January 8th, 2010 at 5:01 PM ^

You know what team hasn't been mentioned at all yet that I think would be a great add to the big ten? Kentucky. They have a great basketball team and their football team can't compete in the SEC but maybe they would have a better shot in the Big Ten? Thoughts?


January 8th, 2010 at 5:17 PM ^

did you read the blog post? kentucky scores low on the three biggest items.

academics - its a real stretch. its ranked low. and its not an aau member. 0 pts.
tv - not going to bring us much more and wont expand the footprint much. 10 pts.
football - no. just no, especially now that rich brooks is gone. 5 pts.
basketball - yes. 10 pts.
history/fit - not so much. but for the benefit of the doubt, lets say 4 pts.
interest - though they do quite off of the SEC's deal, and now have to move to a much tougher bball conference. 2 pts

add em up and you get a grand total of 31 pts. even if i was harsh, say 50 pts is the ceiling? its still a no-way-in-hell type of scenario.


January 8th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

would also fall into that boat. Good Basketball team and the football team will have a better chance of winning in the big ten. Also it would help kiffin in his quest to piss off ever coach and school in the country.


January 8th, 2010 at 5:12 PM ^

If its not ND, I would like it to be Nebraska. One of the best traditional Midwestern football programs. I know they would never leave the B12, but they would be a better fit in the B10. The next tier, in my opinion, would include Mizzou and Pitt.

Zone Left

January 8th, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

Aside from it being very expensive for non-revenue sports to travel to Texas, UT is a great fit for the Big Ten.

Let's look at it from Texas' perspective. Maybe they make more money, maybe they don't. Their baseball team essentially goes from the majors to the minors. They lose their historical rivalries (don't pretend they would schedule A&M and Oklahoma OOC).

Texas is a BS argument. It would be a collasal coup for the Big Ten to pick them up and would change the face of college sports completely, but it ain't happening. Frank's metrics are BS. Mutual interest is the single most important factor and is derived from the other items. By that logic, let's pick up USC and get the SoCal market. Why not?

The Tater

January 8th, 2010 at 5:24 PM ^

I'm not sure I buy that Texas would actually join the Big Ten either, but I think this is a bit dismissive of the pros for them.

Mainly, the academics at UT would presumably all be massively in support of the move. The Big Ten is a much much better conference academically than the Big 12, and membership in the CIC is a big incentive for Texas. The comparison to USC is inapt on this point, since the PAC 10 has a number of other institutions on USC's level (UCLA, Stanford, Cal).

Secondly, the money difference is a lot more important than you're making it out to be. Obviously I don't know whether Texas would do better financially in the Big 10 anymore than you do, but presumably Texas would look into it and figure it out. And if Frank is right that the difference is $10 million a year, that's a pretty sizable incentive to consider making some new rivalries.

Simi Maquoketa

January 8th, 2010 at 6:11 PM ^

Long before the Big 12 was formed, Texas and Oklahoma played every year--it was called the Red River Shootout.

The Big 12 didn't ignite the OU-UT rivalry. In fact, it was more intense when both teams were good and not in the same conference.


January 9th, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

I would not dismiss the UT-A&M rivalry as it has a history but I would agree that there is a much better rivalry between UT-OU.

A&M and Tech have actually started to get a little deeper in their rivalry.


January 8th, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

In a follow up to his original post, Frank adds some more financial details:

"At the same time, Texas, which had a best case scenario of having the most nationally televised games and a BCS bowl appearance last year under the Big 12’s unequal revenue distribution formula, still made only $12 million in TV revenue compared to the $22 million that schools like Indiana and (gulp) Illinois received just for showing up."…


January 8th, 2010 at 5:53 PM ^

Frank's argument is pretty sound. The additional $$ that would come to each school would more than cover the travel costs for non-revenue sports. Remember the athletic dept is self-sustaining and the additional TV revenue money and BCS money every year would make up for it for every school.

From a school president's standpoint, Texas benefits the conference from every aspect and each of the schools. From a football perspective, Michigan certainly would benefit from being seen all over Texas and more of the south.

I would be absolutely thrilled if it happens, but I have my doubts. The Big 12 would completely implode. Without Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska won't have the clout schedulewise anymore from a conference standpoint. The Big 12 just won't have the power without Texas.

The Big 10 would instantly have so much more credibility across the country and the gap with the SEC would shrink significantly.

Simi Maquoketa

January 8th, 2010 at 6:01 PM ^

Makes me wonder about that smoke and fire thingy.

As many of you know, I have been hyping Nebraska--except of course if Notre Dame decides to join. But they won't

But TEXAS?? Are you farking kidding me? Sign them bitches up!

Uh, yeah, nebraska, I still think you're cute and all, but you know...It's ME, not you. Texas and I just hit it off and before we knew it---WHAT? Hot sauce on my collar? Where?!


January 8th, 2010 at 6:06 PM ^

Agree. I think increased costs are basically a moot point in the argument. Adding Texas would definitely increase the credibility of the Big 10, but I think the gap between the Big 10 and SEC is going to shrink significantly in the next couple years regardless.


January 8th, 2010 at 7:01 PM ^

I'm a Texas fan as well as a Michigan fan. I lived in Texas for almost half my life and I'm telling you, baring the truly, truly, unforeseen, Texas will not go to the Big10.

Academics is the only thing that fits for Texas. All of Texas' rivals are in the Big12 South, except for Arkansas which is in the SEC and they haven't played in awhile because of that. Texas is the most lucrative football program in the nation. Texas will not leave to become even more profitable when they are already the most profitable.

TV coverage may be another small improvement, but Texas recruits Texas, they don't need to have nationwide coverage like Michigan or Notre Dame does. Also last time I checked, they get enough exposure to make it into the BCS championship game. There is very minimal reason why Texas would even consider the Big10. I'd say about .01%.

I think Texas is right up there with Florida or California when it comes to the probability they will not come to the Big10.



January 8th, 2010 at 9:19 PM ^

Numbers, or link? I'm only asking because I've never seen that anywhere.

Their TV REVENUE would double at minimum (remember it's Indiana/Illinois getting almost twice as much as them). Even if Texas is higher up the list than I'm aware, surely getting $12 mil more certainly surpasses where they are now. TV EXPOSURE has nothing to do with it, as you correctly state.

Also, I think you WAY underestimate the academic allure. They are after all a university first, football team second, like the rest of us.


January 8th, 2010 at 9:41 PM ^

Forbes' "most valuable" factors in several non-revenue considerations. I was comparing (though I didn't mention it) mostly just the revenue side. It does say they were the "most profitable" - meaning they did have tons of revenue and likely a better cost base to yield such a lofty ranking. I'll admit I didn't realize they were that high.

However, I will ask you to reconsider, based on the following comparison as well:

1) All the revenues from seat sales, merchandise, club boxes, etc will be the same regardless...

2) You have to admit the TV angle is more than the "small improvement" you called it. They "made" (profited) $46 million total through ALL venues last year. The additional Big Ten prospective TV revenue alone INCREASE of $12+ million is a minimum 25% increase.

All those things they mention happening with the $$ get that much sweeter with $12 mil more floating around. In the business of football $$ talks; and this is just ignoring ALL of the academic appeal.

P.S. I wasn't one of those that negged you.


January 9th, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

I think the key issue to consider is "how would Texas and the Big 12 feel about losing Missouri or Nebraska?"

That was the most compelling argument for Texas joining the Big Ten to me. The stability of the Big Ten is far greater than that of the Big 12 and if one of the above schools were to leave the Big 12 would have to find a replacement that would improve the conference. Texas will be a power in either the Big Ten or the Big 12 so I don't think they wouldn't move out of fear of competition, but they might like to join a more stable conference.


January 8th, 2010 at 9:15 PM ^

There is one thing which has been overlooked by many people in the possible expansion of the big ten. The Big Ten has the best medical programs of any other conference. This should be taken into account as the Big Ten will likely consider Pitt given their strength in this department.


January 8th, 2010 at 9:26 PM ^

Doesn't Rutgers have a solid medical program too? I think that Rutgers is the most probable because their football team is on the rise, and they have strong acedemics. The only thing that bothers me is their BBall team, it sucks. The NY market wouldn't be to bad either


January 8th, 2010 at 10:03 PM ^

That is true, Also having the team who played the first college football game ever wouldn't hurt the Big Ten's tradition either. However, how much many New Yorkers will really jump on the NCAA football bandwagon B/C of Rutgers? I think Pitt has a pretty strong Football program now and powerhouse B-Ball, plus PSU really wants a rival which Pitt would fulfill. Regardless of what happens, I prefer Pitt of the two.


January 9th, 2010 at 7:07 AM ^

No question Texas is the best option for the B10 (even better than ND, because we already play at least 3 games each year against ND football without adding them to the conference). This would also be a financial home run for Texas. Not only is $10 million per year a lot of coin, that number will be higher because adding Texas to the B10 will expand the footprint, add a championship game to the B10 and significantly boost revenues for everyone in the conference (i.e. 11 + 1 = 13). The problem is Texas dominates the B12 in most important sports, including football, and they would not be able to do that in the B10. It is not really about rivalries, but Texas has a sweet situation right now and might be willing to leave some money on the table to keep it that way. That is, effectively, the same decision ND has been making. They easily would earn $!5-$20 million more per year in the B10 but have refused to join because they want to remain independent. The B10 needs to be very picky and patient. Eventually, the money will win out. I just hope the B10 doesn't get impatient and add some lame team (e.g., Pitt, Missouri) in the meantime.


January 9th, 2010 at 7:16 AM ^

One of Frank's points I disagree with though -- do not count out the 14 team super-conference idea. The B10 already has hinted they are looking at it and, if ND and TX don't play ball, one killer idea would be to add Syracuse, UConn and Boston College (or maybe Rutgers, but BC is way better). Unlike adding just one NE school, adding three premier names would grab enough of the major Northeast media markets (including NY and Boston -- and we already have Philly because of PSU) to get the B10 Network onto basic cable in that region. It would also enable the B10 to steal two elite basketball teams from the Big East, putting the B10 in position to challenge the ACC and Big East for top basketball conference.

No question, the B10 is very conservative and would prefer to simply add ND. I am sure they will take a hard run at TX too -- they are not stupid people. But if ND and TX give us the cold shoulder, no one else really makes any sense (sorry, not even Syracuse). If ND and TX turn the B10 down, do not be surprised to see the "Northeast Invasion" idea getting serious consideration. Financially, it would be just as good if not better than adding either ND or TX, albeit a lot more complicated and risky.

Beyond these three ideas, I think the B10 sits tight once again and waits until either ND or TX cracks. The disparity of money will only grow with the success of the B10 Network, making it harder with each passing year for ND to remain independent. Like it or not, money will win out eventually ... it always does.


[EDIT: I have a crazy idea -- how about ND and TX and a third team (who cares what team, so long as we get both ND and TX)!!!]


January 9th, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

Seeing that I have lived in Texas the last 30 years I like the idea of them joining the Big 10.

I so often default to football and basketball but would it matter that Texas (who has a great baseball team) joins a conference that plays in gold weather during baseball season?

Obviously the TV, $, academics, etc matters... do the "other sports" matter?


January 9th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

Do the other sports matter? I would say in the grand scheme of things, probably very little. But for the sake of argument....

Obviously Texas baseball and softball wouldn't be thrilled about the idea of playing games up north in the cold. Like all non-revenue, these sports will have to travel mid-week and that's kind of a bad situation. Adding Texas is clearly great from the B10 perspective, and there could be a nice rivalry between us and them in softball. But the whole weather issue is a big one.

Texas would be joining the best volleyball conference in the country. Given the volleyball schedule, there should be no issues with travel (all conference games are on Fri/Say). It would be a great mutual fit.

Again, Texas would be joining probably the best wrestling conference in the country.

Soccer (M)
For the most part, the midwest is fairly powerful, if not dominant in soccer. It would probably be a nice mutual fit.

I think I could go on similarly. For the big non-revenue sports, the Big Ten is, if not dominant, very very good. Baseball and softball would be a tough pill to swallow for Texas fans though. However, like I mentioned, it is likely to not matter at all.