David Jones djones pennlive. At almost the same time, Nebraska patriarch Tom Osborne made a cryptic statement suggesting that one or two of his old Big 12 brethren might still be interested in hopping to the Big Ten. It all raises thoughts of a Big Ten super-conference with encapsulated divisions aligned by the Central and Eastern Time Zones. It can be employed to define very different entities.

In specific, we have a tenuous Big 12 Conference which is really only 10 schools and can ill-afford further defections.

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Former Nebraska football coach and athletic director Tom Osborne. In that context, what are we to make of two developments last week?

How big is big enough to survive? And how big an empire is too sprawling to sustain? First, year-old Nebraska grand patriarch Tom Osborne was quoted as implying in his oblique plainsman prose that Big 12 defection and Big Ten expansion may not yet be done:. And so I think the Big Ten is a viable option.

Will the Big 12 continue on as a viable entity?

Big Ten Source: League targeting OU, Texas

It seems certain that no changes will occur publicly for at least four or five years when media rights deals in the Pac, Big Ten and Big 12 begin to come due for renegotiation. And by that time, many new players on burgeoning online-only platforms could be significant bidders. Maybe, in the future, the leagues will keep the content to themselves.

That puts a very different spin on what schools the Big Ten might want to acquire and why. For certain, the schools with large, rabid alumni bases will remain targets rather than cable markets. Your fan base must begin to care in volume and soon. Kansas' Memorial Stadium was first erected in and now has a capacity of 50, And here's where a second recent development is quite interesting.Even worse, it comes after a week where the Big 12 finished with some major victories over Power Five Conference foes.

Hear me out. If the Big 12 ever does choose to expand, it should go after Arizona and Arizona State. The Pac is a disaster right now. The conference has failed to produce a Final Four team or a College Football Playoff team in each of the past two seasons. In baseball, they failed to produce a College World Series team despite having the No.

The Pac Network is also a disaster. Hardly anyone has it. Arizona and Arizona State should want to leave the Pac Conference. However, if the Big 12 has a down year at the wrong time just before the next round of conference realignment, it could be fatal.

With the two Arizona schools in the Big 12, it strengthens the conference and places the foot to throat on the Pac As for Arizona and Arizona State specifically, why? No one has to worry about the state prohibiting taxpayer funds for a cross country team to run in Iowa. Texas Tech owned the Border Conference and Arizona. The Red Raiders won seven championships in their final 10 seasons as a member. Additionally, Tech has played Arizona State three times in three different locations since Not to mention, Texas and the two Oklahoma schools seem to enjoy going out west.

Both Oklahoma schools visited Pac schools this year. They went back to the finals in and are a notable program historically. Additionally, The two schools have combined for nine National Championships in baseball and nine more appearances in the College World Series finals. Both schools are fun to travel to. Tucson is a wonderful college town, which I recently visited.

Tempe has hosted Super Bowls in the past and is known for a good time.

big ten expansion

Adding these two schools would also be the ultimate smack in the face for the Colorado Buffaloes, who helped place the Big 12 Conference in jeopardy to begin with.

Not to mention, it would completely derail any reason to argue over which team from The American would best suit the Big Just let the Pac weaken its own conference by adding Boise State and Hawaii. Per this articleconference realignment could be swirling again between The results of their departure have shown that as they are completely irrelevant athletically since leaving the Big Colorado has noted that they have more alums in California than the do in the Big 12 states.

Why not go after someone who realizes they have a reason to leave? That would be the Arizona schools. Who is going to take that first shot? Which conference is going to shake the foundation? For now, the Big 12 is fine the way it is.Whispers about the next round of conference expansion continue to grow louder this offseason.

Who will make the first move? When will it happen? And should the Big Ten take notice? Maybe team superconferences are the future of college football. Perhaps the Big 12 is about to make its last stand and the fight for its members is about to begin.

But until either of those look like much more of a reality, the Big Ten is well-positioned and should stay put. Those two powerhouses would give the conference a couple of evenly balanced eight-team divisions and likely make the ensuing television deals all the more rich, thanks to the combination of new eyeballs and prestige.

But the Big Ten has already spread itself out pretty wide in terms of its footprint. But in this case, standing pat and and pulling for the Big 12 to make it on its own is best for the Big Ten -- at least until it becomes more clear that change is needed than it is now. I heard commissioner Jim Delany loud and clear at the Big Ten meetings this week. He said the league is not concerned about its next move in the conference-expansion chess match. Reform in recruiting and with student-athlete rights are hugely important.

The acquisition of Penn State a quarter-century ago and Nebraska in allowed the Big Ten to maintain a position of strength in the college marketplace.

Big Ten Conference

Say what you want about Rutgers and Maryland, but their additions made solid business sense. Upheaval is coming -- if not in the next few years then likely beforewhen negotiations for new deals on media rights in college sports may flip the landscape as we know it. So, of course, the league decision-makers should think about conference expansion. If the Big 12 disintegrates in the next five to 10 years, the Big Ten needs to know which schools it would pursue.

big ten expansion

It's likely that Delany already knows. Skip to navigation. Big Ten Blog Choose Blog Choose Blog Take Two: Should Big Ten concern itself with conference expansion?

big ten expansion

Jim McElwain might help Michigan most by focusing on receivers. Michigan still in wait-and-see mode as spring practice opens. Sold-out spring games and a 'rock star' coach: Frost Fever hits Phase 2 at Nebraska.

How recruiting helped Clemson, Georgia and Penn State become championship contenders. True freshmen continue to make big impact, even on top teams. It's recruiting season, so where the heck is Jim Harbaugh? The best games of next year's opening weekend. Jim Harbaugh better get ready for offseason of pressure and uncertainty.People love speculating about the next fantastical move — Florida State to the Big 12?

Texas to the Big Ten? Oklahoma to the SEC? Most scenarios out there continue where we left off in with what many see as an inevitable path toward team super conferences. Bigger is better, right? Heck, why not make five of them? If anything, I expect the next big movement to be contraction, not expansion. More accurately, call it a consolidation of power. And league members in the Big Ten, Pac, Big 12 and ACC have signed corresponding Grant of Rights agreements that make it prohibitively difficult for them to jump ship before then.

The Big Ten has not yet formalized its forthcoming TV deals, but reports indicate they will be for six years, ending in Only two years into the four-team system, you can already see what direction the sport is headed. The playoff race now dwarfs all other aspects of the season, including the other bowl games.

The Notre Dame-Ohio State Fiesta Bowl, pitting two mega-brands stocked with star power, garnered less than half as many viewers 9.

The playoff will inevitably expand to at least eight teams, if not more, when the current deal ends, and it will separate completely from the bowl system. Early-round games will be played on campus, just like in the NFL. Sorry, but Wake Forest is no threat to pull a Leicester City anytime soon. As we know, all revolves around the mighty TV dollar, but the TV business is drastically changing.

Or perhaps no longer will be a middleman and you will purchase game broadcasts straight from the leagues themselves to stream on your own device. Whereas the last round of realignment was driven by inventory — bundle together as many schools from as many markets as possible to command the highest possible subscriber fees — the next round will be more about content. Put on the biggest possible games to garner the largest possible audience because the viewers themselves will become the buyers rather than Comcast or Time Warner.

To that end, the best possible way for an Ohio State or Alabama to maximize its value will be to shed the six or so games a year that only its own fans care about and turn every game into a national event. While many of the names are obvious USC, Texas, etc. But the overriding goal is to bring together the 24 most appealing programs from both a TV and competitive perspective.

No committee or BCS formula needed. You could also easily expand the playoff to 12, with the champion of each division getting a first-round bye. So the question becomes, how much would fans pay for the ability to watch every major college football game of the season, including an eight-team playoff, on any device?

There are admittedly issues that come with this. If this is indeed separate from the NCAA, then theoretically the schools could devise their own scholarship limits and eligibility standards. So as the Big 12 continues to debate the merits of adding Cincinnati, UCF or Houston and starting a conference network, know that way of thinking may soon become a relic.

Do Not Sell my Personal Info. What will college football conferences look like 10 years from now? Article continues belowBut its next commissioner will have an opportunity to make an even bigger mark by engineering an expansion of the College Football Playoff. Though Delany has been a driving force behind some of the most significant landscape shifts in college sports, beginning with the addition of Penn State to the league inthe creation of the groundbreaking Big Ten Network and managing a chaotic period of realignment starting in that eventually netted Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers, his legacy on the playoff will be defined by his ambivalence.

When former SEC commissioner Mike Slive initially pushed for a playoff in the early s, Delany stood as an obstructionist. And even when Delany finally relented, his fidelity to the Rose Bowl ensured the College Football Playoff would fit awkwardly into the existing bowl structure. Only college football would allow the Rose Bowl to keep a stranglehold over its uber-valuable Jan. Eastern time slot, pushing more important semifinal games to other days two out of every three years.

Perhaps Delany will be able to exert some influence over that process over the next year as he exits the stage. Regardless, his impending retirement signals the first real opportunity for generational change over a host of issues, with the playoff chief among them.

Creating the four-team playoff was their grand achievement, bringing a sport run by football Luddites into the modern era, making the product more nationally appealing and more uniform in the way it is run. But even though talk about expanding from four to eight or beyond started the moment the College Football Playoff was birthed, it never seemed likely that arduous task would be taken up by those who had already done the heavy lifting of going from the BCS to the playoff.

Rather, real reform would take time and the eventual turnover of the old guard to a younger set of administrators who are more flexible, more forward-thinking and less emotionally tied to the bowl system. Now that change is happening. Slive retired inhanding off the job to Greg Sankey.

Though neither Swofford nor Bowlsby have laid out their retirement plans, they are 70 and 67 years old, respectively. Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott is the youngest of the group at 54 but has been embattled due to a series of internal controversies. And that group will have a tough job ahead of it. The fate of amateurism as currently constructed is facing significant legal challenges, which could potentially force the NCAA to open up the market on compensation or name, image and likeness rights.

The media landscape is more complicated than ever with the downward trajectory of cable television and the rise of streaming. And despite what some pundits believe, the actual work of going to an eight-team playoff will be difficult because of academic schedules, different agendas in each conference and the logistical puzzle of putting playoff games on campuses in small college towns.

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In a sense, Delany is getting out at the right time. The last 30 years have seen incredible growth in college sports that made everyone rich without the power structure getting upset too much.

The next 30 will almost certainly come with more headaches. Delany will go down as one of the greatest, most innovative administrators of all-time in college sports and many in college football will miss him. The navigation could not be loaded.Over the past several years analyzing conference realignment, observers have had access to some overarching data, such as TV ratings, athletic department revenue, population and demographic trends of states and metro areas, and the home states of current college students.

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Louis, but it has been difficult to find quantitative data to actually back that up. This is where a new database from the Wall Street Journal fills the gap. It breaks down the most popular locations for the alumni for each school to move to in the United States. As soon as I was made aware of this Journal site, I went through each of the Big Ten schools to identify the top metro areas for each of their respective graduates. None of these metro areas are located in the Midwest.

To be sure, the Wall Street Journal notes that those four particular markets draw from a much wider range of colleges across the country. Interestingly enough, all of the Ivy League schools have at least a Tier 3 presence in Chicago, too.

Putting aside Maryland and Rutgers, Chicago is still the market with the deepest ties to the Big Ten by a large margin. It is a Tier 1 market for 6 schools, Tier 2 market for 2 schools and Tier 3 market for 4 schools. No other metro area has more than 2 Tier 1 Big Ten school connections. Big Ten schools also send a lot of grads to the largest metro areas within their own home states. Every Big Ten school has a Tier 1 connection to at least one market located in its home state.

Note that there are many metro areas where the principal city is located in one state but parts of its market are located in another state. There are several other border areas in the Big Ten footprint such as the St. Louis metro area being partially in Illinois, the Louisville and Cincinnati metro areas crossing into Indiana, and the Omaha market including portions of Iowa. Going home will always be a strong draw. Detroit is the 2nd largest metro area in the Midwest, relatively easy driving distance from most of the Big Ten schools, and larger than both the Seattle and Denver markets.

As a result, a lot of those Badgers and Gophers are just heading back to their home markets. Dallas, Atlanta and Denver. Paradoxically, the horrific inability of Midwestern markets other than Chicago to capitalize on the pipeline of Big Ten grads that are often within short driving distance is largely a good thing for the conference. The Wall Street Journal database shows that the Big Ten has the most nationalized alumni base of the Power Five conferences from top-to-bottom.

This helps explain why the Big Ten has consistently received larger media revenue compared to its biggest football rival of the SEC. While the SEC might often receive superficially higher TV ratings compared to the Big Ten, the SEC has much more concentrated intense interest from alums that still live in its home footprint of the South. At the same time, to the extent that cable subscriber fees that have been largely based on home market interest are at risk for the Big Ten Network, the Big Ten is still in the best position of any Power Five league to take advantage of any new media rights paradigm due to its more national footprint.

If anyone wants to wonder why the Big Ten added Maryland and Rutgers, just look at this data. The underpinnings of the bond between the Big Ten and Pac beyond the Rose Bowl becomes clearer here, too.It is based in Rosemont, Illinois. For decades the conference consisted of 10 universities, while the present conference has 14 member institutions.

The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land-grant schools and a private university. Smart and representatives from the University of ChicagoUniversity of IllinoisUniversity of MichiganUniversity of MinnesotaNorthwestern Universityand University of Wisconsin gathered at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel to set policies aimed at regulating intercollegiate athletics.

InIndiana University and the University of Iowa joined the conference to increase the membership to nine schools. Inthe conference was officially incorporated as the "Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives".

Big Ten Expansion: Right Idea, Wrong Teams

Big Ten member institutions are major research universities with large financial endowments and strong academic reputations.

All institutions except full member University of Nebraska and associate member Notre Dame are members of the Association of American Universities. Large student enrollment is a hallmark of Big Ten Universitiesas 12 of the 14 members feature enrollments of 30, or more students Nebraska and Northwestern being the exceptions. Northwestern is the lone private university among Big Ten membership the University of Chicago, a private university, left the conference in Collectively, Big Ten universities educate more thantotal students and have 5.

Though the Big Ten existed for nearly a century as an assemblage of universities located primarily in the Midwestthe conference's geographic footprint now stretches east to the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the conference's name, the Big Ten has grown to fourteen members, with the following universities accepting invitations to join: Pennsylvania State University inthe University of Nebraska—Lincoln inand both the University of Maryland and Rutgers University in Johns Hopkins University was invited in to join the Big Ten as an associate member participating in men's lacrosseand init was also accepted as an associate member in women's lacrosse.

Notre Dame joined the Big Ten on July 1, as an associate member in men's ice hockey. Ohio State fields a coed team. The eligibility of student-athletes was one of the main topics of discussion. At the time, the organization was more commonly known as the Western Conferenceconsisting of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Chicago, Purdue, and Northwestern.

The first reference to the conference as the Big Nine was in after Iowa and Indiana had joined. Nebraska first petitioned to join the league in and again in[14] but was turned away both times. In AprilMichigan was voted out of the conference for failing to adhere to league rules. The first known references to the conference as the Big Ten were in Decemberwhen Michigan sought to rejoin the conference after a nine-year absence.

Chicago discontinued its football program in [18] and withdrew from the conference in after struggling to obtain victories in many conference matchups. The Big Ten's membership would remain unchanged for the next 40 years. The conference's official name throughout this period remained the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives.

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It did not formally adopt the name Big Ten untilwhen it was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. Inthe Big Ten universities voted to expand the conference to 11 teams and extended an invitation to Atlantic 10 member and football independent Pennsylvania State Universitywhich accepted it.

Missouri showed interest in Big Ten membership after Penn State joined. Following the addition of Penn State, efforts were made to encourage the University of Notre Dameat that time the last remaining non- service academy independent, to join the league. InNotre Dame and the Big Ten entered into private negotiations concerning a possible membership that would include Notre Dame.


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