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Michigan AD would bet ‘more expansion ahead’ for Big Ten

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In a late September interview with Ohio State’s student newspaper, athletic director Gene Smith was very emphatic that the Big Ten, after adding Nebraska a couple of months earlier, was out of the expansion game.

“We’re done with it [expansion],” Smith told The Lantern. “We’re finished. The only thing that would cause us to look at it further is if someone contacted us. So, we’re not going to go out and say we’re thinking about expansion.”

Ahead of a meeting that could determine what direction, if any, the conference takes on the expansion front, Smith’s counterpart at Michigan has a slightly different take on the situation.

“We’re in a really good place,” Michigan AD David Brandon told “Having said that, if I were a betting man, I’d say there’s more change ahead and more expansion ahead. That review continues and discussions continue, and there’s still possibilities out there.”

The next set of discussions and further review will take place at the next meeting of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors later this month, where the conference’s powerbrokers, a Big Ten spokesperson told the website, are expected to decide whether to pursue further expansion or conclude the process.  Brandon once again reiterated that he expects the pursuit of further expansion.

“We’ve accomplished a lot of what we needed to accomplish,” Brandon said. “I know I’m happy, but not that we’ve kind of digested that, we’re still in the same mode of looking at the bigger picture and seeing if there’s more we can or should do.

“That’s far from a guarantee, but I’d say there’s a higher likelihood there’s expansion in the future.”

In other words, the meetings that will take place in the next week or two will determine whether it’s all quiet on the Big Ten expansion front for the foreseeable future.  Or whether we’re in for another offseason of wild speculation, half-assed rumor and WTF innuendo like we were just a few months ago.

If I were like the betting man Brandon alluded to, I’d put my money on everybody needing to buckle up and strap in, because it’s going to be another one of those offseasons.

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15 Responses to “Michigan AD would bet ‘more expansion ahead’ for Big Ten”
  1. barnesaintnoble says: Dec 2, 2010 5:49 PM

    Clearly trying to move the attention away from the “Rich Rodriguez fired/one more year and Jim Harbaugh is available hire him now you bastard” front. Can’t really blame him, but I hope he is putting as much effort into evaluating/firing the coach than he is at avoiding the situation.

  2. secdominance says: Dec 2, 2010 6:09 PM

    gonna be tough when Ohio State has to add Syracuse or Rutgers to that murderer’s row they face every week

  3. edgy loves (insert overrated MWC/WAC team) says: Dec 2, 2010 6:31 PM

    or like alabama with duke and georgia st, or auburn with arkansas st and chattanoga, or georgia with louisiana-lafayette and idaho st…….oh wait

  4. bender4700 says: Dec 2, 2010 6:54 PM

    Until Notre Dame is in the conference Big Ten is never done expanding.

  5. rick1922 says: Dec 2, 2010 7:49 PM

    NOTRE DAME has a contract with NBC that runs threw 2015 they will not be joining the BIG 10 any time soon.

  6. bender4700 says: Dec 2, 2010 8:31 PM

    That contract is nothing compared to what they’d make in the Big Ten, and with “Super Conferences” on the horizon, they will have to.

    Notre Dame will be in the Big Ten before that contract ends.

    Indiana made more off TV rights than ND last year.

  7. bender4700 says: Dec 2, 2010 8:56 PM

    Big Ten: $242 Million / 11 Teams : $22 million
    Notre Dame TV Contract per year: $15 per year (roughly)

  8. jeffreyperria says: Dec 2, 2010 9:27 PM

    The Big ten should forget recruiting Notre Dame. If they do not want to join the Big Ten the so be it. The Big Ten should go after either Boise State, Cincinnati, West Virginia, or Pittsburgh. Most of those schools are good in multiple sports and will be good for the Big 13…. ummm 10

  9. paintan8 says: Dec 2, 2010 9:47 PM

    Given the way the ACC is s***ing on Maryland in the bowl process, don’t be surprised if Kevin Anderson, who used to work at Michigan, makes a few calls.

  10. brownstown2 says: Dec 2, 2010 11:10 PM

    Great….more teams to go .500 in bowl games vs. the SEC.

    Boise St is an intriguing choice. If the PAC 10 doesn’t get their first, bringing them into the fold would be way better than Rutgers, UConn, Syracuse, etc (at least for football).

  11. floridaconservative says: Dec 3, 2010 8:22 AM

    Sadly, there’s no way Boise State gets an invite soon. I’m not arguing that they don’t deserve to play with the “big boys” (they obviously do). I’m arguing that the Presidents who must approve Conference expansion have a much different set of objectives than what the American public believes.

    It’s probably best to think of the Conferences as cliques from high school. They are:

    Jocks (SEC, Big XII)
    Rich Kids (Big Ten)
    Regular Guys (ACC, Big East)
    Atheist Tree-Hugger (PAC-10)
    Nerds (Ivy League)
    Freshmen (Non-BCS)
    Miss America (Notre Dame)

    While everyone’s chasing the dollar, the Rich Kids aren’t going to let in anyone they think is poor (like they told Missouri already). The Atheist Tree-Huggers pride themselves on being “true academics” which means anti-religion (sorry, BYU. That’s why they wanted a Utah team that didn’t really exist before 2004).

    The Jocks and Regular guys are most willing to expand without relying on seemingly inconsequential garbage, but anyone would be happy to date Miss America if she’s interested. My guess is there’s still a lot of dancing to be done before the dust settles.

  12. steelers6pack says: Dec 3, 2010 4:12 PM

    Big Ten needs to go after, Pitt, WVU, Rutgers, Cuse, Temple and Maryland. Gte at least 4 of them.,

  13. mosnowman says: Dec 3, 2010 5:08 PM

    Why not add Missouri?

    Football – BCS #12

    Basketball #8

    Multiple Top Tier sports at Mizzou…men’s and womens…

    Academically strongest in the Big 12

    Football highlights 2010:
    Largest College Game Day Attendance on Record
    Defeated #1 Oklahoma
    Defeated Texas A&M
    Record 10 -2

    I think it is a perfect fit bordering Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska…

  14. rlmprez says: Dec 3, 2010 8:54 PM

    I suggest the Big 10 add Missouri & Iowa State from the Big 12. Then go after Pittsburgh and either Rutgers or Maryland in the east.

  15. rlmprez says: Dec 3, 2010 8:56 PM

    Any rumors on who the next Indiana U. football coach is going to be?

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