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Beyond Maryland and Rutgers, which schools should the Big Ten add, if it should expand at all?

If your weekend isn’t as sports centric as many of us, you might have missed it. Otherwise, you’ve seen the news: It appears Maryland and Rutgers are on the verge of being part of Big Ten country.

In honor of this shift in geography, as I write, I’m drinking out of my University of Maryland coffee mug, a gift from my sister during her grad school days there.

As I wrote in Monday’s Lansing State Journal column, I don’t think this is it for expansion.

Believing at some point two more schools will be added, which should they be?

A couple criteria are probably important here:

  • TV market
  • Academic profile, meaning a large research institution
  • Athletic tradition
  • Geography

Maryland and Rutgers certainly meet the first two and, if you consider New Jersey and Maryland border other Big Ten states, the geography’s not too bad a stretch.

I’ve always thought Pittsburgh and Syracuse made a ton of sense, though both recently pledged to leave the Big East for the ACC.

Institutions such as Louisville and Oklahoma, which might carry some logic, don’t necessarily fit academically.

The University of Texas would be ideal, but you’d have to abandon geographic principle and strike a deal to merge the Longhorn Network with the Big Ten Network.

So, if you were running the Big Ten, which schools would you go after? And why?

Should the Big Ten even expand?

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11 Responses to Beyond Maryland and Rutgers, which schools should the Big Ten add, if it should expand at all?

  1. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    That’s a Tuffy. The best ones have been picked off already. SUNY for the NY market (do they even have a football team) ? Harvard (welcome back Tommy Anaker)? Yale? Army and Navy? Izzo would be able to get his patriotism fix twice a year. Virginia Tech? Virginia? Kentucky? Think of the hoops buzz! Texas would be great but not likely to happen. The N.E. Patriots to challenge the Columbus Urbans? The Indianapolis Colts so that state has one competitive team in the B1G? Both so we can have a Big 2 and little 14?

  2. avatar AAsparty says:

    no more expansion, 12 is enough, too much if you ask me, I don’t like the idea behind having “super” conferences anyway, and if they did expand, Texas and Oklahoma or any other Southwest school is a ridiculous idea….

  3. avatar Jake says:

    I would prefer no more expansion for the Big 10 beyond the current 12 members. If they were to further expand beyond Rutgers and MD I think Virginia and North Carolina make the most sense. If North Carolina won’t join I would focus on UConn in order to secure the Northeast.

  4. avatar wasabiGREEN says:

    i like the idea of north carolina and georgia tech. would the tar heals say good bye to duke and nc state? tech brings in another huge market in atlanta. too bad mizzou left last year. that would have been a huge get with 2 large cities in kansas city and st. louis. uva is a great academic school. and screw notre dame!

  5. avatar msu76 says:

    I don’t like it a bit. The Big Ten has always been made up of the contiguous states surrounding the Great Lakes. Nebraska was a stretch, but at least it borders Iowa. Maryland was a slave state, and New Jersey? Not Big Ten coountry, at all.

    By the way, my objections are solely based on sports. Both Rutgers & Maryland are solid academic institutions.

  6. avatar MLM89 says:

    All B1G schools are members of the Association of American Universities (except for Nebraska which left in 2011), so any additional schools would likely be members. Many don’t have high end athletic programs and I have a hard time seeing any schools west of the Rockies being invited. The targets appear to be schools that bring TV markets. The targets should be Georgia Tech and Florida.

  7. avatar NJ Rob says:

    I live in NJ, and Rutgers does not have a solid academic reputation. Similar to Minnesota on a national basis with a super weak campus. Without Maryland, we would not have added Rutgers. Having said that, I look forward to see more B1G games down the road, which is a HUGE reason to add these schools to our conference. Tons of alumni out here.

    Separately, nice work Graham. Some of these bloggers are real stooges and mistakenly think they matter.

  8. avatar shemp says:

    two more punching bags added to increase TV revenue and further water-down the conference, fabulous….

  9. avatar AtlSpartan says:

    I like the two choices and they will be more meaningful than many seem to think. The addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh would be great and make the Maryland/Rutgers move make more sense geographically. Louisville or Cincinnati could grow into it, but I don’t think either has the academic qualifications, however I don’t really have facts to back up that assessment.

    I don’t like expansion in that we loose some of the Big Ten history and heritage, much the way the nostalgic fan of the NHL misses the original 6 and cringes at the Phoenix Coyotes. Things change, and the slow money march towards the 4 super-conferences seems to continue….

    • avatar AAsparty says:

      Syracuse and Pitt I could see, but now Delaney’s talking about having the B1G championship game in NYC, and believe me, having spent 7 years living in Manhattan I can tell you that New Yorkers don’t give a rip about collegiate sports, never have, and if they think the $$$ is going to flow from this “untapped” market they’re in for a rude awakening….

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