May 17, 2010

What schools belong in the Big 10?

Wisconsin lawprof Walter Dickey says: "There is a strong feeling of Midwestern values and culture that is a part of the conference." Would that apply to Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Texas, Rutgers and Syracuse — schools rumored to be in the running?

I love the Midwestern chauvinism. Reminds me of Bob Dylan:
Oh my name it is nothin’
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest

I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that the land that I live in
Has God on its side

34 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

I grew up in PAC-8 country (now 10). Used to love the Rose Bowl. We'd bring those top ranked farm boys out, give them drink, weed, way Rose Princesses in front of them, then on New Years Morning, we'd show them the forward pass.

They never saw it coming.

Back on the question?

Nebraska or ND

The Drill SGT said...

wave

MadisonMan said...

I would say Nebraska. None of the others.

rcocean said...

I'd think Nebraska and Kansas would be automatic selections. ND is more of a national college. Missouri is really a border state - like Oklahoma and Kentucky.

And Texas in the big 10 - crazy talk.

Class factotum said...

Not only is the Big 10 not big enough for Texas, but the SWC should be re-created, says the person who went to Rice and UT.

tim maguire said...

I would say Notre Dame. None of the others, though Rutgers will probably get it to bring a piece of the east coast TV market their way.

As for Dylan, that's just stupid. The US has a number of regions, each has an identity and each is aware of its identity. Dylan probably lived in NYC when he wrote that "flyover land" garbage.

avwh said...

Nebraska & Missouri, yes. Notre Dame would by geographic location, but it's been a program unto itself for so long in football (with its own TV contract), and as a "national Catholic school", so no.

Texas fits not by geography, but by academic culture: it's a huge research university, top state school, good academics.

The rest, no.

MayBee said...

Not Nebraska. It's too far west, has too much of a western sensibility. Like Oklahoma.
ND an obvious choice, as it already plays at least 2 Big 10 teams every season.
New Jersey doesn't count as a Midwestern state, but Rutgers seems like it has a midwestern sensibility.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Texas?

Anthony said...

I suppose you have to differentiate what is likely from what would be a good fit.

ND would be a natural fit, but I think they're still too fixated on the past to go for it. I guess we'll see what Kelly does with them, but I think their days as an independent title contender are long past.

I kinda doubt Nebraska would leave the Big 12 because it's got higher-caliber competition nationally and they fit in with the Oklahoma-Texas-Nebraska triad which have traditionally been powerhouses.

I'm not sure how the others would work out since I don't follow the Big East all that closely. Pitt seems to me to be the likeliest and they fit the regional and academic pattern. Otherwise, I've always thought Iowa State to be the better fit, but that wouldn't add any TV audience, I don't think.

David said...

Those Pittsburghers are the scum of the earth. No values whatsoever. Sure they drink lots of beer, eat cheese and pig meat, get fat and obsess over football. But they do it with no class, no class at all.

Don't even get me started on Syracuse.

Meade said...

If I were king of the Big 10, I would say, "Look, unless you're a school from a state that produces at least four hundred million bushels of corn, don't even waste my time applying."

garage mahal said...

ND? GAG.

garage mahal said...

"There is a strong feeling of Midwestern values and culture that is a part of the conference.

Take Miss USA. Born and bred in the Midwest. Beautiful, well grounded, and wholesome. Unlike that wench from OK.

The Real Barack said...

I'd recommend there be just 10 teams, mostly Midwestern teams in it.

Alan said...

You won't get Texas to join without taking Texas A&M. Any "raiding" conference would have to take both if they wished to "lock up" the Texas media markets.

A&M would fit, though--7th largest university in the US (5th largest undergraduate enrollment), a major research institution (in the top 20 in the US, in terms of dollars granted), plus I'd say your "midwestern values and culture" are better represented by A&M than by Texas.

Tibore said...

If Notre Dame ends up caving and joining the Big 10, I'll fall over in shock. And then I'd get the hell out of the way of their rampaging fans. Because if they joined, I could see whole legions of fans going ape over this.

Irish fans are well indoctrinated in the concept of being an independent school that's beholden to no conference. They accepted conference affiliation for basketball, but that's not the crown jewel sport to them that football is. Mess with that and you'll get an angry horde. It'd be like the Visigoths invaded, but wearing blue and gold and driving RVs instead.

Original Mike said...

I don't even think Penn State belongs, but that train has left the station.

E.M. Davis said...

"Nebraska & Missouri, yes. Notre Dame would by geographic location, but it's been a program unto itself for so long in football (with its own TV contract), and as a "national Catholic school", so no."

Any yet Notre Dame risks near total irrelevance if it adheres to it's 'independent' status. Frankly, it needs a conference more than a conference needs Notre Dame.

Original Mike said...

If Notre Dame joined, my brother would be in heaven. Though it would be really interesting going to the Wisconsin/Notre Dame game at Camp Randall. His head might explode.

Original Mike said...

If Nebraska joined, I could trot out my "The N on the Nebraska helmet stands for knowledge" joke.

AllenS said...

Right now, there are 11 teams in the Big Ten. That's enough. It's like a full ten. A bakers dozen.

mccullough said...

Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Nebraska.

You get 2 decent basketball programs and the three football teams balance out the wretchedness that is Indiana football.

Bruce Hayden said...

Something wrong with me here. I can't quite figure out why I should care.

Back when I was little, we would go to Colorado and Air Force games. But, then I went away to a college that is probably Division 13 or so. But more importantly, I knew some kids who went to big universities to play Division I sports, and was appalled that it was considered college sports.

The athletes were going to school in name only. One friend from high school had been almost a straight A student back then, despite missing half the year to participate in his sport. They put him in a business major, selected all his classes, and then gave the athletes the actual tests a couple days before they were given.

I found it humorous that so many were worried about this school or that not measuring up academically, when academics are essentially irrelevant when it comes to Division One football players.

Sorry to be cynical here.

HDHouse said...

Michigan State, perhaps UofM, one or two others.

Big Mike said...

I thought it was bad enough when when the Big Ten actually numbered eleven universities. Now they want to go to fourteen?

D.D. Driver said...

"Missouri is really a border state - like Oklahoma and Kentucky."

Although I have met a lot Missourians that consider themselves "Midwesterners," Missouri is in the South.

Its a bright line rule: states that allowed slavery in the mid-1800s are in the South. Simple as that. Go re-read Huck Finn and tell me it is set in the "Midwest."

As to Big 10 expansion, Iowa State is the most obvious addition, but Nebraska would be cool.

Pete the Streak said...

Bruce, you are absolutely wrong in dismissing academics as crucial in any potential Big Televen expansion.

For those remotely interested, here's an excellent analysis of said expansion, with the ultimate get being....

http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/the-big-ten-expansion-index-a-different-shade-of-orange/

Mr. D said...

It's gonna happen and it's probably going to be 16 teams when it's all over.

I don't see what Nebraska offers at all. If you're going to get schools out of the Big XII, you get the package deal of Missouri and Kansas, which are strong enough schools academically.

To the East, I'd guess Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse. All AAU, all pretty well regarded. A darkhorse might be Maryland.

Tibore said...

"... the wretchedness that is Indiana football."

HEY!!! THAT'S...

... unfortunately all too true (*sobs*)... <:-(

traditionalguy said...

And what ever happened to Slippery Rock State Teachers College? Todays college scores are not as interesting as they used to be. The Big Ten is more interesting now without trying to dilute their brand by adding Notre Dame and Nebraska.

c3 said...

Whomever can bring in the most TV revenue.

(you don't really buy that Midwestern crap, do you?)

tim maguire said...

One problem the Big 10 has is that it winds up it's season in November. By the time bowl season rolls around, they haven't played in a month and usually under perform from rust.

The benefit of adding 1 or 3 teams is they can split into divisions, add a championship game (money!) and send their top two teams to bowl games still sharp.

I still say Rutgers will get it for their access to NY-NJ television audiences, but culturally, Notre Dame is the best fit. Its independent status has become a millstone around its neck and it would be stupid to not join a conference.

Original Mike said...

"One problem the Big 10 has is that it winds up it's season in November. By the time bowl season rolls around, they haven't played in a month and usually under perform from rust."

I thought it was the drink, weed, and Rose Princesses.