Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let the speculation begin!

When the SEC added Arkansas and South Carolina in 1992 (thus giving it twelve schools and the ability to hold a lucrative conference championship game), it started a chain-reaction that eventually killed the SWC and sent independent programs around the country scurrying for whatever conference affiliation they could find. Then when the ACC announced the addition of Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech (again, to get to twelve members) in 2003, another national game of Chinese Fire Drill ensued, resulting in a number of schools changing conferences, including TCU's move to the Mountain West.

Now comes word that the Big Ten (which, as most of you know, is a misnomer because it contains eleven schools) may be looking to expand to twelve teams (read about it HERE and a little more in-depth HERE). So who would the Big Televen go after? And what might some of the ramifications be if those schools were to make the move? Here's a look at a few candidates:

-Notre Dame. The Irish would be the logical fit, right? But with their huge TV contract (with whom they don't have to share any of the money), do they really need to join a conference? Also, the Big Ten has gone after Notre Dame in the past, only to be rebuked. That may deter some of the decision-makers from making another overture, at least publicly. If they were the choice, though, the Big Ten would reach twelve members without affecting any other conference, which would minimize the domino effect.

-A Big East school. Plenty of possible candidates there, depending on what criteria are determined to be the most important. Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati could all be considered. If one of these schools left the Big East, you could see them replaced with a CUSA school (Memphis or East Carolina, for example). That would cause CUSA to look for another member (perhaps Louisiana Tech or Troy), which would then create an opening in another conference after that. You might also see the loss of a member cause instability that could lead to the non football-playing schools in the Big East to split from the football-playing members due to differences in opinion regarding the direction of the conference. I couldn't begin to speculate on all of the different scenarios that might cause.

-A Big 12 North school. Would Missouri, Iowa State, Nebraska or even one of the two Kansas schools consider bolting? I don't know if the Big Ten helps those athletic departments achieve their goals any more than the Big 12 does, but you'd have to expect that they'll at least be considered. It seems pretty unlikely, but this scenario surely has to be giving Frog fans boners, because you'd have to think that TCU would be a candidate to step into the Big 12, along with Arkansas, Utah, BYU, Houston...

-TCU? Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez stated that they would be looking at schools "all over the country". So while we're thinking outside the box, why not TCU? It's an up and coming athletic department in a large TV market that would create exposure for the Big Ten in another largely-populated part of the country and give them greater access to recruits in Texas. I doubt that they would seriously consider this, but it makes about as much sense as South Florida going to the Big East, right?

Of course, if the Big Ten does indeed decide to expand to twelve, does that mean that other conferences (most notably the Pac 10, Big East and Mountain West) might also look to expand? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section.

29 comments:

Nick Papagiorgio said...

I've always thought Missouri to the Big 10 made the most sense. All things considered, there's STILL no reason for Notre Dame to join a conference that they regularly play anyways.

Big East stuff is interesting, but I'm sure the Big 10 would rather have the size of a Missouri than Pitt, Louisville or Cincy. Plus Rutgers and Syracuse are way too far away.

I think the first move is to be declined by Notre Dame, second to try to lure Missouri and if that fails they'll consider a Big East team.

But I'll be hoping for Mizzou like everyone else.

shortnkerley's said...

Mizzou would be an interesting fit in the Big 10 considering how much different their playing style is from the norm in that conference. Fortunately it's a long shot for us, because I think being in the Big 10 would just be a nightmare. Yes, I think we are better than all of those teams, but do we really want to be playing on frozen fields in the Midwest and Northeast in late October and November? Fuuuuck no. And come on, road game traveling to San Diego, Vegas, and even Utah can be pretty sweet, but what the hell do you do in Columbus, Happy Valley, Bloomington, or anywhere in the state of Michigan?

Middle Man said...

If either the Big 10 or Big 12 came calling, I would be on cloud 9. I could care less about the weather. We would absolutely change the style of play if it was the Big 10+1 if they took us. Think about the benefits for both TCU and the big 10. We would gain access to a BCS conference and BCS recruits and the Big 10 would pick up a new network to compete with the SEC and Big 12 as well as gain access to Texas recruits. I would be ok with that.

shortnkerley's said...

All good points. I would love to be in a bcs conference too. I just worry about the way we play sometimes when we are freezing our poor Texas nips off. I'll take it if it's our only bcs option though.

CounselorFrog said...

It should be Iowa State. Both Iowa schools should be in the big televen. Then bump Okie State up north and us into the south.

ftwfrog08 said...

Most likely scenario is Boise coming to the MWC, announced after the bowl game, effective the season of 2011. Just in time for BSUs history to be included in the MWC stats for BCS realignment in 2013 or 2014 at which point the MWC becomes the 7th AQ conference.

FunkytownFrogFan said...

I think I like ftwfrog's scenario best.

Being in the MWC has been good for us, and I like the new rivalries that have resulted. Adding Boise to the mix would result in a conference with 4 teams, minimum, with a legit shot at the conference championship every year.

From a dollars and cents perspective, it should make the most sense to the BCS too. If perennial "BCS busters" Utah, BSU, and TCU are now AQ teams, they won't have to worry so much about the "little guys" getting in on their cash grab.

Win-Win for all.

Middle Man said...

I would only consider it a win-win if Boise was made to change the turf. The smurf turf and the track surrounding the field is a complete joke.

ftwfrog08 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Texas Hammer said...

Fuck Boise...they're garbage.

FunkytownFrogFan said...

I'd like to change my vote to a combination of the ftwfrog/Middle Man scenarios. The blue field has got to go.

Hammer - I must respectfully disagree. BSU is a program that has played well and earned the national respect they've been given.

That said...they're going to get destroyed in the Fiesta Bowl. I started the hate with our Boise office months ago, and I'm not letting up any time soon.

Middle Man said...

you know that scene that makes everyone cringe in American History X, that is what I imagine us doing to Boise. I hope we go out and curb stomp the ever living piss out of them. Then after we have humbled them once again, we offer them a spot only if they get rid of that crap. I hate boise and the spud sucking fans that they produce.

Lyle Lanley said...

oh I thought you meant the shower scene...

Middle Man said...

That scene is another cringe scene, I dont think we would want to do that.

Nick Papagiorgio said...

Boise has never met academic requirements to get in to a big conference. How do they get that talent to go to Boise? Because they can't get in to Oregon, Oregon State, USC, etc. That is a huge talking point largely ignored in realignment.

And is the goal just to add Boise? Because we might as well let in Nevada and Fresno now if that's not the case and get a championship game.

And it will be a cold day in hell before TCU plays in the Big 10. I don't come on here to read about unicorns. I don't come on here to hear about a 9/11 conspiracy. So, please don't waste the internets discussing how TCU would fit in the Big 10. It's not real.

Bryan said...

I like the MWC expansion scenario the best. Add Boise, Idaho and Nevada to bring us to 12.

I have some worries about the Pac 10 luring Utah and BYU into their conference to make them 12, and then we'd be Conference USAed all over again.

I think the most likely (although long term) path to a college playoff is to have 6-7 AQ conferences with 12 teams, all with a conference championship, plus a small number of at-large teams.

I think TCU has gotten further faster in the MWC than we would ever have gotten in the Big 12, and think we'll see more BCS bowls from the MWC as well. I betting that's why Patterson signed his new contract and is staying.

supafish said...

Think of this... ND has special rights to the BCS as an independent. How about the BCS extends this to TCU, BSU, Utah, and BYU? Acknowledging all these teams as BCS caliber. Then every 3-5 years take away or allow this status to remain? I don't want to be in the b12

shortnkerley's said...

Sorry supa, but none of those schools you mentioned have the money and clout of Notre Dame. And Nick, academic standards?? Did you apply to an SEC school? Most of them have no standards. I hope that academics aren't what holds Boise back, although there may be some truth to that. I don't know. Tech and ole miss couldn't be much more rigorous than Boise.

supafish said...

Not arguing about clout. Stating it would be a way for the BCS to calm the waters over this AQ issue without really solving the issue. That's what the BCS does rather then solve problems they just stick their finger in the hole to stop the leak. Then is no reason to join the B12. We have the momentum to do well in the Big 12, but we could become the doormat like SWC. Rather sit atop of the MWC every year and take my BCS bowl.

Nick Papagiorgio said...

I'm talking about good, but not great, dumb players from the west coast. They can play for one of the best of the non-AQ teams or a slew of SJSUs and SDSUs, Fresnos and Nevadas. But they don't get in to Cal, USC, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State.

Boise is their only decent choice. And weirdly enough, their state schools are like UT. There ARE standards for many state schools and the SEC isn't in California. Only in hellholes like Starkville, Lubbock and Tuscaloosa does education not matter.

KansasFrog said...

Neither of the Kansas schools would ever bolt to the big 10 (although it would help out KU basketball) and neither would Mizzou ever bolt. The KU/MU rivalry is bigger than the MU/Illinois rivalry. If any school leaves from the big 12 it will be Iowa State. They have never fit into the league and with Iowa already there in the big 10 it just makes the most sense.

supafish said...

My pops went to PSU, and was talking to him about the whole situation on the rumors from the B10. I guess the B10 is making hand over fist in money from the B10 network. They are the second richest football conference in terms of money after the SEC. Mizzou is the B10's number one target. They are best fit geographically/money... Thats the rumours from the B10.

WWHD (What Would Hughes Do) said...

I have an inside source that tells me we're heading to the SEC in 2 years after the Big 12 drops Mizzou/Iowa St and Ark jumps to the Big 12. The SEC wants a beachhead in TX, and the opportunity to visit a sophisticated cosmopolitan destination with an airport.

Nick Papagiorgio said...

That's a lot of presumptions about a game that hasn't begun to be played. And if moves start with the B10 thing this summer, then any major moves will follow on its heels to keep pace. Plus, there's no reason for a two-year window. That's an arbitrary number. It's not like schools sign a five-year deal with a conference. You're a member until you aren't.

That would pretty much make my life, but I'd buy some insurance on that one. Either way, at least we'll be getting shots at Arkansas and LSU soon.

Nick Papagiorgio said...

Last thought: Why in God's name would Arkansas leave the SEC? Its the most profitable conference in the country. Big 10 is second. Big 12 is third, I believe, but they could be behind the Pac 10.

Nick Papagiorgio said...

Via the great Stewart Mandel of SI.com:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/stewart_mandel/12/15/bigten-expansion/index.html?eref=sircrc

A necessary read to really discuss conference expansion. Great stuff.

KansasFrog said...

On second thought, the Big Ten can have Mizzou. I hate the tigers.

Texas Hammer said...

TCU = Miami (minus the thug life mentality)

Obviously if the Big 12 or SEC come calling, we go. If not, we can stay in the MWC and continue to dominate and go to BCS games. Our talent level is only going to increase and look what we've done so far.

If you haven't watched "The U" on ESPN, go watch it. TCU can be the next small, private school superpower.

RESPECT

WWHD (What Would Hughes Do) said...

2 years is far from arbitrary- in 2 years we will have amassed 3 consecutive unbeaten seasons, 2 national championships, and our stadium renovation (complete w/ gameday condos) will be complete...this is what the prophecy has foretold.