Well in the midst of hottest topic this summer, the Big 10 made a big move today....
THE HOT LIST:
1. Expansion Talk: What will Nebraska Do?
1. The Big 10 announced today that it has made preliminary offers to Rutgers, Missouri, Nebraska, and Norte Dame. What it means is that the Big 10 wants to stir up the excitement by saying that they want 1 or all 4 of these teams to join the conference by 2011. This will clearly become a hot topic starting now until the season starts in August. I think out of the four teams Norte Dame is like the first team out. They have publically stated their displeasure for wanting to join a real conference. They have a rich tradition on being an independent, and they want to keep it that way. For years I've stated they have no place in the BCS because they don't play in a real conference...heres your chance boys...step up.
Rutgers makes some sense due to their New York Market. You have to remember that in all these talks...money will talk and will play a MAJOR factor for all of these schools. Rutgers won't necessarily bring a passionate fan base to the Big 10 but it will bring subscribers to the Big 10 network and in reality thats what they want. I think given the size of Rutgers they'd be crazy to not accept...they are a small school in a dying conference. They'll go...so already one of the 3 is in.
Missouri is in a particular situation as I think it desperately wants to create another rival for its fan base outside of Nebraska and Kansas every year. Playing Illinois every year could bring a fresh new outlook rival for the school. Missouri would love to get it hands on that 12.1 million a year revenue sharing that most Big 10 schools would get. Think of the major improvements to its athletic facilities it could look at with more annual money. Certainly they don't get it from their fan support. Also think of the likelihood of the success of their Basketball team in the Big 10. Finish in the top 8 in the Big 10 and you make the tournament every season...no questions since its always been known as a basketball league.
Nebraska really is the cornerstone for what could be the biggest conference shake up that we'll likely ever see. The Big 12 looks at Nebraska as a gem for their conference as they are a North powerhouse to competing for conference titles. If the Huskers bolt it'll cause a collapse of the Big 12 conference which is surprising considering everyone's belief about Texas owning the conference. I think that if Nebraska would go...whats keeping Colorado from going to the Pac-10...it assures Missouri leaves giving the Big 12 no legit north schools outside of Iowa State who might consider the MAC where they could have legit success if they joined. Nebraska also looks at the Big 10 as a place where they can legitimately compete for conference titles and rekindle a TRUE rival in Iowa. OOOOO Think of the bad blood that could brew with those two schools: Kirk vs. Bo...I'd be hooked as would most of the midwest in those two states. The money also talks which Nebraska does generate a considerable budget but extra money from TV sales from the Big 10 network (which Husker Fans would sign up for by the thousands to see the Huskers) could prove to be a major motivator for the Huskers.
It'll be interesting to see what transpires from today's news. I think in the long run the Big 10 should really add 1 team to make 12 so it can get the benefits of a title game. Thats really all that they want in the long run and getting 12 teams allows them to do that w/out any scheduling problems. Think of the nightmare it would be to schedule with 14 teams in a league where you have to play 6 games fixed every year...how do you get a fair rotation to the other 7 teams in your league? I think that you'll see 12 or 16 teams...14 would make things difficult to do with the other teams probably wanting a fair trade in rotations for revenue.
Should be an interesting hot debating summer....