Big Ten expansion
Washington Post has an article detailing the process and negotiations that brought Maryland to the Big Ten.
A couple points I found interesting:
- Jim Delany definitely discussed the new Big Ten division format with Maryland. In my opinion, the Big Ten office already has a plan for new divisions, and this new survey is just a front to make fans think our input is actually being considered.
- Maryland is getting money front-loaded in the deal to address their debt crisis unlike Nebraska who had their share increase incrementally over several years to full share.
- Once the story started breaking, the deal moved fast. Brandon left the last meeting with Delany not knowing a deal was imminent.
The article is here on his NYT blog.
Maryland and Rutgers are not necessarily poor choices compared with some of the other logical alternatives.
I count five other universities that are A.A.U. members, that play in a major college football conference, and that are either within a current Big Ten state or border one.
And the conclusion:
It is probably no coincidence that the two most popular college football conferences – the Southeastern and the Big Ten – have until now been the most conservative about expansion. The most recent additions to the Big Ten, Penn State and the University of Nebraska, ranked as the 3rd and 18th most popular football programs in the country. The newest additions to the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M and Missouri, were ranked 6th and 23rd.
Rutgers and Maryland are outstanding public universities – but they are just not in the same league in terms of football.
The Big Ten may have expanded the size of its revenue pie, but it will be dividing it 14 ways rather than 12, and among family members that have less history of sitting down at the table with one another. In seeking to expand its footprint eastward, the conference may have taken a step in the wrong direction.
BTN & BTN2Go will have live coverage at 2:30 PM ET of the Maryland press conference announcing it's joining the Big Ten.
Not a fan of this at all.
Maryland prez tells regents MD, RU in Leaders Division w/OSU, PSU, Wisconsin, Purdue & Indiana. Illinois moves to Legends
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
- Penn State
It probably guarantees the protected crossover game (can't wait to see who they matchup with Maryland & Rutgers) which means Michigan would play the other teams once every 6 years.
Huge competitive and recruiting disadvantage for Legends Division as well as the Ohio, Pennsylvania, DC/Baltimore, and Jersey markets are all in the other division.
According to MGoComrade SeniorBearcat, Dave Brandon said today that he could see the Big Ten expanding to 14 teams over the next few years:
DB sees the Big 10 at 14 teams in the next couple of years, with 16 teams being possible. Only big name teams that have a large market share / successful in sports and in academics. He did not name names, but mentioned only a few schools fit that profile.
If this is true, what could the teams be? Going by big market share in athletics and academics, and geographic contiguity, other than ND, who makes the cut?
With Nebraska in the fold, the geographically contiguous states are: Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.
Here are the I-A (FBS) teams in each of these contiguous states (I am assuming that the Big Ten will not seek to add a team in an existing Big Ten state, because the idea is to expand the television footprint):
CO: Colorado, Colorado State, Air Force
KS: Kansas, Kansas State
KY: Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Louisville
WV: West Virginia, Marshall
MD: Maryland, Navy
NY: Syracuse, Buffalo, Army
Of these schools, the remotely plausible candidates are Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, and the service academies.
Strong athletics (FB or BB): Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, WVU
Strong academics: Army, Navy, Air Force
Decent TV markets: Missouri, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Army, Navy, Air Force
Now I know that they don't have the most powerful programs anymore, but how cool would it be to add Army and Navy to the Big Ten? Two old-time college football powers in major East Coast states. Awesome academics and premier research institutions. High-character institutions. Air Force could also fit this bill, but it's a smaller TV market than New York or the DC area.
What say you, Comrades?
For those out there interested in financial stuff regarding the expansion, here's an article regarding our new conference members, Nebraska. Joining the conference is costing Nebraska over $9M this year from the Big 12.
We feel the long-term benefits of entering into the Big Ten, both academically and athletically, will make this a very good investment," athletic director Tom Osborne said.
Obviously, as last year the Big Ten distributed $22M to each of the member schools.