According to MGoComrade SeniorBearcat, Dave Brandon said today that he could see the Big Ten expanding to 14 teams over the next few years:
DB sees the Big 10 at 14 teams in the next couple of years, with 16 teams being possible. Only big name teams that have a large market share / successful in sports and in academics. He did not name names, but mentioned only a few schools fit that profile.
If this is true, what could the teams be? Going by big market share in athletics and academics, and geographic contiguity, other than ND, who makes the cut?
With Nebraska in the fold, the geographically contiguous states are: Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.
Here are the I-A (FBS) teams in each of these contiguous states (I am assuming that the Big Ten will not seek to add a team in an existing Big Ten state, because the idea is to expand the television footprint):
CO: Colorado, Colorado State, Air Force
KS: Kansas, Kansas State
KY: Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Louisville
WV: West Virginia, Marshall
MD: Maryland, Navy
NY: Syracuse, Buffalo, Army
Of these schools, the remotely plausible candidates are Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, and the service academies.
Strong athletics (FB or BB): Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, WVU
Strong academics: Army, Navy, Air Force
Decent TV markets: Missouri, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Army, Navy, Air Force
Now I know that they don't have the most powerful programs anymore, but how cool would it be to add Army and Navy to the Big Ten? Two old-time college football powers in major East Coast states. Awesome academics and premier research institutions. High-character institutions. Air Force could also fit this bill, but it's a smaller TV market than New York or the DC area.
What say you, Comrades?