Gordon Gee afraid of Cincinatti?

Submitted by michelin on June 1st, 2013 at 5:09 PM

In his recent comments, Ohio’s president Gee reveals a fear far more interest than his highly publicized insults.  He was defensive when discussing the possibility of Cinci to to the B1G.  He said: “We want (Cincinatti) to be an Ohio State city. They’d have to take (athletic director) Gene (Smith) out and shoot him to let Cincinnati into the Big Ten.”

But if Cinci is really so bad, then why does Gee need to be so defensive?  Here's my guess

First, Cincinnati has a more than  respectable athletic history.  It  has 2 NCAA BB titles; Ohio has one.   it was actually Cincinnati—and not Ohio—that played the first FB game in the state (in 1888).   Even though it  is in the Big East, it still produced 35 All-Americans and more than 90 NFL players   Also, from 2009-11, Cincinnati had 33-7 record and went to BCS bowls 2/3 years. By contrast, the great Ohio had a 17-10 record . It was ineligible for a bowl in 2012, lost one in 2011, and had its record expunged in 2010. 

It also sounds a bit hypocritical when Gee claims he wants B1G schools of “like-minded academic integrity,.”  He just uses the argument to rule out schools that would provide him with regional competition:likeLouisville, Kentucky, or Cincincati.  Indeed, this  Ohio President who supported a corrupt FB coach –and who constantly embarrasses the school--hardly appears motivated by reputation.  And at least Cincincati’s has a  president that students can respect: a medical school professor who had appointments at Johns Hopkins,  the University College London, and Harvard Medical School.

Granted, Cincincati’s academics, even under their recently appointed president are still a work in progress. Yet, is its academic status really all that far from Ohio’s?   Both admit 2/3 of applicants.  Both have comparable avg SAT component scores (550 Ohio, 500 Cincinatti).  And Ohio now is the only state school with the advantage of being in the B1G.    . 

So, what would happen to Cinci if they had a similar advantage?  Maybe it would raise their profile and make them even more competitive, both on and off the field.   Why? ”In fact, Cincinnati is truly a major league city, with the NFL Bengals and Cincinnati Reds. Its tri-state area is the corporate headquarters of at least 9 Fortune 500 companies.  It’s a top ten Fortune Magazine city.  With concert facilties, big-name entertainers and an Octoberfest surpassed only by Munich, it’s   #7 on Esquire’s list of "Cities that Rock."   By contrast, the only “rock” in Columbus is the one in Gee’s head.

Gee will argue that the addition of Cincinatti, would not expand the B1G media market.  Yet, Cincinnati sits at the border of three states,so it does expand the B1G market southward.  Indeed, what Gee is worried about is that Cincinnati would put the squeeze on his own school—sitting as it does between Cincinnati and Michigan.   In addition, he’s worried that Ohio would finally have an instate rival: much like  UM –MSU,  Pur-Ind, NW-Ill.  So, even if Ohio built a wall to prevent recruits from leaving the state, it could lose them anyway.  Indeed, Cinci’s Tuberville could become  a much bigger thorn in Ohio’s side than Dantonio ever was for UM.

Certainly, Cinncinati does pose problems.  As an east division B1G addition, it could further the imbalance. It's also lacks the same media and academic appeal as Duke, Va, or NC.   Yet, if the B1G ever wants to include a school that will increase competition in Ohio. and extend the B1G toward the southern  Midwest, then Ohio may have something more to worry about.   And more worries are something that  Gordon Gee does not want.




June 1st, 2013 at 5:18 PM ^

Cincinnati would be an awful addition for the big ten.  They are already in our footprint and have a really small fanbase.  I believe their stadium only seats 35,000.


June 1st, 2013 at 6:55 PM ^

Nippert Stadium is literally a hole in the ground in the middle of campus and it's surrounded by academic buildings, not to mention a new dorm/gym/cafeteria/student union complex. There's no room for Nippert to expand to anything above 50k. And I'm being generous here.


June 2nd, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

But . . . they are still much better off expanding it than moving across town to the Bengal's pro stadium, ala Pitt.  That would be death for Cincinnati football.  An on-campus stadium is a real asset to a CFB program, especially one on the rise.

BTW, I've been there and I don't think it is all that bad of a stadium.  The setting and atmosphere are pretty good.  Much better than some sterile half-empty pro stadium miles away from campus.



June 1st, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

Of losing recruits from Cincy. If they can play for a BIG in their back yard, then no need to go North. Then Ohio would be TSUN.


June 1st, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

OF course hes afraid. Let OSU have to deal with a real instate rival. Thats what makes MICHIGAN so great that we excel having to fend off OSU AND msc. and Cinci is kinda hip. There would be potential for OSU to fade in spots. Bring Cinci Into big ten


June 1st, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

They just want all the people in that state rooting for them and don't want to split the fans with another school instate, more than afraid I'd say they want no competence instate, as does PSU with Pitt and Mich did with MSU.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

June 1st, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

Write a book here, my goodness! Diary please joker!

This gets a health, who cares from me. Pretty much anything that comes out that man's mouth should not be taken seriously and frankly not analyzed on a Michigan blog like it effects anything at all.

This is horrible thread and should be deleted.


June 1st, 2013 at 5:47 PM ^

Ohio state dominates Ohio, if there was some parody (like msu when they take their portion of big in state recruits) it would maybe hurt them, specially in bball

Burning Beard

June 2nd, 2013 at 5:05 PM ^

Ohio produces well over twice as many D1 recruits as Michigan year in year out, and the state is recruited heavily by all the national players. The 2/3 star players that Cincinnatti can pull in aren't guys who wind up at Ohio State. We always have been and always will be the biggest threat to pluck top Ohio recruits.


June 1st, 2013 at 6:07 PM ^

OP sounds like a big time Cincy shill.  Cincy doesn't offer the B10 anything.  No new TV market and average (at best) in basketball and football. 

And trying to compare UC to OSU academically is like trying to compare MSU to UM...there is no comparison.  UC isn't even in the top 125 in the country.  It's pretty much a commuter college.  If the ACC didn't want them why should the B10?


June 1st, 2013 at 6:08 PM ^

Cincinnati is ohio's Michigan State. And it's a pretty cool city to visit as well. Had a chance to move down there 5 years ago and I really regret not taking the opportunity.


June 1st, 2013 at 6:09 PM ^

I think it would be interesting and would like to see a school in that state threaten ohio. 

People can play the academics trumpet all day long, but conferences are expanding for money and football. I don't see how bringing an inferior school academically into the B1G effects the standing of Michigan or any other school. The B1G's superior academics ego just takes a hit. 

Gee is an idiot. But you don't need me to tell you that. If he thinks Delaney wouldn't jump from the Sears Tower to South Bend to get them in the conference, he's a bigger idiot. 

I would take ND, Louisville, Cincinnati or UConn over Maryland and Rutgers. At least MD brings basketball and some other good sports. Rutgers sucks at everything and they have morons running the athletic department. There literally isn't a sport they are that good in. 


E. Gordon Gee

June 1st, 2013 at 7:12 PM ^

All this talk about Cincinnati and you don't mention Skyline Chili... Maybe Gee didn't want Cincy to join the Big Ten so fellow members could avoid heartburn if they ate it. /end sarcasm

Note: OSU recorded a bowl victory and appearance in 2010 (Rose Bowl) not 2009 (Fiesta Bowl).

Edit: Not sure why the OP took out the comment about OSU last bowl appearance and victory being in 2009. This is what my comment was referencing just so its known I'm not rambling on....



June 1st, 2013 at 7:03 PM ^

you can dismiss and sneer at the academic/research criteria for membership in the conference from now until doomsday, but it won't change the fact that it's the university presidents/upper administration who decide which schools get invited, not athletic directors, and the presidents all take the academic side of things very seriously. If the conference presidents decided to admit second-tier academic institutions like Louisville or Cincinnati, it would be a radical departure from everything the conference has ever said about its membership. It ain't happening.

The only school that's not currently a member of the AAU which has ever had a ghost of a chance to be admitted to the conference is Notre Dame, and that's only because of its unique status as a football power, and if they were admitted it would only be with the expectation that they would ramp up their research expenditures. It's irrelevant since ND is never joining the conference anyhow.

Neither Rutgers or Maryland were great additions to the conference athletically, but in the eyes of the existing conference presidents they fit the primary criteria of being major research institutions in their respective states, and also expanded the footprint vis-a-vis the network.

Cold War

June 1st, 2013 at 7:39 PM ^

Cincinnati won't be coming to the B1G simply because they wouldn't be a very good addition. The best we can hope is they join the Big 12 or ACC to raise their  profile a bit.


June 1st, 2013 at 7:54 PM ^

Cincinnati is nowhere near OSU currently however I think Gee sees them as a threat and could steal some recruits away. Remember when there was talk bout Pitt goin to the BIG PSU wanted none of it


June 1st, 2013 at 8:41 PM ^

Cincy would give Ohio a "little brother" rivalry.  They would beat them once every three or four years, and brag about it incessantly.   That one victory could be in a year that helps Michigan. 


June 1st, 2013 at 9:00 PM ^

There are already more ohio football fans in Clifton than UC fans...when BK was there this TOWN did have a nice little uprising. Now, I can't find a true Bearcat fan with a search warrant, and I can't pump gas without getting OH'd.


June 2nd, 2013 at 5:30 PM ^

Nope.  I grew up in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati is the one area in the state where OSU is NOT dominant.  Cincinnati is a Reds / Bengals / Bearcats town.  You see red and black all over town, not scarlet and grey.  I suspect that's a reason OSU did their spring game there.  To try to squash UC.  (It didn't work ...)


June 1st, 2013 at 11:49 PM ^

In regards to academics and what movers and shakers care about...undergrad admissions are wayyyyy down the totem pole. It's really only about the money: endowment, research funds, and the like. Nobody would call cincy and osu comparably academically just because of entrance standards for undergrad. Just like people wouldn't bat an eye when someone says Michigan and Columbia have comparable academic reputations despite vastly different entrance standards.