Per Jeff Ermann (inside MD sports), UNC offered spot in B1G

Submitted by orobs on February 19th, 2013 at 2:02 PM
Ermann was one of the the first that called the Rutgers/maryland move, so this isn't complete random speculation. @insidemdsports: Big 10 talk buzzing again. #UVA being mentioned often as likely to join. Georgia Tech still in the mix. #UNC, the big domino, has an offer.



February 19th, 2013 at 5:30 PM ^

I don't have a solution that has any chance in the real world, since the things I value don't coincide with what Delaney and apparently most other Big Ten fans favor. I don't give a damn about expanding the footprint at all costs, which means I would have much preferred Pitt and Missouri enter the conference than Maryland and Rutgers.

As far as UNC being more similar than I'd think, you're not just bringing a school, you're bringing its fans and therefore its region. My Dad lived in NC for about 15 years, and the idea that North Carolina culturally is remotely similar to the midwest would have made him laugh.

Regardless, I fully expect the conference to go to 16, and I agree that academically UNC and UVA are the best plausible match. There are only so many AAU members that are free to move, and I think GT is completely nuts as a possible addition. I'd argue that Syracuse would make sense geographically as long as we've got PSU, Maryland, and Rutgers, but Syracuse dropped out of the AAU  in 2011 due to a dispute over how to count non-Federal research dollars.


February 19th, 2013 at 5:56 PM ^

As far as UNC being more similar than I'd think, you're not just bringing a school, you're bringing its fans and therefore its region. My Dad lived in NC for about 15 years, and the idea that North Carolina culturally is remotely similar to the midwest would have made him laugh.

Totally, totally agree with this.  There's more to being a "good cultural fit" than "hey, we both have good athletics and academics" otherwise Cal-Berkeley or UCLA would fit right in with all these Midwestern schools too. 


February 19th, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

And if you doubt that, try living in Ann Arbor and then any other non-B1G college town. It's quite the rude awakening.

University towns are a lot more like each other than the surrounding area once the university starts have national - and international - reach.


February 19th, 2013 at 10:00 PM ^

It goes both ways really.  People move a little slower, no one is in a hurry.  Its more about what you don't say than what you do say.  But Chapel Hill and Ann Arbor are very similar.  Both are full of hippies, greeks, geeks, good music and good food.   Both have vibrant campus life and strong traditions.  

There are plenty of differences though.  I'd say Ann Arbor has a much stronger appreciation of the arts than Chapel Hill.  It doesn't seem like its worked its way into the fabric of campus like it has in Ann Arbor.  Michigan's campus also dwarfs Carolina's.

You get outside Wake/Orange/Durham County and it is the South-and I mean tobacco chewin, dog-huntin, we don't take kindly to strangers comin round these here parts South. 

Personally, I would love the addition of UNC to the B1G.  

Darth Wolverine

February 19th, 2013 at 4:38 PM ^

I would love to add UNC and Duke. As a fan of the athletic teams and a non-former or current student of Michigan, I don't really care about academics. Of course I want them to be high, but don't care if they slip any. As a fan, I care about winning. Bringing the UNC and Duke basketball programs to the Big Ten would be awesome.


February 19th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

Assuming we are going to 16 at least, UNC makes more sense than any of the schools we've added so far, probably even including Nebraska because of academics and research.  UNC adds an entire state's tv market, a top-notch school with a similar profile to Michigan (public ivy, though less out-of-state), and good-to-great sports (Lacrosse and Basketball AND Baseball, with football that is certainly no worse than Purdue, Illinois, etc.).  


What will be tough, unfortunately, is for all of the other sports not-football.  This will be killer travel if the conference extends from Lincoln to NYC to Chapel Hill (and possibly even Atlanta).  Just really hard on the players to have to go on the road so far away.  For #16, my money is on GT, because UVA doesn't add any new tv markets even though it is geographically and academically (slightly) better.  Fan base aside, Atlanta will show every GT game, and that's a lot of people.


February 19th, 2013 at 5:32 PM ^

Late last year, Adam Rittenberg came up with an interesting blog entry on "getting smart" about Big Ten expansion (LINK), and it mentions four points which he considered part of the Big Ten's reasoning. 

The one that is interesting, but it does put the notion of adding UNC and UVA in a more interesting light, is population and demographics as a driver, not on-field performance in revenue sports necessarily. I would imagine that the Big Ten would love to expand in the Midwest, but following the population (and a considerable number of its alums and fans) makes much more financial sense. He also mentions AAU membership as a key consideration as well. It's an interesting entry and does help make sense of expanding in a southeasterly direction. 

I have to wonder if anyone in the ACC even considering leaving is wondering where the ACC / Maryland lawsuit will go. The judge in North Carolina refused to throw out the suit today, I believe. I have to believe that any school would be hesitant to leave until that is sorted out. 


Blue Durham

February 19th, 2013 at 5:56 PM ^

happens in a vacuum. What we are hearing is limited to the Big Ten, but what about the other conferences? What are they doing?

The SEC is also at 14 teams. Are they sitting on their hands? Is it possible that they are courting, say Florida State and Miami? They seem like natural fits for the SEC.

And if FSU and Miami bolt for the SEC (they AINT going the the Big 12, that is an absurd notion), what is the effect on the ACC, and particularly, UNC, UVa, Duke, Wake and VaTech? It would be devastating, to varying degrees depending on school. What is holding Miami and FSU to the ACC? History with the conference and natural rivalries? Got to be kidding.

I hate what is/has been happening to the ACC, but the schools mentioned (UNC, UVa, etc) are stuck between a rock and a hard place, left hoping the FSU and Miami stay put.

How the hell would you like to be put in that position - hoping that Florida State and Miami stay true to the conference? I sure as hell wouldn't hold my breath.

Blue Durham

February 19th, 2013 at 10:05 PM ^

I don't know if having the University of Florida in Gainsville delivers the entire state. FSU in the panhandle and Miami are totally different markets, and much larger than those of the schools you mention.

Didn't we just have a thread discussing fans of MSU or UM not being fans of the other? Why would fans of Florida be interested in Miami or FSU games? Would delivering the Blacksburg market bring more than Miami or Tallahasse (nobody in northern Virginia cares about VaTech)? Really?

Oh, and nobody really cares about NC State down in North Carolina. The Big Ten certainly aren't courting them, are they? Nobody is courting NC State, now or ever in the history of everything. There is a reason.

Mr Miggle

February 20th, 2013 at 10:30 AM ^

The BTN is on the standard cable packages statewide in every state they have a team. That's how they make a lot of their money and it's driving them into new states. That's why Pitt was never going to get invited. Dollars to doughnuts the SEC network is going to aim for the same kind of deals. Adding FSU and Miami would boost ratings a bit, but it wouldn't add significantly to their subscriber base. Adding NCSt and VT would. I think the SEC would prefer UNC and UVA, just like the B1G, but VT and NCSt are the obvious second choices.   Aside from that, UF would be dead set against adding other Florida schools. USC doesn't want Clemson and UGA doesn't want GT. Those schools would almost certainly vote as a block against adding FSU and MIami.

the Glove

February 19th, 2013 at 6:41 PM ^

It was only 3 years ago that the NCAA implemented the rule that spring sports could no longer fly. If the Big Ten continues to add East Coast teams, I would think that the NCAA would have to lift that rule. I know West Virginia and Missouri would appreciate it.


February 19th, 2013 at 10:50 PM ^

The baseball team just played 3 games at Cal. Needless to say, they flew. They are not spending 4-6 days on a bus in February driving across the country for a weekend series.

They have a game in Tampa on March 4 and a game in San Diego on March 7. They will not make that trip by bus.


February 19th, 2013 at 11:14 PM ^

I'm looking at AD (D1, but non-M) paid tags on AD provided baggage as I write this, dated 2/13. For my girlfriends trip to a softball tournament this weekend, they paid for parking at the airport, a certain number of pounds of luggage, airline tickets, food at the airport and transportation from the destination airport to their hotel, and then all of that stuff for the return home as well.

Schools like Michigan do this for every trip over a certain number of hours/miles; she doesn't get to fly as much as Michigan baseball does, and they do travel long distances on buses, but they definitely get plane tickets for their furthest conference games and every tournament.


February 19th, 2013 at 9:10 PM ^

I can't see UNC going anywhere without Duke. FOr those saying that "it wouldn't be a big deal, just do out of conference games," no. Would you be ok with Michigan and Ohio State being in different conferences? Of course not. No amount of OOC games would make that ok. Michigan-Ohio State is the biggest football rivalry in sports, but the UNC-Duke rivalry is transcendent onto another level. They are 8 miles away. We share the same dry cleaners and apartment complexes. They're private, we're public. The basketball rivalry speaks for itself. It would be a HUGE deal to lose UNC-Duke. They are the yin to our yang.


February 19th, 2013 at 11:33 PM ^

Something about this NC to B1G deal feels like an unsubstantiated rumor to me.

The internet is abuzz over a tweet. Various websites and forums are repeating the tweet, and it's as though an announcement from the school and the Conference were made.

It may be that I'm wrong but it just doesn't have the feel of real news.


February 20th, 2013 at 12:19 AM ^

UNC and UVA are the crown jewels of the ACC.  If they go the league falls apart.   People down here seem to be ignoring it, though. Which is probably best as it hasn't been substantiated yet.  

My wife and her sister, both UNC alumni, hate the idea of it. More because of Southern pride than anything else I'm afraid - carpetbagging and all of that.  Yeah . . . they still take that shit seriously.  I always tell them if they had the talent down here then they wouldn't need us yankee's to do it for them.  I am not a popular guy at times.



February 21st, 2013 at 1:11 AM ^

Swofford is a UNC alumnus as well.  Living in the triangle you have to be aware of the criticisms the NC State people (and others) have for him - being UNC-centric. Its hard for me to believe UNC isn't being transparent with Swofford.  He's too well connected to have an end-run like this upset his empire, even as weakly as it seems to be put together today.