Big Ten Expansion – Texas Will Eventually Move to the Big Ten

by Kent Sterling

Texas needs to slide to the Big Ten or it's going to get stuck by it's own horns.

Texas needs to slide to the Big Ten or it’s going to get stuck by it’s own horns.

Physics is impossible to resist, and consistent gravity drawing the University of Texas to the Big Ten.  Commissioner Jim Delany will announce the expansion of the conference to 16 teams within the next three years, and Texas will be the 15th member.

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What will happen eventually is that four conferences will amass 16 members each, abandon their NCAA membership, and form their own oversight organization that will allow them to self-govern in ways that suit them.

For the same group to enforce rules to regulate the athletic endeavors of operators as disparate as Alabama and Loyola of Chicago is lunacy.  Just as nature abhors a vacuum, human beings demand logic.  Logic requires that members of the SEC and Horizon League use separate business models and a much different legislative body to separate right from wrong.

The race for the Pac 12, SEC, Big Ten, and ACC to reach 16 members each will run through Texas, and the Big Ten is the partner that fits best because it’s the conference that is the most profitable.  The SEC is a superior brand, but when Texas A&M joined, Texas was effectively locked out.

Because Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina have bonded to form an alliance to exert state exclusivity against Georgia Tech, Florida State, Louisville, and Clemson.  Texas A&M will join that club to block Texas.

Texas is currently a member of the Big 12, which continues to degrade under the weight of the deal designed to save the conference that allowed Texas to form the Longhorn Network.  By allowing Texas to isolate itself in branding and ability to generate the cash available through subscriptions to the network, the Big 12 saved itself for the short-term, but signed its own death warrant.  The choice was Texas leaves the Big 12 and the conference collapses immediately, or allow Texas to print its own money and alienate the schools that it could lose but not die.

So Missouri, Texas A&M, and Colorado joined Nebraska in vacating the Big 12, and several of the other schools would bail if a superior option existed.

The game for the conferences is in gathering TV markets, and the monster in the realignment is Texas because the brand for the Longhorns is statewide, and that state has the fifth largest market (Dallas), #10 (Houston), #37 (San Antonio), #49 (Austin), and #94 (Waco).  That level of tonnage demands attention, and the Big Ten would become the unquestioned kings by coming to agreement with Texas.

Rutgers gives the Big Ten New York, and Maryland adds Washington DC and Baltimore.  Bringing Texas in would lock up 11 of the top 26 markets, including five of the top 10.

The motivation for Texas to leave the Big 12 is to maximize its negotiating position before the rest of the conference’s important members leaves.  Waiting until Oklahoma and Oklahoma State bounce to the Pac 12 would change the dynamic entirely.  Texas would move immediately from buyer to seller, and they would run the risk of being the tallest midget along with Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State, and the other bottom feeders among those that might not be invited to play with the big boys when the final deal goes down.

Gravity demands Texas join either the Big Ten or SEC, and A&M, by jumping first, is now in the position to make the Big Ten the only viable option for what was formerly one of the biggest fish in the pond.

That pond is shrinking, and so is the fish.  The sooner Texas acts, the better.

57 thoughts on “Big Ten Expansion – Texas Will Eventually Move to the Big Ten

  1. August

    This article is nothing but fluff of a scared Longhorns fan. The fact is no one but the big ten wants them. If anyone was to leave, It’s Oklahoma and Texas Tech! The horn nation is freaking out because A&M has swung the momentum in a huge favor to them in not only recruiting but prestige of who they will be playing where pretty much every team is always tough where compared to the horns playing Baylor, TCU, Iowa St. …etc…that is the reality of where the horns are at. And there is nothing they can do about it except say stupid things like this in this article. The horn fans are going be very frustrated sooner than later as they watch TAMU get the high end treatment. The writer of this page is obviously a frustrated fan but probably scared as well. The reality is The Big Ten wants to expand yes. But they want Texas Tech if they go into Texas from what the buzz seems to be. They are the ones that have been talking to the big ten and would probably go with the Oklahoma Sooners to the big ten. Now how would the grant of rights deal be involved with this is anyone’s guess. It seems as of late anyone can leave a conference if you can get some lawyers to the table.

    1. Maroon Baboon

      No one wants Texas Tech. They aren’t going anywhere. And as legendary as Oklahoma is, I’m not sure they are highly coveted by any of the Big 3 either (unless Texas comes along of course).

    2. smarter than box of august

      I’m not sure which is the more moronic comment…
      saying the Big 10 wants Tech if they go into Texas
      listing Baylor, TCU and Iowas St. as poor teams in the Big 12 and omitting A&M whose best result in its last 5 years in the conference was a tie for 5th place!!!

      Congrats on your great first season in the SEC and your 5th place tie…the more things change, the more they stay the same.

      1. Fact checker

        Actually A&M won the South in 2009. They were at least the 3rd best team that year, and they beat the other two teams head to head! I know you can’t wrap your head around facts but A&M is historically a much better program than the bottom dwellers in the Big 12, there’s no reason to associate them unless you are biased. And A&M finished the year ranked 5th in the polls with only UGA and Alabama ranked ahead of them from the SEC. Most pundits said A&M was clearly better than Stanford and ND by the end of the year as well, so A&M was really only behind Alabama and Oregon at the end. Calling it a 5th place tie is disingenuous.

        A&M also won the big 12 south 2 more times as well the conference championship one time. No doubt they fell behind because of bad coaching hires, but that looks to have changed with Sumlin. Fact remains they are a top 20 program all time and probably in the MNC hunt this year, with a great chance to win it all.

        Meanwhile, Tech, Baylor, and TCU are nobodies that will never do anything of note. And The Longhorns are withering away with those guys (and the rest of the conference) bleeding them dry.

        1. Is this a joke?

          In 2009, A&M lost to Arkansas (19-49), Okie State (31-36), K-State (14-62), Colorado (34-35), OU (10-65), and Texas (39-49) to finish the regular season with 6 wins, 6 losses, and a 3-5 mark in Big 12 play. And then they went on to get blown out by Georgia, 20-44, to finish the season 6-7.

          Yeah, you definitely won the B12 South in 2009, the year Texas played ‘Bama for an MNC.


    3. Jb

      Yeah right “every team is always tough”. The bottom of the SEC is recently even more horrible than usual. The bottom SEC teams had exactly zero wins against the top teams in 2012. The second worst big 12 team could beat 4 or 5 SEC teams. Baylor TCU and Iowa State are all better than the likes of auburn, arkansas, tennessee, missouri, etc.. The Sec is the most uneven league of them all.

  2. Justin

    The Big Ten will not take Oklahoma or Texas Tech. Where are you getting that from? The only school that can come from Texas is Texas. Schools that do not have an AAU membership won’t be accepted into the B1G, except for Notre Dame.

      1. kentsterling Post author

        Nebraska was an AAU member when invited. They lost that status just less than two years ago. The Big Ten was hardly going to expel them.

        1. August

          Agreed…I am convinced they did not need the AAU to enter in anyway. The Big Ten would have let them in anyway.

  3. Not going to happen

    First of all Texas is not going anywhere. If they wanted to go to the ACC or Big 10 they would have last year, but instead they decided their best interest was in the Big 12. Second of all because of the Big 12’s GOR the ACC is the one the Big 10 is targeting because if they show a weakness in the Big 12’s GOR that makes their GOR weaker, plus if they break up the ACC it makes it easier to get Notre Dame to join. The real buzz is that Florida State (even though they are not a AAU member) is 1 vote away from heading to the Big 10 and the 16th will probably be Notre Dame. The ACC is going to be done for after that and the Big 12 will take at least 2 teams (probably Miami and Clemson) to get back to 12. Texas is in the Big 12 for the long haul because they do not want to have to travel far, they want their own network, and they want to be the top dog in their conference so the Big 12 is their best option. BTW K-State is not a bottom feeder. If anyone in Kansas is a bottom feeder it’s KU. I don’t believe they have won a conference game in like 3 years or close to it while K-State has constantly been on the top half of the Big 12 for the last 20 year with the exception of a few off years.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      My bottom feeder comment regarding K-State is not directed at the quality of its programs but its media footprint. A least KU has Kansas City and a large alumni base in large markets like Chicago.

      The ACC is going to remain the ACC, and the Big 12 will be abandoned.

      Unless it’s Notre Dame, the Big Ten will never admit a non-AAU school.

      1. Not going to happen

        I understand the perception is that KU owns the Kansas City market but K-State is only an hour and 45 minutes away and pretty much splits the fan base in Kansas City. I think they’ll bend their rules for Florida State because it is a quality program and it gets them into the Florida Market. Like you said tv sets are the driver here, and I think Florida State will put a plan together to gain AAU membership.

        1. Who?

          Who the hell is Kent Sterling? This is a terrible article, Texas can’t just up and leave to get out of the Big 12. First of all, they are tied down with the Grant of Rights. Second of all, there are some politicians from Waco and Lubbock who would have some serious issues with this happening. Third of all, Texas is happy in the Big 12, they like being the big fish in their pond. The ACC reminds me of the Big East. They have 3 schools that care about football, and then they have a bunch of basketball schools. That will cause further rifts in the league.

          1. kentsterling Post author

            Kent Sterling is the guy with the answers. That’s who Kent Sterling is, Mr. Snyder! GORs are a starting point to negotiate an exit fee and nothing more. Texas will not like being a smaller fish in a very small pond.

            Politicians in Lubbock and Waco, like all politicians tend to be very cooperative when given a good reason to be. It’s amazing how things happen when politicians are properly motivated.

          2. Not going to happen

            Kent- I’m sorry but you obviously have some sort of ACC bias. You also seem to have no clue whats going on with Texas or what is best for Texas. Sure it would be good for the ACC if Texas left the Big 12. Thats just not going to happen though and you have no evidence to back it up. You think a 50 million exit fee is better than a GOR? just wondering why you down play a GOR yet you fail to apply that bogus logic to a measly 50 million dollar exit fee that will probably actually be closer to 20 once this court case is over and will be the end of the ACC as we know it. Texas will keep the Big 12 intact because they value it more anything any other conference has to offer. You are delusional if you think any conference Texas is in will be considered weak of will be left out. The Big 12 is here to stay buddy. Maybe next time you can include some sources or anything at all that supports your wacky ideas.

  4. JHAWK10

    This article is rediculous. The ACC will be broken up far sooner than the B12. The ACC is a weaker football confrence than the B12 and the SEC and B10 will get the regional match ups they want (northern ACC teams to B10, southern ACC teams to SEC). B12 will absorb whats left of ACC and the 4 superconferences will more than likely go to 18 teams with each having two seperate 9 team divisions.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      The ACC isn’t bleeding teams – the Big 12 is. The Big 12 will not survive the uneven playing field caused by the Longhorn Network. Minus Texas, the conference has a comparatively minuscule population footprint, and that will accelerate its demise.

      The game is all about aggregating eyeballs, and the money they generate. The Big 12, minus Texas, serves media markets that are tiny.

      1. Not going to happen

        However Notre Dame not joining fully in football is an “even playing field?” I don’t see how you can say the ACC is anymore stable when their own schools wont even sign a GOR. Yes the Big 12 does not have as big of a foot print. They have Texas which keeps them alive and Texas University knows that. Texas knows whatever happens to the future of college football, the conference they are in will be involved. I would also like to point out that there are three major conferences sharing the east coast which the SEC and the Big 10 do not like at all.

  5. It's All Good

    “B12’s GOR”… WHAT a joke! A GOR is nothing more than an exit fee. And exit fees can be negotiated. ANYONE who thinks otherwise is either ignorant or naive! Those who believe the B12 will survive are fans that are running scared because they know when Texas leaves, they’re screwed! That’s why KU, K-State, Iowa State, and Missouri were in contact with the Big East (of all conferences) the last time Texas flirted with the Pac-12. Those schools know they have nothing of value compared to Texas.

    1. Not going to happen

      No reason to be scared because Texas won’t budge. Fans of the ACC like to try to convince everyone that they will so they can sleep better at night. If Texas wanted to leave they would have last year. Yes, they thought about it but after looking around they saw that the Big 12 is what was best for them. Yes KU and K-State were talking to the Big East but that was before Texas held the conference together by signing the GOR. Why wont the ACC sign one? Oh because nobody wants to stay in that basketball conference. The fact is the Big 12 is stable for at least 13 years while the ACC may have 5 years left before they are the Big East 2.0

  6. David

    Here’s Texas’ problem in each of the major conferences in terms of where they could land:

    PAC 12 – As long as the Longhorn Network exists, the PAC 12 will not accept them. To roll up the Longhorn Network into a regional PAC “16” network sounds good…until you realize that News Corp. (FOX) owns the PAC 12 network. Neither Disney (ABC/ESPN) nor News Corp (FOX) would cede control of one of their networks to a direct competitor. Shut down the Longhorn Network, and a “Texoma 4” addition becomes more feasible…but the consequences would harm those four schools as their exposure would be reduced compared to A&M in the SEC.

    ACC – Texas would literally be the ONLY school in the conference not in the eastern time zone. (South Bend and Louisville are both EST) Their influence would be diminished compared to that of the Triangle and Triad cabal (NC schools) and would be just another school playing “little brother” to its SEC counterpart.

    B1G – The most likely school the B1G would take from the Big 12 at this point would be Kansas. They are an AAU school, they deliver the Kansas City Market (Lawrence is in the KC Metro area), and as previously mentioned they have a significant alumni base in Chicago and St. Louis.

    SEC – Not happening. The “Gang of Four” is now the “Gang of Five”, Missouri would immediately vote no, and you have to have 75% or more of the members vote yes to add a school. That means 4 “no” votes is all it would take. There are already six.

  7. ComplexOne

    I would agree on a number of your points, but not all. The Texas A&M move to the SEC has changed the dynamic. It is no longer Texas versus Texas Universities, but Texas (via A&M) versus Louisiana, Arkansas, & nearby states and with much the same culture. Texas still has a rivalry with Oklahoma, but who else? Just intrastate games with Baylor and TCU, not a big deal outside the borders of Texas.

    I don’t believe Texas would become a member of the Big Ten. It is pretty apparent that the Big Ten focus is on Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech because the Big Ten would not be setting up an office in the east to supplement the one in Chicago.

    It has been my speculation that if UTx is unable to participate in the new BCS because of SOS issues, caused by the conference schedule, it would seek new membership. The two gems of the current Big 12 are Texas and Oklahoma. The PAC 12 already made one foray and given the opportunity they would welcome both.

  8. Maroon Baboon

    There will NOT be a 4×16 breakaway scenario. If Texas goes to the B1G, the Pac12 will stay at 12. In fact, some conferences are likely to go beyond 16. If the B1G was smart, they’d offer a bunch of ACC teams en bloc and make an eastern division with PSU/Maryland/Rutgers, and let the old Big10 and Nebraska be in the western division. The SEC could do the same thing (and keep the old SEC 10 together). But this would be harder for the SEC to do because I don’t think they are interested in Yankee schools and as you said, UF, UK, UGa, USCe, and A&M would block four quality candidates.

    Moreover, it is possible that BOTH the ACC and the BigXII could break up, giving us 3 superconferences.

    Also, you are presupposing that there is coordination between the conferences on getting to this 4×16 scenario. If there is anything that we can take from the recent expansion history, it’s that this is not the case. This is about conferences and their members making money, period.

  9. rtXC1

    You are mistaken, Kent.

    Sure, on the surface, the ACC seems stable, but wait until Maryland wins its lawsuit. Then, the Big Ten will move full sail to either 16, 18, or 20, with or without Notre Dame. Once it gets to 16 with UVA, UNC, and/or GT, the SEC & Big 12 will join in by also raiding the ACC.

    The Big 12 is likely to get to 16 by taking FSU, Clemson, Miami, Louisvile, Cincy, & Pitt (though ND, GT, VT, NCSU will be initial targets). But if it doesn’t?

    The only way that the Big 12 breaks up is if the Big Ten AND SEC go to 18+. I can realistically see the Big Ten grabbing UVA, UNC, GT, & ND/Duke/BC to get to 18. The SEC would bring in VT & NCSU, but could also be interested in Pitt & Cincy to add value to the SEC Network. The Big 12 could then be moved to break up, with the 6 Texas & OK schools joining the Pac-12, WVU and possibly KSU joining the SEC, and ISU & KU either joining the Pac-12 or Big Ten. However, this is highly unlikely & not very feasible for the schools.

    The Big Ten could easily go to 20 by raiding the ACC. UVA, UNC, & GT are locks. ND, Mizzou, and Vandy are obvious targets. I believe ND could be scared into joining a conference (for the fear of being left out) if the ACC starts crumbling & loses its “Power 5” status. Mizzou has always looked towards the Big Ten (and started this realignment mess by doing so), so an invite would almost guarantee a move by this school. Vandy is less likely, but would still have to take a serious look. Would it want to make more money in the weaker Big Ten, possibly in an easier “East” or “South” division, or a little less and stay put? If UMD, UVA, UNC, GT, and Vandy made up said division, it’d be hard to turn down. Backup options could include BC, Syracuse, FSU, & Miami.

    With the Big Ten’s 4 divisions looking like this,
    West- NU, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minn, *Mizzou
    Central- Illinois, NW, Indiana, Purdue, *ND
    Midwest- Mich, MSU, tOSU, Rutgers, PSU/*BC
    East- UMD, *UVA, *UNC, *GT, *Vandy/PSU
    Obviously, in football, ND would have it easy and Penn St would rather join the 4 new schools, but it still makes a lot of sense.

    The SEC would either need to change its stance on schools in current SEC markets or add smaller-but-growing schools that would expand the SEC brand if it wanted more than 14 or 15 schools. For the first, FSU, Clemson, Miami, Louisville, and even SMU would be make good additions. For the second, Pitt, Cincy, and, if the Big 12 & Pac-12 merged, WVU & KSU/ISU would be the only options. Moreover, I believe the SEC would stick at 14, adding NCSU & VT to the East, which would still allow the Big 12 to stay alive.

    At the end of the day, Texas is making too much money to even want to leave the Big 12. If the ACC gets raided and kicked out of the “Power 5,” the Big 12 will be bringing in even more money and Texas will still be make $35M+/year solely from tv rights. I’d give Texas a <1% chance of leaving the Big 12 in the next 10 years.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      You have some wacky theories for a person who claims I’m wrong.

      If the Big Ten had any interest in Mizzou, they would be in the conference today. Not at all sure what the Big Ten would gain through inviting Georgia Tech. Atlanta is a big market, but that is an SEC town, and Georgia is the favorite there.

      There will be four 16-team conferences, and the Big 12 will not be one of them. The only decisions for Texas are where and when. If was settled the day the Longhorn Network signed on.

      1. rtXC1

        You are still failing to grasp the concept here.

        The Big Ten is pushing towards more of a southeastern presence for tv markets and recruting; UVA, UNC, and GT each fulfill those needs. GT actually seems like the safest bet at this point, with UVA a close second. UNC is attractive, but its potential desire to stick with Duke could cause problems.

        The SEC wants to grab more tv markets; VT and NCSU allow the network access on those states’ cable/satelite networks.

        Those are the most likely scenarios. If they do happen, then what is left is a 10-team Big 12 & a 10-team ACC (in addition to ND).

        With some of the best ACC schools & tv markets gone, do you really think FSU will stay in the Football Hell that is the ACC? They absolutely will not, and will pressure the Big 12 to send an invitation (if it hasn’t already done so). With FSU comes Clemson, Miami, Louisville, and GT (if available). The Big 12 could stay at 14, using 2 divisions, but it would actually be more feasible to add 2 more and go to 4 divisions.
        The biggest Wild Card is Notre Dame. If the ACC starts falling apart & the 4 16-team conferences looks near, do you truly believe ND will put itself in a situation to be left out? Not likely, so the Pac-12, Big 12, & Big Ten will all be courting ND.

        IF the Big Ten does add ND (now at 17 schools), it will need to expand again. It could add a school in the east and go to two 9-team divisions, OR add 2 schools and move towards four 5-team divisions. Mizzou, with the KC & STL markets is a slam dunk (and the only reason Mizzou isn’t on the current radar is bc the Big Ten is currently looking east) and would get the invite. Another eastern team would get the conference fully expanded. If the Big Ten doesn’t land ND, then Mizzou will stay in the SEC.
        Your logic is still flawed bc moving to 16 isn’t inevitable for all conferences. Unless the Pac-12 lands ND (and subsequently 1-3 others, starting with BYU), it likely won’t expand just to stay with the status quo. BYU & MW schools are all that remain, and no one school is a homerun besides the Cougars (BSU has terrible academics, other CALI schools provide little extra revenue, Hawaii is a great place to recruit but they don’t want those recruits staying home, UNLV & UNM provide new markets & great BB but lack excellent academics. UNLV & UNM are the best 2 candidates of the bunch). Without landing at least 4 SW schools, the Pac-12 is necessarily going to expand.
        The 3rd optiion for ND would be to join the Big 12 (at 16 schools). From 1st & 2nd tier tv rights & CCG money, ND would bring in $22M/year. The Big 12 could either start its own tv network, which would eventually bring in ~$10M/school/year or stay the same, allowing ND to form its own tv network for at least that much, or more.

        In the Northeast division, ND would be pair with familiar foes in Louisville, WVU, and either ISU, Cincy, or Pitt (depending on whether GT, Cincy, or Pitt get added). It would be the top dog in this division, while being in the best conference for the 5 tv sports.
        Obviously, you must be from up North, so you don’t fully understand, but Texas has nothing to gain from leaving the Big 12. Losing the rivalries and playing in the cold and so far away will hurt the fanbase. Playing in a weaker conference would be nice, but not at the expense of so much else, including LHN.

        You are providing statements such as, “There will be four 16-team conferences, and the Big 12 will not be one of them. The only decisions for Texas are where and when. If was settled the day the Longhorn Network signed on,” without providing evidence to back it up. Why will Texas have to decide “where and when?” You suggest OU & OSU will bolt? That’s laughable, considering the Pac-12 schools make similar money and the travel costs would be significantly increased.

        Your statements don’t add up. Honestly, an article about being “left out” makes more sense for a school like ND, although that is still pushing it. Texas will always have a home. The Pac-12 would accept Texas or ND today if they offered.

        1. kentsterling Post author

          So would the Mountain West accept Texas or Notre Dame. What would either school gain for it?

          Texas will have a lot to gain from leaving the Big 12 when it collapses as it must. The schools without their own profitable networks can’t compete on the same level, and when the membership erodes from the current ten, there will be a compulsion to leave.

          The only evidence is that the evolution that began with Nebraska jumping to the Big Ten, and that continues with the dissolution of the Big East will continue until logic is served. That means a new governing body that serves the needs to the schools rather than looks to penalize them for keeping the playing field level.

          Where big money is made, big money should be paid. Penalizing schools for finding ways to compensate players proportionate to their value is idiotic.

          1. Gary Campbell

            Sports fans,

            Expansion is not about sports for the Big Ten, it is about business. Jim Delany has been brilliant because he understands his university presidents and how they think. Believe it or not it is all about the research dollars and academic prestige. The Big Ten thinks of themselves as the public Ivy League for a reason. They go after research dollars as a collective. By adding Rutgers and Maryland, they added two AAU schools that bring over $900 million per year in research dollars with them. By offering an associates membership to Johns Hopkins for lacrosse they with bring 1.5 billion in research dollars if they accept. Jim Delany is playing a completely different game than the rest of the commissioners. And yes Nebraska lost its AAU statis but with the new money going into the school by being part of the Big Ten, they will improve and reapply soon. Delany has been pulling threads in the sport landscape and has done a fine job destablizing three conferences. I believe his end game is 20 teams including Virginia(#67, 276million), North Carolina(#14, 755million), Georgia Tech(#24, 616million), Florida State(#74, 238 million plus a new 400 milloin NASA grant)very good research school about to apply for AAU statis and yes Texas(#27, 590 million) plus one. Two things are in play with Texas, A&M in the SEC, is not the red headed step child anymore and will be bringing in more tv money. And second, Texas is an AAU school that would love to be part of the Big Ten academic coalition if it could dictate its own rules like it does with the Big Twelve. All teams are equal in the Big Ten and always will be. If Texas can see a bigger benefit to becoming an equal member then it will join the Big Ten. I just doubt that will happen until few options remain. As to the 20th college if Texas joins, I do not believe that it will be Notre Dame, two main reasons. First, they want special rules which won’t happen and second, although they are very good academically, they are an undergraduate school only. Being an AAU school is all about the graduate program and research dollars, I don’t believe they are a fit. I believe Delany has been using them to destablize everyone else. That leaves just a few schools as possiblities Duke(#5, 983million in reseach), UCONN(#73, 238 million), Pittsburg (#10, 822million), Kansas(#68, 268million), Uof Miami (#66, 281million), or Missouri(#72, 239million). Several of these don’t add anything to the telvision market but Miami would be a good back up plan if FSU does not join. Do the markets that Kansas and/or Missouri bring add value? Clearly if North Carolina leveraged Duke and there 938 million in reseach dollars the Big Ten would not be upset. Pittsburg is a school that is a natural fit if that the Big Ten can come back to at any time(no hurry). Sports fan, if you don’t agree with this then you simply have not done any research and don’t understand what is in play. The Big Ten is the only conference that is an academic first then sport conference. With two ten team divisions East & West, it won’t be that much different than the Big Ten and ACC of old. With the huge money coming in from the TV deals, I think Delany believes we can out spend the SEC on facilities and coaching which will level the playing field.(I disagree; with the spring football seasons in southern high schools, southern kids have 24 more weeks of football experience going into college). That is an advantage that will never be overcome.

  10. David

    There’s only one direction that the SEC will expand and that it northeast. In that respect, the ONLY two states that have schools that they are looking for are North Carolina and Virginia.

    The only way that happens is if the ACC breaks up.

    For anyone suggesting that any conference picks up a SECOND private school…just don’t. The only major conference that ADDED a private school is the Big 12 (TCU). USC and Stanford were original members of the PAC 12, as Duke and Wake Forest were original members of the ACC.

    Every conference needs a private school to shield the conference from interconference communication being subject to FOIA. That’s why the SEC has Vanderbilt, the Big Ten has Northwestern, and why when the Big 12 was formed in the 90’s that the final school would either be TCU or Baylor. (Rice, while an option, brought even LESS to the table than TCU or Baylor)

    1. bigjuan

      Big 12 should take Floridastate, Miami, virginiatech, Virginia, to make a football monster conference with plenty of instate rivalry gamesand duke and north carolina too, just to strengthen the basketball side then if need we can add a rival of Notre dame to pull them in =18 team mega monster with wide tv footprint , if we offer most of acc as group, pretty sure they would come

      1. rtXC1

        ND, FSU, GT, Miami, Louisville, Clemson will be the initial targets. Pitt & Cincy would be good backup options, but the conference should only move to 16.

  11. August

    Sorry, but the ACC is a really stable conference. And AAU thing in the big 10 seems to not be such a big deal considering Nebraska is no longer a AAU school. But here is a new HOT HOT rumor…San Diego State to the Big 10 if they “Apply” to become AAU members, the big ten would offer. Where that one came from is anyone’s guess but this might send off a PAC 12 Expansion flurry. Because this puts the Big Ten in the recruiting drivers seat in Southern California and instantly gets a big market to expand in. Good move on the Big Ten’s part. Travel Partner might be needed. Boise State, Zona, BYU, Nevada?! But I would look to San Diego State as the next real jewel to have because everyone now wants market for TV. They have it for location.

    1. Seth

      As an Arizona alum, a move to the Big 10 is a joke. I would never support that move in any way, especially financially. I would never buy another ticket to any sporting event, never become a member of the UA Wildcat Club, and I would never buy another piece of Arizona apparel. The only conference move I would support is to the Big 12, and that is because I am from Kansas, and really a Big 12 guy. If that were to happen, then I would be the first in line to buy KU/Arizona basketball tickets and even the football tickets. If the PAC 12 gas to expand again, then I think San Diego State would be a natural fit. I understand the reluctance to add another CA school, in much the same way, the Big 12 was reluctant to add another TX team. Unfortunately, there are not a whole lot of options to expand. Each of the possible schools:San Diego St., BYU, UNLV, Boise St., New Mexico, and Nevada each has their own pros and cons. BYU, never mind the religious affiliation, is the best fit across the board. Good football program, which has been the driving force lately, decent basketball success, and makes geographic sense. Don’t get me wrong, would love to see them in the Big 12, but I just can’t get past the travel issues, especially if they are able to add former ACC schools like Florida St. So my point is, Larry Scott and the rest of the conference might have no choice if they have to expand to 14 and beyond.

  12. August

    Make no mistake….Maryland leaving the ACC with Louisville replacing them is sort of a gift for the ACC. I know many Miami and Florida State fans that are asking “is that a promise?” There are many fans in the Big Ten that are not real happy with that one. Mediocre football and so so basketball taken for the TV market. Rutgers was a smart move. But I cannot help to wonder if the ACC’s lawsuit is all but a show and in reality, they are celebrating an upgrade in not only on the field but on the court.

  13. Question for Kent

    Nebraska left (what was) the BXII largely due to their long-standing frustration with how that conference (as it stood) was run, and their belief that UTex received preferential treatment both on and off the field:
    -By all appearances, the SWC brought their commissioner–Steven Hatchell–with them to take over the BXII.
    -The BXII headquarters were moved to Dallas, after being in Kansas City for years under the Big 8.
    -The championship game (football) was also moved from Kansas City to Dallas.
    -Nebraska felt slighted on the academic non-qualifiers issue. They had previously utilized unlimited NQs, but that was abolished when the BXII formed.*
    -A perceived officiating bias towards UTex exemplified in the 2009 conference championship game. (
    *I have no sympathy for Nebraska on this issue. If a student isn’t passing classes, they shouldn’t be allowed to play.
    But Nebraska perceived it as a slight since the rules were changed in UTex’s favor. Nebraska felt the Big 8 was admitting four SWC schools; the SWC schools saw it as a dissolution of old and a formation of new. See:

    Apologies for the lengthy set up, but with all that history & bad blood, why wouldn’t Nebraska feel the same way about UTex joining the B1G as A&M would about them joining the SEC?

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Great question. Nebraska might feel the same frustration if the Big Ten invites Texas, but I would feel confident that Jim Delany (or whomever succeeds him) will continue to be even-handed in the leadership of the members. I’ve never heard a legitimate charge of favoritism levied against the Big Ten.

      The additional cash earned through adding three major TV markets would likely mitigate any concerns.

    2. Seth

      I agree with you about Nebraska’s frustrations with Texas. If Missouri ever gets admitted to the Big Ten, and they also decide to invite KU before Texas, then I could see those three schools teaming up, and expressing past problems with TX to the other member schools. If this scenario was to play out, then TX might be easily shut out of the Big Ten too, just like the SEC. They might be able to join the PAC 12, but they would have to give up the rights to LHN, which has caused some many of the problems with these other schools in the first place.

  14. Chip Black

    Texas will follow the lead of the Dallas Cowboys and align themselves with the closest equivalent to Philly, DC, NYC which is the Big Ten (Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers).

  15. denise mears

    The big ten is goin to 20 teams. The teams on the big tens wish list are missouri, texas, virginia, north carolina, georgia tech, and notre dame big markets all of them aau but notre dame and all in huge tv markets. Delany doesnt care about football now he cares about football 10 years from now and putting the big in the best spot for the future

  16. Ted

    Hi Kent,

    The main stumbling block in your theory is the Longhorn Network. There’s no way that Texas is giving up that guaranteed money every year, and there’s no way that the Big Ten allows anyone in with pre-conditions or a deal that gives one school more money than another.

    And there’s no way DeLoss Dodds gives up the LHN to enter a conference where they are nothing more than an equal member with one vote and an equal revenue stream.

    I will say that if Texas approached Jim Delany and said ‘we’d like to join and we don’t want any sweetheart deals’, the Big Ten would take them in a second, but that won’t happen. Texas is tied to ESPN, and the Big Ten is tied to the Big Ten Network, which is 49% owned by Fox. Those are incompatable, and ESPN won’t give up Texas, because that would give the Big Ten Network a kind of leverage over ESPN that ESPN will not let happen…but might not be able to avoid.

    Because the Big Ten is expanding to fuel their network, and they’re looking east and South. Rutgers and Maryland was a bus stop to the way to 18 or 20, and Texas isn’t the big prize, Notre Dame is. And to get ND, Jim Delany has to kill the ACC, because of ND’s ACC kinda sorta conference affiliation with them.

    You’re 100% spot on when you say that TV markets are driving expansion/realignment, which is why the Big Ten is heading to the mid-Atlantic and trying to get into the Southeast. Texas is big, but not as lucrative as those markets. The Big Ten will get 4 or 5 ACC teams, set up an ACC division, and make more money than any other conference by a longshot.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Totally agree given the valuation of the LHN today. In three years, the landscape will have changed. Texas and the LHN will see their economic footprint shrink as A&M continues to cause erosion. A&M being in the SEC is going to be more and more problematic. At some point, Texas is going to have to make a move, or they will play in a more glamorous version of the WAC.

      Eventually, the share for Texas as part of the Big Ten will begin to approach the net take for the LHN. It’s going to take time, but Texas will find their island shrinking to an uncomfortable size. Their position will be as untenable as Notre Dame’s will be once their TV deal is commensurate to its value.

  17. billybob

    Would not be surprised if this happened. If one were to read or research about conference plans for the B1G then we see that there IS a plan in place. The plan is to take the Northeast market. Rutgers and Maryland are simply in the right place and the time appears to be here. The conference has stated before the Nebraska move that they did not want to do subtraction by addition. Nebraska kept good books and has a brand. Rutgers and Maryland have had a history of losing money so we can believe that the conference decision makers have done some homework and have some confidence in the plan. The network is currently generating about $25 million a year to all of the member institutions. That is relevant money. I have read some estimates that suggest $45-50 million in the next two or three years. Would anyone be shocked if the network was paying it’s members $70 or $80 million in ten years? With these moves being driven by television revenue I would not be at all surprised if Texas were added at some point as long as both parties could benefit. That conference (B1G) has owned that Chicago market and currently has a warm share of the NYC market. Most schools in that conference are just enormous. Large enrollments mean wide markets and a lot of money. And although there has been some chatter about stopping at 14, there has also been some chatter about expanding to 16. Time will tell whether or not Texas jumps on board but the Mid-Atlantic region ( North Carolina, Ga. Tech, Fla. St., Virginia) has been the more recent source of chatter lately.

    1. Pauly Balst

      Both Billybob and Gary Campbell provide great insights.

      The key is what makes the BIG TEN NET different than other conferences. Not only are the universities huge, but they have been huge for decades, spewing alumni around the US for well over 100 years. Few USC, Florida and UCLA alumni are in the midwest or east, but there are plenty of Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, etc., alumni (and fans from the state) in LA, NY, across Florida, etc.

      Only the B1G Net can generate meaningful nationwide ratings. Not so with any other conference, outside marquee football matchups in the SEC perhaps.

      Texas A&M totally pantsed UT by moving to the SEC.

  18. billybob

    Given mutual interests, that television deal with ESPN would be an issue but not a deal breaker. I do not know the language of the contract but just because something is written on paper does not imply a stone etching. If exit fees, legal fees, payouts and or buyouts were lets say…….$120 million; would that amount kill the deal?…..I’ll bet not.

  19. gregg

    As another poster said, yes, it’s about football and money, but it’s also about academics and culture, and Southern schools, in general, are of a different culture than Northern schools. Additionally, all of the presidents of the Big Ten schools are now repeating the mantra that any new member MUST also be a member of the Association of American Universities. Pick from this list.

    The Big Ten would like a school like North Carolina, and maybe Duke and Virgina, too. Of the current Big 12, only Kansas and Texas have a shot. Kansas by virtue of geography and basketball, and Texas by virtue of size and money despite geography. Of all these schools, North Carolina fits best IMHO. Adding say, NC and KU would seriously beef up B-ball, make divisions easy, and yet fans could actually get to away games, at least within divisions. (Traveling from Minneapolis to Austin for a football game would be a major road trip.) All these schools are AAU members.

    As for Mizzou, for whatever reason the Big Ten doesn’t want them. They rejected Mizzou already, and they would do it again. Besides, Mizzou makes too much money in the SEC anyway, and they wouldn’t want the constant oversight of Big Ten administrators. (like tOSU and PSU have justly received.)

  20. SH

    I agree with Kent’s overall point. Eventually gravity takes over, and it is just a matter of time. If super conferences can destabilize the NCAA, all the better. Its a corrupt institution. Further, why should the power schools share the NCAA tourney money with all the lower schools?

    Now having said all that, the elephant in the room is Congress. Think antitrust and tax-exemptions. Certain schools must be taken care of. For instance, any grouping of teams that leaves Kansas out of the mix will simply fail. And while I believe that the super conferences shouldn’t share the NCAA tourney wealth, that money does sustain a lot of atheletic programs outside the power conferences. Taking that money away will cause a lot of Senators to start looking at tax-exmeptions. Its just something that will have to be worked out somehow.

    Until Texas joins the SEC (unlikely) or the Pac-10 (perhaps more likely), they will always have an open invitation to the Big 10. The Cowboys analogy was spot on.

    Ultimately, I see the Big 10 becoming the Big 20. There are 6 spots left with 9 potential suitors (in the order I think they are preferred): UT, ND, UNC, UVA, Duke, Kansas, FSU, GT, Syracuse.

    I’m really not sure who is stronger among Duke, Kansas and FSU. All have really strong brands. Duke is better acdemically and in terms of research. Kansas strengthens basketball, while FSU strengthens football. Kansas is flagship university. Syracuse may help with the NY market.

    Ultimately, I think ND will remain an independent. Kansas could be the swing school. If it goes Pac 10, then GT or Syracuse goes Big 10. Otherwise, GT and Syracuse could be left out with GT maybe assumed by SEC in an effort to get SEC past 16. NC State and Va Tech are destined for SEC.

    People may not want to admit it, but the B10 is the premier conference in college atheletics. UT is a monster of a school. Gravity is pulling those two together. Public dollars are shrinking. Schools need to find other ways to generate revenue. The B10 has found a way to maximize this. Texas will realize this eventually, probably after its star dims a little while A&M is rising.

  21. keithwmoore

    oklahoma wil1 be the first to leave, they were the first one to get a invite from sec before mizzu and a@m was, they said no cause of osu not geting invite,but times has change ou has been talking to big 10 threw there old buddy nebraska…its on the table folks,within 2 years ou will be gone

  22. Rich

    BIG will offer OK, TX, TCU, Baylor, ND, Kans & WVU (on condition it achieves ACB status within 10 years. OK St and Tex T would get same 10 yrs offer) They’d like 1 more Mizzou or Virginia and NC if one of the non ACB institutions doesn’t want to upgrade scholastically.

    1. rtXC1

      Texas to the ACC, whether in all sports or in Olympic sports and going Indy in football, is seeming like the most likely landing spot IF the Big 12 breaks up.

      OU then takes its pick between the 4 conferences; staying tied to the state of Texas is a must, though. Tech is PAC-bound all the way. OSU is as well, unless OU doesn’t join the SEC and that conference comes calling. KSU and ISU are either PAC or SEC bound. WVU is simply an SEC school. Baylor and TCU are small, private institutions that would likely only be offered by the ACC.

      PAC: Tech, OSU, OU, BYU/UNM/Houston
      Big Ten: KU, Mizzou
      SEC: ISU, KSU, WVU
      ACC: Texas (Indy in FB), TCU, BU


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