Big Ten wants to expand

OK, so the Big Ten college conference wants to expand.  Among those schools speculated to be candidates are Nebraska and Missouri.  But why?  How is being in the Big Ten better than being in the Big Twelve?  Or do Nebraska and Missouri think the Big Ten would be an easier conference in which to do well?   Wouldn’t that be a rather humiliating reason?

The prospects of such an expansion–and rumors are flying about many other candidates–just seems to violate reason, regions, and traditions (such as the rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners, from one of my alma maters, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers).

Big Ten expansion roundup – Big Ten Blog – ESPN.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    The Big Ten still thinks it is the big fish in NCAA. I am not sure it has realized its dominance has long faded in the light of the SEC and surge of the Big Twelve. It doesn’t make sense for teams to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten because it won’t gain them more national exposure, nor will it place them in a more competitive and well respected conference. The Big Ten or should I say Big Eleven needs to wake up and realize it should be going after a non-BCS conference school, say Boise State, if it want’s to expand its line up.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    The Big Ten still thinks it is the big fish in NCAA. I am not sure it has realized its dominance has long faded in the light of the SEC and surge of the Big Twelve. It doesn’t make sense for teams to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten because it won’t gain them more national exposure, nor will it place them in a more competitive and well respected conference. The Big Ten or should I say Big Eleven needs to wake up and realize it should be going after a non-BCS conference school, say Boise State, if it want’s to expand its line up.

  • Scott L.

    It’s about the money. With the Big 10 network, each school receives about $22 million a year, vs. about $15 million for the SEC schools from their contract with CBS. The Big 12′s revenue is much lower than that. I think the Big Ten thinks that by expanding, eventually getting to a conference championship game, that would bring in more big bucks, or at least more because the conference would still be playing in early December — like the SEC & Big 12 — rather than being done at Thanksgiving. Their thinking is that it keeps the conference alive in the minds of fans & pollsters later in the season. Just see what happened to Ohio State in the rankings at the end of the last couple of seasons: their last “big” game was against Michigan while Alabama, Florida, Texas were still playing important games.

    I don’t understand the whys of who the Big Ten is “targeting”: Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse, Pittsburgh? Guess it has something to do with more potential revenue. I’d have a (intellectual) problem with schools from the old Big 8 going east to join the Big 10. Or Texas, as it is being discussed by the college sports pundits, joining the Pac 12. But then I still don’t understand why Penn State belongs in the Big 10, or Boston College in the ACC. Guess I’m stuck in the mindset that conferences should be regional, not to mention that their name should be more reflective of the actual number of teams!

  • Scott L.

    It’s about the money. With the Big 10 network, each school receives about $22 million a year, vs. about $15 million for the SEC schools from their contract with CBS. The Big 12′s revenue is much lower than that. I think the Big Ten thinks that by expanding, eventually getting to a conference championship game, that would bring in more big bucks, or at least more because the conference would still be playing in early December — like the SEC & Big 12 — rather than being done at Thanksgiving. Their thinking is that it keeps the conference alive in the minds of fans & pollsters later in the season. Just see what happened to Ohio State in the rankings at the end of the last couple of seasons: their last “big” game was against Michigan while Alabama, Florida, Texas were still playing important games.

    I don’t understand the whys of who the Big Ten is “targeting”: Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Syracuse, Pittsburgh? Guess it has something to do with more potential revenue. I’d have a (intellectual) problem with schools from the old Big 8 going east to join the Big 10. Or Texas, as it is being discussed by the college sports pundits, joining the Pac 12. But then I still don’t understand why Penn State belongs in the Big 10, or Boston College in the ACC. Guess I’m stuck in the mindset that conferences should be regional, not to mention that their name should be more reflective of the actual number of teams!

  • Scott L.

    Sorry, should be “Pac 10″! Guess I’ve already expanded that one!!

  • Scott L.

    Sorry, should be “Pac 10″! Guess I’ve already expanded that one!!

  • S Bauer

    Being an NU alum, I would be loath to give up the traditions and rivalries, even though those traditions and rivalries arise from the Big 8 and not the Big 12. The idea that Nebraska could more easily rise to the top in the Big 1o than in the Big 12 is very short-sighted. Football dynasties are like the Law of Gravity and the Business Cycle. The Big 12 hasn’t been around long enough to even establish its own “pecking order”. Stay and contest Texas and OU and whoever for dominance in the Big 12. The Cornhuskers can do it in the long run. Nebraska football is like the bumblebee. All analysis of the external factors leads to the conclusion that “it can’t fly”. And yet it does.

    After reading the article, it looks to me like its all about the money. This reeks of the thinking of those “geniuses” who brought us the Callahan years. I hope those running things in the Athletic Dept. now can resist the temptation.

  • S Bauer

    Being an NU alum, I would be loath to give up the traditions and rivalries, even though those traditions and rivalries arise from the Big 8 and not the Big 12. The idea that Nebraska could more easily rise to the top in the Big 1o than in the Big 12 is very short-sighted. Football dynasties are like the Law of Gravity and the Business Cycle. The Big 12 hasn’t been around long enough to even establish its own “pecking order”. Stay and contest Texas and OU and whoever for dominance in the Big 12. The Cornhuskers can do it in the long run. Nebraska football is like the bumblebee. All analysis of the external factors leads to the conclusion that “it can’t fly”. And yet it does.

    After reading the article, it looks to me like its all about the money. This reeks of the thinking of those “geniuses” who brought us the Callahan years. I hope those running things in the Athletic Dept. now can resist the temptation.

  • Joe

    Its the money and the teams being targeted are teams that the Big Ten feels will grow the viewership of the Big Ten network. I have no problem with this at all.

  • Joe

    Its the money and the teams being targeted are teams that the Big Ten feels will grow the viewership of the Big Ten network. I have no problem with this at all.

  • Scots

    what about Notre Dame? They don’t belong in the Big East, they belong in the Big 10.

  • Scots

    what about Notre Dame? They don’t belong in the Big East, they belong in the Big 10.

  • DonS

    With the Big 10, it is about getting to a point where a conference championship can be played, both for the money and maybe, most importantly, for competitive reasons. Many believe that the Big 10′s failings during the bowl season are partly due to the early wrap-up of their regular season before Thanksgiving, leaving a huge 6 week time span before the bowl games are played, with resultant rust.

    Scott is right about the Big 12′s lower revenues. For this reason, I read on the ESPN Pac-10 blog yesterday that the Pac-10 and Big 12 are in discussions about some sort of alliance to try to remedy that — not sure what that would look like. Moving to the Big 10, in any event, would be attactive for Nebraska and Missouri, I would think, just because of the revenues available from the Big 10 Network.

  • DonS

    With the Big 10, it is about getting to a point where a conference championship can be played, both for the money and maybe, most importantly, for competitive reasons. Many believe that the Big 10′s failings during the bowl season are partly due to the early wrap-up of their regular season before Thanksgiving, leaving a huge 6 week time span before the bowl games are played, with resultant rust.

    Scott is right about the Big 12′s lower revenues. For this reason, I read on the ESPN Pac-10 blog yesterday that the Pac-10 and Big 12 are in discussions about some sort of alliance to try to remedy that — not sure what that would look like. Moving to the Big 10, in any event, would be attactive for Nebraska and Missouri, I would think, just because of the revenues available from the Big 10 Network.

  • Cincinnatus

    The Big 10 _is_ a fairly dominant conference, but, of the names floating around, Notre Dame makes the most sense–indeed, is the only team that makes sense.

  • Cincinnatus

    The Big 10 _is_ a fairly dominant conference, but, of the names floating around, Notre Dame makes the most sense–indeed, is the only team that makes sense.

  • L. H. Kevil

    Here’s the hot poop, straight from the St Louis Post-Dispatch & the Columbia Daily Tribune. Mizzou athletics would gain at least $12 million in new revenue from the Big Ten TV network. Since the Big Ten has always wanted members to be AAU members, Notre Dame does not qualify for membership. (AAU is the Association of American Universities, the 63 top research universities.) Teh Big Ten network has apparently been a terrific success.

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/mizzou
    This link will take you to a page with 3 articles on this issue. It may only work today Sunday.

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/may/09/big-tens-behemoth/

  • L. H. Kevil

    Here’s the hot poop, straight from the St Louis Post-Dispatch & the Columbia Daily Tribune. Mizzou athletics would gain at least $12 million in new revenue from the Big Ten TV network. Since the Big Ten has always wanted members to be AAU members, Notre Dame does not qualify for membership. (AAU is the Association of American Universities, the 63 top research universities.) Teh Big Ten network has apparently been a terrific success.

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/mizzou
    This link will take you to a page with 3 articles on this issue. It may only work today Sunday.

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/may/09/big-tens-behemoth/

  • Husker Fan

    As a Husker legacy and alum (and occasional employee), let me say this: we’ve never been wedded to the Big 12. Big 8, yes. Big 6, yes. But not Big 12–we tend to cringe at everything Texas.

    My sources at the University tell me that former head coach, former congressman, and now Athletic Director Tom Osborne is the hold out (remember-our head football coach played for Ohio State). But he understands that if the Big 12 breaks up, and there’s a decent chance Texas and OU head to the SEC or elsewhere, then Nebraska can’t be left on the outside looking in.

    Nebraska fans travel. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll travel to Happy Valley. Ames, yes. Norman, yes. But not Happy Valley.

  • Husker Fan

    As a Husker legacy and alum (and occasional employee), let me say this: we’ve never been wedded to the Big 12. Big 8, yes. Big 6, yes. But not Big 12–we tend to cringe at everything Texas.

    My sources at the University tell me that former head coach, former congressman, and now Athletic Director Tom Osborne is the hold out (remember-our head football coach played for Ohio State). But he understands that if the Big 12 breaks up, and there’s a decent chance Texas and OU head to the SEC or elsewhere, then Nebraska can’t be left on the outside looking in.

    Nebraska fans travel. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll travel to Happy Valley. Ames, yes. Norman, yes. But not Happy Valley.


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