Big Ten Expansion Is on the Docket. Let Thy Count the Possibilities The Enlightened Spartan: Big Ten Expansion Is on the Docket. Let Thy Count the Possibilities

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big Ten Expansion Is on the Docket. Let Thy Count the Possibilities

Yes, Money Does rule the day. The day after the ES sez that the Big Ten is more likely to add hockey than expand to 12... well, the Big Ten issues a statement in which its Council of Presidents asked Commissioner Jim Delaney for a recommendation of schools to approach IF the Big Ten were to consider expansion. The Big Ten Network covered their statement with input that Big Ten presidents may receive considerations within 12-18 months. See the video below.

But first up, the most likely nominations? The ES shows distance from East Lansing. A current NACDA/Learfield Sports' Directors Cup (formerly Sears Cup) ranking is also provided as food for fodder to consider competitiveness of the full athletics program. FYI - Michigan State is ranked #13 so far. Ranking is listing by the ES in order of best fit for the Big Ten.

1. Notre Dame (147 miles from EL. Cup: #39). Won't happen unless they give up FB independent status. NBC football TV contract worth $9 million will expire by 2015 and is already equated by Big Ten Network revenues; Big Ten also receives $19 million per school from CBS & ESPN for all sports -- something Big East can't match. Negative is ND Not an AAU member.

2. Pittsburgh (283 miles. Cup: NR). Big Least - its closer than Joe Pa (454 miles). Has a lean 17-sport program. Pitt is an AAU member. Strong in football and hoops.

3. Missouri (411 miles. Cup: NR). Big Twelve. KC Star already on this possibility. A long-time AAU member, with a robust athletics program. A total of 20 sports. Strong in both football and hoops.

4. Syracuse (466 miles. Cup: #5). Big Least. Accepted into the AAU two years after Michigan State. A total of 20 sports, including women's ice hockey. Terrible football, strong hoops.

5. Iowa State (562 miles. Cup: #19). Big Twelve. An AAU member. A very lean 16-sports, average football, good hoops. Likely just too far, and too small.

6. Rutgers (682 miles. Cup: NR). Big Least. A recent AAU addition. The Knights have 22 sports. Recently strong in football, great women's hoops teams. The Big knock is they are just too far, and again a smaller institution.

7. Nebraska (728 miles. Cup: NR). Big Twelve. Another long-time AAU member. One of the historically strongest athletic programs in the nation. Strong football, and Olympic sports. 21 total sports. However, many historical ties to Big Twelve (former Southwest Conference) schools. And, likely too far.

Others? Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis... May the dominoes fall. The ES still sez that ice hockey is a greater possibility than a 12th member. But, let us revisit in 2012.

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