In just the few months that have passed since Delaney (mistakenly in my view) announced the B10 would be considering expansion, we all know that the landscape for those discussions has changed. In the first few innocent weeks, the idea of adding ND and stopping would have been ideal to many, though we knew that wouldn't happen. So we speculated about Pitt, Missouri, Rutgers and others, and focused more of our attention on how the potential scheduling of a 14/16 team conference would work than the actual teams that would comprise it.
That speculation seems quaint now. Now there is a gold rush on, with the strongest conferences looking at ways to increase their attractiveness. This is about geographic footprint, and the brand equity of the schools being added. Both of those things are crucial to future TV revenue, which is driving this bus. Make no mistake, in that context, football is all that matters. Without football, there would be no expansion discussions. Without football, there would be no B10 network. So that means that the football attractiveness of the future B10 (or any other conference), the brand equity, is critical. For the purpose of this discussion, please don't interject the basketball prowess of school A as a reason to have them.
With that background, my hypothetical conclusion is that a new B10 that would include (just for a 14 team example) Maryland, Missouri and Rutgers, would be a giant loser in this new landscape. While a conference like that would increase revenue, and have more geographical attractiveness to TV, the brand equity of that new conference would be severely lacking. When you are looking at a potential future PAC 10 with SC, OK, and UT, and a future SEC that adds Miami and FSU, the B10 would be a distant third. So, if you agree with this reasoning, what schools do you think are a must in order to make this expansion worth it? I'll start. IME, a B10 that does not include ONE of Nebraska, ND or UT has failed under the new landscape. And thus is UNACCEPTABLE. Two of those three and we have succeeded, and Delaney is a genius.