It's now 2015, would Northwestern be willing to drop football down to FCS in order to join the Ivy League?
Imagine what Northwestern could charge for admission with the official "Ivy" status. Surely that would offset going 6-6 in football every year and never once making March Madness. Likewise, would Navy rather play Tulsa and pals or win the FCS playoffs every year AND get the "Ivy" status?
Might Missouri or some other school replace Northwestern in the Big Ten?
When drawing out elaborate expansion scenarios, I always look for a win-win for each conference involved. This scenario is win-win-win-win? (Big Ten, Ivy League, Independent, AAC?). Might this actually happen someday? I hope so. This scenario is a shot in the arm on almost a cosmic level for expansion junkies like me. I honestly do see this a win-win-win-win* (*does the AAC still want Navy?). Jim Delany has also said, "no union school will play in the Big Ten" which was a direct reference to the State of Illinois upholding Northwestern's right to form a union among its student athletes. And I'll close with this...
Say something was afoot within the hallowed back rooms of Ivy League A.D.'s. That being the case, neither you nor I nor Chip Brown would have any intel. Surely if anyone on the planet could keep a tight P.R. lid on anything re: conference realignment (if so desired to keep said lid), it would be the private institutions within the Ivy League. Timeline? The Big Ten has a Grant of Rights that ends around 2034, but Northwestern unionizing immediately changes the picture. It is my guess that Northwestern would be allowed to walk as I highly doubt the Big Ten would challenge the lawyer might of the Ivy League (and risk losing that case) for the right to keep its lowest revenue generating and only private member of the Big Ten.... especially as other more lucrative replacements for Northwestern exist among the college sports landscape.