Big Ten expansion update The Enlightened Spartan: Big Ten expansion update

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Big Ten expansion update

Looks more and more like Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa State are moving up the leaderboard of possible contenders in Big Ten expansion scenarios.

The Big Ten meetings are this weekend, and a recent interview with commissioner Jim Delaney noted three important points:

1. Gaining a foothold in the South. "In the last 20 or 30 years, there's been a clear shift in movement to the Sun Belt. The rates of growth in the Sun Belt are four times the rates in the East or the Midwest.” This boosts consideration of stealing from the Big 12 -- teams close to or in the Sun Belt -- and away from the Big Least.
2. Extending the reach of the league's lucrative television network. The Kansas City (#26 metro area in US) and St. Louis (#18 metro area) areas are significant - with more than 4.5 million households in these two areas alone. ES explored this earlier.
3. Membership in the Association of American Universities would be “very important." A previous list by the ES lists AAU membership among potential candidates

Well, the ES still doesn't see Texas (AAU member), Colorado (AAU member) or Oklahoma (not in the AAU) in the mix so much. They are just too far away -- too far. So, reviewing the potential candidates, the ES sees expansion to 14 at this point -

1. Notre Dame (not AAU but the only exception to the rule).
2. Missouri (AAU).
3. Kansas (AAU).

Others on the outside looking in:

4. Pittsburgh (AAU).
5. Nebraska (AAU).
6. Iowa State (AAU).
7. Syracuse (AAU).
8. Rutgers (AAU).
9. Texas (AAU).

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