Big 10 … errr … 11 … errrr 15 … errr … 16?

Big news that has been speculated for awhile hit the ESPN newswire yesterday afternoon.  According to a radio affiliate in Kansas City, the Big 10 conference has extended offers for Missouri, Rutgers, Notre Dame, and Nebraska to join their conference.  If all schools say yes, it is also reported that the conference will extend an offer to one more school.

The Big Ten is a conference I have disliked forever.  For a group of institutions with such alleged high standards of academics, they can’t even count to 10 (they have 11 member schools currently).  Doesn’t this make them the Big 11?  And why do you want to add 4 schools to make 15 … just get it to 16, which is where you will need to be for any sort of competent divisions and scheduling of any of your sports teams which is why you are making this move in the first place.  But truth be told it is time for my beloved Huskers to make the move and stick it to the University of Texas on their way out the door.

Will it happen?  I hope so.  Texas has run the show, literally, since the Big 12 conference was formed, using their mightier than thou attitude and pushing through a variety of things that favor the University of Texas in particular, and not necessarily the other member schools.  If Nebraska and Missouri leave the Big 12, Colorado is reported already to being courted by the Pac 10 conference.  This would leave the “old” Big 12 high, dry and screwed.  They would either have to disband the conference entirely, or add some schools such as perhaps, Houston, TCU, and SMU?  Boy that makes up for losing the likes of Nebraska and Missouri on the national scene.

All of these schools should move as it would mean much much more revenue.  The Big 10 has its own television contract in place that covers EVERY football game played by every team in the conference.  Nebraska is the largest grossing pay per view college football team in the nation.  Although it is a very small state by population, it has a national following second to likely Notre Dame, who also is being discussed in the mix.  Missouri gains you the St Louis market, and Rutgers adds another East Coast team to bring even more TV sets into the game.  Notre Dame needs to join a conference anyway, and get away from NBC – the Notre Dame broadcasting network – who I am sure is really excited they have paid hundreds of millions of dollars the last 10 years to exclusively cover what has been a .500 ball club.  No patsies Golden Domers, you would have to play some good teams on your schedule.  No room for the service academies three weeks out of the year. 

The moves of these schools would shake up the college football landscape and send a few other schools scrambling and left holding the bag.  I sincerely hope it happens.

My only question is … would they have to change their name to THE Notre Dame?

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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