With USC and UCLA set to join the conference, discussions have swirled about additional potential additions to the Big Ten. Some say that the conference should stand pat at 16 members, but I say those people are wrong. So, let’s talk some additional members, and see how weird we can get.
Option 1 - The Obvious Ones
Let’s start with some fairly obvious teams that the B1G could add:
- Notre Dame
- North Carolina
Notre Dame is the first, and likely most important domino that will have to fall. Assuming the Irish are in, let’s consider some of the more typical schools that the B1G typically considers: schools that are members of the AAU, and are contiguous to the current Big Ten footprint (yes, I know USC and UCLA aren’t contiguous, shush).
The above option snags Kansas from the flagging Big 12, and continues to bolster the hoops with UVA an UNC. Would UVA leave Virginia Tech behind? Would UNC leave Duke behind? Do athletic departments like making money?
Option 2 - West Coast Best Coast
- Notre Dame
So USC and UCLA are on board, and it appears the Pac-12 is suddenly struggling for air. In the cutthroat era of college football, the B1G could honor its long-time ally and throw it a life saver, or push their head under the water. In addition to the SoCal teams, the Big Ten could bring along three additional left coast teams, providing Notre Dame with one of its historical rivals.
Option 3 - The Tecumseh Sherman Special
- Georgia Tech
Just like the legendary Civil War general, the Big Ten chooses violence and burns a swath through the south. They first push from Champaign into Columbia, MO, where they encounter minimal resistance. An unexpected incursion across the Mississippi River sees the invaders just outside Nashville, which waves the white flag not long thereafter. Not satisfied, the B1G carves a path through the Great Smoky Mountains, besieging Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets turn yellow-bellied, and sights are set on the Atlantic. SEC-ers flee before the advancing onslaught, until finally Gainesville is felled. The Big Ten flag is planted deep in the heart of SEC country, and the southerners all acknowledge that northern football is superior brand.
What do you think? What teams will the B1G target when the inevitable expansion continues?