The Big Ten has eleven teams. Blame branding and a weakness at basic arithmetic for the error, something we would have expected from another conference with a more freewheeling approach to academics. (Starts with S, ends with C, and okay it’s the SEC let’s stop being coy.)â†µ
Black Heart Gold Pants has a thorough discussion of the logistics and forces pushing this through, but in summary: the Big Ten has no round robin schedule or championship game, and in picking up an additional member would be able to do one of these, and thus join college football in 21st century. Congrats, gentlemen!â†µ
The likely suspects for expansion: Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers, and in a world where money doesn’t influence people’s decisions at all, Notre Dame (highly unlikely.) Cincy is another possibility, but the long term stability of the school’s football prospects is a question. (Steve Kragthrope has powers like that.) The other possible candidate is Missouri, a bit of an odd man out in the Big 12, and a school who would reap some serious benefits from the move. And that’s not even counting the deeply discounted vats of Rotel dip they’ll get with a sweet deal with the Big Ten Network.