The end is near… Meteors will strike the Earth, tsunami’s will engulf the Statue of Liberty, Alaska will fry and Africa will freeze. Excuse me while I step off my soap box and take off my “off the rocker” sign (see picture above)….
It was slightly more than a year ago when the motion was set by Jim Delany. The Big Ten needed to add another team; not just any team, but a marquee name in the sports and academic world. Everyone and everything in the college football was turned off its axis. All of a sudden the PAC-10 decided it needed two more teams. Doom sayers were saying this was the end of college football soon we would have just 4 super conferences; any other college would be left in the dust to fight for the “Big Guy scraps”. What came from the panic and doom barely measured on the Richter Scale; Nebraska to the Big Ten and Utah and Colorado to the Pac 12. The only seismic change was the rest of the country laughing at the preposterous names of the new Big Ten divisions. Well and the irony that the Big 10 now had 12 teams and the Big 12 now had 10 teams. The dust had settle and the college landscape remained for the most part as it had the previous year or so we thought….
Enter ESPN with Longhorn Network and a jealous rival in the Aggies to finally fulfill the prophecy so many thought would happen a year prior. This time I believe it, its coming.. the end of college football as we know it.
The man who instigated the change in landscape, Jim Delany, recently told the press he was happy with the current 12 teams he had and that he was not looking to add anymore universities. A nice cover, but even the blind can see this is a ruse. Everyone knows he is following this every step of the way knowing there is plenty of bounty if the Big 12 collapses. And so being a Big Ten fan I say to Jim Delany move fast and move quick to snatch up the bountiful colleges that can bring a new era to Big Ten country; along with the end the SEC dominance ^1. And so Jim Delany I decided to help piece map for you the schools and their ranking based on quality football and big market potential these schools can provide the Big Ten. For such purposes I felt that of the major conferences the Big East, Big 12, and ACC would be the ones to collapse. Along with the fact that there must be close reasonable distant between them and the core of the Big Ten; this ones looking at you Big East and TCU may your ugly demented marriage work out somehow. Unfortunately the ACC in my opinion will end up in the SEC due to close proximity; although we would love to have UNC, Duke(for basketball and academics), Miami(thuggery and football assuming they survive the NCAA hearings), and Florida State. With that said…
7. Rutgers- Yes I know…. I don’t want my Big 10 teams to end up playing at Jersey either, but if your going for a big market viewers than I guess Rutgers needs to be in the convo. Please Jim this is an if all else fails, I don’t need my football’s teams IQ lowered anymore than it has to be, we already have Ohio State and Indiana^2.
6. Syracuse- It fills requirements for being a good academic school and infiltrating the New York mecca of markets. Outside of that football quality of play does not improve with Syracuse on your squad. Although it would definitely help Big Ten Basketball.
5.Mizzou- Well Jim last time they thought they were jumping ship too. But like a fat girl at a frat party, Mizzou just stood there waiting for you to have beer goggles; hoping and wishing you would mistake her for a Texas or Oklahoma. Now its time to make amends and make this fat girl happy. Mizzou is not all bad they are generally a top 20 team in both basketball and football and won’t affect the chance of a Michigan Ohio State Championship game you truly crave. Rivalries with new comer Nebraska and Iowa, makes sense to me from all aspects.
4. Pittsburgh- Two years ago they would of been the apple of the Big Ten’s eye outside of one other school; which we will talk later about. Going along with a similar analogy to Mizzou they were the triple threat girl; personality, beauty, and intelligence. Pitt had it all. A football program that was always in discussion for BCS bowl games. Not to mention media darlings for winning it all in March Madness; never pick them they always falter against an unexpected team by sweet 16. All this along with the academics the Big Ten craves. You put this in a huge market like Pennsylvania and an added rivalry with an instate school in Penn State. What is not to like here. Well the football program has stumbled, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come back. Catch Pitt on the rebound Big Ten and you won’t regret such a decision.
3. Oklahoma and 2. Texas- Now we are getting to the big dogs here. The Big Ten would claim a major success if they could capture both Texas and Oklahoma. To add what arguably may be close to the best rivalry in college football^3. The premise would have to be similar to Michigan v. OSU where they are separated in to difference conferences which would be fine. Texas is exactly what the Big Ten wants; a wealth of sports, recruits, market size, and academic success. The problem is Texas will want to keep its new network deal with ESPN, meanwhile the Big Ten’s pride and joy is the Big Ten Network. Jim was a stickler for Notre Dame’s NBC contract, you don’t think this wouldn’t be a thorn in his side either? He needs to just let them have it, if it means acquiring them. These schools are also going to want the Big Ten to pick up the unwanted schools of the Big 12 you know the Oklahoma State and Texas Techs of the world. Neither is spectacular academically or sports wise (Oklahoma State is equivalent of Mizzou in football). In the end I am not sure this would or will get done, but getting either one would be a victory. Although I am pretty sure its a package deal with them. Who doesn’t want to see Wisconsin Michigan Ohio State and Penn State battle Oklahoma and Texas I am salivating just thinking about it….
1. Notre Dame- Notre Dame is like the snobby stuck up girl who knows it would be best to join the Big Ten, but refuses to because she thinks its cooler to be independent as long as daddy, NBC, keeps picking up the tab. Jim needs to again put aside his pride and for the sake of the Big Ten allow ND to keep getting deals from NBC, if it means securing Notre Dame in its conference. Notre Dame already has huge rivalries with Michigan, MSU, and Purdue. They occasionally play Penn State and Indiana. I mean if you play 5 teams within the conference already why not just play the rest of the conference. Can you imagine ND and OSU or ND Wisconsin on a regular basis. I mean this is the prize possession because the fan bases are already familiar with one another and we all hate Notre Dame. Put Notre Dame in the Legends division with Michigan Nebraska and MSU and its perfect. ND to the big ten is like burgers to a bbq, just doesn’t seem right without it.
So Jim go on forth and bring back some prized possessions. What you do now will determine the fate of not just the Big Ten, but the entire college world. It is a free for all in the desolate landscape we now call college football.
1. Mind you the SEC are the biggest frauds in the college landscape. They cheat whenever possible to get the best talent with very lenient academic standards compared to the rest of the nation. Where did the integrity go?
2. I am pretty sure being in the same state boundaries as Snooki makes you 10 times dumber, and trashier. Should I make a further joke.. Nah too easy I’ll let you do it on your free time. Go ahead have a field day with it.
3. Sorry I don’t necessarily agree with this we all know its Michigan v. Ohio State its called The Game for a reason. But the Red River Rivalry is among one of the top games in the nation; along with the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn.