According to Barry Alvarez, the Big 10 will rev up its search for a 12th member. It has to be Notre Dame doesn't it? I cant think of another team in the Midwest that would fit the bill. Thoughts?
Big 10 to amplify its search for a 12th member
I don't agree with adding a 12th team. Mostly because the only reason to do it is start a conference title game. I thought we already had one? Most years I call Michigan vs. Ohio State.
If i had to pick a team it would be ND, they aren't coming. Choice #2 is Pitt or Missouri.
Why not Cincinnati, they are obviously in the same state as a current member and at the moment a very formidable team.
If I'm not mistaken, the main dig at Cincinnati is that the academics don't stack up to the rest of B10 member schools.
I don't get where this notion comes from that the B10 is somehow the Ivy League of the midwest.
There are some great academic schools in it - U of M (obvs), Northwester, Purdue, Wisconsin, I'm lookin at you - but the others.... Are they really highly regarded academic schools?
I mean, Indiana, Illinois, Penn St., Ohio St., MSU(!)... These aren't real prestigious academic institutions.
I just don't like Cinci though, for other reasons.
They had BBall success in the past w/ Huggins, but are they that good anymore? (That's not rhetorical, I really don't know. You don't hear about them much which probably indicates they're not that good.)
Their recent success w/ football was a flash-in-the-pan thing. It was more due to Kelly than established programatic strength.
If it happens - Notre Dame, Pitt, or no one.
Expanding the B10 and adding a title game, yes, it would diminish the importance of The Game. It would probably also mean that M and OSU would be in the same division and would never play each other for the B10 championship, rather would play each other for the right to go to the B10 championship game.
I don't really like that.
BUT, if the B10 is ever going to hope to get on par w/ the SEC and get more respect in the BCS/MNC picture, adding a 12th team and a title game is something they need to do.
I don't disagree with your point, but we should acknowledge that the big ten has some good schools academically. Northwestern is obviously a top school. Michigan is the 27th best college in the country according to US news, Illinois is ranked as the 39th. Tied with Wisconsin. Penn State is 47 (same as florida and UT austin). OSU is 53 (and you don't have to know how to read to get in!), Purdue is 61, tied with Minnesota. Iowa, IU and MSU come in at 71.
FWIW, Pitt is 56. University of Cincinnati is tier 3, so I can't see their ranking.
UC certainly isn't Northwestern or Michigan, but they have some extremely good programs. Off the top of my head, I know they have one of the best architecture and design programs in the country, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital (aka UC's Department of Pediatrics) is considered the 3rd best children's hospital in the country. They're also a major research institution for what it's worth.
TIER 3 - its not going to happen
I have a neice that had a 3.60 gpa and 26 ACT from a very good high school in Ohio and didn't get accepted to OSU. It is tougher to get into OSU than Miami of Ohio and that's been the case for several years now.
I understand, and it wasn't exactly the point I was trying to make. Saying "Tier 3" or whatever isn't descriptive enough in my opinion. The fact is, if any of my kids needed a serious pediatric specialist, I'd almost certainly take them to Cincinnati Children's.
Are they fantastic across the board? No, but saying Tier 3 and calling it quits doesn't really tell the whole story either.
Until their at a level that qualifies them for the AAU, it is quits. They would have to seriously up their graduate programs to a tier one in order to qualify.
To anyone who knows anything about colleges in the US, saying Cincy is tier 3 is more than enough. The schools in the Big 10 are all major research universities with large undergraduate populations, ranging from Northwestern with 8000 students all the way up to OSU with 40k. These schools are academic and athletic peers with a history going back over 100 years to the Western Conference. There's no way a school with lesser academic credentials that isn't a member of the
will be let in. It doesn't matter how good one or two programs or researchers there are. To be a AAU or Big 10 member, a school must show breadth and depth in academics.
And I don't think I ever lobbied for them to be the 12th member, though I could understand my posts being construed that way. Rather, I'm just tired of the notion that schools are either entirely fantastic in every respect or absolutely terrible.
In fact, I really don't want a 12th member, but oh well.
...everything I've read and seen in my career as an engineer indicates that Illinois has an excellent engineering program, with the subdiscipline of electrical engineering standing out.
On the other hand, I live in western NY state and I work with several PSU grads. I'm going to haul out the ol' "Michigan Arrogance" and say I'm not blown away by them as engineers. Solid engineers? Yes. Exceptional? NO!
Also keep in mind that PSU was voted #1 party school in the nation very recently.
Because their coach just left and I strongly doubt they'll stay competitive.
I would love to have a second team in Ohio in the conference, just so OSU has to deal in state with what we deal with, recruiting, coverage, et al. I would guess the expanded attention they would get in the Big Ten would help offset the loss of the coach a little.
If it were Cinncinnai, I would like to hear what Kelly would say.
I say Give us Missouri, and have the big 12 pick up TCU.
If it were Cinncinnai, I would like to hear what Kelly would say.
I say Give us Missouri, and have the big 12 pick up TCU.
How you have the cajones (or arrogance) to say something like this after the last two years is beyond me..
Notice the wording he used. He said that most years it is the OSU Michigan game. The last two isn't most years is it?
Its spelled cojones. Cajones means big boxes or drawers.
Maybe that's what he meant. How do you have the big boxes or drawers to question his spelling?
They make too much with their own deal. They definitely have the history, proximity and schedule to be 12, but money rules.
I also don't think they have the desire.
yeah, but we have the BTN and sponsorship from queso.
we might be able to lure ND with the promise of Rotelveeta queso, but alas...
I NEED QUESO! QUESOOOOO!
Does it actually taste good, not really a big velvetta fan
How can it not be? I mean, the people in those commercials love it!
It looks like a reporter latching on to wishful thinking by Alvarez, because the season is over, and the reporter needs something to write about. Alvarez has been one of the more vocal AD's in favor of expansion, and he is quoted as saying that he believes Delaney will push it harder. There is nothing in the article from Delaney confirming that it's a priority. It seems to me that Alvarez is saying the same thing he's always said, and is hopeful that the Big Ten will put some focus on the effort.
We do not need a conference championship. Never ever.
Why not? Look at how fun the Nebraska-Texas game was.
The key word was "need." We don't "need" one.
IME, it would devalue M-OSU, and I am against that. The conference schedule should matter more than a one game championship. A two or even three loss team, which occasionally happens in the B12 North, has the chance to win the conference if they beat a undefeated Texas or Oklahoma, to me, this doesn't seem right. How many times in the past has the B12 conference championship game been fun to watch? It seems to cause more controversy (last year) than entertainment.
The conferences are not about this because it will make the competition better or help to determine a true champion, it is all about the money.
Just to play along, if I had to pick a team to come in it would be Pitt. To hell with Notre Dame.
I don't think it would devalue "The Game" at all. In a Hypothetical Big 10 that had a conference championship (HB10) then I would want Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. That way, the winner would be the one going to the championship game.
Personally, I don't think we need a 12th team to do that, but I certainly don't think it devalues the game.
As is stands now, the Big 10 has two weeks of nothingness when the rest of the country is playing additional games and watching championship games. I want this conference to stay relevant, and I think a championship makes it so.
Our prodigal son. Let's bring them back. Hell, they have more Big Ten championships than Michigan State.
this post is win
i don't understand the negs, but w/e
Chicago is still part of the Big Ten academically really the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. And one of the biggest draws for Notre Dame is getting in to the CIC and why the faculty voted in favor of joining last time.
Our prodigal son. Let's bring them back.
Hell, they have more Big Ten championships than Michigan State.
could drop michigan state, would that bother ant ony in here?. Or do what soccer does and drop teams from leagues that under perform for a long time and move somebody else up, but we wouldn't move anybody up! My Brit friend says it's great because it makes organizations have to be decent.
I realize the Lions would be in Div. 3 football by now.........
Notre Dame makes the most sense in every aspect with the exception of ND's own financial interests. Outside of them, I struggle to find anyone else that would fit the bill. I think the most likely scenario would be a Big East team (Pittsburgh? Cincinatti?), but a Big 12 team like Missourri isn't out of the question... assuming the B12 can find someone to replace them (TCU?).
I don't think that we would care if we screwed over the Big 12. And if it made sense for Missouri to go to the Big Ten, I don't think that they would care either.
That said, I don't think that Missouri would want to join the Big Ten. They have a huge rivalry with Kansas, which currently means something because of the weakness in the Big 12 North. Furthermore, they would have to play teams that were farther away than the other Big 12 schools, upping costs for the athletic department, which would offset the financial benefit of joining the Big Ten.
I think that the second best choice for a 12th Big Ten school (that really sounds contradictory) is Pitt. Pitt is closer to the rest of the Big Ten Schools than Penn State. Furthermore, they have a natural rival in Penn State (which is great for Penn State too, because they wouldn't have to finish up with MSU anymore), and are athletically and academically comparable to other Big Ten schools. Moving to the Big Ten would benefit its basketball team, because they wouldn't have to deal with the perennially dangerous and crowded Big East, as well as significantly increase their revenue. The only problem they would face is having to schedule a yearly non-conference game against West Virginia, because there is no way that their fan base would accept a cessation of that game.
Even if the Big Ten is looking for a twelfth member, it won't be Notre Dame. There are some academic issues that would prohibit ND from joining the conference. There is some sort of accreditation group that ND is not a part of that all the rest of the Big Ten schools are, and that was an issue last time the talks heated up.
Pitt would be the most logical choice - both athletically or academically. It's location would still put it within the current geographical boundaries while opening up more of the Pennsylvania market to the Big Ten. You could argue for Syracuse and the New York market, but being so far upstate and so irrelevant in football as of late, I don't see the move. For basketball, that would make the Big Ten killer and actually make things easier for the Orange than the Big East. Maybe. You could make the argument for Missouri, but I don't see them leaving the Big 12. However, that would provide the opening to bring TCU in, which if it wasn't for former Texas governor Ann Richards, would have been in the Big 12 and Baylor out.
But here is the real reason why the Big Ten won't move to 12 teams - THAT WOULD REQUIRE A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AND HURT THE CONFERENCES CHANCES OF MULTIPLE BCS BOWL PARTICIPANTS. Since the BCS started in 1998, the Big Ten has sent two teams to BCS bowls in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005-2009. Granted with the 5th game its easier now, but that is much better than any of the other conferences. The Big Ten would be better suited by moving the last weekend of the season back to the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Plus, their is the historical problem with the Michigan Ohio State game, otherwise traditionally known as the Big Ten Championship Game. Of course, that would require Michigan to win more than 5 games in a season. But that will change soon.
Huh? The main reason for wanting to add a 12th member is a conference title game. Those games are lucrative. Even if one would reduce the conference's chances of receiving a second BCS bid (which may or may not be true), the revenue generated from the game would more than offset it.
Then sure, I would agree with you. In 2008, BCS bowl games paid out $17.5 million to the participant's conference. I don't believe the those games can generate nearly that amount of money. However, if you can find the amount of profit a conference can bring in from the those games, I'd be open to modifying my response.
The figure you cite is how much a conference gets from its first BCS rep team. The second brings in a much smaller amount (like $4-5 million).
pitt, kansas, or We drop out of conference (we did it once before) and get a huge tv contract with espn to carry all our games in every sport with a automactic bcs bid when we win 8 games in football, and big dance bid if we pull out 18 hoops victories, plus an automatic frozen four bid just because of our helmets.
Bring em over for basketball too---would add a good market, $$$, fan following, decent academics, and be a geographical foil for PSU.
I'd divide divisions non geographically and no 2 team state can share division...as:
Scheduling would be 5 divisional teams, always 2 rivals from other division, plus rotating 2 teams based on other 4. So M would face 5 divisional foes, always OSU and MSU, and rotate 2 of the 4 in alternating years.
Michigan and OSU can't be in separate divisions. That would raise the possibility of playing them on back-to-back weeks if both teams make the conference title game. I don't think anyone involved would like that.
Or move the game up to mid season or something but, then the stakes wouldn't be as high. Same divisions would be the best answer.
why not just drop them from the regular season then? If OSU or UM almost always decide the big ten, wouldn't it make more sense to separate the 2 teams for the sake of even divisions?
That is sarcasm, right? That's like saying ND shouldn't schedule USC because they're going to meet up in the MNC/a BCS bowl anyway. While both programs have their runs at BCS bowls, there are always off years for either team.
No sarcasm. Until recently this was THE big game in the big 10, it decided the conference title and likely will once again in the future.
Take a look at the Bama UF rivalry, they don't always meet in the championship game, and sometimes play during the season, but when they do meet in the championship game it is a top 5 game of the year. You replace those two teams with UM and OSU at the end of the year when only a handful of teams are playing, you look better to recruits, better to the country and just plain stronger overall.
People were talking about taking a break from the ND rivalry for a season or two and there are some good points to it for both schools, those same points would apply here.
Bama/UF is hardly a rivalry in the traditional sense of the word, and certainly not a rivaly like Bama/Auburn, Florida/GA, or Michigan/OSU.
While it would be a huge game if they met up every year, and yes a big recruiting bonanza, I don't think there would be much support from two of the larger fan bases in the conference, or from television execs and advertisers (Martin, if you recall, squashed corporate sponsorship for this game a few years back, but that's the kind of draw it has).
Still, B12 did it to Oklahoma / Nebraska, though, so I guess it's not impossible.
Also, the Mich ND rivalry has had several breaks over the years. This is nothing new, and I think hence more palatable to michigan fans. With OSU, I think Michigan's played them every year since 1900. Any potential break in this series would freak people out.
those are good points
Have a good friend who is a huge Nebraska fan. Separating Oklahoma and Nebraska into different divisions and making them miss years has completely ruined the Oklahoma - Nebraska rivalry.
I would personally put OSU in our division and play them every year as the last regular season game. I am not sure that Michigan and Ohio State should play each other more than once a year.
Really? I guess thats not what I expected
Each game is such a war, even when one of the teams is struggling. To try to put that together twice in a season would be emotionally difficult for the fan bases and possibly the teams. In addition, it would de-value the actual rivalry game.
I think it's a possibility to continue even in separate divisions. You get 5 division games and 3 against the other division. If one is reserved for an inter-division rival, which most teams will probably have, it should be fine.
The problem with putting Ohio State in a different division is you either have to move the game so its not the last game of the year, or the two teams might possibly play 2 weeks in a row.
Keep them in the same division and have them play the last regular season game EVERY YEAR. You'd still have the possibility for UM/PSU or OSU/PSU in the conference championship which would be great games.
i think i'd rather see Mich and OSU on back to back weekends than i would Penn St. in the championship every year. if Mi,OSU, Mi.St were all in the same div. based on "most" years who would compete with Penn. although splitting Mi and OSU the reduces the aura of "the game" if both are already conf champs. i say get rid of 1 team go back to a traditional "10" teams and add in a bye week,like they did for 2010, and play "the game" 1-2 weeks after thanksgiving to match up with the rest of the country.
Penn State (can they go in with Michigan/Ohio State?) I Say NO.
Any other names for divisions???
This has been the issue of expansion that I've really been thinking hard about. How do we set up the two divisons? I think they pretty much have to be geographic. If the B10 adds a 12th team, it MUST be a western (relatively) school with a strong football program. UM, OSU, and PSU - the historical power programs - all have to be in the eastern division. If you have ND, Wisconsin, and Iowa in the west, then its probably ok. But if you add another strong eastern school like pitt, there is no balance between the divisons. I think these divisions keep the major rivalries intact, and are (relatively) comparable in football, though there is potential for it to be uneven like the Big 12 divisions have been recently.
I'm very interested to see other people's possible divisions and explanations considering other potential additions. I think this is a pretty important consideration. If it isn't ND joining... UM and OSU need to be in the same division and play every year. MSU has to be in that division also. If you were thinking only of parity, Wisconsin, PSU, and Iowa would have to be in the other division, like Northern Fan says, but does that really make sense?
One last thing worth noting... if you add ND, then a B10 hockey conference becomes a reality: UM, MSU, OSU, Wiscy, Minn, ND. Sound fun? That is a whole other discussion though.
Geographically,it makes as much sense as Pitt or Missouri, and they have a ready-made rivalry with Michigan for the foreseeable future.
WVU's not strong enough academically. Pitt has the academic reputation to make it work.
But they might make Sparty feel a little better...
Only 3 of the 12 SEC teams are ranked higher than MSU, the Big Ten's lowest ranked university.
In State's defense, Indiana is tied with them for last place.
What's shocking to me is that there are only 2 of the Big 12 teams ranked higher than State and Indiana--I figured that they would be better than the SEC. They're pretty comparable after those first couple but I thought the Big 12 would be dramatically better.
what about Miami(yes that Miami) or Fla St.? i know sounds crazy but IIRC didn't a Fla. team join the MAC for a few years? then we coild have the conf. championship at a neutral site in Fla. and not have to worry about snow like a lot of big 10 AD's.
Living in Austin, I would obviously love to see UT in the Big Ten since Michigan would then actually play down here. Howeva, there's no way in hell UT is leaving the Big 12. It just makes no sense at all for them.
... the conference name with them? I mean, we'd have 12 and the conference formerly known as the Big 12 would have 11. Technically, they wouldn't have to change conferences we'd just change the other 11 teams.
We could call it the Big Cen (Big Central)
There was some talk of this a couple years back. Texas was unhappy with the Big 12 and actually was rumored to be listening to the Big 10. I mean hell, Texas has no real ties to the Big 12. The damn conference has only been around since 1996. They were members of the Southwest Conference. Not the Big 8, that is most of the Big 12.
I think Texas would be the best choice. But it would be hard for Olympic sports to travel
No ties to the Big12? OU and TAMU are quite the rivals that they aren't going to just give up, especially for that travel.
Big 12 as a conference. Those 2 are huge rivals yes. But Arkansas historically was a much bigger rival than Oklahoma and they took that away without thinking twice about it.
Also Oklahoma and Texas played in Dallas as members of different conferences for about 80 years.
NYC market (They light up the Empire State Building in Rutgers red for big games).
The Big 10 would span from sea to shining . . . river.
From my 20 years of living there, lower New York college football/basketball fans mainly consist of:
Alumni and their families
People kind of almost wanted to get excited when Cuse beat ND and when Rutgers started improving... but that didn't last long. We have 2 teams in the MLB, 3 in the NFL, 3 in the NHL, and 2 in the NBA (counting the Nets), it's kind of saturated.
kick someone out and play a true round robin. Failing that, if they Add a 12th, I'd vote for Pitt first and either Rutgers or Syracuse second.
a true round robin with an odd number of teams in the league.
If there were still 10 teams - B10 could do a round robin like the pac ten.
that is why he said "kick somebody out" which would drop it to 10. I would prefer this over adding a team but if a team needed to be added I would like to see Pitt.
But there is no way a team will be kicked out of the conference. I think the only time that happened was with the Big East and Temple.
If Northwestern can stay in when the had a massive losing streak in the 1980's, no one is gonna get booted.
I could see Pitt leaving the Big East, Miami, BC and VT have already set the trend.
What if there was a vote and it was Michigan? You know they say everyone hates Michigan in the Big Ten conference.
Hence why he said "kick someone out." I've always been in favor of kicking Northwestern out. They make zero sense in our league. I mean, I realize that they help us out academically a ton, but in terms of athletics NWU is just plain terrible. They are the only major conference team to never go dancing in basketball, and they don't have a bowl win since the 1949 rose bowl. They are also the only private school in the big ten. I say kick them out, and do a full round robin. The Pac 10 absolutely have it right. No reason to have a conference championship and potentially force teams to beat each other more than once to earn a championship.
I agree with you that the Pac10 has it right, however I just don't think kicking someone out of the conference is gonna happen.
No, I agree that one getting kicked out is a pipe dream. Finding someone to add, or someone jumping ship to another conference for some odd reason, are both a thousand times more likely than the conference deciding to force someone out. I just wish it would be Northwestern, because I love the way the Pac 10 have it.
It's stupid to say that Northwestern is bad at football. They've had a better record over the past three years than several of the other teams in the Big Ten, including Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, and yes, Michigan.
A ten-team conference would be a lot nicer, but there is no point in worrying about things that won't happen.
How about either Kentucky or Louisville?
Split the conference North and South
Kentucky or Louisville
Again the lack of AAU membership rears its ugly head.
P.S. - it's "O-U-A-O" ;)
Lets hope the Big Ten is as committed to adding a 12th as Tiger Woods was.
If the BT AD's got together and agreed to boycott ND until they join, they would almost have to. Right now, ND cherry-picks the BT, scheduling who they want to but not playing through the grind of the entire schedule. They raise their computer points without having to risk nearly as many upsets as they would if they were in the conference.
So, basically, ND is already getting the milk and sees no reason to marry the cow. They don't need the Big Ten because they are getting what they want. They take from the Big Ten and really don't give anything back.
Since ND has sucked in the AL (After Lou) era, this really hasn't been much of an issue. ND hasn't used the Big Ten as a steppingstone to the National Championship for years now. But there is always a chance that Brian Kelly really is as good as he looks to many, and this may very well be an issue soon, especially if USC hits a down cycle.
Someday, we could be looking at a ND who has been ranked number one after beating UM, MSU, and Purdue, and realize that they don't have any tough games left on their schedule.
I would love to see the Big Ten tell ND to either join or find three more service academies to play. No more fattening up their numbers on MSU and Purdue without playing PSU, Wisky, and OSU.
They have played Michigan State consistently since the 1950s and have played more games against Sparty then they have against Michigan.
The Michigan/Notre Dame game makes sense given the schools traditions and history together.
Purdue and Notre Dame are both located in northwestern Indiana, so geographically this makes sense as well.
That would be three of the first four weeks of the season, and typically after that, Big Ten play begins. I'm not familiar with a Big Ten school scheduling a BCS conference school or equivalent after the Big Ten play begins.
Notre Dame also had a long running series with Penn State that essentially ended in 1992 in a classic contest (they did play in 06-07 but that isn't a continuing series at this point). The contests above probably make more sense for Notre Dame.
There may be reasons for why they choose those teams, but the effect is cherry-picking. ND currently plays Michigan and nobody else of quality from the Big Ten. I give them a pass for Michigan not being good right now but they have had many chances to change opponents for the other games (or continue against Penn State) and they just choose to play the bad teams (again, with the exception of Michigan most years).
I'm a crusty type who never wanted to see a 12-team league with a championship game in some sterile pro football field dome like Lucas Field between two teams that already played each other and/or where one team was clearly better than the other in the first place.
But I've moved on. I'm ready for the 12th team, the championship game, and all that. Even if it does lessen the U-M/OSU rivalry.
My guess is that if it's not Notre Dame, the school would be a current member of the Association of American Universities (http://www.aau.edu/about/article.aspx?id=5476). While prodigal Chicago qualifies, other mentioned contenders do as well -- Pitt, Rutgers, Mizzou, Syracuse. ND is not a member, and neither is Kentucky or Louisville. As someone mentioned, ND faculty would LOVE to be part of the Big 10 because of the academic-sharing benefits.
My heart is with Pitt, but I understand that it doesn't add to the geographic footprint like Rutgers or Syracuse or Mizzou would. I also think this will happen sooner rather than later, because of the cash.
USF. This would be an upward move for them in football, give their basketball team a breather or two, and would be great for recruiting in Florida. It would give most of the basketball teams a trip to Florida in the middle of winter, too. The teams would like it and so would the fans. They already travel up and down the eastern seaboard, so it's not like travelling to Big Ten cities would be much different.
USF's coach is a dick and they have no history at all. I'll pass.
While USF may be used to logging the heavy miles in their sports, the majority of the Big Ten's non revenue sports stick to bus travel to and from games. What you propose would increase travel budgets a ton, not to mention the extra class time the athletes would have to miss. There is no way the university presidents and AD's would allow this to happen.
They would be a better fit than ND since they have a stadium that holds 100k. Texas only has 2 rivalries and they can still play in Dallas against Oklahoma and play thanksgiving nights against Texas A&M.
I don't like Missouri at all as an addition, but it would be nice if the Big 10 was more sought after to the point that a big 12 team wants to join the Big 10.
Just to purely spite Ohio St, I want to see Cincinnati join the Big 10. Cincinnati is close enough to all the schools that if they ever expanded their stadium, they could consistently sell out 60,000 a game. PSU, Tosu, Mich and Wisc would all bring their fans en masse and fill up.
I always think about potential big 10 championship sites, it seems like only Houston, Dallas and Kansas City are Big 12 host cities for football. In the Big 10, we have Minnesota (The vikings will probably get a new domed stadium in the future) Heinz field, the stadium in Philadelphia, Ford Field, Soldier Field, or even the dome in Indianapolis. If we must, we can consider the 2 Ohio pro stadiums as well.
One nice thing about a Big 10 title game, anyone can buy tickets early and make plans well in advance to attend.
I'd love to have Pitt. Or Cincy.
Splitting the teams into two divisions is where the problem arises for me.
If you put Ohio State and Michigan on opposite sides (which seems like the most logical move), then you could and probably would have a situation where Michigan and OSU play in the final regular season game and then again in the championship game. I know these teams have not been 1 and 2 in the past couple of years, but if you look back in the history of the conference, it happens more often than not.
The question is, how many years of UM-OSU playing twice in a row would it take for the rivalry to lose some of its luster. Granted, for the big fans it would probably make things even more intense. But nationally the game would take a hit.
The only other option is to have Michigan and OSU on the same side of the conference. Of course the problem with this is that you will have situations where the two best teams aren't playing for the conference title. For instance, imagine the Big 10 was a 12 team conference in 2006. The 1 vs. 2 matchup would have still taken place. BUT it would have been followed by OSU playing the conference title game against the 3rd best team in the conference and maybe even the 4th or 5th best depending on how the split was done.
I think the best option may be a conference with rotating divisions. The rotation could either be random or based on performance in the prior season. This IMO would keep things very interesting and would prevent the Big 10 from becoming the Big 12, where you have extremely unbalanced sides.
In your scenario, 2006 would have resulted in a Ohio State (12-0, 8-0) playing Wisconsin (11-1, 7-1). Wisconsin's only loss was their Big Ten opener @ Michigan. Ohio State and Wisconsin had not played that year. A Michigan win would have resulted in a rematch with Wisconsin.
Here we go again. I like this topic, though.
Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers--will elicit a collective YAWN from the rest of the country. Universities named after cities just makes the conference look like a sissy. Feels weak. Big East-ish or Conference USA-ish.
We're in Pennsylvania with PSU--Big Brother there. Enough with the Quakers.
Rutgers? Again, New York has little to no interest in college football. And Rutgers gives the Big Ten another Purdue (well, that could be bad for Rodriguez).
Any of the following, and the rest of the country laughs at the Big Ten even more: Iowa State, West Virginia, CMU, and just about anybody not named Texas, Nebraska, or Notre Dame.
Texas? Leave the Big 12--their personal playground? No.
Notre Dame? The Big Ten has been carrying Notre Dame's slopjar for more than a decade, waiting for the Irish to come. Didn't they UNANIMOUSLY reject the Big Ten's marriage proposal the last time? Notre Dame treats the Big Ten like the fat chick at the bar. They'll come in, take the money and the three regular games we give them, then never call once they chew their arm off to get out in the morning.
Nebraska. Think about it. Mull it over. Travelling fan base. Prestige. Instant rivalries with at least Iowa and Penn State. Not too bad for travel (750 miles from Ann Arbor and Columbus). They have never recovered from having their rivalry with Oklahoma killed.
Guys here swear Nebraska and the Big Ten have had drinks together before...
be a good fit, but why would they leave Big 12? Too many traditional matchups to leave, I think. It's be like Michigan or OSU leaving the Big 10.
I can't see ND agreeing to come. They just make too much money on their own football tv contract. Not gonna happen.
Personally, I think it's Rutgers if anyone. State school. Decent academics. And, best of all, the Big 10 channel would be throughout the east. That's cash sought after.
Nah, it'd be more like Illinois leaving the Big 10. Nebraska's got the traditional matchups with the old Big 8 schools, yeah, but all the schools they consider rivals of some kind have bigger rivalries. Missouri has Kansas and Illinois. Oklahoma has Texas and OSU. Colorado has CSU. They're kind of like Maryland - they have some teams they like to beat better than others but don't really have a real rivalry.
I think Nebraska ought to be the top choice if the Big Ten must expand. Instant football cred. Re-establish the Midwestern footprnt. They're an AAU member, too. And the TV footprint might not be New York-sized, but TBH I don't think adding Rutgers would actually make a major dent in that market. Too much else going on to pay attention to a suburban school that doesn't do very well in most of its sports endeavors.
Notre Dame? The Big Ten has been carrying Notre Dame's slopjar for more than a decade, waiting for the Irish to come. Didn't they UNANIMOUSLY reject the Big Ten's marriage proposal the last time? Notre Dame treats the Big Ten like the fat chick at the bar.
IIRC, Notre Dame's trustees (or maybe it was the faculty) actually voted to join the conference, but the university president vetoed it.
Personally I think Cincinnati or Pitt would be best for an all sports switch. Haven't seen too much mention of Iowa State yet. They are maybe the most realistic possibly, as they suck enough in the big 12 that a move may spice things up for their university. Then big 12 adds TCU or Tulsa or Colorado St. or something.
Since it seems that academics mean more to the Big Ten than any other major conference, here are the most recent US News College Rankings for various D1-A schools in the region and other schools that have been mentioned, along with the current Big 10 teams:
20. Notre Dame
47. Penn State
53. Ohio State
71. Michigan State
77. Miami U
88. Iowa State
Any relevant schools beyond those are Tier 3 or lower, and thus don't have a ranking.
How will the Big Ten logo look when there's 12 teams in the conference?!
If they add a 12th member, that is.
It's not without precedent. The conference has been the Western Conference and the Big 9 previously.
before college sports were as big a business as they are now. I'm not in marketing, so I'm not sure how to value the name of a brand, but it'd be hard to leave behind a brand name, even if it has taken a hit lately in football.
If we're going to discuss hypotheticals that won't happen, let's just have no divisions. Keep things the way they are now, except three teams rotate off the schedule. We can break a few minor rivalries (PSU-MSU) if need be to make things work, but divisions are dumb because they are typically unbalanced.
I read somewhere that if a conference goes to 12 teams, it's actually required to split up into two divisions. Even if that's not the case, it's a certainty that we would have them if a 12th team is added.
people need to make a decision. You have to be an idiot to believe that conference championships don't do anything for a conference. I don't care if you are brian or tom vh, you can't believe that the big ten is a strong conference right now. If the bcs is going to stay around, conferences that have a championship are going to have an advantage. you are an idiot if you don't agree with that. So what do you want? Michigan to play ohio state before thanksgiving, or a 13th game, a chance to play in december, when the voting really matters and we are still fresh in the minds of the people who vote. I don't understand. I have heard analysis on this subject for years and every talking head on espn has the same opinion about this. I know you all hate espn, but they have more influence on college football than all of you.
Personally, I don't care about ohio state. I want U of M to be considered the best football team in the nation, and I believe that we can be the best football team in the nation in 2011. I believe we can win the big ten and go undefeated. but it doesn't matter if we are or not, because we won't get the recognition we deserve if we stay complacent with our conference and scheduling. Ohio state means nothing compared to a national championship. Cinn went undefeated this year, where did that get them? to jump ahead if a undefeated sec or big 12 team we have to have a conference championship, plain and simple.
I am not convinced that a conference championship necessarily helps a conference with the BCS. (maybe it don't do nothing ... ) I've already posted how the Big Ten has consistently placed two teams in BCS bowl games nearly every year since they began in 1998.
The argument for conference strength is interesting but irrelevant. No Big Ten school that finished undefeated in the BCS era has been left out of a national title game. An SEC school and Big East school has been. In addition, let's consider how a conference has seen it's national championship aspirations dashed in a conference championship game since 1998. Texas A&M upset Kansas State in 1998. In 2001, Colorado upset Texas, knocking them out of the game. In 2003, Kansas State's upset of Oklahoma nearly knocked them out of the game, and in 2007, Oklahoma's win over Missouri knocked Missouri out of the title game. In 2001, Tennessee lost to Miss. State when ranked #2 in the SEC title game.
I am sure there are also examples of when the higher ranked team won the championship game and knocked out a potential second school from a BCS bowl game. You might want to do the research on your own.
I'm not talking about 5-6-7 years ago, I'm talking about the BCS landscape now. An undefeated big ten team has the same chance as an undefeated big east team to make a nat'l championship, so it doesn't make sense to talk about these teams that ruined their chances by having to play in a conference championship game. They were in a position to at least get there, we aren't. and before you start yelling about how "were the big ten, we have the most history, we're the best conference", think about everything that has conspired against us in the past 3-4 years: miserable bowl showings, especially in big name bowls like the Rose Bowl and nat'l championship, the current landscape where the sec and big 12 are, either rightfully or wrongly, considered NCAA royalty right now, and the current trend of speed over power, which doesn't affect us but the big ten is still considered a "power" conference in the eyes of the press. In todays current landscape you don't have to be a genius to see what is happening.
part of the reason Florida made the nat'l championship in 06 over USC was because of the conference championship game.
part of the reason Florida made the nat'l championship in 06 over USC was because of the conference championship game.
I don't think the conference championship was much of the reason Florida made the BCS championship in 2006, at least not because of the results on the field. It had more to do with Gary Danielson consistently lobbying for Florida to make the championship game after USC lost to UCLA earlier in the day for their second loss of the season, leaving just one-loss Florida and one-loss Michigan in the debate.
i agree, hence the fact I said part of the reason
You missed the key phrase in my post. The SEC championship game had nothing to do with Florida getting in over USC, since USC losing to UCLA earlier in the day removed USC from any BCS championship discussions regardless of the results of the SEC championship game. And the reasons Florida got the BCS nod over Michigan had more to do with Florida being a conference champ and the game being a rematch if Michigan got in. Florida playing in a championship game was irrelevant to the Florida vs. Michigan discussion, just as it was to the Florida vs. USC discussion.
Hey stupid, is that why Auburn was undefeated after they won the SEC championship game and USC went to the national title game instead?
who went instead of Auburn - IIRC that USC team was #1 the whole season.
So clearly, not getting the chance to prove themselves in a conference championship game was a major obstacle for USC.
The obvious choice if it were to have a permanent location, like the SEC, would be Lucas Oil. But would it rotate? Would it possibly be outdoors in Cleveland or Chicago, or be confined to Detroit and Indianapolis?
As for Divisions, it would be one permanent rival, 5 in division games, and 2 additional conference games, as so (if the 12th team is not ND, and I really can't imagine an expansion with ND at this time):
Div 1 - Div 2
Mich - MSU
OSU - PSU
IU - PU
NW - Ill.
Minn - Wisc
Pitt/Cuse - Iowa
I would think West Virginia would be perfect, so I wonder what academics have to do with football? This seems to be the only argument against them. Because WVU has lower standards they can recruit dumber athletes? Is there an academic requirement or minimum standard to be in the Big 10? I ask because I do not know.
Besides being an athletic conference, the Big Ten has an academic wing, the CIC (which still includes the University of Chicago) which engages in a lot of institutional cooperation. The CIC is prestigious and doesn't want its rep tarnished by admitting a mediocre member.
did MSU get in?
Not a member of the AAU, which is sort of a prerequisite for joining. Only school that the Big Ten would bend this rule for is Notre Dame. IME.
game has pretty much been a fail for the ACC. Although bringing in BC, Va Tech and Miami raised the football profile it is still a basketball focused conference. Its expansion has hurt it in basketball by reducing rivalries and making 1/3 of the conference not care about the ACC tournamanent because they are eliminated on the first day.
Speaking of the ACC, every now and then Maryland gets pissed at the Carolina centric nature of the conference and might be ripe for the picking. If ND were not available and Maryland were interested it would make some sense. It fits academically and brings in a two large tv markets Baltimore and DC.
But then the Big Ten would have to put up with Maryland fans. You think Sparty gets on your nerves....
The Big Ten has made it abundantly clear... they are seeking to EXPAND their footprint. They are not going to take a school form within current boundaries PERIOD.
So far, they've dismissed it all together, but the almighty $$ speaks loudest, and it's a matter of time. I too read this article and if Alvarez is saying the ADs are really beginning to put heat on the commish, maybe it'll happen sooner than later.
However, that won't change the conditions. OUTSIDE the footprint people, outside.
For the bitchin' Avatar
When? by who? Source? Link? Hard Information to back this assertion up? Quotes from B10 officials, coaches, presidents?
In May and June of this year after Joe Pa's comments about needing to expand. Dozens of articles cited Commish Delany. Consensus was big-market (not Pitt, not WVU, not Cincy) AND new territory. Heavily mentioned were Rutgers & Syracuse (NY market), Missouri (KC and St Louis), and Texas.
Sorry, I don't feel like finding specific articles. They're there to Google if you do.
Pittsburgh would be considered a big market.
Not trying to be rude, but despite it's relative population size, it's at the low end of every soprts TV market.
Even the mighty Steelers are 26th in TV rankings in the NFL.
Also, it doesn't fall "outside" the "footprint".
I agree it is not outside of the current 'footprint', but I think that is a good thing with regard to rivalries and the ability of fans to travel to away games.
Not trying to be rude either, but...
"Two-thirds (66%) of adults in Columbus, Ohio are avid sports fans, making the city the #1 sports town in America, according to (pdf) a recent analysis from Scarborough Sports Marketing.
Boston, Buffalo and Pittsburgh round out the top four sports markets. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Boston adults are avid sports fans, as are 63% of those in Buffalo and Pittsburgh."
"In Pittsburgh, the Steelers are most prominent, with 75% of Pittsburgh adults saying they are fans. Based on percent of the market, the Steelers command the second-largest local fan base of any team in the country."
I'm guessing your stats are misleading. Do you have a link?
What team, aside from Boston College which would be awesome, would have a bigger local city and inherent media market?
I think his point is national interest more than local. Expansion isn't necessary if we're looking to improve local fan bases. Expansion is only to improve our national image, and Pittsburgh does not open us up more nationally.
Pittsburgh is a niche market for western Ohio, eastern Pennsylvania, and some parts of West Virginia. I think that is what he is trying to say.
On the other hand, adding a team like Syracuse, Buffalo, Rutgers, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, or Nebraska would open up to a different area of the country, either in football or basketball. Also, a note, I'm just looking at AAU schools here as that is one of the requirements to join the BigTen.
I would consider Iowa State in the same boat as Pittsburgh as not expanding the footprint, but Iowa State offers much less than Pitt on the football/basketball front.
OK - if you are arguing for Buffalo over Pittsburgh as having a more prestigious national image...I quit. I'm guessing you will retract that one and continue. "National Image" is -whoa- hella subjective. I think a lot of people underestimate Pittsburgh. Top 20 cities in terms of population.
Geographically, Syracuse and Buffalo and others are in a different state, yes. Syracuse is seriously brutal. Have you ever been there? Those two also do not expand the population and numbers count of the media market as much as Pittsburgh does. So, I guess we need a standard definition of "footprint". To me, more people=more money and more attractive. Sacrificing significant revenue in order for a larger geographical area does not make sense to me, and most likely not to the people making these decisions either.
Rutgers...NJ? haz image? whoa no thanks...
Maryland is meh - football stinks...National Image? not really. Baltimore is ok for market potential I guess.
Kentucky, National image - yes please - even though football stinks...Lexington is much smaller than Grand Rapids though.
Mizzou - faaaar away and Columbia is a small town, 164,283 residents, and 2 hrs from St Louis, which doesn't really care that much what happens at Mizzou. but I guess it is the State University. seriously far away though.
Nebraska? FAAAAARther away. better national image than PITT? questionable. basketball sinks...
Buffalo is something different. I agree that it isn't prestigious, and I don't think it's a big gainer. If anything, they gain everything and we gain very little in the way of Buffalo/western New York. That's fairly fertile recruiting ground, but nothing else. I don't think they're anyone's first pick, they are just eligible, which is something Kentucky is not (I mistakenly included them in my AAU list earlier, my apologies).
Syracuse is more largely visible on the national map, if for anything basketball. Sure their football program has been crap this decade, it's been better historically, and it's basketball team is still top notch. It also opens us up in the New York state market. Pittsburgh doesn't have, nor has it had, the same sort of national perception that Syracuse once had in football, and it's about even on basketball. I think the two schools are approximately equal when it comes to expansion.
Rutgers doesn't offer us much in the way of top tier athletics, but it brings NJ and it's recruiting grounds into a stronger BigTen fold. It also extends the BigTen's reach toward NYC, although I think most of us will agree that NYC is a pro sports town, and not a college sports town. The perception of a potential NYC market for the BigTen will probably be enough for the BigTen to go after Rutgers, whether that is a good idea or not.
I think Maryland doesn't get enough attention in anyone's expansion list. Baltimore/Maryland has quick access to the DC/MD area recruiting which isn't bad, and the Terrapins have a solid basketball program. If they can ever afford to get rid of the Fridge, they've shown that they're willing to put money into their football program and make it better.
As stated, Kentucky isn't AAU, which disqualifies them already. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't need much to qualify if they were interested.
Missouri is closer to us than Minnesota is. They offer a good balance of football and basketball.
Nebraska offers the best football, but I have to agree it's way the hell out there.
My list of already qualified academic schools:
- Maryland - best population vs new marketing areas, regional rivalry with PSU possible
- Missouri - best combo of football/basketball, rivalry here already
- Syracuse - best basketball, some football potential, extended footprint, old rivalry with PSU rekindled
- Nebraska - most football exposure, not much else, but football = money, keeps east/west division with OSU/PSU in same conference with best balance of football power
- Pittsburgh - co-best basketball, football is meh, PSU rivalry
- Rutgers - Second best new market. Not much for football or basketball
- Buffalo - We'd have to build them up into a power in anything
- Iowa State - We'd have to build them into a power in anything. Iowa rivalry. Keeps East/West conferences with Michigan/OSU in same division
arrrg you got me excited about Kentucky
Maryland definitely has potential. Close to NY,DC,Philly. Baltimore has a fairly vibrant sports community and a cool 'revitalized' downtown area.
Minny is really far away, but it has a huge population (3.5mil) and is easy to travel to with tons of direct flights from a lot of Big 11 cities.
If Columbia was only 30 mins outside St. Louis, I think that would be a tough choice, but I still have to have Pitt on top.
I really don't like the Rutgers idea, but any of Pitt, Mizzou, Maryland or, to a lesser extent Syracuse would all be really good for the conference I think.
Who do we call to get this done? Should we start a petition?
I don't disagree at all that WITHIN Pittsburgh, a VERY high percentage of adults are devout fans. It's an all-Steelers, blue collar, hometown fanbase, that bleeds for it's team.
The problem is, it's within just that area. If my town had 5 guys, and 4 were hometown fans, that's 80%. It doesn't say ANYTHING about national appeal or how effectively we market to guys outside our town.
I don't argue Pittsburgh's population is huge, I mention it in fact. However, population alone doesn't lead to "market size". If you're that familiar with P'burgh, have you not heard that the Pirates are also considered a "small market" team? It's for the same reason.
Google "Steelers small market" and see what you find...
P.S. didn't neg you
We're not talking about MLB here. We're not talking 'any city in the country'. I understand what you are saying. Northwestern is in chicago and they can't even sell out a 50,000 seat stadium. Their basketball gym is tiny and crappy. I get it.
Pittsburgh is roughly the 20th largest media/population market in the country. There is an avid sports fan base there, which was the point of my post.
What are your possibilities in larger markets?
Give me Boston College? yes please - but highly doubtful.
St. Louis is even with Pittsburgh in size, market and maybe lower in appeal, and Mizzou is 2 hrs away. Cleveland? nothing.
Maryland - possible, although the Baltimore market ranks below Pittsburgh and its way farther away. Where else are you going to go?
I only pointed out what the BT has stated multiple times in the past. Frankly, I don't care who they take, me and mine are still rooting for Michigan.
I do think you're too hung up on the singular value of the population as a whole. There is a reason that the Steelers got 60+ % of their revenue through revenue sharing being handed out to them, despite the ENORMOUS population that is the 'Burgh.
As for the MLB comparison, fine, but it's no more invalid than a ranking of newspaper distribution. More people, more newspapers, still small market. When all revenue streams suck (local TV contracts, $$$ spent per fan-capita, etc), you're small market.
We won't even approach the topic of "expansion", as in the reality of how few people we'd get who don't already watch the Big Ten in the area.
we can't add another team to the big ten. Why, you ask? Because right now, the graphic that says "Big Ten" but has a little "11" hidden in there is soooooooo clever!
They meet academically and would be a big rivalry game for PSU.
I would have:
* This would keep the important b10 rivalry games of OSU vs UM, UM vs MSU, MSU vs PSU and PSU vs Pitt played every year.
* This would keep rivalry games between NW vs IL, WI vs MN, IA vs WI. but these were never really strong rivalry games...so screw the WEST!!!!
Though the east winner would always beat up on the west. the b10 west would be like the b12 north. May have to remain conference to b10 + 2.
compared to the East in this scenario.
Seriously the B12 North thinks that division is weak.
If OSU and UM have to be in the same division - PSU will have to be in the other division just to balance the powers.
From the Arkansas perspective, Texas might have been their biggest rival, but from the Texas standpoint their most prominent rival has been Oklahoma for many decades.
There are only so many schools that we can actually take. The BigTen requires AAU membership, which limits it to only about 9 current FBS teams (5 to the north & east, 4 to the south & west).
In the pictures below, you'll see all of the AAU member, FBS schools based on the direction of expansion and my proposed divisions.
Expansion to the Southwest:
Expansion to the Northeast*:
*Buffalo is missing from this graphic
Those schools (Buffalo included) are the only schools with AAU membership currently in the FBS. I don't think ND would have much trouble joining the AAU as their academics are very good, it would just be if ND would want to join the AAU.
While I think the first graphic is probably an unfair balance of power, I think it's the one that makes the most sense for those of you who demand Michigan/OSU be the regular season finale. If we were somehow able to poach Missouri or Nebraska, it might be a bit more balanced.
I personally prefer the latter. A few inter-division rivals would need protection, but I'm fine with that.
I've heard Mizzou mentioned before, you brought up Nebraska...
why not Kansas?? Maybe Harbaugh knows something.....
I've heard Kansas and K-State thrown around, but they're a bit further of a reach. I can't comment on their rivalry situation well enough to really speak on how hard of a coup that would be to lure them out.
I'd like KU more for the basketball and mediocre football. K-State, I'm not sure what they're good at in any level of sports. Anyone? I know their volleyball team started ranked, but then disappeared into the abyss.
It would not be worth it to include a Pitt, Rutgers, etc.
But I'm all for pursuing Notre Dame with a little more verve
For years I've heard from a couple of Nebraska alums that the Athletic Department there was unhappy with the Big 12 Setup and that the university administration has higher academic aspirations than most of the Big 12 schools and they feel affiliating with the Big 10 would be advantageous. I even heard they've reached out to Delaney a couple of times.
If it's not Nebraska, I'd bet on a Rutgers or maybe Syracuse to try to improve its NY ties. The New York media will cover PSU, UM occasionally, and that's pretty much it at the moment.
But in case nobody's done it yet, here's a post of Brian's from a couple of years ago that does a great job summarizing the possibilities:
It's strange that it took so long for anyone to mention AAU membership when it's clearly one of the main criteria for any school that isn't Notre Dame. And ND's ambition to be considered as a graduate education powerhouse has been in overdrive lately — the faculty and administrators in South Bend do covet AAU/CIC membership. It might make sense for the league to wait a few years through the Kelly era and Notre Dame's NBC contract (expires 2015) before moving on any other teams. If the next five years turn out like the last five years, NBC might be looking to end that relationship.
But, really, the next best option is plucking Rutgers from the Big East. There's, of course, the New York media market. From a UM perspective, considering how many alums we have in that area, it would be a great support opportunity for them every couple of years. They are a good, land-grant, state school with strong roots. However, though they've been a good team at times but haven't been the #1 team in the country since 1869 (Princeton was #2, there was no #3). But the campus is only a few hours from State College, which is good for Penn State.
The real problem, as these responses have indicated, would be putting the teams into divisions. It would be preferable for Michigan and OSU to be in the same division, if only to ensure that the rivalry retains its privileged place. Meanwhile there's no way, geographically speaking, to keep PSU out of that same division, which would be good for our rivalry with them (and open to taking a year or so off every so often to be replaced with an inter-league game). But that would make for one concentrated division within the league; you'll end up with a Wisconsin-Iowa cakewalk into the championship game most seasons.
could provide an opportunity to null and void the ND TV contract... FYI, so if they want to get ND, it could happen sooner than later. However, I think the chance to expand our recruiting/viewing areas will win out over ND.
If it's not Notre Dame, it will be Pitt. We should just all accept it and move on.
The reson its hard to get in to osu for ohio residents is because they get so many applications from in state students that they can pick the cream of the crop. Its acutally much easier to get in if your from out of state since they get a lot less aplications so the standards are lower.
I'd say our best options are:
Iowa State - natural in-state rivalry with Iowa.
Nebraska - the academics to be a part of the conference, and also the potential for a clean rivalry with Michigan. It'd be hard to pull them away from the Big 12, but in reality the Big 12 North has nothing for them... they don't have a real rivalry with anyone in it.
Pitt - natural in-state rivalry with Penn State.
Chicago - If they could fire their football program back up, they would be the ideal school to add to the mix. It's a huge longshot, but it's possible - they have the $.
Notre Dame is NOT AAU, which a lot of people tend to overlook. The Big Ten won't offer them again.
I think with the current nation-wide endowment evaporation, and the cities general mixed alumni loyalty, Chicago is always going to be a non-starter, alas... It is pretty freaking cool to see the Heisman in the middle of the UChicago gym though.