this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Big Ten expansion
After trying to keep up with all of the expansion talk, it seems that Kansas being left out of the whole multiple death star thing is kind of a forgone conclusion. I've always enjoyed their basketball program. So my question is, why not do Kansas instead of Missouri?
Academically, Kansas seems to have the slight advantage. Whichever one of them got the CIC bump would seem to end up being the higher rated school. It's been assumed that Missouri is the key to the St. Louis / KC market, but this analysis seems to indicate that the financial incentive to the BTN is equal between the two.
So, if academics, TV and football are equal, wouldn't the KU basketball program be an obvious push over the top for Kansas? I guess I just don't get Missouri over Kansas. When it comes to national brand, it has to be Kansas.
I think there's a great opportunity to get an amazing football AND basketball conference here. Land Nebraska, Notre Dame, Kansas, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh and you just owned every other conference.
Football - Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Notre Dame in tier one and a solid tier two of Iowa, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, and maybe eventually Syracuse again.
Basketball - Kansas, Syracuse, MSU, Purdue, Pitt, Indiana, OSU (as long as Matta stays) in tier one and a nice tier two of Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Michigan (I can hope), and Illinois.
This is the blockbuster I think we need if Texas can't happen.
I've been looking at the expansion scenario and all the different scenarios of 12, 14, 16, and all of the different candidates, and I just wanted to put my two cents in;
My first thought is that I have no desire to obtain any big east team at all. None of them will bring a powerful football program to add a perenial strength to the conference, and I have concerns about any of them adding any value to the TV markets. I lived in New England for three years (and by New England I mean all of New England Boston, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) and college football is not anywhere on the map. They don't follow it, don't care about it, and adding some local team will do nothing to sway them. I feel the same is true for the NY market, as I believe there are probably more Michigan and Penn State fans than any Rutgers fans.
My second thought is that 16 is too big. I've seen a lot of talk about 4 pods and whatnot, but I am big on rivalries and the mini rivalries that occur from two teams who happen to play some close or controversial games and want to have a chance at retribution. A 16 team super conference seemd to large to keep these types of rivalries and help create new ones.
So with that said, I move west for three teams to make a 14 team conference. And I feel the best 3 for the big ten would be Nebraska, Missouri, and Notre Dame. This allows for an easy geographical split with east and west conferences of 7 teams with 2 cross division games every year. The Divisions would be as follows;
East: Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, Indiana, and Notre Dame
West: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska, and Missouri
This keeps the majority of the rivalries in-tact, and allows for some cross division games and makes sense geographically to help create new rivalries. Michigan and Ohio State would still play the last game of the year in the division, with the winner (Michigan) playing in the championship game, and the loser not having to worry about an extra loss keeping them out of the BCS.
There are two major complaints that I can see in my conference.
1. What the hell, are you an idiot, where's Texas?
2. Notre Dame is playing coy, thinking its fine for them to roll stag to this dance.
So, my response is as follows; Texas seems like a dream to any conference, with golden ticket like money, academics in-line, and it puts the big ten in some prime recruiting ground. The problem is, I feel like there is way to much baggage. Texas is used to getting its way and getting special treatment, and that just ain't gonna fly in the big ten. The other baggage is the texas schools that might be forced in as well, and I don't want the Big Ten to have to make concessions like adding schools that don't make sense to land the big fish.
The ND problem I really don't have an answer for. They make sense geographically, they are the team that I think could get us that NY market, they play 3 teams already, but we have no real leg to stand on to make them go. My only hope would be that we mae our move for Neb and MS, Pac-10 makes their 16 team conference and ND sees the writing on the wall and caves in.
Alright, I just had to get my thoughts out, and I needed the proper forum to do so, as noone I know in the non-virtual world cares or thinks about this stuff as much as I do. My hope is that fellow Mgobloggers can stomach the long read and my reasoning, and provide their feedback.
There have been plenty of rumors and guesses about Big Ten expansion, ever since commissioner Jim Delaney announced that the conference was studying the issue. But this week offered the first concrete clues from school officials who are actually in the position to know.
First was the rumor first floated on the University of Texas rivals.com site, that the Pac 10 was prepared to offer invitations to Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado. The Colorado athletic director later said that he believed the report was true.
Second was an email from Ohio State University president Gordon Gee, in which he encouraged Delaney to get in touch with Texas president Bill Powers, “who would welcome a call to say they have a ‘Tech’ problem.” The email was among several obtained by the Columbus Dispatch in a freedom-of-information request, and Gee acknowledged it was genuine.
Gee wouldn't say what he meant by a “‘Tech’ problem,” and several newspapers were at a loss to explain it, but it is not difficult to figure out. ‘Tech’ clearly refers to Texas Tech, the “little sister” of three Texas state schools in the Big XII—Texas and Texas A&M being the other two. Naturally, all three play each other in football every year.
It is likely that wherever Texas goes, A&M will go with it. The Longhorns have played A&M in football every year since 1915. They've also played Oklahoma nearly every year since 1902 (they skipped a few seasons in the early party of the 20th century). It is highly doubtful that Texas would want to give up either rivalry. But it is equally doubtful that the Longhorns would agree to play in another conference, while being locked into two annual rivalry games with BCS-level opponents. If the Longhorns and the Aggies move together, presumably that would leave the Sooners as their only annually contested non-conference rivalry.
The Texas–Texas Tech rivalry does not have the same pedigree as the others. The two schools have played annually only since 1960. It is also a lopsided rivalry, with the Longhorns winning nearly 75 percent of the time.
So, what is the “‘Tech’ problem”? If Texas and Texas A&M join the Big Ten, it would probably spell the end of the Bix XII as we have known it. The more prominent football schools in the conference would not have trouble finding homes elsewhere. Nebraska and Missouri, for instance, could very well join the Big Ten, as well; the Pac Ten would probably take Oklahoma and Colorado. But “little sister” Tech would likely find itself in a non-BCS league, like Conference USA. That wouldn't sit well with Texas politicians, especially if Tech had the double blow of losing its annual rivalry games with both the Longhorns and the Aggies.
Here, then, is the significance of the Pac Ten's allegedly forthcoming invitation to six schools, including Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, which has a similar “little sister” status in its home state. It's a scenario that would make Texas and Oklahoma politicians smile, as in any other plausible expansion scenario, both would be at risk of finding themselves in lesser conferences. But would the notoriously conservative Pac Ten, which treasures its academic reputation and requires unanimous agreement to add a new member, really welcome all six of these institutions? Several of them, particularly Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, are not in the same academic league as the rest of the Pac Ten.
But if the Big Ten is willing to at least entertain adding Texas and Texas A&M, both of which are in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), it would under no circumstances accept Texas Tech, which is not. That, in a nutshell, is Bill Powers’s “‘Tech’ problem.”
Most schools claim publicly they are loyal to the conference they are in—whatever they may be saying behind the scenes. But when the University of Texas says it is committed to the Big XII, they just might mean it. The Longhorns have been toying with the idea of creating their own cable television network. They are, perhaps, the only school in the nation that could do this. With their own network, plus the disproportionate share of Big XII television revenue that they already get, the Longhorns would be sitting pretty. But if the Big Ten nabs Nebraska and Missouri, and Colorado goes to the Pac Ten (with or without Oklahoma), Big XII membership might be a lot less attractive.
Among the three conferences the Longhorns could plausibly join, the Big Ten is the most attractive. The average Big Ten school is 1,022 miles from Austin, whereas the average Pac Ten school is 1,377 miles away. Six Pac ten schools are farther than any in the Big Ten. Except for Penn State, every Big Ten school is under 1,200 miles from Austin. Except for the two Arizona schools, every Pac Ten institution is over 1,200 miles and two time zones away. While the SEC might be closer geographically for the Longhorns, the SEC does not have the academic reputation of either the Big Ten or the Pac Ten.
I think there is very little doubt that Texas is the big fish that Jim Delaney and Gordon Gee would love to hook. Whether they can depends on how big a “problem” the “‘Tech’ problem” really is.
Not sastified with speculation over a 16 team Big Ten, this establishes the over at 20 teams:
Or, at least he thinks he does.
Pat Forde does his best at trying to not sound like an SEC homer. Just kidding, he says that the Big Ten shouldn't expand to 14 or 16 teams because they won't get Notre Dame or Texas and no matter what they do the SEC will raid the best schools in the south in reaction. He Completely ignores the fact that the ACC just signed a huge deal (with ESPN, his employer, mind you) which will make their member schools that much less likely to jump ship.
This is one of the more ridiculous articles I've seen on the Big Ten expansion. The SEC love fest here is embarrasing.
"o while Delany fiddles up there in his cushy office in Chicago, the Big Ten burns. Down in Birmingham, Slive is smiling. Delany makes a move and Slive will make a move that's even better.
In a way, it's really sad. The once proud Big Ten has been emasculated by the SEC. And its only hope of deliverance is to pick up Notre Dame on the discount rack at Walmart. Or, if that fails again, cobble Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Nebraska and Missouri and try to sneak out in the express lane.
It doesn't appear the SEC really wants to expand. But Slive knows one thing for sure. Anything Jim Delany can do, he knows the SEC can do better. That's been proven off the field in recent years. It's also been demonstrated on the field.
The Big Ten had its day in the sun. And it was glorious. But it's over. And the boys up there might as well get used to playing second fiddle to the SEC."