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Big Ten Hires Expansion Research Firm – Texas Not on the List

Category: Big Ten Expansion & Realignment, expansion, Featured News

Big Ten officials have hired a research firm to assist in targeting expansion candidates. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez says the number on the list is approximately 15 and that Texas is not included as a recommendation. That’s good news for admins and fans of schools hoping to be in the mix as Texas would seem like tough competition for that 12th spot in the Big Ten. However, Alvarez also states that “I think it could be one (school) or I think it could be multiple”. This comes a day after Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe made some comments to help keep the Big 12 members positive and unified.

Some key points by Alvarez:
1) The Big Ten could expand by 1 school or more (likely a total of 12, 14 or 16 teams)
2) Texas was not on the initial recommendation list
3) He expects Notre Dame to be out of the mix as they hope to remain independent.

Should the Big Ten chose to expand to 14 or 16, it could be a crushing blow to both the Big East and Big 12. Both conferences have schools that are considered to be potential candidates for the Big Ten. The Big East candidates could include Rutgers, Syracuse or Pitt, which seem to top most peoples lists in the 12 team scenario. Even UConn has to be included if indeed expansion ever did grow to 16 with 5 new schools. Missouri is the Big 12 school most likely to lobby for a spot in the Big Ten. But others such as Nebraska or Kansas could be targets in virtually any of the 13 to 16 team scenarios. Big 12 members Colorado is thought to be the top target by the Pac-10 should they decide to extend an invite.

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  • Anonymous

    Eh boy, here we go again with this expansion rumor stuff again, geeeeez.

  • I don't see Iowa St. as any type of top candidate either, even with their AAU membership. Nebraska makes some sense because of the caliber of football they would bring…and also extend the footprint even further west, something that would be a positive in areas like the Dakotas (already strong with MN), west to Colorado and Wyoming and south into Kansas.

    But I'd be foolish to not bring up the role of politics.

    Remember the ACC expansion with Miami, Syracuse and Boston College? Well, that got shelved because Virginia would not vote (the deciding vote) on letting Miami and others in if Virgina Tech were not included.

    If the Big 10 went to 12 without Iowa St., pressure would be minimal. But if the Big Ten went to 14 or 16, doing some serious damage to the B12 membership (might cause Texas and Texas A&M; to flee for the SEC or Pac-10), then all of a sudden Iowa St. is being left out of the Big Ten, and left with virtually no options. If you have 8 teams leave (a stretch) for other conferences with only Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas St and Iowa St left, Iowa St. would be crippled. So I could see the Iowa legislature pressuring Iowa to force the Big Ten to include Iowa St.

    So a Big 10+6 could mean Iowa St, Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers and Syracuse.

    But you're right…Iowa St. becomes another mouth to feed with no real benefit to the current 11 members…which is WHY expansion would happen to 12, 14 or 16 in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    The Big Ten's snobbish insistence that schools be in the AAU are causing it to overlook great candidates for the CIC, which is an elite consortium of researchers who come from only Big Ten schools, plus the U. of Chicago. That snobbery is also preventing the league from seeing the greater picture.

    Now I understand that the Big Ten only wants schools who are already comparable, academically, to Big Ten schools. That rules out WVU, L'ville, & Cincy, as well as Notre Dame if BT presidents are serious about research.

    But I do not understand how a school like Iowa State or Nebraska, which add next to zero new subscribers to the BT Network, could be granted BT membership simply because they're AAU members. Meanwhile, research-oriented schools who match or outrank ISU & Nebraska in US News' list, like Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, and Florida State, wouldn't even be considered because they aren't in the AAU. Those schools would add millions of new viewers, and would seem a much better bet for new viewers than Rutgers or Missouri.

  • Anonymous

    I do not see Iowa State being added. Sure, they fit geographically. Sure, they fit the mold of the Big Ten, academically. Sure, their stellar wrestling program would fit right into a sport dominated by the big Midwestern schools.

    But the only thing Iowa State would do, money-wise, is add a twelfth team just for the sake of adding a twelfth team & getting a conference title game. The Big Ten wants more households to get the Big Ten Network on basic cable. Considering Iowa State's in the Big Ten already, where would the BTN be added if Iowa State joined?

  • Texas should never have even been mentioned. They are not going anywhere. The list should have Missouri, Pittsburgh, and possibly Iowa State since Iowa is already in there. There could be some dark horses, but it will probably either be Missouri or Pittsburgh, with Pittsburgh being the odds on favorite. We shall see what happens.


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