Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Regarding Rutgers [Another Day, Another Expansion Story]

You know after Delany came up in yesterday's news, I start looking back at some the moronic things he was saying about Big Ten expansion. As you know, the title of this blog is primarily due to the fact that Penn State has become a bit of an odd man out. Northwestern may be the true black sheep, but they were an original member. We have no rival, we are, at least in part, an East Coast school. We haven't fired our coach in a while (thus providing sportswriters with a back up plan for not knowing anything).

Anyway, I'm straying from the topic here. Rutgers keeps coming up. They came upPenn State joined in 1990 (started play 1993). I was surprised to hear we wanted them to join, the recruiting implications of that are not good. Although, at this point, we have nothing to lose.

I suppose they would provide us with a 'rival', and add some East Coast influence to the Ohio State-Michigan Conference. Of course it's not about football, or even education. It's about money, which the douchbags running things like to refer to as "New Markets".

Now is this going to happen? I'll say 'no'. For starters, Notre Dame is still independent. I have a hard time thinking the Big Ten, with their total lust for cash, would set themselves up for a situation where they select a very average school like Rutgers or Syracuse, only to not have room when D-Day does come for the Irish (and yes, for the record I do think it's inevitable).

You also have to wonder how excited Minnesota would be about traveling 1200 miles to New Jersey. Iowa and Wisconsin aren't that much closer.


Big Ron said...

I believe the Big Ten Network will drive expansion to 14. The reason is that football is not the main attraction for the Network ...basketball is. So if you combine the "new market" rhetoric with the lust for good basketball. The best way to ensure good ratings thence wider distribution is to expand not to 12 but to 14. The reason is simple math. If each team averages 15 home games 11 school gives you 165 possible TV time-slots. 14 would give you 210 adding more solid games throughout the week as a staple of the B10 Network.
Rutgers makes the most sense not necessarily because of athletic prowess, but because even if they can't manage to reel in NYC they still deliver all of NJ and greater presence in Philly to the big ten.
Next on the list I would snatch Louisville. I know that the academics would claim that they are not up to snuff but they have a lot of political sway in the state and given the level of commitment they have from all levels. I think they could be a spectacular pickup given time.
Next I like Missouri, they always come up in expansion talk because they are the only Div 1A (aka FBS) school in Missouri and fit in every way with current Big Ten schools.
Finally I would like to boot Northwestern out and add Memphis. Memphis is like Louisville academically and they don't have the facilities of Louisville but the potential in Memphis is just as good as Louisville if not better. Take a look on a map and tell me what major city is within 200 Miles of Memphis. They sit in the middle of SEC country and should be a much better football school than they are. Give a little time the right coach and the money being associated with a BCS conference Memphis could be a powerhouse in both football and basketball. Bare minimum they are a drastic upgrade to Northwestern in terms of basketball and add a market that the big ten doesn't already own.
The loss of Northwestern probably wouldn't even be felt in terms of Market presence in Chicago. Just like losing Georgia Tech didn't stop the SEC from dominating Atlanta. With this approach the Big Ten would add the states of New Jersey, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and New York City. That gives the Network 4 new state in which to expand, great basketball to advertise and a strong presence in the south.

Anonymous said...

Your'e an idiot, kick out North Western for Memphis, the Big Ten is all about tradition so they certainly won'tkick out an original member, yet alone for an upstart like such as Memphis. I feel the same way with Louiseville. Missouri's in the Big 12 so the odds of them goiing anywhere are slim, but I think they are a nice grab if the big ten could convince them to join. Also I'd rather have Syracuse to Rutgers and what about Notre Dame? Don't forget Pitt either. All theree are better then Memphis or Louiseville, the East is where it's at not Tenewee and Kentucky.

Big Ron said...

First off Mizzou would jump especially if you take a look at the infighting they've been having in the Big 12 about distribution of money. Second you...me...and anyone that is a college football fan knows that Notre Dame isn't going to a conference for football. Third Pitt has a great basketball program but their football program leaves something to be desired and between Ohio State and Penn State western PA is already on lock for the Big Ten.

Now regarding kicking out Northwestern...I don't care what you think...they could pull a University of Chicago and de-emphasize athletics for all I care and still be associated with the Big Ten through the CIC. I would still dump them for Mizzou or Louisville or Memphis (although Memphis is a bit of a geographical stretch.

And as far as your disdain for the southern schools of Louisville and Memphis... I was bringing them up as prgrams that will give you 60K plus attendance for football and 20K plus for basketball. The whole point of my post was that the Big Ten should go to 14 and if that means going after Eastern schools to get the Big Ten Network into the most populous region of the country then I'd prefer UConn, Rutgers, and Maryland. But I'd still want to kick out Northwestern and add Mizzou or Syracuse or some school. Northwestern has never even made an NCAA basketball tournament (and most years the Big Ten gets 5-6 bids). That's awful, embarrassing, and unacceptable.