Monday, May 15, 2017

Who Should The Big 10 Go After For Expansion Next?

            With Notre Dame thinking about going to the ACC for all sports, the topic of conference expansion is once again on the table. This will potentially lead to possibly the college football landscape evolving into a Power Four 'oligarchy' of sorts. These Power Four conferences (Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-12) will have control on many issues within the college football world and will have the winner of their respective conference championships be the representative of their conferences in the playoff. In other words, the Big 12 will be on the chopping block, which is unfortunate considering that there was once a time where Big 12 football reigned supreme in the college football world.
            Now, why do I bring Notre Dame up? The Fighting Irish have tried fighting to get into the Big 10 in the past. However, schools such as Michigan weren't having any of it, barring them from entering the conference. Thus, the legend of Notre Dame being independent in football is born. Anyways, expansion appears to be on the horizon and the Big Ten will need some new members. Here's who the Big 10 can go after in the Big 12 to go with the next wave of potential expansion.

Texas: The good thing about getting Texas into the Big 10 is that this would be a big-money move; the Big 10 would have markets in Chicago, Texas, Washington D.C., and New York. Wow. However, the Longhorns do have an albatross that is their network (Longhorn Network), so the Big 10 will have to either dissolve the network into the Big Ten Network or disband it altogether.
Iowa State: Iowa State would surprisingly be a good pick-up considering that they are Iowa's rival and their basketball programs (Men's and Women's) are decent. However, they have a mediocre football program and it be almost anonymous of an expansion considering how unknown the Cyclones are.
Kansas: This would be a HUGE pick-up for the Big 10 regarding college basketball in the men's field. It would make the Big 10 as competitive and tough as the ACC is right now. You'd bring in Kansas State, which isn't a bad college for sports, either. But like Iowa State, their football team stinks.
Oklahoma: Right now, the Big 10 is a better football conference than the SEC (Yes, you read that right). The SEC only has Alabama and a bunch of ranked also-rans in their conference. The Big Ten has a loaded Big Ten East with Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. They also have Wisconsin to boot. Imagine how lethal the Big Ten would be with the Sooners in their conference for football. Adding Oklahoma State wouldn't be bad, either. Plus, Nebraska gets to rekindle an old rivalry with the Sooners.
Baylor: While Baylor is a hot program for sports right now, there is great turmoil in picking up Baylor considering the sexual assault hullabaloo that's going on right now. The Big Ten should probably steer away from this idea.
Texas Tech: If you asked me if the Big Ten should add the Red Raiders to their conference about a decade ago, I probably would've said that that wouldn't be a bad idea. However, Texas Tech has become average at best in the sports field (At least for the moneymaker sports). This would be the safe option for the Big Ten and probably the most average expansion candidate.
West Virginia: Don't sleep on the Mountaineers as an expansion candidate. With some solid programs and proximity near Columbus, Happy Valley, Maryland, and New Jersey, West Virginia wouldn't be a bad choice for expansion for the Big Ten.
TCU: The Horned Frogs would add the Dallas market to the Big Ten, which would make the Big Ten plenty of money and expand their market. The Big Ten should hope that TCU doesn't turn out like Rutgers and fall out into the abyss, though.

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