Illinois and Northwestern don't even have the Chicago market. Iowa is a much bigger deal here, TWO new "Iowa" bars just started promoting themselves in my neighborhood alone, they have fricking billboards promoting themselves. ISU fans won't want to hear that, but the Hawkeyes own Chicago more than local teams do.
My take on the market:
102. Ohio State
104. Iowa (when Iowa is good they jump ND lately)
106. Rest of B10 including the two Illinois schools
That said, I'll defend the people who bring up NIU to an extent. They are far more attractive than any of the other MAC schools. Their games are always on either 670 or WGN 720 radio, both stations completely dwarf any radio coverage that a Non-Texas team gets in the Big 12, especially 720. Usually about half of their games are televised on regular local TV in Chicago with no cable or dish needed.
They're a massive step down from an addition like BYU, but if people are considering Memphis they should consider NIU. For example NIU would easily be better than Colorado State that has been mentioned.
PITT, Arkansas and a pick to be named later....
BYU not competing on Sundays throws EVERYTHING off (except football)
"However, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned that BYU officials have had discussions with Big 12 officials within the past week regarding the school’s interest in joining the conference, and what conditions and assurances it would need to make the jump exactly a year after announcing they were breaking away from the Mountain West Conference.
It is unclear whether the talks have included an invitation from the Big 12.
A BYU source said the talks have included the school’s desire to utilize its own television network, BYUtv, in a BCS automatic-qualifying conference much as it plans to this year. The talks have also included ESPN officials and even some input from Notre Dame representatives, whom BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has referred to as “partners” in the past year."
All this talk about ECU. What about Appalachian state? Have you seen their video, it's awesome!