"Justin" posted some alleged insider info on Big Ten Expansion over on Frank the Tank's blog. In summary, he claims the Big ten will be expanding to 14 and the three institutions to receive invitations will be Notre Dame, Boston College and Rutgers. This is a major push east to capture the New Jersey, New York, and Boston markets. The idea is that adding BC will soften the transition for Notre Dame and establish a Catholic/Private ally within the CIC. In addition, this sort of expansion will add off-season value to the Big Ten Network by creating a top-tier hockey conference tied to the Big Ten brand.
Insider info or not, let's treat this as just another proposed expansion scenario. It would add two members of JoePa's much ballyhoo'd Eastern Conference, though both programs are small by Big Ten standards. The academics of the catholic schools are not poor, but definitely less focus on graduate programs and research compared to current Big Ten members. Rutgers is respectable, but behind schools like Pitt on graduate/research money. The proposal is certainly less seismic than Texas and A&M joining or giant 18 team conferences, but it's still stealing a team from the ACC and 1.5 teams from the Big East, so there would be some fallout.
- Is this a positive move academically?
- Is this a positive move for Football?
- Is this a positive move for Basketball?
- Is this a positive move for the conference image?
- Is this a positive move for Hockey?
- For the sport, for the Big Ten, or for Penn State?