Saturday, December 12, 2009

Big Ten May Be Looking to Add 12th Team ... Again

Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez told his school's athletic board that the Big Ten has already begun looking into adding a 12th member. The conference has been attempting to add a 12th team by extending an invitation to Notre Dame (the school got close once, but declined).

Essentially the conference has been holding a spot for Notre Dame and haven't seriously considered adding another school. Their last expansion was adding Penn State back in 1993. A 12th member would allow the conference to split into two divisions and hold a football championship game.

So who should the Big Ten add?

NOTRE DAME: Of course they'll ask Notre Dame again but it isn't likely to accept. The Irish value their independant status and aren't real keen on the whole conference schedule thing.

RUTGERS: I know it sounds weird, but Rutgers would give the Big East a hand in the largest television market in the nation. The Scarlet Knights have become a decent program of late and could fit right in.

PITTSBURGH: The Panthers are already in Big Ten country and are in a relatively major market. The football team plays in Heinz Field, home of the Steelers. Penn State and Ohio State fans already have a built-in hate for the city of Pittsburgh, so that's cool.

SYRACUSE: If I had to put money on any of these, I'd bet on Syracuse. The Orange have great history and facilities. Also, the football team is having some tough times and the Big Ten schools wouldn't mind the extra win. The basketball program would fit right in immediately. Syracuse would form a nice rivalry with Penn State and adds New York into the mix.

MISSOURI: Mizzou makes for an interesting fit as well. They are also in Big Ten country and have a rivalry with Illinois. Missouri may consider the move over from the Big XII because it would be easier for the school to reach BCS successes without Oklahoma and Texas blocking the progress. The Big XII shouldn't care that much since they can quickly add TCU to the league.

BOSTON COLLEGE: This would start a very interesting domino effect. BC left the Big East for the riches of the ACC earlier this decade. However, they are a bit out of place geographically in that conference. The same thing would be true in the Big Ten and its doubtful that BC sees an easier road to BCS money by switching conferences.

MEMPHIS: Doubtful, but it the Big Ten wants to think outside the box then they may opt for a southern school.

CENTRAL or SOUTH FLORIDA: Another outside the box candidate. South Florida and Central Florida would give the Big Ten an arm in the fertile Florida recruiting garden.


Mike Briggs said...

I'd like to see Mizzou or Pitt, but what about Cincinnati? They're right in big ten country and have an up and coming program. They're adding 15,000 seats to their football stadium and their basketball team is always pretty good. Boise State could always be an option, they're a terrible fit for basketball, but they would take the spot in a heartbeat to leave the WAC.

Sportz Assassin said...

I thought about including Cincinnati in there but the stadium was a real issue. Also, I doubt that Ohio State would want another Big Ten school in the state. That's pretty much why I left them out.