Article on B1G expansion to...Canada?

Submitted by mzdmv on March 25th, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Found this retweeted by EDSBS.

Interesting blog post on the potential of the University of Toronto in the Big 10. Now, this would obviously cause some NCAA problems as of now but I think it's pretty interesting. Toronto has a lot to offer, especially as a TV market.

What do you all think?




March 25th, 2013 at 9:11 AM ^

I don't know about everywhere, but, for instance, here in Iowa City alcohol is allowed at the designated (univserity owned) tailgating parking lots, but you have to get rid of it before setting foot onto the public sidewalks. And there is security at the exits to make sure you do get rid of it.


March 25th, 2013 at 9:27 AM ^

that is close to everywhere. In East Lansing and Ann Arbor for can drink in designated areas such as parking lots or private yards, but you will be ticketed if you even touch sidewalks, roads, etc, which are the possession of the city.


March 25th, 2013 at 8:48 AM ^

I like the idea of a little Toronto - UofM hockey rivalry. Mix that with the Red Wings - Leafs divisional rivalry that will be reignited after the NHL realignment. It might actually start a war.

But we all know the only thing that matters in realignment is football, and this one just doesn't make sense...


March 25th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

Has a better shot at being in the new B!G conference.

-Bigger stadium, a football team with fewer loses over the past 20 years, and more academic pedigree.


March 25th, 2013 at 9:00 AM ^

However, its athletic department is very small.  I remember in the 1980's the University of Michigan Marching Band played at half time in the Blue Bowl which was a game between U of T and their rival York University.  The band had more people than there were fans in the stands.  


March 25th, 2013 at 9:27 AM ^

Well at least Toronto has the hockey team going for it.  As for football, they actually do have a Canadian rules team (their website).  Plus they're a flagship public school and occupy a city with a city of 2.6 million (5.5 million for the metro area).  There are lots of obstacles involved of course, but they are virgin territory for expansion.  Arguably you get more out of investing 80 million in Toronto than some of the other options out there, aka the second coming of Maryland.  

It really isn't any different than letting UVa in and most of us want UVa.  You just trade basketball for hockey and the football is subpar either way (plus we don't really need more football schools).  The other bonus is if Toronto joins every B1G fan instantly becomes a supporter of going back to the old system where you only needed a driver's license as the border instead of the passport or passport card BS.  

Unlikely to happen of course given a number of issues, but I'd welcome them.  


March 25th, 2013 at 9:29 AM ^




March 25th, 2013 at 9:40 AM ^

This is interesting as it would give the BIG 2 of the top 5 markets in North America.  It probably would never happen, but I wouldn't immediately dismiss it as a possibility.


March 25th, 2013 at 9:47 AM ^

I figure the real incentive would be if the Canadian government signalled that if the conference took Toronto, B1G schools would be prefered targets for Canadian research funds.  For example right now Canada has a deal where they fund fellowships at various schools, including some of the Ivy League and everyone meets in Toronto every year for some giant conference.  If Canadia signalled that in exchange for cutting Toronto in on 20 million a year in BTN revenue, they'd work primarily with the B1G, it would create a massive incentive to overcome whatever obstacles are involved with being an international conference.  Canada for example would be extremely useful right now with the American government not passing out grants (and actually asking for money to be given back in some cases).  


March 25th, 2013 at 9:51 AM ^

You guys are interested in something that would fill the cellar with more schlock?  The UofT football team would likely get beat, easily, by any of your top tier high school teams and I say that with absolutely no hesitation or sarcasm.  The rest I don't know about, but I do know the football team is a perennial lower than cellar dwellar.

If you guys are adding it just for markets sake, the BIG network is already widespread here in Canada on most major providers.

French West Indian

March 25th, 2013 at 9:51 AM ^

I'd guess a lot of students would be cool to adding U of T.  Maybe U. of Windsor too!.

In all seriousness though, I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea.  Now that the expansion cat is out of the bag, I think Toronto is just as valid as many of the American schools that keep coming up in discussion.  They may not have much of a football team now but there is no reason they couldn't build up a program in 10 years or so.  And in the meantime, I could live witht the easy victories and the interesting road trip.


March 25th, 2013 at 9:53 AM ^

I agree that this could work. The city of Toronto is in need of "American" football. They would just need a few years of recruiting in every sport before competing. Currently Canadian university hockey teams are loaded with former OHL players that according to NCAA rules would not be eligible as the OHL is considered professional in the eyes of the NCAA