The Chicago Tribune reports today that the Big Ten has received a study from William Blair & Co., a Chicago investment banking firm, that analyzed five expansion candidates: Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, Missouri and Notre Dame.  According to the Tribune’s source, the report indicated that the Big Ten members would be able to increase their current payouts of $22 million or more with expansion with the “right team or teams”.  The source also said that these were the “obvious candidates” and other schools could be considered.

I’ve worked on enough business deals and seen enough positioning in the media through the years (whether we’re talking about trades in sports or political wrangling) to know that leaks to the press rarely occur without a purpose that was authorized from above, especially when dealing with places that have tightly-run ships like Jim Delany’s Big Ten.  So, what was the purpose of this leak?  Was it to put cold water on the thoughts of Texas or even other schools like Nebraska or Maryland joining the conference?  Maybe Notre Dame is a legitimate candidate after all and we shouldn’t assume that they’ll never join?  Is it to try to get Big Ten fans comfortable with the idea that the 12th school isn’t going to be nearly as sexy as we hope?  Or could it be a classic stalking horse case, where the Big Ten is effectively telling the rest of the Big XII schools like Texas and Nebraska, “Just so you know, we make more TV money than you do now.  We’d make a lot more money if we take Missouri and we’re willing to do it, while you’d make even less.  So, maybe we should do lunch?”

All of those reasons are certainly possible.  My personal opinion is that it would be unconscionable to have Texas alums legitimately considering a move to the Big Ten (and generally not having a knee-jerk reaction to it in the same way as Notre Dame alums) and then add a school like Rutgers or Missouri instead, but I’m just an Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.  Teddy Greenstein, who wrote the Tribune article, is of the opinion that Rutgers is at the top of the list (if you discount, in his words, the “pipe dreams” of Texas and Notre Dame).  Now, I believe that Greenstein is one of the better writers in the Chicago sports media (and believe me, having suffered through a period where both Skip Bayless AND Jay Mariotti were competing columnists here at the same time, I appreciate the good ones), but I have to take issue with this line of thinking:

Fans wonder: Does New York care about Rutgers? The simplest answer: When Rutgers wins, yes.

During Rutgers’ football nirvana season of 2006, its game against Louisville on ESPN drew an 8.1 rating in the New York market, a “phenomenal number,” according to one TV executive. That night, the Empire State Building was lit up in scarlet.

This anecdote continues to keep coming up and it’s a red herring.  I fully expect any school that’s competing for a possible slot in the national championship game to receive incredible ratings in its home market, even in a historically poor college football town like New York.  That’s not the issue!  Here’s what I stated in the original Big Ten Expansion Index post:

It must be emphasized that Football Brand Value puts much more weight on the long-term history and financial underpinnings of a program over short-term or recent success. Thus, Team A that has sold out 80,000-seat or even 100,000-seat stadiums for decades whether it wins or loses is much more valuable than Team B that only sells out a 40,000-seat stadium when it’s in the national championship race, even if Team A has had a mediocre seasons recently and Team B happens to rank in the top 3 of the BCS rankings this year. The “What have you done for me lately?” attitude of most sports fans doesn’t apply here. Instead, the proper question is the opposite: Even if the target school goes 0-12 in a season, will it still attract TV viewers and attendance? In other words, the true value of a football program is really measured by how much attention it still receives when it’s down as opposed to how much attention it gets when it’s up. The Big Ten will only consider programs that have large and real hardcore fan bases that will stick them in good times and bad as opposed to programs that have bandwagon fans that will bolt when there’s a 7-5 season.

The fact that then-35-year old Danny Almonte led his baseball team to the Little League World Series and was front-page news in New York for the better part of a month in 2001 didn’t turn the NYC market into a “Little League” town.  Even the New Jersey Nets could deliver the New York market once a decade when they’re competitive.  The problem is the other 9 years in the decade when they’re non-entities, where the fact that they play a few miles away from Midtown Manhattan becomes irrelevant.  Taking the NBA analogies further, commenter Dcphx brilliantly described Rutgers as “the 7′ 3″ athletic center that NBA GMs can’t avoid drafting.”  My initial response was that I was worried that Rutgers would be the expansion equivalent of Michael Olowokandi.  Like NBA GMs ignoring the fact that Olowokandi didn’t have a post-up game, basic boxing-out fundamentals, or any discernible basketball skills whatsoever other than being REALLY tall, it feels like a lot of people (particularly the TV executives that are disproportionately based in the NYC market) are blinded by the size of the the New York market or even just the New Jersey portion of it with respect ot Rutgers without taking into account their actual athletic history (whether it’s in football or basketball).  Upon further review, the thought of adding Rutgers might even be closer to the Pistons drafting Darko Milicic instead of Carmelo Anthony in 2003, where a team on the precipice of a championship felt it was better to keep its “chemistry” than adding a guaranteed superstar to a top-of-the-line squad.  As applied to Big Ten expansion, concerns about “geography” are the equivalent of the Pistons wanting Darko for “chemistry”.  (FYI – if you’re able to combine my concurrent dreams of being a conference commissioner and NBA general manager, I will turn into warm puddy.)

Let’s think of it this way: the Big Ten has spent the last two decades waiting around for Notre Dame.  During that process, they’ve actually looked at Missouri, Syracuse, Rutgers and Pitt several times and they were never deemed worthy of being invited before.  They’ve also given up conference championship game revenue during that period of time as a result of waiting for the Irish.  The Big Ten then took a massive risk of building its own TV network (which a lot of people ridiculed at the time), which has now paid off in spades in the form of TV revenues that far surpass what Notre Dame receives from NBC.  This means that the Big Ten has never had more leverage in terms of adding schools in its entire history.  So, after all of this time and at the height of its power, is the Big Ten really going to cash in all of its chips after all of that time on a potential project like Rutgers?  A “safe but not glamorous” choice like Missouri?  Is the Big Ten, with all of its financial advantages today, really going to add a school that doesn’t bring as much to the table as Penn State did to the conference or even Miami did to the ACC?  While there might be some Big Ten ADs out there like Ron Guenther that think small, Jim Delany is a big-time visionary and I have full faith that he’s not going to push a move just for the sake of making a move.  If the Big Ten doesn’t add Notre Dame, then it’s going to go after a school that’s even better (not secondary choices that are lower in terms of impact).  Call me naive, crazy or one-track minded, but money has a way of making “pipe dreams” on paper  in sports fan terms become much more realistic.

(UPDATE: This was written without taking into account today’s story, but The Rivalry, Esq. has a great look charting the ups-and-downs of talk regarding various Big Ten expansion candidates.)

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

(Image from Chicago Tribune)

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Comments
  1. […] #8 (3/2/2010) – What’s the purpose of the Big Ten leaking a study of Notre Dame, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse a… (Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111) Possibly related posts: […]

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    • Xenon says:

      OK, so what does the ND news conference mean?

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

      I completely agree that news conference’s don’t just happen, they have a purpose. What is the purpose of the ND news conference?

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    • dan cady says:

      just going for the east coast lucrative tv markets with no merit of sports programs i would look at boston college, rutgers, temple, and maryland, that would be 50 million folks just in the metro’s and much more state wide, this would be a tv gold mine for the big-xvi tv channel, none of these teams are perfect, but they say location is everything, the best locations in the northeast,and with notre dame the profet margins would be phenomaenal, boston,new york, philadelphia, baltimore-washington dc, this would be a grand slam for the big north xvi !

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  2. greg says:

    I agree that the Big Ten isn’t going to add a school like Rutgers or Mizzou. C’mon. They would instantly be the “worst” school in the conference, however you want to quantify it.

    I still think Texas, Texas A&M, and Pitt.

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  3. Looking at this list of five “finalists” (smirk) made me think that the Big 10 COULD (I repeat COULD) go to 14 or 16, including Syracuse and Rutgers to “seal” the NY market in the same way that Texas and Texas A/M would “seal” the state of Texas. If you added all five of those candidates (not likely), you’d have this mega-conference for college sports that would also have–and this is key–two NY schools in it.

    Personally, I think Rutgers might be a slight of hand. “Look over here for a while as we nail things down with Notre Dame and/or Texas.” Greenstein may be a good journalist but he’s simply a pawn in this story. Good people are giving him good information and the country is crazed to get it…so who knows how accurate it is?

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    • I agree. As some others have stated, the Big Ten can take a “flyer” on Rutgers if it has Notre Dame and/or Texas in the fold for a 14-school conference. That’s a perfectly reasonable position. I just don’t think Rutgers makes sense as school #12 in a 12-school conference.

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      • mushroomgod says:

        You have had a brilliant analysis, but I have felt for some time that you have over-estimated the Big 10’s eagerness/willingness to hit a home run on this, and thereby change the landscape of college football.

        To the contrary, everything I’ve seen indicates that the expansion is for football championship game purposes mostly….picking Rutgers over Pitt tells me the league is willing to sacrifice competition for a few tv$ with the 12th pick…..

        3 problems I see with RU–1. The east/west division makes the most sense…but with no Neb there is no heavyweight in the west…2. RU’s Director’s Cup ranking was 92 last year. Next lowest was IU’s 55…3..8000 seat basketball arena and bo bball tradition.

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        • That’s a fair point, although the Big Ten has seemingly waited forever for a home run (Notre Dame). When it’s now in the position where it has a 2-0 count with a fastball down the middle, is it all of the sudden going to pull up for a single or double? As I’ve stated elsewhere, Rutgers makes some sense in a 14-school conference with Notre Dame and/or Texas, but I have serious doubts that the Big Ten is simply going to add them as school #12 and stop.

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      • Richard says:

        If Rutgers (or ‘Cuse), splir North-South

        North
        Minn
        Iowa
        Wisconsin
        MSU
        OSU
        Michigan

        South
        PSU
        RU/SU
        IU
        PU
        NU
        IL

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        • That North/South split has made the most sense to me if the Big Ten chooses a school east of the Illinois state line (i.e. Syracuse, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Pitt, etc.).

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          • Adam says:

            To my mind, such a split accomplishes nothing other than making a lot of people angry. Look at the myriad rivalries you break up! I said on another page, but I’ll repeat here (it can get tiresome to check the comments on all of these different pages; not your fault but just sayin’), I’d split the league as such:

            A: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern Purdue, Wisconsin
            B: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State

            Cross-division rivals:
            Michigan-Minnesota
            Ohio State-Illinois
            Notre Dame-Purdue
            Northwestern-Indiana
            Penn State-Iowa
            Michigan State-Wisconsin

            If it’s Texas instead, I’d make it:
            A: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Texas, Wisconsin
            B: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue

            Cross-division rivals:
            Michigan-Minnesota
            Ohio State-Illinois
            Michigan State-Wisconsin
            Northwestern-Indiana
            Purdue-Iowa
            Penn State-Texas

            You can fiddle around with the cross-division rivals, but I think those A/B divisions are the best arrangements. You preserve the maximum number of rivalries. Every other alignment seems to spend so much effort chasing the phantom of “balance” that it eviscerates the substance of college sports.

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          • Adam says:

            This was in response to Frank saying that he liked a North/South split.

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          • Justin says:

            You can’t have Michigan, OSU and PSU in one division in a 12 team conference, unless you want to create the excitement of the Big 12 title game where one division is constantly thrashing the other division.

            First, it will dramatically lessen the rights fees for the Big 10 title game. Networks will pay for some combination of UM-OSU-PSU in the Big 10 title game. OSU vs. Iowa or PSU vs. Wisconsin are ok games, but if that’s the best the Big 10 can offer, don’t expect a massive rights fee for the game.

            Second, while people think the Wisconsins and Iowas like the idea of separating from OSU, PSU and UM so that they create their own brand in a watered down western division, the reality is the western schools won’t want a schedule where they are not getting either UM, PSU or OSU at home every year.

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          • Kyle says:

            Yes you can. Iowa and Wisconsin can hold down the West along with a Nebraska or Texas/A&M medley. The Big 12 was not always this imbalanced: in the first 8 years were split evenly between the north and south. Do you really think the 2009 championship game was uncompetitive? 00:01 seconds.
            Besides, how well do the ‘balanced’ Atlantic and Coastal divisions work for the ACC?

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          • Jake says:

            I think Justin was responding to Adam’s first alignment, where Mich, tOSU and PSU (along with ND) were in one division, with no UT/A&M/Neb. on the other side. That’s more than a bit unbalanced. Sure, teams rise and fall in cycles, but some rise more than others. And it isn’t just about who’s good – it’s about having teams on both sides that can draw a big audience for the title game.

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          • Richard says:

            In a geographically spread-out conference like the Big10 or Big12, you can guarantee well-attended title games by rotating the conference games between divisions (some long as the divisions are geographically compact).

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          • Michael says:

            If Texas is the only team added, I think Penn State needs to be in their division.

            Schools like Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, and Illinois are a bit more fickle on whether they attend homes than the rest of the Big Ten, especially during bad seasons, so they rely heavily on the bigger-name schools to entice fans to come. (For example, Purdue charges extra for home games against OSU, Michigan, Penn State, and Notre Dame because the demand is so much higher.)

            If Texas were in Northwestern’s division while UM, OSU, and PSU were in the other one, it would be completely possible for NW to have Texas and Ohio State both on the road and not have Michigan or Penn State on the schedule. That would be terrible NW, or for the other schools I mentioned if they were in similar circumstances.

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          • duffman says:

            michael,

            who is to say penn state will be good in a few years?

            1966 jo pa arrives..

            2010 jo pa still here..

            i think back to alabama (post bear bryant) and kentucky (post rupp)

            i feel bad for joe hall – he was a kentucky boy, who played for rupp, and won a national title for UK.. and they still wanted his head every year.. bryant has been gone how long, and just now with saban is chilling out the bama faithful.. if i am 50 today.. and i live in PA.. jo pa is the ONLY coach i have even known (think about that).

            as they say in any financial documents ‘past performance is no indication of future returns’….

            not alot of differnce between 65% & 75% number wise..

            but 6 – 9 wins a season and 9 – 12 wins in the BCS era is HUGE!!

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          • Richard says:

            They’re the clear #1 in a populous state that still produces football talent. ‘Bama has talent in its backyard but its state is smaller and it has to compete with a school in its state in the same league. Kentucky has to find players from other states.

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          • Richard says:

            This is about PSU (after Joe Pa leaves), BTW.

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          • Michael says:

            Whether PSU will be good or not wasn’t my point.

            My point is that PSU, OSU, and UM are such strong brand names that they’ll draw crowds on their away games no matter what.

            Michigan has been terrible the past two years, yet they’re still a hot ticket when they go on the road, even at places where the fanbase is more fickle.

            So, when the league members are voting on how to align the divisions, I’m saying there’s no way that three mega-name teams get into one division and only one in the other. It’s not as much about balance of power as it is about balance of names.

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          • Richard says:

            Unless Nebraska & Texas are in the other division.

            BTW, you’re right about Michigan and OSU, but PSU isn’t much of a draw west of Ohio (otherwise, Indiana wouldn’t have moved it’s game against PSU to DC).

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          • Michael says:

            PSU is still a good draw at Purdue and I imagine at the five schools west of Indiana, too. IU hardly sells out even for Purdue.

            I just don’t get it with IU. “Oh, they’re just a basketball school.” Give me a break. Georgetown, DePaul, Villanova, Providence, Gonzaga–those are just basketball schools.

            UNC, Kansas, UCLA, and Kentucky are all known much more for basketball than football, yet they still get fans to come to the games and, a lot of times, they put together pretty decent football teams.

            IU acts like they’re Duke, as though they’re incapable of putting together a good program, yet IU has the resources of an alumni base 8 times larger, not to mention facilities that are as competitive as anywhere. If historically ugly programs like Kansas State, Kansas, Oregon State, Northwestern (pre-’95) and Cincinnati can do it, why can’t IU? And why in the world would IU students not want to come out to their gorgeous football stadium on a beautiful southern Indiana fall Saturday and enjoy a day of watching their team duke it out on the gridiron. I mean, basketball doesn’t start until late November, anyway. They might as well enjoy their fall.

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          • Richard says:

            I went to Northwestern, and PSU doesn’t bring out the fans there. The biggest draws are still OSU, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin (yes, we rely on opposing fans buying tickets).

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          • Jake says:

            Give Villanova a little bit of gridiron cred – they did win the FCS football title last year.

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          • Jake says:

            That was to Michael. I seem to be having some trouble with the Reply button today.

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          • Kyle says:

            They did win it, but the university as a whole is better suited to FCS glory rather than trying to make the big step up. Uconn managed to do it because they’re a relatively big state school with land to grow on and little competition in New England. Villnova is smaller, private/catholic with no room to expand on-campus (and Temple has a lease on the Linc).

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          • duffman says:

            michael,

            people think kentucky is a “basketball” school , but the internal numbers do NOT bear this out.. as much as UK has sucked in the last 40+ years (you have to go back to when bear bryant was coaching UK to find their “good” teams) FOOTBALL @ UK is still the “cash cow”. as crazy as this sounds.. the numbers bear this out.. UK’s stadium is around 70,000 (and even in the “suckcess” of UK football, it is almost always FULL. up the road is Memorial (IU’s home – and seating about 50,000). both are considered “basketball” schools .. but just selling 20,000 tickets a game less has to affect the bottom line (and that assumes IU is selling out their stadium). the dumbest thing IU did was take UK out of the home/home series in football.. i am not sure if they sold out memorial, but i know they did commonwealth (because of the LONG rivalry, and two sucky football teams playing each other winds up being a competitive game.. i would much rather see IU/UK or UC/UK than UL/UK in football..

            UK has not beaten Tennessee or Florida since Ronald Reagean was or president (they hold not 1, but 2 of the longest losing streaks to and opponent in the country, but try and get a ticket to either on of those games? does IU do that.. do any of the bottom dwellers of the ACC or Big 10 do this? year after year in a similar sized venue?? They beat BAMA a few years back in football (the first time since 1922!!) and it is still a hard ticket.. when UK played Penn State a few years ago (way overmatched and Penn State spanked them back into the stone age) they came..

            when they played clemson a few years ago in the Music City, i was in nashville on business. looking at the stadium from a distance and driving by while the game was playing.. i kid you not the place was 80 – 90 % blue and 10 – 20% orange. it is like a swarm, and UK makes the NO Saints look like (not counting this years super bowl season) the top NFL franchise of the past forty years.

            again.. i will say this for the cheap seats.. for whatever reason.. the mid to low teams in the sec create more compelling games, and better $$$ games.. i do not know if is the weather (i still love northern, cold – mud – rain games, why i lost interest in the lions and vikings when they “domed” up) but alot of folks are turned off by foul weather. or that sec loves football, they will still show up in force when mid to low level teams play each other. or that compelling teams go 6 – 8 deep in the sec while they drop quickly in the pac 01 or the big 02 (sorry i used to hear this before penn state – when it was just Michigan and tOSU).

            the point in all this is that a “basketball” school like UK, actually is a revenue BEAST in football, especially when viewed by their lack of success in this sport in the modern era. and do not get me started on duke fans, as the reverse is true.. when i attend live events where duke is involved.. no fans.. unc travels, but not duke…. (even basketball venues).

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          • Richard says:

            That’s nice, but UK isn’t the bottom of the SEC. As you can see in a previous post of mine, the bottom 2 in the Big 10 (IU and Northwestern) take in more revenue than the bottom 2 in the SEC (Ole Miss and Miss St.) despite hardly ever selling out their modest football stadiums.

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          • duffman says:

            richard..

            not money.. suckiness of teams, miss and miss st may make less revenue, but they still find a way to beat UK in football..

            my point is that IU/UK are more alike than different in sports.. so why are they at the bottom?? it it that UK will watch itself get clobbered by the gators, and IU will stay home when tOSU come to bloomington?

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          • Adam says:

            Michael, I think this concern is overblown. Currently, if I understand the schedule format, unless you’re a “protected rivalry” (e.g., UM-OSU), it’s an 8-year cycle with 3 home, 3 road, 2 off. So, to pick an arbitrary team from my proposed “A Division,” Northwestern plays Michigan 3 times in Evanston, 3 times in Ann Arbor, and 2 times not at all, in any given 8-year stretch. This means that 5 out of every 8 years, Northwestern is not hosting Michigan.

            In my A/B alignment, if I have done the math right, it would be a 5-year cycle instead of an 8-year cycle. And, every 5 years, Northwestern would host Michigan once, travel to Michigan once, and not play Michigan the other 3 years. This would be the same for ND, OSU, and PSU. Four out of every 5 years, Northwestern would host 1 of those 4 teams (the 5th year would be MSU). Repeat that analysis for all of the other “A Division” teams (except for your cross-division rival). That seems like an eminently acceptable arrangement, given the expectation of increased overall revenue coming into the conference.

            Someone please correct my math if I fouled up.

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          • Michael says:

            No, you’ve got the pattern & the math right. That’s exactly what the ACC & SEC do.

            Now the SEC doesn’t really have any fickle fanbases, except maybe Vanderbilt, so they really don’t have to worry about division balancing. The ACC is different.

            Really there’s only four fanbases in the league who eare so appealing that they’re essentially certain sellout when they’re on the road, no matter what: FSU, Miami, Clemson, and Va. Tech. (Even in recent years when FSU and Miami have been sub-par, it’s still a huge deal for an ACC team to beat them.) Two are in one division, two in the other. I don’t know for certain if it worked out this way perfectly, but the rest of the teams in each division should have at least one home game against one of those four teams.

            If the divisions were done straight geographically, Maryland, BC, UVA, and two schools in NC would only get VT at home once every other year, and the other schools would be there just once every five years. Some years, none of the four big-draw schools would be there. I imagine that was taken into account when they drew up the division alignments.

            Another thing to consider is that the new members are going to want either PSU, OSU, or Michigan in their division as a way to get their fans on board with being in a new league. Texas’ boosters won’t be very pleased if their division is Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and A&M. Some of them would complain, “We’d be better off with Okie State, Texas Tech, & Baylor.” But if you trade out, say, Illinois for Penn State or Notre Dame, then it will be a lot easier to get to get the skeptical UT boosters on board.

            One other thing: among the Big Ten’s season-ending rivalries, the only two that I think absolutely MUST be in the same division are Michigan-OSU and Texas-A&M. There’s just too much of a chance they’d play each other two weeks in a row. Purdue-IU & NW-Illinois can be in separate divisions. If complete bizzaro world happens and both sides of the rivalries win their divisions, then so be it. It would be a once-in-a-hundred year occurrence. If the Pac-10 had been in divisional alignment and Oregon-Oregon State were in opposite divisions, last year would have been the first time in 90 years they would have had to play each other two weeks straight.

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          • Adam says:

            Well, first, I am vehemently opposed to adding Texas. As far as I’m concerned, I want Notre Dame or nobody. So doing what it takes to appease Texas doesn’t particularly concern me. Trying to put on my analytical hat, it’s my sense that Texas would be making off like such a bandit by joining the league that putting them with Iowa/Minnesota/Wisconsin et al. would be just fine. And, your observation would be accurate if ND joined and was placed in my proposed “B Division” with Michigan, MSU, OSU and PSU.

            Someone is going to complain no matter what we do. This blog has seen some people saying that there’s no way Texas can join the Big Ten because alumni feel as though they’re entitled to make affordable road trips to Waco and Lubbock. But I think my A/B alignment for a 12-team league is the best one.

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          • I don’t think PSU would argue for 1 second about having Texas as a divisional rival. Huge crowds every time they came to town. Would Texas be equally excited? I’m a huge PSU fan, but even I wonder if our “national” appeal equals OSU and UM. Also, I’d rather keep Iowa and Wiscy as yearly opponents than Michigan State (who we’ve mostly dominated in our 17 years in conference). Moving my Lions out West would be fine with me…if Ohio State can be our cross-divisional rival each year.

            Don’t forget Wisconsin when discussing “big Big 10” teams. They have a huge draw…and really aren’t far behind PSU in national name recognition (after OSU and UM as well). Having Texas/Wiscy/Iowa in the same division would be pretty strong, even if PSU/UM/OSU were in the other.

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          • Adam says:

            Kyle’s latter point about the ACC is my point exactly. The ACC’s “balanced” divisions have been a complete fiasco. They have sucked all life out of that league. I honestly think (perhaps in part because I’m from the Midwest) that the MAC has a more interesting championship game than the ACC.

            Also, news flash: every school wants home games against UM, PSU, and OSU (and whoever the 12th team is, since it’s likely to be a “home run” or nobody). It doesn’t happen under the current scheduling format. It won’t happen if and when the league expands.

            I tend to find that most people who object to my alignment proposal (or any other proposal) on “balance” grounds are actually trying to take their concern about their favorite program’s path to the championship game and dress it up as a concern about “balance” or some other disinterested-sounding policy argument. I recognize that, historically, the “B” Division is stronger (which is why I put Indiana in it instead of Purdue in the “ND to Big Ten” scenario), but I don’t especially care, either. I am very confident it’d be a rousing success.

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          • Michael says:

            The problem with the ACC isn’t the divisions.

            1. Both the longtime rivalries and the newer rivalries (UVA-VT, UNC-UVA, NCSU-UNC, UNC-Duke, Duke-WFU, FSU-Miami, VT-Miami, GT-Clemson, NCSU-Clemson, Md-UVA, FSU-Clemson, FSU-NCSU, BC-VT) are all still intact, with the exception of BC-Miami. So, in football at least, there’s not much the ACC schools have to complain about given the alignment they have.

            2. Putting the title game in Florida was a huge mistake. The first year worked fine since FSU was in it, and tickets sold well. From this year forward it will be in Charlotte, which is within less than 7 hours from all but FSU, BC, and Miami, and FSU’s fanbase still ought to send as many fans to Charlotte as teams who are much closer.

            3. There’s a simple reason why the ACC game hasn’t been as interesting: to date, no national championship has been on the line. The ACC title game this year was actually a back-and-forth thriller, but few people knew it because everyone was watching the Big 12 game.

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          • Adam says:

            It’s not just that the ACC title game hasn’t been interesting; the regular season divisional races have had no juice to them either. And that is more than just a lack of a national champion contender. I have never lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line or west of the Mississippi, but I could still rattle off to you the divisional alignments in the SEC and Big 12. ACC? Not a chance.

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          • Michael says:

            That’s a fair point. The divisional alignments are confusing to people who don’t follow the ACC. Plus the names sound silly; Atlantic and Coastal? Yawn.

            But still, I do follow the ACC, and I can tell you that there actually has been a lot of juice to those division races. In the Coastal, Miami, GT, and VT each had just one ACC loss (Miami over GT, GT over VT, VT over Miami) pretty late into the season. All three were ranked in the Top 15 for most of the year. By the end of the regular season, VT and Miami had lost another game, so GT won the division w/ a 7-1 record. (The other division was a series of maddeningly inconsistent teams, with Clemson limping into the title game with an 8-4 record. Then again, that’s not much worse than the Big 12 North in a lot of years.)

            But as far as “juice,” there was none of that in the Big 12 or SEC this past season. Nebraska and Texas both won their divisions by two games, Alabama by three, Florida by FOUR. You can’t tell me those division races were intriguing. What made them interesting was the national championship game implications, not the runaway division races.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            I agree that this past year is a poor indicator, but I don’t think it’s necessarily typical. And, it is the rivalry-based aspect that make those division races interesting: the SEC East thrives because of the Florida-Tennessee-Georgia triumvirate. Not long ago, the Big 12 North actually got some attention due to the Kansas-Missouri clash. In years past it got pub due to Nebraska-Colorado (which used to be an important game!). The TTU-OU-UT situation a couple of years ago was a big deal. In some cases, the national championship is on the line, but in all cases, the division race becomes interesting because major traditional rivals stand in each other’s way to get to the “big game.”

            Michigan-OSU is a big pile of “blah” if they’re not in the same Division, as is most any other of these rivalry games, because either (a) if there’s no possibility of a rematch, that means one of them is good and the other bad (or they’re both bad), which means it’s not going to be as good a game anyway, and (b) if they’re both good, there’s the possibility of a rematch, which means the first game lacks the same oomph. Everybody hates rematches in college football, and although a league with a conference championship game is bound to have them now and then, the last thing you want is for one of your top-flight rivalries to have that happen. Much better for you to have to go THROUGH your rivals to get to the title game. And that’s why I like my alignment.

            Like

          • Michael says:

            Again, the Big 12’s races were interesting because they were related to the national championship hunt. TT-UT-OU were all national contenders until the tiebreaker knocked two of them out. KU-Mizzou was compelling because the #1 ranking was on the line. The SEC has been compelling because it’s had Florida, Alabama, and LSU win championships, and even Georgia was in the conversation a few years ago.

            The ACC hasn’t had a national championship contender later than mid-October in six or seven years. Meanwhile, everyone else has. That’s why the ACC seems so dull by comparison.

            And I know Ohio State’s race for the Rose Bowl last year seemed more compelling, but that’s just to Big Ten fans. Ohio State had no national title on the line, so what do people in Texas or Florida or North Carolina care? ACC fans found their own race with GT, Clemson, Miami, and VT equally interesting. It just seems more important on a national scale for the Big Ten because that league gets more exposure and, with significantly bigger alumni bases, it has more fans who tune into the games. (FSU, with 33,000 students, is the ACC’s largest school. Correct me if I’m wrong, but FSU is larger than only one Big Ten school: Northwestern.)

            Like

          • Richard says:

            It would dramatically heighten the fees for the regular season games, which is where the bulk of the money is. Look at it this way, if Michigan-OSU-PSU-ND are all in the same division, you’re going to have at least 6 heavyweight matchups every year that would draw a big viewership. Put a Nebraska or Texas in the other division (preferably both), and you can schedule a primetime-ready game virtually every week of the conference schedule.

            In any case, PSU, OSU, and Michigan in the same division isn’t much different from right now, since OSU-Michigan and OSU-PSU are currently annual games while Michigan plays PSU almost every year.

            Like

          • Adam says:

            Richard, you make an excellent point about the fees for the regular season. I think in chasing the phantom of “balance,” people forget why college football is popular in the first place. It’s all bound up in traditional rivalries. I don’t think there’s another context where you could have people so fired up over a statue of a pig.

            The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is not a big deal because it’s always played the last weekend of the season. It’s because for the better part of a decade, it was a de facto Big Ten Championship Game. The league’s “Big 2, Little 8” imbalance is what gave that game its juice. By concentrating those monster B-Division matchups by putting a berth in the league title game on the line, it will only heighten the hysteria, media attention, and general broadcast value of those matchups (more so than in the 11-team league, where mid-season games are competitions against “the field” instead of high-drama head-to-head races).

            Like

  4. Jeepers says:

    If the list of 5 has Notre Dame on it, and not Texas, then I think we can put all the Texas rumors to bed.

    I agree that this could all be trickery to get ND to join, and no expansion happens if they don’t. But I really think Texas is off the table at this point.

    Like

    • You might be right, but feedback that I’ve seen from Texas is that they’re clearly examining their own conference options, so it would at least behoove the Big Ten to keep an open mind on this.

      Like

    • Jake says:

      Not necessarily. Notre Dame doesn’t have a conference or a state legislature to deal with – if they want in, they come in, so the Big Ten can be a little more open about their intentions. With Texas, the Big Ten will have to tread carefully. They may be willing to take A&M as a package deal, but what if some state rep. decides Tech needs to come along, too? That’s a dealbreaker, for sure. So, they destabilize the Big 12 with these Missouri rumors (with an assist from the Pac-10 and CU), then wait until UT is a little more available.

      As for Texas, they can’t think that the Big 12 is a permanent situation. They have to go somewhere, and they probably wouldn’t be interested in the SEC. That pretty much leaves the Pac-10 or Big Ten, and why would they go West when they can get more money in the Big Ten?

      Like

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        “As for Texas…why would they go West when they can get more money in the Big Ten?”

        Equal sharing of revenue is a big deal. Texas has to consider if they’re ok with that not just now, but in possible scenarios down the road. How likely is it that UT could just become a producer cash cow that gives more than it gets?) What would be the future pullout penalties?

        Like

      • Fantastic point, Jake. It is an exponentially more politically sensitive situation to be talking about Texas or Texas A&M compared to all 5 of the schools analyzed here. Missouri’s governor has openly stated that he’d support a Mizzou move to the Big Ten. No one in Pennsylvania is going to stand in the way of Pitt being in the same conference as Penn State. Rutgers is the only FBS school in New Jersey. Notre Dame and Syracuse are private schools that don’t need to run things by politicians in order to make a move. As the Tribune source warned, these are only the “obvious candidates”. The Big Ten hasn’t risked anything by putting those names out there. When you start openly talking about Texas or some of the more exotic choices that could hurt or harm fellow state schools, though, then you risk an immediate political backlash that could kill any prospects of the deal going through.

        Here’s what I want to know: does the Big Ten have a lobbying firm on retainer in Austin?

        Like

      • Jake says:

        Playoffs Now! – I can’t imagine UT athletics becoming more of a cash cow than it already is, unless they think the Longhorn Sports Network will really work (I don’t). Any conference they’re in, UT is going to be putting in more than anybody else. If getting an equal slice of the biggest pie around isn’t good enough for them, they can always go independent and see how that works. But they can’t get a TV network on basic cable across the country or hold a conference championship game all on their own, and the CIC, which no other conference can come close to matching, is a big lure as well.

        Like

      • Cory says:

        Playoffs Now — Unequal revenue sharing of conference money is fine as long as you are the top dog. If an independent, Texas would generate more money than any Big Ten (also as an independent). But in the Big 12, Texas earns far less than the Big Ten, even with them getting the lion’s share. In a national competition this makes their advantage over other teams smaller than if they joined the Big Ten. Meaning that in the Big Ten, they would have more financial resources to help them win championships (the ultimate athletic goal). Adding some more money to that number is only going to increase their lead (since none of the Big Ten teams will see as big of an increase as Texas does if Texas joins the Big Ten). So are you content to lead the Big 12 or do you want to increase your lead on everyone else?

        Per Tim Griffin’s article below, UT’s advantage over OU is only $400,000 by unequal revenue sharing. In fact, the top five teams are within $1.1 mil of Texas. Yes, it is an advantage, but they are only making 1.61 million more than they would if they equally shared the 103.1 million in revenue from 07/08. The equal share would’ve been 8.59 million. The question is whether maintaining a 5% or 15% revenue advantage over your conference foe is more important than making $22 million (minimum) versus the ~ low teens in the Big 12. Even assuming a 10% increase in revenue in the two years since, Texas would be around 12.3 million. So they make about 45% less than they could in the Big Ten. Thats an awful lot of money to leave on the table just to have a $400,000 or so advantage over your top competitor. If 400,000 could give them a significant advantage over OU than imagine what Texas could do with an extra $10 million for its athletic program.

        I don’t think that equal revenue sharing will be a big factor for Texas. That would be like saying, I’m not content to make another $10 million to come to the Big Ten, but if I make 10% more than everyone else ($11 million) then I’ll consider. The advantage they’d gain to push for unequal revenue would simply be too paltry for what they gain just by being an equal. Put it this way…if your boss said he would raise your salary from 100k to 145k but only under the condition that your colleague making 85K would also get 145K, would you refuse and if so, what do you tell your wife and kids?

        If Texas declines a Big Ten offer on finances alone it will be due to political pressure (losing many millions in state funding) not revenue sharing. The aren’t kicking the gift horse in the mouth (whether that be the Texas legislature, Big Ten, or Pac-10 remains to be seen).

        Obviously, their are many more non-financial decisions that will probably way lay this dream.

        http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/2094/how-the-big-12-teams-rank-in-revenue-sharing-funds

        Like

  5. Mike B. says:

    Why would the Big Ten need a “stalking horse” for Nebraska? Osborne has already all but said they’d love to be in the Big Ten.

    Like

    • Certainly not quite the stalking horse that would be necessary to go after Texas, but Nebraska also has deep emotional and historical ties to the old Big 8 that Texas doesn’t. I’m not saying that Nebraska might not have much more financial incentive to make a move, but for all of the talk about Texas supposedly leaving its rivals behind, the emotional heartburn factor is tripled with respect to Nebraska (and that factor has long killed talks of Notre Dame moving to the Big Ten). My perception is that Nebraska’s interest is in making sure that it has a lifeline in the event that the college football landscape changes instead of making a completely pro-active move. Tom Osborne’s quotes do indicate deep issues within the Big XII, though. That’s the equivalent of the late Bo Schembechler saying that Michigan would’ve been open to moving to the Big East – Osborne is a Big 8 guy through-and-through so it’s a big deal when he’s worried about the state of his conference.

      Like

      • Mike B. says:

        I disagree about Nebraska’s attachment to their rivals. If you look at the Big XII North, it’s probably Colorado, who is looking at the Pac 10. After that who is a big rival? Mizzou? Not much of a spark there. Historically in the old Big 8, Oklahoma was the big rival. But Oklahoma probably considers Texas and Oklahoma St. more important rivals than Nebraska these days.

        With Colorado looking west, Mizzou looking eas, and Texas able to do pretty much whatever it wants, Nebraska and it’s “middle of nowhere” status is probably as vulnerable as anybody.

        I think Nebraska failed the academic smell test, which makes Mizzou’s inclusion a little confusing. But if they needed a stalking horse for Texas, Mizzou probably works better.

        Like

      • Mike says:

        Nebraska doesn’t consider anyone in the Big 12 North their “rival” but it would be harder than some think to give up the game against Kansas (115+ years) and what is left of the Oklahoma rivalry, espically for Osborne.

        Like

      • 84Lion says:

        Frank, I think that’s a pretty good analysis. Nebraska does have deep roots. My thought is that Nebraska’s biggest issue, potentially, is with the alums and fans. Do they risk putting off their Midwestern fan base by kissing goodbye the games with Missouri…Kansas…Colorado. It might be a bit easier now since the Oklahoma game isn’t a yearly occurrence. I also don’t think there is much love lost with Nebraska fans by losing the games with the Texas schools or Oklahoma State. Osborne’s gotta look to the future, though, and I’d be stunned if his academic counterparts in the Nebraska admin wouldn’t jump at the chance to be a part of the Big Ten and all that implies. I think your “lifeline” thought is a good one but I do think the idea of moving to the Big Ten is more appealing to the Huskers as each day goes by.

        IMO it may well be that the Big Ten is trying to get somebody off dead center to break a logjam…it could be that the Big Ten really is considering expanding to a total of 14 schools (Delany’s “bold move,” the first 14-team BCS conference) and wants to get somebody (like ND, or Nebraska) off of dead center so they can evaluate other schools. I wouldn’t be surprised if a school has already been offered and accepted, but is just keeping it quiet until everyone agrees to come out with it publicly.

        Like Frank, I am intrigued by these “leaks.” I agree with Frank, they don’t happen unless Delany wants ‘em to happen. Let’s review: 1) Big Ten leaks that it’s talking to Texas. Texas says no, they’re happy in the Big Twelve. 2) Alvarez says they have a list of 15 teams and says the list doesn’t include Texas or ND. 3) Big Ten leaks that a study has been commissioned and completed, and the finding is that expansion is just the thing. OBTW, five schools were studied and ND is on that list, but Nebraska and Texas are not (altho 3 schools from the BE are on the list). Again I think this suggests that this is designed to get someone off dead center, and I think it’s Nebraska. (Nebraska believes the Big Ten is talking to Texas and the Big Ten is evaluating Missouri…)

        MikeB, sorry, but you evidently don’t know much about Nebraska’s alums and fans? Sorry to burst your bubble but Colorado is a big deal to Nebraska and so are Iowa State, Missouri, the Kansas schools…and let’s face it, if Nebraska leaves the Big 12 they can kiss the Oklahoma game goodbye unless they go OOC. To say that Nebraska doesn’t pass the “smell test” academically but Missouri does…that doesn’t add up, those schools are virtual equals academically (in fact, according to the latest USN&WR rankings, UNL is ranked ahead of Mizzou). Personally I think the Big Ten and Nebraska would love to get together…the question is, would Big Red alums and fans still devoutly follow them when playing teams like Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State (as well as schools like Indiana, Northwestern, and Purdue)? If Nebraska leaving the Big 12 behind means crowds of alums and fans descending on Lincoln with burning cornstalks and pitchforks…

        Frankly if I were Delany and was going to add three schools, I’d choose Colorado, Nebraska, and Rutgers. That would create a superconference from the Atlantic coast to the Rockies. Rutgers would be a good add academically and would make a geographic statement. Such a conference truly goes beyond regional boundaries while maintaining its heart in the Midwest. About the only regions such a superconference wouldn’t include are the South and Far West. It would put the Big 12 in a precarious position for sure.

        Like

        • @84lion: I’m definitely in agreement with you on being high on Nebraska. If the Big Ten has determined that Pitt (who doesn’t bring any new households for the Big Ten Network) is financially acceptable and Missouri is academically acceptable, then the concerns about Nebraska’s small market and academics go by the wayside. All things being equal on those fronts, Nebraska is a far bigger national name than any of the candidates discussed other than Texas and Notre Dame.

          The beauty of Texas is that it combines both a national name with a massive home market. If they’re not budging, though, then maybe you’re right that Delany could look at bringing on 2 schools that fill each of those needs: Nebraska with its national name and Rutgers with a large home market. Neither of those schools would provide what I believe the Big Ten is looking for on their own as school #12, but they make more sense as a package in a 14-school conference. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think that it would be a grave mistake if the Big Ten added Rutgers alone and did nothing else. However, Rutgers bringing its market combined with a major player (Texas, Notre Dame or even Nebraska) has much more appeal and overall impact.

          Of course, maybe it’s still about Notre Dame? Is Delany trying to create a high rent version of the Eastern football league that Joe Paterno wanted? If you truly want to own the East Coast, getting Rutgers, Syracuse and Notre Dame in the same conference as Penn State would do the trick.

          Like

      • Mike B. says:

        @84Lion – I think you missed my point almost entirely. With regard to academics, I agree that Nebraska and Mizzou are on par — and unqualified –for the Big Ten, which is why I found Mizzou’s inclusion “confusing”, except as Frank’s “Stalking Horse”.

        I fully realize the importance of the rivalries with Colorado and Oklahoma, but Colorado is looking to walk away from the Big XII. And the formation of the Big XII pushed Oklahoma’s focus south, and now that it isn’t an annual event anymore, it’s lost it’s luster.

        And if Nebraska fans would rather play KU, K-State, Mizzou and Iowa St every year, instead of Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Northwestern, then maybe they don’t belong in the most lucrative Conference in the country. They belong in the dying shotgun marriage of the SWC and the Big 8.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Nebraska could actually play Oklahoma annually again (OOC) if they joined the Big10, and if Nebraska fans are willing to drive to Boulder, Columbia, or Oklahoma, they can easily make the trip to Iowa City, the win Cities, Madison, and Illinois.

        Like

  6. Playoffs Now! says:

    5 is not 15. Is this the same study that Alvarez talked about?

    Occam’s Norelco suggests that it will likely be one of these five. Machiavelli suggests that these are five safe names whose mention right now won’t create major waves. He also wonders that if the goal is bigger than one team, perhaps you can be in a stronger position to lure tough catches by first taking out a card likely to trigger a shakeup in the existing house of cards.

    Like

    • Jeepers says:

      I’m assuming that this was 5 taken out of the list of 15. Just for this particular study.

      It doesn’t mean much but the use of the word “could” when they talk about considering other possible candidates, suggests to me that this list of 5 is pretty solid.

      Frank, is there a way to follow these threads without commenting?

      Like

  7. Dave says:

    I think that Frank is right that this is all manipulation and PR.

    I don’t know how much the other conference commissioners actually know about the B10 expansion thayt we don’t know, but I would guess the answer is not much. So, the question becomes what is the B10 hoping to manipulate the other conferences to do.

    They obviously don’t need or want to influence the SEC since they’re essentially a non-factor in this. And the B10 only cares about the P10 in so much as their expansion into the B12 could affect who the B10 can get. So, they’re trying to manipulate the BE, B12, and ACC.

    Notice that there are no ACC schools on there but there are 3 BE schools. That’s in spite of the fact that Virginia or Virginia Tech are both better fits (in my mind) than Syracuse or Rutgers. Frank is right, those schools are only included because they’re by NYC. I think that the B10 is trying to make the BE consider its future, which includes the possibility of trying to force ND to join the BE in football. Should that happen, the BE would certainly get a 10th school just for the stability and to appease its basketball only members while also binding the remaining 6 BE-Bball only members to the 10 BE-Fball & BBall members. There is always a threat of thr BE splitting apart into football and non-football teams (or splitting into Catholics and non-catholics), by getting ND and promoting a member, the other 6 would no longer have a realistic chance of doing that preserving the largest part of BE revenue, their basketball programs.

    With ND and another team, the talk of BE death would die down and, although a BE team would certainly leave for the B10, I think the B10 would look elsewhere. That’s why it’s interesting that there are no ACC teams on there, if what I say happens then either the ACC candidates are only on the other 10 team list, or the B10 isn’t really looking at them as much. Additionally, with ND actually in a conference, the B10 would no longer have any alums feeling like they missed out on ND (at least not in the same way as if they’re still independent after this) and could move on to a different home-run team like Texas.

    Of course, I don’t think the BE could force ND to fully join them but that might be the plan anyway. The good thing for the B10 is that if the BE tries and it backfires that ND would then be left with almost no choice but to join the B10.

    I think Pitt is included on there as a way of telling the ACC that they’re “safe” from us looking at poaching one of them, otherwise why NOT put an ACC team on there?

    And Missouri is on there to remind Texas that we can break the B12 up with or without them so they might as well come with us.

    Or I could be way overanalyzing this thing.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      I think your last sentence is correct.

      Fit and stability have a lot to do with this. If the Big 10 were to invite MD or VA, at least 50% of their fans would be pissed about joining the Big 10. Why does the Big 10 need that headache? It’s like asking/adding ND, with fewer benefits.

      The 5 schools listed other than ND would all jump at the chance to join the Big 10….

      Like

  8. I seriously thought that Delaney’s comments last weekand and this study of “15 schools” signified a silent period regarding expansion. I thought the news would die down and it wouldn’t really become a story again until near June (when the Big 10 presidents meet again, I believe?). But here we are…the list of 15 is now 5…expansion is full-speed ahead…sources are revealing five schools with one name coming up in bold letters (RUTGERS)…very interesting developments. Again, I’d expect his all to die down soon while the behind-the-scenes contracts are truly worked out, but maybe the Big 10 is closer to finishing this thing off than their original “10 to 15 month” timeline indicated?

    Like

  9. Tim says:

    I’ve been saying for some time that, while Notre Dame is clearly the best choice, it’s just not going to happen. Take the Irish off the table (and no, I don’t buy the Texas arguments), and you’re left with four middling choices. Of those four, none are spectacular. But Pitt offers the most.

    http://collegefootball.about.com/b/2009/12/16/five-questions-and-answers-about-big-ten-expansion.htm

    http://collegefootball.about.com/b/2010/03/02/big-ten-expansion-now-inevitable.htm

    Like

    • Tim, I’ve seen your posts before and I agree with your points with Rutgers, but my continued skepticism about Pitt is that they simply doesn’t bring any new Big Ten Network households to the fold (which is a much larger revenue generator than a conference championship game). I like Pitt on all levels as a sports fan except that it’s actually too much of a geographic fit, which is a disadvantage today. Rutgers at least provides an argument that the Big Ten Network can add New Jersey and New York basic cable subscribers (although it might be fool’s gold in reality). As I’ve stated before, I really wish that Rutgers and Pitt could trade locations. I still think that the revenue that the Big Ten generates is a very big deal for anyone that’s not in the SEC (including schools like Texas and Notre Dame), so there are a lot more possibilities out there than the middling choices. The Big Ten is in a much better bargaining position than the media seems to give them credit for (i.e. “Since we can assume they can’t get their first choice of ND, then they’ll ‘settle’ for these guys”).

      Like

      • Tim says:

        Frank, I would agree that the money that Big Ten generates would be attractive to ALMOST anybody, but I’m not sure Texas would be among those schools. Though I’m sure Texas surely realizes that the Big 12 is tremendously overrated (how and why that league gets lumped in with the SEC is beyond me) and though I’m sure they realize that they’ll never make big TV money there, they also likely realize that they are kings of that conference and by extension can do pretty much whatever they please. That wouldn’t fly in the Big Ten, where they would be on par with OSU, Michigan and Penn State. As for Notre Dame, I think they’re quite honestly insane for not moving to the Big Ten, but they seem intent on holding on to that “independent” thing. Which, again, leaves us with the usual suspects. I’m sure Nebraska would jump at an offer, but I’m not sure the Big Ten wants Nebraska, and I see Mizzou and Rutgers as equally average. Syracuse is intriguing, but the Dome is a football disaster. Which again leads me to Pitt. I see your point about the TV market, but failing Texas or ND, I don’t see any other schools (esp. Rutgers) bringing a lot of viewers.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Nebraska (even while down) would bring more of a “wow” factor and traveling support. Admittedly, their state isn’t populous, but Pitt isn’t a high hurdle to jump. As for Rutgers and Mizzou, they’d put the BTN on basic cable in their states, even if they don’t have a lot of supporters (and again, you’d be hard-pressed to say Pitt has more supporters than those schools).

        Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      The first guy had me going until he said “What about Vanderbilt?….”

      Like

    • Rick says:

      The Big Ten Network is on Comcast and Cablevision’s Premium “Sports Pack”, $6.00/month. Not Basic. PSU has not given the BTN a firm foothold or penetration of the NY TV Market.

      Like

    • Rick says:

      While I will agree that the PITT Football Tradition and history as well as the strength of the Basketball program are definate advantages for PITT in the equation, let’s not overvalue their current Football program vs. Rutgers. If you look at the last 4 years (2006-2009, when both programs made significant improvements)here is what you’ll find:

      1) PITT winning % = PITT 60%; Rutgers 69%
      2) Bowl Record = PITT 1-1; Rutgers 4-0
      3) Head to head = PITT 1-3 vs. Rutgers
      4) Vs. other Conferences = PITT 1-2 v. Big Ten, 2-2 v. ACC, 1-1 v. Pac 10, 5-1 v. MAC/CUSA. Rutgers 1-0 v. Big Ten, 1-0 v. Big 12, 3-2 v. ACC, 5-0 v. MAC/CUSA/Sunbelt, 0-1 v. WAC
      5) Top 25 BCS finishes = PITT 2; Rutgers 1
      6) Current NFL players = PITT 21; Rutgers 20
      7) GSR/APR Football Team = PITT 68%/50th Percentile; Rutgers 81%/90th Percentile.

      This is not in any way a slam dunk in PITT’s favor when evaluating the current PITT Football program to Rutgers current Football program.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        To add to Rick’s point, Rutgers is Pitt’s equal when it comes to research/academics.

        I can see how you could pick Nebraska over Rutgers & Pitt because of the tradition/national brand/traveling support.

        I can see how you could pick Rutgers over Nebraska and Pitt because they’d put the BTN on basic cable right away in more households than the other 2 and the potential of the NYC market.

        I can’t see any reason why you’d pick Pitt over Nebraska or Rutgers. What does Pitt have that the other 2 don’t have?

        Like

      • greg says:

        Comparing just the last four years is stacking the deck for Rutgers. Even if we stack the deck, how about attendance?

        And Rutgers is NOT Pitt’s equal in research. Look at this document, particularly page 14: http://mup.asu.edu/research2008.pdf

        In 2008, Pitt brought in 530M in research, Rutgers brought in 280M. Pitt’s endowment of 2.3B dwarfs Rutger’s 600M. Rutger’s endowment would be the worst in the Big Ten, and their research dollars only beats Indiana.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Pitt’s football attendance is about the same as Rutgers.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_East_Conference

        Like

      • Rick says:

        Yes PITT does more research and has more endowment. US News ranks PITT #56, Rutgers #66 though, close enough that it would be splitting hairs quite honestly. Aside from research and endowment, pretty equal. Football Academic performance, not even close, Rutgers big. Attendance, PITT avg 53k, Rutgers 49k hardly a knockout for PITT. Prior to 2006 PITT was better in Football, yes.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I was going by ARWU rankings:

        http://www.arwu.org/Country2009Main.jsp?param=United%20States

        From what I understand, Rutgers’s research dollar numbers are lower because NJ’s medical school was taken out from the “Rutgers” umbrella. Compare like with like, and I’d imagine the research dollars are more similiar.

        Like

      • Rick says:

        You are right Richard, The College of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ used to be part of the Rutgers # but was separated. They do $245,000,000.

        Like

      • Kyle says:

        But would the CIC get to share resources and personnel with University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey? I doubt it; they look like cooperating, but completely separate institutions to me. They’ve been separate since the 70s.

        UPMC, on the other hand, is closely tied to the ‘regular’ parts of Pitt: Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Public Health as well as various undergrad departments like psychology, bioengineering, etc…

        Like

  10. Confluence says:

    Frank, I believe the Big Ten network already reaches pretty far into the northeast as part of Comcast’s cable package. There are tons of Pennstate graduates in NJ and NYC so the Big Ten’s footprint by way of Pennstate is probably pretty established in the northeast. Rutgers won’t add more of NYC than PSU already does.

    Like

    • Rick says:

      While there may be many PSU grads in the NY Metro area, the NY TV Market is far from penetrated by the BTN, hence the Big Ten looking seriously at it now. If it was covered by PSU then someone didn’t tell the BT folks.

      Like

  11. LongHorned Frog says:

    Frank, any more discussion of the B10 requiring a “buy in” from new members? I think if you are taking the prom queen (Texas, Notre Dame) out to dinner, you pay for dinner, especially if you expect to have a second date. Now for a girl with fewer options, you might get away with going Dutch.

    I know the BigXII has a 2 year notice requirement and that schools that are withdrawing must forfeit all conference income as a leaving penalty. I can’t see many schools able to afford two years of slashed income AND pony up a hefty buy-in for the B10.

    The only programs that could afford that are, you guessed it, Texas and Notre Dame (A&M could probably also swing it).

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Nebraska has the money. Their football program brings in oodles of dough. Their drawback is academics and a small population, not money.

      Like

    • I think the “buy in” mentality isn’t literal. It’s more about the frame of mind the Big 10 expects a school to have when/if it comes to their door. You better be a big fish with a lot to offer…you better not expect more of the pie than the current members…you must increase our 22 million per school per year and NOT allow it to stagnate or drop.

      The “buy into our conference” line is about wanting candidates to come humbly, offering their bounty at the table that the Big 10 will share equally with them.

      Like

      • Kyle says:

        The Buy-In talk is literal, but not in the way you think.

        I lived in State College when Penn State joined. Part of joining the conference involved campus improvements, most notably building the Bryce Jordan Center (for basketball) and expanding the campus library. The Paterno family donated a lot to expanding the Library, which is why the newer part is called Paterno library.

        So the buy-in cost is in the form of infrastructure development/upgrades to meet “Big Ten Standards.”. Pitt for example would definitely need expand their sports infrastructure (football and basketball are fine, but other sports are lacking). Nebraska would probably need a library/academic expansion. Texas probably wouldn’t need much at all.

        Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        I hope what Kyle is saying is accurate. It would be extremely tacky to force a school to literally buy its way in…..I think this is Fat Barry running his mouth….

        But, Pitt and Rutgers are both in the 90s in the Director’s Cup standings….the next lowest is IU at 55. Pitt or Rutgers would have to make a commitment to improvement there….its also possible they might have to add a sport or two…

        Also, if Rutgers is seriously considered, there is already talk about expansion of their stadium to 70000 or so…that might be a point of discussion.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        They may not get a full share of the BTN’s profits right off the bat, with their share vesting over time. That’s the oly way I can make sense of the “buy-in” talk.

        Like

  12. Bob says:

    Really enjoy your posts, Frank and the comments here. I’m convince Texas would be the best choice.

    I’m a Purdue fan with a question: How does adding a heavyweight like Texas impact the lower-tier football schools ability to win a conference championship.

    I’d love the new revenue to continue upgrading our facilities, but fear we’d only be looking at mid-tier bowls as realistic goals given we’d be facing juggernaut programs like OSU, Penn St. and Texas, not to mention Wisc., Iowa and Michigan. Can Purdue, Indiana, NU, Minn., Illinois, MSU be frequent Rose Bowl contenders?

    Like

    • Dcphx says:

      “Can Purdue, Indiana, NU, Minn., Illinois, MSU be frequent Rose Bowl contenders?”

      They’re not ‘frequent’ Rose Bowl contenders now, so the answer is no. But the ‘mid-tier’ bowls that you reference would be a cherry sundae to just about every other conference. The B10 has what, 4 or 5 New Years Bowls now and 9 total bowl affiliations?

      Like

      • Jake says:

        Yeah, going to the Sun Bowl after a 7-4 season is a pretty sweet deal. But to answer your question, Bob, adding Texas might actually make it easier for a school like Purdue to win a conference title. With a conference title game, all you have to do is be the best in your division and then beat whoever you meet in title game. You could, in theory, have a 7-6 record and still make the Rose Bowl (lose all four non-conf. games, drop a couple of Big Ten games, win the title). This is an easier road than what you currently have, where you can’t realistically lose more than one conference game if you want to be the champ.

        That’s pretty much the situation the Big 12 North teams are in every year. Win a weak division, then upset OU or Texas, and you get a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. It might be trickier in a Big Ten that included Texas, because with four legitimate powerhouses (UT, PSU, OSU, Mich.), not to mention Iowa and Wisconsin, it would be pretty hard to have a division that wasn’t stacked every year. But there you go.

        Like

    • m (Ag) says:

      If the new school(s) has a national name and a travelling fanbase, the quality of the bowl agreements may receive a bump up. For instance, the Cotton Bowl might try to join the Big 10 bowl grouping if both Texas schools join.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Hell, they’d join the grouping if any Texas school joins. I’d expect to pick up one of the Alamo/Sun/Holiday bowls even if Nebraska joins.

        Like

    • The bowl landscape would change for the Big 10 completely with additions. As was already stated, we have a very high profile schedule now, but with one/two/three more powerhouse teams in the conference, our fifth and sixth teams MIGHT be in line to make New Year’s Day bowls. With bigger payoffs for the better bowls, the mid-tier teams could really benefit from a stronger overall conference.

      It’s similar to the March Madness discussions going on right now. An 8 win-10 loss team in the Big East might make it to the Big Dance because the conference is so tough. It’s nothing unusual to have a 9-3 or 8-4 Big 10 team on New Year’s Day now…with a tougher slate, it could dip down to 7-5 as the criteria for a really nice bowl game.

      Like

      • Jake says:

        If all of this “superconference” consolidation continues, the BCS is going to have to rethink that 2-team-per-conference limit. The Big Ten could have four BCS-caliber teams by itself.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        If there actually comes to be 3 or 4 superconferences, the BCS will matter less, and you’ll see the value of the second-tier bowls tied in to the superconferences rise.

        Like

  13. Dr Drunkenstein says:

    There will be ZERO talk by anyone from the Big 10 or The University of Texas UNTIL someone else (Colorado? Missouri?) announces that they are leaving the Big 12. There is no school out there which could replace the Denver or St Louis/Kansas City TV markets for the Big 12 and the conference would implode.

    Once the Big 12 implodes, Texas will not have to deal with the state political minefield involving Tech, Baylor & A&M since the conference is dead. Texas just can’t be seen as the university which pulls the plug on the Big 12 and leaves the other Texas institutions out to dry.

    Like

  14. c says:

    Re Eastern option:

    Given vulnerabilitity of Big 12 to Pac 10 and Big 10 expansion, makes sense that Texas and A&M are unlikely to sit on sidelines. And they are clearly the big prize.

    Back to the question of what if Texas doesn’t make the move, or who is the likely 14th team: I’d like to focus on the eastern option:

    SU as wildcard eastern option: (as 14th member)

    1) SU is currently ranked #1 in BB. The conventional wisdom is football is the key factor. However, SU just set an NCAA BB attendance record of 34,0000 against Villanova. Wherever it travels in the Big East, it is a major event. SU in the Big 11 could be just as big an attraction both in actual attendance and TV viewership across the Big Ten network.

    2) Football: SU has hit bottom the last several years, yet in the first year under new coach Doug Marrone, SU beat RU just like in the good old days. My expectation is SU is clearly on the way back.

    3) SU as an AAU school is the class of the Big East, though clearly Pitt and RU have larger research budgets.

    It may be research activity is a large consideration. If so RU and Pitt have the advantage.

    Regardless I believe both RU and SU are needed to attract the NYC regional market in combination with PSU. A single school may not be enough. (ND is obviously the first choice if they change their mind)

    To conclude the Big 10 may be best going to a national brand like Nebraska as a bridge as a 14th school if it gets Texas or stopping at 13 until the dust settles, rather than going east to select just one school.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      That “Eastern Option” just looks worse and worse the more I think about it. You’d have to add two schools just to MAYBE get a strong presence in the NY market. Which would be nice if it works, but you’d still have to split the pie two additional ways to add one market. Or you could just add Texas and get the entire Lone Star State in one fell swoop. And Texas is really good at basketball as well, which is a plus. And a conference like that, with a national presence, might just bring New York City around anyway. It would be like LA cable systems refusing to pick up the NFL Network just because they didn’t have a team.

      Like

      • c says:

        Texas & A&M are the prize. It’s not an either or question.

        The question is:

        1) Might the PAC 10 be a wildcard option that Texas would consider?

        2) Is there need for Big 10 to to go beyond 13 teams on an immediate basis?

        3) If so, would a school like Nebraska be a bridge for Texas or should the Big 10 consider an eastern school?

        4) If an eastern expansion is considered, then my personal opinion is both SU and RU would be needed to truly attract the NY metro region in combination with PSU.

        This assumes ND is not interested.

        Regardless Texas to the Big 10 or PAC 10 will certainly increase national TV interest in whichever conference it joins.

        Like

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        Brazil is the prize.

        Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Syracuse won’t be a pick. Private school with 19000 students, and way, way behind Big 10 schools in research $s.

      Like

    • Rick says:

      While I like Syracuse and Rutgers together as 2 of the 3 to get to 14 (I like Nebraska as the other), be careful to charactorize SU as the “Class of the BE” academically. Yes they are AAU, but do little research, ranked # 58 in US News (PITT #56, Rutgers #66) and #113 in World University Rankings (see Richard’s link) while PITT is #37 and Rutgers is #38. Football Academics GSR 77%, APR 70th Percentile. That is not the class of the Big East in any one of those areas.

      Like

      • c says:

        “Be careful to characterize SU as the class of the Big East”

        Good point. RU and Pitt are major research institutions with far larger research budgets than SU.

        My reference to SU as the class of the Big East should be considered as my personal subjective opinion of SU as a great school perhaps similar in some ways to Northwestern, another private university.

        Like

      • Rick says:

        I personally really like and respect SU. They are a credit to high standards and academic excellence. A really good fit for the Big Ten.

        Like

      • Jeepers says:

        More to it than just academic numbers. I think Syracuse, being arguably the best sports journalism school in the country, adds big value to the Big Ten. Pair that with the Northwestern journalism school, and you have a pretty nice combo.

        As I’ve stated before, Rutgers as a single addition could turn out to be a huge disaster. If Schiano left, or if they just couldn’t compete in the Big Ten, they’d be ridiculed as the new guy. With a 3 school expansion, the pressure to perform is reduced quite a bit. While I may be alone on this, I think a 3 BE team addition, even without ND, might end up working.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Heh, if we wanted to capture the sports press, we’d add both Syracuse & Mizzou to the Big10.

        Like

  15. MIRuss says:

    Why is everyone so quick to dismiss Texas? New and radical ideas when introduced to certain groups, especially TEXAS POLITICS, take time to develop and grow wheels…People need to digest information. Think long term. What’s best for my institution (Texas) and the Big 10? In reality, Texas will never grow any more than it alread has in the Big 12. And because they are academically strong, the SEC is a non-starter. The Pac 10 (Stanford) will reject them…

    All roads for Texas and the Big 10 converging are still intact and allowing information to pass back and forth. I think you will see discussions that start exploring the option at a higher level much sooner than later.

    However, when applying that same logic to that GDI Domer team right in the heart of it all, they thumb their nose at the strength the conference brings, the security and exposure. Notre Dame will eventually become it’s own downfall….

    Like

    • Adam says:

      I don’t see where everybody is quick to do that at all. If anything, I find the possibility of adding Texas aggravatingly plausible.

      Like

  16. SH says:

    For some reason, I find this topic of Big 10 expansion one of the most interestint topics in sports today. Probably simply because I’m a Big 10 fan living in Texas. However, I’m afraid we are not going to reach a final conclusion on this for a while, for the simple reason that time is on the Big 10’s side.

    It seems that all the second tier schools (i.e., not ND or UT) will be available for the B10 this year, next year, and for all foreseeable years. The only thing that will likely foreclose UT going to the B10 is if they joing the Pac-10. But I can never get passed the question – why go P10 when you can go B10? ND is never going to join the Big East over the B10 – though it may stay independent.

    So if the B10 cannot entice either UT or ND to join now, why not just wait until the time is right. I cannot imagine they will make a move just to make a move. The only thing that could change this is to show me that a conference title game would be that valuable or the research dollars would be that valuable. However, the lack of a conference title game is one reason why the B10 is able to send a 2nd team to the BCS almost every year.

    So the question is, if the timing isn’t right now, would the B10 wait until 2015? Would it risk the Big XII becoming a more stable conference then that would shut off Missou or Neb as a fall-back option? Is there any chance that ND would join the Big East, or Rutgures/Syr joining the ACC and taking the B10 off its wish list? I don’t know, but I think time is on the Big 10’s side. So we may be reading this blog for years to come.

    Like

  17. Derrick in KC says:

    Just like you ignore geography when talking about what school should be added, I think you gotta ignore geography when talking about how to potentially split the conference into divisions.

    North/South, East/West- neither really work in terms of maintaining traditional rivalries and keeping a competitive balance. I would look for more of a generic “red-blue” alignemnt:
    Red: Mich, OSU, MSU, IU, Purdue, NW
    Blue: Ill, PSU, Iowa, Wiscy, Minn, Team 12

    This keeps the UM/MSU/OSU and Iowa/Wisky/Minne triumvirates together.
    If team 12 turns out to be a football powerhouse (TX/ND/Neb), you have 2 traditional football powers in each division (OSU/UM and PSU/Team 12)
    Penn State loses yearly games w/ OSU, UM, MSU, but really- does 15 years equal a true rivalry, comparable to UM/OSU, UM/MSU, IA/MN, etc?

    The red division would be a little more competitive in hoops with MSU, OSU, IU, and Purdue all there, but year-to-year, you get more variability in bball standings than football, and you also have the bball conference tournament to even things out.

    Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      You don’t ignore geography if NEb is chosen, because you can have PSU, OSU, UM in the East, and Iowa, Wis., and NEb in the west. Not even, but not outrageous. If NEb isn’t chosen, you have to go north-south or other….

      Like

    • Adam says:

      Chasing “balance” is a waste of time. This notion that the Divisions are “stacked” if the right or wrong teams in them is a waste of breath. At the time the SEC was formed, I think it’s fair to say the East Division was *substantially* stronger than the West Division (which was Alabama and a bunch of then-scrubs).

      The Divisions should be designed to maximize the number of traditional football rivalries. That’s the only thing that really matters. “Balance” is a chimera, and chasing it will only produce a competition format and championship game devoid of meaning and significance (like the ACC’s).

      Just in the last 20 years, OSU has gone from good to mediocre to good again. Michigan has gone from national champion, to successful-but-disappointing, to doormat. PSU has been like a crazy heart monitor. Illinois won the Big Ten. Northwestern has *3 Big Ten Championships* in that time span. And on and on it goes. Chasing “balance” is a waste of energy.

      Like

  18. […] Big Ten Study Leaked: What’s the Purpose?   The Chicago Tribune reports today that the Big Ten has received a study from William Blair & Co., a Chicago […] […]

    Like

  19. aps says:

    I don’t understand all of the hype about Notre Dame. It is all based on the past and does not factor in what time has done. Notre Dame can be compared to a beauty queen who saw her best days 50 years ago. She was good then but has faded quite a bunch.

    I will give 2 points on why the Notre Dame of your father or grand father is not the Notre Dame of today.

    Demographics, back in the glory days of Notre Dame (1900’s to the 1960’s), the Fighting Irish was a national program for Roman Catholics. Many of the working class catholics identified with ND. It was a catholic institution going against public schools (many non-catholic). It did not matter where these catholics were (NE, midwest, west or south) they saw ND represent them.

    Starting in the 1960’s, many children of these working catholics started attending college. And guess what, the vast majority of them attended public institutions in their home state. The ties that bound these catholics to ND started to fray.

    My family was one of them. We followed ND, but when my older brother attended Ohio State, the loyalties changed. Thus ND does not have quite the following it once had. And as time goes on, the following will become less.

    Seconds factor that should be looked at is cost. I did a fast check on tuition & board. To attend the University of Wisconsin, it is just over $20,000 a year. To attend the ND, it is just over $50,000 a year. For 85 kids on scholarship (football alone), ND is losing that battle to the tune of $2.5 million a year. This does not account for the kids in minor sports. For each kid, ND bleeds at the rate of $30,000 compared to Wisconsin.

    As I stated earlier, ND is not the brand it once was. As time goes on, it will continue to fade as her best years are behind her.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      That’s why it’s trying to win over the Hispanic population.

      Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      The biggest factor is ND’s academic standards….ND is not getting it’s “share” of the great black athletes….it hasn’t compromised it’s standards (yet) in the same way that Texas or Michigan do…..

      Like

  20. Straight Talk Hawk says:

    Frank, Great job keeping this topic interesting. I end each day saying I will NEVER read about Big 10/11 expansion again, then the next day, back I go!

    Financially speaking, I see the PAC 10 and Texas are planning cable networks. Would they make good enough money for both if they merged and formed one cable network? I just can’t see Texas in the Big 10/11. While I think the “Northern weather” is not really an issue (although for many years it was the justification for “run right, run left, run right, punt” football in the Big 10/11) Texas seems like a better fit with the sunny California and Arizona teams. Are Texas and the PAC 10 cable guys talking as we speak?

    Finally, I am a graduate of Iowa State University and the University of Iowa grad school. Where does poor ISU end up if the Big 12 splits? THANKS!

    Like

    • Jake says:

      ISU? Probably the MAC – they need another team to even things out. Or if they’re lucky, maybe the MWC will take ’em.

      A complete Big 12 explosion is pretty much the only way the MWC gets through this thing unscathed (and maybe even comes out of it stronger) – because if the Big 12 loses just a school or two, that’s one of the first places they turn to reload.

      Like

  21. Tom says:

    Frank,

    I think it is clear that the Big Ten will be expanding in the next year, and this report all but confirms it. From what I understand, the analysis concluded that it doesn’t matter what school is added, (among the 5 that were mentioned,) expansion will make the league’s current members more money, (even if Pitt is added, which makes me think they are moving up in the eyes of the Big Ten.)

    Therefore, I firmly believe that if the Big Ten can’t swing UT and A&M, then it must bust out the stake and hammer, finish off the Big East, and forever claim the New York / New Jersey TV market by grabbing Syracuse, Rutgers, and Pitt.

    Forget about going west and grabbing Missouri or Nebraska. We have all heard the debate whether RU or SU delivers the NYC market, well now you have both of them, and even if you don’t get NYC, you still get New Jersey and upstate New York (which is far from chump change with a combined population of around 14,000,000 excluding NYC and it’s metropolitan areas in upstate NY and Long Island.)

    Also, from my understanding, the league is not overly concerned with potential TV ratings. I would imagine that the Big Ten is already the leader in college football TV ratings, or at the very minimum second to the SEC. More important to the league is whether the Big Ten Network can collect that extra $1.10 per subscriber in New Jersey and New York, right? Nebraska would have an edge in terms of being able to negotiate a more attractive deal with ESPN, but the BTN’s bloodlust for cable fees has become insatiable, and the BTN will be providing substantially more money to the league than ESPN can ever offer as we move forward into the future. (Besides, as long as Michigan and Ohio State are in the Big Ten, ESPN will be throwing money at the league, whether Nebraska is invited or not.)

    I guess my question for you and others in the know is whether it even matters if RU or SU can deliver NYC? The fact that RU is in New Jersey enables the league to charge customers in NJ the additional surcharge, correct? Or, does there have to be a demand for SU and RU athletics in those states? If so, why would they even be considered?

    As for Pitt, well under this scenario, I assume that eventually the ACC will make a play for UConn and Pitt. It Pitt goes to the ACC, then you risk giving those northern ACC schools some inroads into the fertile PA recruiting area. You pick up Pitt, and then PA becomes exclusively a Big Ten state. Sure, Pitt plays second fiddle to Penn State right now, but you never know what will happen when Joe Paterno steps aside. Pitt is no slouch either, with a football program slowly on the rise, and a basketball team that has been a power for the past decade. (I know this will be primarily a football move, but the league must take a look at the basketball side of the equation as well. Does it really want to add Nebraska basketball to the mix? Seriously, I was thinking the other day about this, and not only are the Cornhuskers historically weak, but I honestly can not remember ever seeing them on TV.) Anyway, back to Pitt, the university has a very large endowment and boasts several well regarded research programs which I am sure the presidents of the Big Ten are very much in love with.

    One more positive that comes with Rutgers: the ability to host the B10 championship at the new Meadowlands Stadium in the unofficial media capital of the world, (I really think this hasn’t been mentioned enough. Can you imagine the media attention and corporate sponsorship this would get?)

    Obviously, I would love to see the Longhorns added and UT is still my number one choice. However, if I’m a Big Ten administrator from some of the lower tier schools, or even from the upper tier schools, do I really want this behemoth in my conference? As a fan, it would be phenomenal. But OSU-Michigan may become marginalized with such a heavyweight on board. (There was come concern that this would happen when PSU came aboard, but OSU and Michigan were both better programs than PSU traditionally. Texas is every bit as good as both OSU and Michigan, and is rapidly advancing on Michigan to claim the number one spot on the all time win list.) The Indianas, Minnesotas, and Northwesterns will never again sniff the Rose Bowl in a Big Ten with Texas in it. Schools such as Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue would have to work even harder if they ever hope to win the league. If you pick up RU, SU, and Pitt, none of them will seriously disturb the natural order of the Big Ten and they will still more than pay the bills.

    I am an optimist and hope that the league is engaging in some smoke and mirrors tactics with regard to Texas, but this recent report seems to indicate that UT is not being considered, or the league previously put out feelers and UT passed. Why would ND be on this list of 5 and not UT when they are both viewed as “pipe dreams?” ND has come out and said they would like to maintain their independent status and in my opinion is less likely to accept an invite than is UT, and yet they are being studied and UT isn’t?

    (As a side note, I have been meaning to ask you about the Fighting Illini. I have been a follower of the Big Ten for almost all of my 28 years on this earth and I have never quite understood why the University of Illinois, as the flagship public university in one of the most populated states in the country, never managed to have more success in football, especially when you go back to the early days of the the Big Ten when they were very much a power on the national scene. Is it the lack of high school football talent in Illinois? I just ask because there isn’t much talent in Michigan either, yet the Wolverines managed to became the nation’s winningest program. I have always thought that Illinois was truly a sleeping giant, and I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter.)

    Like

    • Jeepers says:

      Tom, I agree nearly 100%. We’re probably in the minority, though.

      I agree that the study seems to indicate that it doesn’t matter which one of those schools were added. But I don’t agree that it’s guaranteed they will expand (they still need to convince the member schools).

      I don’t buy the Texas secrecy. Everyone involved with UT knows that there are rumors going around about joining the B10. Does it really matter if the B10 has it in writing? I’m no lawyer, but does the added lead-in time of announcing it at a later date make a difference politically? If politicians want to stop a move, they will find a way to do it. Even if it’s at the last minute. It sure didn’t make much of a difference with Virginia Tech joining the ACC.

      I just get the feeling that Texas was never being considered. Either that, or they gave an emphatic “no.” I’ve followed this round of expansion pretty closely, and I don’t think I’ve seen one mention of Texas to the Big Ten that didn’t link back to Frank’s blog. On the other hand, Frank is such a great writer and so knowledgeable on the subject, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Big Ten was paying him to test the waters with Texas all along heh.

      Like

      • Mike B. says:

        Jeepers – I’m with you and Tom on Pitt. Although I wouldn’t support Pitt as the 12 team in a 12 team league, I think they are an excellent candidate as part of any 14 team scenario.

        Tom’s point about keeping your rivals out of your territory is well taken.

        And Tom, regarding your question on Illinois football, it’s simple: a long tradition of terrible head coaching choices. Since Ray Eliot retired in 1959 (Eisenhower was president), every coach but Mackovic has been fired. Well, every coach but Mackovic and the current coach. 😦

        Like

      • Dcphx says:

        Give them time Mike B, the current coach will be fired too.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      FYI, ND _has_ to say they’re not interested, to appease their alumni. Doesn’t mean they won’t eventually join a conference. I do think the Big10 does have its eyes set on NYC more than Texas. Even though there’s more risk in that capturing the NY/NJ market is no sure thing, there’s less risk in that the schools you’d take in (Rutgers & Syracuse) are less likely to ruffle feathers, go elsewhere, or demand special treatment. The Big10 may even be able to demand that Rutgers/Syracuse play their home games against the big teams (OSU/PSU/Michigan/ND?) in a large neutral site stadium like the Meadowlands, which would be great for media purposes. Imagine a Big Ten Kickoff Classic at the beginning of every year as the first game of the year featuring PSU/OSU/Michigan/ND vs. Syracuse/Rutgers.

      Like

      • Good points, Richard. When I first wrote about expansion several years ago, I actually did fully believe that the Big Ten would be looking toward the East for any non-Notre Dame choice (specifically, Syracuse). That was before the Big Ten Network completely altered how the conference produced revenue, though. The more I researched the fissures within the Big XII along with what Texas alums were saying themselves and how the Big Ten Network was effectively the perfect vehicle for a school like that (massive fan base in a massive market with great sports programs across the board), the more that Texas seemed to be greater than just a passing fancy for the Big Ten. Still, if the Big Ten can’t/won’t lock down the Texas market, then going East certainly makes much more sense than any of the non-Texas-based Big XII schools other than Nebraska.

        Like

  22. Justin says:

    I don’t even think Pitt makes sense in a 14 team Big East.

    IMO, if you want to capture NYC in a 3 team raid of the Big East, you add Syracuse, Rutgers and Uconn, which would immediately add New Jersey, Connecticut and upstate NY (including Buffalo) into the Big 10 footprint, and give the Big 10 a puncher’s chance to get on basic cable in the City. That would include the markets of Buffalo, Hartford and Newark which are all in the top 50 nationally.

    But honestly, if we’re going to make a full out raid for the East Coast, you try to lure Maryland and ND. If you can’t get both, take one and Pitt.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Yes, but then you’d be adding three schools just to sort-of, maybe sew up one market. That’s three more ways you have to split the conference revenue pie. Or you could add a school like Texas and be guaranteed to capture the TV sets of an even bigger market that you don’t even have a remote presence in right now. And as big as Texas is, they still only get one slice of pie.

      Like

      • Justin says:

        Uconn, Syracuse and Rutgers aren’t just adding one market.

        Uconn brings the entire state of Connecticut, which includes Hartford and New Haven.

        Syracuse would bring upstate NY, including Buffalo, Albany and Rochester,

        Rutgers adds the entire state of New Jersey, including Newark.

        Combined they may even bring NYC.

        Like

      • Tom says:

        I think UConn is a possibility, however I think Pitt brings some interesting intangibles to the table:

        -Basketball. If you want to go back 20 years, I would say UConn would be light years ahead of Pitt. In the past 10 years, UConn is still probably ahead, but the gap between the two is closing, and in the past 5 years, they are virtually the same, both top notch.

        -Football. Pitt is the most talented team in the Big East, which is the weakest BCS league of them all. You might as well grab the strongest team if you are looking at the Big East. I don’t think they can become an Ohio State or Penn State, but they would fit in among that tier two of the league with Wisconsin and Iowa, in other words, solid most years, capable of a run for the roses every few seasons.

        -Connecticut TV market. While UConn does add another state, Connecticut is still relatively small population wise with only 3.5 million people. If you’ve secured Syracuse and Rutgers, I don’t see the need to pick up UConn, especially when the first two will probably be enough to pick up NYC in the long run. Therefore, I think you can pick up Pitt without sacrificing tons of potential revenue.

        -Pitt-PSU. This dormant rivalry was once extremely heated, and it pisses me off that the two don’t play. Seriously, one of the proudest football playing states in the country, and its two premier football programs have not played in 10 years. In the Big Ten, Michigan-OSU will always be rivalry number one, but after that, there aren’t a lot of games that really excite the masses. (Although the Iowa-Wisconsin-Minnesota triumvirate will try to tell you otherwise.) I think if you add Pitt, the Pitt-PSU game instantly becomes the league’s second best rivalry and in turn will give the league a ratings boost.

        -PA recruiting. As I mentioned above, PSU pretty much controls things as of now, but you never know how things will play out in the future. As a Michigan fan, I never dreamed that Michigan would lose to Appalachian State and follow that up by going 8-16 the next two seasons. Who is to say that in 5 years, PSU goes into the tank, and Pitt starts reeling off conference championships in the ACC? In the early 2000’s when PSU was down, I remember Michigan getting their pick of PA recruits. I would not want the ACC to have any access to the Big Ten’s second best recruiting state, and by picking up Pitt, you make PA exclusively a Big Ten state.

        Like

  23. Cory says:

    The revelation that Pitt, ND, Mizzou, RU, and SU as financially viable options primarily seems to foment the situation.

    First, it indicates that the Big East and Big Twelve North are of serious interest. Therefore, the remaining members are certainly following the possibility to make sure that they are well positioned.

    Second, it places the focus on the “obvious” schools to deflect interest from any other goings on. This gives the media some ‘authentic’ speculation to run with, but without giving any real info away. After all ND is everyone’s first choice, Mizzou and Pitt are either begging or rumoring of their interest. And SU and RU are the obvious cherry picking targets from the weak Big East due to the potential of delivering NY.

    Third, it seems as gentle underscored reminder to ND that the Big Ten still sees it as a fit, but with a warning that then be left behind in a weakened Big East.

    In the end, I think the critical tipping point is what happens in the Big12 North. If they lose one or more, they have to act quickly to get back to 12 for the championship game or I imagine that it will be hard to keep the conference upright.

    If Colorado is on the way to the PAC-10, it would interesting to see if the Big Ten openly negiotates with Nebraska and Missouri. If so, Texas might become more interested. At the end of the day, I think the Big 12 schools will get the first look simply because of the domino effect they might set off…and hence why it is prudent to foment the situation to have the Big 12 and Big East teams skeptically of each other so they aren’t on the outside looking in.

    Like

  24. Phil says:

    Frank, I think you give too much emphasis on the writer’s comment of TV ratings during Rutgers’ 2006 season, and are not paying enough attention to his comment on the NJ TV market.
    There are 3.5 million TV households in NJ. Despite what you have mentioned before, there is NO doubt that the Big Ten would get a higher cable carriage rate for the NJ TVs. From what I understand the difference in carriage rates between states that do and don’t have a Big Ten team can be as much as $1.00 a month.
    Even if you conservatively say the BTN only gets $0.50 extra for the NJ TVs (I personally think they get the full amount), Rutgers would bring $0.50 X 12 months X 3,500,000 tvs = $21,000,000 in extra revenue. They have to be the only school besides ND and Texas mentioned that the Big Ten can be SURE is paying their own way to get in the conference.
    So, with knowing RU just on NJ TV’s doesn’t dilute conference revenues:
    -They won’t bring the NYC TVs by themself. However, does their close proximity to NYC get the Big Ten anything in NYC (even $0.05 to ).10 a Tv would be a nice chunk of change
    -Since RU pays for themselves, any new revenues for a championship game would be a strict addition to the current teams’ bottom lines
    -RU is a state with one of the highest per capita income levels. Does the addition of 3.5mm NJ TVs allow the Big Ten to make some extra money from the advertisers on the BTN?
    Only after the RU pays its way (which happens immediately), do you have to think about RU’s “potential’, and any realization of that potential is just extra revenues to the conference.

    Like

    • I completely understand the demographic advantages of just getting into New Jersey on paper. However, also consider that the NYC DMA is inundated with high-priced sports channels already (YES, SNY, MSG), whereas the Big Ten’s current markets all have only 1 other RSN to compete with. If it took the Yankees over a year to get YES onto basic cable in that market (and we know that the Yankees are the #1 team in NY/NJ), then it’s a speculative bet to think that the Big Ten Network (which is going to have a lot less leverage than YES) can receive basic carriage even at a reduced rate.

      That being said, my analysis is based on the thought of Rutgers of being school #12 in the Big Ten without anyone else. If you bring in at least one other big name (Texas, Notre Dame or maybe Nebraska), then the Big Ten is playing with house money and it can a big bet to go after the NYC market, which I think would entail inviting both Rutgers and Syracuse.

      Like

      • Phil says:

        I think the YES network problems were specific to Cablevision, who basically were being spiteful because the YES network startup was direct competition to the MSG network, which Cablevision owns.

        I agree , though, that there is only so much room, which I think it makes it even more likely that the Big Ten expands east. If they don’t, they leave the opportunity open for the ACC to make a dramatic move (like adding RU/Pitt/Syr/Uconn and start a cable network to get at the NY area TVs).

        Like

        • @Phil: That’s a very fair point. If there’s one risk of heading westward for expansion, it’s that it leaves the East Coast open for the taking for the ACC if it wants. The question is whether the Big Ten really cares or not. I don’t think it matters if you lock down the state of Texas. Without the Texas market (i.e. just add Missouri), though, then it doesn’t look like as good of an idea to leave the East Coast open. The one advantage is that the Big Ten already has Penn State, so that’s the most solid foundation that you can get in the East. If I had to choose one school from out East, it would be Syracuse. If there is a multiple school scenario, then I think you must bring in a national name with at least the stature of Nebraska if you want to also look toward Rutgers. Ultimately, I’d be fine with a 14-school conference that adds Nebraska, Syracuse and Rutgers – great national football program, great national basketball program and a large market. That appeals to both the sports fan side of me (which I know I’ve been telling people to ignore) along with the business side.

          Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            Frank—Syracuse is a private school with 19000 enrollment, with research $ well below that of the other Big 10 schools…..it’s excellent in bball for sure, but historically behind Pitt in football, with an inferior recruiting base and an aging 50000 indoor stadium that can’t be expanded…plus, it’s a hell of a long way from all of the other schools.

            I think you are seriously underestimating the importance of culture/fit in this equation. “Fit” is what makes the Big 10 stable, and the Big 12 unstable…if you’re going to add 3 not named Tx or ND, chose from Pitt, Rutgers, Missouri, and Nebraska…

            Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            U Conn also seems an unlikely choice, as it is not a member of the AAU (research Us), to which all Big 10 Us belong.

            Like

          • Michael says:

            I’m having a hard time understanding why AAU membership is such a litmus test. Wake Forest, UConn, BC, FSU, Georgia, NC State, Georgia Tech, and Miami are all non-AAU members, with at least FSU striving for AAU membership within five years. (Sorry about all the ACC references; I’m just more familiar with them than most.)

            I’m not suggesting any of those schools would be a good fit on the athletic side because most are already in satisfactory conferences. I’m just asking, from a research/academic standpoint, why would Iowa State or Nebraska’s AAU label make them so much more welcome in the CIC than any of those?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Some of those aren’t research universities, which all members of the CIC are. The AAU may not be a litmus test, but research ability is certainly a factor.

            Like

          • It’s a marker for having top-flight graduate programs, so it’s extremely important but not necessarily outcome determinative. Schools with exceptionally high undergrad rankings (i.e. Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and BC) would likely meet the academic requirements. It’s more of a grey area for schools right around UConn and Miami in terms of rankings, since there are schools like Rutgers, Pitt and Syracuse right there with them that have AAU membership.

            Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            Because every other Big 10 team IS in the AAU—and U Conn’s research $s would be the lowest in the Big 10…..

            Like

          • Phil says:

            I have been arguing the money aspect, where I think you underestimate Rutgers. I agree, though, that the other issue is the perception (mainly by Big 12 and SEC fans) of some weakness on the Big Ten’s part as a football conference. RU does not help with that. The dream scenario for me would be a strong Big 12 team, RU and another eastern team to go to 14.

            One last thing in RU’s favor is the fact they have been in the top 5 (in the company of schools like Stanford, Duke, etc.) in the football Academic Progress Ratings for the last several years. I would think it would be a selling point to the college presidents if adding Rutgers makes financial sense and they are able take a shot at the football factories in the SEC by pointing out they added the highest rated state school in the APR.

            Like

          • ezdozen says:

            Rutgers would also kill the Big 10 teams’ RPI’s.

            And, in BCS terms, Rutgers’ “success” has been based on playing complete and total patsies. This, too, will impact BCS standings.

            All of that harms the Big 10’s prestige.

            Then again… maybe I underestimate NYC’s interest in watching Rutgers play Howard, Florida International, etc.

            Like

          • Michael says:

            Yeah, because Penn State’s games against Temple, Akron, Syracuse, and Florida Atlantic weren’t any worse than Rutgers’ schedule.

            Like

          • ezdozen says:

            Michael:

            Who was the FCS team that Penn St. played? Who was the second FCS team that Penn St. played? I think Penn St. gets a pass for playing that OOC schedule given that they didn’t go the FCS route once, much less twice.

            Meanwhile, Temple went to a bowl and Syracuse beat Rutgers. I don’t think Howard, Texas Southern, Army, Florida, Int’l, or Maryland went bowling. Two FCS schools and 3 FBS schools that went 10-26.

            Who was the second BCS-conference team that Rutgers played in 2009? Just one… 2-10 Maryland.

            2008? 2007? Just one each year.

            2006? Wait… they played Illinois and North Carolina that year (combined record of 5-19).

            2005? Nope. 2004? Michigan St. and Vandy (combined record of 7-16).

            Since Rutgers football renaissance… they have played 1 BCS conference school with a winning record… North Carolina @ 8-5 in 2008.

            Rutgers football is a fraud. Sorry.

            http://www.jhowell.net/cf/scores/Rutgers.htm#2009

            Like

          • glenn says:

            sorry to reply here. trying to understand how this works.

            Like

          • glenn says:

            i think i have it now. i’ll repeat what got buried:

            someone mentioned nebraska to the pac-10. do you really believe the pac-10 would admit nebraska? can you see stanford going for that?

            as a texas alum, much of my impetus for pitching in with the big ten instead of the pac-10 is predicated on the relatively uniform academic excellence found there. if the big ten is willing to admit a nebraska or oklahoma due to some sort of wow factor, then we might as well go west if we get the chance this time.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            They went for Arizona St. didn’t they?

            Like

          • Rick says:

            ez, Your creative recounting of the Rutgers 2005-2009 schedule is not exactly accurate and therefore misleading. While their OOC regular season schedule does include FBS schools (too many) they are included for pure economic reasons, the Big East schedule only includes 7 games, on alternating years you are left with 3 home games. Rutgers, as is the case with most schools, needs home game paydays. So you go try to get them, not many BCS schools are willing to play away OOC games against Rutgers. So you get who you can. Sometimes it’s a BCS team, sometimes a FCS non-BCS team. The last resort is FBS. It is what it is. Furthermore, these schedules are put together sometimes years in advance. You don’t know what the schools record is going to be when you finally play them. Take UNC, Maryland, and Illinois as an example. Illinois was bad the years they played them, and UNC was a good year and a bad year. Maryland was bad and average. Yes they play MAC schools. So does everyone. Not a BCS conference, but some good football programs. Check out the Big Ten schedules each year, you’ll see MAC schools. Included with the MAC schools is the WAC. Not a shabby conference but not BCS. And finally the academies. Not BCS but having Navy and Army on the schedule is nothing to be ashamed of. Army has had lean years but always a good payday for the games. That program is making a comeback. And Navy. Independent and not in a BCS conference but a hell of a good program. Their record speaks for itself. Why leave out Navy in your analysis? Ask Notre Dame. And finally Bowl games. Yes not a regular season OOC game but good teams, not always BCS conference. You play who you play.

            So, now the facts (OOC games and Bowl games):
            2009: Maryland (2-10) W; Army (5-7) W; UCF (8-5) W
            2008: Fresno St. (7-6) L; UNC (8-5) L; Navy (8-5) L; NC State (6-7) W
            2007: Buffalo (5-7) W; Navy (8-5) W; Maryland (6-7) L; Ball St. (7-6) W
            2006: UNC (3-9) W; Illinois (2-10 W; Ohio U. (9-5) W; Navy (9-4) W; K State (7-6) W
            2005: Illinois (2-9) L; Buffalo (1-10) W; Navy (8-4) W; Arizona State (7-5) L

            BTW: No Michigan State or Vandy those years as you posted. Inaccurate

            It is useful to use the facts and tell the whole story when making statements about fraud.

            Like

          • Rick says:

            One further clarification:
            2008: Army (3-9) W
            2007: Army (3-9) W

            And yes, over that 5 year period they played:
            Villanova, Howard (2), Norfolk St., Morgan St., FIU, Texas So.

            Like

          • ezdozen says:

            So you are saying that Rutgers did not play MSU and Vandy in 2004? I’d check again.

            Compare the OOC schedules for the other Big East schools for 2009:

            Pitt: NC State & Notre Dame (and apparently we get to count bowl games, so UNC).

            WVU: Auburn and Colorado (and FSU).

            USF: Florida St. and Miami

            UConn: UNC and Notre Dame

            Cincy: Oregon St. and Illinois (and Florida!)

            Syracuse: Penn St., Minnesota, and Northwestern

            Louisville: Kentucky. Although they also played 10-win Utah.

            Rutgers: UNC.

            If/when Rutgers starts scheduling like the rest of the Big East, then they will avoid the fraud label. It takes a bowl game for them to have ANY chance of playing 2 BCS conference teams.

            Like

          • Rick says:

            ez: you are right about 2004, wrong about 2005, and I consider Navy a BCS caliber Independent. btw: 2009 was Maryland not UNC. Let’s just leave it at that. I would like better scheduling going forward, UCLA I know is signed for upcoming seasons so far as the newest addition. I just don’t believe the use of the word fraud is justified, let’s just agree to disagree and leave it like that and move on.

            Like

          • ezdozen says:

            How is Navy a BCS caliber independent? Look at who they beat every year. Other than Notre Dame, its a cast of nobodies. If you give Navy’s schedule to Indiana, they win 8-9 games too. Heck, if you give Rutgers’ schedule to Indiana, they win 8-9 games too. Well, why not consider everyone a BCS caliber opponent then? Big East teams have played East Carolina.

            While everyone underestimates the caliber of football in the Big East, Rutgers schedules like it is an SEC school with nothing to prove. If/when they start playing GOOD BCS-schools once a year, then they will have the potential to put themselves on the map.

            Where I agree with you is that Rutgers has the ability to deliver the NYC market in an important game… it will have to be a national power before it generates any real interest in the NYC market. Frankly, I suspect that Syracuse basketball will cause more people to want the Big Ten Network in NYC than the football programs of Syracuse, UConn, or Rutgers. I know I would be lost in Michigan without the SNY network.

            Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            Frank–Syracuse is private, too small, and has no research $.

            Nebraska is attractive because of fball, but Missouri has more TVs, higher enrollment, better geography, and at least some basketball traddition and interest. You gotta take Missouri over Nebraska all things considered.

            Like

          • Syracuse’s enrollment is small compared to the other Big Ten schools, but Notre Dame doesn’t have that many students, either. I’m more interested in whether Syracuse has a fan base beyond its enrollment, which I think is true due to the stength of its basketball program. If part of the goal is grabbing the NYC market, then there ought to be a recognition that it’s a special instance where basketball plays a greater role in that market (much like people in Indianapolis care much more about Indiana and Purdue basketball instead of football). You’re right about the research dollars, but I don’t think that the Big Ten is going to parse through those numbers as much. There’s going to be a baseline criteria as to whether a school is academically acceptable or not. After that, it becomes an exercise in terms of who can bring in the most revenue for athletics.

            I’ll just have to disagree with respect to Nebraska. While adding the NYC market is material to the Big Ten overall, adding Missouri falls into the “nice but not a no-brainer” category. If the Big Ten is going to add Rutgers, which everyone recognizes would be a pure land/population grab, you need a true national name on top of that to make it into the bold move that I think most of us think Delany us aiming for. Nebraska’s value is much more like Notre Dame’s – the market doesn’t mean as much as the national cache. Grabbing the NY market (or Texas) allows the Big Ten to go for the jugular with a big picture national move. A move to 14 schools means that the Big Ten is looking to make the Big Ten Network into a national network (not just to add some more markets).

            Like

          • Pat says:

            Rutgers: Athletics Arms Race
            ESPN’s Outside the Lines lead story on Sunday 12/19/09 featured a 7 minute video on Rutgers and it’s on-going battle to be a big-time football power. Doesn’t paint Rutgers in a very good light.
            http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4756802&categoryid=3286128

            Failed Leadership at Rutgers. Athletic Dept Scandal
            http://blog.nj.com/ledgerarchives/2008/11/failed_leadership_at_rutgers_u.html

            Like

          • Rick says:

            A couple of things Pat, the Outside the Lines piece was a good piece about the growth of the program. They also interviewed folks on the academic side who question the expenditures and investment in Big time College athletics. Every school has push back from someone within the University who isn’t big on athletics. To say it doesn’t paint Rutgers in a very good light is very misleading.

            Secondly, the article from the Star Ledger (NJ.com) is very old news, you dug around for that one looking for dirt. There was no scandal, part of Schiano’s pay came from Nelligan Sports Marketing, just like part of other coaches pay come from shoe company endorsements. The matter was looked into and no wrongdoing was found. A failure to fully disclose was cited. The Star Ledger was and is a failing NJ newspaper and they think they are the Washington Post digging around for another Watergate. They totally over dramatized the entire issue to sell newspapers. A classic hack job, Your portrayal of both issues are misleading to those not familiar with the whole story. Not cool.

            Like

    • Rick says:

      Asssuming the following (w/o UT or ND)(below market per month fees, 85% penetration into HHLDS):
      Rutgers:
      NJ= 3.0 mil hhld; .70/mo; 85% penet.; $21 mil
      Syracuse:
      Upstate NY= 2.4 mil hhld;.70/mo; 85% penet. = $17 mil
      Nebraska= 750,000 hhld; .70/mo/ 85% penet. = $5 mil
      Missouri= 2.0 mil hhld; .70/mo; 85% penet. = $14 mil
      NYC/LI/Westchtr= 4.0 mil hhld;.05/mo/85% pen.= $2mil

      Not including NYC/LI/WestChtr leaves the following:

      $15 mil for Championship Game
      $242 mil current total for split
      $257 mil New total w/ CG

      Scenario #1: Neb/RU/SU = $43 mil; + $257 = $300 mil; New 14 team split = $21.4 mil.
      New team’s buy in split reductions leave original 11 BT schools with bigger split than currently

      Scenario #2: Mizz/RU/SU = $52 mil; + $257 = $309 mil;
      New 14 team split = $22 mil
      New BT school’s buy in split reductions leave original 11 BT schools with bigger split than now

      NYC/LI/Westchester new money is gravy after that

      PITT adds no new money other than maybe slightly higher fees to PA cable cos. for both PSU/PITT

      Factor in UT or ND replacing anyone of the 4 others but keeeping NY Metro presence with either RU or SU makes split heaven.

      Like

    • Dcphx says:

      Phil & Rick,
      You’re both forgetting that the B10 only owns 51% of the BTN so they won’t see 100% of those carriage fees.

      There are 2 ways that the B10 gets paid by the BTN. First there’s a flat out contract no different than a contract between say ESPN/ABC and the B10. This contract pays a certain amount per year (I believe the first year was $50m/year, no idea what it is now a few years in). That contract is set for 25 years with 20+ to go. Then the B10 gets their share of the profit after expenses. In essence the B10 contract is an expense no different from announcer salaries.

      So lets say that every dollar that each of these schools add in carriage fees and advertising dollars has zero associated expense…The B10 is still only going to receive $.51 of that money. In the scheme of things the expenses probably are pretty minimal, but the 49% cut to Fox isn’t.

      Adding one team makes it easy because the CCG revenue eats up around 75% of the needed $22m. But if you need to come up with $66m for 3 teams, now the CCG money is only 25% of the nut and you’ve got to find about $80m in carriage fees and advertising for the split to just stay even. It’s gotta grow to make sense for the B10 to go to 14.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        The flat-rate payout from the BTN steadily increases over the 25-year length of that contract. Keep in mind that the Big10 will be negotiating it’s national TV contract (now paying out $100M/year from ESPN/ABC) in 2016. The earliest any school will be added is 2012 & it could be delayed to 2016/2017 (especially if it’s ND). BTW, $66-$15 = $51. Still, an expansion to 14 or 16 without ND or Texas probably doesn’t make sense. If you get one of those 2, though, 14 or 16 may make more sense than 12 because of returns to scale (advertisers will pay more than 50% more to reach an audience of 75M than an audience of 50M; it’s why Super Bowl ads cost so much more than ads for any other TV program).

        Like

      • Rick says:

        DC and Richard, thanks for the clarification. My calculations therefore only reflect potential revenue stream based on assumptions (rough and only for big picture view of potential). How they crunch the numbers to calculate future splits for expansion should be interesting.

        Like

  25. Mike B. says:

    On a second read, here is a quote that caught my eye, “The report got to the crux of the decision that will face Big Ten chancellors and presidents: If they expand to 12 or 14 schools, would they increase the current $21 million-$22 million a year each school receives from the league’s revenue pie?”

    Does this mean that the report showed that any 1 of the 5 would more than cover their costs as part of 12 team league and that any 3 of the 5 would more than cover their costs as part of a 14-team league?

    If so, that sends a pretty strong message to Texas about the revenue potential of Texas as part of a 14 or even 16 team Big Ten.

    Also on the second reading, I’m struck by the fact that five schools were mentioned in the study: 11+5=16. Delaney likes to think Big.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      It said expansion makes sense monetarily with the right combination of school(s), so my read is no, not all 5 make sense as expansion candidates.

      Like

  26. Penn State Danny says:

    Frank

    The idea of the Big Ten adding Rutgers, Syracuse and Notre Dame gives me a tingly feeling up my leg.

    If that situation occurred, would the ACC take Pitt and UConn? What about WVU? Where would they land? I could see Louisville, Cincy and USF going back to CUSA but I don’t know about the Mountaineers.

    Like

    • Pitt is definitely ACC material and UConn would probably fit in there, too. That basketball conference would be unreal (even though I know that it’s all about football). WVU, on the other hand, is in a very tough spot. It’s one of the best overall pure sports programs out there when looking at football and basketball with a great traveling fan base, but its small TV market and third tier academic status are killers in terms of consideration for the ACC.

      I doubt any of the current Big East schools would go back to C-USA. If the Mountain West loses any members, it would make a lot of sense for the remnants of the BE and MWC to get together and form a new conference solely for the purposes of being a BCS-level league (maybe even as just a football-only conference). If you split that up into East/West divisions, the travel distances ought to be non-issues.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        The ACC still about as much from its basketball TV contracts as from football, so maybe they decide to give up on the football arms race and try to build the dominant brand in basketball (which still could be worth something even if the regular season is diluted more with a 96-team postseason).

        Like

  27. DK says:

    Frank – your anti-Rutgers slant, from the beginning, has been disgraceful. Are you that near-sighted that you can’t see the realities of adding the nation’s 4th largest cable t.v. market (NJ)to the B10 network? Are you that afraid of Rutgers displacing Illinois in the football pecking order? READ THE 4 REQUIREMENTS the B10 is looking at, UNDERSTAND them, and then tell me how the hell you can think schools like Nebraska, Pitt, or Maryland are better choices, when they clearly aren’t. Do you not also realize how the B10 marketing department is getting all mushy over the thought of adding “The Birthplace of College Football” to all of it’s tv and radio ads?

    Also, didn’t just a week or so ago you proclaim “The B10 WILL NOT expand without Texas or ND being a part of the expansion”??? You’re going to be wrong, Frank, and I’ll be back.

    Open your eyes to reality, Frank, not your narrow-minded opinion.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Rutgers is so appealing that the ACC didn’t even consider them last time when they expanded (choosing between BC and Syracuse instead).

      Look, Rutgers has good points (as well as bad), but you’re not helping its cause.

      Like

      • DK says:

        Richard, what happened when the ACC raided the BE, what, 7 years ago, has absolutely nothing to do with the B10, what their needs are, and what Rutgers now CAN bring to the table. Awful comparison sir.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        So how are they different? Please detail.

        Like

      • Phil says:

        When the ACC expanded Rutgers had been to one bowl game in 130 years. Now RU has been to 5 in a row, winning four.
        More importantly, the ACC did not have a cable network so a team’s national recognition and perceived affect on ratings was paramount, not adding the adding of additional TVs to the BTN footprint which matters now.

        Like

      • Jake says:

        The last five years is a pretty small sample size. Going by that, A&M and Notre Dame would be terrible expansion candidates. Big programs always find a way to bounce back; if Rutgers fell off again, is there any reason to expect that they would manage to rebuild? Would anyone care about a losing Rutgers program? By comparison, A&M is still averaging well over 70,000 fans per game and ND is pulling in over 80,000 (full capacity, basically) – could a sub-par Rutgers pull off anything close to that? The Big Ten won’t be won over by a handful of winning seasons.

        As for the second point, if markets weren’t a big deal, why did the ACC add BC? They’d had a couple of good seasons, but they certainly weren’t a nationally recognized football program back then.

        Like

    • Yikes – I’m assuming you’re one of the people killing me on Rutgers message boards these days? If you go back to my original Big Ten Expansion Index post, you’ll see that I have these schools ranked in front of Rutgers: Texas, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Nebraska and Missouri (who was barely ahead of Rutgers). Rutgers was ahead of Pitt based on the very factor that you brought up (TV market value) and I didn’t evaluate Maryland since I don’t think the ACC is ripe to be poached. You might argue with that pecking order, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to say that’s unrealistic.

      As I’ve explained in numerous ways, I understand the potential of the New Jersey market ON PAPER. All of my issues with Rutgers stem from the fact that I have a lack of faith in the school actually delivering that market. If the Big Ten receives concrete evidence that it will get the full basic cable market rate in New Jersey for the Big Ten Network simply by adding Rutgers, then I’m not going to fault the conference for making a pure business decision there. At the same time, I’ve stated several times in the comments to this blog post that Rutgers is a reasonable choice if you’re looking at a 14-school conference that brings in at least one other big national name (i.e. Texas, Notre Dame, Nebraska). It’s acceptable to make a bet that Rutgers would deliver the NY/NJ market if you’ve got another marquee name willing to join, too. I don’t think that’s a “narrow-minded opinion”.

      Also, to suggest that I’m writing this from an Illini fan perspective is completely full of crap and utterly ridiculous. If that’s all I cared about, I’d be pushing hard for Missouri since that would actually bring in a true rival for us to the conference and we’ve shut them out in basketball for the past decade up until a couple of months ago. I’m solely writing from the perspective of what I believe would be best for the conference overall (whether it’s for Ohio State or Illinois).

      Rutgers sits in a great market. I understand the power of that because I know DePaul wouldn’t be in the Big East today if it wasn’t for its location. To presume that Rutgers is a lock for Big Ten membership simply based on that fact, though, is being near-sighted on your part.

      Like

      • Rick says:

        Not everyone is killing you over there, there are a few “Frank-heads” that appreciate and respect your opinions and expertise (I for one) while respectfully differing on certain aspects concerning Rutgers but undertanding your take on the matter. Keep up the good work.

        Like

    • ezdozen says:

      The idea of the brand of Rutgers adding something to the Big 10 is ludicrous. Nobody outside of NJ likes Rutgers.

      Few areas even have a dislike for Rutgers. Compare to Notre Dame, who teams love to root against.

      The closest thing available to the Big 10 after Notre Dame is Syracuse. It has a national following, even if smaller than Notre Dame obviously. It has a national following of haters.

      If UConn and Syracuse joined the ACC… those two teams would have more value in NYC for college football than Rutgers and the Big 10. If the NYC market remained Big 10 focused, it would be because of Penn St., rather than Rutgers.

      The fact that NYC will support a winner has nothing to do with the individual teams. If Rutgers, UConn, or Syracuse is performing well, NYC will take notice.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        ??? Which decade are you in? These days, Syracuse doesn’t bring more to the table than Rutgers, at least in football.

        Like

      • Rick says:

        Penn State does not and will not deliver the NY Market alone, hence the Big Ten’s current high interest in going after it hard with a more complete package. Syracuse and UConn in the ACC will be more important in Football to the NY Market than RU and a Big Ten package? Nobody outside of NJ likes Rutgers? The whole Rutgers to the Big Ten ludicous? Such venom.

        Like

  28. OrderRestored says:

    Frank, I’m with you in your slant against Rutgers. I also believe that if the Big 10 were to expand into the east then it would be Syracuse. Honestly though I think putting too many eggs in the “lets get the NYC footprint on board” basket is a big mistake on the part of the Big 10. College athletics (especially college football) will never have a following in the NYC area that can compete with the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Giants, Jets, and even the Nets. New York is a professional sport dominated region and even a conference as powerful as the Big 10 can not penetrate that; is the Big 10 content to take a risk on a team like Rutgers only to be the 4th or even 5th fiddle in the region? I’m just not convinced. I am an engineer and when you do break even analysis you do not use your best candidates to come up with a baseline; you use the worst. That in my opinion is what could be going on here; these 5 candidates may have not been ‘the worst’ but they are far from the potential of other candidates and if these candidates pass the test then it shows that all candidates above them would far surpass the ‘break even’ standard set by these 5.

    Like

  29. OrderRestored says:

    In a perfect world with no worry about TV footprints or anything of that sort; the Big 10 would simply add Pitt to the east, Notre Dame to the middle, and Nebraska to the west of the conference. In my opinion (Texas being left out of the conversation ofcourse) this would be the ultimate home-run scenario and would create the absolute most interest from a football standpoint. That is fairy tale talk though I’m afraid.

    Like

  30. michaelC says:

    Further to the point of Texas not on the list.

    The comments about the political sensitivity are almost certainly correct. The importance of college football to the Texas voter cannot be underestimated. People may have noticed there is an election for governor underway right now. No doubt any substantial talk about UT joining the Big Ten will be converted to a campaign talking point in a New York minute.

    If Texas is a serious option, I’d certainly work to keep it out of the public eye until after the November election.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Yup. Big Ten has to tread carefully where Texas is concerned. I really don’t anticipate the governor or legislature raising as much of a fuss about this as they did when the SWC broke up, but it never hurts to be careful. I think the Big Ten and Texas are doing a masterful job of creating the political cover necessary to make this work; once the Big 12 is thoroughly destabilized, then they can go public. The timing of the announcement will probably have more to do with TV contracts than the Texas gubernatorial election; that was pretty much decided last night.

      Like

  31. David says:

    Frank, have enjoyed your analysis so far. But it appears that even without “capturing” the New York City, Rutgers would bring the entire state of New Jersey. And combined with Penn State, the city of New York would be locked down as far as is possible. So if the answer from Notre Dame and Texas is no, I think Rutgers in combination with Penn State delivers a major media market (entire state of New Jersey and a semi-ownership of New York City). The Big East would be forced to bring Temple back (Philadelphia market) and I think they would need to add Memphis and UCF (Orlando market) to shore things up.

    Like

    • Rick says:

      I would also add the preponderance of Big Ten alums living and working in NY Metro in addition to the PSU popularity, the resurgaence of Rutgers Football, and possibly with Syracuse in the mix with the BBall draw and hopefully gettng Football back on track, make the Big Ten Network on basic cable even more enticing. Like I have said before, the power of the Big Ten combined with the draw of Rutgers or Rutgers and SU is what will help “deliver” the market. I don’t believe for a second that the NY Metro market is only a Pro Sports town that will not embrace college athletics. It is a very diversified market that is not as fickle as has been made out to be by some. High level, Big Time, successful , National Championship caliber athletics is what is appealing to them. The Big Ten will prosper there with the right group of new schools even without UT/ND. Include UT or ND in the mix with 2 of RU/NEB/SU/Mizz then you really have a package that is a home run.

      Like

      • ezdozen says:

        If there are Big 10 alums already in NYC, then why add ANY school to add to that market?

        I don’t care what the “studies” say… the only two schools that are home runs are Notre Dame and Texas.

        After that, it becomes the equivalent of the ACC expansion… it makes some sense on paper, but will probably end up adding little value.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Because the BTN isn’t on basic cable yet.

        NY+NJ is as populous as Texas, if you can capture that market.

        Like

  32. Michael says:

    I know some people can’t stand Colin Cowherd, but he aptly described what separates the recruiting efforts of true powers like Texas, USC, Florida, etc. from teams like Iowa, Georgia Tech, & Oregon. Iowa has to CONVINCE top recruits to come to Iowa; Texas just has to ask.

    The same principle applies when it comes to Big Ten expansion. Whether it’s Missouri, Rutgers, Nebraska, or someone else, the Big Ten just has to ask. The conference just has so much to offer them.

    But even Alabama has to go beyond merely asking when it’s recruiting against Florida. Both options are appealing to any southern college prospect.

    We’d all agree the Big Ten wouldn’t just have ask Texas to join. Persuasion would be in store. Right now, UT has by far the nicest house in the Big 12 neighborhood. It makes the most money and gets almost any recruit it wants. In the Big Ten, UT would not only have to leave its comfortable, hometown roots and move across the country; it would have to move to a place where three other ‘families’ have houses just as nice as theirs (PSU, UM, & OSU).

    I think everyone would agree that an even taller task would be for the Big Ten to convince any Pac-10 school to join, both because of distance and bona fide loyalty among P10 members that seems every bit as strong as the Big Ten.

    My questions for Frank are these: How could the Big Ten convince ACC schools to join, if at all? The ACC offers its members TV deals which are no better than the Big 12’s, and there’s little reason to believe the next round of TV deals will approach the SEC or Big Ten. Would the Big Ten/CIC be too much for ACC members (any of them) to resist, or would geography, tradition, and loyalty carry the day? And while I’m asking, why is there such an enormous interest in Rutgers’ extremely lukewarm New York market & fanbase, while rapidly growing markets with much solid college football interest like North Carolina, Atlanta (Ga. Tech), and Florida (FSU) are ignored?

    Like

    • Jake says:

      College sports may not be king in New York, but when you have that many people in one place, it doesn’t take a very high percentage of Big Ten fans in the region to get the network onto cable systems. Also, being in the media capital of the world doesn’t hurt. So the question is whether or not Rutgers or Syracuse can even bring that. It’s a tough question that requires more market research than I’m going to carry out.

      As for the ACC – any of those schools would have to think long and hard if they got an invite from the Big Ten (or the SEC), and some of them are certainly willing to switch conferences, as they did so within the last decade.

      But there are some old bonds between the long-term members of the ACC that don’t exist in the Big Ten or Big 12. The N.C. schools, in particular, would be hard to break up. There are certainly some candidates there that, if you ran them through Frank’s index, would likely outrank teams already mentioned in the study, but none of them would come close to the complete package of Texas. I think the fact that no ACC schools have been mentioned is a sign that the Big Ten probably isn’t serious about a move to the East.

      Like

      • The ACC is still pretty tight-knit, which is why I’ve long been skeptical of that conference ever being poached. It’s certainly not like the “shotgun marriages” of the Big XII and current Big East. I think that Florida is actually much more of a “natural” extension of the Big Ten because the conference has such a massive alumni base there (it’s not an accident that after the Rose Bowl, the next 3 highest paying Big Ten bowl slots are all Florida-based bowls), but whether Florida State and/or Miami meet the academic requirements of the Big Ten is an issue. It’s my opinion that there are clear fissures within the Big East and Big XII, which make them much easier targets. As for why the Big Ten would want to go East, I’m sure there’s a big part of the conference leadership wanting/hoping to crack the NYC market. I don’t necessarily think it’s the best course of action compared to going after a high growth Sun Belt area that cares a lot more about college football like Texas or Florida, but I can understand why the Big Ten sees all of those eyeballs in the Northeast and gets starry-eyed.

        Like

      • Jake says:

        New York’s a big prize, for sure, but there are other strategies for landing it other than having a team in the market. If the Big Ten adds Texas, Notre Dame, maybe someone like Miami as you suggested and becomes a real national conference, New York may come around and start paying attention anyways. L.A. may not have an NFL team, but they still tune in. On the other hand, Rutgers/Syracuse/UConn may improve the Big Ten’s penetration in New York (as well as their home markets), but they do nothing to bring in a national audience.

        Like

  33. Mike says:

    Here is an article about the PAC 10.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2010/03/03/pac-10-expansion-a-football-title-game-hoops-on-tuesday-the-byu-issue-the-zipper-idea-and-the-150-million-question/

    Dont think like a sports fan, think like a President.

    Hilights:

    “There will be no moral high ground if it can be monetized”

    “Let’s say he [Larry Scott] can get $150 million with the 10 schools. Could he get to $190 or $200 million with 12 schools?… they’re skeptical that any school not named Texas is going to bring that kind of revenue windfall. ”

    So Texas’s TV value is around $40 – 50 million?

    Like

  34. Mike says:

    Tom Osborne:

    http://my.journalstar.com/post/Husker_Extra_Group/Husker_Extra/blog/osborne_nu_not_asleep_at_switch.html

    “It’s much better to be proactive than reactive. I don’t think I’m free to say much more than that. We are very aware. We don’t plan to get left at the gate, although we could be. I just don’t know what’s going to happen in this environment.”

    “it’s hard for me to believe that Texas could get a better deal” than it has in the Big 12… “Now, with Missouri and Colorado — that’s a little different”

    “I think everybody right now is keeping their cards pretty close to the vest,” Osborne said. “I think if I called somebody and asked, ‘What are you going to do?’ I may not get a very accurate answer.”

    Like

  35. ezdozen says:

    Frank,

    As you are an attorney as well… is it me, or is it ludicrous to think that the Big 10 would give full membership to any school other than Texas or Notre Dame?

    I mean… if the schools are getting $22M and the Big East schools are getting substantially less than that… why wouldn’t the Big 10 be saying… “OK… we’ll give you 50% of one share… and increase that by 5% over the first 10 years. Take it or leave it.”

    Who among the non-Texas, non-Nebraska candidates is going to say no? And if they all did… then you come back with 60%. And so on.

    Otherwise, it’s like having 10 candidates for a job that currently make minimum wage, but offering one of them $25/hour because that is what your current employees make.

    Basic ECON 101… the demand is high. The supply is 1 (maybe 3). It is up to the candidates to negotiate against each other.

    Just my two cents.

    Like

  36. The latest Teddy Greenstein article had an intriguing line in it.

    “What gets Jim going,” said a source with ties to Delany, “is doing something bold.”

    Amidst all of this expansion talk, it seems like ANY expansion would be a bold move. But what would be the boldest of bold moves? Expanding to 16, right?

    With the various chatter that’s happened over the last month, I see a very plausible way that the Big 10 and Delany could make an irreversible impact on the NCAA.

    The Big 10 would take Rutgers and Syracuse from the Big East. This move would be a “manifest destiny” of sorts, connecting the Atlantic seaboard to the conference’s footprint, gaining inroads for New Jersey/New York recruiting (good for football, even better for basketball), and opening up a much stronger presence in the NYC market. And before you begin to challenge me on whether or not New York City would be interested in Syracuse or Rutgers football or not, consider what else the Big 10 would now have to offer.

    Notre Dame, already in a vulnerable financial state considering the changing world of money in college athletics, could ill-afford to stay connected to a weakening (and sure to become weaker if the ACC follows the Big 10’s lead in expansion) Big East. Some scheduling freedom would be lost, true, but four OOC games would still allow them to be a national school. Notre Dame would have a nice contingent of regional rivals still but would have a huge, huge increase in its athletic department coffers by joining the Big 10. Why else would the Big 10’s coffers increase exponentially?

    The inclusion of the greatest two money-making sports institutions (who happen to be outstanding academic fits as well!) in the great state of Texas—the Longhorns and the Aggies. The Big 10 footprint would then cover over half of the United States land mass and population areas. Plus, you’d have over half of the elite sports franchises for college football historically. This powerplay would make the Big 10 Network a must-have for nearly all (I’ll hold back on asserting “every”) cities in the nation.

    Chew on this reality for a while. Consider what the other conferences would look like in comparison to the Big 10 for football (always first) and basketball. Surely, other schools would follow suit and begin to build themselves up one way or another, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find 4 teams for the ACC, SEC, or Big 12 to add (or 6 teams for the PAC10) to make a better 16 team line-up than that. And even so, the Big 10 Network gives it an advantage that no other conference has now nor could have in the future.

    As for logistics, oh boy, there are tons of logistics to work out. But since football is the hot topic, I’ll lay out the way the divisions would look for football.

    (Before I start, I’ll admit that SOMETHING had to give. What was that one thing? Indiana, the mutant of college football. Indiana and Illinois’s so-called “rivalry game” had to be sacrificed. And Indiana and Purdue’s season-ending game would still happen, but with that preposterous possibility that the teams would face off again in a CCG rematch. That’s it.)

    Four Quads would be formed. Two in each division—the east and the west. Each quad would play its own teams yearly (3 set games). Each team would have one rival outside of its quad but inside its division (1 set game) and one rival in the other division (1 set game). The other three conference games would rotate among the other 10 conference teams. Each team would play at least five games in its division each year but no more than six. The best team from the East would play the best team from the West in the conference championship game.

    East
    Atlantic Quad
    Ohio State
    Penn State
    Syracuse
    Rutgers

    Central Quad
    Michigan
    Michigan St.
    Notre Dame
    Purdue

    West
    Northern Quad
    Wisconsin
    Minnesota
    Iowa
    Indiana

    MIdwestern Quad
    Texas
    Texas A/M
    Illinois
    Northwestern

    All season ending rivalry games are maintained within divisions to ensure no rematches in a CCG. Notre Dame and Wisconsin remain “free lancers” on closing weekend, which the Irish would use to keep OOC games with Stanford/USC.

    Study this. Where are the flaws? With the exception of Indiana in football, I see nothing compromised. Is this Delany’s “bold” move?

    Like

    • ezdozen says:

      If ND and Texas are willing to join, along with A&M, you don’t need anyone else to make a bold statement.

      Divide into two divisions… hope for a matchup between Ohio St. and Texas in the conference championship every year. If Michigan can re-rise to the top and beat OSU… so be it. Suddenly that game becomes more meaningful.

      I’d probably stick Notre Dame in the West. Texas/Notre Dame every year would be must watch football.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      All schools in a division have to play each other, according to the NCAA, if you’re going to stage a championship game.

      I had the same idea, except with Nebraska substituted for Syracuse/Rutgers (whichever school agrees first to move home games against OSU/PSU/Michigan/ND to the Meadowlands). Then you simply split east/west along the IL/IN state line.

      Like

    • Jake says:

      I know it sounds pretty prosaic to us after a couple months of discussion, but isn’t adding Texas alone to the Big Ten pretty bold? I mean Texas … in the Big Ten – it’s like China joining the EU. That’ll shock anyone who hasn’t been immersed in Internet speculation, and you don’t go over 12 teams. Now, adding Missouri, Pitt or Rutgers – that’s not very bold. Adding ND would be bold, if they hadn’t been talking about it for the last 20 years.

      Like

      • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

        Good point, Jake. I guess I’m just so stuck on the Texas/Texas AM package deal that I can’t see stopping at 12 as being possible.

        Like

    • c says:

      Re: expansion to 16

      Interesting post: you are proposing adding Texas plus A&M, ND and 2 NY region schools

      Major negatives:
      1) further dilutes games against existing conference members. The politics of gaining approval become difficult. Presumably all schools will vote for Texas plus A&M and ND (assuming they want to join).

      Do the members want to play SU and RU and further dilute frequency of existing games?

      Positives and questions:

      1) Does ND want to join an expanded Big 10 with Texas?

      2) If Big 10 does gain Texas and ND then that would be a home run and might be a good place to stop and see how things work out. What impact does that have for the NY regional market as well as other national markets?

      3) Adding SU might be a significant positive for Big 10 Basketball. SU BB attendance and quality is tier one.

      This may be a positive for the conference over the entire Big 10 coverage area including NY metro region far beyond calculating the metro region SU might add to the BTN.

      4) Adding a private university in the East like SU may be an additional positive for ND since it would clearly signal the Big 10 is now a national conference and somewhat diverse (3 private universities).

      %) Adding RU along with SU would be a positive since that would firmly establish the Big 10 in the NY metro region.

      5) Expanding to a national conference with ND, Texas, and 2 NY schools might be of interest to the existing conference schools if they collectively want to move beyond the midwest footprint.

      Conclusion:

      1) I doubt there would be approval by the Big 10 schools to go beyond 14 due to dilution. If Texas and ND join that would be a good place to at least pause. Nebraska might be a good 14th school as a bridge to Texas and a national brand if ND doesn’t want to join. Only after Texas plus A&M join will the full impact become clear in terms of TV and BTN coverage, revenue and national fan interest.

      Conversely the Big 10 may decide to just add one NY regional school and see how that works in combination with PSU.

      I just don’t see a 16 team expansion at this time and I would be surprised to see the ACC decide to expand beyond 12.

      Like

  37. Michael says:

    Presuming the Big Ten presidents decide that a twelfth team should be added, I’m not convinced that the presidents would be willing to go farther than that.

    This is a conference that has been willing to go almost 20 years with 11 schools, only one school from achieving a fancy division split & conference title game. The reasoning behind that is simple.

    Right now, every Big Ten team plays two rivals every year, plus all but two of the other eight Big Ten teams. So, Purdue plays Michigan six years in a row (including three home games) and only takes two years off.

    If just one team is added to the Big Ten, and Purdue & Michigan aren’t in the same division, they’d play two times every four years if the Big 12 scheduling model is used, and just twice every five if the SEC model is used. Big Ten presidents will take that into account. Since joining the ACC, Florida State has drawn more fans at road games than any other ACC team. Before the ’03 expansion, that meant FSU visited every ACC campus every other year. Now, five ACC schools host the Noles only once every five years.

    Adding three or five teams would cause even longer gaps between formerly frequent matchups. University presidents (and boosters) care about that stuff.

    I think everyone would be willing to add Notre Dame or Texas. After that, I think the university presidents will have achieved a substantial increase in revenue, distancing the league from even the SEC, without upsetting too many boosters. Two more teams may or may not add to the size of each “pie slice,” though not nearly as much as ND or Texas, but it would also create a tremendous backlash from fans from other conferences as well as fans of current Big Ten teams.

    Like

    • Michael – you’re spot-on and Richard has mentioned this before, too. The Big Ten is not like the SEC – these guys flip out when Michigan falls off the schedule for 2 years per decade, so going 4 years or more without playing fellow schools is going to provide major heartburn to the current members. There’s a good chance that the Big Ten wouldn’t go to divisions in a 14-school conference – they could just have 3 protected rivals and then play everyone else 2-years on and 2-years off. That might mean foregoing a conference championship game or pushing the NCAA to change its rule about the division requirement to hold an “exempt” championship game – I’d actually love it if the Big Ten (and every other conference) could just match up the best 2 schools every year in championship game without regard to divisions.

      Like

      • Michael says:

        I totally agree. I’d like a scheduling model like that much more. I’m an FSU fan (if you can’t tell) who lives in Big Ten territory. The divisions don’t make a lot of sense. FSU is playing Maryland, Wake Forest, & Boston College every year, but Ga. Tech (where a lot of FSU alumni live), UNC, and Va. Tech only twice every five years. FSU’s slowly-built rivalries certainly don’t have the depth of history that Big Ten schools have (besides PSU), but the realignment has robbed ACC fans of playing the more interesting matchups. Also, I don’t see anything wrong with just having the top two teams in the championship game instead of arbitrary divisions. For example, it’s debatable which two teams were the best in the Big 12 South in the ’08 season (OU, TT, or UT), but it’s not debatable whether the two best teams in the league were from that division; Missouri shouldn’t have been in that game.

        Like

      • Adam says:

        The problem with changing the rule is that it cuts against the original rationale for the rule. The rule actually originates in the late 1980s and pre-dates the so-called “federated” governance structure (where Divisions I, II, and III each make decisions for themselves). It was actually a proposal made by a Division II conference. They were doing the high school strategy of requiring their member institutions to reserve an “open date” at the end of their league schedule for a league title game between division champions. Because they were only very rarely getting anybody selected to play in the NCAA Division II tournament, they suggested the “12-team rule,” so that they could do something nice and special for their league without compromising round-robin play. The original idea behind the rule was that it was sort of an alternative for larger conferences that didn’t have much of a chance at qualifying their teams for post-season play anyway could do something nice (a sort of substitute playoff) for their teams at the end of the season.

        The irony is that the Division II playoffs were expanded shortly thereafter (going from 6 teams to 12 or 8 to 12 or 8 to 16, something like that), and with the expanded field, the league that proposed the rule felt they had a good enough chance at qualifying teams that they didn’t want to have a league title game jeopardize those chances with season-ending loss for somebody.

        Personally, I think that if the UT-OU-TTU crisis from a few years ago wasn’t enough to get them to change the rule, nothing will.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      I wonder which teams each school _really_ wants to play (outside of rivalry games). I reckon OSU/PSU/Michigan don’t really care if Iowa falls off the schedule for a while. It seems that the Indiana schools would really like to play Michigan & OSU. MSU would play Michigan and OSU every year under almost any divisional scheme.

      So the question boils down to–
      Do the western schools (IL, NU, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minn) _really_ care about playing the eastern teams? Obviously, Minnesota plays Michigan for a trophy, and IL & OSU play for a trophy as well. Say those schools still get those matchups for interdivisional rivalry games. Then the question becomes, do the other western schools desire Michigan or OSU (or IU or PU) for rivalry purposes? . . .because the travelling red horde coming out of Nebraska will likely fill seats just as well as OSU/Michigan, and Texas is just as big of a name. Granted, Mizzou fails on both points, which is why I’m not enthusiastic about them joining as a 12th, 14th, or 16th team.

      It does seem obvious (IMHO) from this analysis that than dividing along the IN/IL state line would be ideal, regardless of whether we go to 12, 14, or 16.

      Like

      • Richard – Illinois is definitely overly obsessed with playing Michigan. I’m not saying that’s right or rational (and it’s definitely not reciprocated by the Wolverines), but it is what it is. I’m not sure if losing games against Indiana and Purdue would be big deals, but it’s definitely going to cause major consternation to lose games against Michigan and Ohio State for everyone in the western half of the conference. That’s why you’re correct that simply adding Mizzou wouldn’t do the trick on that front if you have a western division with none of the Big 3 from the east. Nebraska and certainly Texas would alleviate those types of concerns in an East/West split.

        Like

  38. OrderRestored says:

    From what I’ve read (off and on this blog) the major contenders for this invite (not named Texas or Notre Dame) are Rutgers, Syracuse, Missouri, Pittsburgh, and Nebraska. The strengths and weaknesses of the candidates are as follows:

    Rutgers – Strengths: Academically top notch, TV market possibilities
    Weaknesses: poor athletic tradition, arguable fickle fan base

    Syracuse – Strengths: TV market possibilities, basketball tradition
    Weaknesses: poor stadium size w/ limited space to expand, football program arguably down for the count, small enrollment

    Missouri – Strengths: some TV market possibilities, geographically convenient for Big 10 travel
    Weaknesses: questionable fan support, no real athletic tradition

    Pittsburgh – Strengths: strong athletic fit for the Big 10, geographically convenient for Big 10 travel, academically strong
    Weaknesses: no new TV market possibilities, already in Big 10 market footprint, fan support arguably fickle

    Nebraska – Strengths: National franchise, strong football tradition, strong fan base, geographically convenient for Big 10 travel
    Weaknesses: no new TV market possibilities, small state population

    Looking at this list objectively; tradition isn’t something that can be changed so that doesn’t bode well for
    Rutgers, Syracuse, and Missouri to some extent. TV market and state population are not factors that can be
    changed either, so that does not bode well for Nebraska or Pittsburgh. The question here will be what is more
    important to the Big 10, TV Market or image/tradition? All candidates have problems, which problems do you
    feel are the most glaring?

    Like

    • That’s what I was aiming to quantify with the Big Ten Expansion Index. Under that model, I thought that Syracuse had the best combo of potential TV market possibilities and athletic brand name value once you got past Texas and Notre Dame. I’m actually increasingly high on Nebraska, too – I seriously believe that most of the attributes that people assign to Notre Dame, who everyone assumes is a slam-dunk for the Big Ten, can be found in Nebraska (big national football name despite not delivering a great local market).

      So, that means the Big Ten will add Rutgers, Pitt and Missouri, right?

      Like

  39. Playoffs Now! says:

    I suspect that a 16-team conf is Delany’s dream scenario. 16 would either ultimately eliminate 1 of the competing BCS conferences, as they cannibalize themselves to also reach 16, or leave the other conferences at a competitive disadvantage of 10 or 12 teams that hurts the other conferences BCS strength. But it wouldn’t be a jump to 16 right away if they can’t lure Texas schools or a P10 block. The smart move would be to take 1 domino, probably Nebraska or a Big East school, then see what implodes in the resulting scramble.

    For example, while the B12 may be a more unstable coalition, the P10’s rigidity and regional splits may end up fracturing it first. The league requires unanimous consent for expansion, and there’s been repeated rumblings that Cal and Stanford will never allow a religious school like BYU in (though ND interest would be a tough test of that unofficial policy.) Fine, just take Utah and Colorado. Not so fast, there are also rumblings that Utah politics would prevent the Utes leaving without bringing BYU with them.

    Then there’s the whole issue of the northern schools refusing to give up annual games in SoCal and the gate revenue USC visits bring them, especially with the unequal split of conference revenue. So the logical north-south division split might be a deal killer. You could try the zipper plan of breaking up each natural pair into different divisions but keeping these rivalry games annual as a protected cross-conf game, but that doesn’t protect all the in-state rivalries the Cal schools will insist on maintaining. Going with a 9-game conf schedule of 5 division, 2 cross-conf, and 2 protected annual cross-conf games would solve that, but only at 12-teams. Take it all together and if the Texas schools say no to the P10 (the B12 can always plug in BYU to replace Nebraska) and there is a very real chance that the P10 doesn’t expand this round, the regional squabbles grow more intense, and prospects for any future expansion grow exceedingly dim. The result is a self-imposed much lower revenue cap that might alienate the Cal block into considering the previously unthinkable: leaving the P10. At 12 the Big Ten (sic) has just enough room to fit in an academic and demographic super block of the Cal schools.

    Likely? No. Possible? Yes. Of course the first plan often dissolves once the battle begins. Even if the Cal block did think the unthinkable, they could also look at leaving with some of the other academically superior P10 schools for a new 16-team super conference with the top B12 programs and perhaps Utah, dissolving the old B12 and P10.

    Like

    • Jeremy says:

      You sure a super conference is what he wants? I don’t see Big 12 getting destroyed NO conference ever will get expanded past 14 and that will take decades. Texas, Texas A&M, Colarado probably will Nebraska might or Missouri, but if the Big 10 goes east then Big 12 will only worry about Pac 10. Assuming Colorado with MWC team joins than Big 12 will still be togther.

      Like

  40. OrderRestored says:

    Frank,
    I’d be as shocked as you if they added those 3 teams. To me, Nebraska just makes sense for all the reasons you just highlighted. Tom Osborne came out today and talked about being ‘proactive’ in this process as well saying that ‘we (nebraska) will not be left at the gate’. Tom Osborne is a man of very high integrity and is well respected in the world of college football. I’d be shocked if he showed interest and wanted to talk to the Big 10 if they would flatly tell him ‘No’ without lending an ear. I really wish there was a way the Big 10 could add Pitt, Notre Dame, and Nebraska; that’d be a conference on par with the SEC.

    Like

  41. aps says:

    First we have to remember that the Big Ten is controlled by the Presidents NOT the ADs. So you have to think like a college President. And what do they think about, academics & research. Sports are nice but the real money is on the research side. If you can get sports with it, it is a bonus.

    In the past, Gordon Gee (OSU President) and the AD Gene Smith have said that there need not be a championship game. They both have made comment on the fact with divisions you lose playing certain teams on a regular basis.

    A few years back, Joe Paterno talked about having all Big Ten teams play each other (10 games) reducing the problem of scheduling games. With 12 teams, you could schedule 10 games with 1 team having a bye. With 14 teams, you could schedule 10 teams and have 3 byes. So divisional play is not necessary. It also adds in a greater chance of having 2 BCS teams each year.

    Do I think they will go to divisional play, yes. But not playing other Big Ten teams is not going to be liked. Most of us have been use to playing each other on a regular basis. As an Ohio State fan, I have missed the regular games with Illinois. Most people do not know that Illinois was the longest running series Ohio State had with any Big Ten team going back to 1914 until they slide off the schedule a few years ago. That is part of the tradition of the Big Ten.

    I would like to throw out one thing for you to think about Frank or anyone else.

    The Big Ten’s members are all AAU members. If I recall right, 7 of the 10 members of the Pac 10 are AAU members. And I think 4 of the 12 members of the ACC are AAU members. These 3 conferences are very similiar in how they view academics and athletics. The Big East, Big 12 and SEC are more athletic and less academic conferences. There are a few AAU members amongst them but the vast majority are not.

    If the Pac 10 expands to 12 and the Big Ten expands to 12 or 14 with the ACC (12) you have 36 to 38 teams in 3 conferences. What if these 3 conferences decide to split from the NCAA and form their own athletic organization. Why be in the same organization with member institutions who don’t share your views on academics and athletics. I remember Steve Spurrier complain about athletes having to maintain a 2.0 GPA to play, he thought it should be lowered to a 1.5.

    This is one reason the Big Ten and the Pac 10 hooked up so long ago (1940s), they had similar views on social and academic issues. For the longest time due to the race issue, many Big Ten teams did not play teams from the south.

    Just thought I would throw it out there for some thoughts.

    Like

    • m (Ag) says:

      1) I’m surprised how often people bring up the possibility of the Big 10 not getting 2 BCS games on this blog. The Big 10 and the SEC were getting 2 teams in the BCS almost every year even before the BCS added a bowl game. One of these conferences has a championship game and one doesn’t. They both have conferences with nationally respected schools who get ratings and bring many traveling fans. An expanded Big 10 will still lock down 2 BCS bowl games every year. If the added teams have a national reputation and traveling fans the conference will also get better bowl agreements on the side.

      2) You can still see everyone in the conference every 4 years home and away if you make it a priority.

      -With a 2 six team divisions and a 8 game schedule you can play everyone in the other division home and away every 4 years with no permanent cross divisional rivals. With a permanent cross divisional rival, you’ll miss one team every 4 years unless you go to 9 conference games.
      -With a 14 team conference you can use rotating divisions and an 8 game schedule to let every team play 3 teams every year and the other 10 teams twice every 4 years. If you want permanent divisions you can play all but 1 team in the conference every 4 years if you go to 9 conference games and have no permanent cross divisional rivals.
      -For a 16 team conference, rotating divisions and using a 9 game schedule will allow you to play 3 teams every year and the other 12 teams twice every 4 years. If you go with permanent divisions and a 9 game schedule you’ll miss 4 teams every 4 years.

      Like

      • I agree that the Big Ten doesn’t need to be concerned about not getting 2 BCS bids as a result of a conference championship game. That 2nd BCS slot is granted more on the basis of how well schools travel and TV appeal, which is what the Big Ten provides in great depth.

        Like

  42. Theta says:

    If the Big 10 is going to add Nebraska then the Big 12 North is dead. If the Big 12 North is dead then the Big 12 South is the SWC all over again.

    I think Texas needs an excuse to go to the Big 10/PAC 10 and someone (Big 10/PAC 10) taking a member will break the seal on the Big 12. After that it will be much easier for Texas to leave.

    Would adding Nebraska alone as the 12th team work? I don’t know, but it would set the dominoes falling.

    If the Big 10 adds Nebraska my reaction will be “wait for it…”

    Like

  43. M says:

    Matching observed behavior to underlying action is always a difficult operation. In this case, if the Big Ten were looking to add Texas and A&M and needed a 14th school, the observations would be exactly what we have seen. However, if the Big Ten had no interest in Texas (or was immediately rebuffed and gave up), I do not see what would be different. The only scenario that is completely out is that Texas (or Nebraska) is taking the same process as these other schools.

    The most puzzling inclusion on the list is Notre Dame and I am not sure what to think of it. Does its presence mean that this whole operation is just another time to ask them again? Does it mean that the Big Ten thinks that ND’s position has decreased to the point of inviability and they will reconsider? Does it mean that (the Big Ten thinks that) ND would join a conference that has Texas and Texas A&M in it? Also, I thought that the original unleaked 15 did not include ND. Why are they included now?

    I still do not understand what Frank sees in Syracuse. While they would be an upper-tier basketball school in the Big Ten, in football they are less than Rutgers (and like he said, football is the driving sport in this discussion). Academically, they are 194th in the country in research expenditure and are less than a tenth of the Big Ten average. Rutgers spends 8 times as much, though still would be second to last in the current Big Ten. As far as market, Rutgers is much closer to NYC than Syracuse and NJ is a much bigger market than upstate New York. I don’t think that either is a particularly great addition, but if it has to be one it is definitely Rutgers.

    I love the idea the idea that Frank is actually a mole planted by the Big Ten. It would explain so much, like how the 7 schools he listed originally are the 5 schools in the report plus Texas and Nebraska. Also, the report said that the Big Ten hired a Chicago law firm, while Frank (if that is his real name) says he is a lawyer in Chicago. There’s maybe 10 lawyers in Chicago right? Also, the 9/11 government conspiracy people are part of a government conspiracy.

    Like

    • Jake says:

      Alvarez said the list of 15 didn’t include Texas – he only said that he didn’t think Notre Dame would join if they were invited.

      If the Big Ten placed enough importance on the opinions of the Internet folk to have a mole shake them out, they probably wouldn’t use a lawyer employed by the research firm they hired. That would be a bit obvious. And if he does work for this research firm and he’s releasing the names of candidate schools on his own … he would have some explaining to do if his employers found out.

      Like

    • Looks like I’ve been caught! I’ll just go back and take my place back by the grassy knoll.

      Like

  44. Mike B. says:

    Frank – if you take a look at ABCs coverage maps for regional games involving Notre Dame vs those involving Nebraska, they suggest that Nebraska’s value as a National brand is nowhere near Notre Dame’s.

    Notre Dame @ Stanford:

    http://www.hdsportsguide.com/news/2009/abcespn2-coverage-map-for-november-28-800-pm-games/

    Oklahoma @ Nebraska:

    http://www.hdsportsguide.com/news/2009/abcespn2-coverage-maps-for-november-7-800-games/

    Note that ABC chose to put Cincinnati-UConn in South Florida over OU-NU, and Nebraska couldn’t even pull Nevada, Utah, or Idaho. And Oklahoma-Nebraska is about as big a matchup as Nebraska could ever get.

    Their football program is still a big earner because of attendance and a loyal alum base. But as a national brand, they’re badly fading.

    Like

  45. Justin says:

    IMO,

    The Big 10 will wait for the PAC 10 to move first.

    If the PAC 10 expands, it will inevitably add a Big 12 school. It does not make financial sense for the PAC 10 to add a couple Mountain West schools. So if the PAC 10 expands, that probably means Colorado is gone, which is a crushing below to the Big 12, which already has very few major markets outside of Texas, and can ill afford to lose Denver, Colorado.

    If Colorado leaves, then I think the Big 10 will certainly add a Big 12 school which will basically cause the collapse of the Big 12 North and then leave Texas in a quandary — add a couple Texas replacements, making the Big 12 more like the SWC, or bolt a sinking ship.

    IMO, if the Big 10 goes only to 12 teams, Nebraska adds the most sizzle. You can place them in a division with PSU opposite UM and OSU.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      That makes sense on some levels but
      1. The Big10 wouldn’t want the Pac10 to take Texas.
      2. Without Texas, it’s really hard to make the expansion math make sense. Adding Colorado+Utah doesn’t increase the current Pac10 members’ share of the pie, and I don’t think the Big10 would just allow the Pac10 to take Nebraska, even if they’re interested.

      Like

  46. Bob says:

    Does Nebraska still have he national cache? They did years ago, but they have stumbled badly for an extended period. Are they “just another program” now?

    Without the population, can Nebraska still deliver? PSU-Nebraska, OSU-Nebraska sounds good on paper, but is that paper yellowed and overrated?

    Like

    • Mike says:

      I think so. Even at their lowest point they were still getting games in prime time nation wide on ABC.

      Like

    • We could say the same about Notre Dame, too. The thing is that if and when Nebraska comes back (and they did come within a tick of upsetting Texas in the Big XII Championship Game last year), I think it’s safe to say that they’ll be a big national draw.

      Like

  47. spartakles78 says:

    If the Big Ten is really thinking of boldness & a larger presence in the NY market for their network, then they have to establish themselves as the premier college sports conference across the board. If we just keep to the academic qualifications to AAU members then we’re down to a handful of schools which have programs that try to compete for NC in more than one sport. From a programming point of view, if you have a conference team competing for a championship in every college sport on a regular basis then you can bolster your brand. The academics, research, endowments, federal funding, etc. can all be satisfied for the faculty but the network would be interested in being able to showcase that it is more than just football & basketball. It would want programs that have a history of achievement in more than one sport not just promise (Rutgers).

    You’re then left with only a handful of choices after Texas which would be Maryland, Virginia & Syracuse. Maryland is searching for a new president. Virginia has an incoming chancellor with deep Big Ten & Texas roots. Syracuse also has a chancellor with Big Ten ties. Put aside the outrage from fans of tradition, etc. (the ACC teams can still be in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge) if this is about money, athletics & academics for the long term, then we should expect something completely different.

    Like

    • Rick says:

      Spart: Per your quote: “It would want programs that have a history of achievement in more than one sport not just promise (Rutgers)”. Just let me elaborate a little here, Rutgers does have a history of achievement in more than one sport and does compete for Championships regularly in many. Not every school in the Big Ten or expansion candidates has every one of their teams successful year in and year out. Although Texas probably does. Rutgers is by far not a one trick pony built on the promise of the Football team only, it is unfair to characterize them that way if that was what was intended. I’m sure it wasn’t, but here is a snapshot of 6 of their 22 other team sports of note since around 2000. They carry 22 NCAA sports, 9 Men, 13 Women.

      Baseball: 6 NCAA bids in last 11 years. 40 players went pro during that time. 2003 and 2007 BE Champs. Nationally competitive.
      Men’s Basketball: Not a good program right now. Average or below overall record over those years, lower tier BE team. Not Nationally competitive.
      Men’s Soccer: 3x Men’s NCAA final 4 since 1989. Annually upper tier BE team. Many NCAA bids over that time. Just hired new head coach from St. Louis U. STL is a big time player in Men’s soccer, this bodes well. Nationally competitive.
      Women’s Soccer: 5x Women’s NCAA bids since 2000. Annually competes for BE title. Very frequently TOP 25 ranked. Nationally competitive.
      Women’s Basketball: A National Championship competitive program. BE Champs 3x since 2005. Annually in NCAA tourney. 2x Final Four, 1x National Championship game since 2000. C.V. Stringer, head coach, Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach. Nationally competitive.
      Wrestling: A program on the rise. Very competitive. This year #22 in final coaches poll. This year 9 wrestlers in final coaches rankings for NCAA appearance. Becoming Nationally competitive.

      This is more than promise, they are more than a one trick pony built on the promise of the Football Team. They would fare well in BT play in many sports.

      Like

      • spartakles78 says:

        Rick, you’re right, I didn’t mean to sound like I was leaving out their total program. I am just responding to the overemphasis on football and men’s basketball as being the overall deciding factor. The 2 revenue sports will be big in the decisions on who to offer but I see the final questions being driven by the perceived present and future values of a school. Is the school an AAU member? If not how soon will they be? How many sports are in the athletic dept.? Are their facilities and venues up to date? Is their a plan in place to address any deficiencies? The Big Ten Network is committed to gender equality in its programming so a top notch program like Rutger’s b-ball is a big plus. It’s also why other men and women sports could influence the decision to offer because of the cyclical nature of athletics. All one has to see is the empty stands for Iowa b-ball compared to their wrestling program. Iowa will eventually become relevant again in b-ball but they have at least other sports to promote. Academics, football and then the rest as a package not just one sport in isolation will decide whether there are any offers at all.

        Like

      • Rick says:

        Spart, that’s what I thought. It’s cool. Thought I would just highlight are few areas of their Athletic Dept. that some not familiar as much with them might find informative.

        Like

  48. SH says:

    I put the odds of UT/A&M joining at about 75%. It just makes too much sense for all the parties.

    When Frank’s index was originally released, it spawned the question of whether the Big 10 would take A&M or not if required to get UT. I don’t even think that is a question anymore. The question is do you take UT/A&M as a package or not. If the Big 10 only wants to be a regional player, then no. But if the B10 wants to secure their short-term and long-term future, they lock up Texas.

    Think about what is often written about the China market and why it is so coveted by American companies. Not only is it already one of the largest due to sheer number of people, but it is one of the fastest growing because so many people there are just getting some wealth. With respect to US markets, that is Texas. It is the 2nd largest state with 25,000,000 people, plus it is still one of the fastest growing (in 2008, it was 3rd according to Forbes). The Big 10 markets and much of the NE are not where the population growth are right now and not for the foreseeable future. In 2008, Texas surpassed NY as home of the most Fortune 500 companies. According to wikipedia, UT & A&M are the 5th and 7th largest schools in the country with a combined enrollment of about 100,000. The numbers supporting Texas’ inclusion are just too overwhelming. There is another demographic element in Texas’ favor, and that is the growing Hispanic population. This is a market that the NFL has been trying to reach out to, why wouldn’t college athletics be any different. And isn’t UT the perfect school to make that reach?

    Frankly, no school, no set of schools can deliver what UT and A&M can. We have speculated what combination of schools would have the best chance of locking up the NY market. With UT/A&M there is no speculation, they deliver a bigger market than NY. We have speculated whether ND really brings anything for the Big 10 any more or if it is a dying brand. Texas is still growing. ND is playing in San Antonio next year. They understand the importance of playing in Texas.

    Texas and A&M would themselves secure their long-term future. Who cares about being biggest fish in a regional conference with little chance of expanding past its current borders (and more than likely dying a slow death). In the grand scheme of things, who cares about the travel concerns for the 5 or 6 non-revenue teams that would travel in conference? Who cares about the fact that none of the bordering states are in the conference? Who cares that students are unable to travel to Waco or Lubbock (who travels there anyway)? The Big XII produces some good football, but there is no real tradition that the Big XII had created. If UT and OK want to continue to play every year, they can. The only reason it would stop is if OK makes the threat to UT that if they leave they will no longer play that game. But that would only be bad for OK in the long-run. Even if that game does get sacraficed, is this a reason to not make a move that will give you more money, give you more opportunities, give you more national coverage? There is really no reason for Texas not to join.

    The B10 is a regional conference with national appeal. Including Texas will make it a more national conference with even more national appeal.

    Texas is a national brand in a regional conference. Joining the Big 10 gives them national exposure.

    The marriage just makes too much sense. With A&M included, there is no reason for this not to happen. None.

    Like

    • I love your optimism on this and hope that you’re right. A 75% chance is high, but I still do think this is still a plausible (even if unlikely) outcome. A lot of the objections with Texas leaving the Big XII stems from them leaving A&M, but if the Big Ten also invites A&M, then that seems to squash a huge detraction. Honestly, if the Big Ten does that, then it’s reasonable for the conference to make a bet on the NY market with Rutgers in a 14-school conference.

      Like

      • Jake says:

        I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I think this whole thing about UT having to bring A&M along is getting blown out of proportion. UT is enough to bring the state into the Big Ten fold, and I don’t see Texas politicians getting in the way this time. The Big Ten doesn’t have to lock the state down from all competing conferences, they just have to get their network on TV. They may very well invite A&M, but it will be because they want them in the conference, not because they were forced to accept them.

        Like

      • SH says:

        Why wouldn’t UT want to bring in A&M? I do see the politicians getting involved, not to the same extent as with the SWC breakup, but at least to some extent. Perry this week one a huge primary and is going to re-take the govenor’s office. He is an A&M grad. There is no reason for UT to do this without A&M. If the B10 asks, they simply just say yes but only with A&M. The B10 would have to just accept that or do without Texas. So I agree with Jake, A&M will be included more because UT simply says they are part of the package. Not a bad consolotion prize really.

        I think that sets it up perfectly for the Big 10 to go after an east coast school. For my money, Syracuse is the better choice over Rutgers. If only because of the journalism school. Journalists love to talk about their own school.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      Texas to the Big10 makes a lot of sense. The only thing that could stand in the way is bad personal relationships between UT administration people and Big10 people. Again, I don’t know if the personal relationships are good or bad, but otherwise, there’s little reason for Texas not to leave eventually (and I think they will choose between the Big10 and Pac10 eventually).

      Like

  49. glenn says:

    someone mentioned nebraska to the pac-10. do you really believe the pac-10 would admit nebraska? can you see stanford going for that?

    as a texas alum, much of my impetus for pitching in with the big ten instead of the pac-10 is predicated on the relatively uniform academic excellence found there. if the big ten is willing to admit a nebraska or oklahoma due to some sort of wow factor, then we might as well go west if we get the chance this time.

    Like

    • Scott says:

      It appears you’re saying that Texas is sufficiently superior intellectually to Nebraska that they wouldn’t consider joining a conference that would admit Nebraska. That would, of course, be at odds with the fact that Texas currently shares a conference with Nebraska. Hence, Texas currently seems to have no such issue with the idea.

      Further, the the threat to join the Pac 10 (for MUCH less TV money) in response to the insult of joining a conference with Nebraska doesn’t make much sense either. The Pac 10 has several schools which are, at the very least, no better than Nebraska.

      Like

      • greg says:

        I think Texas learned a lot about Nebraska and some other Big 12 schools in the fight to increase the academic standards when the conference was formed. Nebraska fans still complain about Texas making them drop partial qualifiers. So I could certainly see Texas telling the Big Ten that they won’t join if Nebraska is part of the deal.

        Like

        • If Texas says they’ll join the Big Ten but won’t come if Nebraska is included, then the Cornhuskers will be out of the discussion in a heartbeat.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            ….but I doubt they’ll say that (unless some major boosters really hate Nebraska).

            Like

          • duffman says:

            NEWS FLASH!!

            in a stunning move the University of Texas has just announced it will be moving to the ACC in on december 21, 2012!! citing strong academics, favorable population growth, and good weather..

            stunning bridesmaids in the Big 10 and Pac 10, texas stated “they are just a little long in the tooth, and i want me some young filly’s”

            asked why the SEC was not chosen .. texas responded.. “well they are some hotties for sure, but i wanna see them on the side, i can’t be seen married to them.. i still gotta have sunday dinner and church with ma an pa.. so i gotta have a respectable wife”

            “besides.. picking an ACC wife means i am still the rooster.. in the Big 10, Pac 10, and the SEC i might get henpecked to death”

            *smile*

            Like

          • Jake says:

            Resistance is futile.

            Like

          • Jake says:

            Whoops, that was supposed to go somewhere else.

            Like

          • 84Lion says:

            Frank, if you would delete my above post, I would appreciate it. Said some things I regret. My apologies. Thanks.

            Like

          • Mike B. says:

            @84Lion:

            My wife works for a Texas-based company, and it took over a California-based company. If “ruining” it means you don’t put up with people who come in at 10 and leave at 2, then yeah, they’re ruining the California part of the company.

            Why do you think they were a take-over target in the first place?

            BTW, this company also took over a Chicago-based company and an Atlanta-based company. There were no such “cultural” problems in those take-overs.

            Like

      • glenn says:

        listen to greg.

        Like

      • glenn says:

        big ten supporters, there are many influential texas fans who don’t like the thought of joining the big ten. what you do or say to inflame them truly is germane and hurts your cause.

        frank, if you get flowers and chocolates from walnut creek out in cali, you can eat the chocolates.

        Like

      • Scott S says:

        I’m not sure who you think is attempting to inflame Texas alums–(or, frankly, why you’d think they’re so thin-skinned that they’d be offended by a conversation between anonymous posters.) Personally, I’d love Texas to join the Big Ten. They’d be my first choice, actually. They’re great by every measuring stick.

        The point I’m making is that if glenn feels that Texas would balk at Nebraska being in their conference because of poor academics,and would therefore join the Pac 10 in protest, how will Texas feel about joining a conference with Washington State, which in the USNWR is ranked ten spots lower than Nebraska and isn’t an AAU member (as Nebraska is)? How will Texas feel about joining a conference with Oregon State, a tier 3 school without AAU status?

        If Nebraska’s academics are so poor that they’d serve as some sort of poison pill to Texas joining our conference, this standard would preclude them from joining any conference. In fact, they couldn’t continue to belong to the Big 12.

        Like

  50. glenn says:

    this is a test. my most recent post got buried back among yesterday’s posts. checking to see if that happens again.

    Like

  51. John says:

    As for Nebraska academics, they have been very proactive the past few years to build up more prestige to the university. While Nebraska has been climbing up the rankings in the US news Missouri has been droping. Then Nebraska is investing over a billion dollars in to a new ‘Innovation campus’

    http://innovate.unl.edu/

    And they are doing multiple other projects to continue ad make it a better academic institution. Then when all of that is done in the next 10 years ago reports have said Nebraskas ranking would be in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s. And then they would continue doing other projects, then if they join the Big 10 that only continues to help the academics for Nebraska.

    Also they are a member of the AAU and other stuff like that which is important to Big 10 academics.

    Like

    • glenn says:

      ‘droping’? ‘other stuff’?

      you are not helping your cause.

      you big ten guys tell us that the new hire in your conference needs to scratch more than one itch, and frank, you tell us we need to think like university presidents.

      ok, my very great suspicion is that texas feels the same way regarding multiple needs. for more years than i’ve been around texas has wanted to ascend to the level of the premier programs in the u.s. i’m going to bet heavily that any conference affiliation that abets that goal is going to find our skids well greased.

      the chief disadvantage – in my presidential opinion – of the pac-10 is that it is a mixed-bag academically. i’m assuming that is an accident of history that the pac-10 wouldn’t repeat today.

      what i want to see is commitment to excellence. the chief advantage i see in the big ten is historic commitment to academic excellence. if what we are seeing is the erosion of that commitment while the pac-10 remains strong today, and with absolutely superb front-runners at the top, my support just took the 5 o’clock express to the west coast.

      Like

      • Glenn – that’s really the question about Nebraska. I can understand where you’re coming from considering how hard Texas fought against Nebraska regarding partial qualifiers in the Big XII. However, if we take a step back from the “N stands for knowledge” stereotype, Nebraska’s academic profile is being within top 100 in the US News rankings for undergrad while having AAU membership as an indication of a very strong graduate research commitment. They cannot be lumped into the same category as, say, Arizona State or Washington State when you’re looking at the entire academic institution. If the Big Ten were to add Nebraska, it would still be the only conference that’s entirely composed of top 100 undergrad schools and AAU members. That being said, Nebraska is truly right on the cusp of beig academically acceptable to the Big Ten – I wouldn’t be suprised if the conference simply refused to look at them for academic reasons, but the fact that their institutional profile effectively matches or even beats Missouri on the objective criteria would mean that the academic concerns about Nebraska are more subjective (i.e. “Nebraska doesn’t pass the academic smell test”).

        Like

      • glenn says:

        perhaps you are right, frank. i certainly am not in a position to know about that.

        what i do know is that half the excitement about the potential change of partners is GETTING AWAY from the nebraskas and the oklahoma schools and the texas techs. schools that march to the beat of the athletic department. what has been so interesting to me about the big ten is its membership and the clear historic dedication to advancement of ‘nawledge’. and from what i know about dealings with nebraska, on the surface that doesn’t at all represent that half of what i personally am hoping for.

        until and unless i hear what you are saying from the texas administration, consider me ‘from missouri’ on that.

        Like

  52. Justin says:

    I feel as if Texas and A&M join, then Pitt is the natural fit for the 14th school. If Texas gets A&M as a rival, may as well give PSU their #1 rival, which is also the strongest research school of the Big East candidates.

    Like

  53. glenn says:

    i should say there has been another very large girder underlying my unabashed support for moving to the big ten instead of the pac-10.

    i cannot envision the big ten enabling a rogue organization like usc. and i cannot imagine a big ten team — or mack brown — saying it would leave a disciplinary matter like the legarrette blount situation to the league office to decide. if you recall, that was oregon’s initial response.

    i recently had some very pleasant and enlightening discussions with ohio state fans on one of their boards, and one thing that emerged for me was how ingrained the dedication to academia and how strong the distaste for slippery behavior. i don’t get quite the same feeling here on this site, and i must say it tempers my enthusiasm more than just a little.

    i think i’ll get my bag of popcorn, prop my feet up, and just see what comes of all this.

    Like

    • Interesting view, glenn. I’m not sure if there’s anyone here that thinks that slippery behavior is a good idea at all and I hope that’s not the impression that you get. Anyone that’s invited to the Big Ten will have to fall in line in terms of academics and rules and those that don’t will need to be taken care of swiftly and immediately. You’ve already seen the tensions with coaches that have been accustomed to looser rules in other conferences, like DickRod at Michigan and Satan’s Spawn (AKA Kelvin Sampson), formerly of Indiana, get hammered publicly for employing the practices that were pushed under the rug in their prior jobs. So, the Big Ten has a pretty good track record of keeping their schools in line (especially over the past decade).

      At the same time, USC holds the rest of the Pac-10 by the balls. The Pac-10 fears doing anything to its one golden ticket because it can’t afford to have USC down. In the Big Ten, though, you’ve got a lot of alpha dogs that keep each other in check (Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State). That’s the advantage of being in a conference with true peer institutions – other Big Ten schools aren’t afraid of calling out Michigan in the manner that Pac-10 schools might be afraid of calling out USC. So, I don’t think that you have to worry about the Big Ten allowing in any rogue institutions purely for profit – the conference is all about equal treatment, whether its TV money, academics or enforcing recruiting rules.

      Like

      • glenn says:

        no, no, frank, i don’t get that impression at all. i realize that i overreacted. and what you are saying about richrod and sampson finding the big ten uncomfortable is exactly right. these are precisely the things that have me so fired up about the big ten.

        just don’t be surprised if longhorn fans and administrators don’t warm to your talk about nebraska. nothing i have seen or read about nebraska EVER gives me cause for optimism that way.

        recall only this year. the coach there, the a.d. there, and who knows else, wanted the game with us ended with a second on the clock. if you like, review that scene here:

        http://videos.utexasclan.com/view.php?id=7219

        i defy you to stop the vid at the moment the ball hits the ground and say to me that the game clock showed zeros. it did not. the game was not over and anyone who wishes to say it was is no true fan of the game.

        there are multiple goats in that story, starting with the big 12 clock manager. that brouhaha was authored by the big 12 clock manager. thankfully the officials — who adjust game clocks often in games — stepped in to discover the true situation.

        ok, goat number one is the clock official. who else? the nebraska staff and athletic administrator. the last i heard, pelini stills claims he was rooked. he was not. what was right was what happened.

        story we hear, also, is that osborne threw an absolute fit. if what i have read is right, though, he had the decency to call mack to apologize the next day after getting a chance to see the tape for himself. he knows the game of football, and i’m sure he was misled on the field.

        i’m sorry. i have marginal interest in missouri but am not truly opposed. you include nebraska, i have grave misgivings. it’s as simple as that.

        now, i realize we are just talking here. i’ve heard nothing from the big ten regarding nebraska. i’m just saying my resonant enthusiasm for big ten membership after hearing what consequential big ten fans have to say has taken quite a hit.

        Like

      • Mike says:

        Glenn – The story you have heard is wrong. Pelini threw a fit (He’s an Ohio St guy what do you expect). Osborne didn’t. Is that any different than Texas claiming to be Big 12 South champions on a wall in the athletic department (later embarrassingly taking it down) after they lost the three way tie breaker to Oklahoma? Or UT fans chartering a plane to fly over Norman with the score of UT/OU game that year? When there is this much pride and money at stake expect pettiness.

        Like

      • glenn says:

        what you are saying does not square with my understanding. osborne was quite curt, let’s say, with beebe, in fact instructing him to visit pelini.

        your other comments are fluff and not deserving of specific response.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Not fluff. They’re related. In any case, what fans do or whether ADs or coaches throw fits or not isn’t going to figure in to the decision making.

        Like

  54. MIRuss says:

    After digesting all of this, and assuming the Big 10 and Texas come to some sort of agreement, which I still believe is in the best interest of the Big 10 and Texas and is to a certain extent inevitable (and throw , and the Pac 10 takes Colorado and Utah, where, one has to ask, does that leave a depleted Big 12?

    You have lost 3 high revenue, high profile schools, and top 40 television markets. Those aren’t “easily replaced” with the likes of TCU, BYU, and some other to be named fleabag – Boise State???? Like, whoopee if I am the Big 12 commissioner and anyone in the television industry…

    So, what becomes of the Big 12? You still have the core Big 8 (Oklahoma, Okie State, Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State) but then it’s kind of, what exactly? I don’t think those schools are exactly powerless to just sit back and watch their revenue dry up, but then again, what happens?

    Just curious as I try to see where the rest of the dominoes are falling and wondering what happens to some fairly good schools in the future.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      If the Big12 loses 1 or 2 of Colorado/Nebraska/Mizzou, they’d first take in BYU (which is almost the same caliber of those programs; at least Colorado & Mizzou), then Utah (if available) or Memphis (which is not, but the best they can do).

      If UT & TAMU go, the obvious replacements are TCU & Houston.

      Of course, the Big12 would not be as strong, but it would have to make the best of a worse situation.

      If UT & TAMU go, eventually, I see the SEC taking in OU (and maybe OSU). The rest would be left to fend for themselves. Maybe Mizzou (if still available) would be taken in by the SEC because of it population. Kansas may be attractive to someoen as well (because of its basketball brand), though I don’t know who.

      Like

      • Michael says:

        Under no circumstances do I see the SEC expanding. Their television contracts with ESPN and CBS are locked in until 2023. Each SEC school splits the revenue equally, and since it’s a contract, that revenue can’t increase. Even if there’s some sort of opt-out, I’m sure it won’t be for another 8 years at least.

        So why add anyone–even Texas–when you can’t increase your primary source of revenue?

        Like

    • Mike says:

      This is what Osborne meant by being “left at the gate.” My guess is that Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. head for the SEC, leaving Nebraska and Kansas to beg the Big 10. However, I could see Neb, Kansas, Okla, and TCU/TxTech/? trying to convince the new PAC12 to make the PAC 16. IF all else fails they merge with the Mtn West and make it a BCS league.

      Like

    • Jake says:

      Nebraska will find a home. I’ve run through every scenario I can imagine, but I don’t see many real possibilities where the Big 12 disappears completely. They’ll likely just bring in some MWC or BEast teams to fill the voids and lumber on. And if worst comes to worst and the conference folds, they can find a spot in the Big East. That’s assuming they don’t get the Big Ten nod, which isn’t as big of a get as UT, but is still far from a “meh” move.

      As for replacements, I think Louisville might be a better choice for the Big 12 than Memphis. The Tigers have never been very good at football, and their basketball team may not be enough. They can bring fans in Memphis to the Big 12, but probably not the rest of the state. UL should rebound in football at some point, and of course they have basketball as well. I feel like they are more popular throughout their own state than Memphis is in theirs. BYU would be a natural choice, if the Big 12 doesn’t mind the “no Sunday games” stipulation. And then TCU, if UT takes off.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Louisville’s a smaller city. As for proportional support in the state, TN has about 6M people and KY 4M, so a third of Tennessee is equal to about half of Kentucky. Personally, I think the 2 are pretty equal, and the sole reasons Louisville got the Big East nod a few years back was because their football program as flying high (which, as we’ve seen, goes in cycles) and they are closer to the East Coast. Since Memphis is closer to the plains (right next to Missouri) and neither football program are doing that great, I think Memphis gets the nod if a second team leaves the Big12 North.

        Like

      • Jake says:

        Yeah, it’d be kind of a toss-up with those two. As for football, the good programs may go in cycles, but some just never get anything going. Of course, neither of those schools would turn their states into Big 12 territory, so maybe neither of them is a winner. New Mexico might be the best choice after all, after BYU.

        Like

  55. pepe says:

    Isn’t Florida out of place in the SEC in the same way as Texas in the Big XII? I like to envision a Florida switch to the ACC, should dominoes start to fall.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      They’d have to give up money to join the ACC. I’d like to envision Florida and one of FSU/Miami/GTech in the Big10 if dominoes start to fall, but people tell me that’s unrealistic.

      Like

    • Jake says:

      Yeah, leaving the SEC would be a questionable move for anyone, even Florida. Sure, they make a little less than the Big Ten in TV revenue, but that could be temporary. If they expand and really increase their territory, and/or launch their own cable network, they could rake in some serious dough. Being in the Big Ten would raise UF’s academic perception a bit, but I’m not sure how much the academic issue matters to Florida. Although I was surprised to learn that they’re both AAU and tied with UT and PSU in the USN&WR rankings.

      And as for SEC expansion candidates … A&M is the obvious choice, and I think VT or Missouri would be good pick-ups as well. Any of those would expand the conference footprint into new territory without straying too far from the southern feel. A North Carolina school would be good, but I don’t see any of them breaking off.

      Like

    • Michael says:

      Florida isn’t at all out of place in the SEC. Remember: Florida has been in the SEC much longer than FSU or Miami has been in the SEC, so that state is deeply ingrained, first and foremost, as SEC territory. As a matter of fact, the SEC in Florida predates the Dolphins, Bucs, Heat, Magic, Jags, etc., too.

      Besides, UF is in northern Florida, which, contrary to popular belief, is every bit as culturally southern as Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, or other Deep South states.

      I view SC, Ga, and Florida as shared territory. Fla & Ga lean a bit more towards the SEC, SC more towards the ACC because the SEC’s presence is much newer. But with all three states, both conferences have a strong presence.

      Like

      • Playoffs Now! says:

        Yeah, there is no way that Florida, the biggest pussies in college football, would join the Big Ten. They haven’t scheduled an out of region (nor out of state, IIRC) non-conference game since losing at Syracuse two decades ago. The pollsters reward their gutlessness, so going north for Big Ten conference games would be way too risky.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        playoff now..

        as good as this thread has been (i have enjoyed the idea exchange greatly).. is there a need for this my dick is bigger than yours exchange.. grow up..

        pepe..

        i gotta agree with michael & jake.. florida out of the SEC would be like tOSU out of the the big 10.. when i was a kid tOSU was not the academic leader of the big 10 (they were sports and parties) – now that was along time ago, but it does make you think about florida – will their sports allow them to advance their academics like tOSU has??

        and i have to agree, culturally FSU and UF are closer than UM.. UM is the urban, FSU and UF are more “southern” culture. remember that the current SEC and ACC share roots in the old southern conference. which begs the question of “super conferences” and why did the old southern conference break up??

        on a history note.. the old SIAA (formed in the 1894 – and actually pre dating the Big 10) were Bama, Auburn, UGA, Ga Tech, UNC, Sewanee, Vandy, Clemson, UK, LSU, MSU, Tenn Tulane, and Texas/Texas A&M.. when they went to the southern they picked up maryland, NC state, UVA, Va Tech, and W&L..

        in theory.. putting parts of the big 12 , sec , and acc together.. would just be putting the “old gang” back together.. of course it would dwarf anything but maybe a big 10 / pac 10 / big east merger.. hey maybe there is the eventual solution.. 2 “mega” conferences

        Like

  56. John says:

    As for the basketball comment for Nebraska, no the history of the program is rather bad. But they have a vote coming up in May to build a brand new 200million dollar arena for the teams. They are taking an invested interest in the team, then when the arena is passed the next job is to go out and spend money and land a big name coach for the arena.

    And also I know womens basketball isnt big or anything, but they are undefeated and the #3 team in the nation. Also the womens volleyball and softball teams are really strong and add to the conference. Not that its huge, but conferences like to promote the face that they have strong womens athletic programs.

    Then if you look at the televised game between Nebraska, Mizzou, Pitt, Rutgers for football games…Nebraska has a higher rating despite being a lot less populated.

    Like

    • Tom says:

      That’s definitely an impressive proposal with regard to the basketball arena. With the right coach, there is no reason to believe that Nebraska hoops couldn’t be alot better than it is.

      My concern is that the Big Ten already has two of the worst BCS basketball programs in the country in terms of Northwestern (0 NCAA appearances all time,) and Penn State (although the Nittany Lions have a few appearances, they are basically just as bad historically.) Indiana is one of the most prestigious programs of all time, but the past few seasons they have been doing their own NW/PSU impression, by playing as if it was one of the worst programs of all time. I won’t even get into Iowa and the train wreck that is going on there, but I think you get my point. You add Nebraska to the mix, and now the Big Ten has 3 of the worst basketball programs of all time, and 2 other that are absolutely horrible right now, (and showing little sign of improvement.)

      Still, this is about football and the Nebraska certainly bring a lot to the table. As a college football fan, I would love to see Nebraska-Michigan, Nebraska-Ohio State, and I think Nebraska-Iowa would be pretty awesome as well. If this was 10 years ago, Nebraska would have received an invite yesterday. Sadly, the game has changed and it is clear that the national draw that the Cornhuskers once enjoyed, has faded. I think many people assume that they can come back, but I don’t think they can get quite back to that level. (They were USC during the 90’s.) During their hey day, when they were the most dominant program in the land, they relied on being the best power football team in the country. If you wanted to play smash-mouth football, that’s where you went. However, as more college teams adopted pro style offenses and later spread offenses, Nebraska eventually had no choice but to adapt. In doing so, they unfortunately became just another program. Right now, there isn’t much of a difference between Nebraska and Wisconsin. I think Nebraska as part of a 3 team addition could work, but as a 12th team, I don’t think they would be a good choice.

      Like

  57. Jeepers says:

    Sort of off-topic, but still relevant … did anyone else notice that #2 Kansas vs. #5 Kansas St. wasn’t on national TV last night?

    I’ve never heard of a #2 vs. #5 matchup that wasn’t on national TV. Is that the Big 12’s fault? If that’s the case, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to leave.

    Like

  58. chris says:

    What if the firm ACTUALLY only found four schools as good matches– Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, and Missouri? What if the Big Ten leaked the list and included Notre Dame as a sort of backhanded, subtle way of trying ANYTHING to attract Notre Dame?

    Like

  59. duffman says:

    NEWS FLASH!!

    in a stunning move the University of Texas has just announced it will be moving to the ACC in on december 21, 2012!! citing strong academics, favorable population growth, and good weather..

    stunning bridesmaids in the Big 10 and Pac 10, texas stated “they are just a little long in the tooth, and i want me some young filly’s”

    asked why the SEC was not chosen .. texas responded.. “well they are some hotties for sure, but i wanna see them on the side, i can’t be seen married to them.. i still gotta have sunday dinner and church with ma an pa.. so i gotta have a respectable wife”

    “besides.. picking an ACC wife means i am still the rooster.. in the Big 10, Pac 10, and the SEC i might get henpecked to death”

    *smile*

    Like

  60. Ohem says:

    Frank,
    Here is what worries me, Delany might think that Rutgers is a big and bold move- big because there is 18 million eyes in the NY market, and bold because not everyone sees Rutgers being able to deliver the NY market, but if 5 years from now the Big Ten Network is on basic cable in the entire NY market and millions of NYC viewers are watching Penn st, Ohio st, and Michigan every weekend- then Delany may be considered a visionary. As a Big 10 fan I’m not excited about Rutgers, but I admit that I can see that there is a possible up side where it works out great, and a possible down side- we don’t know for sure. Delany, a NJ native, may be convinced that Rutgers will deliver the NY market to the big 10- giving the conference the biggest tv market in the country, and making the Big 10 even richer and more powerful. I’m actually warming up to the idea of Rutgers a bit as I write this, but its still not my first choice, I want Nebraska- for obvious football reasons- but the Big 10 won’t expand for just football reasons.
    Do you think Delany could actually be viewing Rutgers as the big and bold move he is about to unleash?

    Like

  61. SH says:

    How a bigger Big 10 splits itself up to me doesn’t really matter to me right now. If they have to I’m sure it will be a heavily discussed issue.

    My question is what kind of power the NCAA has over these conferences with respect to having divisions and a conference title game. I’ve heard people say that the NCAA requiers a conference to have two divisions in order to host a conference title game? Is that true? Is that something that could easily be changed? Same with the fact that there must be at least 12 teams? I’m wondering if the B10 really wanted to host a conference game now, could they have enough pull to get that rule changed? Since they don’t want it now with 11 teams, there is no point in trying.

    I’m just curious, because I think a bold move would be for an expanded B10 to not have any divisions and just have the top two teams meet at the end of the year. There are certainly drawbacks, what if you have 3 undefeated teams or 4 1-loss teams? Would it just be re-match? But you avoid a far superior division (such as Big XII south).

    Couldn’t the Big 10 propose this or any other format (rotating divisions) and just tell the NCAA to suck it if they didn’t like it?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      And do what if the NCAA refuses? Withdraw from the NCAA? The Big10 can propose anything it wants; whether the other DivI schools would vote for it is another matter.

      Like

    • Michael says:

      I don’t know whether having divisions is required for a championship game, but having 12 teams certainly is. In 2004, when the ACC had added Miami & VT but not BC, they petitioned the NCAA to allow for a conference title game with 11 teams but were denied.

      Like

    • M says:

      To have a championship game, it must be between two divisions which play a round-robin among themselves. This is part of the reason an odd number of teams would be really awkward (even more so than now).

      Like

    • SH says:

      I agree it would be awkward, but hell the NL Central has 6 teams and the AL West has 4 when all the other two divisions have 5. So why couldn’t the Big 10 just say we will have a division of 5 and a division of 6 and have a conference game. I guess I just (a) find the rule stupid – why should the NCAA care about how a FBS conference determines its conference champion since there is no NCAA football tournament and (b) what real power would they have to prevent the B10 from not doing it?

      Again, I’m just asking because if the B10 wanted to just have no divisions and have its top 2 teams meet in a conference game, why shouldn’t they do it. Who cares what the NCAA rule says, it doesn’t affect any other conference? In a staring contest, wouldn’t the NCAA blink and just change its rules. Would they bar the B10 from participating in the NCAA tournament? I think the NCAA needs the B10 more than the B10 needs the NCAA.

      It’s really not a big deal. I just find the NCAA’s pronouncement that you must have two divisions to have a title game dumb.

      This brings up another question just for the sake of discussion – let’s assume we move in a direction of 4 16-team superconferences? Why do they need the NCAA at all? Why not just host their own title games and tournaments and not share the pie with all the other schools? I’m sure the short answer is in one word – antitrust.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        No conference or school is willing to take on the NCAA. You have to think of it from a wider perspective; this isn’t a schoolyard playground where you can take your ball and go home if you don’t like the rules of the game. How legitimate would the Big10 be if they left (or got kicked out) of the NCAA? How would they feel if the SEC was allowed free rein to just sign ringers and essentially field pro teams if there was no NCAA to enforce rules? How are they ever going to come up with enough money to match what they’d give up from the NCAA basketball tournament (and it’s a lot) if they left.

        Considering the Big10 feels so strongly about a championship game that they’ve hinted they might not have one even if they did expand, I doubt they’ll throw a hissy fit like you just did about it. Remember that the NCAA isn’t some abstract body; it’s a collection of all the schools and conferences, and I somehow doubt the Big10 is willing to take on the rest of college athletics over something they don’t care much about. If anyone did care, they could always try to persuade the rest of DivI to change the rule in their favor.

        Like

  62. Michael says:

    Here’s my prediction of what will happen:

    The Pac-10 will find that adding Colorado would only marginally increase the per-school revenue, and while adding Utah would allow a championship game, attendance would be worse than the ACC. Therefore, I do not see the Pac-10 adding Utah because Stanford would stop a unanimous vote, and I don’t see Colorado being added because the revenue wouldn’t grow enough with just one new school, and the Pac-10 probably wants to expand to 12, not 11.

    Texas and Texas A&M will have too compelling an offer to turn down the Big Ten, and I think when they become #12 and 13, Notre Dame will finally see the light that conference membership is in its best financial interests for the future.

    With the state of Texas and the most national program in college sports locked up, the Big Ten would stop at 14. Notre Dame, as the premier Catholic athletics program, ought to bring in an awful lot of BTN subscriptions in the Northeast, home of the greatest density of Catholics in the country. Adding Big East schools would only dilute their per-school revenue.

    The Big 12 then would add two of these four: TCU, Houston, Utah, and BYU, except for a combination of BYU and Utah. Obviously the Big 12 is weakened, but without the two juggernauts in Texas, they have plenty of reasons to remain united.

    (By the way, even if no expansions happen for anyone else, the Mountain West would be wise to protect its shot at a BCS autobid by inviting Boise.)

    In order to respond to the Big Ten & SEC’s dominance in revenue, the Pac-10, Big 12, and ACC build a joint network, perhaps even scheduling a certain number of interconference games among themselves.

    I can’t see the Big East being brought into the fold for a multi-conference network, especially if the ACC is included. Too much bad blood from the 2003 raid. I think at that point, the Big East, Mountain West, and everyone else will be left just trying to get the best networks they can. Perhaps with Notre Dame in the Big Ten and out of its NBC contract, maybe the Big East can get on that network. Maybe the Mountain West could get on that network, too, or on Fox.

    Like

    • Michael says:

      One other thing: Under that scenario, I have no idea whether the ACC would want to stay at 12 or try and raid UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse, and/or Pitt. If the ACC did do that, then the remaining BE football six schools ought to merge with the Mountain West. It just seems that would be a better way of protecting its automatic BCS bid than would picking off UCF, Memphis, and/or ECU. Either way, the Big East will lose almost all leverage in TV negotiations with just six schools.

      The Big Ten’s taking of the Texas schools would seriously wound the Big 12, but the damage would only be on the level of the ACC’s damage to the Big East. By contrast, if the two more schools are taken from the Big East, they’d be all but done as a “Big Six” conference. My hope is that the Big Ten and ACC both stay away.

      Like

    • SH says:

      I agree with you. But even if ND did not join, Syracuse would be an attractive option. Much more so than Rutgers for my taste.

      Like

  63. yahwrite says:

    Could taking a Big East school or schools be a strategy to trigger Notre Dame to join the Big Ten? What BCS conference is going to negotiate a bowl agreement that allows a non-member like ND to be selected over one of its’ teams besides the Big East?

    Without the Big East maintaining its BCS status, Notre Dame is potentially limited to either one of the major bowls or bust, or bowls that mid major conferences go to.

    Inviting Rutgers could begin the unraveling of the Big East as a BCS conference, and it does give the Big Ten a foothold into the NY market if Rutgers lives up to its supposed potential. Notre Dame is compelled to join a conference or have its bowl options limited. Notre Dame could play in either the NY metro area or LA every season in this scenario.

    Does Notre Dame and Rutgers capture the NY market?

    Like

  64. Justin says:

    I think one other factor people have to consider besides markets is the value that the 12th team will add to its packages with ABC and ESPN and CBS.

    In other words, while some surmise that adding Cuse, Missouri and Rutgers adds some new markets that benefits the Big 10 TV network, those schools may not help the Big 10 get a bigger TV deal with ESPN and/or ABC.

    If you have a 14 team conference with only three huge TV draws in UM, OSU and PSU, you’re going to have a lot of Cuse-Minnesota or Missouri-Indiana type games that ESPN isn’t going to be clamoring to put on TV.

    I think this is the best case for Pitt. Pitt is a solid national draw in bball and fball. The Big 10 could increase its rights fees in PA, and then market the Pitt-PSU game, which at one point was a huge national TV game.

    Pitt also increases the attractiveness of the Big 10 basketball package with CBS. Rutgers does not.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      I don’t know if Pitt is a national draw. Regional yes, but national I’m not so sure.

      Can you or anyone tell me why the ACC didn’t take Pitt? Pitt seems to have a lot of advantages over say, BC.

      Like

      • Jake says:

        One of life’s mysteries. I remember the AD or someone from Pitt back then saying they were loyal to their conference and would never leave. I doubt that, so maybe they were holding out for an invite to the Big Ten.

        Like

      • Michael says:

        I’ll venture a few guesses:

        The ACC somehow believed that BC would get new viewers from Greater Boston, or at least a decent share of them.

        Secondly, the ACC seems to be more comfortable including private schools than most other leagues. The Pac-10, SEC, and Big Ten have long had just one private school. The ACC has always had two (Duke & Wake), and now it has four (BC & Miami).

        Just speculating, but maybe schools like Duke, Wake, and even Virginia just felt more comfortable with BC, being a smaller school that “looks like them,” rather than the much larger Pitt. Virginia Tech was invited to appease the Virginia legislature, and Miami was invited to have a second football powerhouse.

        I’m in the minority of ACC fans who like the expansion. The conference’s struggles have had nothing to do with expansion. Nobody knew Miami or FSU would drop off. Va. Tech has held its end of the bargain. BC has too. They’re like Northwestern in football: always better than their the resources should let them be.

        Like

      • Jake says:

        If Miami performs as they’re expected to this season (and I have doubts about that), then the ACC expansion will suddenly become a much more popular move.

        Then they just need to get people to show up to the championship game.

        Like

      • Kyle says:

        Pitt regional for football but developing a national draw in basketball. Apparently we’ve got a lot of fans in the New York area.

        The academic benefits of the Big Ten trump Big East loyalty, regardless of any feeling toward Syracuse, West Virginia, et al.

        Like

      • Kyle says:

        Pitt regional for football but developing a national draw in basketball. Apparently we’ve got a lot of fans in the New York area.

        The academic benefits of the Big Ten trump Big East loyalty, regardless of any feelings toward Syracuse, West Virginia, et al.

        Like

      • m (Ag) says:

        I didn’t follow ACC expansion closely, but I thought Miami wanted 2 East Coast teams to enter with them, since they have many students and alumni from the Northeast. It was supposed to be BC and Syracuse, but Virginia Tech got forced in.

        Like

      • Tom says:

        I agree with Justin. I think that the Pitt-PSU game immediately becomes the league’s second best rivalry, and in time would become a premier Big Ten game that will get the coveted prime time slot.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Considering that Michigan-MSU gets relegated to the BTN these days, what makes you think PSU-Pitt would warrant primetime coverage? Remember that intrastate games aren’t terribly appealing to TV execs unless they feature 2 highly ranked teams, because most people outside of that state could care less (unless there are national implications).

        Like

      • Tom says:

        Because in my view, Pitt-PSU would be the league’s second best rivalry and outside of any game involving PSU-OSU-Michigan, it would be the next most marketable game. Pitt’s program is on the rise, so more likely than not, when these two meet up, both will be ranked.

        Michigan-MSU gets relegated to the BTN because for much of its history, MSU never was any good. In recent years, both teams have been relatively average, hence no interest outside Michigan.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        …and if both Pitt and PSU are average, there wouldn’t be any interest outside of Pennsylvania. I live in Illinois, and I would find Nebraska vs. any of OSU/PSU/Michigan to be more interesting that Pitt-PSU (assuming Nebraska & Pitt were just as good on the football field).

        Like

        • I personally would like to see the Penn State-Pitt game rekindled, but I’ve got to agree with Richard regarding national perception. The revival of this rivalry is surely a hot topic in Western Pennsylvania, yet the casual fan with no attachment to any school is going to be much more interested in Penn State vs. Nebraska. You could certainly argue Penn State-Ohio State draws much more national attention now and that’s just a “secondary” rivalry. Penn State-Pitt would be about the level of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry in terms of national interest unless they’re both high in the rankings like last season. That’s not a knock at all – those are both great rivalries (and far better than anything my Illini have in footbll), but they’re simply not going to be always penciled in as a must-see games across the country every year no matter what.

          Like

          • Justin says:

            I still think ND is more likely then Texas. The same concerns that Texas has if the Big 12 falls apart can be attributed to ND if the Big East disintegrates. ND needs a viable home for its other sports, and if ND joins a 16 team conference where the schedule isn’t the same every year, they may go along with it.

            Here is the ideal Big 10 conference. I still think the Big 10 would prefer ND over Texas at the end of the day. ND is a geographic fit, and then basically results in the entire Northeast/Midwest being Big 10 in the forseeable future.

            I could see splitting the league into 4 mini-divisions of 4 teams, where you would play the other 3 teams in your division every year, and then 2 teams in the other 3 mini-divisions each year for a total of 9 games.

            Result? You would play every team in the conference every other season, so it would still feel more like a conference. The four mini-division winners would advance to the semi-finals — to be hosted by the higher rated BCS school, and then the winners go to the Big 10 title game at a neutral site.

            In theory, let’s say the Big 10 added Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt, Notre Dame and Nebraska. This is how the alignment would look.

            East
            Pitt, PSU, Rutgers, Syracuse

            North
            Michigan, Ohio St, Northwestern, Illinois

            Midwest
            ND, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana

            West
            Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin

            This structure keeps most of the major rivalries intact. I know I have UM and MSU in separate divisions, maybe that can be worked out too.

            Under my plan, UM would play NW, Illinois and OSU every year, 1/2 of the teams in every other division.

            The Big 10 network could even televise the semifinal matchups which would drive up the rights fees.

            Replace Missouri with Nebraska if you wish — however I like Nebraska in this scenario because it puts a traditional power in every mini-division.

            Like

          • Cory says:

            Actually, if you base it purely on geography it looks more balanced competitively and preserves most historical rivalrys.

            Far East
            Pitt, PSU, Rutgers, Syracuse

            Mid East
            Michigan, Ohio St, Michigan State, Indiana

            Mid West
            ND, Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern

            Far West
            Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I don’t think MSU-Michigan or Purdue-Indiana would ever give up their rivalries with each other. Maybe ND-Michigan or ND-MSU can be half the time. _Maybe_ Northwestern-IL (as a Northwestern grad, I care more about the game against Iowa with Wisconsin being as much of a rival as Illinois, but maybe Illinois wants their trip to Chicagoland every 2 years). You’re not going to have conference semifinals, so the quadrants/pods idea only works by pairing up the pods to form divisions (the schools would still play all other schools outside their pod half the time). ND joining makes the splitting much more difficult.

            Like

          • Justin says:

            I don’t think Michigan cares half as much about playing MSU as it does OSU.

            IU and Purdue need to be in the same division.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            MSU cares. Thus that rivalry will continue annually.

            Like

          • Agreed – the Michigan-MSU rivalry isn’t going anywhere.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            i agree with justin..

            IU / purdue

            peanut butter and jelly

            Like

          • duffman says:

            i can not see MSU and michigan not playing.. it is one game i like to watch both sides.. i think it stays

            Like

          • Paul says:

            MSU’s biggest game of the year is with Michigan. And, for Michigan it’s their second biggest rivalry after Ohio State. It’s bigger than the games both schools play against Notre Dame. So, I don’t think that rivalry is going away any time soon.

            MSU has a problem in that they play their two biggest rivals early in the season; Notre Dame in September and Michigan, usually, in October. The season ending game with Penn State for the Land Grant Trophy hasn’t heated up yet.

            At one time, MSU ended their season against Notre Dame. But, after the famous 10-10 tie in the Game Of The Century in 1966 grabbed so much attention from Mich/Ohio State and the other rivalry games, the conference forced them to move Notre Dame to earlier in the season. MSU tried building a season ending rivalry with Wisconsin for several years, but that didn’t work. The conference promised to give them Penn State as a season ending rival when PSU came aboard in 1993.

            Like

          • I’m a huge PSU fan, in my early thirties. I have zero interest in the Pitt/PSU rivalry. By the mid-80’s, Pitt football had passed its prime while PSU was still doing quite well (undefeated in 1986 and 1994), numerous other top 10 finishes. Pitt may have roughed us up during our dark years (2000-2004) had we played more than one time during that span! As it is, I have no animosity towards Pitt. My dad’s generation might care still, but I don’t. I don’t think you’d include “rivalry relevance” to your Index, Frank, and for good reason. It doesn’t matter.

            I think PSU could have better national rivalries…
            vs. Nebraska (some classic past games–1982, 2002–and controversy–Osborne’s 12-0 Huskers votes NC over Paterno’s 12-0 Lions in 1994).
            vs. Notre Dame (great history, regionally close)
            vs. Texas (little history, although PSU did beat up on the Horns in the bowls of the 90’s, but national powerhouses)

            Like

          • Kyle says:

            So basically you’re just wishing that the greatest historical programs available were Penn State’s designated rivals. Yawn. I’m sorry Pitt hasn’t held up their end of the rivalry in the 90s (or had the opportunity to since 2000), but having a designated annual “rival” that you don’t have history with is just a farce. You can’t ‘pick’ your rival; it has to happen organically. How well is that Michigan State business working out for you?

            Notre Dame? Sorry to say, but Penn State is just another date on the schedule to them. You’d have to get in line behind Michigan, USC, Navy, Michigan State and even Pitt. Don’t even pretend they’re “regionally close” to State College.

            Nebraska? Any animosity is directed toward the polls and bowl selection process of the day, not the team/fanbase. PSU has played Nebraska 13 times ever.

            Texas? PSU and Texas have played 5 times ever. Splitting a home-and-home in ’89/90 and winning the ’97 Fiesta bowl are the most recent events.

            Like

    • duffman says:

      justin,

      you just revealed the value of the SEC in the nutshell

      the value added of the second tier games

      it is why their value grows, not shrinks

      plus they can put people in the seats for the minors..
      ie women’s basketball and men’s baseball
      when they show the Big 10 on ESPN, the joints are empty

      Like

      • Dcphx says:

        The big 10 joints are empty? You mean the conference that has lead the country in attendance for mens bb every single year since 1970 or so? That conference?

        Like

      • duffman says:

        Dcphx,

        the lesser sports.. women’s basketball, men’s baseball.. miss state drawing 15,000 in men’s baseball – and UT drawing 15,000 in women’s basketball (sorry my post did not clarify that better).

        i went to the women’s final four in st. louis – i was amazed to see that the greatest # of folks i spoke with were UT fans, and they were not even in the FF (seriously – i was amazed).

        i was surprised that stanford -(with their history in women’s basketball) did not have alot of fans in the stands – and how many OU did!! granted had purdue made it, and st louis being close – they would have had a bigger contingent than stanford.. i get that..

        again.. my point being that (texas) baseball, women’s basketball would find good homes in the SEC. i have been to austin for men’s and women’s games.. and they have bodies in the stands..

        Like

  65. fifthangell says:

    The Daily Texan student paper at UT has an article today generally in favor of joining the Big Ten:

    Like

  66. fifthangell says:

    The Daily Texan student paper at UT has an article today generally in favor of joining the Big Ten:

    http://www.dailytexanonline.com/top-stories/benefits-of-the-big-ten-1.2179669

    Like

  67. duffman says:

    frank the tank….

    i am looking an orlando sentinel article.. less than a year old..

    Top 10 REVENUE SCHOOLS
    4 are big 10, 4 are sec, 0 from pac 10

    11 – 20 REVENUE SCHOOLS
    2 are big 10, 2 are sec, 2 from pac 10 (#18,#19)

    21 – 30 REVENUE SCHOOLS
    2 are big 10 (#29 MIN & #30 PU), 3 are sec (#22UK, #24USC, and#27ARK), this is where the list starts filling in with acc and pac 10)

    i was a little surprised to see the bottom of the sec producing more income than the middle of the big 10.. so who do you believe??

    i think you are just looking at TV.. but maybe size and merchandise is skewing the bottom line to the sec, and would make the sec the top revenue conference.. tho it really is the big 10 / sec… then the big 12.. and way down.. the rest

    the other thing i can not understand.. is that texas is #1 revenue (top of the list) so as poor as their TV is, they are still #1 and dominate their conference.. begging the question – would they be better off in the big 10 or the SEC??

    Like

    • Jake says:

      A lot of the factors that go into revenue have little to do with conference affiliation. Texas sells a lot of tickets for no small price, they sell lots of merchandise, and I believe donor contributions go into total revenue as well. That sort of revenue won’t be greatly affected by what conference they’re in. However, TV revenue is determined by conference contracts (as is bowl money, which should be about even between the Big Ten and SEC), so that’s why it’s such a focal point of this discussion.

      Like

    • greg says:

      Its not the “bottom of SEC producing more than the middle of the big ten”. Maybe you need a math class in your part of the country, as cynics are apt to say about the Big Ten. The 9th of 12 SEC team (75th percentile) edges the 7th of 11 Big Ten teams (64th percentile).

      Like

    • Richard says:

      You forgot to add that from 30-40 are 2 Big10 schools but no SEC schools.
      Big10 schools on average bring in more money than SEC schools.

      Here: http://www.bustersports.com/blog/buster-blog/2009/07/30/something-funny-happened-on-the-way-to-the-sec-dominating-all-financial-aspects-of-collegiate-sports/
      http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college/2009/07/how-much-revenue-did-your-favorite-fbs-school-take-in-in-200708-this-chart-will-tell-you.html

      To emphasize the point, the Big10’s 2 smallest programs (Indiana at #38 and Northwestern at #59) take in more money than the SEC’s 2 smallest programs (Ole Miss at #65 and Miss St. at #75) while the Big10’s 4 biggest programs (at #2,#4,$5,#6) bring in more money than the SEC’s 4 biggest programs (at #3,#7,#8,#9).

      Like

      • Rick says:

        Richard, here is the DOE site that is referenced in the Buster/Orlando Sentinel you linked. The data they reference is 2007/2008 fiscal year, this link to the DOE site is for the 2008/2009 fiscal year. This is a nice reference tool. This is the data that SI.com used for their article on TOP Revenue Producing Schools recently.

        http://ope.ed.gov/athletics/InstDetails.aspx?756e697469643d31383633383026796561723d32303038267264743d322f32302f323031302031303a34303a303120414d

        This next link is a database search tool that USA Today created as part of a research article on College Athletic finances. This is for the 2007/2008 fiscal year and breaks down the expenses and revenue in greater detail than the DOE site. Enjoy.

        http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/ncaa-finances.htm

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Thanks Rick.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        thanks for the links guys..

        it looks like all the data we are looking, and thinking current – is actually based on fiscal years a few years prior….

        as i said in my earlier post.. Big 10 and sec are close, but texas is still at the top.. focus guys.. and my question still stands (ie.. the one i am trying to get an answer from here)..

        as poor as their TV deal is (texas) – they still are ahead of EVERY big 10 and sec school.. so what is their desire to join either?!?! especially if they feel they are the big dog in their conference, and that is better than being equal (or the outlier – in a bad way for TEXAS) in a conference with no historical connections. the one thing frank seemed to imply early on.. is that the sec and big 10 had the longest history with each other (ie.. why florida would not leave the sec). like ND, texas is the dance partner people want?? so i ask again why would they give it up (i understand money and academics) to be the lesser flea in the big 10, sec, or pac 10????

        especially in light of texans by nature valuing their independence and size! (if you have EVER spent alot of time in texas,as i have.. they never leave you unaware of their status as texans).

        Like

      • Rick says:

        duff: The DOE link in my post is for last year (08/09) school/fiscal year not a few years prior. It is the most current data the NCAA has right now. The current year (09/10) is not available yet. So what you have in Richard’s and my links are for the last 2 years 07/08 and 08/09.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        i am still a little surprised by UK in the SEC – with no traditional football , and the disaster years with their former coach (BCG), they should have been the bottom, not as high as they were.

        why i was thinking it was from earlier.. as this years numbers are not out yet (the last to first move of UK basketball this year appears not to have a previous historical comparable) and word is out they are looking to build a 42,000 – 48,000 new basketball arena (doing what most can not – matching football numbers with basketball). think 5 games in the big house in football @ 500,000 vs 20 games in a “new” rupp @ 1,000,000 (and yes i get the big house might sell more than 500,000 regular season tickets and uk might sell 800,000 or 900,000 tickets) the point illustrates a basketball program that returns more to the university than the football. it would signal a departure in football first thinking as the primary income stream.. and as someone mentioned earlier about uk jumping to the big 10, would provide serious reasons for the sec to keep them.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        UK’s not jumping to the Big10; their academics aren’t good enough. There are a few programs (UK, KU, IU) and conferences (Big East & ACC) where basketball brings in more than football, but those are the exceptions, not the norm, and mostly along with having relatively high-grossing basketball programs, they also have football programs that are below average.

        Like

    • duffman says:

      thanks for the link.. good read..

      looks bad for whoever winds up getting left out in the utah / byu choice which begs a question?? would the loser cry foul, and this whole thing wind up in court to break the monopolies of the big conferences??

      Like

  68. Justin says:

    For argument’s sake, if you have a 12 team conference, you cannot put UM, OSU and PSU in one division.

    You have to split them up for the following reasons.

    1. TV title game – Ask yourself, what generates more interest consistently, the SEC title game, which is generally between two even teams, or the Big 12 title game, which has featured some colossal mismatches beween the north and south. I understand some Wisconsin and Iowa fans love the idea of getting away from the Big 3 and running up a bunch of 10 win seasons, but TV executives don’t. They’d like to have PSU, UM and OSU in separate divisions, so that there is a national interest in both divisions, and then so the title game draws the biggest audience. The biggest TV draw — assuming the Big 10 adds a Pitt or Rutgers — would be the UM/OSU winner against PSU.

    2. I don’t think Illinois, Minnesota and other Big 10 schools situated in the Western Division are going to be thrilled with a home schedule that a lot of years doesn’t include a visit from PSU, UM or OSU. Further, you will never see any western division games on anything other then ESPN or ESPN2. Rest assured ABC will simply take an Eastern game every week.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      1. I don’t know why you think having PSU-Michigan-OSU in the same division is such a big deal, considering they already play each other almost every year.

      2. The West will have a new team. If the 12th team is ND or Nebraska or Texas, those schools wouldn’t miss much. Granted, if Mizzou is the 12th team, then the divisions would be unbalanced, but if Mizzou is the 12th team, the Big10 presidents need to have their heads examined.

      Like

  69. Penn State Danny says:

    Frank
    Here is where I think things are. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with my assessment.

    Choice A: ND decides to join. They are the only team that meets everything. There would be no need to go to 14 but if desired, the conference could add 2 of Nebraska Pitt, Missouri, Rutgers or Syracuse.

    Choice B: Texas and A&M join. Maybe ND then caves, maybe not. If not, add one of: Nebraska, Pitt, Missouri, Rutgers or Syracuse.

    Choice C: ND and Texas (and therefore A &M) say no. Nebraska says yes then add 2 of: Pitt, Missouri, Rutgers or Syracuse.

    Choice D: None really. I don’t see the Big Ten only adding Pitt, Missouri, Rutgers or Syracuse…or even any 3 of these 4.

    Like

    • Penn State Danny – I’m pretty much in total agreement that those are the most likely choices. I’d be shocked if the Big Ten expands without a national name like Nebraska at a minimum (and even then, I have a hard time seeing the conference expanding without Notre Dame or Texas involved). The bet on Rutgers delivering the NYC market makes sense if you’ve got the two Texas schools on the other side or a national name involved like Notre Dame or Nebraska – the Big Ten is playing with house money to take a flier on Rutgers and/or Syracuse at that point. If none of Texas, Notre Dame or Nebraska want to join the Big Ten, then Choice D is what will occur (nothing).

      Like

    • Mike says:

      I would add Kansas to your “pick ’em” lists, since Kansas basically is Missouri with a national basketball brand.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Kansas has half of Missouri’s population.

        Like

      • Mike says:

        True, but how much does Missouri care about the Tigers? The Big Ten can already claim St. Louis and Kansas City is a KU town. Missouri has been passed up by other teams in the Big 12 for bowls three years running (IIRC) and can’t sell out its stadium with out help from a visiting fanbase. All of this while Missouri football is at it highest point in years. They look good on paper but are they in reality?

        Like

      • Jake says:

        And Nebraska has a million fewer people than Kansas. But a lot of people in Kansas City (both sides) follow Jayhawk basketball, which is indeed one of the elite programs in the country, and the Big Ten already has a strong following in St. Louis, so it isn’t really a stretch to compare Kansas to Missouri as a Big Ten candidate. I don’t think either of them will make the cut, but Kansas is worth considering. They’re AAU, too.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        St. Louis is more of a Mizzou town than an Illini town (having grown up across the river in southern Illinois). However, I find Nebraska to be more appealing than either, since they’ll send out their horde of travelling fans to fill up stadiums at Evanston and Bloomington as well as bowl games.

        Also, with KU, you have to deal with whether the Kansas legislature would get involved on KSU’s behalf.

        Like

      • Jake says:

        No kidding? I used to live in O’Fallon. Haven’t been there in over 20 years, though.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I grew up in Troy, IL. Left in ’90. Last time I was back was in ’98 to see McGwire’s steriod-induced feats. I still have photos of #69 & #70 somewhere in my parents house. Everything looked the same in Metro East as when I left, except more dilapidated and run-down.

        Like

  70. Doug says:

    Back to the leak….why now? Because the Pac 10 is quietly working faster than the Big 10 is on expansion. The Big 10 is staking its claim to those schools – (hands off).

    Why those five? The bride (ND) needs 4 bridesmaids and the Pac 10 will add Texas, Texas A&M and Utah and Colorado. Big 10 will add all mentioned. All are AAU schools. They don’t care about even/odd number of schools.

    Big 12 will merge with some of the WAC schools with Nebraska/OU holding down the fort.

    As a side note…what’s up with all the Missouri bashing? PAC 10 wanted Mizzou years ago and is looking at them again…must be something there worth all the attention…

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Their population. I still think Nebraska’s a better choice. If the Big10 adds all 5, they’ll have an even 16 schools and a dominant presence in the Norteast/NYC.

      BTW, if the Big20 doesn’t take Nebraska, the Pac16 likely would, since Nebraska is more appealing than Utah in almost every way.
      So a Pac16 with Nebraska, Colorado, UT, TAMU and another 2 schools from KU/KSU, OU/OSU.

      Like

  71. Michael says:

    Frank,

    I’d be really interested in a blog about what role you think politics will play in Big Ten expansion.

    Let’s say the Big Ten decides it’s going to expand by one team and one team only, being either Texas or Notre Dame, presumably. I doubt any of the current Big Ten members would take any heat from their state legislatures for that.

    But if three are added, I think we may have a totally different ball game, particularly in the state of Iowa.

    Remember back to the ACC in ’03. It was supposed to be Miami, Cuse, & BC, but UVA was pressured so much by the legislature/governor to refuse a vote for expansion that they ended up getting VT in. Politicians with VT backgrounds were worried VT would be left in a dying Big East, which would have really stunk for them b/c VT had wanted to be in the ACC since 1953.

    I expect there to be a three-team expansion, with three primary candidates: UT, A&M, and one among Missouri, Nebraska, ND, Rutgers, and Syracuse. In Iowa, a lot of legislators are going to threaten U of Iowa with funding cuts if they allow multiple new members but no Iowa State. It could be the VT situation all over again, couldn’t it?

    I don’t see Penn State facing the same kind of pressure to get Pitt in. Sure Pitt would like being in the Big Ten, but I get the impression that Pitt takes a lot more pride as a Big East member than Miami, BC, or VT ever did. Plus, if none or just member of the Big East is picked off, I’d consider Pitt’s position as a Big East member much brighter than Iowa State’s position as a member of the post-Texas Big 12.

    I don’t think any other Big Ten schools will be facing legislative pressure with expansion, even Ohio State with Cincinnati.

    What’s your opinion? Will PSU and Iowa be pressured to bring in Pitt and Iowa State? Will that pressure work?

    Like

    • Richard says:

      In the ACC’s case, Virginia was the deciding vote, since UNC and Duke were against expansion. In the Big10, the Iowa St. issue would come up only if there were 2 other schools against expansion (and only if another Big12 school was taken instead of Iowa St.); ISU would not be threatened if the Big10 took one or more Big East school or ND.

      Like

    • greg says:

      Where have you heard this rumor that Iowa state legislatures are going to threaten UI with funding cuts if ISU doesn’t join? I live in Iowa and work at UIowa, and haven’t heard a peep.

      ISU has nothing to offer the Big Ten. UIowa has no way to get ISU into the Big Ten. This is a non-issue.

      p.s. Cincinnati is not a candidate.

      Like

      • Michael says:

        I haven’t heard a rumor.

        I’m just looking at a pattern that has occurred in the past with expansions.

        UT and A&M were basically stopped from joining up with the Big 8 unless TT & Baylor came with them. All because of politics.

        VT got in because of politics.

        I’ve heard no rumors. I’m not trying to start a rumor. I’m just saying it’s not inconceivable for Iowa’s legislators to follow a similar course of action on behalf of Iowa State.

        Like

      • Kyle says:

        The important point to remember is that this expansion is NOT like the ACC or Big 8/12 expansions because of the academic and research aspect of the Big Ten/CIC. It’s not merely a question of “are their academics good enough?” but what research funding they bring. The CIC wants to share quality facilities and professors, while senators and governors want to bring research funds into their state.

        I have heard some speculation about Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, member of the finance committee and seeking his 6th term in 2010. Apparently he had previously indicated that if the universities or conferences make revenue maximization the end-game, they will soon find themselves paying corporate income taxes on those profits. And since taking Nebraska or Mizzou over Iowa State is a naked, non-academic money-grab against his constituency, he would have no obvious reservations about opening that can of worms.

        Like

      • greg says:

        Sorry, I misread what you said as if you had heard a rumor.

        I don’t think Iowa as a state has the political capital to make such a stink. I also don’t think ISU has a case for the Big Ten, so it would be hard for Iowa lawmakers to insist on it. The state of Iowa has already been cutting funding for all 3 regents universities (UNI is the 3rd) to the bone, so it’d be hard to cut further.

        In all, I don’t see that happening. About the only data point that would support the possibility is that Ames is 30 minutes away from the state capitol of Des Moines.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I’d like to see a source for that rumor. The only thing I read about Grassley was some speculation on a Texas blog about what he _might_ do, not any position the Senator actually stated. If ISU wins Big10 membership, another school loses, unlike Syracuse or BC, it won’t be a private school, and I doubt that state’s senators would just sit idly by. Plus, I’m not sure such a move would even win him net votes in Iowa; Iowa has a lot of Hawkeye fans as well (as well as some Cornhusker fans), and if taking ISU means less money for Iowa or denying membership to Nebraska, it could provoke a backlash, especially considering that his opponent could point out that with the economy in the dumps, the good Senator could direct his energy in ways that actually help his constituency. Finally, the Big10 doesn’t _have_ to expand. Given the choice of taking ISU or not expanding at all, I’d see the Big10 just standing pat.

        Like

      • Kyle says:

        Richard, I think we both heard it from the same Barking Carnival article. I found this:

        “Educational institutions represent a big part of the non-profit sector,” Grassley said. “As part of reviewing non-profit practices, …Congress needs to know whether educational institutions actually use their generous tax breaks to improve education, or whether the taxpayers are subsidizing other priorities.”
        http://grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=20840

        It’s my impression that Football and a cable television station are both a clear examples of the “other priorities” he spoke of. I think Iowa State is therefore the benchmark for minimum academic and research quality without earning his ire. Anything less is a decision based on “other priorities,” a category that Missouri and Nebraska, definitely fall into.

        He is a republican, so he’s not the chairman right now. I’m not sure if that means he’ll have less power to push his agenda or simply make him more vocal and uncompromising in the midst a re-election race.

        Like

    • Kyle says:

      For context, I come from a mixed Pitt/Penn State family and my cousin goes to Iowa.

      Pennsylvania does not have a history of legislative or gubernatorial intervention on athletic matters. Presumably they could have made a fuss when Pitt helped create Big East football in 91, or when Penn State joined the Big Ten in 93. Both are state-related institutions, but generally act autonomously.

      Someone in Iowa will probably make a fuss if academically inferior Mizzou or Nebraska are invited instead of Iowa State, but I don’t think they have that much leverage.

      Like

    • The Virginia legislature was able to place pressure on UVA because UNC and Duke were openly going to vote against any type of ACC expansion. Since 3 “no” votes would kill any type of expansion in the ACC, UVA had the power to hold up everything that the ACC wanted to do by itself. Unless there’s a known bloc of schools in the Big Ten that will be against expansion no matter what where Iowa is the deciding vote, the Iowa legislature will not be able to apply the same type of pressure. Besides, Virginia Tech was at least a school that the rest of the ACC could find palatable – they had no qualms about adding VT if it meant getting Miami. I don’t think that there’s any circumstance where the rest of the Big Ten would ever vote for Iowa State. It’s the same type of deal with Pennsylvania (albeit Pitt is much more acceptable as a candidate to the Big Ten than Iowa State).

      Like

      • Kyle says:

        The Big Ten only needs 8 votes from 11 presidents/chancellors to approve expansion candidates. Consequently opposition would need 4 votes to kill expansion all together, with potential leverage opportunities for specific interests in between. Have any Big Ten presidents or ADs come out against expansion?

        Like

      • duffman says:

        we keep talking about 11 votes, but it was my understanding that there were 12 (when chicago dropped out they kept their vote). anybody care to elaborate??

        Like

      • Richard says:

        No. U of C doesn’t get a vote. And actually, 9/11 is required (75% or more).

        Like

  72. M says:

    This article is a very interesting read:
    http://articles.latimes.com/1990-07-08/sports/sp-135_1_athletic-director

    It talks about the situation 20 years ago from the time period.

    Like

  73. aps says:

    There is a very simple reason why IU and UK are at the bottom. Both states are known for their basketball and the high school football programs produce very few Division I football athletes. For years, IU got the leftovers in Ohio after Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State and even Purdue.

    Many posters have talked about a conference championship game. They have compared how the SEC, ACC and Big 12 do it. The SEC has been the most successful, and I believe it has a lot to do where the hold it. Atlanta is relatively close for all the East schools and not far Alabama or Auburn. LSU is a little further but these 3 have been the most representative of the West.

    The Big Ten is further apart when using Indy as the central location. Using Indy does not maximize profits for the Big Ten. First it shares profits with a third party. Second, the facility has less seating capacity than about half the Big Ten stadiums.

    What they should do is alternate it between the 2 divisions. The East division host in even years and the West division host in odd years. This would settle the issue of attendance problems. For the visiting team, give them a block of 10,000 to 15,000 tickets.

    The Big Ten receives the ticket sales while the host school gets all parking and concessions, not small change.

    If Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State host the championship game. The Big Ten could collect $10,000,000 from just the gate ($100 per ticket). Don’t know what they would get from TV. If it is Iowa (70,000 seats) or Wisconsin (80,000 seats), smaller pay day but more than what Indy (Detroit, Minny or elsewhere) would provide. It would be played outside where football was supposed to be played, plus it would give the feel of being on campus.

    The down side is one team would have the advantage of playing at home. But you would know that going in.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      I think the advantage would be too big, especially when you consider that, unlike the CUSA title game, the Big10 title game may have national title implications. The SEC has to split profits with a third party as well (really, just pay rent), but no one school monopolizes the support. With the old Big10 schools, Chicago’s ideal, since all schools besides PSU have heavy representation in that city. It still would be ideal if ND joined. Add East Coast or Texas schools, though, and you may have to rotate the title game through NYC & Texas. Maybe Detroit as well.

      Like

      • Yeah, a Big Ten championship game on-campus wouldn’t work. Remember that the conference championship isn’t really for fans. Its sole existence is to make money and part of that is selling a lot of tickets to corporations, law firms and other businesses that are going to buy expensive club seats months ahead of time without knowing who’s going to play. That tips everything in favor of Chicago since it’s the business base of the Midwest and has large contingents of alums from all of the Big Ten schools. I actually think that Chicago is very much comparable to being the center of the Big Ten as Atlanta is the center of the SEC. Even if you had Penn State or a Texas school in the Big Ten championship game, you’d still have enough people to get a sellout in Chicago – it’s the least “team-sensitive” location out there.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        richard,

        one of the smartest things i have heard.. have the game in chicago.. as it is and has been the epicenter of the midwest, much like atlanta in the south (and both places have major airline hubs)

        Like

  74. Ken Smithmier says:

    Frank
    Why no talk of going south and look at schools like Vandy, a clear academic fit, and G Tech, a good academic fit in a large Atlanta market? Both schools give the B10 great southern exposure for recruiting purposes. Thanks, love reading your blog.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      ken,

      vandy and ga tech both have their roots in the old southern conference which split to become the SEC and ACC.. vandy was a sec founder as was ga tech.. either schools would never jump the sec or acc.. they may go between each.. but not outside.. besides.. the Vols and the Dogs dominate their state (one reason i always felt you had the split in the first place)..

      Like

  75. MJB says:

    Good stuff.

    Like

  76. Vincent says:

    I still believe Maryland will be a factor in Big Ten expansion, because the D.C. area has about the same percentage of Big Ten alums as NY does. (In fact, ABC in Washington sometimes shows Big Ten over ACC games when they don’t involve Maryland, UVa or Va. Tech.) There might be some political problems with such a move, but I have to believe many administrators in College Park are sick of the Duke paranoia and the resulting Route 1 riots.

    Like

  77. tom smith says:

    IMO, ND and Texas are clearly the primary targets. All this chatter and info being put out there about other schools is to put pressure on ND and Texas to get serious.
    If only one school added, its one of these two with perhaps with Nebraska as an outside shot. In a 14 school B10, I see Texas, TAM and Notre Dame being the ideal, but again Nebraska if one of those three doesn’t work out. Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Mizzou or Colorado, as outside chances in a 14 or 16 school league. I just don’t see Pitt at all due to geography and not adding much for market growth. Too bad because they seem to meet all other criteria.
    Frank, keep up the exceptional work. You are a cut above the rest.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      tom,

      i could not agree more!!

      ND and Texas are the primary targets of the big 10..

      but everything here is looking at it from the big 10 view..

      when the real question is just the opposite..

      my question to this blog world is.. why is no one presenting the other sides view in the same manner..

      ie.. if i am texas, or ND how am i scoring the big 10!!

      it is in taking this side.. that is becomes quite clear, neither one will join (especially ND) even when it APPEARS the ND is the best candidate..

      these are facts.. and not in dispute.. from what i can tell..

      a) ND and the big 10 share a footprint
      b) ND and the big 10 share athletic rivalry (more than one in fact)
      c) ND and the big 10 share (in theory) academic integrity .. not to start the swing dicks argument here.. but there is an academic ladder (ie .. al schools are not academic equals).

      these 3 are pretty clear.. but add in d)

      d) this has been the same situation for close to 100 years between these schools.. not just the past 10 or 20 (ie since the last major conference realignment)

      if we can all agree on a) through d) , and i think we can

      the question NO one has answered to my satisfaction is why not??

      we have alot of smart people in the administrations of all the schools, why in 100 years has this NOT happened and there is (quite simple) an answer, and why i believe ND will NEVER join.. the answer for texas is not the same but draws from a similar source

      Like

      • duffman – I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time stating why each of Texas and Notre Dame would benefit financially and academically by joining the Big Ten. If there are other factors that ultimately kill it (Texas politics, ND alums), then that might be the case. However, it won’t be because the Big Ten doesn’t offer the best financial package. Because of the Big Ten Network, the Big Ten can offer more than even the SEC. It was easy for ND to cling to independence when it was making twice as much TV money as Michigan, but now those roles are reversed. If you tell the university president that you can make more money for the athletic department AND raise the academic prestige of the school, that’s effectively the argument for either Texas or Notre Dame to move to the Big Ten.

        Also, the article about the formation of the Big XII made it pretty clear that Texas wanted to join either the Pac-10 or Big Ten, but had zero interest in the SEC because of academics. Texas A&M, however, investigated the SEC heavily. It was only after all of those talks fell apart that Texas and Texas A&M came together and approached the old Big 8. Texas politicians got wind of the plan and then-Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock (alum of Baylor undergrad and Texas Tech law) effectively held UT and A&M hostage to bring in Baylor and Texas Tech, too. While ND has a heavy emotional investment in independence that may blind it to ever joining the Big Ten or any other conference, Texas doesn’t have any emotional investment in the Big XII because it was effectively forced to join as a third option with 2 schools (Baylor and Texas Tech) that it didn’t want to associate itself with anymore.

        Like

      • duffman says:

        frank,

        i agree with you about texas and ND benefiting academically and financially.. yes yes yes..

        but you are beginning to go down the road and it has nothing to do with either.. it goes to the root of who texas and nd are!!

        yes the money and academics, but we are not discussing the roots of either TX or ND and why the fit does not work..

        and i think you are on the right track about using the political forum to block.. but why??

        what .. at its roots.. is most important to texas??

        what.. at its roots.. is most important to ND??

        and it is not blindness on the part of ND, i would argue just the opposite!! absolute clarity!! granted at has been many years since i spent alot of time with the good fathers, but i will bet my bottom dollar – the thinking has not changed..

        take AWAY the money.. and it opens up much easier!! people keep confusing independence with with another more important word..

        take the money and academics out of each frank.. and what do you have left??

        Like

        • Taking money and academics out of it pretty much takes out everything that university presidents care about!

          I’ll grant that Notre Dame has emotional ties to independence along with an adherence to Catholicism that may lead it to forgo a larger amount of revenue in favor of independence (although this is the first time they’ve really faced a situation where their independence could actually put it at a financial disadvantage as opposed to an advantage). As much as ND is accused of being selfish, they have shown a willingness to leave money on the table for certain principles (i.e. never having night games in South Bend, always playing Navy home-and-home based on a promise after World War II, etc.).

          Texas, on the other hand, is the most revenue aggressive school in the entire country. The reason why they’re #1 in revenue in the nation has nothing to do with the Big XII revenue system and everything to do with that they don’t leave a single penny on the table, whether it’s through sponsorships up to wazoo or merchandising. The Longhorns have a massive ad-rich scoreboard that would make Jerry Jones proud and even have every home game sponsored by a major company (i.e. “Texas vs. Louisiana-Monroe is presented by JetBlue” – that’s not a joke). If the Big Ten offers $10 million or more per year in TV revenue than what Texas makes now (which is the case), then Texas will have to find a way to make that much more within the constraints of the Big XII or it will likely make a jump. Past actions show that Texas doesn’t EVER leave money on the table.

          Like

          • ezdozen says:

            Kind of odd that Boston College sold its soul for a few million a year from the ACC, but Notre Dame will not do the same for tens of millions. I guess Notre Dame listens to its higher power a little more?

            Anyway, at this point, I am not sure what the Big 10 can or should do. I think the Big 10 can make a lot of money with a change, but who knows whether the end result will solve any problems. They have plenty of money now, but feel the need to do something else. Why?

            Why expand to make more money when you already make more money? Is it for respect or something? Will having a bloated, super-conference change that? Or will everyone just shrug and continue to look at the SEC as the football power… the ACC/Big East as the basketball power…the Pac 10 as the conference that did not put its ethics for sale. And so on.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            The Big10 is top dog (by a hair) now, and Delany wants to keep that position. TV money will gravitate more and more to the most popular conferences, the difference between the haves and have-nots will widen, and the Big10 is loath to relinquish it’s number 1 status to the SEC. You add ND, Texas, or secure the Northeast as Big10 territory, and it would be impossible for the SEC (or any other league) to surpass the Big10 as the richest league, no matter who they add. You add 2 of the 3 or all 3, and no league can ever come close to matching the Big10 in terms of eyeballs, revenue generated, or any other metric that involves money.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            not to go to far off topic.. but still on the money issue

            digger and bobby were talking about the MBB expansion..

            bobby actually said to go back to 32, and he and digger both agreed that more games was money grubbing. and said to eliminate post season conference tourneys as they were just an excuse to make money.. with this thread, and the comments.. are we seeing a backlash.. that will grow?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Nah, I mean, gray-haired commentators/fans/coaches always like how it was better in the old days, but unless fans stop showing up or watching (the NCAA basketball tournament/regular season football gamnes), the schools will generally go with what makes more money.

            Like

          • NCAA Tournament expansion… ugh. This is a matter where the NCAA is really risking killing the golden goose. It would completely destroy any value to the regular season whatsoever – I’m vehemently opposed to effectively making 4 months of games worthless for the sake of a couple of more days of tourney games. If the NCAA wants to have 4 play-in games to make the total field 68 teams, I’m totally fine with that.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            amen.. it should be 64.. and no post season conference tourney’s.. you are right, dilutes the regular season.. just to add some $$

            Like

          • Richard says:

            You know, going with this more, the Big10 could actually expand to 16 by grabbing the Cali schools and Washington. It would still be the Big 10 (10 states), Washington, and the Cali schools fit with the academic profile of the rest of the Big10 perfectly (unlike some other schools being considered like Mizzou & Syracuse, who are borderline acceptable academically), and the kicker is that not only could Big10 rivalries still be maintained, but Big10 schools would play Michigan and OSU only slightly less often! Right now, each Big10 school has 2 permanent annual rivalry games and play the other schools 3/4th of the time. In a 16-team Big10, Washington, Stanford, Cal, UCLA, and USC would permanently be in the west, OSU & Michigan would permanently be in the east, and 3 of the other 9 Big10 schools would rotate to the west. Since those 9 schools would be in the west a third of the time, each Big10 school would still play OSU&Michigan at least 2/3rds of the time. In fact, you could even make some rivalries permanent that aren’t now with this scheme. Each team plays 7 intra-divisional games and 1 inter-divisional game, so you could have Michigan always be Minnesota’s interdivisional game when they rotate west, OSU always be Illinois’s interdivisional game, and rotate MSU along with Indiana (Michigan would always be MSU’s interdivisional game and OSU would always be PSU’s interdivisional game). If you want to preserve even more matchups, just play a 9 game conference slate (2 interdivisional games).
            The trios would be
            Minn-Iowa-Wisconsin
            Northwestern-Illinois-PSU
            Indiana-PU-MSU

            You also wouldn’t need a league championship game (which the Big10 may not want because it makes becoming a national champion harder); just have the 2 divisional winners play in the Rose Bowl.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            This might not be as crazy as it sounds. Amazingly, something like this was proposed before (way back in the ’50’s)!

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific-10_Conference:
            “Following a “pay-for-play” scandal at several PCC institutions (specifically Cal, USC, UCLA and Washington), the PCC disbanded in 1959. When those four and Stanford started talking about forming a new conference, retired Admiral Thomas J. Hamilton interceded and suggested the schools consider creating a “power conference.” Nicknamed the “Airplane Conference”, the five PCC schools would have played with other big schools including Army, Navy, Air Force, Notre Dame, Penn, Penn State, Duke, and Georgia Tech among others. The effort fell through when a Pentagon official vetoed the idea and the service academies backed out.”

            Like

          • duffman says:

            huummm….

            so USC and UCLA are still using the “pay for play” after all these years

            *smile*

            Like

          • Michael says:

            BC didn’t “sell its soul.”

            So many people are forgetting that the Big East doesn’t have a long-term history. Until the late 70’s, northeastern basketball teams operated mostly as independents. Then Syracuse, Georgetown, and a handful of others decided to organize for the purpose of an exciting regional conference. And then with football, that didn’t come into fruition until the early 90’s.

            It’s not as though BC was married to the Big East. Alabama in the SEC, North Carolina in the ACC, Stanford in the Pac-10, Michigan in the Big Ten… those schools all have deep, lasting relationships with their respective conferences.

            BC, on the other hand, left for the ACC mainly because of money, but academics mattered as well. The schools leaders liked the mix of quality private schools (Miami, Wake, & Duke especially) and public schools (UNC, Ga Tech, UVA). BC also had to watch its best interests when its former conference appeared extremely vulnerable.

            It had nothing to do with being unvirtuous or whatever.

            Like

      • greg says:

        Why ND wouldn’t join…

        Their core mission is undergraduate education. The Big Ten members are primarily research “corporations”. ND is a small school that includes religious teachings. The Big Ten are gigantic public institutions.

        Personally, I don’t think ND is a good fit, contrary to the conventional wisdom. Football is the only area they are similar to the Big Ten.

        I think Texas is an ideal fit in the Big Ten. This is also why I think Texas and A&M will ultimately join. Texas obviously has cultural reasons why they may not join, which may trump all logic. Joining the Big Ten will ultimately help their institutions both athletically (in terms of dollars) and academically (in all ways). Maybe they’ll decide that road trips to Waco and Lubbock are too important in life.

        Like

    • duffman says:

      greg..

      you are on the right track with ND..”gigantic PUBLIC institutions”

      but i would go even further..

      a) the big 10 is a regional “brand” with research “corporations” .. right on the mark there greg..

      b) they are selling “sports” and “research”

      c) they are static.. you can not move them .. ohio state is not moving to alabama (i know this sounds crazy, because it seems illogical) but it means that their research / students are GREATLY influenced by the demographics and economics of the states they operate in.. and the demographics ALL seem to say.. migration south, and growing hispanic.. none of which helps the big 10.. (i know i keep harping on the demise of the auto industry, but it has been the bread basket of the majority of the big 10).

      now put them next to ND….

      a) ND is a global brand with “classical education” model

      b) they are not selling “sports” or “research”, as they are side note to their primary “business”

      c) they are dynamic.. they have no state driven orders – and in theory they could relocate to another state / country if the big 10 geographic were no longer desirable.. (before everybody says it will never happen.. i am just making the statement that it can, not that it will)

      and the big thing nobody is mentioning is faith..

      the big ten gets is marching orders from the state, ND gets their from a much higher authority.. they are THE Flagship for the faith in the US in the academic/athletics areas. they gain NOTHING from joining the big 10 in this mission. the constitution sets up separation of church and state.. and ND will enforce it!! they have far more than the big 10 network to give up in trade.. their faith predates the big 10, and will be there long after the big 10 is gone.

      if you step back.. and look at ND from a distance.. (ie away from south bend and the big 10 footprint). and lest some folks.. say look at all the catholics on the east coast.. i answer, look at all the catholics in central / south america !! with ND you just have to think global.. the big 10 is a regional at best.. i am not trying to knock the big 10 here, i am just saying it would be the same if ND had been originally located in the pac 10, big 12, big east, sec, acc, etc…

      and why i am 100% sure they will not join, as i agree with greg.. they are a terrible fit…. if they had been such a good fit, they would have joined the big 10 100 years ago.. and before anybody starts bringing up gonzaga, bc, xaxier, etc.. keep in mind they are NOT the flagship.. ND is….

      Like

      • duffman says:

        greg..

        i respectfully disagree with texas in the big 10.. and while i am only 90% sure texas will not join as opposed to 100% for ND.

        a) they are #2 in the big 4 (only CA is bigger)
        in texas.. SIZE MATTERS!! it is their marching call

        the big 4
        CA 37M, TX 25M, NY 20M, FL 19M

        b) they are accustomed to warm weather

        c) they operate more like a city/state than a confederation

        d) they like to be in control

        e) they have a large hispanic population

        f) their “independence” is in their collective psyche

        g) austin feels more like silicon valley or the triangle

        h) austin is the capitol, which means political

        i) why give up home field advantage.. why let outsiders in to cherry pick your best recruits.

        in light of all this and other things.. texas will..

        1) stay, anchor the big 12, and remain the big dog

        2) go.. but to the pac 10 and do so for reasons a,b,d,e, and g

        if they go.. as much as everybody has ragged the sec (florida is ahead of tOSU in the ARWU btw – sorry had to get a dig in for the “nerdy nine” and the U of Chicago.. which reaffirms the notion that they were the party schools of my youth) my guess is the sec will be the first of the 16 team “super conferences”

        i know we ruled it out.. but frank how would you rate UK to the big 10?? just curious as they have a top 3 pharmacy school, massive fan base for all sports (selling 70,000 tickets a game when your football team is 1 – 10), a natural rivalry with IU, state public school, massive campus academic upgrade (they are in the middle of a billion dollar upgrade).. i know it will not happen.. just want a what if opinion.. the same way you did the other schools?

        i got to thinking about it when the guy in my cincy post made note that they were the “buffer” between tOSU and UK fanbases….

        Like

      • Richard says:

        ND actually tried to join the Big10 earlier this century, but the Big10 didn’t want them (rumors are that Michigan kept them out).

        You’re overstating the effect of the auto industry on the Big10; car building really only affects 2 states (Michigan and Ohio), maybe part of a third (Indiana). The Big10 currently covers 8 states and will likely cover more with expansion. This is sort of like saying the Pac10 was doomed in the ’80’s because the defense industry in SoCal was going through hard times then.

        As for migration, the rust belt definitely hasn’t grown like the sun belt has in recent decades (though the plains have actually done worse). I wouldn’t bet on it continuing, though; a lot of the growth in the sun belt was due to a real estate/construction fueled Ponzi economy (I mean, really, what do Arizona and SCarolina produce?), and real estate won’t be driving any local economy for the next several generations. Plus with the global warming that I foresee, the Great Lakes states with their vast supply of water will be doing relatively better (though the mountain west will do the best).

        Like

      • duffman says:

        richard,

        tOSU and Michigan are the historic draws in MFB

        IU and MSU in MBB

        i think it will affect the big 10 network (and $$)

        imagine an sec with no gators/bamma in fb
        and no UK in mbb..

        Like

      • duffman says:

        richard,

        i dunno.. aging population.. preference for warmer weather.. a lot of modern tech in the sun belt.. do i think the big 10 becomes a ghost town, no.. but shift in labor south will have an effect.. when i travel i see a lot of folks from north that have moved in the past decade or two.. when i say auto i mean that which shifts wealth as well.. the auto business passes a lot of wealth to other business.. if you substitute good paying for minimum wage, as noted by another poster earlier, creates snowball effect..

        and not just auto industry, others as well.. the printing industry that dominated ohio 30 years ago are gone.. (ladies home journal, time, newsweek, etc.. ohio used to dominate that business)

        Like

  78. tom smith says:

    Substitute Maryland for Pitt in the East.

    Like

  79. Richard says:

    BTW, if ND joins, I set the quadrants as

    West
    Nebraska
    Minn
    Iowa
    Wisconsin

    Central
    IL
    Northwestern
    IU
    PU

    North
    ND
    MSU
    Michigan
    OSU

    East/South
    PSU
    Rutgers
    Texas+TAMU FSU+Miami Pitt+Syracuse

    North combines with West for 2 years, then combines with Central.

    North & East/South always play 2 interdivisional games against each other (as well as West & Central).

    The only rivalry sacrificed is Purdue-ND (and PSU-OSU).

    Competitive balance is acheived as well as the 2 strongest pods (North and East/South) are always in different divisions.

    Like

  80. Walter says:

    I agree that 16 teams can work. I also agree with the concept of four divisions. However, I’d set it up so that the divisions rotate. Play everyone in your half once (7 games) and two teams from the other side on a scheduled rotational basis. You’d play the teams in your quad every year and all of the other teams every two years at least and every four years you’d play them three years in a row.

    Like

  81. Scott says:

    I recently read an article on the Des Moines Register website about how a 14 team conference could be laid out. It states the following:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    THE BIG 14 (or ‘The Western Conference’) FOOTBALL

    NORTH DIVISION

    Penn State
    Pittsburgh
    Michigan
    Michigan State
    Northwestern
    Wisconsin
    Minnesota

    SOUTH DIVISION

    Ohio State
    Indiana
    Purdue
    Illinois
    Iowa
    Nebraska
    Missouri

    The next step: Move to nine conference games. You’d have six intradivision games, two with “permanent” rivals in the other division and one “rotating” out-of-division game. (For example, Iowa would play Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin every year, and its last league game would rotate between Penn State, Pittsburgh, Michigan, Michigan State, and Northwestern.) By design, the newest members (Nebraska, Missouri, Pittsburgh) were given the least favorable geographic partners. Here are the “permanent” opponents, preserving the oldest rivalries and trophy games:

    NORTH

    Penn State — Ohio State and Indiana
    Pittsburgh — Nebraska and Missouri
    Michigan — Ohio State and Nebraska
    Michigan State — Indiana and Purdue
    Northwestern — Illinois and Purdue
    Wisconsin — Iowa and Illinois
    Minnesota — Iowa and Missouri

    SOUTH

    Ohio State — Michigan and Penn State
    Indiana — Penn State and Michigan State
    Purdue — Northwestern and Michigan State
    Illinois — Northwestern and Wisconsin
    Iowa — Wisconsin and Minnesota
    Nebraska — Michigan and Pittsburgh
    Missouri — Pittsburgh and Minnesota
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/02/18/if-nebraska-and-mizzou-want-to-play-ball-with-the-big-ten-to-heck-with-it-—-lets-go-to-14-baby/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Now you could switch out the new teams. For instance Rutgers for Pitt or Notre Dame for Missouri. Wouldn’t this preserve the Big Ten rivalries while at the same time creates two geographically divided divisions?

    Like

  82. Theta says:

    The championship game should be a home game for the team with the highest BCS ranking.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      No home field championship games. It should be at a pre-planned neutral site or else it would be a farce. Remember the OU-UT controversy where how Big12 coaches voted in the coaches poll determined who went on to the championship game? You want that type of controversy in the Big10?

      Like

      • Theta says:

        well no, but having it a game at a school will make the conference more money and you have a guaranteed sellout.

        More money because what ever a third party stadium will pay the Big 10 to host the game they think they can make more money. By having the game at a Big 10 site will keep that extra money inside the Big 10.

        You allocate 50/50 the tickets like normal for a championship game. If the travelling team can’t sell their allocation they can sell them to the home team.

        Having the higher ranked team play at home helps them get to the best BCS game.

        I’m sure a way can be worked out to minimize controversy

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Except that, as Frank pointed out, all NFL stadiums have tons of club suites that could be sold while most college stadiums don’t. So your analysis makes sense IF you assume
        1. The money generated at an on-campus stadium is the same as the money generated at an NFL stadium.
        2. The money that would have to go to an NFL stadium would actually be more than a pittance.

        I don’t think either assumption is correct; the big money at a championship game (or the Super Bowl) isn’t in the regular fans you see sitting in a stadium, but in the club suites. So unless you’re the ACC and have trouble filling 50% of a neutral site stadium for a championship game, it makes more sense to host the championship game at a modern NFL neutral-site stadium both monetarily and for fairness purposes.

        Like

      • Theta says:

        Well I was thinking the big boys would be in the championship game. MI, OSU, PennSt, Texas, ND. Those stadiums would be just as great as an NFL stadium. More seats too.

        You are right, it might not work. Just something to think about.

        Like

  83. duffman says:

    frank,

    i agree.. ND will leave money on the table (old school, like me).

    Like

  84. Paul says:

    New York’s “college team”?

    Syracuse has a new advertising campaign touting the Orange as New York’s “college team”. See picture and comments on attached link.

    http://pittsburgh.rivals.com/showmsg.asp?fid=530&tid=140733363&mid=140733363&sid=996&style=2

    Like

    • Jeepers says:

      Syracuse has been marketing themselves as nyc’s college team for about 5 years. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was shortly after the new AD Darryl Gross came aboard. I remember seeing a huge banner hanging on the way into Times Square.

      Like

  85. Richard says:

    This might not be as crazy as it sounds. Amazingly, something like this was proposed before (way back in the ’50’s)!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific-10_Conference:
    “Following a “pay-for-play” scandal at several PCC institutions (specifically Cal, USC, UCLA and Washington), the PCC disbanded in 1959. When those four and Stanford started talking about forming a new conference, retired Admiral Thomas J. Hamilton interceded and suggested the schools consider creating a “power conference.” Nicknamed the “Airplane Conference”, the five PCC schools would have played with other big schools including Army, Navy, Air Force, Notre Dame, Penn, Penn State, Duke, and Georgia Tech among others. The effort fell through when a Pentagon official vetoed the idea and the service academies backed out.”

    Like

  86. Tom Smith says:

    Texas and ND are the targets. If B10 goes to 12 its one of those two with Nebraska as an outside shot. All the chatter and news about other schools, is to try to put pressure on Texas and ND. If it goes to 14, its Texas, TAM, and ND. If one doesn’t go, again it is Nebraska. Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Mizzou only have a chance if expansion goes to 16.

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  87. duffman says:

    frank..

    in the end it is an arms race.. sorta like the cold war (NATO and the WARSAW pact).. eventually it will be 2 mega conferences and a whole new arms race..

    see http://www.infoplease.com/ipsa/A0105720.html

    if UK builds a 42,000 – 48,000 seat basketball arena (as crazy as it sounds.. remember UK built Memorial – predecessor to RUPP arena – with 12,000 seats at when the population of the city was between 24,000 and 48,000). do we see a fundamental shift in basketball? i know we have been talking about football revenues – but is it because of the massive stadiums in football? if many of the 8,000 – 12,000 seat college basketball venues double in size.. does the equation shift? (and before everybody says there is no 100,000 + basketball stadiums.. keep in mind that the EVENT ratios between the sports is 3:1 or 4:1 – so a 20,000 seat basketball translates to an 80,000 seat football stadium).

    it has been in the back of my mind ever since calapari @ UK got a contract in line with college football coaches (which seemed insane at the time). but if you follow the shift in income from football to basketball with such an arena.. it actually makes perfect sense.. IU with a rich basketball tradition, could in theory, leapfrog many D I football programs with such a move in revenue.. any comments?

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  88. Adam says:

    Although I think Richard responded to it, just to emphasize on Justin’s proposal: you can’t have Semifinals. The NCAA Division I manual allows you to split into 2 Divisions with “round-robin, regular season play,” with the winners of those Divisions playing an exempt game (i.e., a game that doesn’t count against the 12-game limit). You’d have to scrap all of those regulations in their entirety to have Semifinals.

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  89. loki_the_bubba says:

    Notre Dame finally coming around?

    On what could be a slow basketball day at the Big East men’s basketball tournament, the biggest news on Tuesday may have come from Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick. With the Big Ten and the Pacific-10 considering expansion, he said, Notre Dame is being forced to consider giving up its football independence, among a range of options.

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

    http://thequad.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/notre-dame-considers-not-going-it-alone/?ref=sports

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  90. […] as I wondered what purpose the Big Ten had in leaking its study of 5 different expansion candidates last week (including Notre Dame), I’m perplexed as to why Swarbrick started spouting his mouth […]

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