Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez is pushing for a 12th Team in the Big Ten according to an ESPN Report
This happening anytime soon is not what I am posting about. I am posting to get your thought on who you all think should join the Big Ten. I know Notre Dame it the obvious choice, but is it the best choice?
The rumored short list is Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa State, Pitt, and Notre Dame.
While ND is the odds on favorite, I don't see them being the best fit. They are the biggest name and would bring in another traditional football powerhouse to the Big Ten, but there are some drawbacks. First they do not bring the Big Ten into a new market. The Big Ten is already in the Indian / Chicago markets so brining in new money from a new market is not an impact. With this move the NBC deal is gone, so that money is also gone, the only real income ND has to offer. Also this would mess Notre Dame’s Big East affiliation for all other sports. Bottom line financially Notre Dame needs the Big Ten more than the Big Ten needs Notre Dame.
While the Big East Schools would help bring in the New York market, big money to be made, I don't see them leaving the Big East for the Big Ten as it will be much harder to win in the Big Ten. The Big East schools mentioned have a much easier road to the BCS in their current conference. Big Ten purists also don’t want the Big Ten going any further east.
This leaves you with a Big 12 school. I think this is the best option. Iowa State does nothing for the Big Ten, so they’re out, and I don't see Nebraska leaving the Big 12, so you’re left with Missouri.
I see Missouri as being the best fit. Missouri fits all the criteria for the Big Ten and also brings in a new market. The Big Ten is smothered by the Big 12 south of the Iowa Boarder. By adding Missouri you bring in the St. Louis and Kansas City markets. The economic impact in these cities is far greater than that of adding Notre Dame. In turn you would leave the Big 12 short one team, which could be easily filled by TCU (Move Colorado to the South, Move Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the North and you have a balanced Big 12 in the process).
Let’s assume that Missouri were to join the Big Ten, now you have to split them into 2 divisions. I don't think a simple east / west would work as you would lose a lot of rivalries that schools will not be willing to give up, and the fact that the East would be far superior. Here's how I would break it down to keep all rivalries intact and have a fairly balanced conference. You would play 5 games against your division, have one rival game from the other division locked, and rotate the other 5 teams into the other 2 games on your 8 game schedule.
Ohio State ---> (Iowa, Wisconsin, or Missouri)
Michigan ---> Minnesota (Little Brown Jug)
Michigan State ---> Penn State (Land Grant Trophy)
Purdue ---> (Iowa, Wisconsin, or Missouri)
Indiana ---> (Iowa, Wisconsin, or Missouri)
Illinois ---> Northwestern (Sweet Sioux Tomahawk/Land of Lincoln Trophy)
Iowa ---> (Ohio State, Purdue, or Indiana)
Wisconsin ---> (Ohio State, Purdue, or Indiana)
Minnesota ---> Michigan (Little Brown Jug)
Penn State ---> Michigan State (Land Grant Trophy)
Northwestern ---> Illinois (Sweet Sioux Tomahawk/Land of Lincoln Trophy)
Missouri ---> (Ohio State, Purdue, or Indiana)
The only rivalries you lose are Ohio State-Penn State (No Trophy), and the Missouri-Illinois game (unofficial rivalry).
"I'm not impressed with aces of any kind. 95% of the time, they're just bad shots that got lucky and happened to hit the chains. Otherwise, they'd have sailed 50' past the hole." ~ Cydisc