Big Ten heads south?

Submitted by dahblue on May 18th, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first I'm reading of such a specific desire for Big Ten expansion to reach into the south.

If the two biggest factors are "gaining a foothold in the south" and "lucrative television markets", I can't see any target bigger than Texas.  As one who cringes at the thought of Rutgers and UConn joining the Big Ten instead of Texas and anybody, this is good news.  Yes, NYC is the giant media market, but with Texas you get Dallas and Houston - two of the top ten markets nationally.

Maybe I'm just hoping (rather than reading) between the lines, but no matter how big the NYC market is, it isn't located anywhere near the Sunbelt...and Rutgers is about as exciting as Everybody Loves Raymond.



May 18th, 2010 at 5:51 PM ^

several months ago there was hullabaloo about the Big Ten and Texas marrying. I find it highly unlikely, but boy would that be a hell of a splash if it pans out.


May 18th, 2010 at 6:06 PM ^


I'm not sure if that question was directed toward me, but...It's just a forum topic rather than a diary post.

Anyway, I used hyperlinks to the sources, but here's the full link where I first saw southern geography as being a top factor in expansion decisions:…


May 18th, 2010 at 6:03 PM ^

This is apparently making the rounds, but I just saw it today:…

At first glance, it looks stale, so I'd guess it's been posted here, but the comments have run through today and are interesting.  Of course, it won't be interesting to those of you who are sick of all the expansion talk, but it's more fodder for those who are not.

spam and beans

May 18th, 2010 at 6:14 PM ^


I used to be a Yankee.  At the time I thought Texas was in the South because it was...well, south.  Now that I live in the South, I now know that Texas is not in the South.  Put your compass away, it has nothing to do with direction and everything to do with culture.  Texans don't even consider themselves southern, they consider themselves Texans.  I have also been taught that there was no "civil war", it was the war of "northern aggression".   Lastly, Everybody loves Raymond may not have been an exciting show, (but what sitcom is exciting) but it was very funny.  All you need to enjoy Everybody Loves Raymond is a wife, a couple of kids, and some in-laws.  Once you have those things, the shows hilarity becomes apparent.


May 18th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

Here's a splash of cold reality about Texas: conference revenue sharing is only a very small portion of their AD revenues.  The linked chart is from a couple years ago: Texas brings in $120 million annually.  The difference between the Big Ten's $20 million and whatever Texas stands to get from the Big 12 ($13 or $14 million?) seems like a lot of money, but athletic departments don't exist to reap cash for cash's sake.  Texas would have to consider if that extra few million would actually make it more competitive.  I sort of doubt the answer would be yes if they have to go from being the power in the Big 12 to sharing the stage with others.


May 18th, 2010 at 7:04 PM ^

That's a very good point, but I don't think it's necessarily that simple.  What Texas, potentially, has staring them in the face is a future version of the Big 12 that isn't viable on its own.  They'd still be the power in that conference, but what if they lose Nebraska and Missouri to the Big Ten, and say, Colorado to the Pac 10?  I'm not saying that's going to happen, I'm just saying that the calculus changes if members of the Big 12, as it stands, start getting picked off.  If that did happen, that leaves Texas with the choice of remaining in a weakened conference, or looking elsewhere, and the remaining choices aren't necessarily better than the Big Ten, for a host of reasons.  I don't think the SEC fits Texas academically, or that Texas would prefer it to the Big Ten.  I don't think the Pac 10 is a very attractive choice for them, either.  If Texas is forced to look into the future, and sees those options, it may have a decision to make now.

Again, I don't disagree with you regarding the choice of whether the few extra million are worth it, as thing stand today, but in the future, the calculus could be much different.


May 18th, 2010 at 9:14 PM ^

Very true.  But Texas is in the driver's seat in the Big 12 and has a bigger say than most as to the future of the Big 12.  I suspect if the Big 12 disintegrates or changes its membership greatly, it'll be because Texas let it happen, and if the Big 12 survives intact, it'll be because Texas moved behind the scenes to make some changes.  For example, all they would have to do is say the word and the inequities that Mizzou doesn't like could disappear.


May 18th, 2010 at 9:28 PM ^

The author of the story, not Delaney, was the one to mention Texas. Delaney talked about shifting demographics.

There's another way to read those tea leaves (and I emphasize, this is just me reading tea leaves, and I have no background of study in reading tea leafs, fortunes, palms, entrails or Latin):


Geographically, it makes little sense. But then again, mentioning the South at all makes little geographic sense.

Academically and competitively, the following would all be very much the kind of schools the Big Ten would have interest in:

  • Duke
  • North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Georgia Tech
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Miami
  • Wake Forest

The first three, academically, would be in the top half of the conference. All but Wake are considered better schools than Michigan State, Indiana and Iowa.

Boston College isn't on that level academically, but the Big Ten might make an exception if, you know, they brought along the New England television market and Notre Dame.

I could see something where the North Carolina schools, BC, Virginia, Maryland and Georgia Tech were brought into an Eastern Superconference, with Miami and Florida State left to join the SEC.

That gives the Big Ten markets in Boston, D.C., Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh.


May 18th, 2010 at 9:45 PM ^

Wake is ranked 28th nationally in the US News rankings (not that I accept them as definitive), higher than every school in the Big Ten other than Northwestern and Michigan.  It probably does not have big research $$, because it is a small undergraduate-focused institution.


May 18th, 2010 at 9:55 PM ^

Both are in the top 35 nationally--comfortably ahead of Illinois and Wisconsin and just behind Michigan.  Although they are not research grant giants, there's no need to make an "exception" for either.

I agree that the ACC schools are more attractive than the Big 12 and Big East teams being batted around.  Assuming we go to a Big 16, my ideal scenario would be to add ND, BC, UVa., UNC and Duke.  If we went to 18, I'd add Ga. Tech and Wake.  Neither scenario is going to happen, but it's a nice dream.

Edit: I see a couple people beat me to the punch.  I need to take a typing class.


May 18th, 2010 at 10:47 PM ^

Duke and UNC will never leave the ACC.  Whatever TV money the Big Ten could offer would be more than offset by the eternal rage and fury of the big boosters, who would withhold money forever in retaliation for giving up ACC basketball.  These two consider themselves the oldest of the old guard in the ACC.  They'd only ever leave if the ACC disintegrated.

And the new TV deal ensures that won't happen.  For all intents and purposes, the ACC is now Big Ten-proof.  $13 million means that an ACC school could hold out for full partnership and a full revenue share right off the bat.  The Big East schools are in no position to demand that.  The Big Ten is going to go for the low-hanging fruit or none at all.

What that TV deal is really about is not having to be faster than the bear - just faster than the other guy.  Now the ACC can wait out the expansion mess and see if there are any Big East teams worth a grab - or maybe even make a preemptive second strike at Syracuse.


May 19th, 2010 at 11:20 PM ^

Excellent points.

I think once the Big XII became fair game, all bets were off in my mind. But you're right -- Duke and NC are the heart and soul of the ACC. Only way I could see it coming off is if Big Ten really took most of the ACC, to the point that it was essentially a merger except with a few hangers-on told to take a hike.

If you took the whole Big Ten, the best of the ACC, and then, say, UConn, 'Cuse, Georgetown and Pitt out of the Big East, you'd have an NBA-lite basketball conference.

And then if they built rockets they could play the basketball on the moon.

The moon!

Edward Khil

May 19th, 2010 at 1:06 AM ^

He said the "Sun Belt."

"In the last 20 or 30 years, there's been a clear shift in movement to the Sun Belt. The rates of growth in the Sun Belt are four times the rates in the East or the Midwest."

The ACC is not the Sun Belt.  And I don't think he's chasing the Sun Devils.


Let's hook the 'Horns.


May 19th, 2010 at 7:30 AM ^

Big Ten announces expansion into Canada.  The Canadian Football League will be absorbed into the Big Ten Conference.  Yes, the whole thing.  When asked about academics, the CFL responded with, "Pottery.  We have a very extensive pottery education movement." 

you think thats wrong.  I'll tell you what's wrong.  Having a daily thread about the latest (or sometimes old) expasion rumors. 

Blue in Yarmouth

May 19th, 2010 at 8:33 AM ^

The thread title makes it quite evident what the topic is. If you don't want to read about expansion, don't click on the thread that obviously talks about it.

I can tell you what is worse than a daily thread about expansion, and that is the daily posts that complain about the daily threads that talk about expansion. If you don't like the subject matter, read another thread!

I didn't neg you by the way, but can certainly see why someone did.