enough already. we get it. And oh yeah, it is called Lambeau Field not stadium.
In the doldrums of the offseason, a lot of interest was generated over the prospect of adding another team to the Big Ten. Recently, the SEC and the Big XII have experienced success after picking apart the old SWC, and the ACC raided the Big East for some of the top teams of the conference. The Big Ten experienced more success after adding Penn State, and the question was ultimately raised whether a new member would be wanted in the conference, and whether or not this would help shore up the Big Ten's image and if it would help the conference in the long run. Delany has said "no thanks," but it seems that most coaches want the expansion.
What teams would there be is the critical question pertaining to this discussion. A few basic parameters should be set:
The university must be in a BCS conference. There are no teams in the region with the success that the western mid-majors had.
The university should be within reasonable geographic location.
This leaves the only candidates (alphabetically): Boston College, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Louisville, Maryland, Missouri, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, and West Virginia.
We can eliminate Notre Dame because it has not expressed desire to be in the Big Ten. It would be a lateral move for Missouri from the Big XII (maybe even a step down) and they'd lose all of their history and rivalries nonetheless (no, Illinois does not contribute.) We can eliminate Iowa State because they historically have been a bottom-dweller in football and basketball. Maryland can be eliminated as well for similar reasons to Missouri. Boston College moved conferences just recently so a pretty nonsensical situation. Cincinnati would not add a larger T.V. market, and this move is not big enough move for the conference to make. Louisville is similar.
That leaves: Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia.
This would be a great move for the conference to make, it's a school with good academics, it brings in a good media market for the T.V. network, they have a traditional rivalry with Penn State, and they'd help the Big Ten in football and basketball prestige. Step up for them.
Also a pretty popular choice. it would give a pipeline to the New York/New Jersey viewing area, it’s a big school, and the school is up-and-coming in football. Basketball is another matter, but this would be a huge move for them and the conference, as it would move them into the big time.
A decent choice, they'd be an instant credibility boost in basketball, and football would be... iffy. Big market, good tradition compared to the nouveau riche Rutgers, and very similar to Pitt. They'd also be rivals with Penn State should the move happen. It is a good choice academically.
They'd be an instant rival with Michigan... kind of. Not a phenomenal school or a very large one, but they've had success lately on the playing field (thanks to Rodriguez). Basketball is fine, but the media market would not be great.
Overall, I'd choose Pitt; the move is the best for the school and the conference.
Financially, expansion would help the Big Ten Network gain a much larger viewing area, generate more interest and revenue with a conference championship game (Detroit and Indianapolis would be perfect locations geographically, as well as top-notch stadiums.) The new team would potentially bring in more revenue into the conference with bowl game appearances; and the money would definitely help the conference. Really, there is not a financial reason that would seriously inhibit the Big Ten from adding a twelfth member.
A major question arose over the divisional setup or even if there shouldn't be any divisions and keep the current round robin system that misses two teams per year and add another conference game. 9 conference games in a year has really hurt the PAC-10; the teams lose revenue with the loss of a 1-AA (MAC, mid-major whatever) and a home game every two years, replacing this with a conference road game (which makes it harder to become bowl-eligible too.) A round-robin would not be the smartest idea; it hasn't worked out well for most of the teams in the PAC-10 (who all have to play USC every year) and it probably would not benefit anyone in the Big Ten either, the middling to lower-echelon teams would possibly get another loss making it harder to become bowl eligible, and the powers that be would lose tons of revenue by playing a maximum of 7 games at home every other year.
No clear-cut conference divisional alignment makes total sense if it is just a clear-cut round-robin. The major rivalries in-state and out west cannot be kept this way. I’ve worked out the solution and a geographical divisional alignment is easily produced (avoiding the messy ACC.) The caveat is a SEC-type ‘permanent rival’ from the other division so one team plays a team in the other division every year to uphold historic rivalries.
It would look like:
Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Pittsburgh
Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin
The permanent rivals would be: Indiana-Purdue (obviously), Michigan-Minnesota (Little Brown Jug), Ohio State-Illinois (Illibuck), and Michigan State-Wisconsin, Penn Sate-Iowa, and Pittsburgh-Northwestern (the final three may be rearranged).
A sample schedule for Michigan would be all of their divisional teams (Indiana home, MSU away, OSU home, PSU away, and Pitt home), Minnesota away, and Wisconsin at home and Northwestern away. The next year would be the same but all of the games would be flipped home/away. Then Wisconsin would be replaced with Purdue and Northwestern with Iowa or something.
EDIT: In response to those who seem to want Missouri for whatever reason, the division alignment would look something like this:
Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Purdue
Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Northwestern, and Wisconsin
Permanent rivals: Michigan-Minnesota, Ohio State-Illinois, Northwestern-Indiana, Penn State-Missouri, Michigan State-Wisconsin, and Purdue-Iowa.
Everyone knows it's Notre Dame. I don't think it makes sense long term to add any other team just to get to 12.
I wouldn't classify any team (Rutgers, West Virginia) that has historically had middling to no success in sports as "up and coming". I'd rather view any recent success as the peak of a fluctuation for them. Very few (Miami, Florida State) teams rise and keep rising. Most fall back to earth pretty quickly (Northwestern, Arizona St.).
I'd begrudgingly warm up to adding Pitt or Syracuse but no one else. And if it were Syracuse, I'd like to wait until they are actually good again in football because we don't need to add teams to the bottom of our totem pole, thank you.
Thus I chose Pitt.
I'm not deriding you, I just disagree with the viewpoint that the process should go "we need a 12 team" to "who can we get". I prefer "we want this team" followed by "how can we get them".
I never heard about anyone wanting Pitt, or Syracuse, or Rutgers, etc. before people started saying we need a 12th team. There's only one team the Big Ten *has* wanted before they ever needed a 12th team, and that's ND.
The upshot is, maybe we could force them to go back to those cursive helmets. Their new helmets are so bland I can't even visualize one.
Yeah I know, just Pitt seems like logic team to expand with not just a team that we get to expand. Does that make any sense? You get them to have them, not for the sole reason of expansion.
I think it's just a matter of eventual desperation winning out. The fact is we do need it and we can't just wait for Notre Dame because it makes us all warm and fuzzy inside.
National interest in the Big Ten is dwindling rapidly. The SEC and Big XII dominate the headlines, and USC keeps interest in the PAC-Ten. The Big Ten is falling to ACC level, which as a tie for fourth, is entirely unacceptable.
Yep, totally cosigned. What Pitt adds is a big university in our geographic and academic wheelhouse with a traditionally good football program and a very good basketball program. That's pretty much exactly what we need if we can't make a major splash.
Yeah, plus a 12-team league will help the level of play, the success on the field, the money...
What about a North and South region instead of East-West? A quick sample below:
North: UM, State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Northwestern.
South: Ohio St, Penn St., Pitt (Or Mizzou), Illinois, Indiana, Purdue.
Obviously play everyone in your region and made other games mandatory each season (UM-OSU and such), then rotate the other teams you will play.
As much as I like the idea of East-West, I find the East to be very top heavy and the West to be a little light on average.
North-South can't work. Michigan and Ohio State do not want to play each other two weeks in a row and the other AD's in the conference will also hate the idea of splitting up the two biggest powers in the conference.
The biggest reason why this won't work is that the Big Ten is spread more East-West than North-South geographically. Obviously the SEC is also but the Big Twelve is North-South.
I'm not thinking that it would be east and west.... I think it would be North and South...... The East has basically all of the best teams minus sometimes Iowa and sometimes Wisconsin and Illinois...