|Thanks to clemsonalum07 for the D-1 Football Map|
I am really interested in Big Ten Comissioner, Jim Delany’s quest for the ultimate B1G conference and I think like many people that a 20 University conference seems to make the most sense. The Ohio State President was noted as saying that the B1G is not necessarily done expanding and may look to the Southeast and Midwest to find Universities that will augment their already powerful conference. As you can see from the map above, he has many man options of how to fulfill what he see's as Big Ten's destiny. This past week even, the University of Florida President was quoted as saying that the SEC isn't looking to expand unless an "ace jewel" (whatever that is) comes calling. While nobody knows what an "ace jewel" is I think we can all agree he means something like the right big time school.
While Delany might have more thoughts on what an ace jewel is, it's pretty clear that there are several factors that are important to the B1G.
1. Large TV market
2. AAU status
3. Contiguous State from the existing B1G footprint
It’s my guess that those three factors matter in that order too. The expansion is all about money and the one thing that brings money is access to eyeballs. College football is what’s important here because of its’ tremendous ability to draw viewers. The AAU status confers a sense of prestige that sounds great and is nice for the academic side of things but my opinion is that this is important because it’s a GREAT selling point to advertisers. It means that there are a lot of highly educated and high earning people (more likely to buy their expensive products being advertised) watching the programming plus the prestige of the select Universities will theoretically be transferred to the advertisers brands. All of that means that the B1G’s recipe for expansion is one built on “how to make money through collegiate sports.”
With those prequalifications in mind I’d like to explore over the next few days what Universities would make sense for the B1G to acquire in the Southeast and the Midwest. Please stay tuned and feel free to chime in with thoughts and alternate suggestions.
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