Nebraska, according to USN&WR are ranked as the 96th best school academically, replacing Iowa, MSU and Indiana for worst in the Big Ten (all tied at 71). Does anyone think the Big Ten may have lowered their standards a bit to allow them? Or think it shows what the Big Ten is willing to accept in schools that may be added in the future?
This is my synopsis of the process of conference expansion.
Jim Delaney: We are going to study expansion of the Big Ten. It will be a thorough and deliberative process that may last 18 months. We will begin the process, involve the member schools, develop several committees, and move forward deliberatively.
Larry Scott: Hmm.
Jim Delaney: Mary Sue and Gordon, kindly contact Texas whilst I have a brandy with Jack over at Notre Dame. Cocktails are scheduled in four weeks time. You may report back then.
Larry Scott: Where did I put that number for the Texas AD?
Jim Delaney: We are in the proverbial catbird's seat! Smithers, stop that infernal babbling and pour me my brandy!
Larry Scott: If I can get Texas I can get the whole B12 South and go to 16 teams at once.
(Media reports circulate about schools discussing their options)
Jim Delaney: we are following our process, which if necessary can be accelerated from 18 months to an exceedingly brisk one of 12 or perhaps even 10. I'm waiting to hear back from Texas and then watch out!
Larry Scott (reporting back to the school Presidents): It's done. Texas, A&M, Tech, OK, OK St., and Colorado will join. Our projected revenue will skyrocket with the new contract, and we'll have 3 of the top 6 football programs in the country.
(Media reports that PAC 10 will expand by 16 teams)
Jim Delaney: Wait, what?
Larry Scott: If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. And my straw reaches acroooooooosssssssss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake....
So this isn't entirely fair, but close enough in my view. If ND comes aboard along with Nebraska, then history will revise this view. If not, it's pretty accurate IMO.
Just got this link from the Aggie sitting next to me (who has loved the idea of joining the Big Ten from the start - at least someone down here realizes how awesome it is in the Big Ten! :)
Basically - UT & A&M join and somehow avoid the Tech and Baylor problems while OU joins the SEC.
Totally not at all likely but, ya know, nothing wrong with hoping!
One of the big sticking points in the conference expansion talks is “Think of the poor students, and how far the women's field hockey team will need to travel.” I intend to evaluate that statement, and examine what difference, if any the proposed expansion scenarios have on it, as well as examine the effects of previous expansion (a.k.a Penn State).
|Colorado||Boulder, CO||920||880||1250||1240||1260||1300||1040||820||1360||1140||950||0||overall average|
As it stands now, the average distance between schools is 695 miles. Adding Texas and CU makes the max distance 2100 miles. Texas and Colorado are at least 800 miles away from every existing school, and already 950 miles from Boulder. And, it goes without saying, about 1200 miles from the Pacific. Adding CU and UT makes the new average 900 miles. On the surface, that’s a ton, but, by doing so, it allows the creation of an East and West conference, with the dividing line in Arizona or thereabouts. That should actually reduce the travel distance between in-conference schools. So what we could wind up with is some sort of Pac-8, and a South Western conference that has nothing to do with the Pacific. Or, given what’s going on today, anything and everything else.
The Big 10 is the conference we all know and love, and has a reasonable shape, making for much more manageable distances between schools. As it stands now, there is an average of 370 miles between schools, with Minnesota – Penn State the longest trip at about 900 miles. Note that Google maps is either aware of the Car Ferry, or assumes a Dukes-of-Hazzard-ish jump of Lake Michigan at Muskegon to get to Minneapolis and Madison. As always, chart:
|Champaign||Bloomington||Iowa City||Ann Arbor||East Lansing||Minneapolis||Evanston||Columbus||State College||West Lafayette||Madison||Lincoln||Columbia||South Bend|
|Michigan State||Ann Arbor||350||330||450||0||70||650||260||190||410||260||390||750||660||170|
|Penn State||State College||620||550||800||410||470||990||600||320||0||560||730||1100||860||500|
|Notre Dame||South Bend||200||200||300||170||150||500||110||280||500||150||240||600||450||0||overall average|
|pre minus PSU||262.2222||308.8889||345.5556||327.7778||301.1111||512.2222||217.7778||373.3333||248.8889||296.6667||319.4444|
It seems Missouri is less a given than it was yesterday, but I’ll leave it because it would make too much work to take it out. Adding those three makes the new average distance 400 miles, and Nebraska – Penn State is the long haul at 1100 miles. Once again, there would probably be East and West divisions in the conference to reduce the mileage even further, but a distance difference of 30 miles is pretty negligible.
Big-10 pre-Penn State
For those of you who have stuck with me this long, here’s the payoff. What effect would removing Penn State have on the distances? Or, how much effect did adding Penn State have originally? You can see that without Penn State, the average distance drops to 320 miles between teams, or a difference of about 50 miles.
What all this shows is that the net mileage difference from adding Nebraska, Missouri and Notre Dame would be less that the difference was just by adding Penn State, even without factoring in the divisional separation. The Pac-10, on the other hand, is already crazy, and adding anything east of Arizona is even more crazy. To put this in perspective, the CCHA has an exemption for any team that plays an Alaska team. Google maps says that it’s a 3800 mile drive from Ann Arbor to Fairbanks. The trip from Austin to Seattle is 2100 miles. Perhaps they will have exemptions for anyone making that trip.
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.
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."