to get hot and they can revive the Big 4 in Lucas. It would bring basketball back to its roots, and away from those tobacco road upstarts! If ND / UC can’t get their act together they could always put izzo and MSU in the fourth slot.

      I did a second post to your pre game post for the IU game if you want to know what I saw from the TV side of the equation.

      • Vincent says:

        Why couldn’t Purdue be the fourth in the Big Four? It and IU could alternate facing UK and UL.

        • duffman says:


          UK = 7NC, 13FF
          IU = 5NC, 8FF
          UL = 2NC, 8FF
          UC = 2NC, 6FF
          MSU = 2NC, 8FF

          PU = 2FF
          ND = 1FF (digger phelps era)

          I have many PU cousins and I would be okay with it, but I think the general fanbase in the area would like UC first. MSU makes the most sense, but they are farther away. Old folks like ND (visions of the Digger days) and probably weighs a little more than it should. in a revised Big 4, you could have close proximity (fan travel distance) plus better OOC matchups.

          UL (Big East) vs IU (Big 10)
          UC or ND (Big East) vs UK (SEC)


          MSU (Big 10) vs UK (SEC)

          probably has better national appeal than

          PU (Big 10) vs UK (SEC)

          I actually like a Big 4 in football with PU

          Indiana school vs Kentucky school

          You could play it in Lucas as a neutral site (each school gets half the tickets in the stadium – and handled by schools “donor” system over ticketmaster. Rotate every year.

          Year #1

          IU vs UK, PU vs UL

          Year #2

          IU vs UL, PU vs UK

          It is my understanding that when UK plays UL in Pappa Johns it is the first game of the season, but when they play Commonwealth the following year it is the second or third game. It will probably never happen, but it would be better to see these kind of OOC games than IU vs Towson :(

    • psu4life says:

      That is why I think Maryland and Rutgers will be next into the conference. It is not because Rutgers delivers New York/New Jersey or Maryland delivers Baltimore/Washington; it is that Penn State plus Rutgers delivers New York/New Jersey (defintely New Jersey) and Penn State plus Maryland delivers Baltimore/Washington. I think Alverez confirms this belief when he said that they have not properly maximized Penn State’s worth to the conference.

      • schwarm says:

        I think if the Big 10 takes an ACC school, there is a decent chance the ACC will take Pittsburgh. But that might be an acceptable trade-off.

        • R says:

          I would think UConn/Cuse/Pitt would all be headed to the ACC, if Maryland/Rutgers were added to the Big 10. Of course after the SEC takes VT, then the ACC takes WVU. Any other believers in this scenario?

          • Richard says:

            I use to think the SEC would be a better fit for VTech, but after the strings they pulled in the Virginia legislature to get in to the ACC, they probably would not be able to leave Virginia in the ACC without repercussions in the legislature.

            The title game isn’t worth that much to the ACC; football’s worth more now but they’re the rare big conference where basketball has nearly as much value to them as football, so they very well may grab Pitt, Syracuse, and UConn, but would likely not consider WVU (academics would be a stumbling block).

            This may be a reason for the Big10 to hesitate on poaching Maryland, since you don’t want the ACC to consolidate around NYC, unless they can get 2-3 of Miami, FSU, and GTech. If it means waiting a few years for FSU & Miami to become AAU, they can wait.

          • Vincent says:

            I can see the SEC taking Virginia Tech more than I can see the ACC accepting WVU. The Virginia legislature isn’t going to care what conference Tech is in as long as it continues to play UVa in all sports — and that would be a given. From a UVa perspective, it might prefer to see the Gobblers enter another conference. For the SEC, Tech would be the most logical complement to Texas A&M.

            WVU’s academics would concern the ACC, though I believe it does a fine job considereing the state’s relatively meager economic and educational resources. Perhaps WVU would be a better fit for the SEC, but that conference be interested? Were the Big East to fall apart, I could see this longshot: WVU, Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida joining the league that for now is called the Big 12. USF gives that conference a better chance to recruit in Florida, and WVU/UC/UL makes the Ohio Valley Big 12 country.

        • StvInIL says:

          Schwarm, I think Pitt, Uconn or Syracuse seem likely options for the ACC. The pool of available options continues to shrink but these schools offer the possibility of balding more cohesiveness with BC and solidifying that end of the league. But I would welcome them in the Big Ten.

      • StvInIL says:

        I also heard Delaney talking on the big ten network the other night. He mentioned 14 and 16 teams. I don’t remember the exact words but he did not seem to put any stop signs up on either of those numbers.

      • drwillini says:

        I find the 3k Nebraska alums an amazing number as well, more than Notre Dame. It will be a very interesting experiment if the strategy is to make NYC a big ten town.

        • Hank says:

          I’m sure most of us have heard the term subway alumni. at the risk of stating the obvious the term was coined for Notre Dame fans in New York City who had not attended college let alone attended Notre Dame. The actual Notre Dame alumni base may be small but the subway alumni base is huge. I grew up in the city and there is a huge Notre Dame following in the ethnic Catholic blue collar neighborhoods. I use to play touch football in a bar league in the Bronx and these were all working class Irish kids. Most if they had gone to college it was some small local college. They were ALL rabid Notre Dame fans. I use to have to cover a lot of betting action solo.

    • cfn_ms says:

      So if the Big Ten wants to impact the NY market the most, they need to bring in UNC and Stanford? Brilliant!

      (unfortunately the internet doesn’t have “wiseass” tone… sigh…)

  66. Milton Hershey says:

    Hank, I don’t think Notre Dame has the same mass appeal or fan base it used to have when you were a kid. So much has changed in the past 20 years…

    • Hank says:

      Milton this is not an observation from when I was a kid. its a recent observation. I still live in the area and work in the city. there is a large ND fanbase not represented by actual alumni. It may not be as big as in the glory days of Rockne but is still large and shouldn’t be ignored. No offense to Penn State or Nebraska but the idea that their alumni numbers argue for them having more fan appeal in NY is just wrong.

      • bullet says:

        My guess is that it tends to be older and the 20s and younger don’t follow ND more than anyone else. ND hasn’t been big in 20 years and we have a Supreme Court with 6 Catholics and no Protestants while everyone celebrates St. Patrick’s Day.

        @Hank, based on your observation, are the subway alums overwhelmingly older? As I noted in my rant below, it is clear ESPN still loves ND.

        • Hank says:

          they are not older as in 60 year old guys. but I know a lot of guys in 30-40 year old demographic that are that type od subway alum. I don’t have a lot of contact with 20 year olds so can’t speak for that young. As everyone points oyt NYC is a pro sports town but if you do get college sports talk on the local sports radio, WFAN, its usually Big East basketball but in second place Notre Dame football. There is almost never any fan generated college football talk for any other program.

  67. CGE says:

    One thing that hasn’t been discussed much is the potential problem with another big football name joining B10. The Big4/Mid2 have their hands full as it is. RU/MD makes sense…big schools, top markets, great numbers off the field.

    Alvarez is hoarding the cupcakes, and the conference could use a couple more to balance PSU and UNL.

    • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:


      You bring up a good point about the potential problem of adding more “big football name” schools or top 20 schools to the BT. I think it’s a balancing act, on one hand, big name schools will bring name brand match-ups and increase bargaining leverage with the TV networks, on the other hand at some point you start deceasing the prospect of getting a BT team into the NCG since too many good schools will just beat up on each other.

      The SEC has set the business model for this, they have a stronger line-up than the BT, garner tons of national TV coverage and still get their teams to the NCG (and usually win that game). I think even with Nebraska and the emergence of Wisky and Iowa the BT is still in a catch up mode with the SEC. Thus, the BT will still be on the prowl for top 20 football schools.

      One problem may be fitting a new Top 20 school into the new BT divisions. Adding only one big name brand may very well skew the newly balanced divisions. The need to add two teams at a time and the problem of tilting the balance in the divisions are more reasons why any additional expansion is going to be harder to archive. Don’t look for any BT expansion in the near future.

      Still, even with all this, I think that any top 20 team with sound academics will get the votes for an invite into the BT. Obviously, there aren’t many schools out there that fill that bill, ND, UT and a few schools that have no desire to leave their stable conferences UNC in the ACC and UF in the SEC.

      Pickings are slim out there for the BT. Additionally, the problems with balance and the high hurdle that UNL crated make expansion more difficult than ever for the BT. Any new team added to the BT has a huge financial hurdle to jump, especially since the CCG hurdle has now been passed.

  68. Booster says:

    I’m convinced that Barry Alvarez is aware that Jim Delaney will be working to add 2 more teams, 14 total, sooner than later. 2-5 years. Likely from the (East)

    When this happens, count on Wisconsin being moved over to the Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska division.

    I’d bet Barry and Delaney have a gentleman’s agreement on this.

    • duffman says:


      I agree! and said so in an earlier post

      at 14 I bet Wisconsin gets moved
      at 16 I bet Illinois gets moved

      • spartakles78 says:

        You could probably make a tracking poll on potential expansion candidates based on just ‘competitive balance’ numbers while ignoring academics, geography, TV, etc. By this I mean, if you look at the divisions for the next 2 years, the Big Ten used either total wins or W-L pct. for the period from 1993 to 2009 to rank the schools 1-12. As a starting point, they split the odd numbers from the even numbers.

        OSU 1 UNL 2
        PSU 3 U-M 4
        UW 5 UI 6
        PU 7 MSU 8
        NU 9 UMN 10
        UIUC 11 IU 12

        Swap Northwestern and Indiana and there you go. You can then look at all of the usual expansion suspects to see where they would fall. Schools like UVA, UMD, Pitt, GT are in the hunt to move into the #6 spot, although I doubt Iowa will stumble.

        More expansion could bring geography and the KISS method back to the top.

    • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:


      I think that moving Wisconsin west would completely depend on what new teams are added to the BT. There is no way that you can add two lower ranked teams like RU and Maryland to the east and move Wisky west.

      The BT has no desire to have a “cake walk” east with tOSU, Penn St and 5 relatively weaker teams. The west is already arguably the tougher of the two divisions. Moving Wisky west would make the “west” division twice as tough as the east.

      From what we learned the divisions were voted on with each school having a 1/12th share vote. I don’t think you’d get a majority to vote for unequal divisions. Again, this issue is one of the many factors that make expanding past 12 teams very difficult for the BT.

      • Richard says:

        I’m quite certain Michigan would move east if Rutgers was added (they have a ton of alums in NYC; second-most after PSU in the chart in the WSJ). Maybe MSU as well, just so the Little Brown Jug game can remain annual (maybe allowing the Spartans to play near NYC regularly can make up for them not playing in Chicago regularly?). That would allow both Wisconsin and Illinois to move west, and split the Indiana schools. Otherwise, you’d have to split the Michigan schools.

        In any case, you’d have balance since the East would have Michigan, OSU, PSU, and a bunch of cupcakes. The West would have Nebraska and a big “middle class”.

        • Hawkeye / Gator Boy says:


          On a personal level, I’d like to see the split that you outlined with the 3 name brands east and Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska west. But, given what we just went through with the divisional alignments, I don’t see that ever happening, no matter who is added to the BT.

          First, the BT powers that be had a major priority of splitting up the 4 name brand teams. Second, a major priority was splitting up tOSU and UM. The BT came up with these priorities for TV scheduling reasons, I don’t see them reversing their decisions on this. The BT powers didn’t do this without a lot of thought, and it’s not something that you reverse easity. It looks like the schools vote on it and UM would need a majority of votes to head east. I can think of six schools that would out vote them, through in MSU which wouldn’t want to see UM move west without them, and I think UM is stuck “west” for the duration.

          Again, that’s not how I would have done it, but all the evidence points to UM staying west.

          Wisconsin will need to have a fairly high power team brought into the ‘east’ before they can be moved west. I think we are going to be stuck with these divisions for the long run. For now all the evidence points to ND and UT being fairly stable and staying put, therefore I don’t think you’ll see much of a change in the Big Ten or our newly formed divisions.

          • StevenD says:

            I agree, Mich/MSU will stay in the west. Wisc will stay in the east until a ranked team (or ND) is added to the east.

            In 2013 or 2014, Rutgers and Maryland will start playing in the Big Ten. They will play in the east (with PSU, OSU). If either Rutgers or Maryland is ranked (in football) when they join the Big Ten, Wisc will play in the west. Otherwise, Wisc will stay in the east, and Illinois will play in the west.

            PSU wants neighbors, the BTN wants east coast markets, the CIC wants a foothold into NY and DC, and Delany wants to secure the long-term future of the Big Ten. This one is not about football. It’s about location, size, and academic fit. Rutgers and Maryland are perfect. The quality of their football doesn’t really matter.

            The Big Ten went to 12 with a football power. That significantly improved the Big Ten “prduct”. The next step is to project that product into new markets. So the Big Ten is not looking for football powers for 13 and 14.

    • mushroomgod says:

      Not real sure about the “gentleman” part. I wouldn’t buy a used car from either one………

  69. psu4life says:

    There are just no more football powers to be had. I think all future expansion will be about markets and hope that one or more of those teams will become competitive like a Northwestern. I looks like all the other football powers outside the big ten and sec are looking at independence.

    • aps says:

      I agree, the only real powers left are ND and Texas and at the moment they are not going any where. Plus you need some mid level teams so that you are not top heavy. Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia Tech are those type of programs. Can have good years but not year end year out.

      I also believe the Big Ten will go east and maybe south. The Big Ten is a midwestern league with a foothold in the east with Penn State. I also believe that the Big Ten will use Penn State as a bridge to those markets. Does two things, gives Penn State some east coast schools and rivals that they have been wanting since they entered the league. The other thing it does is expands the Big Ten from being a midwestern league to a more national brand. It will be no longer a regional brand. This will also start to shut off parts of the country from SEC.

      • Michael in Indy says:

        Only two candidates could really make the Big Ten more valuable, Texas and Notre Dame, and they aren’t really options.

        Texas: Forgetting the problems they’d bring with their insistence of BevoTV, just remember that Texas cannot go anywhere by themselves. Someone would have to offer a good home for A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma (and by extension, Oklahoma State), and maybe Baylor. A&M would certainly be welcome, but A&M has made it clear that if it’s going anywhere else, it’s going to the SEC, not the Big Ten or Pac-10. Some Big Ten presidents even rationalize themselves into believing Oklahoma would be acceptable academically, but OSU, Tech, and Baylor just aren’t CIC-ready. And while Mack Brown himself has been as classy as can be when asked about UT and UNL’s disputes, the Big Ten should respect Nebraska’s desires to cut ties with Texas.

        Notre Dame: In order to get Notre Dame, it may require more acceptable candidates than Texas would, such as Rutgers, Syracuse, and/or Pitt, or perhaps BC or UConn. But it would still require expansion to 16, which would ultimately set forth the era of the super-conference, meaning that the more-desirable Texas would secure its future by leaving the Big Weak 12 and join the Pac-16, which is academically more acceptable than the SEC. In any case, Big Ten schools would make more money with Notre Dame but would also have to put up with the angriest legion of alumni and fans in the country. There are other ways to generate revenue for college athletics that would not create those kinds of headaches.

        Remember: the Big Ten’s goals are to secure its future, long-term, and to generate revenue, both short-term and long-term. That doesn’t have to mean adding new schools.

        Instead, the Big Ten can increase its TV value and its exposure to large market audiences like New York, as well as its exposure to prime recruiting areas like Texas, California, and Florida, by playing games there. Big Ten schools don’t need to have Rutgers in the league in order to get attention in New York; they just have to get some games there. For example, if Notre Dame has a problem playing Wisconsin in Madison because a game in Madison doesn’t help them increase their exposure, maybe the Domers would play them at the New Meadowlands. There’s also no reason that Big Ten teams can’t play in the Cowboys Classic in Dallas or the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff in Atlanta.

        Making a habit of playing games like those would truly make the Big Ten a national conference despite being entirely in the Midwest (except Penn State). Along with other good marketing techniques, those games would increase the value Big Ten TV contracts as much as adding any of the Big East or ACC teams, and it would give a boost in recruiting. Ultimately, those are the things that would secure the league’s future.

    • Richard says:

      You do have some decent almost-top-ten brands in the ACC; specifically FSU & Miami. Of course, if you add in basketball, UNC and Duke make sense as well if they ever deign to join. I think the Florida schools are somewhat more within the realm of possibility.

      • Vincent says:

        Until FSU or Miami reach AAU status, they aren’t going to be considered. Of the ACC’s AAU institutions, Maryland is the easiest to secure, gives you two major markets (one with access to plenty of federal grant money) and is virtually a basketball brand name. Football? Well, let’s just say after the NCAA comes down on Butch Davis, it will be in better shape than UNC.

        • Richard says:

          MSU joined before they were AAU. If the schools are close enough to being AAU (and I believe they are), they will and should be considered.

        • Michael in Indy says:

          I come from a family of Seminole fans, and I grew up in the Carolinas, but I now live in Indianapolis. I have all the respect in the world for the Big Ten. In fact, I’m a bit jealous that the ACC doesn’t get the same deal of respect nationally from an athletic or academic standpoint as the Big Ten. But while I would love to see FSU invited into the AAU in the next few years, I really would not like to see FSU join the Big Ten at any point. Rather, I would like to see the ACC rise on its own.

          Miami, FSU, NC State, and Virginia Tech each have aspirations to be in the AAU. Even Clemson’s academic reputation has improved dramatically from fall-back school to competitive.

          I would be happy to see FSU and other ACC teams play Big Ten teams, but they don’t need to join them.

  70. Hank says:

    with all the love between Michigan and Ohio State fans in defense of the rivalry during the division alignment discussions I’d just like to honor our rivals on this opening weekend by saying

  71. Vincent says:

    Some news today from College Park: Maryland hired Kevin Anderson, who’s been at Army since 2004, as its new athletic director. Not necessarily sure how this affects the “Terps to Big Ten” talk, but the reaction from Terrapin fans is, to say the least, all over the place; many expected the university to hire either an AD at a BCS school, someone with Maryland ties, or both. This guy is neither, though he will be the first black AD in Maryland history. The reaction is at

    • drwillini says:

      Any replacement of Yow would be a positive in terms of receptiveness to Big10 admission. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from Nebraska has to get everybody’s attention, and should be a big benefit to an honest appraisal of what Maryland can get from the big 10. I am really Maryland/Rutgers in the next round, prior to the next network contract. Get some feedback on how that plays in the Northeast. It doesn’t neccessarily raid a particular conference, although if the ACC goes after a big east school it might have that effect in the end. And best of all, it leaves alot of options open for 15/16. If the NYC experiment is successful ND might be more interested, so you could do ND/Pitt and go national. If the NYC experiment is moderately successful you could give it a boost with Syracuse/UConn, and if the NYC experiment is either a complete success or a complete failure you could go a different direction and do UVa/GaTech/Vandy.

      • Vincent says:

        Good points. The criteria for choosing members #13-14 are different than those for #12, which required a “football brand” to establish interest in the ensuing conference championship game. Now the primary concern is overall athletic/academic fit and market power. Rutgers and Maryland are Big Ten-worthy in sports, academic and research, and both boost the conference along the eastern seaboard, not only with their own inherent value but in complementing that of Penn State.

        • StvInIL says:

          Yes, and the thing that really helps them Vincent is that there aren’t a whole lot of Football brand names within some geographic striking distance who are unattached or very unhappy with their conference affiliation. These schools also have the academic thing working for them. As we took UNLs football brand at the expense of academics, these schools will help bring back up the education strengths of the conference.

          • Vincent says:

            There may also be a fear among some in the Big Ten that much of Penn State’s popularity in areas such as New York is largely due to Joe Paterno, a Brooklyn native. Giving PSU two eastern rivals is a good backup strategy for the post-Paterno era.

          • PSUGuy says:

            I think you have the right idea Vincent, but the wrong reason.

            IMO, JoePa being from Brooklyn has nothing to do with the exposure PSU gets in the NYC area.

            I read somewhere PSU leads the list of college alumni numbers in the NYC area. This combined with their traditionally high level of play means the networks have no problem putting them on NYC area tv’s (same argument for ND and Catholics).

            Considering Rutgers/UConn have never really been football powers, Syracuse has always been far from NYC (though admittedly still a NY school), and the only other closest school is a small, private, Catholic one (BC)…I think it’s easy to see why PSU has had the draw its had in the mid-atlantic regions and the NYC area in particular.

            The problem is Rutgers has been decent recently, UConn has just gotten on the scene and is playing well, and Syracuse is trying to regain its former glories. If PSU takes a hit post-Paterno, with those programs doing decently, the networks might think it better to more heavily program other schools’ (ie Big East) football in the NYC area at the expense of Big Ten coverage.

            IMO, the Big Ten has “had its cake and could eat it too” with PSU. It had a single school in the mid-atlantic that it could count on to provide access to regions it simple couldn’t touch. Minimal addition for maximum gain.

            The thing for me though is this divisional split thing has shown me how many folks out there truly buy into the “Big Ten = Mid-West” and are very against expansion outside of the “historic” regional areas, let alone by multiple teams. There might be a TON of pushback from “the old guard” if 2-4 teams from the mid-atlantic/north-east are added, no matter what their qualifications are.

            I really don’t know how much this will effect president thinking, but it certainly does make me look at further expansion in a whole new light (not that I changed my opinions, only on their chances of happening).

          • zek33 says:

            I agree with PSUGuy.

            Let me add one other thing.

            Penn State is at the bottom of the list of schools in the Big Ten in terms of Chicago based alumni, with less than even Northwestern. (I don’t know whether they have more than Nebraska, but I’d guess probably less since Nebraska seems more likely to send kids to Chicago if the kids go to major cities after school).

            Penn State’s alumni are located on the east coast and primarily between D.C. and NYC, which is the area that Penn State dominates in terms of alumni base among the traditional college football powers.

            So when you think about the value of Penn State, unlocking the value in D.C. and NYC is the true reason why you look at expansion on the east coast.

            Objectively, Penn State may even be the most valuable school in the Big Ten due to it’s ability to singlehandedly deliver vast parts of the East that the Big Ten wouldn’t really be touching much other than Michigan and to a less extent Ohio State’s base to the east, which even combined are smaller than Penn State’s in the east.

            And so the question becomes, can we maximize Penn State’s value by bringing the Big Ten to Penn State’s (and the rest) alumni bases in the D.C. to NYC area.

            PSUGuy I wouldn’t worry about what the fans think about keeping the Big Ten about the Midwest. Delany’s focus is squarely on the East coast, since he already owns Chicago. He wants NYC and maybe D.C.

            No less than Alvarez has said that the Big Ten has not been able to unlock Penn State’s true value and would likely look east in future expansion to fix that problem.

            Jim Delany is smart enough to know that you get much more value of Penn State if you add Rutgers in the Big Ten, since the local northern NJ/NYC media would become Big Ten media and have a field day with it when Penn State visits, etc.

            And so when we discuss the addition of Rutgers, Rutgers would probably be valued based on the additional value that it unlocks from Penn State and to a less extent Michigan/Ohio State and even Nebraska and possibly Wisconsin/Iowa visiting NYC.

            The same is true for Maryland.

            These are strategically located schools whose true value comes from synergy with the other schools not their own ability to necessarily deliver national audiences.

            Obviously, it would be a slam dunk if they’d each won 5 of the last 10 ACC/Big East championships and the associated BCS bids, but we’ll see what happens.

            I happen to think there’s enormous hidden value that would be unlocked with the additional of Rutgers/Maryland, and I’d bet Delany’s looking hard at those numbers as well to see if increasing the value of Penn State and the rest of the schools would pay off in the future.

          • StvInIL says:

            Well said Zek3,
            I would not be overly concerned about any cultural clashes either between Midwest and East. At least not like two oil tankers crashing into each other. The only way that happens is if the league office moves to New York then the CCG moves to NY. Sounds like the old SWC and Big 8 conglomeration. This in my opinion would effectively destroy the conference. Anyway the conferences oldest members and in terms of numbers are a strong majority from the Midwest and there is no way the league does not retain a Midwestern identity.
            One of the positives in an addition of Maryland and Rutgers is that they both come from a different league. So there are little or no expectations from the group as expressed by the group’s big dog such as in the case of Texas + 4. And that would mean that each of the last 4 additions came from 4 different situations as Penn State was independent. I think this is an underappreciated factor here. So an addition of a ND or another team from the Big East still keeps this road way to synergy intact.

          • drwillini says:

            The center of gravity of the big ten is always going to be in the midwest. Illinois, Indiana and Michigan all have two teams each. Pennsylvania might have a shot at this down the road, but Indiana has about the same shot at getting three (and Illinois already has three in the CIC, but whose counting), so the center of gravity is always going to be somewhere close to Lake Michigan. Adding UNL is effectively the end of the road west, but the terminus has quite a reach. UNL is more or less the BCS school of the Dakotas, and I can imagine there is interest in Wyoming and Idaho. Sparsely populated for sure, but at least it is an impressive area on a map. It more than balances a couple expansions to the east.
            The big ten can be defined by something other than geography, and it is not mutually exclusive. AAU membership seems to be a limmus test. Another interest in the coalition are the land grant schools. Of the current twelve UNL, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue, MSU, OSU and PSU are land grant, or 8 of 12. Of all the big ten states, only Iowa does not have its land grant school in the big ten. I think this fact should give the Maryland and Rutgers people some comfort that there is much in common. AAU membership, land grand geographically contiguous. I think it works for most folks.

    • m (Ag) says:

      I don’t think you can really tell much about this AD from his resume. Being an AD at Army is so different from being at any other school, though he does have experience as an assistant AD at some Pac 10 schools. Could be great, could be awful.

      I don’t think it really tells us anything about the possibility of moving to the Big 10. Since it seems like he wasn’t the leading candidate, I think he’ll probably take his lead from the university administrators. Rather than try to persuade them to stay in the ACC or go to the Big 10, he’ll find what they want. If they want to make a move to the Big 10, he’ll get behind that; if they don’t he’ll politely decline any interest from Big 10 officials.

  72. bullet says:

    In the car yesterday listening to ESPN radio and to a lesser extent Fox. ALL the talk on ESPN and a fair amount on Fox was ND and UM. ESPN kept talking about all the type that was going to be on the game next week between those two. I kept thinking UM is going to be 4-8, maybe 7-5 with some breaks and ND 7-5 or 8-4 this year-what hype? Purdue is generally expected to have a losing season and UConn is BE and is generally not picked among the top 3.

    So ESPN still loves Notre Dame and Michigan. Which they probably wouldn’t be in such love with them unless 1) they had the game next week and 2) the brands still very much matter.

    • R says:

      The games at ND on NBC. It will be up against Miami/Ohio State and Florida State/Oklahoma. This game would only lose luster if both had lost in week one. A new coach and a coach on the hot seat also expands the interest.

  73. StvInIL says:

    Good thing my wife was busy Saturday. She would not have been happy if she really needed me to do something or accompany here somewhere. I was College football intensive and I warned her the night before as I took her out for Dinner. :-)

  74. bullet says:

    Big Sky invites Cal Poly and Cal Davis and talks about going to 12. Most logical interpretation is that WAC won’t be able to expand in west. They’ll have to look to Texas. Of course, its also possible Montana has said they are going and they are trying to fill the spots, but that’s not the tone from the commissioner.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      The interesting quote from the commissioner: “The landscape of college athletics has shifted even more this summer, and with the great diversity of funding and budgets at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, the role of the FCS may became even greater in the coming years. The FCS could become the home for many institutions.”

      Almost implies they think they can get some WAC leftovers moving back down…

      • bullet says:

        Idaho and SJ St. are in particularly bad spots. If WAC folds, their only hope is that Sun Belt lets them be a football affiliate and Big West takes them for other sports.

        I imagine Hawaii is looking real hard at whether they can get into Big West and put together an independent fb schedule. Do they really want to be in a conference with SJSU, Idaho, USU, NMSU, La Tech, Texas St. and UTSA (who hasn’t even started playing fb yet)?

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Even after Fresno State & Nevada left their conference mates in the dust, I don’t feel bad for the WAC.

          I do feel bad for Hawaii, Utah State, and Louisiana Tech because they actually have made a genuine effort towards making a competitive program through the years. The good news is that each has a fallback.

          Hawaii could survive as an independent; they just have to convince five of the 120 FBS programs to make the most enjoyable road trip in football. A sixth home game could be an FCS team. For road games, Hawaii could say, “We’ll play you at your place. We won’t insist you return the favor, but you can if you want.” As it is, teams like Cincinnati, USC, and Alabama make road trips out there. As for TV money, Hawaii would just need enough to match what the WAC payout has been.

          Utah State’s fallback is the MWC. The mtn. will be taken off basic cable in Utah unless they’re invited. With two of their three best football programs about to walk out the door, the MWC can’t afford to lose their Utah foothold altogether. I’m convince they’re going to be invited. Simple as that.

          Louisiana Tech’s fallback is Houston. With the MWC at 11 with Utah State, it might as well go to 12. Who better than Houston? Travel for non-revenue sports would be more expensive, but overall, if the MWC been better financially for TCU than C-USA was, why wouldn’t the same be true for Houston? And with Houston gone, C-USA would be ready to take Louisiana Tech. At worst, C-USA would take Troy instead, but even then, the Sun Belt would probably invited Tech to replace Troy.

          The other half of the WAC (SJSU, Idaho, & NMSU) does not get my sympathy. They do not even draw NCAA-minimum home crowds of 15,000, so clearly, having an FBS program is a drain on the university. People aren’t even supporting the programs, and success is painfully rare. And from a personal standpoint, it disgusts me when I hear programs like those lumped in as part of “major” college football while my alma mater, Appalachian State, a superior program despite offering 22 fewer scholarships each year, is called “Division 2.” The only thing major about those three programs is failure. Realistically, they’re barely making it by WITH Boise, Fresno, & Nevada in the league. They should either drop football or go to the level where they belong, which is the FCS.

  75. loki_the_bubba says:

    Discussion of PACx revenue sharing and potential divisions, with some worry about USC bolting thrown in.

    • zek33 says:

      It’s just hard to see USC going independent without a strong place to put its secondary teams.

      Yes, USC could form an all independent power conference with Texas/Notre Dame as the three anchors with Oklahoma and parts of the Big East/Big 12 thrown in…

      But would they do that? I can’t see the Pac-10 allowing them to not be a football member but park the rest of the sports there…

      And it doesn’t seem as if they’d bolt without the 3 other California schools in tow in some form or another.

      • drwillini says:

        Just throw ND and USC into the Big12. The dwarves in that league are happy with their role. Pretty geographically centered in TX/OK. Would block Pac1X and SEC westward expansion. It would be ineteresting to get the Domer take on the relative merits of the Big10/Big12.

        • Vincent says:

          Logistically, going to the Big 12 would put Southern Cal’s teams in a conference where all its rivals are at least two time zones away. Not cheap.

        • Well Played Mauer says:

          How about this:

          USC & BYU join the Big 12 as football only members, USC a private school joins BYU in the West Coast Conference for b-ball, then they can through their other sport under the bus… I mean into the Big West.

          The new big 12 divisions could look like this:

          Texas Tech
          Texas A&M
          Oklahoma State

          Kansas State
          Iowa State

          Of course with Baylor being shipped north we can’t very well call the divisions North/South anymore so some new names will be in order.

          Maybe “The Big Dog Division” and “The Runt Division”, or perhaps “The Lords” and “The Serfs”, or for the TV execs “The Prime-time Division” and “The Blacked-out Division”. ;-)


      • Richard says:

        Independent in football, WCC (with all the private schools) for everything else. It’d be easier if they can convince UCLA to go independent in football as well (Big West for everything else).

        No, I don’t think it’s happening, but it’d be interesting.

      • ccrider55 says:

        I’m sure USC is just dying to join the ranks of schools in non auto qualifiers like Boise St, TCU, BYU, Utah (for one last year),and the independents (other than ND who has a “special arrangement”). Anybody think the rest of the BCS wants to start granting more “special arrangements”?

        • Richard says:

          Well, schools like USC don’t actually need it (since the bowls would find them attractive if they’re elgible as an at-large). You can argue that ND doesn’t need it either, and that it’s actually caused them grief (though it does get them money).

          • ccrider55 says:

            Aren’t most of the better bowls are contractually obligated to conferences (I know, there is a spot for one non BCS team in a BCS Bowl, providing they qualify) ? Why isn’t Ohio St. or Michigan or LSU or Alabama going indy? That suggestion makes as much sense as USC. Texas? Maybe if the Big12ish disintergrates. There is a reason that the Big 10 and SEC are the top conferences, they treat all their members as nearly equals. That is something that the University of Spoiled Childern has a problem coming to grips with, but I’m sure the suggestion of indy is a negotiating tactic to try to gain as much revenue share from the new TV contract as possible, and influence alignment.

          • Michael in Indy says:

            Why does it make sense for BYU to go independent but not USC, Texas, etc? Because BYU is much more valuable as an independent than it is as a member of the MWC.

            USC, Texas, UCLA, etc. command more TV money as members of their conferences than they would by themselves. Well, maybe Texas would do well as an independent, but they do want to keep enough rivals on their schedule that it might as be a conference. Besides, UT couldn’t go indy even if it changed its mind, thanks to the Texas state legislature.

          • Richard says:

            Right now, it’s more valuable for USC to remain in the Pac10 than go indy, but if the Pac10 decides to share revenue equally yet doesn’t manage to get a good TV deal, it may make financial sense for USC to go it alone. As for bowl deals, yes, they would be in the same situation as ND (BCS or bust!), though together with BYU, they can probably get a decent bowl or 2 to commit to taking them (or BYU) if they don’t make the BCS. Maybe ND as well. I don’t think the combination of USC, ND, and BYU would have trouble getting at least 2 good bowls to commit to taking them.

          • bullet says:

            Interesting wide-ranging interview with Oregon AD, formerly assistant AD at Kentucky and at Maryland.
            Talks about a variety of topics-pac 10 divisions, revenue sharing, facilities, funding. Makes the comment that equal revenue sharing will be very impacted by the amount of the new TV deal.

    • Well Played Mauer says:

      Good Read, I especially liked this quote: “why not just call the Northwest schools, plus Colorado and Utah, the Outpost Division? Or maybe the Trail Mix Six?”

    • bullet says:

      Read somewhere the AZ AD saying that revenue sharing definitely had to be resolved 1st. He favored either the B10 or SEC models over the current P10 model.

  76. Michael says:

    Two ways of looking at it:

    1. Wisconsin got screwed. Badgers fans lose their annual games against Iowa, lose their shortest road trip in Northwestern, and don’t get to start a much-desired rivalry with Nebraska. Instead, they’re the farthest western AND northern outpost in their division. All they got was Minnesota.

    2. Dang did Wisconsin get lucky! Ohio State and Penn State ought to be tough games most years, but their other four annual opponents typically finish in the league’s bottom half, if not bottom third! Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and Purdue. Many years, Wisconsin will only have to play one among Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan. Wisconsin just might have been gifted the easiest path to the Big Ten title game. Heck, considering the typically soft non-conference schedule, Wisconsin may have been set up for a clearer path to the national title!

    • zek33 says:

      That’s pretty much how I’d feel about it.

      The crossover games are so unbalanced, that while the divisions are set up to be balanced, the overall result is not.

      Wisconsin-Minnesota, Penn State-Nebraska, Ohio State-Michigan.

      Just look at that, it’s a huge advantage for Wisconsin to be guaranteed that game and face the others 2/5s of the time (soon to be 3/5s which negates a bit of that, but not all).

      Iowa got the same result in the west with their crossover being Purdue, although Purdue is more of a mid-lower tier than Minnesota.

  77. Michael in Indy says:

    My Pac-12 plan:

    Keep the nine-game schedule. Do a “Zipper plan” with only the California schools. Have two permanent non-division rivals.

    Utah (Arizona & Arizona State)
    Colorado (Arizona & Arizona State)
    UCLA (USC & Stanford)
    Cal (USC & Stanford)
    Oregon (Washington & Washington State)
    Oregon State (Washington & Washington State)

    Each school should always play at least one school from each “pair;” i.e., Arizona should always play either Oregon or Oregon State.

    So, every year, Oregon would play Oregon State, Cal, UCLA, Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. Oregon also would play USC for two years, then Stanford for two years. The Ducks would also play Arizona for two years and then Arizona State for two years.

    Under this plan, all the non-California schools would have three games in Southern California every four years; the Pacific Northwest teams all play each other; the California schools all play each other.

    • bullet says:

      IMHO that’s the ugliest plan I’ve ever seen. I even like a full zipper better (and I hate zippers). At least a zipper has some theory to tie in all the areas rather than randomly throwing pairs of schools around.

      However, there’s a fairly good chance you are close to the final result-if you switch UW & WSU with CU and Utah. The article above says Scott doesn’t like the CA and AZ schools together.

      • Richard says:

        In the partial zipper, the AZ schools would have the same exposure to the CA schools as everyone else. The Washington and mountain schools won’t be switched because the NW schools would like to stick together (damn what Scott likes).

        I think the partial zipper is most likely to be approved as well.

  78. Vincent says:

    Assuming the Pac-12 keeps its nine-game conference schedule, I like this “semi-zipper”:

    Division A: Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Southern Cal

    Division B:</b? Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, California, UCLA

    The California schools each get two protected cross-divisional games against each other. All the other interdivisional games rotate.

    • bullet says:

      My impression is that Cal has more ties to the NW schools than USC or Stanford, so maybe more likely would be Cal and UCLA in your Division A. Also, UW is the closest thing to a “brand” in the conference after USC, so it seems likely they would be split in any sort of California zipper.

    • Robber Baron says:

      Any plan that keeps the 4 CA schools playing each other every year gets a passing grade from me. Of course, anything that zippers the CA schools will require 2 protected cross-over games. As long as we’re doing that, why not do it for everybody? The Pac12Cooler plan seems a bit more equitable to me.

      In the CA-only zipper, Stanford gets 3 games against CA schools, 4 against the MountainZonas, and 2 of the 4 PNW schools.

      Compare that to the Pac12Cooler plan where Stanford would get 3 CA, 3 MountainZona and 3 PNW opponents every year. In fact, every single school under the Pac12Cooler plan gets 3 CA, 3 MountainZona, and 3 PNW opponents to go with their 3 OOC games.

      To address the issue that bullet raises, kal and UW can be put in the same side of the Pac12Cooler zipper to preserve their long rivalry.

      The appeal of the CA-only zipper seems to be to make a nod to geography by keeping the PNW together and MountainZona together. The very same thing can be accomplished with the Pac12Cooler without skewing the distribution of games for the CA schools.

  79. bullet says:

    UNL future schedules article. Also mentions UNL tried to schedule Boise on a 2 for 1. Boise was game, contrary to Alan’s comments, but they couldn’t reach an agreement on the price. Boise wanted $1 million, which several schools have gotten this year. UNL didn’t want to pay that much. UNL is paying Idaho $800k this year and FCS S. Dakota St. 375k.

    Comments about UNL’s weak schedules. My only complaint about UNL wasn’t their top opponent or two, which have usually been pretty solid. It was that they usually seem to play the absolute worst team in I-A, going back to the 80s at least. Osborne’s teams didn’t need to play Pacific or Akron. They would have easily beaten a San Diego St. or Bowling Green.

    • schwarm says:

      It seems like UNL usually schedules one decent/good BCS conf team for home and home, one OK team, and two bottom of the barrel teams. Frankly, as long as they are FBS teams, who cares – they are rent-a-wins.

      This year playing an FCS team in the fourth week is a joke.

      UNL’s non-conf opponents in the 80′s:

      1980: Utah, Iowa, Penn State, Florida State
      1981: Iowa, FSU, Penn State, Auburn
      1982: Iowa, New Mexico, PSU, Auburn
      1983: PSU, Wyoming, Minnesota, UCLA
      1984: Wyoming, UCLA, Minnesota, Syracuse
      1985: FSU, Illinois, Oregon, New Mexico
      1986: FSU, Illinois, Oregon, South Carolina
      1987: Utah St., UCLA, Arizona St., South Carolina
      1988: aTm, Utah State, UCLA, ASU, UNLV
      1989: N. Illinois, Utah, Minnesota, Oregon St.

      • bullet says:

        UNM, Utah St. and NIU were Bottom 10 regulars in the 80s. As I said, the top couple of opponents were always pretty solid. I remember UNL complaining in a WSJ article in the 90s about how much they were having to pay Akron and Pacific.

        I think its really ridiculous that Florida and Alabama played bad FCS teams last year. And they got a free ride from the press. The bottom of I-A is worse than a lot of FCS teams. Top 10 teams shouldn’t be playing the really bad I-A teams or FCS.

        Alabama is playing Georgia State this year. This is Georgia State’s FIRST year of football. They told Georgia State, “you either play us this year, or we will never call back.” GSU couldn’t pass it up. This is the 2nd year in a row playing a bad FCS team with them being top 5. Its probably more finances than fear, but its still ridiculous.

    • schwarm says:

      Boise wanted 2 x 1 million and a trip to their rinky-dink stadium. No thanks.

  80. cutter says:

    An interesting article from Orangebloods that’s well worth a read. The excerpt below talks about how Texas AD DeLoss Dodd would welcome Notre Dame into the Big XII. Once you read the full article, you can see how UT would never fit into the Big Ten and why Nebraska was happy to leave the Big XII for the B10.

    When the University of Texas began discussing an extension of DeLoss Dodds’ contract in the spring of 2010, it was with the intent of making sure Dodds, whose contract was up in August 2011, would be in charge of the athletic department through any potential realignment. Talk about foreshadowing.

    Only weeks later, Texas was at the center of a potential seismic shift that would have altered college athletics forever.

    I was able to sit down with Dodds and go over several hot topics, including realignment, the relationship Texas solidified with Notre Dame during realignment, the Longhorn Network, Dodds’ contract and his thoughts on Mack Brown and Rick Barnes.

    Let’s start with the fact that if Notre Dame ever needs a conference home, Dodds wants it to be the Big 12.

    Texas and the Irish became the closest of allies during the month of June when the Big Ten targeted Notre Dame as a part of expansion. The Irish were worried the Big East, where the school plays all its sports except football, might be raided by the Big Ten.

    Everyone assumes if Notre Dame ever needs a conference home, it will be the Big Ten simply because of geography and the overtures the Big Ten has made toward Notre Dame in the past. But if Notre Dame ever needed a new conference home for football or its other sports, Dodds would do everything in his power to make it the Big 12.

    Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who was a finalist for the Big 12 commissioner job awarded to Dan Beebe, and Dodds have become close colleagues.

    “Notre Dame was worried about getting decimated to where they were sitting without a conference,” Dodds said of the Irish during realignment in June. “And I told Jack, ‘Come on down. Keep your football. Come on down.’

    “I don’t necessarily want to see the Big Ten go to 16. They want Notre Dame. If they can get them, fine. If they can’t get them, fine.

    “If Notre Dame wants to be an independent and something happens to the Big East, I’ve told Jack, ‘I will fight for you to be a part of this conference in some form or fashion.’ I think it would be good for them, and I think it would be good for us.”

    Sources told during realignment that Dodds, at one point, proposed Texas and Notre Dame simply form their own conference and extend invitations to others. But Dodds said nothing should be read into recent football scheduling announcements involving Texas, Notre Dame and BYU.

    In the last month, all three schools announced they’ll be playing each other.

    “There may be a new world out there, but it’s not in my lifetime,” Dodds said when asked if Texas, Notre Dame and BYU might be angling toward their own conference at some point in the next decade.


    • M says:

      Key quotes:

      “But if Notre Dame ever needed a new conference home for football or its other sports, Dodds would do everything in his power to make it the Big 12.”
      Yet another reason the “raid the Big East to force ND to do X” is stupid.

      “Oklahoma, I will say this, was very, very solid. Very good.”
      Like a nice lapdog.

      “In the end, another issue in the back of my mind was every vote may have been 10-6 if we had gone because they were putting something together that was really good for them,” Dodds said. “But it probably would have been 10-6 on every issue.”
      A lot of people on this blog (including me) underestimated Texas’ very real need to be the primary force in their conference.

      “And I talked to them about helping pay our exiting fees with the money from our new TV contract over a period of three years. Part of it, some of it. And they came back with they would loan us the money. We can loan ourselves money. That was a bit of a surprise.”
      I might be over reading this, but to me this sounds like “We asked for extra money and they said no. How dare they say no.”

      “I think we’ll get one football game from what (Big 12 commissioner Dan) Beebe has said. And some number of basketball games. That number is so hard to track down because ESPN takes a lot of that. I think last year, they had every conference game televised. Then the non-conference games, we had some of those left over.”
      I still don’t know if you can launch a network with one football game a year and a handful of basketball games.

      Re conference championship game
      “We were the ones playing in it all the time. And it was our fans who were paying $150 for tickets that created revenue split 12 ways. It was backwards.”
      Sure we were getting more money, but so was everyone else.

      • zek33 says:

        To me it sounds as if the Big Ten is the only possible forward mover at this point if we go to 14.

        Does Delany want to do that? Do the presidents?

        It seems to me as if ND is going nowhere and Texas/OU/A&M are pretty much committed to the Big 12 (with the one possible exception of A&M being upset about $).

        But would A&M really extract itself from the Big 12 right now?… that would be a gigantic political issue, etc.

        So it all comes back to whether Delany would want to make a move.

        Personally, I think you could justify Rutgers/Maryland due to the markets you’d bring to the Big Ten Network and the fact that they increase the value of the national brands since they’d be visiting the biggest markets every year, especially Penn State.

        • Vincent says:

          Personally, I think you could justify Rutgers/Maryland due to the markets you’d bring to the Big Ten Network and the fact that they increase the value of the national brands since they’d be visiting the biggest markets every year, especially Penn State.

          Unfortunately, people are thinking the criteria for selecting #13 and #14 are the same as selecting #12; they aren’t. It wouldn’t have behooved the Big Ten to choose Rutgers or Maryland as #12, as neither has the football heft to accompany the conference’s new football title game. Conversely, Nebraska — with its slightly lesser academic stature and relatively small population — wouldn’t have made sense for #13 or #14.

        • Well Played Mauer says:

          One problem I think A&M might face now is even if they wanted to leave in the near future would the SEC take them preemptively? Remember the overtures from the SEC came at a time when we all thought we were going to see the birth of the “PAC-16″ and “Big Ten Four”.

          The SEC has made it plain that it likes being at 12. My feeling is the Texas twins are Los Angeles to the SEC’s Al Davis. Davis is in Oakland but considers LA “his” secondary market and even though he does not want to move his team back there, he does not want any other team in LA either.

          The SEC does not want to expand, but Texas the state is their backyard so to speak. They only made a play for Texas & Texas A&M because they did not want the PAC-10 or Big Ten to get them. If that threat is less prevalent does the SEC still pull the trigger? I don’t know?


          • zek33 says:

            That’s a very good point; the SEC would want to have a valuable #14 to go with A&M if it did grab A&M.

            A&M/OU or A&M/VaTech or maybe A&M/FSU are the best options, but OU/VaTech/FSU don’t seem as if they’d be move anytime soon if it was just A&M moving.

            Everything seems to be a bit too stable for A&M to go anywhere on its own.

      • bullet says:

        RE: loan

        Basically what Dodds was saying was that all 16 teams would make more money, so all 16 should share in the exit fees to the Big 12. Basically, “we bring more to the table than you, so we shouldn’t have to absorb ALL the penalties.” Its a reasonable position. Interesting that the Mountain West makes it sound like they will share any penalties by Nevada and Fresno St. And the Big 10, while not offering to share UNL’s exit penalties, is guaranteeing they make at least the same as in the Big 12, so they may end up sharing them, depending on TV revenues. And the Pac 10 is giving CU (and not Utah) a full share in revenues right from the start, so they are subsidizing them to some extent.

      • Michael in Indy says:


        Your interpretation of Dodds’ comments about Oklahoma are spot-on.

        Seriously, why hasn’t more been made of how pathetic it was for a school of Oklahoma’s stature to announce so publicly that their future was up to a rival school that’s won less than half as many national titles?

        • Michael in Indy says:

          Having re-read my comment, I probably shouldn’t have said “pathetic.” I don’t want to sound disrespectful towards OU.

          I’ll put it this way: I certainly understand why one of my good friends, who graduated from Oklahoma, expressed disappointment in how OU handled the whole situation. He felt Oklahoma really devalued itself, and I agree.

          If the situation played out in another conference, would we have seen the same behavior? Would Alabama, owners of 12 national titles, vow to follow Florida (3 titles) wherever it went just because Florida has the bigger media market and television appeal? I would hope not.

          • Richard says:

            Alabama doesn’t depend on Florida for it’s football talent. It gets most of its players from Alabama. OU needs Texas talent. Without Texas recruits, OU would struggle to stay in the top 25, much less challenge for conference and national titles.

      • ccrider55 says:

        RE: votes

        Probably 12-4 or 13-3. How would you expect TT, OkSU, and certainly Colorado to vote if the conference was no longer ruled by Texas? Certainly not on every issue, but with that much potential in conference support I could see them standing up for themselves a bit more often.

    • Well Played Mauer says:

      One thing from this article about BEVO TV puzzled me:

      “All the financing will come from IMG and whichever cable partner is selected to operate the Longhorn Network. The financial partners would recoup their investment and pay Texas an amount that Dodds estimates to be around $3 million annually – an amount that could grow depending on its success.

      “We are not going to own anything or have an investment in it,”

      So Texas is not even going to own Bevo TV? From reading this, to me it looks as though they basically just sold their 3rd tier media rights for 3 million dollars to a start up cable company? Putting aside what they could have owned equity wise and what they could have earned financially threw either the BTN or the soon to be PTN. Texas could have made more from a Big 12 network could they not?

      In Texas alone there are 8.8 million TV households at 75 cents per household x 12 months that is around 79 million dollars a year. Even if Colorado & Nebraska Stay and the split was even it would have been 6.6 million a year to Texas [more than double the BEVO estimate from the article]. And that is not even counting the households in the rest of the Big 12 footprint, adverting revenue, ownership equity or the fact that Texas probably could have gotten and unequal share and say in programing of said network.

      Am I missing something? I don’t understand why Texas has gone to the mattresses with 3 different conferences over BEVO TV with no ownership rights and such a small finical some by Texas standards? To me it basically looks like they nearly killed the big 12 for the equivalent of the mtn? The very thing BYU is fleeing the MWC because of.


      • zek33 says:

        The issue with these school/conference networks is inventory.

        How much value does a Longhorn network have if it only broadcasts 1 football game and a few basketball games a year?

        Probably some value but not that much. Ironically conference networks get their strengths from the weaker schools that don’t get on ABC/ESPN. In a sense, the weaker schools finally get to bring value to the rest of the conference because they’re providing games to be televised.

        Without Nebraska as one of the 3 or 4 biggest draws nationally, we all know Texas and Oklahoma are going to have almost all of their games picked up. Thus, their networks aren’t going to have the inventory.

        The best path for these schools is probably just independence like Notre Dame with its “own” network, NBC.

        That’s the best way to do it. Coaching shows can’t substitute for live games.

        All of these national brands are similar in that their value comes out in bigger and bigger groups of national brands because of the fact that the TV carriers can only pick up a few games each weekend.

        The more national brands you have, the more likely it is that a national brand will end up playing on the conference network. I.E. Nebraska’s schedule in 2011-2012 means we’re going to see a bunch of Michigan/Ohio State/Penn State as well as Iowa/Wisconsin games on Big Ten Network. That’s help advertising across the footprint since some national brands will have to be bumped to the Big Ten Network; that’s your synergy at work.

        That’s the strange irony of the conference v. independence in the context of networks. You really need a conference to hike up the value of a network in terms of inventory.

        The fact of the matter is that Texas is so rich in terms of the size of its base, that all of this is academic. Their budget is the largest and fastest growing already, so this is just an additional small source of income and another route for their school’s prestige in terms of having a network with coaching shows, replays, etc.

        Texas isn’t hurting for money, and they take the position that they’ve spent the most on facilities, so they shouldn’t have to share the value of their name brand equally as the Big Ten schools do completely or the SEC schools do to a lesser extent.

        I think Texas should have pushed for a conference network that would have been balanced unequally based on some formula of footprint, etc.

        That way you at least have inventory in the form of Missouri/Kansas/Oklahoma State/Texas Tech, etc. games on the network, since you know that Texas/OU are getting national pickup.

        The same thing is true of USC in the Pac-12. The Pac-12 Network will almost never show USC games, (maybe one a year at most, if that), since USC games are going to be picked up nationally in their package. Thus, the network will allow them to extract value from all the schools that aren’t on TV every week.

        It’s just a way of extracting the maximum value from the lesser draws in the conference; that’s the whole point of the network. Leveraging the footprint of the conference with inventory mostly from the schools that don’t get picked up by ABC/ESPN. That way you’re making money off every single game that’s played in the conference…

        • drwillini says:

          Great post Zek, reason why this is the best site for this kind of discussion. So a question for you or somebody else with some speicalized knowledge. How much is worth to the BTN to add a team like Pitt, that does not increase the footprint but adds significant quality to the inventory (ie. advertising rates), vs. a team like, say Rutgers (or maybe Missouri) that adds to the footprint (i.e. cable subscription fees) but probabably does not add as much to the quality of inventory.

          • zek33 says:

            Pitt increases the value of the inventory for sure even though it doesn’t really add any new subscribers/markets or get better coverage.

            It’s hard to measure which is more valuable. Pitt is probably a better draw across the footprint and outside for BTN games as opposed to Rutgers or Missouri.

            But Rutgers has so many alumni and would probably do a good job of delivering New Jersey if it was in the Big Ten, which to me would make it the most valuable of the non-national brands. Sending the national brands that close to NYC has huge value in and of itself.

          • zek33 says:

            I mean there’s a reason it’s a lot easier for Maryland to play games at FedEx (past week) and Rutgers to play at Meadowlands. They both would do a good job of delivering their footprints against the national brands, and being able to be right at NYC and D.C. has huge value.

            And Pitt’s value isn’t necessarily ordained to be better than Rutgers forever.

            If Rutgers could start getting some Big East titles and to some BCS bowls, I think it could be more valuable as a draw than Pitt fairly quickly due to the fact that it has bigger markets to pull in, and which would follow a winner…

          • PSUGuy says:

            And if Rutgers were in an eastern division of the Big Ten where it was going to play Indiana, Purdue, and Illinois every year it could easily maintain (with cupcake OoC games) 6+ wins a season.

            Something that would go a long ways toward establishing that brand.

          • Richard says:

            You mean they could aspire to be Minnesota?

            Didn’t seem to help Glen Mason.

          • StvInIL says:

            Aspire to be Minnesota? They might not even do that. I would like to point out that even though Illinois has been down or inconsistent for 12 years, they are really a team with a much higher trajectory than some here would assume. It’s not Indiana and has more than enough resources to be at least Northwestern of recent vintage.

        • schwarm says:

          A conference network based on footprint would have sent UNL running for the doors even faster (I realize that’s not part of your analysis, just pointing it out.)

          You would think that if UT (and OU) had a long term commitment to Big XII football, they would be considering some sort of conference network. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

      • PSUGuy says:

        Honestly, I don’t think you’ve missed a thing. Almost everyone on here has been wondering how exactly a single school tv channel could work without top tier programming and I think the answer has been given (by UT itself no less)…

        It can’t.

        The investment & risk required to start an actual cable channel is far too great for a single school to take on its shoulders, especially knowing it won’t have top notch programming to give it. The demand for the channel simply wouldn’t be there.

        The only way to “have their cake and eat it too” is the method they’re undertaking where they basically just sell their 3rd tier media rights to an already existing cable company with the understanding only its product will be placed on that particular channel.

        Its the equivalent of local access programming, but only one type of product being on the channel.

        To be honest, short term Texas is golden. With the Big12 the way it is competitively and via revenue sharing, it can garauntee ABC/ESPN is its “national network” and maximize its football revenues. With the “Bevo TV” it sells a bunch of old games and new games for money it wouldn’t see otherwise.

        It can afford to be the bully in the Big12 or to any other team/conference now. My question is what happens in 20 years?

        • bullet says:

          Really, they are just syndicating like the SEC schools do, but on a dedicated network. It seems like its more about non-rev sports than fb & bb.

  81. prophetstruth says:

    Interesting article on BTN Revenue

    Big Ten Network Cashing in On Football

    Sponsors return, more advertisers added for new primetime grid

    By Jon Lafayette — Broadcasting & Cable, 9/6/2010 12:01:00 AM
    It’s already a great football season for the Big Ten Network. Roy Seinfeld, Big Ten Networks VP for advertising, says commercials during the channel’s football schedule are already sold out. It’s also making progress with the next item in the playbook: adding sponsors for programming in other dayparts.

    The network scored a touchdown in getting Discover Financial Services to become presenting sponsor for its new primetime series Big Ten Icons, which will profile great players from the conference’s rich athletic history. Icons is hosted by legendary announcer Keith Jackson.

  82. Here’s some news from the Big East: they’re inviting… Villanova for football. Seriously.

    Here’s a blog post from on the story:

    • StvInIL says:

      Frank, I was just coming to post that. Interesting if it occurs. More so if they are successful. I had thrown this out way back in our discussion somewhere the same suggestion. I think I framed it as development. But looking at Uconn as an example, it would be a much better option for the Big East than to scour the eastern 3rd of the country looking for viable programs. Schools like Villanova are already located in the east and have history there. They might be more committed to growing the Big East conference. In the case of Villanova, they don’t have to completely seed Pennsylvania to the Big Ten as they can have two universities in the state.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      This article includes a letter from the Villanova President discussing it:

      • StvInIL says:

        Thanks Loki, I just finished reading that link and the best part of it is the comments by people I assume are alumni of VU. The sentiment is mostly very leery of making a move. And they are afraid if they don’t they may get reshuffled out of the league. I must say I am surprised but they know their university and fan base better than I.

      • bullet says:

        Villanova would be one of the smallest schools in FBS in a notoriously fickle pro sports town. One year in the BE, Temple drew 4,500 fans per game.

        Its a disaster waiting to happen.

        From Villanova’s standpoint, the Northern part of the Colonial is disintegrating. Hofstra dropped fb and RI is downgrading. UMass is constantly talking about moving up. Right now its just UMass, N. Hampshire and Maine to the North of Villanova in full scholarship FCS. Schools in the South are adding fb (Ga. St. & Old Dominion in Colonial, UNCC from A10). FCS is a seriously money losing proposition for virtually everyone. They may look at it as FBS or drop out.

        The 8 fb schools could just be gambling that they could get a decent program in Philly. Temple didn’t work. Still looks like a bad deal if Villanova says yes.

    • zek33 says:

      This is entirely a political compromise on scheduling.

      The top candidate has to be UCF from a football perspective (TCU is a bit far away and UCF paired with USF has a lot of synergy in terms of schools getting to visit Florida once a year, and the UCF-USF game would be pretty big in the middle of Florida).

      I think UCF/Memphis would be the best option if $ is what matters, but clearly this isn’t a $ decision.

      The basketball schools probably put their foot down and said they’d split the conference if any new members were added, so Marinatto came up with this.

      I don’t see what Villanova adds at all though…

      • Richard says:

        A good basketball school in the BE football conference when the basketball and football schools split. That’s about the only thing I can think of.

        • zek33 says:

          Wouldn’t they just drop football again and stick with the basketball schools?

          I mean, the whole point of this is that Villanova is the glue between the basketball schools and football schools and also the way of keeping UCF/Memphis out, so the conference stays at 16 with a relative 8-8 split (ND + basketball + Villanova versus 8 other football schools).

          But other than serving as glue, I don’t see what Villanova brings, it won’t deliver any TV market or anything like that (remember when they were talking about a Big East Network, etc.).

          To me this is a signal of weakness (not that it wasn’t apparent before) because they feel the need to promote Villanova as a way of preventing the conference from breaking up if they were to try to add UCF/Memphis…

          • Richard says:

            Would they? Temple hasn’t seen the need to drop it’s football down a level. Granted, Temple has a lot more alums.

          • StvInIL says:

            I think you have to look at Villanova following the Connecticut model. If successful, that’s a good thing for the BE. Villanova is a private school that does not have a significant undergraduate student body (6,335) and it is located in a pro sports town. Two things that does not bode well for max success.

          • Hank says:


            the UConn model for Villanova is worth looking at. it took a long time for UConn to built its program up to this level. @ a decade as I recall. Is that quick enough for the Big East football programs? they need to up their tv revenue to remain competitive. the whole point of adding a football school is to make their tv product more attractive. IF Villanova could develop as quickly as UConn that would be a long time before it would be additive to the tv package.

            Also UConn had the resources of the state of Connecticut to lean on. The expansion of the stadium and other facilities was aided by state assistance. Villanova doesn’t have that sort of help.

          • Richard says:

            UConn’s also in the sticks with no pro sports teams nearby (yes, if you’re in central Connecticut, you could follow the Sox, Pats, Yankees, etc., but no one living in Hartford is going to embrace those teams more than the state flagship next door).

      • Phil says:

        Villanova is a small school that ranked 46th in FCS attendance during a national championship year, and doesn’t even bring as much to the table as Temple (not that I’m advocating that either). The only thing they bring, which is all that matters in the Big East, is that the basketball only schools would rather Nova move up to the FBS than invite another football school.

    • M says:

      I’m guessing that it’s a done deal if they made the offer formal.

  83. Phil says:

    Rutgers fans are especially incensed that, on the heels of the Tagliabue comments, the BE would skip over FBS teams that would want to join and instead get a team to move up whose only possibility of success would come at Rutgers expense in eastern PA and southern NJ.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Not a lot of positive comments about this anywhere.

      “But staving off the Grim Reaper by adding a private, Catholic basketball school in a pro sports town seems to be bullet proof vest in a nuclear war.”


      • StvInIL says:

        For them I hope it does not represent all the eggs in the basket. I do like it as a home grown idea that has some potential. Maybe? In the already cluttered 16 team Big East, this one plan does not add any inflation anyway. And if and when they do jettison the B-ball schools Villanova can stay put.

    • drwillini says:

      Obviously makes more sense if Rutgers is leaving. Seems a little like putting the cart before the horse, unless there has been some back channel communication. Sounds like Villanova has some work to do, so maybe they are just trying to get the ball rolling so they will be more ready in couple years. Only way this makes sense.

  84. StvInIL4NW says:

    OMG a herendous loss to South Dakoda! 41 – 38.
    Caught the last 8 minutes. I don’t believe tim brewster was on the choping block list. Things have changed.

  85. bullet says:

    Article in this month’s UT alumni magazine about DeLoss Dodds. Nothing unexpected, but a few interesting facts and quotes:

    UT athletics budget Dodds 1st year 1981 $4.2 million (double KSU’s where he worked before)
    UT athletics budget 2010 $136 million

    Fundraising in various sport by sport fiefdoms 1983 $400k
    1st year (1984) of Dodd’s all sports Longhorn Foundation $1 million
    Today $37 million from 14,000 donors. $340 million since 1984.

    Athletic dept. has given university $6.6 million since 2005-6 and committed to give $5 million more.

    “As bullish as Dodds felt about the Big 12 at its 1996 start, the conference boosted Texas even higher than he expected. Athletes from around the state stopped systematically choosing UCLA, Florida State, Miami, and Notre Dame over UT. The Ticket base went up. Longhorn Foundation Giving went up. And TV revenues went up. “Those were things you might’ve thought about,” he says, “but in reality, they turned out to be huge.”

    Quote from Donnie Duncan, OU AD at founding of B12 in 1996, “Even this last time, while there were a lot of unkowns in the process, there was one known that I was sure of: whatever DeLoss Dodds tells you is 100 percent true. When things are really, really tight, that is gold.”

    from later in the article, “As a negotiator, Dodds has a fierce reputation. As a hammer? Some who have pounded out deals with him say he comes back and back and back on the sticking points.”

    re: realignment: “Dodds and Plonsky (women’s AD) maintain that their concern for the players–for the long trips to California they would make in the Pac-10–was foremost. But the Longhorn TV network AThletics has talked about developing for several years also loomed large among their concerns about walking away, they concede.”

    “Reports put Texas two days from entering the Pac-10…but officials insist it was truly moment by moment. Dodds, Plonsky, and UT president Bill Powers were in constant touch…..Dodds consistently downplays the involvement of politicians in college athletics (although he doesn’t think UT and A&M will ever separate). Plonsky, for her part, concedes that politics were “huge.”….Dodds says it was nice not to have to leave athletics counterparts he considered friends behind, or to start a domino effect for which the college sports world wasn’t ready.”

  86. duffman says:


    from the other blog (to kick it back to this expansion thread)

    I know everybody pooh pooh ed my UK expansion talk early on but two quotes stood out!

    Quote #1

    “But in this post, Adams claims that Tennessee is trying to get into the Big Ten. He claims that the Big Ten is willing to consider it if Kentucky comes along with them.”

    implying that UK would be driving the bus!

    I said early on that UK has made a huge jump to ramp up their research profile (a stated goal is top 20 in 20), then add in:

    a) rabid fans, with a football stadium that is currently under expansion plans that would make it the 4th largest stadium in the Big 10 (and a quick drive to the shoe!)

    b) an elite basketball program with a 42,000 – 48,000 new basketball in the preliminary stages.

    Quote #2

    “Contact, conversations, have evolved between most influential UT folks and the Big Ten but they want Ky to come with UT. Ky, because of it’s long and great history of bb domination in the SEC, is most reluctant. UT’s only hope for footbal sucdcess is to exit the SEC but the Big Ten’s demands that Ky come with us is holding up most serious consideration.”

    so I go back to the argument I made back in March or April

    a) Wants to be top research institution (they already have the 4th biggest endowment in the SEC)

    b) Rabid football fan base that fill the stadium for one of the worst football teams in the country historically

    c) Top basketball (IU, MSU, UK) in the same conference

    d) Hidden value, with IU and tOSU in the north, and UK in the south, the Big 10 would effectively squeeze out the Big East and SEC out of the Louisville and Cincinnati markets and recruiting footholds!

    Hank says:

    re UT in the Big Ten his reasoning doesn’t sound in tune with Big Ten thinking, at least as far as we’ve speculated. If the ACC’s academic credentials preclude UT, I doubt that, why wouldn’t the Big Ten’s? And the idea that the Big Ten wants Kentucky for its basketball flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Expansion is about growing revenue and football is the route for that. The way basketball is set up the revenue potential is limited regardles of how prestigous Kentucky would be.

    Hank, look at my comments above, it is way more than the basketball that UK brings to the table!

    Cliff’s Notes says:

    I would be surprised, but not shocked, when the chips are down, if The Big Ten really went for Kentucky and Tennessee over an East Coast expansion. The names of Kentucky and Tennessee mean more to the college football world than Rutgers, but who knows. Both schools own their respective states, even with Louisville, Vandy, and Memphis around.

    They weren’t really studied by this blog, but I’d be curious to see how well Kentucky travels for football (we know they travel as well as anyone for basketball), and also Tennessee. As well, I’d like to see the demographics and the tv ratings for these schools. Especially as compared to the non-Notre Dame competition, such as Maryland and Virginia

    Cliff’s Notes, go way back to my very early posts on UK to the Big 10

    • M says:

      Wow, where to start with this idea…

      First and foremost, I am amused that this comment came just before being shellacked by all the black people from Oregon, that noted cotton producing state.

      On the long term demographic issues for Tennessee, I’m not sure how Tennessee is in any worse position than most of its other in-conference opponents. Louisiana is a smaller state. Alabama is a smaller state split between two schools. South Carolina is also smaller and USCe isn’t even the dominant football program. I don’t understand why cotton production suddenly became relevant now and I don’t know what has changed since Tennessee was formerly dominant (other than coaching).

      The underlying fact is that other than Texas and Florida, everyone has to recruit out of state.

      The idea of Tennessee joining the Big Ten is intriguing. On the plus side, they are the only major football school in a fairly large state, bigger than Missouri. They have a huge fan base and consistently fill the 4th largest stadium in the country. They also have a fair amount of national pull; if they have as the poster suggests fallen from the football royalty, they still are certainly a member of its aristocracy.

      Academically, they are probably no worse than Nebraska. In fact, they are tied with Nebraska in both ARWU and USNWR rankings (obligatory caveat about these rankings goes here).

      The comment about the ACC is a little odd. On one hand they are a little out of place in a conference of mostly private schools and small state schools, but they wouldn’t be any more out of place than FSU.

      The Kentucky part is the most confusing. They are another cut below academically (though FWIW they are tied with ND, Kansas, and Missouri in the ARWU). They have a dismal football history, albeit with excellent attendance (#22 last year). They are an undisputed King in basketball (curiously, a much shorter list than in football), but that hasn’t saved anyone in this mess. Kentucky is in the bottom half of US states in population (smaller than any current Big Ten state) and UK would be the second smallest school for undergraduates.

      Also, the Big Ten already has Wildcats.

      • Richard says:

        Tennessee has to pull talent from farther away than the rest of the SEC powers to be competitive. Not only Florida, but Georgia, the Alabama schools, and LSU get the bulk of their talent from in-state. Furthermore, the best talent in Tennessee is in the far western part of the state (near Memphis), while Knoxville is in the far eastern part of the state (because Appalachia stayed pro-Union during the Civil War).

        • M says:

          All that could be true, but how is in any way related to their recent struggles? Tennessee has the second best conference record since the SEC went to 12 teams and is 8th in all-time wins. How are 19th century demographics related to the 12-13 record the last two years? Did all the black people decide to move to Oregon?

          • Richard says:

            You could say Fulmer overacheived. Tennessee also has a long tradition of success (them and Alabama are kind of the Michigan and OSU of the SEC in that regard). However, just like Michigan, they have a less fertile recruiting ground than their conference rivals. Plus, I think going undefeated in the ’20′s and winning conference championships in the ’80′s and ’90′s holds much less sway with HS kids these days than even 10 years ago (when generally only successful or traditionally heavyweights got most or all of their games on national TV).

          • Bamatab says:

            M, the problem is that highschool football in Tennessee (outside of Memphis) has always been horrible. Whether or not that is due to the lack of an African American population in eastern (and to some extent, central) tennessee is another debate. You mention Oregon, but keep in mind that Oregon gets a majority of its players from California. Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, & Mississippi actually do have a high per capita of NFL players that come from their respective states. That isn’t so in Tenn’s case.

            Tennessee has always had to recruit out of state in order to get enough football players to field a SEC competitive team. Take a look at their current roster and see how many out of state players make up their roster. They did this by “bending” the recruiting rules (like most SEC teams during the 80s & 90s). In the late 90s, the NCAA started investigating the Albert Means case and found out that several schools (Bama, Tenn, UGA, Arky to name a couple) were bidding on the kid. Alabama won the bid and the NCAA decided to come down and make Bama the example to the rest of the SEC (which they had every right to do). Phil Fulmer ended up becoming a secret witness for the NCAA to help keep Tenn out of the line of fire and Roy Adams (and his friendship with Logan Young, the Bama booster) helped the NCAA build their case. The message was being sent to the SEC to keep its nose clean in regards to recruiting (and most of the SEC schools have taken heed to that message). Once that happened, Tennessee found itself at a recruiting disadvantage when it came to out of state recruiting. The talent started to drop from 2000-2008. Fulmer was then fired and Kiffin was hired to try and bring the recruiting back up. Kiffin brought back some of their old recruiting practices (namely having hostesses form “relationships” with recruits). Now the NCAA has sent Tenn and formal letter of inquiry for both basketball & football.

            I’m gathering from his post that Roy Adams figures that unless Tennessee can recruit successfully out of state, it is in trouble in the SEC. And he figures (because of his own involvement in Tenn recruiting practices during the 80s, 90s, & early 2000s) that if Tenn can’t be “creative” in its out of state recruiting, then it will have problems since he figures that most kids (especially AA kids according to the wording of his post) these days don’t want to go out to the boondocks of the Smokey Mountains to go to college (where, according to him, there isn’t an AA population within 150 miles).

            Now I’m not saying that I am agreeing with everything he is saying. But that is what he believes and he has posted similar posts (not any that included moving to the Big Ten) on the Tenn Gridscape site (the Tenn Scouts site) when Fulmer was fired and after Kiffin left (when he correctly predicted tha the NCAA would be investigating Tenn shortly).

          • M says:


            That’s a reasonable premise. I looked at some of the recruiting numbers in terms of how many recruits for each school came from their home states. Tennessee had about a third of their recent classes come from in state. LSU got about the same proportion, even though Tennessee is about 50% bigger. Alabama and Auburn got about 1/3 in-state even though Alabama has about the same population as Louisiana. In the East, Georgia and Florida both get substantially more than half their recruits from in state.

            In short, these numbers back up your assertion that Tennessee has one of the worst recruiting grounds (especially per capita) of the Big 6 in the SEC.

            The more interesting assertion is that Tennessee has difficultly recruiting out of state without “inducements”. Everyone except Florida and Georgia depend substantially on out of state talent. I don’t understand why Tennessee would have an intrinsic disadvantage if everything is level. While I don’t dispute that Tennessee is in the middle of nowhere, most land grant schools are. They were usually put where there was lots of land to grant.

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            M – I can’t speak for the other schools & states you referenced, but LSU almost always fills out a majority of its classes with Louisiana kids. Since 2002, and counting 2011 verbals, LSU has signed 130 Louisiana kids and 108 OOS kids. Several of the OOS kids came from prep schools, but were Louisiana natives.

          • M says:

            Alan- mistype on my part, I meant to say that LSU gets about half (your numbers say 54%).

          • Bamatab says:

            M, here is an interesting link that gives some numbers on most players in NFL by state, highschool, towns, ect.


            If you look at most NFL players from the current states then FL is 3rd, GA is 5th, LA is 6th, AL is 7th, and SC is 8th. If you go by per capita then LA is 1st, MS is 2nd, SC is 3rd, AL is 5th, FL is 6th, GA is 8th.

            And kind of to Alans point, historically Bama has recruit a large majority of its players in state and then filled the rest with out of state kids. But since Saban has taken over, he has decide to focus on a more national level with our recent successes. But that usually isn’t the case with Bama.

            For whatever reason, there just isn’t that much talent in TN and they have to recruit on a national level to a much larger degree than most of the other SEC schools that compete year in and year out.

      • bullet says:

        Ah! It finally hit me why the BE wants Villanova.

        Prior to 90s-worst team in Big 10 Northwestern
        Prior to 90s-worst team in Big 8 Kansas St.
        Prior to 90s-worst team in SEC Kentucky (they were losing to Vandy more than beating them)
        Only P10 team not in Rose Bowl Arizona

        The BE wants celler dweller football Wildcats. The ACC left Davidson behind in the 50s, so Blue Devils fit the role now.

        Why are all the Wildcats Purple or Blue?

        • M says:

          I’m not sure, but I think Kansas State has some plagiarism issues. Their colors, mascot, and mascot name are all the same as Northwestern.

          • duffman says:


            they have other issues first

            1) issues with the steelers on that terrible towel thing!

            2) using the guns and roses song!

            3) FSU for part of that chant!

            4) UK for use of their “wildcat” sound!

          • duffman says:

            sorry meant to link this first!


      • duffman says:

        historically speaking

        UK makes the most sense because of the long running rivalry with IU. Folks forget that UL is johnny come lately to the party. If IU and UK were in the same conference, then their basketball game every year would have conference implications as well. Renewing the dormant IU vs UK football game would accomplish 2 goals at once. IU vs UK in football is actually a good game due to football parity. IU vs UK diminishes UL vs UK (and benefits recruiting for IU at the expense of UL).

      • duffman says:


        tOSU, UM, ND are IMG schools!

        UK and UT are IMG schools!

        note: U of Texas is also an IMG school! ;)

      • StvInIL says:

        Now I have heard it all Tennessee? I think one or the next to additions would need to come with a significant academic bump. Just to even things out because of Nebraska’s entrance. I am sure that the Big Ten does not want to fall significantly lower than the ACC. The positives about such a move would be that we get one football brand and one substantial (royalty) basketball brand. Together they are contiguous states with the big ten states. Personally I think that’s more significant than you might expect. It lessens the outlier stigma and builds cohesiveness.
        I really do not think this situation has legs. A Kentucky Maryland duo may have more legs but its still about the football.

        • Richard says:

          Athletics/TV/financials are most important. The Big10 may work to get Kentucky and Tennessee in to the AAU, but if that seems possible, they’d take a hard look at it. It’d certainly weaken the SEC, so unless the SEC can manage to add a Texas school (or schools), FSU, or NC or Virginia schools, it’s be hard for any conference to match the Big10 in TV money if they do do this.

      • drwillini says:

        Honestly, this would have been laughable before Nebraska, but its hard to plead academic issues with admitting Nebraska, these two are really the same tier.
        We need to be honest, Nebraska was admitted for the football brand, the academics were a stretch (to be kind), but good for Nebraska. Hopefully it will be a synergistic relationship, and they will improve in that area.
        Tennessee might be a football brand a step lower than Nebraska, but still worth something nationally. The idea of Kentucky being the key to this really calls into question the entire credibility of the report. We could have easily had Kansas, preserved a rivalry with Nebraska, just as populous state, and an AAU school.
        I used to live in SEC country, and the running joke on Kentucky was: Why was OJ heading for Lexington in the white Bronco? Answer: It was the last place anybody would look for a Heisman trophy winner.
        The Tennessee joke was worse.

        • PSUGuy says:

          I disagree.

          While I’m not going to bother defending Nebraska’s academic levels (they are what they are) they have made a very real effort to improve their research facilities…IIRC to the tune of $400 million to create a new research park in contruction now.

          This IMO means both athletically and academically, via the CIC, the big Ten will be better off with Nebraska in the fold. Whether or not their undergraduate programs are ranked highly doesn’t seem to both the Big Ten folks. So long as they can provide value to both the athletic and the CIC portion of the conference they are an acceptable addition.

          To my knowledge neither UT nor UK have made significant strides in the area of research so even if they do provide on the athletics side (and really on UT provides where it apparantly matters most, via football) they are not increasing the other half.

  87. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    I have to call BS on this whole afternoon’s worth of threads regarding UTn and UK to the Big Ten, even though it was started by my SEC brother, Bamatab. It looks to be a knee-jerk reaction from a fan/booster/poster at the Vols current down-cycle. What is basically implied from the snippet of his post is that the SEC is too tough for the Vols and that any chance they have to be competitive is to join a weaker conference like the Big Ten.

    First of all, I don’t think the University of Tennessee would ever seriously consider leaving the SEC. That would be similar to Ohio State or Michigan leaving the Big Ten. UTn is 2nd only to Bama in SEC football championships. While Bamatab surely knows Vol fans better than I do, I would think there would be a mass uprising if a move out of the SEC was ever seriously contemplated. Tradition counts for something in the South, too.

    While many have brought up points about the lack of high school talent in the state of Tennessee, it does border 8 other states. Tennessee used to also get many great players out of Louisiana, particularly New Orleans. Two of the Vols’ all-time greats are New Orleanians Hank Lauricella and some other guy you may have heard of, Peyton Manning.

    The Vols downfall may have coincided with the Albert Means situation, but it also coincided with Phil Fulmer getting old, complacent, losing David Cutcliffe, and having the game pass him by. Lane Kiffen’s tenure in Knoxville only made a bad situation worse.

    Derek Dooley may not have been the Vols’ first choice, but he was a great choice. He has extensive contacts in both Georgia and Louisiana, and he’s probably learned a little football from his daddy and Nick Saban. If they give him a few years, I’m sure he’ll get the Vols back on track

    • PSUGuy says:

      I have to agree.

      Say what you will about Nebraska’s academic levels (and they’d probably be right), they are AAU and have just begun a $400 million (last I remember anyway) research park program to greatly increase the research portion of their university.

      Their addition is big for both the athletic AND the CIC portion of the Big Ten.

      While UK and UT aren’t bad schools, they aren’t AAU and haven’t shown (at least like Nebraska has) the desire to greatly improve their research expenditures (via: older data, but useful).

      Combine that with how long they’ve been in the SEC already, how successful they’ve been overall, and how well the SEC is doing (monetarily)…I just can’t see why those two school would want to leave.

    • Bamatab says:

      Alan, I agree with you in that I find it very hard to believe that Tenn would go to the Big Ten. Like you stated, they have very strong ties to the SEC and I think that the average Tenn fan would probably have a stroke if they announced they were going to the Big Ten. Plus even if there is a “panic” within their ranks at their current situation, I’m not sure how moving to the Big Ten solves those concerns. Plus I don’t see how they would be an academic fit in the Big 10. Maybe they could eventually earn AAU status, but they currently don’t have it.

      I only posted the link/post because this guy is a big time booster for them that has had very strong connections to the Tenn program in the past (especially under Fulmer). Now I’ve stated in one of my other posts on this subject that with his history of running his mouth, I would be very suprised if the Tenn PTB would actually let him in on something like this, but who knows if someone may have had loose lips.

      While the average Tenn fans would probably have a stroke, I do believe that the big boosters are worried about their current situation. Bama is back on top. UF has been on top. LSU, UGA, USCe, & Aub are within striking distance of being at the top. Plus, ever since Saban was at LSU, the state of LA has been sealed off in regards to recruits. Alabama is basically sealed off with both Bama & Aub. GA has both UGA and GT doing well recently, plus Saban has focused on GA recruits and Aub has always recruited there. With USCe and Clemson both doing fairly well as of late, it is difficult to get players out of SC. UNC was doing a good job of keeping their players in state (although that may change with their latest NCAA issues). Kentucky and Arkansas have never really produced a whole lot of talent over the years. And Tenn has never really focused on recruiting Missouri. So they are currently getting choked out a bit when it comes to recruiting. Maybe Dooley can get the job done (and I think he will if they give him enough time to do it, because it may take 4 to 5 years to get them back to competiting where they historically do). But they are currently behind the eight ball with the NCAA currently camping out on their campus. So I’m sure his concerns are probably shared with other big boosters.

      But with all that said, I don’t think that Tenn would go to the Big Ten. I also find it hard to believe that the Big Ten would consider Tenn if they value their academics like they claim they do. I just posted the link/post because I thought it was interesting with it coming from a big Tenn booster, and I hadn’t seen it even being considered anywhere.

      • Hank says:

        fwiw Bamatab I thought the post from the UT booster was suspect and posted so at the time but really liked seeing it. I posted it elsewhere, giving this blog props, because it was an interesting post and prompted some decent discussion. It was intesting and I think most of us shared your opinion of it and the value of tossing it into the pot.

  88. wmtiger says:

    Sounds like Big Ten expansion is on ‘pause’ till January. I suspect any potential ‘seismic’ shift of realignment starts with Texas A&M. If they leave the Big XII-2, any number of scenarios could happen…

    The alleged $20mil in media revenue that is suppose to come to A&M, Texas and Oklahoma isn’t suppose to magically appear till 2012. Which means, if the Big Ten is serious about luring Texas or Notre Dame [imo I think neither are interested and the Big Ten knows that], they need to wait it out till the Big XII blows up for good when Texas goes independent.

    • Bamatab says:

      It depends on what you mean by “on ‘pause’”. I think that the Big Ten is currently exploring the possibilities of (and probably even informally talking to) multiple schools (some of which I’m thinking that most probably wouldn’t think of off the bat). Also, I don’t think that the Big Ten will be effected this go around by the Big 12-lite. I think that the Texas ship has sailed. I think that in this next step in Big Ten expansion, that they go to 14 teams within the next year, with a next step (after that) to 16 only happening if it can get ND which could happen years down the road.

      While I don’t think that Tenn or UK would go to the Big Ten (because of reasons on both sides), I do think that there could possibly have been some initial contact between the two to explore the possible pros & cons (I don’t think Adams made the scenerio up out of thin air, but probably embellished what he actually heard to comfort his own fears of the current state of the Tenn program). I would also guess that this has happened and will continue to happen with multiple schools that we will probably never hear about.

      • Richard says:

        I think you’re right. I don’t see any more additions from the Big-former-12 (Texas included, because they just don’t fit the Big10 midset). Whether they go to 14 or not will depend on how interested various ACC schools and the Big10 are in each other. KY + TN seems like a remote possibility unless several magical things happen. They still seem more likely than any Big12 school, though.

    • drwillini says:

      I agree we seem to be in one of JD’s silent periods, but I don’t think you can call it a pause, and January is not that far off. To me the most logical think that drives the next round of expansion is the big ten TV contract, that will be worth alot more to the conference than the BTN. In fact, you could argue that is what started JD’s initial study, and hence was the trigger for the realignment so far, although JD’s process has not yet been concluded. IMO the Big Ten invites two teams that are academically great and are net adds to revenue (i.e. JD’s original study objective). That triggers the SEC. I don’t think they expand to 14 unilaterally as they are very happy with the status quo, but Slive has signalled they will not be left behind. Not sure even that triggers wholesale realignment, as one thing we have learned with the big12 is that there is more stability in the system than one would think. So far I think this is pretty easy to envision, but if the SEC moves into the State of Texas, and Scott is still thinking of hte PAC 16, he gets desparate. It was a no brainer to ask Texas and her 5 friends, but now he must think about the friends on their own. I have wondered why he didn’t take Texas Tech instead of Utah, and to me that would still be the smart thing to do, if your eyes were still on UT. The Pac 10 takes Texas Tech and one other big 12 school, maybe Kansas, maybe Missouri if it wasn’t so far east, maybe even Baylor to make a huge play for UT. So the Pac is at 14 and saving a spot for Texas, and the Big 10 is at 14 saving a spot for ND, and not to be outdone the SEC is at 14. I never considered 14 to be a stable number, but I think as long as Texas and ND are on the table, it is.

      • Richard says:

        I don’t think going to 14 will trigger the SEC, but going to 16 would. The Big10 will have to plan carefully when deciding who to add next. Would the Big10 be happy with adding KY+TN+RU+Maryland but giving up NC&VA + Miami&FSU to the SEC?

        • Vincent says:

          The only universe I could envision with Kentucky and Tennessee in the Big Ten and Virginia and North Carolina in the SEC would be in Bizarro World.

          • zek33 says:

            Yeah, if Virginia and North Carolina are ever in play, the Big Ten will make a hard push…

            North Carolina is the next biggest prize to Florida/Texas/USC in terms of the biggest demographics areas…

          • Richard says:

            Actually, Florida ranks above UNC in value, but they’re virtually impossible to pry away, I would think.

          • Richard says:

            Whoops. Didn’t see you mentioned them.

      • Bamatab says:

        drwillini, you make a good point in regards to the Pac 10 inviting Utah. I know that the powers that be at Texas Tech were not happy with the fact that they got left out of the $20 million group of UT, OU, aTm. Now I’m not saying that they wold’ve 100% taken the Pac 10 up on their offer, but I think they would’ve given it real consideration. And even if TT didn’t take them up on the offer, Kansas may have been a better add than Utah. The only reason that I can figure as to why they didn’t offer TT is because they were willing to accept TT’s academic issues without UT. And I guess they preferred Utah over Kansas because of distance and the SLC market over the KC market.

        But both adds would’ve fostered some more instability to the Big 12. Plus if the move to 16 team conferences does end up happening in the future, now they can only offer UT the ability to bring three schools with them, which will probably be OU, TT, & OSU (because OU will insist that OSU come along with them) and aTm nor Kansas nor Baylor will even be an option in the next go around. It just seems like the Pac 10 could’ve left itself more leaverage in the next round of expansions if it would’ve gone after another Big 12 school instead of Utah.

        • Vincent says:

          Spurning Utah for another Big 12 member would have incurred the wrath of Orrin Hatch, leading to who knows what on Capitol Hill. Scott had to take in Utah for pure political expediency — though if Utah stays in the MWC, chances are Brigham Young does, too.

        • m (Ag) says:

          “I know that the powers that be at Texas Tech were not happy with the fact that they got left out of the $20 million group of UT, OU, aTm. Now I’m not saying that they wold’ve 100% taken the Pac 10 up on their offer, but I think they would’ve given it real consideration.”

          Do you remember when UT came out and said they were staying in the Big 12? OU and OSU rather quickly came out and said they were staying too. Texas Tech was the slow one; they went about half a day before finally saying they, too, were staying. It certainly seemed like they may have had a chance to join the Pac 10 alone, but they might have just been pouting that they weren’t in on the $20 million ‘guarantee’. As others have said, I don’t think they’re that valuable alone.

          “Plus if the move to 16 team conferences does end up happening in the future, now they can only offer UT the ability to bring three schools with them, which will probably be OU, TT, & OSU (because OU will insist that OSU come along with them) and aTm nor Kansas nor Baylor will even be an option in the next go around.”

          If A&M has the SEC option available, they will probably take that. However, if the leaders decide they want to stay with UT, I’m confident one of those other schools would get bumped out to make a space for them.

          That said, as long as UT is ‘taking care’ of TT, I think A&M can move by itself; there would be a bit of a storm at first, but they could survive it OK. Politicians who support UT or TT wouldn’t want to argue their school would be hurt by A&M leaving. Now, if UT went one way, A&M the other, and TT was stuck, there would be much more controversy.

      • @drwillini – If this conference realignment process has taught us anything, it’s that the Texas schools have to be looked at as a group. Back in January when all of this realignment talk started ramping up, I clearly underestimated the will of Texas politicians to keep UT, A&M and TTU together – I really thought that UT could move alone. Instead, I’m actually way less convinced today that UT could ever go independent or move on its own (whereas the general public opinion seems to be trending the other way). Those 3 schools are going to move as a bloc (with Baylor possibly squeezing in now that they’re clearly on notice that they were going to get shut out by the Pac-16). Think of them as the Corleone family:

        (1) Texas = Michael – The holder of absolute power in the family that is smart and cut throat in getting what he wants. Nothing gets done without his approval and he’s not above whacking associates.

        (2) Texas A&M = Sonny – Could’ve been running the family if he wasn’t such a hothead and went on a decade-long funk.

        (3) Texas Tech = Connie – Might hate Michael for what he’s done to Fredo, but is ultimately beholden and dependent upon him.

        (4) Baylor = Fredo – Will be taken out for a boat ride in the middle of a lake when he becomes an inconvenience.

        • Hopkins Horn says:

          Um, Frank, on what planet could A&M have ever run the family? :)

        • zek33 says:

          But then, aren’t we presuming that the Big 12 has to survive?

          There’s only 4 spots on the Pac-16 boat and OU/OSU seem to have 2 locked up.

          I do think there’s a legitimate possibility of A&M -> SEC, Texas/Texas Tech -> Pac-16 if that kind of situation pans out, but the probability has gone down significantly.

          Which is why I think your point is that such an outcome is not preferred by TPTB which is probably correct.

          I tend to think the Big 12 now has more staying power than it did when things were getting out of control.

          Now that the situation has stabilized, there’s no one who can be a first mover out other than A&M or Texas (Big Ten won’t go after Missouri and destabilize Big 12).

          A&M would find it incredibly hard to leave right now due to politics, even if Beebe’s numbers don’t work.

          In a sense you’d need Texas and A&M to make a pact or decide to leave at the same time. It’s hard to see one being able to leave without the other having things set up nicely. And that’s why Texas is in charge once again. As long as Texas wants the Big 12 to survive is how long it will survive. If Texas decides to go west, then the door is open for A&M to the SEC…

        • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

          Frank – so who whacked A&M at the toll booth? Beebe and networks? Texas politicians? Little brother Michael, errrr big brother UTx?

      • bullet says:

        Texas Tech could not survive w/o Texas and/or Texas A&M in their conference. They do not have the ego issues A&M does and will not cut off their nose to spite their face. They would not go alone.

        They also would provide little value alone. Texas Tech IS in Lubbock. That’s 350 miles from Dallas and 520 from Houston. And its a lot longer if you follow the interstates. From Houston that 520 miles involves a lot of two lane roads. While they do have a substantial base in DFW, they really draw very few students from Houston. Pensacola, Florida is closer to Houston than Lubbock.

  89. On a tangential note, it looks like Penn State adding Division 1 men’s hockey is a done deal:

    This will almost certainly set up a Big Ten hockey conference within the next few years, which will have massive repurcussions in that sport.

  90. zek33 says:

    Yeah, that’s the key to getting the BTN higher rates in the northeast for sure. Maybe better Canada exposure as well. Would more schools consider hockey if there is a BTHC? Would Illinois, etc.? Has there been any chatter about that from other schools?

    • zek33 says:

      Oops, supposed to be a reply…

    • @zek33 – Illinois has long been talked about as a possible hockey candidate since it is basically in the same boat as Penn State with a strong club program and fan base along with a pretty good hockey recruiting location. The main issue (as the Penn State story noted) is not adding D1 hockey itself (which would likely be a revenue generator), but rather covering the costs of adding enough women’s scholarships to meet Title IX requirements (which would be straight expenses without much, if any, revenue). There’s also the issue of having an appropriate hockey facility, but that’s not as much of a practical concern to me since I believe that would be taken care of by a multi-purpose arena for basketball that Illinois would want to build down the road, anyway. I’d LOVE to see Illini hockey, yet Title IX is going to drive whether that ever happens or not.

      • Hank says:

        one potential offset for Title IX purposes would be to add women’s hockey. there are already a couple of programs and its relatively popular in the northeast. I’d love to see Michigan add women’s hockey, so we can upgrade our strong men’s lacrosse program, but Red doesn’t seem interested in sharing facilities.

      • Jake says:

        Gotta feel for all those non-Big Ten schools with hockey teams in the … whatever those college hockey conferences are called. Is there any chance some of those teams could be included as hockey-only members of the Big Ten?

        • @Jake – There had been talk last year about Notre Dame, Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan possibly being added as affiliate members for hockey-only. That was under the assumption that a 6th current Big Ten school wouldn’t add hockey, though. Now that Penn State is going to add hockey, I think it’s going to be very unlikely we’ll see any hockey-only members.

          I’m fairly certain that a Big Ten hockey conference is a foregone conclusion. Penn State isn’t adding a very expensive sport (in terms of scholarships, facilities, and Title IX compliance) in order to play the Ferris States of the world – they would only add hockey with assurances that a Big Ten hockey conference is going to form ASAP.

          • Jake says:

            Pity. Well, with such a small conference maybe the Big Ten teams could schedule annual match-ups with some of their former conference mates. I’d hate to see the Bemidji States of the world suffer. But college hockey on the Big Ten Network would be pretty cool – increased exposure could only be good for the sport.

          • M says:

            The best solution might be some sort of “shadow conference”: every school maintains its current conference schedule but also plays the other Big Ten teams in a home and home series each year. The Big Ten conference champion would be the team with the best record among those games.

            The Ivy sort of has an arrangement like this and the service academies do this in football.

  91. bullet says:

    Did the B10 announce whether they were going to a 5-1-2 model, or did they just announce the next 2 years schedules and stop?

    • @bullet – They only announced schedules for the next 2 years. My reasonable guess is that if/when the Big Ten goes to a 9-game conference schedule in 2015, there will be a 5-1-3 model. That allows everyone to play each other at least 6 out of every 10 years, which keeps the conference ties strong.

      • zek33 says:

        Keeping OSU-Michigan as the final game of the year actually makes a 14 team Big Ten easier to schedule.

        The last week would be 6 in-division games and OSU-Michigan.

  92. bullet says:

    P10 commissioner says better than 50% chance P10 is P10+1 next year, then P12 in 2012. CU hasn’t reached an agreement.

  93. bullet says:

    Big East commish: looking at numerous expansion models in order to maximize TV revenues. Villanova is not necessarily it, but they are the 1st piece to be decided.

    Villanova actually works well in the ND conference model (not that there is any indication this is happening). 12 teams-only count division games so ND only has to play 5 in conference. Villanova is 9, ND 10, add 2 to get to 12 fb, 18 bb.

    • zek33 says:

      Heh, we think it’s hard for the Pac-12 to set up divisions to guarantee games in SC.

      Just wait till a Big East 12 has to decide which 5 schools get to play ND every year, where the other 6 never do…

  94. Vincent says:

    I asked fans at a Rutgers message board what school they thought would partner with the Scarlet Knights were the Big Ten to expand to 14. Maryland won easily, with 77 votes to 39 for Pittsburgh and 23 for Syracuse.

    • zeek says:

      Yeah, I don’t think it’s particularly close. If you had to choose 2 schools that would be gettable at this point, Rutgers/Maryland has more value than any other 2 on the board of schools that would fit and might be available.

  95. [...] If you want to talk about conference realignment in general, please continue the discussion on the Big Ten Division-palooza post, while the college hockey discussion should be under the Big Ten Expansion Hits the Ice post [...]

  96. m (Ag) says:

    OK, I saw this on the web last week, and expected someone else to post it, but I guess I will.

    The ‘Times Higher Education’ has published its world University rankings, according to the following criteria:

    ” * Teaching — the learning environment (worth 30 per cent of the overall ranking score)
    * Research — volume, income and reputation (worth 30 per cent)
    * Citations — research influence (worth 32.5 per cent)
    * Industry income — innovation (worth 2.5 per cent)
    * International mix — staff and students (worth 5 per cent).”

    They listed their 200 best universities, 72 of which are in the US.

    There are 81 from the US and Canada, listed at the website:

    The ones that play FBS football (ranking is only for US and Canada):

    4. Stanford
    6. Cal
    8. UCLA
    (9. Chicago)
    12. Michigan
    17. Washington
    18. Duke
    19. Northwestern
    20. Georgia Tech
    22t. North Carolina
    25. Illinois
    28. Wisconsin
    29. Rice
    31. Vanderbilt
    32. Minnesota
    40. Notre Dame
    41. Pittsburgh
    43. Ohio State
    44. Colorado
    47. Virginia
    48. USC
    51. Utah
    52. Wake Forest
    54t. Arizona
    56. Maryland
    59. Rutgers
    60. Purdue
    61. Penn State
    62. Hawaii
    64. Michigan State
    67. Iowa
    69t. Indiana
    69t. Iowa State
    73t. Arizona State
    73t. Boston College
    76. Cincinnati

    -Sad A&M didn’t make the cut, UT not making it doesn’t make me feel any better
    -Definitely some surprises there. Hawaii?

    Pac 12- 9/12 members {Stanford, Cal, UCLA, Washington, Colorado, USC, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State}
    New Big 10- 11/12 members {(Chicago), Michigan, Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa, Indiana}
    ACC- 7/12 members {Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest, Maryland, Boston College}
    SEC- 1/12 members {Vanderbilt}
    Big East- 3/8 members {Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Cincinnati}
    New Big 12- 1/10 members {Iowa State}
    Other-Rice, Notre Dame, Hawaii

  97. drwillini says:

    Also last week the wall street journal came out with a university ranking based on surveys from corporate recruiters. Its worth looking at if you have kids looking at colleges (as I do). The bottom line is that the big state schools do suprisingly well.
    I have written here and on the iliniboard about universtiy rankings in the context of big ten expansion. My two favorite are the payscale ranking of mid-career median salaries, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, both becuase they tend to be more quantitative and less opinion based.
    The AWRU is interesting from expansion. There are 27 BCS schools in the top AWRU 100. 10 are big ten schools, 5 are current Pac 10 schools, 4 are ACC schools.
    I have looked at this in the context of expansion, but it is worth doing. Both pac 10 invitees are on the combined list, Utah and Colorado. Iowa just missed the top 100, lumped into 101-150, and surprising to me UNL was in the next lump 151-200. This list of schools, better than all others, conveys what is unique about “big ten” schools, and also, what the pac 10 is looking for in expansion. It is very intersting that with the ivitees, every school west of the mississppi witht he exception of the Texas schools are in the pac 10.
    Looking at the BCS/top 100 schools that are not in the big ten, pac ten (including invitees), and ACC, you get an intersting list:

    38 UT
    53 Vandy
    54 Rutgers
    56 Pitt
    68 Florida
    95 TAMU
    adding a couple of interseting ACC schools
    36 Maryland
    96 UVa
    This strikes me as the list of big ten schools should consider for expansion, especially for numbers 13 and 14.

  98. bullet says:

    Big East. Why they would offer Villanova again, I don’t understand. I don’t think they can have decent fan support. From the Villanova perspective, there is the thought is that it is very important-for basketball:

  99. bullet says:

    I don’t like adding more FCS schools. 1) there are very few that could succeed at FBS. Some of the ones who seem like more likely fits are frequently uninterested or unable: Montana, Delaware, UMass ($ issues), Illinois State ($ issues) Missouri State (not that they are having success-but they fit the mold-big state school, decent size metro area, limited competition from pros or other fb schools). 2) there are a number of schools that should move down. 3) Most importantly, it makes a playoff more difficult.

    WAC looks like it is going to invite UTSA, Texas State, Denver and Seattle. They haven’t made any decisions, but they don’t have a lot of choices. Those 4 and Montana will meet with the WAC next week. Texas really doesn’t need more FBS schools. California could, but UC Davis and Cal Poly made it clear they weren’t ready by joining Big Sky. Portland St. and Sacremento St. have been talking about it forever, but they aren’t realistic options as they are commuter schools with miniscule fan support now.

    • bullet says:

      Not sure why, but can’t get the WAC link to work. Article says Denver can offer the opportunity to have the only good bb on the front range (AF and CU don’t). And that “According to a source, the league is also meeting with UTSA, Texas State and Montana on September 28 in Dallas.” (in addition to Denver and Seattle).

      UTSA and Texas State have separately acknowledged meeting with WAC. UTSA has a deadline to commit to Southland for fb of July 1. Benson said there were others, but he would leave it to them to identify themselves.

      WAC surviving and adding FCS schools, in addition to Sun Belt, MAC and even Big East adding FCS schools increases the liklihood of the big schools seeing the need for superconferences in order to break away from the rest, either literally or simply by virtue of size and power. It would be in MWC’s interest to invite Utah St. and Hawaii and Sun Belt’s to invite La. Tech and NMSU to avoid going that direction. Idaho and SJ St. don’t have the committment or fan support to be in FBS.

  100. eapg says:

    The Big 12 announces financial terms of Nebraska’s withdrawal from the conference:

    Too bad for the Big 12 schools who were counting their baksheesh before the the need for lawyers and keeping things out of the public eye kicked in. 9.255 million.

    Guess old Perlman knows a little lawyering after all.

  101. Brian says:

    So the MAC is looking to expand?

    What realistic candidates are out there? Stealing Western Kentucky from the Sunbelt? Begging Marshall to comeback from CUSA? I can’t believe Memphis of Middle Tennessee would consider it. Are there FCS teams in the midwest looking to move up?

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      I guess they could be talking to UTSA and Texas State, who might want to check out other options in case the WAC finishes imploding.

  102. m (Ag) says:

    This article refers to my biggest problem with the ‘new’ Big 12, a boring schedule:

    I really wish they had gone the other way and cut the conference games to 7 (or even 6!) to allow for more interesting non-conference games. Even if we couldn’t get games against the Big 10, SEC, or Pac 12, I’d take games against the ACC, Big East and the top of the MWC over more conference games.

  103. BuckeyeBeau says:


    OSU AD Gene Smith says B10 expansion basically over:

    “We’re finished (with expansion),” Smith said. “The only thing that would cause us to look at it further is if someone contacted us.”

    Smith acknowledged that few Big Ten representatives have closed the door to further expansion.

    “The reason most of us say it’s not done is because we think there are some schools that are going to try to talk to some conferences. But we’re not actively out looking at expansion,” Smith said.

    “After our October meetings, that’s going to be the last we talk about it.”

    (FYI: The Lantern is the on-campus Student-run Newspaper.)

    HT: MgoBlog; Orig Source:

  104. OT says:

    Latest flare-up in the realignment madness:

    The BIG EAST is finally making a play into the State of Texas.

    The BIG EAST is talking to TCU according to the New York Post.


    I personally think that the BIG EAST will not stop with TCU.

    In my opinion, the BIG EAST would be in position to “hook the biggest horn” in college sports if the Big 12-2 were to fall apart.


    If the University of Texas at Austin were to decide to go “independent” in football, guess in which conference which offer non-football membership will Texas most likely park basketball and other sports?


    Remember that Notre Dame currently parks basketball and other sports in the BIG EAST while keeping its football program independent.

    • Richard says:

      If Texas went independent, the most logical place for them to park their non-football sports would be. . . .the Big12. The Big12 isn’t in the position to turn away Texas out of spite, and the East Coast is far, far away.

      In any case, Texas going independent is less likely than ND joining the Big10. Consider that they can get whatever advantages of independence they want even if they stay in the Big12 just by asking, since everyone else in that conference have shown that they’re just Big T’s little bitches.

    • Vincent says:

      You must have gotten hold of some unauthorized press release from Providence, because you capitalized “Big East.” It’s not an acronym. (That, and the stupid football/basketball hybrid, are but two of the things I hate about that silly conference.)

      Perhaps you’re also a fan of “Lost” — oops, “LOST,” or watch Fox — oops, FOX.

  105. OT says:

    Do any of you think that the following “coalition” of independent football programs will be able to negotiate preferential BCS access as if the “coalition” were an AQ conference:

    Notre Dame
    Air Force

    Each of these 8 schools are in position to 1) negotiate their own TV deals including running their own TV networks and 2) negotiate their own non-BCS bowl tie-ins on their own (i.e. Hawaii to Hawaii Bowl, Texas to Cotton Bowl, USC to Holiday Bowl or Poinsettia Bowl, etc.) without having to pay administrative overhead to belong to a conference in football.

    The “coalition of independent football prgrams” would serve only one purpose: to ensure that the “coalition” will be treated by the BCS as an AQ conference for the purpose of BCS access, meaning one or two berths in the BCS bowls including the championship game.

    • Cliff's Notes says:

      Anything is possible, but with so many different schools looking out for their best interests, I suspect that getting this to happen will be as easy as herding cats.

  106. loki_the_bubba says:

    TCU to the Big East rumor is growing stronger. From Ft Worth paper:

    TCU has met with Big East officials within the past 30 days to discus the logistics of a move by TCU in either the 2011 or 2012 seasons, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

  107. gregenstein says:

    I can’t imagine that Villanova joining the conference would have any impact on TCU. Villanova already plays the other sports, so no scheduling mess there. It would actually be something of a “win-win” for the Big East to get both. They’d have a 10 team football conference that, at the very least, is as stable as the Big 12-2 given that Texas is about as set in their ways as Brett Favre is on retirement. Instead of looking to the usual suspects to get to a 12-team conference, they really should be thinking bigger than Memphis. I’d go after Houston, Boise State, TCU,

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