Posts Tagged ‘Big Ten’

Back Home: Big Ten Division Thoughts and Sweet Missouri Valley Conference Expansion

Posted by    |    April 2nd, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I’m finally back from a spring break vacation in Arizona (80 degrees for the White Sox spring training game that I attended last Wednesday compared to 30 degrees for Opening Day in Chicago yesterday), so let’s get a few updates since I haven’t posted in awhile:

(1) Big Ten Divisions – It appears that the Big Ten office is heeding the calls for the “Keep It Simple Stupid” approach of dividing the soon-to-be 14-team conference into East and West divisions, with Michigan State heading East with Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Maryland, the West having Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota and the only debate being where Indiana and Purdue will be placed.  IU-PU will then be the only protected cross-division rivalry.  Assuming that this comes true, my message to the Big Ten office is the following: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!


Revenge of the Ballers: Why Football Isn’t Everything in Conference Realignment

Posted by    |    March 4th, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Back in 2010 and 2011 when the Big 12 was under siege by the then-Pac-10, Big Ten and SEC and appeared to be on the verge of collapse, basketball blue blood Kansas was looking like it could left out of the power conference structure. Circumstances were so dire at that point that Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and other Big 12 schools without any realistic prospects of moving to another power league actually approached the Big East to join if the worst case scenario came to fruition. It was a scary thought to a lot of fans: if Kansas could be left behind, then football is truly all that matters and basketball must have virtually no value in conference realignment. The 10 points (out of a total of 100) that I assigned to “Basketball Brand Value” in the original Big Ten Expansion Index was looking like a massive overweighting of hoops back then.


Big Ten Expansion Lacrosse-Style, Potential Catholic 7 Fallout and the “Classic East” C7 Name Game

Posted by    |    February 7th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

It’s been a wacky week in sports: a power outage at the Super Bowl, moms stealing national letters of intent, a previously listless Illinois team taking down #1 Indiana (I-L-L!) and the Big Ten’s next expansion target appears to be… Johns Hopkins University.  Let’s get to some conference realignment talk:

(1) Big Ten Expansion and Johns Hopkins – In a somewhat surprising bit of news, the Big Ten is apparently targeting Johns Hopkins as an associate member for lacrosse.  Adding Johns Hopkins on top of Rutgers and Maryland would give the Big Ten the minimum number of teams for both men’s and women’s lacrosse (6) to garner an automatic NCAA Tournament bid.  This has brought up the question as to whether the Big Ten would consider other associate members, such as adding Notre Dame or Boston University for hockey or all of the Big West to improve baseball.  I don’t see that happening, though.  From my vantage point, Johns Hopkins is about as unique of a situation as it gets since (a) as noted, its addition is the difference between the Big


Divisions of Labor: Frank the Tank’s Big Ten Expansion Survey Responses and the Classic Music Video of the Week

Posted by    |    December 20th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Big Ten Map

I have been meaning to post my responses to the Big Ten Network’s conference expansion survey, but so much realignment news (such as the 7 Catholic schools in the Big East deciding to split off) has intervened that I’m only getting a chance to fill it out now.  Here are my thoughts:


If You’re Going to Create a Superconference, Then Do It Right: The Case for Florida State to the Big Ten

Posted by    |    December 7th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

The irony of writing a blog that’s largely known for being focused upon conference realignment and Big Ten expansion is that I’m personally not someone that has a preternatural need to see the kingdom of Jim Delany get larger and larger.  Back when I originally starting writing about the topic three years ago, I only really saw a necessity for the Big Ten to add 1 more school to create a conference championship game and wasn’t a large proponent of expanding to 14, 16 or beyond.  All of the superconference ideas with an emphasis on pods and market shares interest me greatly from a business perspective, but the number of potential expansion candidates out there that make me perk up as fan is pretty small.  If the Big Ten needed to go up to 16 to get marquee schools such as Texas or Notre Dame, then that would have been one thing, but expanding simply for the sake of market share can backfire in the long run.  Nebraska certainly qualified as a school that I’d go out of my way to actually watch play football, so I was content with the thought of the Big Ten staying at 12.  I completely understand the latest moves by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany to add Maryland and Rutgers to move the league up to 14 members as a way to stay ahead of the ever-changing demographics of this country, yet that’s largely the business side of my brain coming to that conclusion.