Are you taking an out-of-state summer vacation?|
Story Archives: Big Ten expanding
|Big Ten expanding|
My first reaction to the rumor that the Big Ten is expanding and that the conference is wooing Notre Dame was — Why would anyone want to join the Big Ten?
So is it rumor or fact?
I don't see Notre Dame joining anybody. But I do see the Big Ten expanding. As tight-lipped as the head honchos of that league are if word leaks out about wanting to expand, there has to be something to it.
Sure, everyone is denying it. The same way they deny a coach is on the hot seat just before he gets booted out the door.
Obviously, if it does happen, the Big Ten will have to come up with a new name.
The Bigger 12? The Large 14? The Monstrous 16?
Hey, I'm all for it. Give Ohio State and Penn State a real challenge for a conference title for a change.
So who's in and who's not?
Right now the conference seems set on Sweet 16.
The Big Ten really wants Rutgers to cut into that New York City limelight. Missouri and Nebraska supposedly are looking to escape from the Big 12 (OK, does that make it the Smaller 10?).
Syracuse, Connecticut and Pittsburgh are supposedly on the radar.
There's six schools right there, which totaled 16 last time I checked and would lead to an East and West Division and a conference title game.
Wow, somebody would have to hold down Kirk Herbstreit. He would be proclaiming the new Big 10 as the greatest conference ever. Oh wait, I think he already does that.
The Big Ten does have a combination of geographic reach, the right TV times, the mega-stadiums, the gigantic alumni bases, and the educational reputation.
You are also talking the top 25 television markets in Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis.
But it would still have to play little brother to the Southeastern Conference. There's a reason most of the prime time games are in the Southeastern Conference and ESPN broke into its piggy bank to own the SEC.
Give me a great SEC game (and you have that each week) against a game involving Southern Cal and a cupcake or Notre Dame against Navy and I'll take the SEC game any day.
If all this does happen, you have to figure Big 12 teams will be looking to either reel in what's left or folks are going to start jumping ship.
Can you say super conferences finally?
How about Georgia Tech, Louisville, South Florida along with a surprise team joining the SEC?
Better yet, can you say playoffs?
Unfortunately, probably not. There are too many head coaches who don't like the idea of only one winner in the postseason.
And the money from super conferences will have commissioners not wanting to give the people what they want even more.
The landscape of college football appears ready to change once again. You can bet the rich will get richer and the little guys will be pushed even more out the door. Three months and counting until kickoff. And then who knows what waits on the horizon. Things could get a little Super Freaky.