Everyone has a thought on Big Ten Expansion and the affects it will have on the college sports landscape. I put out a blog a while ago on who I thought the 12th team might be. Then shortly after the Big Ten said the would entertain expansion, the Super Conference notion’s came up and there is talk of a 14 and 16 team Big Ten. Then the Pac-10 expanding to 12 to get a title game and then the SEC doing the same as the Big Ten. So the landscape is going to feel a shockwave after the Big Ten says what they are going to do.
The small shockwave and what I think would be the best would be Notre Dame joining the Big Ten and adding it to 12. I think there is a chance yet that this happens. 25-30 million dollars a year and less travel and more tradition is better than 8 million for just an outlet of one of its sports. The Big Ten Network would give it more money and an outlet for all sports. Add 1 if it is ND, signed sealed delivered. Get the Big Ten Title game ready at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The bigger shockwave will come if the Irish don’t make the smart move, and the Big Ten then adds 3 schools. I truly believe that if the Big Ten gets Notre Dame, they won’t go to 3. They won’t need to. If the Irish say no, look for a 14 team conference. The talk of 16 is too many. It would dilute the product I think. Sometimes you can be TOO BIG. So going to 14, who are the 3 teams? I think it is obvious that the Big XII and Big East are the targets. The 3 teams being Rutgers from the Big East and Missouri and Nebraska from the Big XII.
All 3 are a part of the AAU, which all 11 Big Ten institutions are a part of. Rutgers brings in the New York New Jersey market to the league. They have updated facilities, and they have a good football and women’s basketball program. Some may say if the NY/NJ market was so big in college sports, why isn’t the Big East more of a commodity. Well would you get up for South Florida and Cincinnati coming to the New York area, or Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State? The answer is simple.
Missouri brings in 2 other big markets too in St. Louis and Kansas City, and Nebraska the Omaha market. More television revenue. Both schools are also getting hosed in the Big XII that is controlled by the schools down south. The Big XII’s TV package is terrible and both would increase their yearly revenue by somewhere around 2-3 times. They also get to join the Big Ten bowl alliance and have the options of 2 BCS bowls, the Capital One Bowl, Outback, and Gator bowls. There is no other conference that has better bowl options then the Big Ten.
I think the divisions would look like this:
Add Notre Dame, and its easy and clean, otherwise, the other conferences better get ready to go and prepare to feel the Big Ten shockwaves.