I am biased (women's basketball), but you are kidding yourself if you don't think the Big 10 doesn't find ISU's volleyball, women's basketball, gymnastics, and wrestling attractive.
The Director's Cup does mean something, otherwise the athletic directors wouldn't have worked to create it.
You are really reaching. The Big 10 is doing this for money from sports alone. They want more tv's and a bigger footprint for their network. If it was about grants and academic prowess they would have done it a long time ago. When they added one team years ago they went with one that wasn't currently in their area and happened to be a national contender in football.
The Directors Cup was set up to give the AD's credit for the other sports because they know what matters is Football and men's basketball and if those two aren't winning they are fired.
If they add Nebraska we'll know it's about money because they aren't even near the academic level of the other Big 10 schools. And we KNOW they are in conversations with them because they have said as much.
Every year there is a bus rodeo in Des Moines for bus drivers in the area to go compete and get crowned the best bus driver. How much do you think that matters to the riders of CyRide? That's how much winning the freaking directors cup is worth. Be real about it.
Those "other" sports are essential to making a conference sports TV network successful, apart from having 16+ teams so that the majority of the programming could be live MBB and FB, or doing a multi-conference network. If the Big 12 tries to do a network by itself, I'll bet you a nice dinner that the quality of and attractiveness to viewers of Big 12 baseball and WBB (perhaps even VB now as well) will be used as a selling point to cable and dish operators.
No way Nebraska will even talk to the Big 10 if there is a risk of them not being
voted in, that would be a huge slap in the face.
I am not saying that ISU is top of the list, but if Big 10 goes to 16, I see ISU in the discussion along with Mizzou, Nebby, and 2 Big East schools.
You lose plenty of money on WBB and VB and always will. Just because you have a nice attendance at games doesn't mean you are taking in a lot of money. You can go to 5 WBB games for $38. Plus the majority of the donors are giving up the big money to see MBB and Football improve.
Yes the Big 10 Network needs "fill" and they will use the non-revenue sports for that, but that isn't what they are making their money on. Look at the ratings for an average WBB game compared to MBB. Or look at the ratings of any non-revenue sport compared to football. They are light years apart. It's a nice little story but it isn't what this expansion is about.
This expansion is about increasing the Big 10's Network footprint. Everything else is icing on the cake. It has nothing to do with ISU's status in the classroom or on the playing field. The Big 10 Network already has their footprint in the state of Iowa so there is no reason to look there. That's not a knock on ISU, just bad luck that Iowa is already in the conference.
I don't think ISU is in the Big 10 conversation but how great would be a division with:
All are within driving distance for away games and ISU would be surrounded by all geographical rivals - one in-state and the rest border wars.
ISU is IN the conversation for this. That said, getting in is ceratinly not close to happening at this time. Without getting specific, I can almost guarantee you, they are in the conversation.
If you asked somebody at ISU about this, they would honestly tell you that they have no ida what will happen- because they do not. Maybe Jamie has an IDEA of what is going on but it is only that. This process is not as far along as some speculate. We will all know much more when the Big Ten AD's meet at the end of May and the traditional school year is over.
Football and revenue are driving this but the decision to add is not exclusive to this.
Too many people are conditioned by bloggers and radio hosts who provide conjecture that is so loud that we take it to be truth. Frank the Tank (whoever he is) and Jon Miller (who I enjoy listening to) are just mouthpieces who are providing opinion.
ISU is IN the conversation- it likely is not in the conversation enough to have a daily thread at this time.
That is all for now.