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