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Maryland and Rutgers to join Big Ten?

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College football (and sports in general) is more about money today than at any other time I can remember.

It is highly discouraging. Sports is supposed to be the escape, and now it seems that it is becoming more and more a part of the rat race.

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It would've sounded ridiculous even six months ago, but what about a Big Ten going after a UCLA or a USC.

I was reminded yesterday about the B1G having a clause regarding expansion that schools need to be located in a state that is already represented by a current B1G school or located in a neighboring state. I wonder if that was/is the case, or it was/is ancient lore, and is so, when the B1G decides to remove that piece of legislature? I would imagine that if they do vote to remove such a clause, that has the potential to send other conferences into overdrive trying to save themselves from being picked clean or increase membership for themselves (PAC, SEC, Big XII/ACC) while one or two others may not survive (Big East, ACC/Big XII).

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I was reminded yesterday about the B1G having a clause regarding expansion that schools need to be located in a state that is already represented by a current B1G school or located in a neighboring state. I wonder if that was/is the case, or it was/is ancient lore, and is so, when the B1G decides to remove that piece of legislature? I would imagine that if they do vote to remove such a clause, that has the potential to send other conferences into overdrive trying to save themselves from being picked clean or increase membership for themselves (PAC, SEC, Big XII/ACC) while one or two others may not survive (Big East, ACC/Big XII).

I'm sure they could change their bylaws with unanimous approval of the school presidents. Considering Rutgers, Neb and Maryland all received unanimous approval, any bylaws that get in the way shouldn't cause a problem.

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What's next for the Big Ten? If they're trying to get to 16, and they almost certainly are, adding Virginia and Virginia Tech would create the most cohesive conference, and would lock down the mid-Atlantic market.

Grabbing UNC and Duke would hurt football too much, but the value they had on the basketball side is not insignificant. I doubt UNC comes without NC State. Conference stability would not be great.

Grabbing Georgia Tech makes the conference more unstable, and who comes with them?

Syracuse might get them the NY market, but who comes with them? ND?

I wish they would have stayed at 11. Adding Nebraska was alright, but inter-division non-protected rivalries are too diminished. With a 14 or 16 team conference, you essentially have 2 separate conferences.

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I'm ok with Maryland and Rutgers IF it is part of a larger plan by Delany. If it is a knee-jerk reaction to get the New York and DC markets, it was a terrible decision. But I have faith that Delany was smart.

The focus goes to who is the 15th and 16th schools will be. The perfect school seems to be an ideal combo of three elements:

1) pristine academics - Preferably a member of the AAU, but someone who seems to be on the verge of acceptance will be ok too.

2) high athletic prestige -Stellar in as many sports as possible, money makers, decent fan base, etc.

3) New high level market - Must add a market to what the Big Ten currently has. As high up a market in the top 50 as possible.

In addition, the new schools must be even with Texas or east, for logistics purposes.

When we look at the AAU universities, very little is left. The following is a list of AAU universities, minus non-athletic schools, minus already existing Big Ten schools, minus schools west of Texas, plus five schools which are considered high academic schools that haven't yet been added to the AAU.

That left me with twenty schools. From there, I narrowed it by looking at if there was any plausible way the particular school would want to leave their current conference (ie University of Florida), if their sports were up to Big Ten standards (ie Tulane), and whether they added to the Big Ten footprint (ie Iowa State).

That leaves us with ten...

Duke University - Brings in North Carolina, which has 24th and 27th largest markets. May not come without NC, WF, or NCSU.

Georgia Institute of Technology - Brings in Atlanta, which has 8th largest market. Heavy recruiting area. Somewhat isolated from rest of Big Ten.

The University of Kansas - Brings in very little to TV, big basketball program

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Brings in North Carolina, which has 24th and 27th largest markets. May not come without Duke, WF, or NCSU.

The University of Texas at Austin - Brings in Texas, which includes 5th, 10th, 37th, and 49th markets. Huge recruiting area. Isolated from Big Ten and comes with A LOT of unneeded baggage with Longhorn Network.

University of Virginia - Solidifies DC (9th largest) market, but brings in no new markets. Athletics are touch and go.

Vanderbilt University - Connection between Big Ten and Sun Belt if needed. Brings in 29th and 48th markets. May be hard to pry from SEC.

University of Miami, FL - Brings in many Florida markets, possibly 13th, 16th, 19th, 38th, and 47th if all of Florida is included. Athletics are top notch, but brings in baggage with NCAA sanctions.

Florida State University - Brings in potentially as many markets as Miami. Lots of history and great athletics without all the sanctions.

North Carolina State University - Brings in NC market (see Duke and NC), but may not come without Duke, NC, and WF. Not as great athletics as Duke and NC.

Looking at all this, I'd say the best add's the Big Ten could make for 15 and 16 would be...

A) Georgia Tech. and Florida State - Adds the big southern markets, adds lots of recruiting possibilities, adds to athletic prestige.

B) Georgia Tech. and Vanderbilt - Same as above except it brings the additions closer to the current B1G while sacrificing a little in the TV markets.

C) North Carolina and Georgia Tech. - Both bring new markets and good in athletics.

Using my favorite possibility, A, you could then have the divisions be...

East: Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers

West: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Georgia Tech., Florida State

Thoughts on 15 & 16?

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Duke is a private school. I don't think they will make any decision based on anything other than their own best interests. Same with Wake Forest for what it's worth. What you would see is something similar to Virginia Tech joining the ACC in large part because UVa was under state government pressure to make it happen in order for them to get something. UNC would most certainly come without Duke, and vice versa, but like Oklahoma won't come without the Cowboys, UNC probably won't be going anywhere without NC State.

Georgia Tech would be the one school(and if it's private then forget what I'm about to say) that would come on its own, since UGa is ensconsed in the SEC, and the state government has never really cared. And too many people seem to think strictly based on athletics from the past 3 years. Athletics are about the third priority, and even there, so long as the infrastructure is there or in the works, the presidents believe the rest will follow.

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Adding UVa and VT or UNC and NC State/Duke are the only moves that are slightly plausible and make any sense, IMO. Those 2 packages will deliver their states, and help solidify the DC market (especially the Va schools).

Texas is not going to happen. They have an incredibly good arrangement with the Big 12, and are really taking one to ESPN with the LHN. The Big Ten is not going to be interested in any other B12 schools.

Adding Georgia Tech would be incredibly short sighted. They'd have a hell of a time recruiting in Georgia as a Big Ten school. If Texas cannot get the LHN on air in Texas, then GT is not getting the BTN in Atlanta. Who joins with GT? Not UNC or UVa.

SEC schools are untouchable...I think. Unfortunately, Mizzou >>> than Rutgers or Maryland. Way to screw that one up Delany. Fan intensity matters, which we're going to quickly find out when a bunch of NYC area networks tell the BTN to GTFO.

Syracuse and Pitt are probably still poachable, but if the Big Ten was interested, they would already have gotten invites.

Of course, all these moves are incredibly short-sighted, so I guess anything is possible.

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I disagree that Georgia Tech. would not carry Atlanta.

Georgia Tech's campus is IN Atlanta. Georgia Tech. has been compared to Michigan State in the Georgia/Georgia Tech. rivalry. If this was true, it'd be like saying Michigan State wouldn't carry the Lansing TV market.

The stations would carry the B1G Network for the campus TV's alone... Now if Ga. Tech was located where the University of Georgia is, in Athens, I may agree that they wouldn't carry Atlanta... It'd be like a question of whether Michigan State would carry Detroit.

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I just don't know how this plays out favorably into the future, a decade down the line after there are 4 megaconferences. I may be wrong, but I can see teams dropping out of megaconferences and forming their own smaller conferences. The net effect would just be schools shuffling around from one grouping to another.

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I think GT, UNC, and UVA would be absolutely awesome additions from an academic perspective. Plus, they're contiguous states outside the current B1G footprint.

I really worry, however, that the rivalries and local traditions from these schools, as well as those within/between legacy B1G members will be diluted. I guess fan bases will adapt, eventually, but any degree of continuity from year to year will be tough to maintain. I mean heck, if there are really 17 teams, you could have a football schedule two years in a row without repeating ANY opponents!

MSU, for instance, could play Neb, Iowa, Purdue, NWU, Ill, Minn, Wisc, and Indiana one year, then play Mich, OSU, Maryland, PSU, Rutgers, UVA, UNC, and GT the next year! That's kinda weird, dontcha think?

Of course they wouldn't really do that, but that means you go even LONGER between playing some teams. I would think an East/West division could look something like this:

Minn, Neb, Iowa, Wisc, Ill, NW, Indiana, Purdue

and

MSU, Mich, OSU, Mary, PSU, Rut, UVA, GT, UNC

A nine-game B1G schedule would almost be mandatory... play seven games in your division, and two cross-divisional games. But under this scenario, you miss one game with one divisional opponent if you're in the 9-team division... The logistics seem nightmare-ish.

Would any other division arrangement make sense? three divisions? four? Of course, then a true B1G football championship game is impossible without going to some sort of ranking system, which I would think, is untenable.

Ugh, there are just so many problems... but potentially, a lot of really cool things, as well. I guess we'll see how it all plays out...

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A nine-game B1G schedule would almost be mandatory... play seven games in your division, and two cross-divisional games. But under this scenario, you miss one game with one divisional opponent if you're in the 9-team division... The logistics seem nightmare-ish.

Would any other division arrangement make sense? three divisions? four? Of course, then a true B1G football championship game is impossible without going to some sort of ranking system, which I would think, is untenable.

I think a schedule that does not include games against all teams within a division is just asking for problems. How do you handle a divisional title tie between 2 teams with undefeated conference records for a chance to play in the conference championship game?

I think if the conference does get big enough, a three (or four) divisonal alignment makes sense if the conference can add a semifinal round before the championship game. I don't know how you get around the NCAA and (sarcasm alert) take away class time from the student-athletes. Maybe the semifinals weekend is a open week for every team and all conference teams not involved in the semifinals get matched up with an opponent that they have not faced during the regular season?

If there is a three divisional alignment, then heck, get to 18 teams, 3 divisions, 6 teams per division. 5 matchups within the division, 1 guaranteed matchup against a team outside of the division, and then cycle through the other 2/3 opponents.

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I think a schedule that does not include games against all teams within a division is just asking for problems. How do you handle a divisional title tie between 2 teams with undefeated conference records for a chance to play in the conference championship game?

I think if the conference does get big enough, a three (or four) divisonal alignment makes sense if the conference can add a semifinal round before the championship game. I don't know how you get around the NCAA and (sarcasm alert) take away class time from the student-athletes. Maybe the semifinals weekend is a open week for every team and all conference teams not involved in the semifinals get matched up with an opponent that they have not faced during the regular season?

If there is a three divisional alignment, then heck, get to 18 teams, 3 divisions, 6 teams per division. 5 matchups within the division, 1 guaranteed matchup against a team outside of the division, and then cycle through the other 2/3 opponents.

If you have 3 divisions, how do you handle who gets to play in the championship game? 3 division winners and a wildcard play a semi-final game?

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I think a schedule that does not include games against all teams within a division is just asking for problems. How do you handle a divisional title tie between 2 teams with undefeated conference records for a chance to play in the conference championship game?

I think if the conference does get big enough, a three (or four) divisonal alignment makes sense if the conference can add a semifinal round before the championship game. I don't know how you get around the NCAA and (sarcasm alert) take away class time from the student-athletes. Maybe the semifinals weekend is a open week for every team and all conference teams not involved in the semifinals get matched up with an opponent that they have not faced during the regular season?

If there is a three divisional alignment, then heck, get to 18 teams, 3 divisions, 6 teams per division. 5 matchups within the division, 1 guaranteed matchup against a team outside of the division, and then cycle through the other 2/3 opponents.

I don't think the NCAA allows semi-final games for conference championships. There would have to be a rule change (which might be coming given the push to 16 team conferences) before it could be allowed.

From a scheduling standpoint I don't think an open week that isn't really an open week is going to work. It's a bit of a nightmare for the large group of teams that aren't going to be competing in the semi-final to have to sell tickets to games without knowing whether that last game is a home game or not. It would almost have to involve adding an extra week to the schedule.

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I think the traditional games and rivalries we're used to seeing are slowly being chiseled at because of how lucrative college football is. Tradition and rivalries are nice to have from a fan's perspective, but can be limiting in terms of generating additional revenue. Maryland and Rutgers add nothing in terms of tradition and rivalry, and in fact will dilute that which has been established over decades in the Big Ten. However the additional revenue those markets will bring most definitely trumps anything like that.

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If you have 3 divisions, how do you handle who gets to play in the championship game? 3 division winners and a wildcard play a semi-final game?

Yes, I was incomplete with my post. The 3 division winners and a wildcard. The wildcard could be handled somewhat like the BcS as there could very well be a tie for that conference record.

I don't think the NCAA allows semi-final games for conference championships. There would have to be a rule change (which might be coming given the push to 16 team conferences) before it could be allowed.

From a scheduling standpoint I don't think an open week that isn't really an open week is going to work. It's a bit of a nightmare for the large group of teams that aren't going to be competing in the semi-final to have to sell tickets to games without knowing whether that last game is a home game or not. It would almost have to involve adding an extra week to the schedule.

I think there could very well be a rule change in the offing if enough money gets tossed around for a 3 division scenario. It'd be a way to ensure that the larger conferences freeze out the MACs and Sun Belts while offering some sort of playoff system. 4 megaconferences with 4 playoff teams per megaconference, there is your playoff system while assuring each megaconference gets to the national semifinal.

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I think the traditional games and rivalries we're used to seeing are slowly being chiseled at because of how lucrative college football is. Tradition and rivalries are nice to have from a fan's perspective, but can be limiting in terms of generating additional revenue. Maryland and Rutgers add nothing in terms of tradition and rivalry, and in fact will dilute that which has been established over decades in the Big Ten. However the additional revenue those markets will bring most definitely trumps anything like that.

Yeah, it kind of stinks. I mean, it is somewhat intriguing guessing who is going where and adding a team like Nebraska to the conference and having a conference championship game seemed like a good idea. But then adding Maryland & Rutgers at the expense of games vs Iowa & Michigan State just doesn't seem like a good deal to me.

I will miss the older days of meeting (almost) everybody in the conference in football. Missing one or two schools for a 2 season cycle wasn't that bad. Now the conferences are getting so big, you have to seriously wonder if missing schools within the division is indeed a distinct possibility.

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Yeah, it kind of stinks. I mean, it is somewhat intriguing guessing who is going where and adding a team like Nebraska to the conference and having a conference championship game seemed like a good idea. But then adding Maryland & Rutgers at the expense of games vs Iowa & Michigan State just doesn't seem like a good deal to me.

I will miss the older days of meeting (almost) everybody in the conference in football. Missing one or two schools for a 2 season cycle wasn't that bad. Now the conferences are getting so big, you have to seriously wonder if missing schools within the division is indeed a distinct possibility.

The biggest rivalries will be preserved, such as UM / OSU and the like. So many teams will be missed year-to-year that the more "casual" rivalries will lose much of their luster.

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The Big Ten isnt going to add a traditional Basketball, the money is in Football .... I can see them adding Va Tech and maybe PITT, Cincinnati or Syracuse (has a football tradition)

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The Big Ten isnt going to add a traditional Basketball, the money is in Football .... I can see them adding Va Tech and maybe PITT, Cincinnati or Syracuse (has a football tradition)

Cinncinnati or Pitt gain nothing in footprint or added viewes to the Big 10 network.

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The biggest rivalries will be preserved, such as UM / OSU and the like. So many teams will be missed year-to-year that the more "casual" rivalries will lose much of their luster.

I agree that OSU v UM isn't going anywhere. I would think that each school still gets assigned in an interdivision rival that they play each season with the two divisional setup. Honestly, I'd rather OSU & UM be in the same division, scheduled at the end of the season. I think the possibility of back-to-back matchups falls into the too much of a good thing category. Although it might help close that lifetime series gap.

If by chance it does go to three or more divisions, and admittedly that is pie in the sky at this point, I guess you have to look at who the new schools are and go from there. More than two divisions and there is probably no way to not split up OSU & UM. And there is also the question of what to name the third division? Leaders, Legends, and TV Rights/Money?

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Yes, I was incomplete with my post. The 3 division winners and a wildcard. The wildcard could be handled somewhat like the BcS as there could very well be a tie for that conference record.

I think there could very well be a rule change in the offing if enough money gets tossed around for a 3 division scenario. It'd be a way to ensure that the larger conferences freeze out the MACs and Sun Belts while offering some sort of playoff system. 4 megaconferences with 4 playoff teams per megaconference, there is your playoff system while assuring each megaconference gets to the national semifinal.

I think the most likely scenario is still a league split with the megaconferences essentially cutting the rest completely. I think that's more likely than the NCAA making a rule change allowing the mega-conferences to add a 2nd round in the conference championship. However, I do think something is going to have to happen because as the rules are set up now 16 team super conferences are not sustainable.

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I agree that OSU v UM isn't going anywhere. I would think that each school still gets assigned in an interdivision rival that they play each season with the two divisional setup. Honestly, I'd rather OSU & UM be in the same division, scheduled at the end of the season. I think the possibility of back-to-back matchups falls into the too much of a good thing category. Although it might help close that lifetime series gap.

If by chance it does go to three or more divisions, and admittedly that is pie in the sky at this point, I guess you have to look at who the new schools are and go from there. More than two divisions and there is probably no way to not split up OSU & UM. And there is also the question of what to name the third division? Leaders, Legends, and TV Rights/Money?

I think there is a decent chance OSU-UM goes away as an annual game sometime in the next 20 years or so. It is a huge competitive disadvantage to both teams and as the conference grows in size that will become more pronounced. And the more the B10 works to add teams based on cable markets the more tradition becomes a largely meaningless thing.

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