Future Big 10 Expansion Candidates: Rutgers, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame

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Big Ten Conference

The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) met recently to discuss conference expansion.A statement was issued by the Big Ten office today. It was a rather dry statement; and it didn’t say a whole lot, so let’s quickly get through it and move on to the fun stuff.

In response to a number of recent media inquiries received by several Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors regarding the likelihood of further expansion by the Big Ten, the COP/C would like to reiterate that it will not be actively engaged in conference expansion at this time, or at any time in the foreseeable future, barring a significant shift in the current intercollegiate athletic landscape.

The conference has spent the past 14 months actively engaged in incorporating Nebraska, academically and athletically, into the fabric of the conference. “We’re about as comfortable as we can be with where we are,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “We’ve said that we will continue to monitor the landscape, but we have closed down active expansion and have no plans to seek new members.”

You still awake? Ok, so there’s no absolutely no news there to report in today’s press release, but the college football landscape is still about to go an inevitable revolution, and eventually some conferences could fold, and possibly some new super-conferences will emerge.

The league explicitly said they are not looking to expand right now, but in 2012, 2013, 2014 etc., the big players will be the SEC, Pac-12 (which will someday become Pac-16) and the Big Ten that currently has 12 teams. The Big East and Big 12 (which actually has 10 teams) will probably get raided.

Texas A&M will likely move to the SEC if/when it gets a partner school to move with them, or better yet- three partner teams to give the SEC 16. So who should come to the Big Ten? Check out my exclusive interview with Purdue Boilermakers QB legend Mark Herrman, who said it best:

“I’m not sure we’re done with Big Ten expansion, there could be a couple more down the line,” he said.

 

“There was talk of Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse. We would have loved to see Notre Dame come in. That would have solved a lot of issues I think. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen. A number of schools have been bandied about, but it may be a year or two before anything else happens,” Hermann continued.

So you would start with the three BE teams, but don’t forget Missouri who was implemented in coming to the conference last summer. But Mizzou probably wants the Big Ten more than the conference wants them. They likely only move over if/when a much more desirable partner (i.e. team that gives the conference entry into new and bigger television markets comes with them) comes with them.

As for the billion dollar question of the Fighting Irish, they would only join a conference if/when 1.) the quality of the program drops off enough that NBC fails to renew their television deal with ND. And it would take a lot of years of consistent losing for interest to wane enough for this to happen 2.) The Irish find themselves consistently high up within the BcS rankings, but still left out of the title game due to being penalized from not playing in/winning a conference championship game. The algorithms are favorable to teams with conference title game victories.

So in other words, ND isn’t going anywhere until they are ironically winning or losing big year in and year out.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

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