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Division 1 College Conference Realignment

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Official Statement

Dec. 15, 2009

The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) discussed the future of the Big Ten Conference at its winter meetings on Dec. 6 in Park Ridge, Illinois. The following statement is issued by the Big Ten office on behalf of the COP/C.

Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in June of 1990 and its addition has been an unqualified success. In 1993, 1998 and 2003 the COP/C, in coordination with the commissioner's office, reviewed the issue of conference structure and expansion. The COP/C believes that the timing is right for the conference to once again conduct a thorough evaluation of options for conference structure and expansion. As a result, the commissioner was asked to provide recommendations for consideration by the COP/C over the next 12 to 18 months.

The COP/C understands that speculation about the conference is ongoing. The COP/C has asked the conference office to obtain, to the extent possible, information necessary to construct preliminary options and recommendations without engaging in formal discussions with leadership of other institutions. If and when such discussions become necessary the COP/C has instructed Commissioner James E. Delany to inform the Chair of the COP/C, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon, and then to notify the commissioner of the affected conference(s). Only after these notices have occurred will the Big Ten engage in formal expansion discussions with other institutions. This process will allow the Big Ten to evaluate options, while respecting peer conferences and their member institutions. No action by the COP/C is expected in the near term. No interim statements will be made by the Big Ten or the COP/C until after the COP/C receives the commissioner's recommendations and the COP/C determines next steps, if any, in this area.

Now before everyone goes (insert your school here) in terms of who should be asked to join, please keep this very big point in mind. Every Big Ten school is a member of the Association of American Universities. Membership in AAU is by invitation and is based on the high quality of programs of academic research and scholarship and undergraduate, graduate, and professional education in a number of fields, as well as general recognition that a university is outstanding by reason of the excellence of its research and education programs. Note: Notre Dame does not fully qualify as it is basically a liberal arts university, but they could make an exception for them I take it.

AAU Membership

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So from that list, here's a possible list of colleges for expansion

-Iowa State

-Rutgers

-Syracuse

-Pittsburgh

-Missouri

Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas is also on that list, but I feel it's too far west for the Big Ten. Chicago would also be nice, but they're Division III.

So, from that list where do they go? Do they stay with their Midwest roots and take either Iowa State or Missouri or do they try and grab a hold the eastern lands with Rutgers or Syracuse or even Pitt.

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1. Pitt

2. Iowa State

3. Syracuse

4. Missouri

5. Rutgers

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If Notre Dame were to ever join a conference in football, the Big Ten would make the most sense. West Virginia would be a good fit as well, but I don't see them in the AAU membership list. I never knew about that requirement until this thread.

Another team would give the big ten 12 teams and a conference championship game. Here's how I can see the divisions shaking out if Notre Dame were to join:

West

Illinois

Iowa

Minnesota

Northwestern

Notre Dame

Wisconsin

East

Indiana

Michigan

Michigan State

Ohio State

Penn State

Purdue

If Iowa State jumps from the Big 12 then just swap them out for Notre Dame and you have your division lineup. If Iowa State moves to the Big 10 then the big 12 would be short a team. Who would the Big 12 take? Maybe TCU perhaps?

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Doesn't this come up every other year?

First off, as long as Notre Dame has their NBC deal, they'll never become a full-time member of any conference, so we can scratch them off the list.

Of all the schools on that list, Iowa State is really the only one I wouldn't have any complaints about since the state of Iowa is already in their territory. Missouri I would have a slight beef with, but since it's still a midwestern school and borders two other Big Ten states (Iowa and Illinois) I could live with that.

But knowing the Big Ten, they'll be more than willing to fugg up the geographic continuity of the conference (even more so than Penn State did) and go after Syracuse or Rutgers. Especially now that they have their cash grab... ahem... cable network and would love to tap into the NYC market.

Now the fun part... if this happens, what chain reaction of realignment will this set off?

yea yea yea... I know... STOP REEL LINE MINT. But until the NCAA gets rid of that idiotic rule about conferences having to have 12 members for a football championship game, we can expect it to continue.

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1-Missouri is a founding member of the Big 8. While gaining St. Louis as a market is good, there are others which could be seen as better, namely NJ/NYC for Rutgers.

2-Syracuse was going to jump to the ACC before the Virginia Legislature got in the way to squeeze VT in.

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Notre Dame makes the most sense, but they still may decline.

My maybes include:

West Virgina

Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Missouri

Iowa State

Louisville

Long Shots:

Syracuse

Rutgers

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Notre Dame makes the most sense, but they still may decline.

My maybes include:

West Virgina

Cincinnati

Pittsburgh

Missouri

Iowa State

Louisville

Long Shots:

Syracuse

Rutgers

WVU, Louisville, and Cincinnati are not in AAU.

Plus Cincinnati only sponsors five womens sports.

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yeh, I can easily see Iowa State as a Big Ten team. What with their rivalry with the Illini, Mizzou could fit in pretty well too. Rutgers, though? Rutgers in the Big Ten just seems like an experiment that would fail miserably.

anybody have a guess where the championship game would be held if it ever happened? Soldier Field? the Colts' digs? Ford Field? Lambeau?

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Outside of geography, there is no sense behind Notre Dame joining the Big Ten. The Big Ten needs Notre Dame; Notre Dame does not need the Big Ten. I'd put Syracuse down as a frontrunner here; three of their nonconference games this past season were against Big Ten teams. Clearly, there's an attempt to breed some familiarity.

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yeh, I can easily see Iowa State as a Big Ten team. What with their rivalry with the Illini, Mizzou could fit in pretty well too. Rutgers, though? Rutgers in the Big Ten just seems like an experiment that would fail miserably.

anybody have a guess where the championship game would be held if it ever happened? Soldier Field? the Colts' digs? Ford Field? Lambeau?

I'd want to see it played in a cold weather stadium like Lambeau, but they'd likely try to play it in the Colts' dome. It's pretty central and they've had the big ten tournament for basketball in indianapolis in years past.

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You cannot have it in Lambeau because teams would have to stay in Appleton and fans would have to stay too far from the city if you want to have a complete celebration weekend. It would be played at Lucas Oil or Ford Field.

If a Big XII team is taken, then I think the Big XII would either take in TCU or even try to get Arkansas. If a Big East school is taken, then probably C-USA will be raided.

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Outside of geography, there is no sense behind Notre Dame joining the Big Ten. The Big Ten needs Notre Dame; Notre Dame does not need the Big Ten. I'd put Syracuse down as a frontrunner here; three of their nonconference games this past season were against Big Ten teams. Clearly, there's an attempt to breed some familiarity.

1)I don't think the Big Ten NEEDS anybody 2)ND gives the Big Ten virtually nothing. They already have a presence in that state. Also, each B10 team makes more from the BTN than Notre Dame does from NBC.

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The Big Ten should just be the Big Ten.

Technically, Penn State is an East Coast School and has caused a geographic disparity within the Big Ten.

Penn State would be better off in the Big East. That means Marqeutte and DePaul would transfer to the Big 10

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The Wisconsin AD was just on the local radio and stressed that they would like a travel partner for Penn State and access to the east coast markets.

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The Big Ten should just be the Big Ten.

Technically, Penn State is an East Coast School and has caused a geographic disparity within the Big Ten.

Penn State would be better off in the Big East. That means Marqeutte and DePaul would transfer to the Big 10

Marquette and DePaul don't make sense. Neither school has a football team nor is strong enough academically to join the Big Ten. Marquette isn't in the Association of American Universities and DePaul is really a step below Big Ten schools academically.

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No matter who the 12th School is, I believe it will come out of the Big East

1) Nortre Dame (Long Shot)

2) Rutgers

3) UConn

4) Pitt

5) West Virginia

6) Syracuse (Long Shot, Boeheim does not want to leave the Big East)

Now if ND(basketball only) leaves. The Big East should pick up

1) Xavier

2) Dayton

3) Charlotte

4) UMass

5) St. Joseph's

If any of the other 5 (footballs/bastketball) leaves. The Big East should pick up

1) Memphis

2) UAB

3) Marshall

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I think it will come down to three schools

1. Notre Dame, presuming Comcast doesn't do an act of overt evil for the first time in their existence and pulls out of Notre Dame's TV deal.

2. Pitt-geography fits, reasonably strong academics, decent in the big money sports-unfortunately it would shut other Big Ten teams out of Pittsburgh-area recruiting and doesn't really add a market.

3. Missouri-decent athletics and academics, adds St. Louis and Kansas City as markets, and Mizzou is reportedly unhappy with the relative lack of revenue sharing in the Big XII and Texas' dominance of the Conference.

I would also posit to our realignment fiends that a North-South alignment with SEC-style scheduling is more likely and workable than an East-West alignment.

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Outside of geography, there is no sense behind Notre Dame joining the Big Ten. The Big Ten needs Notre Dame; Notre Dame does not need the Big Ten. I'd put Syracuse down as a frontrunner here; three of their nonconference games this past season were against Big Ten teams. Clearly, there's an attempt to breed some familiarity.

1)I don't think the Big Ten NEEDS anybody 2)ND gives the Big Ten virtually nothing. They already have a presence in that state. Also, each B10 team makes more from the BTN than Notre Dame does from NBC.

Notre Dame gives them Chicago more than Northwestern ever can.

To me Notre Dame has always made the most sense. Then Missouri then Iowa State.

However Pitt or the Cuse would be good to establish more eastern.

Wonder if they'd ever try and go south. I'd imagine Tennessee and Kentucky are off limits, but Louisville wouldn't be the worst.

Of course the only school out of any of those in the AAU is Syracuse or Pittsburgh...

As a Big Ten fan, I've always wanted to see this. Its somewhat annoying that whenever anyone wins the Big Ten, it always seems they never play one of the top teams that year, esspecially when Michigan and Ohio State ruled the big ten and a "lesser" team won, they typically didn't have one of those two on the schedule. This wouldn't always prevent that, but at least you'd never not play the "number 2" team because you'd play in a championship game.

Plus a Big Ten Championship game from Soldier Field would be awesome.

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