Friday, December 18, 2009
As you might have heard, The Big Ten (11) is looking to expand to a 12 team conference. Ultimately, this would be great for the Big Ten (11) and CFB in general.
First, while a conference championship game has it's benefits. See: State, Ohio The, 2007. The conference is woefully irrelevant the last two big weeks of CFB. This can hurt things like jumping up in the rankings, late Heisman pushes, and most importantly skrilla. The always business minded Big Ten(11) is missing out on some cold hard cash that yes, even the ACC is bringing in with conference championships. Finally, while there are many reasons why I hate conference championship games, it is quite awesome to see significant football for another week. So in short, yes this is good.
Now who the hell are they going to pick up to enter the conference. One individual seems to think that ND, CMU, OU, and....wait for it....Memphis are good fits. Now, anybody who has actually watched CFB, or sports in general, would know that these are terrible choices sans ND. First off The Big Ten does in fact have certain academic requirements, or in other terms they want schools with some prestige. So cross off CMU and yes I'm sorry, Memphis. (OU is pushing it). Point is the Big Ten wants some type of elitist fodder so at dinner parties they can brag about the academic prowess of their institutions. (Have no idea if this is true but as a kid I thought all Big Ten (11) schools had to have a law and medical school?) Secondly, The Big Ten (11) is and always will be a football first conference. So minus ND and the Central Michigan graduating Lefevour's these are just simply insane. My main point is that these choices are for the most part ignorant and contrarian for fucks sake.
Now let's get to some actual possibilities. First lets talk ND. (Yes I know I just said it was stupid). People will initially point out the NBC contract. And yeah, it holds some weight, but not as much as it once did. Literally every team/conference is on TV now and they are all getting paid for it. The second thing is that ND has some pretty kick ass bowl agreements ensuring that they will taste the BCS even if they have a 2-3 loss season. Finally, ND has been courted by the Big Ten (11) before and I doubt they change their tune. Make no mistake, The Big Ten (11) would absolutely love to have ND in the conference and I'm sure they are their number one choice. I just don't think it will happen. Basically I don't think ND will not join over money, but more because they are arrogant assholes.
Syracuse is another name that has been thrown out there. This makes sense in many ways, but I always heard that Boeheim wants to stay in the Big East, and he has the power to block any type of conference transfer. Booker Pogue may be able to shed more light on this, or the basketball impact in general.
Rutgers is another choice. Not too strong on any points, however one thing that is appealing is that it will tap into that coveted NYC market. (That doesn't really watch CFB anyway)
Cincy? Shit why not, lets throw them in there as well. Now, I'm not to aware of the academic standing, but I think this is just average fans looking at which teams are currently performing well in football and decide that they are top choices simply for geographic reasons. True, Cincy has done very well over Kelly's tenure, but before that they were the equivalent of a MAC team. Another factor going against Cincy is that the Cincinnati name doesn't really have the same pop as a large state school, or a prestigious private school. Just sayin.
Mizzou has been thrown around as well. It's interesting. The Zou would make a logical fit in terms of geography, size, academics, athletics, etc. Furthermore, Mizzou is starting to get pissed off that they are getting overlooked in the bigger Big 12 bowl bids. The one major question is if Mizzou will want to leave or if the Big 12 will let one of their teams go....OR LET MIZZOU GO AND TRY TO PICK UP TCU.
Pitt seems to be the totally logical answer. In fact its almost too obvious. But honestly Pitt has everything the Big Ten (11) is looking for. Another added bonus to this would reignite the PSU Pitt rivalry, which I don't think Joe Pa wants, but other fans do. Ultimately this would be the best choice for the Big Ten (11)
Finally, Punte of KSK and Withleather fame makes an interesting case for adding Vandy to the Big Ten (11). Another odd ball choice could be a school like UConn.
All in all, it should be interesting to see if The Big Ten (11) actually goes through with this and who they decide on. The Pac-10 (10) Big East response will also be interesting because they would be left as the only BCS conferences without a championship game. Either way, I have my theories, and College football is a changin.
Posted by Steve Lattimer at 12:01 PM