Sunday, September 18, 2011

The ACC Accepts Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the Conference...What Should the Big Ten Do?

The news broke over the weekend and became official this morning that Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh were leaving the Big East and joining the Atlantic Coast Conference:

It's inevitable that more dominoes are going to fall. As an example (although it isn't official yet) Texas A&M looks to be joining the Southeast Conference.

As a Purdue graduate, and an Ohio resident with a wife (Tammy) and daughter (Mallory) who both graduated from Ohio State, I am a huge Big Ten fan. My allegiances are with Ohio State and Purdue football, Purdue basketball and I root against anyone playing a Big Ten school, with the exception of Michigan. (can't root for the school up North)

The Big Ten currently has twelve members with the recent addition of Nebraska. With today's news, what should the Big Ten do?

They can stand pat. Twelve schools, two six-team conferences in football.

I believe they should add two additional members. That would make two, seven-team conferences for football.

Of primary concern to the Big Ten would be additional markets for the Big Ten Network. As a fan, I have some opinions about schools who would make sense from a competition perspective. Note, I can't speak to women's sports or the collegiate "Olympic" sports teams, so my opinions are really related to 1) football and 2) basketball.

Viable Candidates? I would have loved to see Pittsburgh (natural rivalry with Penn State), and maybe Syracuse added, but with both out of the picture, here is a my list of candidates to join:

Iowa State
Kansas State
Notre Dame
Oklahoma State
West Virginia

Who would I like to see? With all due respect to the schools on this list, I would like to see Missouri added as my first choice. It brings big markets in St. Louis and Kansas City to the Big Ten Network, and adds a natural rivalry with Illinois.

My second choice? A close call between Notre Dame (adds another nationally followed school) and West Virginia (makes a lot of sense geographically).

Texas is intriguing, but too far away. If the Big Ten said "let's go with sixteen", I'd want Oklahoma to reinvigorate the legendary Oklahoma/Nebraska rivalry.

After a little thought, I would settle for this (if the Big Ten asked for my opinion); add Missouri and Notre Dame if they are happy with a fourteen-team conference. If they choose to go sixteen, bring West Virginia and Oklahoma into the fold.

What will they do? I would predict the addition of Missouri and Notre Dame.

What do you think? Pick the schools you would like to see join the Big Ten in the poll on the right side of my blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're a looser Jim.