With this administration, you never know. Maybe they manage to sell increased donations as an audition for the next round, and that fuels some real progress. Every team in this league has to have one eye towards that, anyway.
Or maybe the local billionaire makes that decision to invest.....
Right now if Texas and OU can get their **** straightened out the Big XII could potentially be the first conference to 16. Big XII would be at 9 schools and could add Cincy, Louisville, West Virginia, BYU, TCU, and potentially UCONN, and Rutgers if they can convince them that the ACC isn't the way to go. This would expand the Big XII footprint into the east coast. This would give the Big XII a great opportunity to approach Texas and ESPN about rebranding the LHN into a Big XII Network. Texas keeps talking about how they want to remain in the Big XII... well I think it is time to ask them to put their money where their mouth is. A Big XII super-conference network with those schools added would generate far more money then the LHN so Texas would not be giving up that much money then what they would get. It would probably double the value if not triple the value due to the new increased media markets and demand it could generate across an area that stretches over half of the United States. This would also allow the Fox tv deal to be restructured and probably get more money and ESPN would surely want to renegotiate the current tier 1 deal to make sure they lock the conference up for tv rights. It would be a huge increase in tv money on all accounts and with that large increase comes the proper time for the conference to impose a higher exit fee to keep teams from bolting.
For my money, IF it happens:
Big Ten: Notre Dame, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State
SEC: West Virginia, Mizzou, TCU/USF/Baylor.
Your kidding yourself if you think the Big Ten has been sitting back for the past couple years since all this re-alignment stuff started happening and hasn't been preparing for who they want to pick up. Delaney is a smart man, and I guarantee you he knows exactly what schools he wants to add. I'm sorry but I just don't see Delaney and the Big Ten being forced into adding any schools who they don't really want or who doesn't add the value to the conference that he is looking for.
Look....I am going to have to go through a mourning period if this ends up happening. I thought the Big 12/Big East merger was a bad idea before Pitt and Syracuse left. Now, I think it is total crap. If the remaining schools can decide they are staying then it wouldn't be the most awful thing. But, if worst case happens and West Virginia and Missouri go to SEC, and UConn and Rutgers or Kansas goes ACC. Then for football we are left with a very ugly conference consisting of:
Kansas or Rutgers
That's awful and frankly would be a disaster on so many levels. It would remain a BCS conference for a while, but they'd be looking to push us out. Ticket prices would have to drop by a large amount. Paul Rhoads doesn't love Iowa State enough to stick around past a couple of years for that group.
Who they going to add then?
Everyone from the east that they may have wanted will not be available.
The meltdown from the hawk idiots will be glorious if Iowa State gets an invite. Fortunately, people who actually make the decision know that adding Iowa State will add value. If the B1G cares about academics like they say they do, Iowa State will be in the B1G.
And it's kind of besides the point because I think the only school they really WANT is Notre Dame and the rest of us would just be filler. But whereas the Big Ten may have preferred to fill-in around Notre Dame with Syracuse and Rutgers, that won't be an option now.
Wherever we end up, I just pray that dan beebe doesn't follow.
The B1G isn't going to expand simply for the sake of expansion. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Delaney sit back and let the super conferences of the Pac Whatever, SEC, and ACC be the guinea pigs before making any super conference expansion decisions.
If the B1G decides expansion is necessary, they will look for a school that enhances the B1G brand as this is realignment craze is about TV, adding eyeballs, and increasing TV revenue. That's what made adding Nebraska a perfect fit and there's only one school that will do what Nebraska did and that's Notre Dame.
Any Big Ten scenario that has Kansas State is a non starter. Academics are not good enough, and neither is their athletics department.