Conference Expansion Update and Rumor Mongering

Written June 11th, 2010 by Eric

UpdateSpecial Rules for Texas and ND? Interesting addition, posted by the same guy who infuriated Delaney so much with his previous information releases.

Update 2- Boise State to the Mountain West? Is this an attempt to replace Utah or keep them from jumping to the Pac-10?

Update 3- BSU to MWC, officially.

Update 4Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska is officially a member of the Big Ten.  Welcome home Cornhuskers!

Today’s a big day for many of the conferences in the nation, so let’s quickly debrief and make sure everyone is on the same page going in to today’s announcements.  If I don’t link to a particular article for a point it’s because there are more articles discussing it than are worth linking to (or the point is made in a previously posted article).

Oh Big 12, we hardly knew thee.

What we know:

  1. Colorado is in the Pac-10.  This one is so official that I’m surprised the Pac-10 hasn’t updated their website images to include the Buffaloes yet.
  2. Nebraska is a veritable lock for the Big Ten.  It’s not set in stone yet, but it might as well be at this point.  The NU Board of Regents are meeting today to discuss their future, so you can just imagine how that discussion will likely go.

Pretty interesting news keeping us entertained during this offseason, eh?  It’s only going to get better in the next couple days.

What we might know:

  1. Texas to the Big Ten?  Lots of signs have been pointing to this (despite the PAC-10 and ESPN’s disinformation campaign about the Big 12 South).  Texas is the money-load in the disassembly of the Big 12 and has long been viewed as the Big Ten’s primary target.  Taking Nebraska early was almost certainly an attempt to destabilize the conference and scare Texas into making a move.
  2. Oklahoma and Texas A&M to the SEC?  Oklahoma is making lots of sounds about jumping to that conference down south.  They need to find someone to go with them, and some of the news suggests that A&M might be that team.  Keep in mind, there are still some sources talking about A&M to the Big Ten as well…
  3. Oklahoma State to the Pac 10?  We’ll see about this.  Seems like a surprisingly fast move for them, but perhaps they know something that we don’t and wanted to secure themselves a position outside of the rapidly sinking Big 12.
  4. Notre Dame to the Big Ten?  I’ll believe it when I see it.  They might be interested if the Big Ten picks up Texas and Nebraska – the total quantity of prestige in the conference would be hard to ignore.

That’s a lot of random news spewing around.  The best source for everything expansion the last few weeks has been a blog called Frank the Tank’s Slant.  He’s done a superb job of outlining all of the monetary concerns for the various schools, along with taking into account the various academic interests as well.  A lot of my thinking is based on things that he has discussed.

What I think will happen:

  1. The Big Ten will likely stop at 14 teams.  Right now, the major players for a Big Ten spot are Texas, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Missouri and Texas A&M (names being mentioned for inclusion).  Nebraska is essentially a lock, and Texas seems to be leaning, but A&M looks like they’re running for the SEC.  Given Nebraska’s academic quality (#96 in US News’ rankings), it’s unlikely that the Big Ten will want to pick up another even lower school in Missouri (#102).  Given the complete dearth of information regarding the Big Ten’s interest in the East over the last couple days, I find it hard to believe the conference is gunning for any East Coast viewership at this time. Therefore, it seems as if the Big Ten will pick up Nebraska and Texas and then wait to see what Notre Dame does.
  2. Oklahoma and A&M will join the SEC.  I was surprised to see the SEC throw an invitation to Virginia Tech, I was expecting them to try to take over the state of Florida by grabbing FSU and Miami.  Perhaps, however, the Gators are trying to limit the quantity of Florida schools in the conference, or the SEC views FSU and Miami as not worth the time right now.
  3. Oklahoma State will go to the PAC-10.  They’re not exactly a diamond in the rough, but they do open up another region for the new PAC-10 Network being talked about.  Their style of play also seems to fit in well with that conference.  The additional revenue for the Network will outweigh any desire the conference has to continue to make their members play each other.
  4. The Big 12 will survive – barely.  The conference will be left with Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Missouri.  You need 6 teams having played together for at least 5 years in order to maintain their BCS eligibility and NCAA Tournament status.  You’ll probably see the Big 12 pick up a couple of the desirable mid-major schools (Utah, BYU, Boise State, TCU perhaps?) but they may not hold on to elite-conference status for long at that rate, and if any one of those schools bails then that’ll be all she wrote for the conference.

It’ll be entertaining to watch what transpires over the next couple of days, especially after Nebraska makes their announcement (presumably later this afternoon).  The Buckeye Battle Cry will be here all day with updates and discussions of everything that happens!

11 Comments

  1. thatsmrahole2uNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    There’s no way Texas or Texas A&M will be joining the Big 10. They are fair weather schools only. No way they’d risk having to play the last month of the season in snow. They’ll go to the Pac 10 or SEC where they can stay warm and cozy.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I think the baseball factor for Texas will be a huge deal.

    However, I don’t see them headed to the SEC, due to the University’s investment in being associated with top tier research institutions.

    That’s not a shot at the SEC, just a fact.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    There are two key factors in this whole discussion
    1) Money
    2) Academics

    Any other factors are moot points. Texas stands to make approximately $40 million in TV money by joining the Big Ten – almost twice as much as they would make joining the PAC-10. Also, Mali already pointed to the key thing keeping Texas from the SEC – academic issues. Right now, the Big Ten is the only option that gives Texas everything they want. Avoiding playing in the snow is a distant distant concern that I’m sure has barely even been mentioned in any discussions on the subject.

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    southbaybuckeye_ITSNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    except that texas does play some cold weather games against teams like nebraska, colorado and missouri every year. maybe not as many but still some.

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  2. MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I would love, after all the expansion-o-rama stuff, to see the Pac-10 end up in a situation where their premier program is on probation and they add Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma State, and some other non-premier school.

    Father’s day is coming up- that’s what I want instead of a tie.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    That would be delicious. Although, I’ve long liked the idea of the Pac-10 picking up Utah. It’s a pretty good fit, and would get Utah much better prestige.

    Right now my biggest concern about adding Texas is that they always seem to want to be THE big thing going on in whatever conference they’re in. The Big Ten, for the most part, has long been eleven members on equal footing, but now it seems like Texas is going to want to be someone special. That thinking may have helped speed up the destruction of the Big 12…could it happen to the Big Ten 20 years down the line?

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    southbaybuckeye_ITSNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    no house divided flag? good thing i kept the receipt.

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  3. JimNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I think the only question that remains is whether or not A&M wants to break from Texas and go to the SEC, it seems very likely that Texas will join the Big 10… at least from what I can tell.

    Who knows though, this has to go down as one of the most interesting weeks in sports ever.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just the beginning- we’ll probably see this play out all month.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    And as soon as I type that- I hear that Texas will decide/announce next week.

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    EricNo Gravatar
    June 11th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    That’s slower than I originally heard. I had read that Texas would decide this weekend. Though, given their position right now it’s not like they have to rush or anything.

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