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7/27/2007 04:13:00 PM

Big Ten Expansion?

Oakland Arena
Could Rutgers become the 12th member of the Big Ten conference?
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
By Greg Beaton

For 17 years, the Big Ten has actually had 11 member institutions. The league's identity could become even more confused if published reports that the conference will seek a 12th school in the near future come to fruition.

With the Big Ten Network launching this fall, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told the Des Moines Register that the conference will "look at" adding a 12th team next year. The conference is currently composed of teams from eight different states in several different media markets. The conference's TV network could benefit greatly from adding a new team from a ninth state.

Notre Dame rebuffed the Big Ten's advances to become its 12th member in 1999, so the focus this time could be on two Big East schools that have been mentioned before: Rutgers and Syracuse. Rutgers would provide the Big Ten with a regional foothold in New Jersey and in the New York media, and Syracuse -- which was involved in talks to move to the ACC before Virginia Tech, Boston College and Miami made the move instead -- has a strong following in New York as well.

Like the ACC, SEC and Big 12 before it, a 12-team Big Ten could institute a financially lucrative championship game in football. The downside? A 12-team league would likely have to be split into two divisions, effectively destroying many of the traditional rivalries and potentially costing the regular season champion a BCS bowl bid with a slip-up in the league title game.

What are your thoughts on the Big Ten's talk of expansion? Is it good for the conference? Who should be the 12th team? And finally, will the league finally need to adopt a new name?

Comments:

Posted: 5:10 PM   by Blogger David
Don't expand without an effective game-plan to keep the traditional rivalries in place. And that's going to be difficult to do. Other than money, I'm not sure why the Big Ten is so hot to expand to 12 teams. Tradition is the cornerstone of our conference and while times change, I'm unconvinced money is the best reason to do this.
Posted: 5:54 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Rutgers is a flash in a pan and Syracuse has sucked for years. Hopefully Pitt or Mizzou is in the conversation. ND won't revisit it. Could Louisville jump ship again?
Posted: 5:55 PM   by Anonymous Flerdy Fluckflace
Rutgers? Syracuse ?? No connection whatsoever with the Big Ten or the Big Ten tradition.

If anything, they should ask Pitt. It would recreate the natural Pitt - Penn State rivalry, and certainly make far more sense geographically.
Posted: 6:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
i hope ND will join so it can be proved that they are over-rated every year as they finish in the middle of the big 10. and maybe instead of the name change they will change the 11 that is in the logo now(between the "i" and "g" and "t") into a 12 somehow. i would like to see a team that would compete in the big 10 which i don't see syracuse or rutgers doing.
Posted: 6:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Since "Big 12" is already taken, they could call themselves the "11 teams more or less from the Midwest plus one afterthought from the East." A little cumbersome, maybe, but refreshingly accurate.
Posted: 6:19 PM   by Blogger Brendan
I really hope they do expand. Rutgers to the Big 10, East Carolina to the Big East!
Posted: 6:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
NOT A GOOD IDEA!! First of all who are you going to add?....Ball State? Come on!! Besides how are you gonna fit the number 12 into the BIGTEN logo!! Don't you think the 11 was tough enough!!
Posted: 7:16 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I think that overall it makes sense to have a 12th team. It would be a chance to create new rivalries. It is difficult to do that with 11 teams. Syracuse I think has a great sports tradition and would fit in nicely in The Big Ten.
Posted: 10:37 AM   by Anonymous Adam (madison wi)
At this point, the "Big 11's" largest flack comes from SEC country where they claim that it is often the big two to four (depending on psu or wisc's progress) and the little 9 or such. Adding another team would only make sense to add a powerhouse such as Notre Dame, although they love being independent for national recruiting purposes, which could increase strength of schedule. If not, perhaps ripping iowa state away from the big 12 or pitt from the big east would make sense geographically. Maybe even Miami (OH) or a MAC team that showed promise
Posted: 11:20 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I think it's funny that another conference (it was the ACC a couple of years ago) is recruiting Big East schools to play football, especially when 2 of the prominent coaches from those 2 schools (Rutgers & Syracuse) made it a priority to promote the Big East in their seasonal campaigns. Schiano (Rutgers Football) made it a recruiting point that homegrown NJ/NYC talent could play in front of their families every weekend in the Big East. Boeheim (Syracuse Basketball) brought up the point of playing traditional rivalries in basketball that should continue. What's next? The PAC-10 is going to recruit Georgetown to play basketball?
Posted: 2:05 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Why not just add two more teams from two different states so the total number of states in the conference is ten. Then, the Big Ten name would make sense.
Posted: 2:41 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
the most sense geographically would be pitt, west virginia, or louisville as far as teams that would be good enough to compete year in year out. but getting rid of the newly budding west virginia-louisville rivalry in the big east would suck. and i just think pitt would get slaughtered in the big ten, they are never as good as advertised
Posted: 2:43 PM   by Blogger CVail
worst. idea. ever.

Unless it's Notre Dame, then it's the best move the Big Ten could make. I would love to kick ND's @$$ every fall
Posted: 4:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
it stupid, putting in 12 teams will destroy the tradition rivalry especially Michigan vs. Ohio St. Tradition must be honor!
Posted: 5:03 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Mark May on ESPN was pushing Iowa State. Gimme a break, Iowa State? If you're talking new markets, Des Moines and the Quad Cities are already in the fold. What about Missouri, with St. Louis and Kansas City? What about Nebraska with its national following? What about Louisville, just across the Ohio River from Big 10 Country? What about West Virginia, closer to a couple of Big 10 schools than any of the others mentioned? Iowa State seems one of the least likely schools you'd want to take.
Posted: 6:18 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This isn't just about football think about all sports and media markets, wouldn't Syracuse look nice in Basketball, and Louisville, West Virgina, and Pitt, in Football and B-Ball. Also I would rule out any Big 12 team as well it would take a lot of $$$ to get them, but overall look for a team to join not in or bordering Ohio, do you think Ohio State would let Louisville join with the possible split of fans and media coverage in Cincy.
Posted: 8:24 PM   by Blogger Neal
Woah Woah, lets keep the ol' "Western Conference" in its respective geographc region. After ND, the Big Ten must look to West Virginina, Louisville and Iowa State in that order.
Posted: 9:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What do you mean create new rivalries??? The rivalries found in the Big Ten right now are the best in the nation. Syracuse sucks and i would be a shame if they or any other east coast team was added to the conference.
Posted: 10:23 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
There are no good options for number 12. Syracuse has no connection to the league. Rutgers is a nice academic fit but weak otherwise EXCEPT the new York TV market. Pitt doesn't expand the league since it is between Columbus and HAppy Valley. Does Mizzou add TV value? The biggest problem is that it worsens the already bad fact that the Big Ten can't play a round robin. Who goes in which division in a split. If you do a natural east-west do you really want to see OSU, PSU and UM on one side of the braket? That leaves Iowa and UW in the west with not much else. That is as bad as the big 12 also rans with UT, Neb and Oak together and nobody in the other division. LEAVE IT ALONE and focus on a playoff system - By the way none of the other sports - Basketball or anything else need a 12th team so why use Football to push a square peg in a round hole???
Posted: 11:10 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Don't expand period! Aside from Notre Dame, none of the schools have any connection to the big ten. I go to Purdue and I could care less about some of the proposed expansion teams like Colorado or Rutgers. I don't think any of the proposed schools bring anything to the table talent-wise. They only bring in viewers.
Posted: 9:04 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I think it's a bad idea. The reason for expanding is to make more money, which in turn may hurt rivalries. Delany should first spend some time looking at his views on the BCS and what a mess that is...open his mind to new ideas.
As a Penn State fan, I look forward to the years when Michigan and Ohio State are on the schedule. Why, because they are a challenge and they bring out the true competative nature of the players and fans alike. Bringing in another team to the league will make these rivalries less frequent, because oh we need to fit in the Southwestern State University's of the world.
Delany, pay attention to the teams you currently have, open your mind to new views on college football, and let the rivalries continue.
Posted: 9:31 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Add Boise St. to the Big 10, and add Fresno and Hawaii to Pac 10, find some teams to add to the Big East, everybody could have a conf. Champ game, all conf. title game champs go into a playoff
Posted: 9:38 AM   by Anonymous Robert Goulet
I'm OK with expansion, as long as they keep traditional rivalries in place and do not add a championship game. It will devalue the regular season, and possibly cost a team a title shot.
Posted: 10:00 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The University of Pittsburgh is the best choice...
Posted: 11:23 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The Big 10 should boot out Northwestern and be the Big 10 again. Forget expansion, no other reasonable team out there has the weight or tradition to join. Besides, it trivializes our traditions to expand just for the sake of a stupid network that nobody wants.
I agree with flerdy. While the most logical choice is Notre Dame, the Irish are unlikely to accept the offer. Both Syracuse and Rutgers make sense financially, but neither makes sense in terms of tradition. The reason Pitt makes sense is that it would finally give Penn St. a real rival. Both Pitt and Syracuse have strong traditions, but Syracuse doesn't have a real rival in the Big 10. The real question is would any of these teams be willing to consider playing in a conference that is going to be stronger than the Big East four out of every five years?
Posted: 11:50 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm a Big Ten fan and I'd rather drop a team, say maybe Northwestern, than add a 12th team. They have to guarantee me that Michigan will play Ohio and Michigan State every year and I'll consider it.
Posted: 12:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Expanding for the Big Ten would be suicide. If you split into 2 divisions they would want OSU-Michigan in separate division with the idea they would play for the championship. The problem would be they already play the last week of the season. Would the Big 10 want the potential headache of the possibility of this matchup back to back weeks??? The only way this would work would be to play the regualar season game in Sept or Oct. I can aready hear Ann Arbor and Columbus sreaming over this one. It just wouldn't work out.
Posted: 12:10 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
EXPAND & CHANGE THE LOGO
Posted: 12:13 PM   by Blogger noah
the only good choices here are Pitt and Louisville. Rutgers and 'Cuse? No Way. Rutgers hasn't shown they deserve it. and how would that effect basketball? Syracuse NOT in the big east tourney? I say throw in Pitt, have Pitt, penn state, OSU, Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State, then Iowa, Wisco, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana
Posted: 2:56 PM   by Blogger Steve
What about the Big Northern Conference for a name if they decide to change it? However, if they could keep the name when they added Penn State as the eleventh team, there's nothing to stop them from keeping the name if a twelfth team is added.
Posted: 2:59 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Southern Illinois would make a better geographical fit and bring in the St. Louis market. The Salukis would need to upgrade thir footbll facility, which they are tyring to do.
Posted: 2:59 PM   by Anonymous whit
Yes expand, its not fair that better confernces like the big 12, SEC, and ACC have to play a champion game for the confernce title and big ten doesnt. further more it'll be great because that should give more reason to the thought that the PAC-10 is a weaker confernce. As for teams that they should be looking at Rutgers isnt bad but what about West Vir. and Louisville????? If they are looking for weaker teams then the big orange or pitt, will do.
Posted: 3:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Don't do it unless you can get a team like Notre Dame
Posted: 3:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This would ruin the Big 10 and the rivals. To seperate into two divisons and keep the Michigan vs OSU and Michigan vs Michigan St., you would have to place these three in the same division. Making one divison extremely top heavy. This is a joke and shouldn't be considered. I would only agree to this if the Crying Irish would join.
Posted: 3:12 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Hell no! I'd rather see the conference boot Northwestern and return to 10 members- that way every school could play each other, instead of missing two teams a year. 9 conference games plus the 3 non-conference games that bring in big $$$. And throw in a couple of bye weeks to avoid the 51 day off fiasco faced by Ohio State last year.
Posted: 3:23 PM   by Anonymous Ryan, (Minnesota)
Yes, yes, I know Rudy was a good movie but Notre Dame needs to get off their high horse and join the Big Ten conference already. Besides the freak school (PSU), the Big Ten has always been about Midwestern pride. Just because "touchdown jesus" is a private institution doesn't mean they should get special treatment. Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't Northwestern also a private school?
Posted: 3:38 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
penn state was going to dominate the big 10, we've seen how that worked. Norte dame will not do it cuz they don't have the gutts. If they joined the big 10 the imaginary halo would be further tarnished, come on charlie were waiting for ya.
Posted: 3:48 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Excellent idea!
Pitt would be a natural in every way.
Posted: 4:12 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
As a PSU alum, I would only want this expansion to happen if ND was the 12th member. Even though adding Pitt would give PSU a more natural rival than MSU, I don't see them being able to compete year after year in the Big Ten. They can barely compete in the Big East now.
Posted: 4:56 PM   by Blogger Sean
West Virginia would be a nice fit. Geographically it would be well suited to games against OSU, Penn state. Missouri would also be a good fit.
Posted: 5:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm an Indiana grad living in Jersey and would love to be able to see the Hoosiers play down the road in Piscataway! However, this is an even worse idea than adding Penn State was and I oppose it. The Big Ten schools share more than a TV contract and geography; they have a common origin adn philosophy as land grant universities that is more than reason enough to resist expansion. Add to that the ability to return to home-and-home scheudling for hoops and you have more than enough reasons to trade Penn State to the Big East for -- nothing!
Posted: 5:38 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I don't think it's going to happen. I doubt that there's a single coach in the Big Ten in favor of expanding and adding a championship game. One of our great conference traditions, the Rose Bowl, has allready been trampled on by the Bowl Championship Shamockery. The last thing this great conference needs is to go all SEC and Big 12 with a cash grabbing title game and undermining the regular season. The last week of the season IS the championship game.
Posted: 5:49 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
And why would Rutgers or Syracuse jump at the chance to move to the Big Televen...or would it be the Big Twelven???

Why would Rutgers leave its natural east coast rivalries to play a bunch of farmers from the midwest??? As far as Syracuse, they aren't going to deliver NYC. Syracuse is miles away...in more ways than one.

If the Big Televen thinks they can pick and choose schools from other BCS leagues, they are in for a VERY rude awakening. There's no reason for any of these other Big 12, Big East, or SEC schools to leave what they have now. Unless they really like cornfields and ugly girls.
Posted: 11:51 PM   by Blogger Brutus
Add ND and drop Northwestern(do they compete in any sport?). None of the other teams discussed will be able to bring tradition and compete in the BIG 10!! Also DROP the Big Ten Network...Now!
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