What new B10 alignment would be UNACCEPTABLE to you?

Submitted by wolverine1987 on June 10th, 2010 at 8:14 AM

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.



June 10th, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

OMG!!!  A bunch of obsessive UM football fans obsessing about a new Big 10 as much as the whole nation is obsessing...

Who would of thunk it?

I see peoples' frustration over the numerous posts --- but this is the time and the place.  If you don't like it, move on.  

As for an actual response, to a legit question:  Avoid the Big East:  Syracuse and/or UConn should not be in the Big 10.  I think Rutgers too at this point.  Only Big East school I'd like to see is Pitt (but obviously that ship has sailed).   


June 10th, 2010 at 8:44 AM ^

Unacceptable:  a hodge podge of Big East Schools.

My dream:  Nebraska signs on first, and then Stanford blocks the PAC-10 expansion; Texas and Tex A&M say "hey guys, we tried..." and then move on to the greenest pastures of the Big 10; then ND looks at the new structure of the Big 10 that includes Texas (who my ever annoying ND buddy insists ND is in contact with right now discussing "independent affiliations") and joins, with either Pitt or Rutgers rounding out the expansion (I would prefer Pitt for academic reasons and the addition of a great rival for Penn State; I understand that Rutgers in combo with ND would bring the NYC cable market.)

By the way... from a M fan perspective, I actually don't care if ND joins.  I think it has been a great non-conference game, and I'm not sure who M would replace them with.  But, from a conference perspective... yes adding ND would bring some more national clout.


June 10th, 2010 at 8:54 AM ^

We've been over this ad nauseum but people in NY don't care about Rutgers - I can't remember exactly what survey it was but they found that people in NY care more about UM, OSU and PSU than they do about Rutgers so if we can't get the Big Ten going where people actually care about the teams there's no reason to think adding the 15th most interesting school is going to make a bit of difference.  That'd be like saying getting ULaLa would get you the entire Lousiana market...


June 10th, 2010 at 9:47 AM ^

but it wouldn't surprise me if Rutgers is being used to scare Notre Dame. There is a large concentration of Notre Dame fans in the New Jersey area that would no longer be added if ND were to join later on, and it would also put pressure on the Big East to force them into a decision. Something tells me that Notre Dame is warming up to the idea of joining, but still has to convince its "old guard" of the virtues.

Its really tough for me to believe Rutgers is a serious Big Ten candidate.

MI Expat NY

June 10th, 2010 at 10:39 AM ^

It's not just about Rutgers, It's about building a critical mass in NY.  There are a lot of Big Ten fans in NY, there are also a lot of ND fans.  Just adding ND might be enough to get BTN on the digital tier in NYC, but adding a local school with ND almost guarantees it. 

I know, everyone points to some poll of how Rutgers is the 15th most popular sports team in NYC, but you know what?  In a city of 8 million, that's not so bad.  Also, just because Rutgers fans cheer harder for the Yankees than they do Rutgers, doesn't mean they wouldn't like to watch their team play on saturday afternoons.  I've actually been to bars when Rutgers has been playing (thursday nights, naturally in the Big East), and this will come as a shock to many, but there were actually a fair number of fans paying attention.  I've also been yelled at for blocking the TV at a party where the game was on.  I proceeded to make fun of them for not caring about their school just two years earlier.

And before our Syracuse fan chimes in about how it should be them and not Rutgers, we all know that this isn't coming down to whose Basketball fanbase travels the best.  Rutgers has additional benefits that Syracuse can't match.  They get the BTN on a ton of homes in NJ, they're located in a much more fertile recruiting ground, they're close enough to NYC to please big donating alumni bases, and Rutgers is a better fit in the profile of a Big Ten University . 

I'm not saying I want Rutgers (I don't), I'm just saying "I get it."  We can piss and moan all we want about how Rutgers doesn't bring anything to the table.  But when you really think about it, and as long as they can be packaged with someone to add BTN subscribers in NYC, they do make sense.


June 10th, 2010 at 8:50 AM ^

That doesn't involve Rutgers is a win for me - every other school that has been brought up brings at least something to the table.  Rutgers, they bring nothing, at all (and no, don't start that NY market crap, people in NY don't care about Rutgers).  Texas Tech would be a better option than Rutgers!


June 10th, 2010 at 8:55 AM ^

Almost everything is unacceptable.  I'll list the acceptables:


1)  ND, Nebraska, or Texas alone.

2)  ND + Nebraska + Missouri

3)  Texas + Nebraska + Missouri

4)  Nebraska + Texas + Texas A& M

5)  Nebraska + Oklahoma + Oklahoma State

Note:  I haven't heard Oklahoma thrown about much as a possibility.  Why?  I know Texas provides more in potential $$$$, but Oklahoma has solid basketball and football programs.

Tom_Harmon 2.0

June 10th, 2010 at 9:18 AM ^

B10 looking to expand its research footprint too, Oklahoma and OU are not members of the AAU.  Looking at the list of member institutions: http://www.aau.edu/about/article.aspx?id=5476

Recent additions:  Georgia Institute of Technology, 2010; Texas A&M, 2001; Stony Brook University (NY), 2001.  Not exactly what to make of that in terms of athletic expansion, but there you are.

Number 7

June 10th, 2010 at 10:08 AM ^

Probably headed for the Pac 10, I know.  But if we go to 16, I'd like to see Neb, Mizzou, Colorado added, plus Syracuce and Pitt (or sub in IA State, out of pity, and so that Sparty can have a better second rival than Penn State).


June 10th, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

Given the notorious "HR" (home run) email, it's pretty clear that Delaney shared your view that expansion needed to include at least one blockbuster. The only available institutions meeting that description are Nebraska, Texas, and Notre Dame.

I also agree with you that if Delaney can hook two out of three, he is some kind of genius. Those who oppose expansion might call him an evil genius, but you have to tip your hat nevertheless, if he can pull it off.

The key point about expansion is that it's irreversible: no one has ever been kicked out of the Big Ten, to make room for a more desirable institution. So you won't see invitations going to the likes of Missouri or Syracuse, until it's clear that Notre Dame and Texas aren't obtainable.

Hanky Hank

June 10th, 2010 at 9:14 AM ^

The only thing that worries me about conference expansion is the possibility that we will not play OSU as the last game of the year.  This is the pinacle of our season every year. 


I too am concerned with the caliber of teams that would potentially join the Big 10, and feel that for once the Conference seems to know what they are doing (favoring Nebraska over Mizzou).  Regardless, I wouldn't want Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska if it undermined the importance of Michigan-OSU.


June 10th, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

there's no way michigan or OSU would let that happen. they'd sooner threaten to leave the conference than agree to diminish the importance of the game. it's the conferences biggest game of the year and the big10 would be stupid to take it away


June 10th, 2010 at 9:15 AM ^

The problem with 16 teams is the Big 10 does not have a lot of great options after Notre Dame.  I say add Notre Dame, Mizzou, Kansas, and Pitt.  Rutgers and/or Syracuse are huge gambles especially when the Pac 10 and the SEC respond with much more tantalizing options.  I think the best case scenario for the Big 10 is the Big 12 adding TCU and moving on.


June 10th, 2010 at 9:29 AM ^

... can we stop talking about Texas joining the Big Ten?  Texas has a number of red-haired step-children that come along (A&M, Tech).  They don't fit up in these parts.

Where we are is: if Nebraska goes to the Big Ten, realignment starts in the next 5 minutes.  If the Nebraska courtship is really about getting Notre Dame to join, and if that happens, the Big 12 might be able to hold together.  That means the Pac-10 doesn't expand to 16, but it sounds like they already have a bid out to Colorado.

I think, however, that it's gone too far now and Nebraska may not want to (or be able to) stay.

So I think it's one of two option: (a) Nebraska alone or (b) Nebraska, Notre Dame and Mizzou.

One thing that's clear is that if Notre Dame doesn't want to be an independent in a converging world, the Big Ten is their best bet.  BY FAR.

Part of me would like to see the sanctimonious SOBs left behind.  

There's no doubt to me that the three schools named above that could join the Big Ten are better than the six being talked about for the Pac 10.  Beyond Texas, it falls off pretty hard damn fast.


June 10th, 2010 at 9:28 AM ^

IMO, a clout of Big East schools (rutgers, syracuse, uconn). Nebraska is a good start. I will be happy with Notre Dame, Nebraska, Maryland, Maryland, and Syracuse.   I don't want Texas after witnessing how they treated their fellow Big XII members. Having one egomaniac, ND, in the group is enough. Secondly, not having Texas will do wonders for Nebraska's sanity. 


June 10th, 2010 at 9:31 AM ^

Anything that's geographically retarded (yes, Texas), anything that involves Rutgers (not a competitive program at all) or too many "out East" schools (Big Ten is a Midwest conference.)

Also, any combination that involves UVA.


June 10th, 2010 at 9:32 AM ^

We got Nebraska. I'm okay with stopping now and waiting to see if the new Pac-16 is successful. In a few years when we're making lots more money and ND is more willing to talk, we add them and Mizzou while the Pac-16 splits into two 8-team conferences.

Scott Dreisbach

June 10th, 2010 at 9:48 AM ^

I am all for expansion of the big 10 conference, but I think it is imperative to keep the Big 10 the model of Academic Excellence.  The Big 10 has great engineering schools, great business schools, and overall they are great academic institutions.  It is something that I take pride in as the conference as a whole.  Since I live in South Carolina, while I hear all the SEC mumbo jumbo, I can always argue that the Big 10 is far superior academically, and in the long run, that is all that matters.  To see them take a school like Kansas would be an embarrassment.  Academics should be more important than just expanding for the sake of expanding.


June 10th, 2010 at 9:53 AM ^

west                  east
wisconsin             michigan
iowa                  ohio state
northwestern          penn state
minnesota             sparty
illinois              indiana
nebraska              purdue

with all due respect to our wisconsin and hawkeye brethren they 
have not shown an ability to compete at a high level for a 
sustained period of time.  nebraska has.  i believe this 
configuration would allow nebraska easy access to the big10 
championship game.  the east would hold the big10's traditional 
balance of power.  um/osu/psu vs nu/ui/uw?  no contest. 
the east would be much more difficult to come through unscathed, imo.

north                 south
michigan              ohio state
penn state            nebraska
sparty                purdue
wisconsin             iowa
northwestern          indiana
minnesota             illinois

i think this configuration brings more balance though i would give 
the edge in quality of teams to the north (assuming that michigan 
can get back to its winning ways) um/psu/uw vs osu/nu/ui?  push.

history shows that the balance of power in a conference changes over 
time.  in the early days of the big12 the north ruled. now the power 
is clearly in the south.  likewise in the sec it was felt that the 
east was the toughest but i would argue that that has shifted to the 
west.  with the acc who can tell?

either way nebraska like penn state is a tremendous pickup for the 

go blue!


June 10th, 2010 at 11:34 AM ^

I disagree.  You put them in different divisions, but allow them to play each season as a protected rival.   I realize that means they will often play twice in a season (both in-season and in the Big 10 Championship game), but imagine how awesome the second game would be.  I think it would make the rivalry bigger.


June 10th, 2010 at 12:29 PM ^

A second game cheapens the rivalry, it does not make it bigger. If you have a do-over the win or die mentality goes away.  And what good is beating them the last game of the season if you then lose in the championship game?  I can't imagine anyone actually thinking that separate divisions is good. 


June 10th, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

I think the Big Ten might roll with 14 if they can grab Nebraska, Mizzou and ND. That would be a realistic homerun both athletically and academically.

The fairytale dream of all dreams consists of Texas, Nebraska and ND

Wolverine In Exile

June 10th, 2010 at 10:58 AM ^

two divisions of 7 teams, meaning 6 games in your division and 3 cross division games with 3 out of conf games still probable.

that said, I like Nebraska, Pitt, and then I say put Mizzou, Rutgers, Syracuse, and ND in a steel cage and first one out gets the last bid.

unacceptable is any institution that brings down the academic integrity of the Big Ten. i think that's an important tradition to uphold.

BTW-- anybody else looking forward to the kick-ass trophy that Iowa and Neb are bound to play for? A Golden Bucket of Corn? A tractor made completely out of corn cobs and corn stalks? The corpse of Cloris Leachman?