Big Ten Expansion Statement - 3PM EST

Submitted by turfboy on December 15th, 2009 at 1:21 PM

good friend of mine works for wtvg 13 in toledo and says ap wire has announced a major press release today about adding the 12th team. nd was not on his ap wire list, but cincy, pitt, rutgers were...just some fyi



December 15th, 2009 at 1:29 PM ^


One of the biggest reasons for this move is money. It would create a Big Ten championship game for football that potentially could funnel upward of $5 million to the conference.

Which schools are candidates to be the 12th Big Ten team? No one knows for sure, but Paterno has said repeatedly he would like to see Rutgers, Syracuse and Pitt, all Big East schools, considered. Missouri has always been among the rumored schools.


December 15th, 2009 at 1:26 PM ^…

CHICAGO -- The Big Ten says it plans to make an announcement regarding the possibility of expanding the 11-team conference.

Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said Monday that a 3 p.m. announcement regarding what he called "potential expansion" is planned. He declined to elaborate.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez last week told the university's board that he thinks the conference is serious about adding a 12th team.

Conference Commissioner Jim Delany as recently as March called expansion a "back-burner" issue.

The Big Ten last added a team in 1990 when Penn State joined. The school had been an independent.

The Chicago Tribune reported Notre Dame likely would not be pursued again. Instead, the Big Ten may turn to Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, Missouri, Cincinnati or Louisville if it does pursue expansion.


December 15th, 2009 at 1:28 PM ^

"Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany was expected to release a statement later Tuesday to say the conference is ready to consider the addition of a 12th team." - Angelique S. Chengelis from the Detroit News

Here is the full story:…

From what I read in this article, this is simply just a statement about going on a search for a team and those are probably just the teams that the Big 10 are going to try and poach. I have a feeling all this will be is an announcement about them going out to look for another team.


December 15th, 2009 at 1:33 PM ^

I am curious if the Big Ten does add a 12th team where will the Championship Game be held?

I think there are only 3 options - Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis), Ford Field or the Metrodome.

The reason I think there would only be 3 options is I don't see the Big 10 putting the Championship game in an open air stadium in December. I would think Lucas Oil Stadium would be the place seeing they already have the Basketball Tourney in Indianapolis but I hope it would be Ford Field because when Michigan plays in the game it would be a short drive to go see the game.


December 15th, 2009 at 1:43 PM ^

Play the championship game at Lambeau Field. The weather would make life difficult, but it definitely would be fun.

Assuming they pick an indoor stadium though, I'd assume the choice would be Lucas Oil Stadium because of its central location (and the fact that Indiana and Purdue would probably never play in the game, so they wouldn't get an advantage). The Metrodome would hopefully not even be considered (crappy stadium, combined with being far away from everyone else).

Northern Fan

December 15th, 2009 at 1:36 PM ^

Are you kidding me...these divisions are horrible.


??? Notre Dame, Pitt, Rutgers, or who ever else.

Come on, I like the idea of a championship game but a rematch of week 2 in the big ten (Wisconsin vs. Michigan) or whatever else.


December 15th, 2009 at 1:38 PM ^

If the Big-Ten takes a team out of the Big East (very likely) do you think the Big East Conference will try to poach Central out of the MAC or App State out of the FCS, at least as partial football only members?

Academically and endowment wise Central is pretty on-par with the likes of Cincy, Louisville and WVU and App State is ripe for that jump to D-I. Is there one scenario that is more likely than the other or am I just off my rocker with off-season-I'll-speculate-anything-itis?


December 15th, 2009 at 1:42 PM ^

I'd think that the Big East would probably take a middling to good CUSA team like ECU. App State would be hard to do, as there's a trial period before you're allowed to be fully integrated into FBS. Just look at Western Kentucky as the example.

Wolverine In Exile

December 15th, 2009 at 1:53 PM ^

Big East was created as a TV conference for big East Coast media market basketball. The football was an afterthought. App St has ben ripe for a jump to Div I for some time and stil haven't-- reason I've heard is jump in financial committment to go from I-AA to I. I don't think I'd put CMU on academic par with Louisville or WVU... Cincy maybe. Living down here, Cincy is a big commuter school for area kids who didn't/couldn't get into Ohio St and the academics aren't well regarded except for the aerospace engineering program, and even then it's only b/c the GE aircraft engine plant and Wright-Patt AFB are nearby as suckers for grads. I'd put Western on a better par with those other schools than Central from an academic point of view.

I would almost think Big East would try to poach an existing program out of C-USA for football only rather than try to bring up a D-IAA member or taking a school if they're really that concerned about conference membership. I could see a push for UCF to solidify Big East's push into Florida and give USF a natural rival. Otherwise, if Big East wants to go D-IAA route, I would almost think Delaware would be a better fit than App St.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:01 PM ^

Great outline here and really convincing.

In UC's defense though they have a great DAAP program (Fine Arts, Art History, Architecture, Planning, Interior Design, and Fashion Design for those not familiar). I'm not sure why I feel the need to defend the place (not a grad myself) but there it is anyway.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:07 PM ^

universities for art and design-related study, but it's not the research-oriented institution that the AAU members all are, and the leadership there would have to formally commit to becoming a research institution in order to join the B10. Pitt is already one of the nation's leading research institutions, esp. in the medical field.

MI Expat NY

December 15th, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

I would think the Big East's first option will be to try to convince Notre Dame to become a full fledged member. If they're desperate to keep 8 teams and BCS cred, they may tell Notre Dame, "join for football or get out completely."

The second option I would pursue would be Boston College. I know they just left, and there were lawsuits and stuff. But Geographically, BC is a better fit in the Big East and I don't think they've gotten what they expected out of the ACC.

After that, it's slim pickings. None of the east coast non-BCS teams are really ideal for the Big East. ECU would be the fifth(!) BCS member in NC, I'm not sure they'll ever be enough of a benefit, and they're awful at basketball. Memphis never invests in football, and their basketball is a walking NCAA infraction. Maybe UCF to give south florida a southern companion?


December 15th, 2009 at 2:36 PM ^

UCF would definitely be a good candidate. I know this is comparing C-USA Apples to Sun Belt Oranges but FAU could be a strong candidate as well.

Since 2007 UCF is 22/16 with 1 C-USA championship and 1 bowl loss (2007). FAU is 20/18 with 1 Sun Belt co-championship (2007) and 2 bowl wins (2007, 2008).

Just my opinion here but if the Big East wants to keep their BCS bid they definitely need to keep at least 8 and should consider bumping up to 9/10 football members.

MI Expat NY

December 15th, 2009 at 2:42 PM ^

I just wonder if USF would seriously resist the addition of a fifth BCS school in Florida. USF is still trying to find it's footing, especially in Basketball. I'm not sure they'd appreciate elevating another school in the state of florida when they already have to compete with the Big 3 and every other Division 1 power who try to poach the best talent out of the state.

From the Big East's perspective, would they really want two football programs, out of eight that are less than 20 years old (I'd say three, but I don't know how long UConn was 1-AA)? Not only does the Big East need to maintain their 8 teams to remain BCS eligible, they can't risk being seen as a bunch of schools that were non-entities, football wise, until the past 5 years plus Syracuse and WVU.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

I hate non-directional division setups. HATE HATE HATE.

First of all, it's way easier to keep track of the teams in each division if it's done directionally. Can anyone here name the teams in the ACC off the top of their head? Much easier for the SEC and Big 12.

And secondly, all teams go through up and down periods, so setting them up based on current team strength will lead to just as many problems in the future. Trying to set the divisions in order to get a specific championship game is how you end up with 2/3 empty Raymond James Stadium when Boston College and Virginia Tech forget Miami and FSU are supposed to meet every year. Also, anyone remember how much stronger the Big 12 North was than the Big 12 South just over a decade ago? Division strength will change, so picking and choosing divisions doesn't help.

Wolverine In Exile

December 15th, 2009 at 2:05 PM ^

I think a lot's going to depend on who the 12th team is. Syracuse/Pitt are pretty much swappable, but a wild card like Missouri or Iowa St (don't forget them) could throw all things into flux. While geography is a easy way to divide the conference, the natural strengths of the Big Ten and rivalries don't lend itself well to that. SInce East/West has been covered above, here's what a North/South would look like:

Michigan St

Ohio St
Penn St

I'd almost like to see a hybrid conference look with a mish mash... something like this:

The New "Big Midwest Conference"
Div 1 Div 2
Michigan Ohio St
Michigan St Iowa
Illinois Northwestern
Minnesota Wisconsin
Pitt/Syracuse Penn St
Indiana Purdue

Try to split up the natural rivals (sorry Iowa / Mich St), keep secondary rivals in the division (like Mich/Mich St, Mich/Minn, budding OSU/Iowa) and then your last weekend in the season is "rivalry week" where you go cross division to play your rival-- this is kept constant every year. The only problem is you'll likely have some years with the same two teams playing each other in the championship game hence diluting the importance of that game. Maybe switch OSU and MSU?

Personally, I'm in favor of either Pitt, Syracuse, Iowa St or Missouri, with Pitt or Missouri as my favorites (Syracuse is just too east coast for me, and Iowa St doesn't have the cache). Pitt brings us a relatvely large metro area with some inherent ties to the conference and a ready made natural rival, while Mizzou would bring us the St Louis media market and have ready made rivalries with Illinois and a potential one with Iowa.

c williams

December 15th, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

this is obviously a big question for a 12-team conference and the geographical options seem pretty crappy.

Consider an option where there are no fixed divisions. Instead you give each team their one main rival to play each year and then randomly assign teams to a division each year. You could even link the two rivals so that they end up in the same division and won't meet in the championship. This system would be a lot like it's constructed now in that you play all teams with equal frequency over the long term with the exception of the preserved rival. It prevents the incredibly lame Big 12 south thing from happening and helps to maintain a single conference identity. Also, it would be a big event when they unveiled the groupings/schedule each year. While people would complain it's too complicated, it would actually generate a lot of publicity, and fans would love to contemplate the arrangement each year.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:01 PM ^

How about we go NHL retro style and name divisions after people.

How about the Tom Harmon and Red Grange divisions? Or replace the latter with Nile Kinnick.

Besides, the Big 10 is not a huge footprint where we need to make sure with have geographic purity.

Yinka Double Dare

December 15th, 2009 at 2:11 PM ^

It'll be the Ed division and the Hightower division, in honor of every Big Ten team feeling screwed by the alignment of the divisions.

Seriously though, they almost have to do it ACC style. The only geographical way that makes sense is East/West, and that will almost certainly pack the traditional powers into one division. If you do North/South you may as well go all-in and just pick the divisions without regard to location, because the North/South doesn't make a lot of sense given how the Big Ten's arranged geographically.


December 15th, 2009 at 3:37 PM ^

Bo and Woody divisions. I wouldn't even care that much if we were in the Woody division, but those two did as much for the Big Ten's current prestige as anyone.

Depending on how long this whole process takes, we could end up with a JoePa division too.

It's a fun idea, but I think naming the divisions after people is too political to be done. Everyone's gonna think that their Yost or Schembechler should be the name of their division.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:04 PM ^

that all conference institutions must be members of the Association of American Universities, Louisville and Cincinnati will not be considered because they're not members of the AAU. As Delany said, they're not looking for a team, they're looking for an institution. If you look at the list of current AAU members, only a very small number of them are logical in terms of geography, likely to leave their own conferences, and have enough going on athletically to warrant inclusion in the B10.

Which means that the only teams for consideration are Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers, and Missouri. My epinion is that Missouri won't come, and that any new member will come from the Big East, which is the youngest of all the conferences, with the smallest amount of tradition legacy to overcome. I think Pitt makes the most sense. It's within the footprint (something another B10 bylaw supposedly mandates), is excellent academically, and has a pretty strong football and basketball package. It also would provide the opportunity to renew the historic rivalry with Penn State.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:16 PM ^

Size 10 then 11 then 12?
The obesity epidemic is out of hand.
Will the Big Ten be the next spokesperson for Jenny Craig?
Take over for Jared at Subway?


December 15th, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

Growing up as a kid in Missouri, I'd kill to have them join the conference.

Here's how I see the others:

Rutgers: Meh choice. Good football - other sports weak. Academics not the best. Lots of NJ kids at UofM though - could be a nice "rivalry".

Pitt: Probably the front runner. Good football and basketball. Surprisingly good academics.

Cinci: Ahead of Rutgers but not Pitt. Football is up in the air after Kelly left. Basketball is solid but not what it was under Huggins. Academics might be an issue (going back to the Huggins days - something like 5% of his players ever graduated).

Syracuse: Makes some sense. Football could be OK if they ever get a decent coach in there. Basketball would be great for the B10. Academics not bad.

Louisville: Basketball amazing, football awful. Academics alright I think. Meh choice IMO though.

So I'd rank them something like: Mizzou (hometown reasons), Pitt, Cinci, Syracuse, Louisville, Rutgers.


December 15th, 2009 at 4:15 PM ^

Rutgers is just fine academically. Not great, but a member of the AAU and ranked above Michigan State/Indiana in US News.

I don't think there's any way Cinci could join. It's not just graduation, they're tier 3 in US News and not members of the AAU (for good reason). Louisville has the same issue academically (tier 3, non-members).

Syracuse would be a good choice except for the football issue and they would potentially add attention in New York--but with football being so important in the conference, I really can't see that happening.

I'll buy the idea that Pitt makes sense, I just don't think there's anyone else out there who does (besides ND and I don't think that's going to happen).

Six Zero

December 15th, 2009 at 2:21 PM ^

We can totally win more than one game in conference next year! Mathematically speaking, of course.

At this point all roads lead to Pittsburgh, if you ask me.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:20 PM ^

If either school could be added, who could potentially take more of a bite out of OSU's regional cache, recruiting, focus, etc: Pitt or Cincinnati? I see Pitt as having more tradition on their side, but Cincinnati would provide a second OH school...


December 15th, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

It's going to be tougher to do an artistic 12 in the "Big Ten" wording than it was the 11.

they can't possibly change the conference name due to the branding, but it certainly becomes less and less accurate as we move past 10 teams.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:34 PM ^

Big 8 much?

Granted that was a much bigger change and now you already have a "Big 12" so that kind of hinders things as well. I wouldn't put it past the conference to somehow change it's name, though.


December 15th, 2009 at 2:57 PM ^

it's not that they "can't possibly" change the name, but I would think they wouldn't want to, with the TV network and the history of the conference.

Plus, Delaney would then have to get his Big 10 Conference tattoo modified. although I guess that's a business expense.

maybe if they do change, Big Ten Burrito can go back to being Big Ten Burrito. that's still around, right? As "BTB" or something stupid like that?