Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Big Ten Prediction

When the Big Ten conference announces at the end of this year whether it will expand or not, I predict that they'll decide to expand to sixteen schools by adding Nebraska, Iowa State, Missouri, Rutgers, and Syracuse.

This will give them two eight-team divisions. By adding three to the west and two to the east, they won't have to split any state in half.

Plus, all these schools are part of the 61-school Assocation of American Universities, a research association. The Big Ten prides itself on being the only conference with all its schools in the association. Notre Dame and Connecticut (names bandied about for expansion) are not in the AAU (but could be invited if their graduate academics are up to par).

I predict that they'll skip over Pittsburgh (also in the AAU) to gain the new tv markets that Rutgers and Syracuse would provide.

This all would leave the Big 12 with only nine teams and the Big East with only six football teams, so they'd both have some scrambling to do. Maybe they'll raid the C-USA like the Big East did a few years ago. I doubt, though, that Rice will be reunited with the big Texas schools in a new Big 12. Not if those schools are chasing money.

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