First off, in regards to our recent expansion, let me say that having Maryland and Rutgers come on board in the B1G is about as exciting as having Ashton Kutcher take Charlie Sheen’s place. Disappointment abounds. However, contrary to many, I do believe in what Jim Delany is doing. He’s creating a stronghold for the conference financially, academically and geographically. And taking a look at the possibilities the B1G has left to poach, it is easy to infer that they are not simply stopping at 16 either.
With so much uncertainty in other conferences, and so much money in this one, there’s no telling who Delany can hook or how quickly he can do it. And this is not a five year plan. This is happening now. Delany seems to realize that his Nebraska grab two years ago, while at the time was simply a great program to round out the conference at an even dozen, sent unintended panic through the country that rivals the panic felt by Brady Hoke whenever the McRib is taken off the menu.
Now, given that Delany is clearly adaptable and hell bent on not only preserving the B1G but ensuring its monetary dominance, it’s time to take a look at the possibilities for future expansion. That Nebraska move resulted in the need to think ahead, and that’s exactly what ole Jimmy is doing. Let’s forge ahead with the pros and cons on our top ten wish list.
Boston College- Let’s be honest, no one wants BC. However, the one possible angle that could play is if Notre Dame gets desperate and wants in. If they want Boston College to come on board with them (to help ease the pain of being the lone small Catholic school), then it’s game on. This also would attract the Boston TV market. Otherwise, they are not bringing much to the table besides being a precursor to getting the Irish.
Pittsburgh- You might think this ship has sailed. But remember, the ACC is not exactly a strong candidate to remain through all of these conference shifts. If Pitt sees the ACC struggling, they may be inclined to want to jump ship to the conference that is not only close but financially superior. They are also a part of the all important AAU that the B1G looks for.
Florida State- Can I be honest again? No true B1G fan wants them either. Academically, they are nowhere near a match for the B1G. That said, they would provide some very good competition football wise and help the midwest teams crack into Florida to recruit.
Syracuse- Academically and geographically it makes sense. It would also help bring B1G basketball from excellent to other-wordly. Plus it would give us some love in the sports media since just about everyone in it is from Northwestern or Syracuse.
10. Louisville – Academically not as strong as many members in the B1G. But, the basketball program would be an instant boost to the conference and the football team is on the rise. Despite the football success just starting, a move like this would help keep coaches like Charlie Strong in town. Plus it would help get some discounted Papa John’s for everyone. I know they just jumped to the ACC, but their allegiance is short-lived as well, just like the ACC may very well be.
9. Georgia Tech – Three very important things to think about here. Yes I know the football team is only known for being Megatron’s alma mater and where John Heisman worked, but look beyond that. First, the Atlanta TV market. Next, recruiting in Georgia. Finally, it’s in the AAU and excellent academically.
8. Missouri - This is more along the lines of what we could have done a while ago. Mizzou would have been a solid addition to the conference athletically and academically (they’re in the AAU), and they wanted in badly. But Delany stalled, feeling the league would not need any more schools. That all changed when the createns from the Southeast nabbed them. This ship has probably sailed, so we’ll put this one in the “oh well” category.
7. Virginia – Another great academic choice here, as they are also members of the AAU and would add significant clout to an already powerful research consortium the B1G has established. This would solidify dominance in the DC area market, as well as shore up our recruiting stronghold on the Eastern seaboard.
6. Clemson – This is once again a recruiting reason. To possibly control Virginia, DC, Baltimore, South Carolina and Georgia geographically? Gold. And they have cool colors. And they have the rock. And they can boost football a bit. And that’s it.
5. Kansas – The chance to add Kansas is very enticing to everyone. They once again would bring some power in the scholarly region, being members of the all important AAU. And like many others Delany has looked at, their football team would bring squat, and the basketball team would make the B1G borderline NBA worthy. Okay I’m kidding, but you get the point. Think about this, possibly Kansas, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State and the other solid programs we have on the hardwood. Yowza. This should also allow plenty of extra revenue for Charlie Weis’ expense account for meals.
4. Duke – Not only in the AAU, but they are one of the premier institutions in the world academically. They are only #4 because this would again be on the wish list. I highly doubt this could ever happen, but never say never if the ACC goes down in flames. They are much smaller in enrollment, even so than Northwestern, but this move would make the league SO superior in basketball and in the classroom. Can you imagine the money this could bring to the consortium of the league? But that’s also the point, Duke has a tremendous endowment and probably isn’t too worried about their financial future.
3. North Carolina – Another member of the AAU and would seemingly be a GREAT fit for the conference. They are very, very good academically and one of the great public institutions on the country. Their enrollment is very similar to many schools we already have, and their inclusion in our research group would be nothing but beneficial. Great basketball, sleeping giant in football, and cool colors. And see that list of basketball schools I mentioned in the Kansas post? Think about adding them (and maybe Duke). Wow.
2. Notre Dame – Of course we want them. Don’t deny it. National fanbase, HUGE endowment, close to us, and can’t win the big ones. Perfect. Plus they are an academic giant. And to be honest, they may not have a choice soon. They have put their eggs in the ACC basket, and that might not stick as the conference gets more and more unstable. Their independence won’t last if there are super conferences, so they may be asking to hold a spot. They would make more money from the B1G TV revenue than NBC, trust me. And having more money means you don’t have to date people online.
1. Texas – Member of the AAU, monster fanbase, money, money, money. This could link us in to recruiting in Texas, and move our brand westward. The Longhorn Network you say? It’s not working, this would bring them more viewers and more cash. If you want a football upgrade, look no further. If you want revenue to grow, here you go. And if you want a stable future, this is it. And if we could get Matthew McConaughey to do the Wooderson voice from Dazed and Confused when doing promos on our network? Totally worth it.