What If The Big Ten Can’t Get Stanford Or California?
As of now, the Big Ten Conference will have 18 members, starting next August. That's with the additions of Southern California, UCLA, Washington, and Oregon. Which you all know about at this point. Otherwise known as the death warrant for the Pac-12.
And it only makes logical sense to expand to 20 schools in time for the 2024-25 school year. That way you can go to two 10-team divisions for football (which will currently go away next year), and maybe lessen some of the travel concerns many Big Ten fans have with this massive expansion.
With last week's announcement that Washington and Oregon joining the B1G, speculation started as to if the conference was done expanding for now. Or if they want to get to 20 schools (or more), what schools do they go after?
The first schools mentioned are Stanford and California-Berkeley. But there are media reports that the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) might make a play for the west coast schools. So, what does the B1G do if they can't get Stanford or Cal? I see three options out there.
STAND PAT AT 18 SCHOOLS
This is highly unlikely, in my opinion. I just can't see the B1G being satisfied with 18 schools. It doesn't fit the brand of "10" within the league. I think they're going after two more schools.
GO AFTER ACC SCHOOLS - CLEMSON? NORTH CAROLINA? FLORIDA STATE?
This would really stick it to the Southeastern Conference if the Big Ten made a footprint in the South. Even though the SEC is better in football, they are still a very regional league. The Big Ten is way more national. Getting any of these three schools would make the SEC unhappy. Which is good for the Big Ten.
WHAT ABOUT GETTING WASHINGTON STATE AND OREGON STATE?
Neither of these schools are sexy options for the B1G. And it's probably a backup option if they can't get an ACC school. They aren't in big television markets. But bringing them in would keep the Washington-Washington State rivalry alive. The same for Oregon-Oregon State. And it would alleviate some travel concerns for everybody involved. There are a lot of worse options out there. I'd be OK with it. It would be a nice consolation prize for the B1G.
It is just incredible how these conferences and universities have sold their souls to the television networks and gobs and gobs of money. But at least they're not being hypocrites about it anymore. They've pretty much said that. Gone are the days of "What's best for the student-athlete", it's now "Which network can pay us the most money."
Oh, almost forgot one thing. What about Notre Dame? Stay tuned.