NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > Expansion
December 31, 2010, 01:48 PM
The Big East recently added TCU, giving its conference 9 football teams. Rumor is that they may look to add even more teams to the football conference, so they can have an even number.

As a Missouri fan, I recognize that MU is in a conference that is stacked financially in favor of the bigger schools (Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma). I think its safe to say that Missouri would like a fresh start somewhere else, which was evident by their flirtation with the Big Ten Conference.

In addition to that, Missouri's primary rivals, Kansas and Kansas State were left out in the cold last year when talks of conference reallignment surfaced. It became evident that football rules all and no one cares about basketball financially. Still, K-State has played on a national forum before and KU just won the Orange Bowl in 2008. You would think these teams could find a home somewhere.

My solution: The Big East should add these three teams. This would give the Big East 12 football teams, allow the conference to expand their market, while keeping the rivalries between the three schools together. The Big East would host 19 basketball schools and could add a private midwest school with basketball tradition, like Creighton to give them 20 teams total.

The Result: Ultimately, this move would would force the Big 12 to dissolved. SEC, PAC 10, and Big Ten would all look to expand to 16 team conferences. The Big East could always look to add schoold like BYU, Boise State, Air Force, Memphis, Notre Dame, Iowa State, Baylor, Houston, or even raid the ACC if they wanted to expand to 16 football teams.

Those 12 teams would be split into conferences that look like this:
West: Cincinnati, Kansas State, Kansas, Louisville, Missouri, TCU
East: Central Florida, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, UCONN, West Virginia

What would be nice about this is that the West would have recruiting roots in Missouri, Texas and Ohio, while the East gets recruiting roots in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. It would also make the conference even more competitive.

This is what the move would do to basketball conferences:

West: Creighton, Cincinatti, DePaul, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Missouri, Notre Dame, TCU

East: Central Florida, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's, Syracuse, UCONN, Villanova, West Virginia,

I think it would be a huge win for the universities and the Big East. What do you guys think?
December 31, 2010  02:39 PM ET

I would rather Missouri stayed in the Big 12 and the conference commissioner somehow maneuver to restructure the goofy TV arrangements with ABC, FSN and Versus. The goofiness is too much to list here but, believe me, it is what holds the Big 12 back in terms of national exposure and revenue potential for the smaller schools. Every year in the Big 12 there are 10-15 OOC games and 5-10 in-conference games not televised at all. Teams like Missouri, which resides in a huge TV market, suffer not because of fan interest but because of the goofy TV arrangements.

December 31, 2010  02:53 PM ET

Interesting. I hadn't thought about Mizzou joining the Big East. You make some good points. Going forward, I think expansion is going to be mainly about adding television sets. This would mean schools like Houston are probably more viable candidates.

December 31, 2010  03:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I would rather Missouri stayed in the Big 12 and the conference commissioner somehow maneuver to restructure the goofy TV arrangements with ABC, FSN and Versus. The goofiness is too much to list here but, believe me, it is what holds the Big 12 back in terms of national exposure and revenue potential for the smaller schools. Every year in the Big 12 there are 10-15 OOC games and 5-10 in-conference games not televised at all. Teams like Missouri, which resides in a huge TV market, suffer not because of fan interest but because of the goofy TV arrangements.

I think this is one of the reasons why the Big 12 might not make it. There were several games this year on FSN that were preempted here in TN for hockey! Unfortunately, ESPN doesn't have enough time slots to do much more beyond what they're committed to.

The only hope for the Big 12 is if conferences do the smart thing and not expand beyond 12 teams. This will give them more leverage with Texas. If Texas can't threaten to join another conference, they won't be able to dictate so much of the financial stuff. If other conferences do go to 16 teams, the Big 12 is finished and the Big East and ACC will be relegated to mid-major status. The SEC, Big 10, and Pac 16 will dominate.

December 31, 2010  03:07 PM ET

^^^The ACC might actually compete but it would mean they steal some teams from the Big East.

December 31, 2010  03:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Interesting. I hadn't thought about Mizzou joining the Big East. You make some good points. Going forward, I think expansion is going to be mainly about adding television sets. This would mean schools like Houston are probably more viable candidates.

St. Louis and Kansas City are pretty large markets that are completely untouched by the Big East right now.

December 31, 2010  03:16 PM ET

I forgot about Providence. There would be no need for Creighton. I would put Providence in the East and move West Virginia to the west in basketball.

December 31, 2010  03:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

St. Louis and Kansas City are pretty large markets that are completely untouched by the Big East right now.

St. Louis is the #21 tv market and KC is #31. Houston is #10. If they added Houston and say FIU (Miami is #16), they would be much more viable for ESPN and improve Big East recruiting much more than adding Mizzou and Kansas. That said, Mizzou and Kansas bring a tradition that has value. That's why I think they'll end up in the Big 10 or SEC or Pac 16 if conferences decide to expand even more.

December 31, 2010  04:05 PM ET

You're missing the point lady bird. Sure, Houston is a bigger market, but how many people in that market actually watch Houston play? MU, KU, and K-State are large programs with huge fan bases. Also, don't forget the addition of TCU, gives the Big East a team in the state of Texas. If they can expand their market and recruiting base to a different area, they should do it.

December 31, 2010  04:41 PM ET

I'm not missing the point. I graduated from Mizzou and have lived in St. Louis. Mizzou struggles to recruit in St. Louis (even though it is getting better) and it's a Cardinals town through and through. The only excitement in St. Louis for Mizzou sports is when they play Illinois. I agree that tradition is on their side but expansion is about TV sets. By adding Houston, they add a lot more TV's. Plus, if all of the Big East schools want to compete with the SEC and ACC in recruiting, they need a larger presence in Florida and Texas.

And while Mizzou, KU, and K-State have loyal fan bases, they're no where near as large as they'd like to believe. Plus, Missouri and Kansas are not great recruiting areas anyway. A lot of their players come from Texas.

 
December 31, 2010  04:58 PM ET

Don't get me wrong, with the state of the Big 12, it would possibly be beneficial for Mizzou, Kansas, and K-State to join the Big East. I just think it would be more beneficial for the Big East to focus on different markets and more beneficial for Mizzou (and possibly Kansas but probably not K-State) to wait and see what the Big 10, Pac 16, and SEC do. I really think Mizzou is the kind of team the SEC would consider assuming they expand to 16 teams. I think the SEC would first go after Texas and Texas A&M plus they'd like to get Virginia Tech. Then it would make sense to go after Mizzou. They'd have every TV market from KC south to Texas then east to Florida then north to DC (except for NC which is solid ACC territory because of basketball) and finally west to St. Louis.

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