Shrink the Big Ten?

Submitted by SlaunchaMan on October 17th, 2009 at 12:22 AM

One of the recurring themes around here is a hypothetical expansion of the Big Ten. Well, I'm thinking differently: what if the Big Ten axed a school? I'm thinking Iowa, but others could happen. Then our conference name wouldn't be confusing annually to college freshmen, we could play everyone in the conference every year (or have two five-team divisions), and as a plus we could all stop talking about adding Notre Dame or Pitt.

EDIT: Iowa's just an example. Feel free to comment on which team you would kick out.



October 17th, 2009 at 11:18 AM ^

basketball. Indiana can't go, if we're playing hypothetical amputation. I think we have to live with their suckiness in FB -they're like Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, etc. Granted, Carolina has had it moments in FB here and there, but these are basketball schools and probably always will be. It's a bit of a compromise but I can live with it.


October 17th, 2009 at 9:30 AM ^

Iowa has only one relevant rivalry (Wisconsin), it's not particularly relevant in any other sport except wrestling, it's far away from everything else, it's not particularly prestigious academically. It's a fair argument, although I always kind of liked them.


October 17th, 2009 at 12:36 AM ^

Yeah, Northwestern is the obvious choice to go if the conference decided to shrink. They're private, their attendance is poor, we would have plenty of access to the Chicago market anyway, etc.

But this will never happen from the conference office. If a school leaves it will be of their own accord, and only after much battle from Des Plains.


October 17th, 2009 at 2:26 AM ^

Well, except for the current two-year stretch when they are off the schedule. But seriously--you get to see a UM football game and then hang out in Chicago for the rest of the weekend. It's a great time.

Champaign-Urbana, on the other hand, is a shithole. I'm never going back there. Lafayette sucks too. So I would vote one of them off the island.


October 17th, 2009 at 12:05 PM ^

If the Big Ten sponsors a conference championship in a sport, all members that sponsor a varsity team in that sport must participate. No opting out. (This is why UM, MSU, OSU, MN, Wisky belong to CCHA and WCHA - not enough Big Ten schools have ice hockey. If there were 7 BT schools with hockey, the BT would become a hockey conference.)

Notre Dame belongs to the Big East except for football (ind), hockey (CCHA) and fencing (ind). ND didn't join the Big Ten bc the conference would not allow ND to remain independent in football.


October 17th, 2009 at 12:54 AM ^

For me, that's the program that sticks out when you ask "Which of these things is not like the other?" And purple uniforms are ugly.

It feels strange that UM doesn't play for the Jug every year now. I think one of the things that makes the Pac-10 great is that they play a true round robin every year in football, and a true home & home with all conference teams in basketball (plus the conference divides nicely into pairs for purposes of weekend road trips during basketball season). The Big 10 could do the same if a team fell by the wayside.

Sextus Empiricus

October 17th, 2009 at 1:12 AM ^

Per Wiki -The University of Chicago was a co-founder of the conference and still maintains affiliation through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.

Damn that Committee on Institutional Cooperation! They always have to have things their way.

Let's kick out Northwestern as well and add Cincinnati. Wait unfortunately they're too good for the Big Ten. Let's wait until Kelly get's the FSU job.

I'm joking...Northwestern kicks MSU around too much to be kicked out. (And Mich too - I haven't forgotten.)


October 17th, 2009 at 1:25 AM ^

There are no good candidates for expulsion. Northwestern, Iowa and Indiana are charter members, so how can you force them out? And the private/public distinction is becoming increasingly irrelevant as states contribute less and less to public universities' funds; less than 10% of U-M's budget actually comes from state appropriations, for instance. And obviously, contraction isn't a great business strategy.


October 17th, 2009 at 4:01 AM ^

They've never made sense from a geographical standpoint... they are not and never have been a midwestern school. As long as we're talking conference changes and geography, Boston College should never have left the Big East, either. It's lunacy for them to be in the ACC, and they should move back to the Big East. It's fucking Boston, for chrissakes. And the same goes for South Florida—how in hell does it make sense for them to be in the Big East? They should switch with Boston College and join the ACC. The Big East would stay at 8 members, the ACC remains at 12, and the Big Ten gets back to 10, and scheduling becomes more rational for us. The primary downside is that PSU's departure makes us even weaker as a football conference.


October 17th, 2009 at 8:16 AM ^

We really can't kick out anyone. NW is the best school for academics, so we can't kick them out. Who has the worst combinations of academics and sports? Maybe Minnesota? They're just ok at both. Actually maybe Purdue? They're only good at engineering and recently basketball. But I don't want either of them leaving.

We should add Cincinnati. I don't hear them brought up much. It's a decent school with a great football team.


October 17th, 2009 at 8:39 AM ^

Give Minnesota the boot!. They are or almost are the farthest team to the west and they are so-so in every sport. Their last shared conference championship was in '67 and they haven't won one by themselves since '41. Cut them loose and then schedule them every year like we do with ND and then play a 9 game Big Ten Schedule. There won't be any ties for conference champs and the 3 non conference games could be played against ND, Minny, and the MAC.

Wide Open

October 17th, 2009 at 9:16 AM ^

I say kick Ohio State out. When you think about it it's pretty obvious:

  • They're only rivals with one other Big Ten school.
  • They're good at only one sport (two in a good year).
  • The sport they are consistently good at gets accusations of recruiting payola every season.
  • Their band wears freakin berets.
  • And, they'd have to join the Big East, meaning they quit avoiding Cincinnati.
  • But...the rules say you can't split into divisions and have a conference championship with less than 12 teams. So they can stay.


    October 17th, 2009 at 10:18 AM ^

    I really want no change, but.....

    How about if WE left.....lose tons of Big Ten Tradition which would put me in tears. I am also not sure I would like the bowl situation, either. But,
    -Could have Independent TV contracts (move over ND and BTN). No worries about IF the game will be televised, it just will be.
    -ND Keeps there rivalry games, so could we. And we could schedule as we please, otherwise.
    -We could schedule more games in states we wish to recruit from to gain even more exposure, not that we need it but every little bit helps.

    What other positives and/or negatives are there??

    st barth

    October 17th, 2009 at 10:20 AM ^

    I've thought for some time that it would be nice if Michigan left and joined the Ivy League. That would certainly make my resume look a little better...of course, I'd lose access to seeing my team via the BigTen Network so maybe it's not worth it.

    And if a team should be kicked, out then it should be the Spartans who obviously belong in the MAC.


    October 17th, 2009 at 10:25 AM ^

    I heard from an FSU booster that Bowden and others have been "working" boosters behind the scenes trying to get five million to buy out Fisher's contract. The "coach in waiting" position only works if the current coach is a mentor of the CIW. That is not the case at FSU, and there is a lot of friction behind the scenes.

    At any rate, it is sad to see such infighting affect their program the way it obviously has. I think Bowden needs to go(he is second only to Charlie Weis on my "list"), but I also think he has earned the right to leave on his own terms. I wish he would decide to leave at the end of this season, but I think he wants to stay long enough to name his successor.

    We've all seen how that works out.

    st barth

    October 17th, 2009 at 10:38 AM ^

    M as an independent (similar to notre dame) is an interesting idea. Probably one of the few schools who could actually pull it off.

    Joining the SEC would be horrible. That's a league full of hill billys & degenerates...sounds perfect for ohio state.


    October 17th, 2009 at 11:26 AM ^

    For those who are saying we should axe NU (yes, it's NU and not NW), they are MUCH better at minor sports, particularly the women's sports to leave the BigTen.

    I'd argue for Indiana. They offer very little success outside of basketball.

    Iowa isn't a horrible choice. They don't dominate in football or basketball, but they are a good depth team in both. For that reason, I'm apprehensive about dropping them.

    NU of late has been an above average football team in the BigTen. They just had one off year last year on some of their other sports that dropped them lower in the Director's Cup. They still finished ahead of Iowa and Indiana.


    October 17th, 2009 at 11:34 AM ^

    Whether we go to 10 or 12 teams I think the biggest thing that needs to happen is that we start playing after Thanksgiving. I like the idea of taking that weekend off so the players and coaches alike can spend the holiday weekend with their families. The biggest rivalry games in the confrence are usually played all on the same day and so all of the teams get a week of rest before playing their biggest rival and it would give everybody a bye week through the season. How nice would it be if we had a bye week every year midway through and a bye week right before we play the Buck nuts. Not to mention how it would sit better with the voters if we did not fall off the face of the earth 2 weeks before the end of the regular season.

    October 17th, 2009 at 11:43 AM ^

    Although Northwestern's been in the BigTen for over 100 years, when Penn State joined their president actually was concerned that it was a move to eventually oust NW - so there kind of some traction behind dumping NW.

    Anyway, I'd say dump either Iowa or PSU, because I dont consider either really to be the true midwest.


    October 17th, 2009 at 11:55 AM ^

    For those of you suggesting Indiana, not only are they a brand name in men's basketball, but they are also the conferences premier soccer program historically with 7(!!) national championships since 1982.

    The King of Belch

    October 17th, 2009 at 12:00 PM ^

    These threads grow ever more ridiculous with each ensuing attempt.

    For the longest time, it's been mind-blowing, DYNOMITE suggestions like Pitt, Syracuse, Cincinnati, and other really, REALLY sexy schools that would make the Big Ten about as exciting as, well, the Big Ten.

    Now, it's SHRINK the BIg Ten? Aside from it never happening, one wonders why people even bother with some of their suggestions.

    First, Penn State: Some guy argues "distance"--it is 711 miles from Iowa City to State College, and 861 from Minneapolis to State College (for you UM graduates, State College, PA is where Penn State is located). For a comparison, it is 1125 miles from Tempe, AZ to Seattle (ASU and UW, respectively) and 962 from LaLa to Seattle (UCLA, USC and UW, respectively). It's 773 miles from Corvallis to LaLa. In this day, geography and mileage matter not--and remember, if your important ass can't make it to the game, someone else's important ass will take your seat.

    I expecially like the "geographical standpoint" combined with the thought that PSU is not a "midwestern school"--why? What makes Michigan a "midwestern school"? the fact that the "midwest" was designated as such back in about 1820, when the Mississippi River was the effective boundary for the US in terms of population numbers? Is Michigan, one of the northernmost states, any more "midwest" than Pennsylvania (one of the so-called "mid-atlantic" states)? Is Ohio any more "midwest than Pennsylvania? And the "midwest" is about the silliest designation, one that seems to encompass Michigan or Ohio, all the way to Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas--hell, why not put the whole fucking country except for the coastal states in there. There's your "midwest," geezus h christ.

    It's a whopping 317 miles from Ann Arbor (for you UM graduates, the home of Michigan's main campus) to State College, PA. 405 miles from Ann Arbor to Iowa City, and 521 from Ann Arbor to Minneapolis.

    Geographically, Penn State fits. Besides, who's gonna pay to remake the Big Ten commercial if Penn State does go? Who wants to lose the acting skillz of Joe Paterno?

    I also like the guy who says "If the Big East ever becomes a real conference again"--HUH? WHEN has the Big East ever been a "real conference"? OR do you mean a "real conference" like the Big, Bad, Big Ten? HAHAHAHAHAHAHALOLZ.

    So, the Big Ten, with it's own "television" network now fully launched (FWIW) should shrink it's footprint even more--lop off Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, or even Pennsylvania? SHEER GENIUS!

    Oh, the mind of the Typical College Football Fan (TCFF) is indeed a vast forest of Trees full of knowledge--that should be chopped down and turned into toilet paper--or, it's like the most gigantic computer ever created, full of infinite possibilities for creative and advanced thought--that someone forgot to plug in.

    I don't know which idea is dumber--to add DYNOMITE Cincinnati or to lop off Penn State, but clearly someone better equipped to make these decisions BETTER be making them and NOT asking TCFF what he thinks.