Expansion Reaction Roundup

Submitted by Brian on November 21st, 2012 at 3:59 PM


Blogs of record from each Big Ten team and a bonus.

Crimson Quarry (Indiana):

For all the talk about footprint and media markets and academic standing, the Big Ten is an athletic conference. The Penn State and Nebraska additions made sense for athletics. These moves, if they happen, will best be understood as a cash grab. I'll certainly welcome these schools if it happens, but at first blush I'm not thrilled.

Bucky's Fifth Quarter (Wisconsin):

I've heard plenty of people say, "Get over it! This is the new age of college athletics." And yes, for better or worse we're moving into a new era.

With that being said, I'll firmly stand on the side saying that, yet again, money and greed are the evils that us into this "new era" of college athletics.

Hammer and Rails (Purdue):

I only see this as an absolutely shameless cash grab for the conference that is already printing money with its own TV network. At least the addition of Nebraska made sense. This really doesn't. We're shaking everything up to add a horrible basketball program and decent football program plus one with an awful football program and a basketball program that had a good run 10 years ago.

Land Grant Holy Land (OSU):

The Big Ten isn't quitting on their arbitrary, silly, and frankly pretentious divisional realignment and divisional names…. but instead we get more constant reminders about what Jim Delany thinks about basically all Big Ten sports fans, writers, and alums.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Penn State is okay with it. Everyone else?]

Black Shoe Diaries (PSU):

I can't imagine many around here will be happy with this move. But Jim Delany doesn't care what makes you happy. The Big Ten is--once again--jumping out in front of the expansion race. And whether you choose to believe it or not, establishing a bigger footprint in the New York City and Washington, DC metro regions is a very good get for the conference.

Sippin' on Purple (NW):

We know why this makes sense for Maryland - their school is broke - and we know how it makes sense for Rutgers - the Big East is a massive compilation of suck - but nobody can really figure out why the Big Ten is doing this. Does it REALLY make that much extra money? Isn't the league already flowing in cash? If so, does it offput the weirdness of a league that justified Nebraska to the conference on the school's geographical similarity, similar personality and football prowess adding Maryland and Rutgers, which have none of those three things?

Corn Nation (NU):

The University of Maryland and Rutgers University Are Joining the Big Ten. Shock, dismay follow.

Daily Gopher (Minnesota):

While the move makes a helluva lot of sense financially for Maryland, Rutgers, and potentially for the Big Ten, it makes zero sense from a perspective of the things fans care about: competition, geography, and culture. Unlike with the announcement of adding Nebraska, zero fans across the Big Ten were excited about this potential move.

The Champaign Room (Illinois):

It makes all the sense in the world monetarily, but in this week of rivalries I am left wondering what could have been. When Nebraska joined up, there were rumors and rumblings that the Cornhuskers may have been bringing fellow Big 8 founding member Missouri with them. It was ultimately decided that the St. Louis and Kansas City markets just were not appealing enough to make the addition worth it and our neighbors to the southwest moved to the SEC. And like any responsible adult, I'm left wondering what could have been.

Neither BHGP or Fight For Iowa bothered to say anything, probably because they care about nothing and just want football to end.

Maize and Brew (Michigan):

Since this whole conference expansion thing was originally Jim Delany's doing, its damn well appropriate that he is about to execute its swan song: a foolish, misguided attempt to better an athletic conference by considering everything but athletics.

Also the MZone:

JIM DELANY:  I've had my eye on you forever.
SYRACUSE: You have?
JIM DELANY: 'Course.  We should get together.  Maybe go hang in the city.  With all the people and their cable-ready households.
SYRACUSE: You mean like Buffalo?
SYRACUSE: Uh... okay, but that's like four and a half hours away.
SYRACUSE: I live in Upstate New York.  Is that a problem?
JIM DELANY (MAKING HIS VOICE BREAK UP): What did you sa--? We ha-- a bad-- connectio--
CLICK! Delany slams down the phone.

MSU blogs didn't offer any opinions. Representative rec'd comment:


I hate this move. Frankly Penn State was bad, Nebraska seemed like a good fit but Maryland? WTF are Delaney and Co. thinking? Maryland doesn’t fit geographically, regionally, ‘culturally’, and lets be honest: doesn’t bring much to the table athletically at this point either. Rutgers is just as bad if they end up coming along.

Terrible move for the B1G. I hate the shift towards super conferences they destroy everything that makes college sports special. I’ll always support MSU, but these moves just completely undermine regional and conference football identities.

For the record I graduated in ’02 even if the above makes it sound like I graduated in ’62.

By my count that's one yes from Penn State, two meh-leaning-nos from Illinois and Indiana, one inability to rouse yourself from overwhelming otter ennui at Iowa, and eight HELL NOs.

In other conferences, Best Rant Goes To From Old Virginia:

i hate college football

I guess there's no sense not addressing the elephant in the room.  I can't not - Maryland has changed so many of my opinions about college sports in one day that I never thought could be changed.

More specifically, I no longer have opinions about things.  I stopped caring.  People don't like "conventional wisdom" because it's conventional.  I like it because it's wisdom.  Conventional wisdom dictated that we were finally settling into an equilibrium again.  Now there is no conventional wisdom.  Does the Big Ten sit around or find more markets to try and put the BTN into?  Does the SEC look to the ACC for two more members themselves?

What happens to the Big East?  Are we headed towards, not 4x16, but 5x16?  Who knows?  I don't give a damn any more.

It keeps going, and going. Enjoy it. Savor it.



November 21st, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not that article pictured at the top is in jest.  Do you really think students not going to football games means that they are huddled in the library?  Rutgers ranks among the lower half in the B1G for academics, and most B1G schools' students show up at football games in droves.


November 21st, 2012 at 4:26 PM ^

Sorry but that's absolute garbage. Away games I sort've buy, since that actually requires the whole weekend. You can't make 3 hours on a Saturday for a game? You really can't fit in those 3 hours elsewhere spread across 7 days?

I graduated from Michigan with high GPA, have a good job, and I attended every home football game and a decent amount of home basketball and hockey games.


November 21st, 2012 at 4:36 PM ^

What? I'm not saying I'm "awesome" I was one of many undergraduates that both attended home football games and was able to get a good job. My point is that it is not a particularly hard accomplishment to finish with a good gpa and not be a completely shitty football fan while attending school.

There were 6 football games this at home this semester, people are legitimately claiming over the course of four months that they dont have 18 extra hours of time they could spend doing anything except studying? Doing extremely crude math that amounts to roughly 120 days (30 days * 4 months), so 9 minutes a day.

"OH MY GOD I DONT HAVE 9 MINUTES A DAY TO DEVOTE TO ANYTHING EXCEPT STUDYING!!!! Good thing it paid off in my career!" -- Shitty Football Fans Who Don't Deserve Access to Tickets


November 21st, 2012 at 5:24 PM ^

You're assuming that studying in 3 hour blocks of time on 6 football Saturdays is the same as studying in 9 minute blocks daily across an entire year. You also assume that you actually can spread your studying across a year. My memories of college was that each month during any given semester was a different unit unto itself. You don't study for your bio exam over the course of a year, you study for it in the 3 or 4 weeks between tests. Those 3 or 4 weeks probably contain football Saturdays. Some people need that extra time to learn rather than go to football games. That doesn't make them any less a fan than you and it certainly doesn't make them a shitty fan.

I'm happy that you were able to do well in school, get a good job, and attend many games. Some people are simply not able to do that. I went to 2 amazing institutions for undergrad and grad school and both of them were great football schools. Sometimes I missed a football Saturday because I had some deadlines coming up that I felt were more important than football so I would unload my ticket to someone that would enjoy the game. I don't think this makes me a shitty fan. I just have different priorities than you and I certainly don't think that means I don't deserve access to tickets. 


November 21st, 2012 at 10:11 PM ^

Even in the busiest times, the nerdiest of the nerds still probably had 3 hours a week (at LEAST) that they were fucking around, partying, or not drinking. I knew guys who were 4.0 in Engineering to the most laid back of LSA...and I didn't know any college kid who was working every waking moment they weren't eating or in class. College isn't a real job; there's a lot of time to screw around. Now did they all choice to spend that time at games? No. Did some have more of it than others? Yes. But to say there was someone who really wanted to go to the games but just didn't have time for multiple games is a load of crap.


November 22nd, 2012 at 12:30 PM ^

You don't study for your bio exam over the course of a year, you study for it in the 3 or 4 weeks between tests. Those 3 or 4 weeks probably contain football Saturdays. Some people need that extra time to learn rather than go to football games.

In theory, this makes sense. In practice it seems to me that most students aren't studying on Saturday afternoon, regardless of whether or not they're at the football game.

Personally, I found ways to plan my studying on Friday afternoon and Sunday, which allowed me Saturdays off. I think a lot of people did the same.


November 21st, 2012 at 11:33 PM ^

"it is not a particularly hard accomplishment to finish with a good gpa and not be a completely shitty football fan while attending school."

So...this right here is where you're assuming everybody else has the same titanic capabilities as yourself. I'm glad college was so easy for you, but I remember working my ass off and still only got mediocre grades. I guess I just wasn't as smart as you.

(that last line isn't supposed to be a sarcastic stinger or anything. I really mean it.)


November 22nd, 2012 at 12:26 AM ^

You never went to a party, went to the bar, went out with your friends, saw a movie, went on a date, or just hung out till all hours shooting the shit? It's not that college is cake and you can screw around all the time and ace everything. Just that 3 hours on a Saturday won't break you. And if you do any of the other things you could easily replace one of them 6-8 weeks of the year and go to the game.

And if you didn't have time for any of that, you have my sympathies; because that's what sticks with me most to this day, not the classes or tests. Growing up, the experiences, and bonds you make.

French West Indian

November 21st, 2012 at 4:31 PM ^

...just the three hours for the game.  It's the other BS like spending an hour to get out of the stadium and walk home.

And although the video scoreboards are probably much better these days, back in my time we'd didn't have them and as far as actually being able to watch the game, it was better on television.

Big Blue Ball

November 21st, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

My first boss after school told me 'if you cannot take your vacation time, you will not get a raise from me'.  Seemed odd at the time, but having seen the burn-out in those who cannot balance work,personal, and pleasure it makes goodcsense now.  To the point I would not hire someone who could not find time for leisure in college. 


November 21st, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

In Rutgers defense, not wanting to waste 3 hours paying for and watching an endless weekly parade of craptasticaly uninteresting shiet football teams, doesn't mean you don't know how to relax. Especially if going 12-0 in the Big East means the KFC chicken wing bowl against a 6-6 team from the Huge Eastern Sky  conference.


November 22nd, 2012 at 11:23 PM ^

I watched them on TV. I was a fan as a student, and became more fanatical after I graduated. Being a Michigan alumnus, and a Michigan fan, is still a huge part of my identity. Now I'm a professor at an AAU university that's comparable to Michigan in terms of its academic ranking; my dream job is still to be a professor at Michigan. It'll probably never happen, but I can always dream...


November 23rd, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

But wasn't that still pretty distracting, watching the games on TV?  I don't think I could get a lot done doing that.

I could understand not wanting to tailgate or any of that before the game (I wasn't into that myself), but I think you probably could have found the time to be at the stadium for those few hours.



November 21st, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

BC but this is getting a little ridiculous.  It is what it is.  Just be happy the divisions are still up for discussion.  This is a great week for football.  OK, the Big Ten did not go get Oklahoma and Stanford, it is less than ideal.  Close the book.


November 21st, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

It's not like Delany and co. are going to look at a bunch of blogs and go 'Dang, no one likes this move.  Guess we better scrap it.'  It happened and you can't change it.  Let's start focusing on the Buckeyes.  We'll have a month between UM's last game and the bowls to rant about the expansion.


November 21st, 2012 at 4:24 PM ^

It's all TV money. News Corp (Fox) owns the TV part of the BTN, and just bought the YES network, which gives Fox all the leverage they want over all the cable companies out east. That's all this play is about.

That said, I still think we're headed to 16 teams, and #15 and #16 will be the bigger fish. I think UVA and either ND, Pitt, or VaTech will come.

French West Indian

November 21st, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

...maybe it's just me, but it really does feel like ever since Bo died that college football has basically just gone down the toilet.  Probably it started long before that but that does feel like the inflection point to me.  Truth is...I pretty much don't even care anymore and once you've cross that line all this stuff just becomes kind of sadly amusing.


November 21st, 2012 at 4:32 PM ^

started in 98 when Tennessee and Florida State wowed us with that debacle of a BCS debut......  This is 20 year period where the entire landscape of the sport is changing.  At any given point you can look at where things stand and it is going to look absurd.  The finished product will make sense.  It may not be want you want and you may want it to get the hell off your lawn , but it will at least be coherent when all said and done. 


November 21st, 2012 at 5:13 PM ^

not agree more.  I am actually excited to see what is on the other side of this.  I think the Big Ten is going to make two solid grabs to get to 16 and be in the ballgame.  Maryland at Michigan in hoops, I can see that.  And that Rutgers stadium will be standing room only when Michigan or Ohio comes to town.  It is time for the glass to be half full here.


November 21st, 2012 at 5:27 PM ^

I can control me. There is no law I have to watch, or care about, college football as much as I currently do.  I happen to enjoy doing so, but it's a big world out there, and I can spend my time on other things. This expansion will create less games that I care about, so it is thus disappointing. 

My life will go on.  But "the game I love" is not "Rutgers vs Indiana" or "Maryland vs Ohio State"; the teams matter. Even the negative impact to Michigan's schedule aside, I liked "MSU vs Wisconsin" and "Iowa vs Ohio State" much better (all the type of games we'll be seeing less of).

Seattle Maize

November 21st, 2012 at 4:30 PM ^

My initial reaction was negative when we added these two teams, however I think there are a couple positives here. Maryland expands the B1G into talent rich DC area and I think over time both these programs could develop into good football programs. However, it really seems like this is a smaller first step in a larger play for a return to dominance for the B1G. The SEC has long been rumored to be going after NC state and VT and if that (or the B1G adds UNC and UVA) then I think it effectively ends the ACC as a power conference. This opens up the B1G to add ND and other good programs as we expand to super conferences. We can debate whether or not this is a good idea but the fact is that this is the direction that college conferences are going and it is better for the B1G to be leading the charge then playing from behind.


November 21st, 2012 at 4:31 PM ^

There's a good editorial in the Washington Post today, written by a Maryland regent.  While I find it funny that Maryland/Rutgers could object to better conference and more money, this sentiment likely rings true for fans/alumni/staff/players of all involved universities:

Most important, a change of this magnitude should not be made over a weekend, with minimal documentation, little transparency and no input from anyone who might be opposed to it. The board did not hear from any of the constituencies that will be affected by this change — not the students, faculty, student-athletes or alumni.



November 22nd, 2012 at 8:19 AM ^

Unnamed?  Tom McMillian.  Right at the top of the piece.  And background:

The writer, a former member of the House of Representatives (D-Md.), serves on the University of Maryland Board of Regents. He played on the school’s men’s basketball team from 1970 to 1974.


November 21st, 2012 at 4:34 PM ^

I really think the Big Ten sees this as two good state flagship schools with undervalued and underachieving athletic programs. Yeah, right now, it looks like a great deal for Maryland and Rutgers, but if the Big Ten can rejuvenate these programs then a couple years down the road the Big Ten looks great. I think Syracuse and Virginia are next.


November 21st, 2012 at 4:42 PM ^

I can see how the deal is good for Rutgersland, but only as far as money and better conference reputation.  The B1G won't rejuvenate them any more so than it has for Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue.  We have acquired two more bottom dwellers (sorry Rutgers, everyone knows you're garbage) who add zero prestige to the conference.  Anyway, somebody let me know when the east coast (esp. NYC) begins to care about college football...and maybe tell Delaney that as well.


November 21st, 2012 at 5:20 PM ^

TCU jumped from the Mountain West, to the Big East, and then the Big 12 before ever playing a game in the Big East. If the B1G offered Syracuse and Pitt they'd jump at a chance to double their annual income, and play in a stable conference. Pretty soon the SEC will start eyeing FSU and Clemson, and then Syracuse will have no reservations about making another move.


November 21st, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

It hasn't been that long since the B1G started making the real serious money. It takes time. 

Also, there's only so much you can do with zero in state talent. Unless you find a super awesome coach, it's going to be hard to maintain excellence. And even then the super awesome coach usually moves on