Rutgers to Big Ten Rationale?

Submitted by heckdchi on June 11th, 2010 at 1:36 PM

The only thing I keep hearing is, New York market bler bler bler. I can't imagine that many people care about Rutgers sports to really make an impact in the New York market. Any chance that the Big Ten's interest in Rutgers is solely to bring about the end of the Big East which would force Notre Dame to give up its independence?



June 11th, 2010 at 1:38 PM ^

If it were about ending the Big East, the Big Ten would just take Pitt.

The reality of the Rutgers talk is that there are some people in the sports media who actually have some sort of false belief that anybody in the NYC market cares about Rutgers.


June 11th, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

Pitt is the obvious Big East choice, and, behind ND, probably the best choice period.

Great academics.  The geography could not be more perfect (connects the dots over to PSU, making the footprint not larger, but more coherent).  They have a good if not great football tradition (Marino!) and the basketball team is, of late, top 10ish. 

Pitt makes so much sense it is ridiculous.  Also, they might better eat into OSU's recruiting turf if they were in the conference and raised their midwest profile.


June 11th, 2010 at 5:49 PM ^

But the Big Ten is looking to expand into new markets. The thinking is that just to the West of Pitt is OSU, just to the East is PSU, forget the man in the middle and move out East and find a team that is suitable for the BIg Ten however it can break into a new market and get some $$$. After all this is just a cash and power grab.

Big Ten has Nebraska, no longer looking at Mizzou. And then they're looking at Texas, ND, Maryland, Rutgers, and possibly Syracuse for obvious reasons. You can look at all sports but I think most people agree that in terms of expansion, the conferences are looking at football first, basketball second.


June 11th, 2010 at 1:40 PM ^

If that were the case they would just take Pitt and Syracuse.

3 million Cablevision subscriptions * $.88 * 12 months * 50% revenue share = $15 million

That's only for BTN and not the additional ABC dollars. That's the rationale. Not that this hasn't been talked about ad nauseum for the last 6 months.


June 11th, 2010 at 1:45 PM ^

Add to that: part of the reason Rutgers is not covered is who they are playing.

With all due respect to the Big East, it ain't the Big Ten. With all the Big Ten alumni in the NY metro area, college sports viewership would go up. Rutgers ticket revenue would go up.

Monocle Smile

June 11th, 2010 at 1:57 PM ^

doesn't have rationale.

Everyone in New York who cares about college sports is a Big Ten or SEC alumus. Maybe one or two ACC homers. Whatever market we have now in New York will not expand if we add Rutgers. I also think Rutgers kind of sucks, but maybe that's just me being a dick.


June 11th, 2010 at 2:19 PM ^

Rutgers is not a great choice, but it's not as bad as many people think, either.  The two reasons Rutgers doesn't have much of a football following is because they are recently good, and they play shitty teams with small fanbases, for the most part.  If Rutgers continues to play at the level they've been at for the last 4-5 years (decent bowl team) they will keep picking up more fans.  And if they start playing some of the nations top teams, more people will pay attention.

NY-NJ is a very populated area, and Rutgers is a huge school (39k undergrads, about 53k total students).  Even if Rutgers doesn't own much of the NYC market share, there are a lot of people in NY-NJ who have ties to Rutgers and who would turn on their TV's to watch them.  And with all of the Big Ten alums in NYC, Rutgers' conference home games would almost all be sell-outs. 

Don't get me wrong, I think Rutgers to the Big Ten helps Rutgers more than it helps the Big Ten, but I still think it's a good move for the conference.


June 11th, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

Also, NJ might be the best state in the Northeast for football talent so increasing the BIG 10's visability in that state can only be a good thing

With that being said I still think Cuse or UConn is a better fit because of their basketball programs and their NYC alumni actually care and aren't apathetic like most Rutgers alum

The Mick

June 11th, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

Besides the Huskers the Big 10 should add Mizzou and Pitt and wait out the rest of the conference shuffles. ND is going nowhere but the Big 10, so they could get added later along with some other team of vaule.


June 11th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

Just out of curiosity, for those of you who are convinced that Pitt is a better addition than Rutgers, why do you think so?  Is it because their teams are better? 

Pitt is a much smaller school than Rutgers, and many of their alumni stay in PA.  Pennsylvania is already in the Big Ten footprint, and the metro Pittsburgh area is not very big (and falling) with many of them already PSU fans. 

Pitt's football team has won just about as many games over the last 5 years as Rutgers has, and just as many Big East titles (0).  In terms of football attendence, Pitt averaged only 4,000 more fans per game, despite having a much larger stadium. 

Lastly, and this might not be a big deal, but Rugers has varsity lacrosse, and Pitt does not.  With lacrosse being such a growing sport and with the interest M has in going D1, this might play a small role as well.


June 11th, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

Syracuse is a small private university but has a national alumni base concentrated down the east coast from Boston to DC.  SU is rebounding from a GERG-related down period, but has four Big East championships (vs. 0 for Pitt and RU), with the most recent being in 2004.

Rutgers has still yet to finish higher than 3rd in an 8-team conference, but has instead padded its record with a steady diet of baby seals including playing two 1-AA teams per season.

That, and as I've beaten to death, no one cares about Rutgers anywhere.  They can't even outnumber Syracuse fans in their own building.  This goes here now (yet again).  Yeah, take a look at that video and tell me how Rutgers delivers anything to the Big Ten.

Oh, and lacrosse... This goes here now.


For a final point about the NYC market:  Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden.


June 11th, 2010 at 4:53 PM ^

First of all, I was comparing Rutgers to Pitt, not Syracuse.  But a couple things:

The 2004 year you cite as Syracuse's most recent Big East Championship, they actually shared it with Pitt (and WVU and BC) and Pitt was the Big East rep in the BCS.  Syracuse finished that season 6-6 after getting pummeled in their bowl game.  I wouldn't use that as a banner year for 'Cuse.

You talk a lot about basketball.  No one will argue that Syracuse has a better basketball program than Rutgers.  But basketball is pretty minor compared to football.  Rutgers hasn't won the Big East, but they've made it to 5 bowls in a row and won the last 4.  Syracuse hasn't been over .500 in the last decade with no bowl wins and one (I think) bowl appearance.  In 2005 they won one (1) game and in 2007 they won two (2). 

In 2009, Rutgers averaged over 10,000 more fans per game than Syracuse.  That's around 2 million per year just in ticket sales.

Take a look at football recruiting over the last few years, and tell me who you think will be better in the future.

Since about 80% of the criteria for expansion revolves around football (specifically the dollars surrounding it) I think Rutgers is still a better option than Syracuse.

skunk bear

June 11th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

The Big Ten wants to add schools that result in increasing the revenues for the established schools even after dividing the pie by one (or more) extra slice(s).

Pitt won't do that. They just don't generate enough revenue and they don't expand the footprint.

Rutgers might. It is why they are looking at them.