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Source: Big Ten Extends Invites to Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri & Rutgers

Category: Big Ten Expansion & Realignment, Featured News

Interesting developments, that’s for sure. But how reliable? WHB-AM in Kansas city is reporting that the Big Ten has extended invitations to Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri and Rutgers. ESPN ran with the story as well, but has since removed it from their website. So is it true?

Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman responded by saying there was no truth, “none whatsoever” to the report in regards to Nebraska.

What is being rumored is that Nebraska, Missouri and Rutgers are the expected new members. If Notre Dame were to accept, then the Big Ten would then invite another school. Presumed targets for that final spot would be Syracuse, Pitt and even once-longshot UConn.

In other words, expansion would be to 14. If Notre Dame accepts as #15, then the conference would invite a 16th.

All this could happen.

But the timing is odd.

If the Big Ten were to expand, it’s been accepted as fact that the conference would first ask various schools to submit applications to join. In other words, the Big Ten would reach out to a group of schools, ask them to apply, and then chose from the applicants. This way, the Big Ten could prevent any embarrassment should they get rejected.

My personal opinion is that these schools might have been contacted to gauge interest and ask to formally apply…but not that the Big Ten has sent official invitations. Time will tell.

One thing is for sure…if this happens, the Big East is in trouble. While the financials might not seem to make as much sense right now, you’ll see the ACC express interest in some current Big East schools. You’d likely see the ACC explore adding Syracuse or Pitt (whichever was not invited to the Big Ten) along with Uconn.

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  • This is likely not going to happen this year. However, it might happen eventually. If Notre Dame decides that it can no longer win as an independent, then it would join the Big Ten in football because of the rivalries. The question then would be if the Big Ten could get more teams jump on the bandwagon. The teams will likely come from the Big XII and the Big East since those conferences do not have the TV contracts that the Big Ten has. The teams will not be Texas or Oklahoma. The teams would likely be Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Missouri, Nebraska, and possibly Iowa State, given its rivalry with Iowa. The Big East would then likely get teams from Conference USA to try to survive. That would force the basketball schools out of the Big East. The SEC would then likely try to get Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, and perhaps Texas. The Big XII would then get teams from Conference USA after it could lose Colorado to the Pac-10. The teams from the old Conference USA would then likely band together with the Sun Belt schools and form their own conference. Will any of this happen? My guess would be no. However, this decade of college athletics could be one that shapes the next 7 or 8 decades. We shall see what happens.


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