Can Big 10 Expand?

Submitted by Hoke_Floats on August 15th, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Slow day for me so I started to think about adding teams to the Big 10

I was going to create a post with a dream 4 universities for the big 10 to add to expand a al the SEC

I narrowed my list to member of the AAU members & Notre Dame

My Best 4 was

  1. Notre Dame
  2. University of North Carolina
  3. Duke
  4. Kansas

This would make the Big 10 an amazing B-Ball conference, but it really doesn't add that much for football besides ND. 

Also, I doubt that any of the 4 would even want to join our league.  I grouped UNC and Duke together, but they have such a history with the rest of the ACC it would be hard to pry them loose.

Non-AAU members could try a Kentucky and Tenn. grab, but I don't think they would leave the SEC

I know mizzou wants in real bad, but who could we pair them with and do they add that much to the big 10? 

rutgers?  I am not sold on them

Pitt?  too regional

What about Texas A&M?  Wouldn't that be something.  They are an AAU member and they are not happy with their current situation.  You could probably even convince Kansas to come with them.




August 15th, 2011 at 3:44 PM ^

Well, let's see: Syracuse is

1. A better academic school than most of the other schools named

2. Popular enough in New York to get the BTN on Cablevision, which is what really matters in the NYC mrket (plus, if you spend any time there you know Syracuse is the default home team and not Rutgers)

3. A basketball powerhouse

4. Closer than many other schools named, especially when you factor in Canada being a thing

and therefore is a much better pull than any other east coast school. Seriously, would you take Rutgers over Syracuse? At least Syracuse is a couple of hours from a Great Lake and keeps things roughly regional.


August 15th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

But this is a topic that really interests me. I am of the belief that there will be continued expansion and that there will be 4-5 conferences of 16-18 teams in the near future. As for the Big Ten, although there are a lot of options that exist. If I were to guess just for the fun of it as to who the 4 would be should the Big Ten go to 16 teams, these would be it:

Texas - They've already been told (or so that's what I've heard) that they could keep their Longhorn Network or whatever it's called if they joined the Big Ten. We also know that Texas was wanted by the Big Ten. Eventually, they'll move because the Big 12 is going to continue to get ransacked. There is one problem with them moving, and that is,

Texas Tech - The Texas State Legislature is not going to let Texas join another conference without their little brother coming along, therefore, I think they would be part of the expansion.

Notre Dame - I think they'll eventually have to join a conference, for a lot of reasons which have been listed on this thread. But, there's another reason that may develop as well. I don't know if this will ever be the case, but with superconferences, it might come to the point of a playoff and only conference winners would get in. This one's a longshot, but it could happen. We already know there's more money for ND to join the Big Ten with the BTN and profit sharing, so they may run out of excuses at some point.

Missouri/Rutgers - It could be Missouri, but by the looks of things, Missouri may get offered the SEC at some point. If not them, than I could see Rutgers, or actually even Pitt.

One of the more interesting things is trying to figure out where all of the pieces will fall. If Clemson, Missouri, Texas A&M and FSU all really did join the SEC, than the Big 10 and the Pac 12 would be forced to expand. Also, the Big East and the rest of the ACC would likely merge, leaving some remnants. The Big 12 wouldn't really exist anymore. Teams that could be struggling to find a conference could be: Kansas State, Louisville, Cincinatti, Iowa State. Who knows, but it could get really interesting.


August 15th, 2011 at 2:31 PM ^

After reading through all the diaries and posts of potential programs, if education, geographic footprint, existince of a legitimate football program and conference fit, and IF the B1G added 4 more teams, I would be surprised if it wasn't: ND, Pitt, Va Tech, and UVA.

Helps continue to push the footprint East while adding football progams which have the capability to compete and have some tradition.  Unless you want to throw geographic footprint out the window, very few teams make any sense.



August 15th, 2011 at 3:06 PM ^

If you say that these will be the new Big Ten members, I believe you, because you can obviously see the future.  ;-)

But really, until you can get someone to photoshop Hoke into that picture, it's Avatar fail.  But if Chunkums or someone can fix it, it's complete win.


August 15th, 2011 at 3:39 PM ^

Jesus, please no teams that are in the south or Texas or whatever. Do you guys see what the SEC is doing? Expanding their TV footprint while never actually leaving their current region? They'll probably end up taking Texas Tech, NC State and Virginia Tech in addition to A&M.


1. Syracuse

2. Mizzou

3. Notre Dame

4. Pitt

Adds New York State, thus gets us on NYC cable systems, but keeps the conference firmly in the Great Lakes region. Missouri is just a gret fit looking at a map.


August 15th, 2011 at 4:18 PM ^

Brian mentioned that none of the teams in New York are really good enough to capitalize on the market there, and I would have to agree with him. Syracuse and Rutgers are at best average, although I could see Mizzou or Pitt being added because they are respectable on the football field and are members of the AAU.


August 15th, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

that assumes the idea is getting people in NYC excited about the local team... it's actually just an excuse to get the BTN on NYC cable systems to appeal to both alums in the city and locals who could potentially be Michigan, OSU, whatever fans.

Getting the best team possible isn't always the goal. Clay Travis, for example, says the SEC is considering Duke just to raise their academic profile. It's not about grabbing as many powerhouses as possible sometimes


August 15th, 2011 at 11:04 PM ^

I just don't think Syracuse brings enough pressure on the NYC cable providers to put the BTN on the digital tier. Syracuse and ND might, might do it, but Syracuse alone likely means BTN remains on the sports tier for Cablevision and Time Warner. Hell, both systems held out as long as possible on YES, and the Yankees carry infinitely more weight in NYC than college sports. Most people in NYC can get FIOS anyway if they want BTN on basic cable.


August 15th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

Current region is a mostly nonsense, IMO. If we're going by regions, than BC makes little sense being in the mostly southern ACC and TCU doesn't make sense in the Big East. Most will agree on that, but South Carolina and Texas have very little in common with eachother, too. Arizona and Oregon don't have much in common. I'd rather have good football programs and academic institutions rather than put such a large emphasis on some tenuous concept of "regions". Pitt makes sense b/c it's a good football, basketball and academic school in a weak conference and it being close by with a rivalry with PSU is icing on the cake. I'd rather have an out-of-region school like VT than Syracuse. I think if we're going to get Missouri, we should try to get Kansas as well and have the Illinois-Kansas-Missouri rivalries preserved, not to mention they're flagship universities. 


August 15th, 2011 at 8:05 PM ^

do you know what Massachusettes and North Carolina have in common? They're on the ATLANTIC COAST

Arizona and Oregon? THE PACIFIC REGION

South Carolina and Texas? THE SOUTH

Michigan and Virginia? FUCKING NOTHING


August 15th, 2011 at 8:59 PM ^

So, Massachusetts and Georgia border the Atlantic Ocean...who cares? What the heck kind of region is that? Bordering a large body of water is an arbitrary distinction that has no cultural bearing on things. And it's not "a great fit on the map." If you can get a high quality research institution with a great football program that can open up a new market for you, you take it. 

And no thanks to Syracuse to the Big Ten. They weren't even a big football draw in NYC when they were good. Penn St., Michigan and Ohio State do about a good a job as I think we can expect.


August 16th, 2011 at 5:11 AM ^

The name of the conference is the Atlantic Coast Conference. That's the region they're choosing to target. So yeah, it all works fine from that perspective.

I don't care if you'd rather have a conference made up of a bunch of schools with nothing in common to make more money, but I'd be pretty depressed if the Big Ten decided it made more sense for them to have teams in the effing Carolinas instead of the region where every single member school is currently. What's the point of conferences otherwise? Let's just all be independents and play whoever the fuck we want.

Bo Nederlander

August 16th, 2011 at 10:34 AM ^

I partially agree with you on the South thing. Plus, any team worth taking that far south would go west before north. However, this 'getting us the NY market' is a terrible talking point. I live in NY and there are like 15 bars out here where Michigan fans congregate on Gameday. I have the B1G on my DirecTv. So, essentially, all the alum out here have already got this market. We just don't recruit much out of here simply because this is primarily an area for good Basketball/Baseball. I wouldn't condone picking up Syracuse or Rutgers over Pitt. Pitt makes far more sense in every aspect of the word. I'd love to land OU but it just isn't going to happen without taking Ok St. If it went

1) Pitt



4)Ok St

that would be fine too but highly unlikely.


August 15th, 2011 at 4:36 PM ^

Why would basketball drive expansion?  The most profitable basketball program (UNC) is 1/5th as valuable as the most profitable football program (Texas).

Football is where the money is at in this country and I doubt that we would expand unless it helps football.


August 15th, 2011 at 5:48 PM ^

Let's just end it all and add ND, Syracuse, Mizzou, and BC.

Those teams combined to go 33-19 last year in football and 98-41 in hoops.  Nice adds.


August 15th, 2011 at 7:44 PM ^

Look, the Big East is making a fraction of what the others is a link...

Because basketball does NOT matter.

Having lived in NYC, NOBODY cares about college football there, except people who migrated from other places.  Rutgers, Syracuse, UConn...none of those is going to infiltrate the NYC market.  They may be worthwhile for other reasons though.

The keys are two fold.  One, increase national exposure.  Two, increase regional exposure.  Three, increase Big 10 prestige.

Obviously, Notre Dame and Texas are the big names.  Texas is very, very unlikely.  Notre Dame is highly likely IF major expansion happens.  ND natural home is the Big 10, whether we or they like it or not.

Outside of those, however, no marriage is made in heaven.  Everything else  has weakness.  Pitt makes a lot of sense, but adds nothing financially. Rutgers and Syracuse extend the footprint, but not by much.  Missouri is of questionable worth.  Oklahoma only comes with Okie State, which will never happen.

So I think the Big 10 stays put, until forced to make another move.  They have 12, got the best addition by far with Nebraska, when considering the recent consolidation.  Until others make a move, all is well. 


August 15th, 2011 at 8:13 PM ^

again, you're making the mistake of assuming we want NYC because we think Rutgers or Syracuse have some huge fanbases we could tap. We want all the Midwesterners in New York City (there are probably twice as many of them as there are people in Nebraska) watching their teams on the BTN, that's it.

In terms of basketball, it shouldn't drive anything. But if you're picking between Syracuse, perennial b-ball power, and Rutgers, perennial D-1 team from New Jersey, it should be obvious which is more valuable.

If we sit pat while the SEC adds teams and the Pac-12 takes the Oklahoma schools (and they will), we're going to lose out. Sitting back because we can't get big enough names is stupid... the SEC will take NC State and Texas Tech to make the numbers work, we can do the same. Notre Dame will have no choice but to join if this all goes ahead.


August 15th, 2011 at 9:12 PM ^

Yea, let's counter the Pac-12 taking OU and the SEC grabbing A&M by getting Rutgers and 'Cuse. That'll show 'em. And OU going to the Pac-12 would sort of mess up your "region" argument. And the SEC doesn't give a crap about Texas Tech, where are you getting this nonsense from? If it were as easy as going to the ACC to get schools, they'd poach programs like Clemson before bothering with Texas Tech.

If you want midwestern/Big Ten transplants so bad, there are a bunch of them all over the East Coast, Penn St. is a big draw throughout the Bos-Wash corridor, unlike Rutgers and Syracuse, so you'd probably be better off going after some going after the schools that matter in that corridor like Pitt, VT, UVA, U-MD and even UNC. And I'd take 'Cuse, but I think if geography isn't the biggest constraint in the world, there are better choices.


August 16th, 2011 at 5:33 AM ^

You do know that this is all about TV money, right? The only reason the SEC is even considering this is to get into the Houston market and get their network in Texas. If this was about quality or prestige or some shit like that, they'd grab Florida State and call it a day. But they're considering a school that's pretty bad athletically across the board just to claim the TV market. What's the Big Ten equivalent to Texas? New York. Whatever it takes to get the BTN on basic cable in NYC (and the rest of New York State for that matter) is worth it as far as the conference is concerned.

You clearly haven't been following this situation closely if you think Clemson is more likely than Texas Tech. You can catch up on the details here, Clay Travis is an SEC homer but he's got connections and he's been on this story like white on rice:

I don't care what the Pac-12 does, by the way, my concern here is for the Big Ten and the Big Ten only. I don't want to be some post-modern airplane conference... fuck, why not invite San Diego State while we're at it? Hey, bring in Hawaii, it'd be a fun trip for the team!

EDIT: and, by the way, what the fuck would UVA add that Syracuse couldn't? Academics are a factor, but they're not even close to the primary one. UVA is worse on the whole than Syracuse athletically and there's no market to even speak of there.


August 16th, 2011 at 10:21 AM ^

You don't just look at a map and assume you know everything. UVA is similar to Michigan in that they get a lot of north easterners/out-of-staters and the most populated region of Virginia is Northern Virginia, the suburbs of Washington, DC, where a lot of their in-state population are from and live after they graduate. UVA has a great foundation from which to build a quality football program, more than 'Cuse and Rutgers. They've sent a lot of guys to the pros and already recruit the northeast well. They have a fairly new football and basketball stadium. They have good lacrosse, soccer and baseball teams, great academics and a college town that fits in with the conference. I don't think they'd join the conference, btw.

But, you're so infatuated with NYC, you need to hear some facts. New York is not the Big Ten equivalent to Texas, I don't even know what that means. Chicago is the capital of the Big Ten, NYC is a market that a lot of Big Ten grads are from and work after they graduate. Penn St and Michigan are among the biggest alumni groups in the NYC area. Syracuse and Rutgers are not the draws that you think they are in the area. Rutgers being a flagship is about all it offers. Texas A&M's football significance and relationship with Texas are not like Syracuse or Rutgers. The SEC isn't going after the University of Houston, they're going after a legendary football program with a huge regional following in a populated area. 

I don't care if the SEC goes after Texas Tech or Clemson, I'm just saying that Texas Tech offers nothing to the conference. Texas A&M makes a lot of sense, Texas Tech and Lubbock, TX don't. 


August 16th, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

I mean, yeah, ok. We could grab UVA and hope that's enough to get us off the sports tier on DC/Hampton Roads cable systems. And I guess they could go back to being a middle of the road BCS school at some point. You still didn't answer my question about why they're a better fit than Syracuse, who have been better both historically and recently and play in a state more than twice the population of Virginia (even if you take out NYC, Long Island and Westchester, New York has more people than Virginia by several million). There's so much more at stake here than getting the best teams or the nicest cultural fit and I still think people need to realize that. Maryland does mostly the same thing but keeps us contiguous at least.

Is it that hard for you to grasp the comparison? The SEC is after a large market that's right outside of their borders where they have a large alumni base. The Big Ten equivalent of such a market is... New York City. I never claimed that Syracuse and Rutgers were a) the equivalent of Texas A&M or b) huge draws in New York City. What they are, though, are local teams that would allow the Big Ten to argue that the BTN needs to be moved to the basic tier on cable systems in the area. The argument would likely include the number of alums plus the number of local team fans being a huge un-served market. It's all about maximizing the number of BTN subscribers, which is why these debates always come back to New York.

You're massively overstating Texas A&M's history. They're a middle of the road BCS school that once had some success several decades ago. They're like Michigan State, in more ways than one. Only without the basketball. The only thing that makes A&M appealing is the Houston market. Comparing them to the University of Houston is like comparing Northern Illinois to Northwestern, by the way... one is a commuter school that has no fanbase to speak of while the other is a mediocre but large school in a big market with a big fanbase.

On Texas Tech... it's all about cable, remember? Having Texas A&M gets you in the door in Houston, but we're talking about 25 million potential SEC Network subscribers in the state. Doubling down allows you to sell your product statewide, particularly in Dallas which is the Big 12 version of our Chicago or the SEC's Atlanta.


August 17th, 2011 at 10:28 AM ^

You want to have it both ways and talk about geographic continuity while at the same time saying we don't need a cultural fit b/c we want TV revenue. I could honestly care less if continuity is broken if the Big Ten were to take a southern school like UVA (and south=bad to a lot of people), that otherwise offers a lot. I wouldn't take Maryland over UVA just b/c it looks better on a map, it would have to be more than that. 

If you want the NYC market so bad, add Notre Dame and then Pitt. With Notre Dame, Penn St, Michigan, and Ohio St, the Big Ten Network would have all the schools that it needs to make it worthwhile in the NYC area. Syracuse doesn't add as much as you think, which has been alluded to a number of times. And I'm not just speaking out of my ass, I'm one of the NYC natives who went to Michigan. Basketball is the only benefit of having 'Cuse and it's not as profitable and Boeheim would vehemently oppose going to the Big Ten. 

Hardly anyone cares about Texas Tech football. It's good enough to add A&M and maybe try to have Dallas Stadium host the SEC championship game or SEC teams on a fairly routine basis. College Station is almost equidistant between Dallas and Houston, you're not just going after Houston w/ Texas A&M. Adding TT will be a marginal TV improvement while at the same time adding a non-player in athletics and academics. 

Michigan Arrogance

August 15th, 2011 at 9:47 PM ^

Aside from ND's obvious natural fit, the B10 is looking for

1) A+ additions to football compeditiveness. Not middle of the road teams, nor crappy teams.

2) Big time national or new market regional appeal.

3) Flagship Public school with significant reseach dollars. The more I think on this, I don't think USNews and similar rankings and AAU membership are that big of a deal. Neb is a fairly low ranking U but they fit the flagship U profile. The existing B10 members are not looking to be snobish but they do want a cultural fit from a university perspective.

They don't care about other sports. I think they are looking for a geographic fit, at least sharing a border, but that's a moot point b/c any other flagship Us not sharing a border are not realistic (ex; UF, UG, Texas, WVU, etc).

OU, I could see happening unless they need to bring OkSt. Pitt, probably not. Cuse no. UConn, Rutgers, no. Any BEast or ACC school is out of the question since they are all crappy or mediocre at football or crappy at academics and don't fit geographically.

OU and Mizzouri are the most likely, IME. Mizzou doesn't fit the national appeal and the regional market is smaller (I guess) but as a package with OU, yes... I could see the following scenario playing out:

- TAMU SECeeds. SEC brings 1 or a few others as well. FSU, TTech, Clemson, VT, w/e. I think the SEC would be making a bad move to get TTech or a Clemson, since they don't bring much to football, but IDK what the SEC is thinking.

- Texas goes a head with the LN, obvs.

- OU, being the last team in the B12 with any kind of a decent program (aside from Tex) looks elsewhere knowing that the league is now Tex and everyone else. They want stability and compeditive equity and the B12 simply doesn't have that. They approach the B10 and the B10 says they would approve, but need even numbers. Ok St, nope... but Mizzou is acceptable, given as a package with OU. People talk about ND, and maybe the B10 makes a call... but ND does what they always do and Mizzou and OU are added the B10 1-2 years later.

Of course, this all hinges on OkSt not tagging along.


August 16th, 2011 at 6:07 AM ^

OU isn't going anywhere without OSU, they're a package deal just like the Texas schools were last year (A&M's break might change that, who can tell). I think the Pac-12 would be the only conference willing to take both of them.

I think quality takes a back seat to adding new markets in this go-round. It's really all about TV... in last year's scenario we took a gamble that Nebraska's brand power was worth more than just adding Missouri or treading old ground in Pittsburgh. Let's not forget that the Pac-10 took a terrible Colorado team and a non-BCS school just to claim the last remaining big markets in the southwest. And both conferences were hot to get some piece of the Texas pie before UT leveraged both for enormous gains in TV money. The SEC is about to nab a team that wasn't that much better than Syracuse last season just for the TV market, after all.

Ideally you're getting a Texas or a Notre Dame that bring both money and prestige, but if push comes to shove you take what you can get as long as it means money is pouring in. That might mean we go hard after North Carolina and Duke, it might mean we settle with couple of mediocre schools in the northeast.


August 16th, 2011 at 6:12 AM ^

because they're not large enough in number to make a dent in the general population for one

but also, and this is being overlooked, sometimes a cable company will make a move like that in anticipation of demand. It's why OLN/Versus became immediately available on most Detroit area cable systems after the NHL landed there... they all saw the demand coming and made the move preemptively to prevent any potential losses.

Bo Nederlander

August 15th, 2011 at 11:30 PM ^

Top two. ND and Pitt. Both tradition rich, regionally sound. AAU members. Pitt has NINE national titles and adds also a natural rival in Penn St. ND for obvious reasons. The argument about 'regional footprint' is ridiculous. Illinois/Northwestern. Michigan/MI State. Indiana/Purdue. Need I say more? Pitt is a great fit and they are reportedly interested too. Plus..great basketball. Beyond that, Mizzou and GT. Simple for simple reasons. IMHO


August 15th, 2011 at 11:44 PM ^

Do not add Pitt they're a a middle level Big Ten football school at best.  They don't open up a new state a new footprint for the Big Ten.  Nobody on the east coast cares about football expand west


August 16th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

I'd love Pitt to join. I agree that them and ND are the most obvious choices. My concern with Pitt is their football stadium being Heinz Field. People take shuttles from campus to get to the stadium, it's very different from what we're used to seeing in the Big Ten. I don't know if a football stadium for their team makes sense, but that would make it a slam dunk, IMO. A lot of Pitt fans don't want to leave the Big East for basketball reasons primarily, but I think financially, it would make sense. They have a lot of bball rivalries that hopefully could be preserved, but WVU is their only football one in-conference right now worth keeping.