Conference expansion pros, cons
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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