I find the recent college conference expansion discussion fascinating…sort of a fantasy activity combined with the board game Risk. Following are my thoughts:
Adding Nebraska to the Big 10 (11…or 12) is a safe move focused on football. It seems obvious to me that the allure of a conference playoff was paramount in the Big 10 leadership’s thinking…they sure weren’t thinking about basketball. Selecting Nebraska over Missouri shows a belief that the St. Louis and Kansas City markets are secondary to the importance of adding a playoff with a high profile football school. I’m not sure I agree…Mizzou football has been the equal of Nebraska of late and the urban markets in Missouri are appealing. Additional expansion may be forthcoming in two or three years, but why split Big Ten Network revenue with other schools unless one is sure that the new schools increase revenue? My advice…stand pat with the Huskers for now.
The Pac-10? I see Colorado and Utah going west.
The Big 12? Not dead yet. I see TCU and either Houston or Air Force taking the places of Nebraska and Colorado. Texas is king of their own castle.
The Big East? It looks like status quo for now. Look for the ACC to make a play for West Virginia or Louisville in the not-so-distant future. Also…perhaps Notre Dame creating an affiliation with the league without actually joining for football. For example…playing four Big East teams per year with three of four games at home. Keeps Notre Dame independent and separate from other leagues and helps keep Big East football viable.
Then again…stay tuned tomorrow.