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Posted: Tuesday June 2, 2009 10:16AM; Updated: Tuesday June 2, 2009 2:00PM
Andy Staples Andy Staples >
INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Conference expansion pros, cons

Story Highlights

Each of our three possible realignment scenarios presents more pros than cons

Biggest pros include more: revenue, conference-title games, seats at BCS table

Biggest cons: inability to include all worthy teams, ripple effect in other sports

Notre Dame joins the Big Ten

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Big Ten expansion could result in Michigan and Ohio State battling for the league crown in a conference-title game.
Big Ten expansion could result in Michigan and Ohio State battling for the league crown in a conference-title game.
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Pros

• The Big Ten can stage a championship game, which should be successful given the huge individual fan base for each school and the fact that the conference, unlike the ACC, is confined to a specific geographic region.

• The league could charge more for ads on the Big Ten Network, and it would command a huge fee for its next deal with ESPN/ABC or any other bidders.

• Rivalries would be protected and even enhanced; Michigan-Notre Dame would mean something.

Cons

• If Notre Dame doesn't improve, the Big Ten would be adding another slow, plodding team.

• If Michigan and Ohio State each win their division, they could play consecutive games. In some years, however, that could be a good thing.

A Big East team (Pitt, Rutgers or Syracuse) joins the Big Ten

Pros

• The Big Ten could stage its championship game. To understand how much money that means, consider the 2008 SEC title game generated $14.3 million for league members.

• If Rutgers or Syracuse joined, the Big Ten would add the New York City television market.

• One more school would win a seat at the BCS-conference table when the Big East filled its opening. Central Florida and Memphis would be the best candidates.

Cons

• With the possible exception of Pitt-Penn State, no natural rivalries would result.

• If UCF joined the Big East, its basketball program might not win a conference game against anyone except South Florida for five years.

The Ultimate Playoff Buster

Pros

• The Big Ten and newly renamed Pac-12 could stage championship games and share more revenue.

• Voters wouldn't dismiss the Pac-12 champ when picking the BCS title-game participants, like they did with USC in 2008. A one-loss champ from a league that includes Boise State, Cal, Oregon, USC and Utah would get just as much respect as a one-loss SEC or Big 12 champ.

• Putting Missouri in the Big Ten would help make the conference faster.

• Giving TCU Big 12 money might produce a program that can compete with Texas and Oklahoma on an annual basis.

• Meaningful complaints against the BCS would dwindle because the teams creating most of the ruckus would be part of the BCS machine.

Cons

• Meaningful complaints against the BCS would dwindle because the teams creating most of the ruckus would be part of the BCS machine (and yes, we're intentionally repeating this point).

• Boise State beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on a Statue of Liberty play would still be cool to watch, but it wouldn't mean the same thing.

• BYU and the Mountain West would truly get stiffed.

MORE COVERAGE
STAPLES: Three ways to turn JoePa's expansion dreams into reality
REACT: Share your thoughts on our three realignment proposals

 
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