Big 10 to usher in Megaconference Era



It’s May and we’re talking about college football!

Yey! That never happens. And what’s breaking up the usual May malaise? Big Ten expansion, and the dominoes that will fall all around the country once it goes through.

It’s the only Big Ten topic anyone cares about right now even though the Big Ten Network is not touching it with a ten foot pole. But hey, they’re busy providing ample coverage of Big 10 conference baseball, softball and track, because the four whole people that watch that stuff need to get their fix.

–By Paul M. Banks

I understand why the Big Ten Network doesn’t cover expansion theories despite now being the perfect time to do so. The BTN makes so much money broadcasting football that from April-September they can afford to broadcast sports that no one will ever conceive of ever watching. Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, the BTN is the PR vehicle for the conference, and this position greatly trumps their role as service provider to the news consumer.

The Big Ten conference owns 50% of the channel, and they will not be giving us any relevant info of any sort any time soon. (Might ruin their deals they know they got lined up) Maybe after the June meetings in Chicago when something gets finalized, they’ll have something to say.

But I’m still surprised the BTN’s website has nothing at all related to the topic. Even their blogs have nada on the hot issue of the day.

However, there are plenty of great, interesting sports blogs out there that do. And most of them seem to believe that the Era of the Superconference is coming. The most interesting player in the post Big Ten expansion era will be the SEC. I asked Fanhouse’s Clay Travis, one of the nation’s premier college football scribes what he thinks they will do in response to the Big Ten poaching of the Big 12 and Big East.

Oh man, I don’t even want to type a full answer to this. I’ve already done 3k words on it and talked about it so much on my radio show that I can recite the talking points in my sleep.

It’s fascinating because it combines sports and business and you find out how many sports writers are idiots so quickly.

My new theory for overworked lawyers, you have to work hard to be a good lawyer because everybody is smart. You don’t have to work that hard to dominate other fields because lots of dumb people work there.


I do hope that the final result yields something making geographic sense. And doesn’t end up looking similar to the famous NFC West of the NFL that contained Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina. Those places are just so “west.”   The superconference scenario reminds of the political landscape in George Orwell’s “1984,” when the whole world merged into one of 3 megapowers: Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia. This is not be confused with the “Megapowers” of late 80s/early 90s WWF of course.

Here’s what Travis had to say about that:


The Big 12 and Big East are dead.

I think we’ll end up with four 16 team superconferences.

I’m pushing for the SEC to scrap the East and West divisional alignment and call the new divisions Verne and Lundquist.

Geography in the SEC will be secondary to dividing the traditional powers. The East has UT, Georgia, Florida, the West has LSU, Alabama, and Auburn.

At some point you have to balance the superpowers, that’s the key.

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