There's a movie I watched a lot as a kid called Babar. It was based off of a TV show, although I just learned that five minutes ago. The one thing I remember most about that movie, other than the shot of the rhino army preparing to decimate the elephant city, is a song called The Committee. It exists nowhere on the internet except in languages I don't understand. Here is one of them:
That song is all I could think about during the non-news that swept the entire college football blogosphere into a frenzy this week. Jim Delany basically translated and rewrote the above youtube video into this press release that shouldn't have been blockquoted on any website anywhere:
Am I the only one actually reading what that says? If your boss told you he would "conduct a thorough evaluation" of the prospects of giving you a raise in the "next 12 to 18 months," would you punch him? If you asked a girl out and she gave the same answer, would you really run to a computer start blogging about it?
Because that's what happened. CQ did a run-through of teams we have evaluated on this site 1,000 times, mgoblog called this press release "Big Ten Expansion For Serious." Everyone from Dr. Saturday to the newest SBN generality BCS Evolution had something to say.
But if there weren't any legit fighters besides Notre Dame before that press release, why are there a handful of them now? The median Big Ten school ranks somewhere around 15 on the national list of revenue generating athletic departments (note: not just football). What that means, then, is someone needs to be above or right at 15 to not dramatically lower average revenue, with an offset being the $4-$5 million championship game.
But $4-$5 million is not a very big slice of the pie, not even close, and while the TV contract will get bigger with a 12th team, it will also get split 12 ways instead of 11, so the "you have to raise the average" mandate still stands.
But the thing is none of the schools being mentioned are anywhere close to 15th on the revenue list:
63rd Iowa State
And money aside: who on that list really excites you? There's a group here that is interested in Pitt, and that's fine, but probably not enough to overcome the ADs realizations that they (1) wouldn't add any new TV market to the conference, which matters as much as keeping up average revenue, and (2) would severely bring down average revenue.
And to go further, the general reaction out of 'Cuse to all of this is "heck no," Rutgers hinges on the NYC market that--even when successful on the field--they don't deliver, and Missouri is interested but can we get any more bland and boring no we can't.
Until I see a press release that actually has some news in it, I'm still not sure how anyone can seriously consider any Big Ten expansion strategy except Notre Dame or bust.
Update: As further proof that this whole thing is a media hog feeding, the Chicago Tribune, which isn't the Bleacher Report, is actually running an article citing unnamed "sources" that the Big Ten could grow to 14 teams, or 16 teams, or 150 teams.
Why? Because above mentioned double-secret source said: "Anything is possible." Why that statement needs to be off the record is baffling enough, but Teddy Greenstein, who wrote this nonsense, got no other quotes.
So someone he knows who may or may not be connected to anything gave a completely vague comment about leaving options open, in response to a press release that was a completely vague statement that something may or may not happen three years from now, and BAM: fill-in-the-blank headline writing that contains no constructive information whatsoever.