Sunday, December 13, 2009

Big Ten Looking to Expand

Okay, we all know that I'm not very good with photoshop, but this wasn't too bad of an effort, was it? Yeah, alright, it's pretty poor. But you get the point, as the conference with eleven members is looking to expand to twelve, all while keeping the Big Ten moniker in tact of course.

These plans are coming to light in response to some recent comments made by Badgers Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, as the former Badgers coach has said that the conference has already gone through a very intense and thorough investigation of a number of schools. Many of the comments he made were regarding how adding a 12th school would be good for all sports, and how it would cut down the costs of travel throughout the conference, but we all know what the real reason for the expansion would be: The creation of a Big Ten Championship game for football.

So the question now becomes what school, if any, would be willing to join the Big Ten? Penn State was the last school to do it back in 1993, and there's no doubt that was a move that worked out for them. Notre Dame had the chance to follow their lead, but ultimately their ties to the Big East and their lucrative TV contract with NBC for football kept them as an independent in the sport. With them, Army, and Navy as the only independents left in college football, it's much more likely that any 12th team would have to come from another conference.

Looking regionally, you'd think that perhaps the 12th member might come from the Mid-American Conference, a conference that has thirteen schools right now for football. These are schools like Northern Illinois, Buffalo, Kent State, and Ball State. But apparently Alvarez has hinted that the search has been nationwide, and it seems the conference doesn't really care who it is, they just want that 12th school.

My prediction is that they'll expand to twelve eventually, but not anytime in the near future. Next five years, maybe, but I guess you never know.

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