ESPN blog article with various reactions to Big Ten expansion moves at http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/i ... sion-moves
I likewise do not believe the Big Ten is done with expansion and believe 16 members has always been on the table for the Big Ten.
It is easy to make up the western division of eight schools once the Big Ten expands to 16 by having:
Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue
This type of format will keep Michigan and Ohio State in the same division and avoid permanent cross over games in a 16 member league.
Now the question is which will be the other two teams the Big Ten has in its scope.
It is clear the Big Ten drew a line right through the middle of the ACC splitting the league into north and south regions almost parallel with the historic Mason Dixon line.
Maybe it is payback to the ACC for taking Notre Dame as a partial member or most likely very strategic in nature.
Assuming the Big Ten continues to want Notre Dame, the method to get the school in all sports is push for the four power leagues and severely weaken the ACC from the current five power league status.
Remember the comment only a few weeks back from the Wisconsin Athletic Director, the Big Ten, Pac 12, Big 12, and SEC should form a permanent for power league alliance and either split or control college football. This was most likely some of the back room discussions taking place would be my guess.
Ok if we are in fact heading to four primary power conferences, Notre Dame has to be included or else everyone in the TV world would go ballistic.
So now the fun begins with how conference convince a school to join that may otherwise want to remain loyal to a certain league or a personal school agenda.
We already know the ACC is now split into two regions and somewhat reminder of how Germany were split during WWII into east and west. Ok funny however not really the same!
Just look at a map and you have two major south eastern states not in the Big Ten or soon to be SEC network regions. North Carolina and Virginia!
Less assume the line in the sand is the Maryland border, then Notre Dame and Boston College would complete the takeover of the north for the Big Ten and leave North Carolina and Virginia to the SEC.
Ok Notre Dame you want to try a remain independent in football, we Big Ten folks will just simply kill off the power of your new league the ACC by possibly going after Georgia Tech and Florida State. We can after all provide both of those schools a major bump in revenue, just ask Maryland.
Back to how a conference convinces a school to join by taking other schools in the conference that would have major impacts on those schools by remaining in that league.
SEC is probably already licking their chops on moving into North Carolina and Virginia and sending big thank you to the Big Ten.
Best case scenario for the Big Ten is finally getting Notre Dame in for all sports along with fellow catholic and Boston market target Boston College. Wow just think of Washington DC up through Philly into NYC and finally into Boston to take over the eastern seaboard.
Ok back to the four power leagues. Big 12 you can now come in and take what you need. Hello Florida State and Clemson.
If the above is about to occur and is a very likely scenario, the ACC will be reduced to a rubble of Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia or Va Tech which ever does not want the SEC, North Carolina or NC State which every does not want the SEC, Duke, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and a Miami schools about to go on major probation.
So back to Notre Dame and would the school continue to take a stubborn stance on independence for football and possibly be ok in an ACC that could have the following format:
Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, Duke, Wake, Miami Fl, UConn?, Louisville?, USF? Cincinnati?
or better yet would Notre Dame not want to be in the east division of one of the future four power league such as
Big Ten East: Notre Dame, Boston College, Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan
Hey Notre Dame you got a choice and the Big Ten has drew a line in the sand.