Posts Tagged ‘NCAA Football’

Should this most recent moves by the ACC and the PAC 12 force the hand of the B1G (new big ten logo) and the SEC I think the B1G needs to focus on picking up MIZZOU.  The article below shares most of my sentiment, but misses one key point. The University Of Missouri has the best journalism school in the country.  Many of the most famous reporters have graduated from their and having them all become B1G fans could be huge for TV coverage and sports writing coverage.


It feels like eons ago, but in May 2009, I wrote this:

If and when the Big Ten decides to expand, Missouri should be at the top of Delany’s list.

Keep in mind that back then, expansion wasn’t a front-burner issue for the Big Ten and its commissioner, Jim Delany. I reiterated in the post that Notre Dame remained the best realistic addition for the Big Ten (and still does to this day). Regarding Nebraska, the team that eventually joined the league, I expressed reservations about the Huskers’ ability to leave the Big 12.

[+] EnlargeJim Delany

AP Photo/Paul BeatyImportant decisions regarding expansion are on the horizon for Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

We all know what happened next. The landscape changed, and the Big Ten made the right call by adding Nebraska. Missouri remained in the Big 12 and came out looking bad after itsgovernor publicly advocated for the school to join the Big Ten. It wasn’t the right approach with the Big Ten, and Missouri took some heat.

Fast-forward to today, where Realignment Round 2 is upon us, and everyone in these parts wants to know what the Big Ten will do. While leagues like the Big Ten and SEC aren’t under the same pressure to react as, say, the Pac-12 and ACC, if the seismic shift is upon us, Delany will have to act.

The commish says he isn’t being proactive at the moment, reiterating that the Big Ten doesn’t need to be reactive to what others are doing.

Yet, if and when Delany does act, Notre Dame should be his top priority. And if the Big Ten adds multiple schools, Missouri should be part of the mix.

I’ve gone back and forth on Missouri, which certainly has some pluses but doesn’t move the needle nationally like some of its former and current Big 12 brethren. The Tigers wouldn’t be a home-run addition like Nebraska or Penn State, but they might be a ground-rule double.

If the Big Ten has to go to 16 teams — and trust me, this would be a reluctant expansion — Missouri brings more value than some other options being discussed.

A few reasons why:

Member of the American Association of Universities

Success in two major sports programs (football and men’s basketball)

Would have natural rivalries with Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska

Has upgraded its facilities, which are some of the best in the Big 12

Has presence both in the St. Louis and Kansas City markets. Should the Big Ten also add Kansas, also an AAU member, it would dominate both markets.
The Big Ten’s East Coast options seem limited after the ACC’s actions both to add teams and to protect itself by raising the exit fee for members. But none of the East Coast options are home runs. A Big Ten that includes both Notre Dame and Penn State is very relevant in New York City and other Eastern markets.

Missouri could be an SEC expansion target as well, but the school seems to be a better cultural fit in the Big Ten. Kansas might not be a bad option, either, as its AAU status and national powerhouse men’s basketball program are two big pluses. If the Big Ten adds both schools, it adds a terrific rivalry.

Again, Notre Dame should be the Big Ten’s top expansion priority if all the complex details of adding the Irish can be worked out. But if a multi-school expansion is on the horizon, and indications are it could be, Missouri should be part of the mix.


Nate Silver, a statistician known for his work on baseball and politics, took on a new challenge in The New York Times this week: figuring out which college football teams are the most popular in the country.

In this article, Silver extrapolates data from Google searches, TV markets and census information to come up with an estimate for the number of fans by team.

Interestingly enough, Silver’s study concludes that the three most popular teams in America all play in the Big Ten. Ohio State is No. 1 with more than 3.1 million fans, followed by Michigan with more than 2.9 million and Penn State at more than 2.6 million. Notre Dame is fourth and Texas is fifth. (Surprisingly, Texas A&M ranks sixth, ahead of every SEC team, which may help explain that conference’s interest in the Aggies).

Silver also lists the popularity of teams by conference. Here is his breakdown of the Big Ten (numbers on the left represent national ranking):

1. Ohio State: 3,167,263
2. Michigan: 2,921,066
3. Penn State: 2,642,275
12. Wisconsin: 1,441,955
15. Iowa: 1,273,954
18. Nebraska: 1,230,558
20. Michigan State: 1,145,819
27. Illinois: 965,087
28. Minnesota: 963,581
44. Indiana: 636,954
46. Purdue: 624,944
54. Northwestern: 514,540

“The Big Ten can afford to be picky,” Silver writes. “Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State are the three most popular college football teams in the country, according to our study. Seven Big Ten teams, including new addition Nebraska, rank in the top 20 nationally. And all but one Big Ten school is in the top 50, the lone exception being Northwestern, which has the Chicago market and strong academics going for it.

“The only plausible additions that would allow the Big Ten to improve upon its average of about 1.5 million fans per team are Notre Dame (2.3 million fans) and Texas (also 2.3 million). But good luck adding those schools.”

And here are some numbers for oft-mentioned Big Ten expansion candidates:

23. Missouri: 1,084,889
32. Rutgers: 937,874
40. Kansas: 768,002
47. Connecticut: 618,724

Silver acknowledges that these numbers are only estimates, but it gives you an idea of where teams stand — and which ones would bring the most attention and eyeballs in an expansion scenario.