Skip to content

From the Big 10 to the… Big 16?

When it was first announced earlier in the week that the Big Ten would be exploring the possibility of expanding from its current 11 schools, it was widely assumed that meant the league would be looking to get to an even 12.

However, the conference may have its sights set on a bigger number of member schools.  Much, much bigger, in fact.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, and citing multiple Big Ten sources, almost nothing has been ruled out when it comes to expansion, up to and including expanding to 14 or even 16 teams.

About the only thing that has been ruled out, the Tribune reports, is expanding to an odd number of schools as the league has now.

First of all, and at first blush, it would seem that the Big Ten would have the exact same chance of expanding to 14 or 16 schools as they do in landing Notre Dame — almost nil.

Secondly, where would these three to five schools come from?  It’s going to be a daunting proposition to get just one school to switch allegiances, let alone a whole gaggle of them.

Would a combination of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers, West Virginia and Louisville bolt the Big East en masse?  Would Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa State do the same to the Big 12?

While we don’t doubt that any and all options will be on the table and available for discussion, it would seem highly unlikely that the Big Ten goes beyond 12 teams.  That’s provided, of course, that they decide to expand at all after their 12-18 month exploration.


Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Big Ten Conference, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions, Purdue Boilermakers, Rumor Mill, Wisconsin Badgers
Respond to “From the Big 10 to the… Big 16?”
  1. MN Boise Fan says: Dec 17, 2009 2:33 PM

    Nebraska, Missouri and Nebraska to the Big 10 would be interesting. Would make a nice Western Division with Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
    I suppose that would mean something like TCU, Arkansas, and another Texas School (Rice, Houston, ect) to the Big 12.
    This is every bit as interesting, if not more so, than the whole Big East/ACC shake up of a few years back.

  2. Michael says: Dec 17, 2009 2:50 PM

    If Arkansas would leave the SEC…the SEC would probably make a run at FSU again…

  3. Wrathchild says: Dec 17, 2009 3:03 PM

    Well, if they do, the NCAA better make them have a championship game.

  4. Hong Kong Phooey says: Dec 17, 2009 3:13 PM

    The Big East teams might jump. The Big East has a terrible reputation in football. The Big 10 would then be dominate in football and basketball.
    Interesting. But the Big East is still a BCS conference and there are only 8 teams to split the $$ among. If the money works, those teams would bolt.

  5. jj jones says: Dec 17, 2009 3:19 PM

    Syracuse should not move out of the Big East.
    The Pac 10 should expand. Add BYU and Utah. Wash, Wash St, Ore, Ore St, BYU and Utah in the Pac 12 North. USC, UCLA, Ari, Ari St, Stanford and Cal in the Pac 10 South.

  6. grandavenue says: Dec 17, 2009 3:21 PM

    Wrath, 12 teams mandate a championship game.
    Nebraska should really look at joining the Big 10, either as the 12th or part of the 7 team expansion. Bigger markets, better schools to compete with, NO TEXAS, and they can arrange a every year meeting with Oklahoma that Texas can’t block.

  7. robesi says: Dec 17, 2009 3:28 PM

    I’m surprised there’s not more talk of adding MAC teams, since that’s who the Big 10 schedules anyways.

  8. Silver Pistol says: Dec 17, 2009 3:37 PM

    With the additions Rutgers and Syracuse from the east, Missouri and Nebraska out west, and Notre Dame for kicks, the Big Whatchamacallit would have the makings of a very nice super conference.

  9. rwitt says: Dec 17, 2009 4:21 PM

    Maybe the Big 10 can add a couple teams that might actually win a BCS bowl game other than Iowa….. they were what like 1-6/7 last year in bowl games. They can add who they want they are still gonna mediocre when it comes to matching up against the Big 12, SEC, and the Pac 10 in bowl games.

  10. stnmmc says: Dec 17, 2009 5:44 PM

    MN Boise Fan says:
    December 17, 2009 2:33 PM ET
    Nebraska, Missouri and Nebraska to the Big 10 would be interesting. Would make a nice Western Division with Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
    I agree!!!! Nebraska moving two teams in would be the craziest thing to hit college football!!!! ever

  11. MN Boise Fan says: Dec 17, 2009 6:29 PM

    HA! Can’t believe I typed Nebraska twice, and forgot to type Iowa State! Awesome!

  12. BENITO says: Dec 17, 2009 7:08 PM

    no nebraska or mizzou! the big ten should remain all northern mid west! get pit and let it be!!!

  13. BigMFan says: Dec 17, 2009 8:00 PM

    Joe Pa is still saying, “Why did I ever join the Big Ten?!!!”

  14. Mile says: Dec 18, 2009 1:43 AM

    If you add Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa State, you could still call in the Big Ten, as 10 states would be represented. Substitute Rutgers for Nebraska or Missouri and you get the same thing.

  15. hal9000 says: Dec 18, 2009 3:31 AM

    If they were to really expand to 16 teams, and went East/West as some have described (say adding W. Va and Pitt in the East, and Nebraska, Mizzou and Iowa St. in the West), the net effect in football would almost be like Ohio St. and the Michigan schools kicking Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin out of the Big 10 in favor of the eastern schools, because they’d so rarely play the teams in the other half of the conference (maybe 2 of the 8 teams each year for a 9-game conference schedule). Imagine Ohio St. and Wisconsin only meeting once every 4 years. If they did home-and-home they might play 2 years in a row then have 6 years without playing each other. Even in basketball they couldn’t play home-and-home series against the other 15 teams unless they only played one or two non-conference opponents a year (which isn’t gonna happen). Seems like a sad fate for all the classic Big 10 rivalries if they were to go that way.

  16. JJD says: Dec 18, 2009 8:13 AM

    Big 16?
    Big Mistake

  17. BigTigerfan1 says: Dec 18, 2009 9:07 AM

    I didn’t realize nebraska and Missouri were not mid west schools? Add Iowa St and the conference would be fantastic in revenue and academics and competition.

  18. BENITO says: Dec 18, 2009 11:15 AM

    bigtiggerfan1 i said “northern mid west”…get your specs out a read again!

  19. Sam says: Dec 18, 2009 3:04 PM

    How about Nebraska, Missouri, and Oklahoma? OU could still play UT in dallas every year in non-conference (used to be that way anyway) & maybe get the OU-Nebraska game back on Thanksgiving weekend as it should be.

  20. Clintre says: Dec 18, 2009 11:53 PM

    Nebraska is also the home of “prop 48”. The Big 10 does not look kindly on that type of academic atmosphere.
    2008 Attendance #26 ~ 64k
    Markets Owned:
    #21 St. Louis 1.25M
    #31 Kansas City 938k
    Decade Winning % #42 ~ 56.9%
    Basketball Top 25
    Academic Rep Average
    2008 Attendance #12 ~ 85k
    Markets Owned:
    #45 OKC 687k
    #61 Tulsa 530k
    Decade Winning % #3 ~ 82.0%
    Basketball Top 25
    Academic Rep Below Average
    2008 Attendance #13 ~ 85k
    Markets Owned:
    #76 Omaha 412k
    Decade Winning % #23 ~ 65.4%
    Basketball Top 50
    Academic Rep Average
    2008 Attendance #41 ~ 51k
    Markets Owned:
    #31 Kansas City 938k
    #69 Wichita 451k
    Decade Winning % #73 ~ 47.5%
    Basketball Top 10
    Academic Rep Average
    Texas A&M
    2008 Attendance #14 ~ 82k/gm
    Markets Owned:
    # 5 DFW 2.5M
    #10 Houston 2.1M
    #37 San Antonio 818k
    #49 Austin 667k
    Decade Winning % #62 ~ 52.1%
    Basketball Top 25
    Academic Rep Above Average
    2008 Attendance #43 ~ 49k
    Markets Owned:
    #18 Denver 1.5M
    Decade Winning % #76 ~ 46.4%
    Basketball Average
    Academic Rep Above Average
    West Virginia
    2008 Attendance 58k
    Markets Owned:
    #65 Huntington 480k
    Decade Winning % ?
    Basketball Top 25
    Academic Rep Way Below Average
    2008 Attendance #55 ~ 42k
    Markets Owned
    Decade Winning % #74 ~ 47.5%
    Basketball Below Average
    Academic Rep Above Average
    2008 Attendance #60 ~ 40k
    Markets Owned:
    #50 Louisville 667k
    Decade Winning % ?
    Basketball Top 10
    Academic Rep Way Below Average
    2008 Attendance #62 ~ 40k
    Markets Owned:
    #30 Hartford 1.0M (this might be a stretch)
    Decade Winning % ?
    Basketball Top 10
    Academic Rep Above Average
    2008 Attendance #71 ~ 32k
    Markets Owned:
    #34 Cincinnati 916k
    Decade Winning % ?
    Basketball Top 50
    Academic Rep Way Below Average
    2008 Attendance #69 ~ 33k
    Markets Owned:
    #81 Syracuse 388k
    Decade Winning % ?
    Basketball Top 25
    Academic Rep Above Average

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!