Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Benster and D Discuss Your Big Ten Expansion HYYYYPE!

Benster is here and you know what that means: it's time to bring the HYYYYYPPPEEE! What's the story, Seabiscuit?

Well, Decrepit, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Nebraska is joining the Big Ten. I've even linked it for you. I've also seen it on SportsCenter and the Omaha newspaper. Also, it looks like the Pac 10 is going to go ahead and take Texas, Texas A & M and some other combination of Big XII schools, most likely Texas Tech, Colorado and maybe the Oklahoma schools. This is news that is really worth the HYYYYYYYPPPPPPEEEE!

Indeed, Grasshopper. I will say this: for my part, I don't think that Nebraska would have been my first choice, but I do see the wisdom of it: while Nebraska is a small television market, they do have a national following, especially in football, and they are one of the better academic schools in the Big XII, so they at least fit. There are other schools that I think are better fits, but we'll get to that.

I've got to say that Nebraska is a good fit academically, but I do have some theories on expanding out East, since I assume that the Big Ten is not done yet.

So, who do you think should also join the big party, young fella?

Nobody has even considered taking Duke, North Carolina, Virginia or Maryland. Unless they don't care about basketball and this thing is strictly about football. Which it might be, old fella.

That's an interesting theory, Benster. The ACC has been pretty much sitting this one out, although I did think of Maryland as a dark horse in an earlier post. All of those schools would be a good fit academically, but I'd be really surprised to see the Dukies or North Carolina line up with the Big Ten.

Or, if you want to look at a different ACC school that would make sense, consider Boston College. The Eagles would give you access to New England, they are a fairly good school academically and they compete well in all sports.

Boston College is a more plausible long shot than the other schools, because their history with the ACC has been short in duration. And there's the problem -- they've been in the ACC and the Big East in recent years and you wonder if the Big Ten would want a school that seems to hop from one train to another so much. I do think that the Big East will be raided, though. Shall we talk about some of the possibilities, Youngblood?

Sure. But first, I dug out my massive coffee table book about college football and in it, I noticed an essay about how John Paul Stevens, who recently retired from the Supreme Court, basically set off a chain of events that helped to create the Bowl Championship Series, or as I like to call it, the Bad Computer Syndrome. I noticed that the key thing here is money, specifically the Big Ten Network. We could see the same expansion wave that we saw in the early 1990s, when Penn State came to the Big Ten and the other independents, mostly schools like Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, joined conferences like Big East and the ACC. There's only one real independent left.

Notre Dame?

You picked right up on that, old fella! Notre Dame will never give up its national television contract with NBC, a/k/a the NotreDame Broadcasting Company. So I wouldn't be surprised if we see a wave of expansion that does not include Notre Dame in the next few years.

It's already happening, apparently. So, let's get the expert on HYYYYYYPPPE! to weigh in on the relative merits of potential candidates for Big Ten expansion beyond Nebraska. Are you ready for the lightning round, Lightning Bug?

Bring it on, old dude. We're not picking your games right now.

Okay. How about Missouri?

It all depends on Kansas.

That's funny, because I thought that what Kansas does all depends on Missouri.

Well, you're right, Early Bird Special Fan, because those two schools ought to travel together, wherever they go. It's obvious that Mizzou is the bigger draw, because you get access to St. Louis and Kansas City. But remember this: Kansas City is just as much of a KU market as a Mizzou market. Sorry to break it you, old fella. Remember when Jack Harry explained all that to us when we were in Kansas City last year? With his pal Scary Gary?

That's a good point and an excellent way to feature obscure Kansas City news personalities, but what about Mizzou? Should they go to the Big Ten?

Sorry, Scary Gary scared me for a minute and knocked me off-topic. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I don't think the Pac-10 has any interest in KU, so it's really up to Mizzou if they want to take a chance on losing their archrival. It would be like if the Cowboys moved to the AFC and left the Redskins behind. It may happen, but it would be weird.

Okay. I think Mizzou is coming to the Big Ten and I hope KU does, too. But those are the only schools to the West that make sense. So let's turn our attention to the East. How about Rutgers?

It makes sense academically, but there's no guarantees on the playing field. Rutgers is not a dominant football school and as much I want the aforementioned ACC schools, they aren't football powers, either. Since this is about football, I highly doubt Rutgers is going to join. I still think Boston College makes more sense and it's going to have to be an even number of teams, because that way you can have traveling partners in basketball. But if the Big Ten takes a school to the East, they'll need a partner. So while I highly doubt this, I'd make an offer to Syracuse and Cincinnati.

Syracuse makes sense to me. I don't see Cincinnati, but who knows? Here's my suggestion: Rutgers and UConn. What do you think of that?

If you want to go to New England, it has to be Boston College. UConn has zero football history and the only thing it really has going for it is proximity to ESPN. Yeah, they have a great women's basketball program, but that's not going to decide this, old fella. Also, BC would get you Hartford and Providence, anyway.

Maybe. That's the fun of this, the speculating.

I agree, but making fun of Kansas City newscasters is pretty fun, too. Anyway, were you going to ask me about some other schools?

Yes. Quick answer on each of the following. We'll start with Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh doesn't get you Philadelphia. I don't see it.


Syracuse doesn't play football well these days. They used to, but you have to wonder.


Possibly. The Terps can play football and they would give you Baltimore and Washington, DC. That means something.


No, I don't see it and Virginia doesn't really give you anything to work with, although it's a great school academically.

Virginia Tech.

Maybe. They play great football, but they are kind of like the East Coast version of Boise State, since they don't really have a home.


Yes and no. They are a great school and have a huge national following in basketball, but they are a terrible football school and you would have to bring North Carolina with them to make it work.

North Carolina.

Same as Duke, although they're much better at football, which makes them interesting.


So you want to bring in a school with a bad football team and that cheats in basketball? Pass.


No. Terrible football. Duke with worse school colors.

I saved the big one for last. Notre Dame.

They won't give up their t.v. contract, old fella! Won't happen.

Any other ideas before I give you my theory?

If you want to be bold, go after the Florida Gators. They are solid in all sports, especially football, and among the academic weak sisters of the SEC, they are one of the stronger schools. That would really shake things up and get you a lot of attention. You know what, old dude? I'd love to be Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany right now. It's like being in a football buffet and I get to pick whatever I want.

Bold thinking, Seabiscuit. Here's my proposal, amended to reflect the new reality of Nebraska.

Add Rutgers and UConn in the East

Add Mizzou and Kansas in the West

The Big Ten would then look like this:

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

West: Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas

Now that would be a fun league.

Do you know what would really be fun, Decrepit? Hijack Duke, North Carolina, Maryland and Florida and line 'em up this way:

East: Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Florida, Penn State, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue

West: Northwestern, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State

Now, imagine the hoops in that league. Hoo! And the football would be pretty good, too. And the other sports, who cares!

Benster, I thought you were a big fan of Nebraska's rowing team.

I repeat, who cares! Anyway, let's see what everyone else thinks. Why don't you get into the discussion and offer your very own HYYYYYYYPPPPPE!

Sounds good. Let's play.


Mike said...

Posted on this as well. My take on Nebraska being first (if true) is that this is happening because the Big Ten isn't getting anywhere with Notre Dame.

Now Benster, here's a question for you. You state that Notre Dame won't give up their TV deal with NBC, but what if NBC does in a couple of years? Notre Dame's goose is cooked at that point unless the Big Ten lets them in (and they would be letting them in).

Night Writer said...

Agree that Mizzou and Kansas have to come as a package or else John Brown will be turnin' in his grave. If Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas leave the old Big 8 then there's really no need to stay ... all you have is a bunch of weak "States" - K-State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, etc. No marquee teams left to hang your hat on and you've got Baylor - yecch - too. Nebraska to the Big 10+ makes sense in terms of geography, tradition and football pedigree, which still matter more to me than all the talk of markets and money. For that reason the East Coast teams don't do anything for me from an interest standpoint.

I wonder about Notre Dame's ability to continue to go it alone, though, in the face of further conference consolidation (creating more powerful conferences and those big markets) and it's own decline in football competency and relevancy. To me it seems as if, in market terms, that the glitter is coming off of the golden dome. I don't know how NBC is doing financially with that deal but ND could become an afterthought, even with it's loyal followers, if the program continues to flounder. They could be reduced to "special guest star" status, visiting the leftover conferences if the Conglomo-Conferences decide to freeze them out. I don't think there's any love lost for them from the majors and as the power shifts even more there aren't many who will feel sorry for the Irish. In movie terms, they are now less "Knute Rockne: All American" or "Rudy" and more "This is Spinal Tap."

J. Peterson said...

I have heard that Kansas, and Kansas State are a package deal. It is like Texas, and Texas ATM. Kansas State could hurt the Jayhawk's chances at getting into some of the leagues. I doubt that the Big Ten, or the Pac Ten want them. I think that they will end up in the MWC with the rest of what the two Tens do not end up taking. I also agree with many that the new MWC is going to be a decent league.

Douglas said...

Some modest proposals:

1) Release all teams contending for a national championship from their respective conferences.

2) All the teams in 1) should create a television network for the purpose of broadcasting their games.

3) The teams in 1) should arrange their schedules based on performance in the previous week, and where they stand in some kind of computerized power ranking. The teams in 1) only play each other, no crummy creampuffs.

4) The other teams can arrange themselves anyway they like.


Mr. D said...


Now that's a fun idea. Would be an interesting test logistically, but it could be done.

Benster said...

Uncle Mike,Notre Dame will never join a confrence in football.The only way the Irish will join the Big XIII is if the Big East breaks up. Notre Dame makes 9 million a year in rights fees. In the next 25 years the 11 Big Ten schools(minus the new members) earn 10.2 million. Notre Dame's real problem is that the coaches haven't been the best since Lou Holtz. You forget that it would be worth it to go after Florida, because you get a foothold in the South and you can get better players to argument my ACC suggestions. Also, the Big 10 becomes better in baseball, because you can play year-round. Regarding the comment by Douglas,you want to create another CFA.I wouldn't be surprised if Jim Delany becomes the next Roy Kramer and cause another huge exspansion. It's more prudent for the Irish to keep thier contract with NotreDame Brodcasting Company, because you penetrate more markets, and those markets are all in the East, where all the major population centers are. You go after Maryland, because you get the Beltway.Duke and Carolina get you a national following and increase an already strong hoops leauge. Florida makes everyone better, and is a great choice to round out the leauge, and I would add FSU to give Florida a partner. That confrnce would give you a strong TV presnse in major population centers. Bottom line, go after those schools I mention and rip the hull out of the ACC and damage the SEC.

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