Will Big 10 Expansion Kill off the Big 12?


One of the most interesting reads I’ve come across on the topic of Big Ten expansion….

This is quite possibly the best article on Big Ten expansion that I have seen anywhere. It comes from SB Nation’s Big Ten blog Rivalry Esq.

Here a few critical excerpts. For the whole thing, go here

This passage describes the Big 10’s fiscal strength and power-

Its current revenues are somewhere in the $250 million range annually.  The conference’s majority ownership interest in its own television network is primed to eventually pay 2.8 billion to the league’s member institutions.  Combined with a billion dollar ESPN deal, Big Ten schools are earning more from television revenues than any other conference.  It shouldn’t be any surprise that the Big Ten is home to four of the six wealthiest athletic departments in the nation.

In a game that’s all about exposure the Big Ten owns or shares 7 of the 25 largest media markets in the United States, including No. 3 Chicago, No. 4 Philadelphia, No. 11 Detroit, No. 15 Minneapolis, No. 17 Cleveland, No. 23 Pittsburgh, and No. 25 Indianapolis.  In total, Big Ten broadcasts reach 21,998,720 metropolitan households.  By comparison, the Pac Ten is prominent in 6 top 25 markets, the ACC lives in 5, the Big 12 plays to 4, and the Big East and the SEC net 3.

Factor in that the Big Ten has been just as competitive on the field — the conference is currently tied with the SEC for the most national championships of all time (27) — and it’s easy to see why if the if the Big Ten calls, people will listen.

According to this feature article, Missouri is pretty much coming to the Big Ten, and conference expansion is scheduled for sometime in the next 10-16 months

“It’s pretty well accepted that if the Big Ten wants Missouri to suit up, all it has to do is ask.  The departure of Missouri would definitively take the St. Louis market off the table, limiting the Big 12 presence to just 3 of the Top 25 media centers in the U.S., and would take away the Big Twelve’s second largest state.  The fallout would also affect Kansas City — currently the 31st largest television actor in the U.S.”

And if the Midwestern conference poaches Texas, what happens?

If Texas leaves the Big XII, the conference will spontaneously collapse in its wake.  Not only will the conference drop its trump ace, it will lose a terminal 62 percent of its present market share.  The entire Big 12 landscape will be buried in a smoldering blanket of hot ash, molten lava, and toxic gas.  After the dust settles, the remaining lame duck members will scramble to evacuate — some, like Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas will find good homes.  The resulting graveyard will be picked clean by non-BCS conferences, and the Big East.

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  1. Charley Davis says

    The answer is yes, only if through the expansion efforts of the Big Ten and their bowl partner Pac-10 we convince the ACC and SEC to assist us in massive realignment towards 4 16-team leagues to end the Big XII and Big East.

  2. So you’re an advocate of the super-conference then? Like the Big East basketball is today…the Pac 10 and the Big 10 are currently in the best positions right now. thye have more money because they have access to the biggest markets. SEC has a nice ESPN deal, but they do not have a lot of big cities in their region.

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