At Least One School Is Super Enthusiastic About Big Ten Expansion

↵The blogosphere has been thrown into a speculative tizzy by the Big Ten's recent ↵announcement that they'll take a look at expanding over the next 18 ↵months. Realignment is always good for pageviews and comments, and blogs ↵across the internet have complied with detailed posts that boil down to one thing: unless Mizzou ↵hates the Big 12 more than anyone expects they do, the Big East is ↵getting raided again. ↵

↵

↵This has been met with displeasure by most of the Big East, including ↵some of the teams people are proposing should get the golden ticket. ↵Syracuse fans are almost 3-1 against a move in a poll at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute ↵Magician, and crotchety old columnist Bud Poliquin* makes super ↵funny jokes about how the Big Ten actually has 11 teams in it -- a fact ↵that is certainly not almost 20 years old -- before declaring the idea ↵"bad, very bad." Rutgers blog Bleed Scarlet ↵also pulls no punches: ↵

↵
↵⇥I'm not going to sit around and pine for an awful football conference ↵⇥that happens to have a lot of ill-gotten money. ↵
↵

↵Even blogs following generally speculated favorite Pitt are pretty lukewarm -- "whoever gets offered ↵realistically should and must jump." On the Big Ten's part, most ↵are indifferent about the candidates since they aren't Notre Dame. No ↵one's happy, exactly, about what may or may not go down in 12-18 months, ↵but it seems like time to grit their teeth and make the most of it. ↵

↵

↵But there is one school poised to benefit hugely from BCS conferences ↵adding a single member: Memphis. The Big Ten wouldn't touch Memphis with ↵a ten-foot pole, but if and when someone (read: Pitt) takes their ball ↵and heads west, the Tigers will probably be option 1A for the Big East. ↵

↵

↵Other local options (ECU, UCF, maybe USM) are three letter abbreviation ↵schools without anything approaching the media profile or recent success ↵of the Tigers. And only Memphis has a huge pile of cash from their ↵version of T. Boone Pickens, FedEx founder Fred Smith. Memphis is the ↵new Louisville, an urban commuter school looking to move up in the world ↵via athletic achievement, and they're itching to move on up to a BCS ↵conference, any BCS conference: ↵

↵
↵⇥"There is no one out there who doesn't know of our ↵⇥intentions," said U of M athletic director R.C. Johnson. ↵
↵

↵In fact, Memphis just hired former Big East commissioner Mike ↵Tranghese as a consultant. He's tasked with evaluating aspects of the ↵Memphis athletic department from the perspective of a -- surprise! -- BCS ↵conference commissioner looking to add a new program. ↵

↵

↵So while the Big East gnashes its teeth and wails and the Big Ten ↵distastefully picks through the ACC's leftovers, Memphis holds its ↵breath, hoping an unhappy marriage is eventually consummated. ↵

↵

↵*(Yes, the guy who decried Heisman voters' general ignorance of ↵college football and in the same piece revealed that he voted ↵Tebow-Ingram-McCoy, causing a thousand facepalms to bloom across the ↵internet.) ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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