Boston College for Big 10 Expansion?

Submitted by WellHungJury on April 20th, 2010 at 3:27 PM

I just wanted to see what everyone thought about adding Boston College, instead of, say, Rutgers. I think getting Boston College would enhance our opportunity of Notre Dame, considering they are one of ND's biggest rivals. Also, adding BC would add a large market that the Big 10 is looking for. And lastly, this could advance thoughts of creating a Big 10 conference for hockey.




April 20th, 2010 at 3:35 PM ^

Boston College and ND are rivals insofar as they are catholic schools. ND has bigger rivalries with USC, Michigan, MSU, Purdue and maybe even Navy.

I don't think adding BC either should or will entice ND more than say money, and being the a "conference-less" team would.

If ND is intent on playing service academies, catholic schools, UM, and USC ... let them ... they'll probably be forced to see the light soon enough.


April 20th, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

An awful idea. People from Boston, unless you went there, hate BC. Their stadium is an absolute joke - they pipe extra drum music because their band is too soft to reach the other end of the stadium. Their entire fan base is comprised of lame fair weather fans.

And BC would never, ever leave Hockey East.

Just a horrible idea.


April 20th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

Without commenting on their deficiencies, I don't think the Hockey East issue is a problem. The Big Ten doesn't necessarily intend on forming a hockey conference in the near future. In fact, they may well not want to go to the expense of forming a hockey conference with only six teams.

What the Big Ten is interested in is having more games between Big Ten schools so that they can broadcast them on the Big Ten Network. And all that would likely mean is that BC would have to play non-conference games against Michigan, MSU, OSU, Wisconsin, and/or Minnesota. This isn't such a big deal if they play a full series against OSU and single games against everyone else to avoid overloading their schedule.

Also possible is a system in which the Big Ten Hockey schools stay in their conferences but play each other so that an honorary Big Ten Championship is awarded, even though it would mean nothing to the NCAA (like the GLI and other midseason tourneys, only based on standings over the course of a season rather than a brief tournament in the middle of the season).


April 20th, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

I would take them over Rutgers in a heart beat. As far as the Big East teams we are looking at goes me thinks:

1. ND
2. Pitt
3. Cuse
4. UConn
5. Rutgers

I wish West Virginia had any resemblance of academic standards so we could invite them in. I would love to see RR going against them every year.


April 20th, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

I like the idea of adding BC, Pitt, UConn, Syracuse, and one other. That could be ND, Missouri, or whoever else. That would make for a very, very big market while adding good football/basketball/academic programs to the conference.


April 20th, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

I would rather not take the entire Big East personally, that will only dilute the conference. If The Big Ten is seriously considering expanding to 16 teams (not just a ploy or ruse to scare ND into joining as mentioned before) then Pitt is the clear choice from the East. Texas, Nebraska, and Texas A&M-or-Missouri and finally Nortre Dame would be fill the remaining spots to solidify the Conference.

-Explanation follows-

Reasons for Pitt
1. Great Medical school (better than any other in the big east), will add to Big Ten Prestige
2. Very good Basket Ball team
3. Location (rival for Penn St.) Pittsburgh loves football, get them on the big ten band wagon, Media $$$

Why Texas A&M
1. Would help draw in Texas(Media$$$) and possibly Nebraska($), that also cuts down on some of the travel time for the three.
2. dramatically increases the strength of the Big Ten in just about every sport
3. See Number 2, i'm sick of hearing about the SEC


April 20th, 2010 at 3:39 PM ^

BC was in the Big East until 2005, when they switched to the ACC. It's unlikely that they'd switch again to yet another conference, which would make it three different conference affiliations within a decade. That's something that a Mountain West school might do, but I think the Jesuits who run BC are bit more conservative.


April 20th, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

Seriously, everyone is throwing out the most random schools without even any rational thought.

- Nebraska adds less to the Big Ten Network than even Upstate NY does, much less NYC and has no rivals among any Big 10 members.
- UConn isn't an AAU member, isn't from a contiguous state, has no rivals among even the candidates except for with SU, and is lower-ranked academically than most other candidates.
- Nobody even cares about BC in Boston. BC has not been a net gain for the ACC, there is zero-chance that the Big Ten will make the same mistake.
- Texas isn't going anywhere since the Texas state legislature will never let them leave Texas A&M and Texas Tech behind, and the Big 10 won't add Texas A&M since they won't add anything that Texas doesn't, cutting in half the financial gains Texas brings. That and the Big 12 already does not split revenue equally and Texas brings in the largest share in the conference.


April 20th, 2010 at 5:00 PM ^

I can't speak to much of this, but as someone from upstate NY and living in NYC, adding Syracuse (especially if the football program went beyond 1-3 wins/year) would be huge in both markets, and even upstate is FAR from insignificant (Syracuse, Buffalo, Albany, etc.). Rutgers, on the other hand, has no profile in any sport in NY/C.

BTN is not on most cable packages here (it's available, but not a part of any but the biggest sports packages), and adding Syracuse stands a real chance of changing that.

Edit: you covered a decent portion of this below.


April 20th, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

Taking a look at Nebraska, which Brian cited in his post today:

Total population of the State of Nebraska: 1,800,000

Media Markets by household within ~2 hours of Syracuse:
Buffalo: 630,000
Albany: 555,000
Rochester: 392,000
Syracuse: 385,000


Just those four cities (neglecting any other Upstate NY city like Utica, Binghamton, etc. or even New York City) has 1,960,000 TV households. More than the population of the entire state of Nebraska.

As an apples-to-apples comparison, according to the latest census info I could find, Nebraska has a total of 695,000 households. Hell, just Syracuse has over half the households as compared to the entire state of Nebraska.


So someone please tell me how Nebraska is a reasonable candidate?

edit: Nebraska is also the lowest rated academic school compared to any of the candidates mentioned, even the non-sensical ones. (ND, Pitt, SU, RU, UConn, BC, KU, UT, TAMU, Mizzou)


April 20th, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

I'm no expert, so keep in mind that I'm just throwing this out there as a possibility and not a definitive statement, but...

Would the people making the projections believe that, despite the smaller population, Nebraska can still bring significantly more eyeballs to the network? Would the bump in TV ratings and ensuing increase in advertising revenue trump Syracuse's advantage in cable subscription revenue?


April 20th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

has a large, extended fanbase of people that live outside of the state. Not only that, Nebraska football is the only sports team worth half a shit in the state. New York has other, non-Big 10 universities to compete with, not to mention the Bills, Jets, & Giants. Take it from someone who used to live in Nebraska: EVERYONE IN THE STATE WORSHIPS HUSKER FOOTBALL.

Edit: There are many other reasons. Nebraska, I would be willing to wager, has more people watching their games than Syracuse, Rutgers & Pittsburgh. Nebraska played in the Big 12 Championship last season. They have sold out every game since 1962. Syracuse & Rutgers probably didn't even sell out all of their home games last season.

I'll agree they may not have as strong a resume as some of the other candidates, but the only schools that have been discussed that would add more prestige to Big 10 football are Texas and Notre Dame. To dismiss them as undeserving of joining the Big 10, to me, means that you think people actually give a shit about the Big East.


April 20th, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

Frank the Tank's guest poster sez: Nebraska is surprisingly valuable.

Advertising actually brings in more revenue for the BTN than cable subscription fees. Taking team popularity in consideration for ratings/advertising rate purposes, he determined that Nebraska would be more valuable than every school except Texas and Rutgers if they bring in NYC (which is a big if). Yes, that includes Notre Dame.


April 20th, 2010 at 5:59 PM ^

Thanks for the link. For fairness, here's his estimates below (though if there's anyone that's thrown every dart at the board it's him), and I think the Rutgers estimate is the biggest reason to call 'bullshit' (compare to ND especially...)


Texas $101,369,004
Rutgers WITH NYC $67,798,609
Nebraska $54,487,990
Maryland $50,818,889
Boston College $48,382,692
Notre Dame $47,629,255
Kansas $46,320,092
Missouri $45,901,459
Syracuse $43,504,813
Connecticut $38,080,271
Pittsburgh $34,365,175
Iowa State $31,831,077

Syracuse WITH NYC $65,874,573

Common Wisdom

April 20th, 2010 at 6:48 PM ^

Not BS. I'm actually surprised it's not larger. NYC has twice the viewership of Chicago. Rutgers (without NYC) guarantees all of NJ which is approximately half of NYC (#1 nationally) and half of Philly (#4 nationally) viewership. I know the Rutgers estimate you quoted did not count a South Jersey contribution. Don't know about the BS in association with the ND estimate however if there is any BS with the RU estimate it is that it should be larger!

Common Wisdom

April 20th, 2010 at 7:05 PM ^

Not true. RU generates more athletic revenue than Syracuse, or Missouri or Pittsburgh (NCAA data). This expansion is about TV markets not quality of athletic programs. Right now nobody in the Northeast much less the NY Metro area cares about Michigan or the Big 10. Changing THAT perception is what this expansion is all about.

Common Wisdom

April 24th, 2010 at 12:26 AM ^

Sorry been busy and this board is over nevertheless - The figures come from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. Each year, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act requires schools to report their overall revenues to the Department of Education.


April 20th, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

I don't like it. They are good academically, but their sports aren't that good. I would much rather have Pitt, ND, Texas, or Cuse.


April 20th, 2010 at 4:50 PM ^

One more thing to keep beating the dead horse.

All four cable companies that currently serve Nebraska: Cox, Time Warner, Cable One, and Charter, already carry the Big Ten Network.

That adds $0 in additional TV sets to 60% of the BTN revenue.


April 20th, 2010 at 5:45 PM ^

Question: Is that "carried on basic cable"? Or "carried on a sports package subscribers can purchase"? Because I seem to remember all the cable companies being extremely resistant to adding the network to the basic package outside the footprint, so switching from money from the few people that purchase the sports package to money from everyone with cable would make a big difference.


April 20th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

That's interesting, because I decided to check Lincoln's Time Warner site and couldn't find it in the listings.

I then went to Big Ten Network's Channel Finder, entered in Zip Code 68508 and it said that BTN was not available in Lincoln for either Time Warner or Charter.

Now, that's just the city that where the university is actually located and just two of the four cable networks you mentioned, but I have a feeling further research would find similar results. May want to back off that claim a little bit.

EDIT: Just looked up Omaha. Not available on Qwest. It is available on Cox, but not on basic.

Common Wisdom

April 20th, 2010 at 5:58 PM ^

The Big 10 Network is about market size, household subscriptions and double-dipping advertising... ...and that's not about Nebraska. It's about #1 NYC (Rutgers and Syracuse since both are need to keep the ACC out of NYC), it's about solidifying #21 St. Louis and colonizing #32 KC (Missouri), and it's about keeping the ACC out of #23 Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh.) All 4 are AAU (that is very important to current constituency) and all 4 are in states that boarder current member's states. Debate the sixteenth.