Some free time so I got to thinking about Big 10/11 expansion. We should bring in schools that have big-time football AND basketball, wherever possible. That would have natural regional rivalries with existing conference schools, and that would expand the television and fan base footprint of the conference.
My first choice: West Virginia. (I know...). But they would have built-in rivalries with TOSU and PSU and be competitive in the 2 revenue sports. Plus, no one graduates from WVU and stays in WV, they move to the Washington, DC area, one of the richest regions in the country. This will help Big10 revenues, press and overall exposure.
I think next we go for Louisville. Great basketball rivalry ready-made against Indiana and TOSU. They are desperately trying to build up their football program. And it gets the conference exposure in the upper south, but close to Tennessee and SEC territory, helping recruiting in this very populous area.
We now have enough for clear conference divisions and an end-of season football championship.
After this, if Notre Dame pleads to join, fair enough. They're in. Otherwise, to get to a full 14, I suggest lock up the state of Pennsylvania and bring in Pitt (I've killed the Big East with this plan), or continue to expand the conference footprint and go after Syracuse.
Anyways, my Monday morning thoughts.