Sound off: What do you think about expansion?

In case you missed it this weekend, we’re opening up the lines for you to tell the Big Ten Conference your answers to the key questions surrounding the latest conference expansion. The future additions of Maryland and Rutgers as the 13th and 14th conference members sparked debate, and BTN will be discussing these issues for the entire month of December.

Should there be new divisions? Keep the current ones and just add one school apiece? Do the divisions need new names? How important are traditional rivalries, geographic location and competitive balance? How should having 14 members impact the basketball tournaments? We’re asking, and now you can answer in this post.

Use the survey below for feedback. A variety of BTN shows and BTN.com posts will feature some of this feedback. And pass this post along to others you think want to be heard.

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You’re welcome to use the comments section at the bottom of the page, but the survey is where we’re really collecting your opinions.

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Show Comments (9 Comments)
9 Post Your Comment
Danial Logan on 12/3/2012 @ 12:03pm EDT Said:

Very, very,very,very,very,bad idea. The big ? is already watered down just look at the big? championship game heres the 5th best team blowing out what is supposedly the legends regular season champs pittiful. By adding 2 more not very good team you just keep watering down what used to be one of the top confrences in sports. Too bad Michigan don”t go independent get a network deal and get out of the big ? Money has destroyed sports in every aspect just look at this idiotic bcs garbage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cliff on 12/3/2012 @ 3:43pm EDT Said:

Not happy about adding east coast teams, Big 10 should be all midwest teams. Add the Ky or Mo or MS teams not east or west coast teams.

Aaron Musfeldt on 12/3/2012 @ 5:55pm EDT Said:

Just let us play our regional rivals. This is a chance for the Big Ten to correct the divisions that it setup a couple years ago. Wisconsin needs to be in a division with Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.

John on 12/3/2012 @ 7:49pm EDT Said:

Go to 16. Help assure entry into national championship game at least every 3-4 years!! And get rid of leaders n legends – ugh!

Al on 12/3/2012 @ 11:08pm EDT Said:

I think it stinks!, all the B10 is after is the TV markets, away to make more money, leave these east coast schools alone, go after schools that are in the heartland, the Big 10 is a heartland conference.

Eric on 12/3/2012 @ 11:33pm EDT Said:

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The 4 western schools with the eastern schools and the Ohio/Michigan schools with the Indiana/Illinois schools. It puts the schools with those that are closest to them, is competitively balanced since 1993, preserves every major rivalry outside of Ohio State-Penn State and The Little Brown Jug, and REQUIRES NO LOCKED CROSSOVERS. That last point is big as we need to free up space to maximize games against each other since we’ll otherwise get so few at 14.

Ben Schlichter on 12/4/2012 @ 10:48am EDT Said:

I like the expansion. Let’s face it: It has to happen. When the B1G added Nebraska, it started the chain reaction which has caused an arms race with the SEC, Pac-10, and so on. The result is that we’re going to superconferences, and the choices are either to be left out, or included.

The argument about the B1G CCG this year is hilarious. Wisconsin blew out Nebraska. Honestly, that proves how bad our conference is. Would you of rather Nebraska been blown out by Stanford, or have our actual winner in the Rose Bowl? Besides, its Ohio State and Penn State’s fault for being banned, allowing Wisconsin even into the CCG (both teams beat Wisconsin and had better season ending records, FYI).

As for where they expand – there are only a few rational choices. The only team already in the Big Ten’s footprint that is desirable is Notre Dame. Otherwise, you have to pluck teams from other states. KY? MO? MS? Really? Abysmal academic schools will not enter the B1G. Nebraska barely passed that test, and had its AAU membership stripped away. Its unlikely that a president will ever approve another university that close to being on the margins. Comparatively, Rutgers and Maryland are both top-notch universities.

I do hope that they take a long hard look at the divisions and the names, which are sub-optimal. With the addition of Rutgers and Maryland, I think you need a true East and West division, that preserves rivalries better than what the current LL divisions have. This is, unless the B1G goes to 16 teams. If so, a pod system would certainly be preferred.

Going with an east/west split based evenly on rivalries, geography, and competitive balance, you get:

Western Division:

Nebraska
Iowa
Michigan State
Wisconsin
Illinois
Minnesota
Purdue

Eastern Division:

Ohio State
Michigan
Penn State
Northwestern
Maryland
Rutgers
Indiana

The win percentages for these divisions over the past 30 years are 54.85% and 55.16% (this assumes Penn State’s wins weren’t vacated). One issue of balance is that Nebraska is the West’s only team with >70% win rate over the past 30 years, whereas the East has 3 teams with that margin. This could be remedied by Michigan switching out with Michigan State.

And whatever happens, PLEASE GET RID OF THE AWFUL LEGENDS AND LEADERS NAMES. After 2 years, I still can’t tell you which division is which, despite knowing the teams in each division.

David on 12/4/2012 @ 11:54am EDT Said:

I don’t mind the eastern expansion given the opportunity that was presented before the league.

With most remaining midwest schools buried in the southwest-based Big 12 and most remaining northwest schools buried in the southeast-based ACC, the Big 10 is left, almost be default, with a new mission:

College’s premiere Northern sports conference (now enhanced from college’s preiemere Midwest sports conference).

Locking down portions of the big eastern markets with two large state schools moves to secure that title.

Drew on 12/21/2012 @ 9:18pm EDT Said:

I see no problem with the names “Legends” and “Leaders”, though the divisions will likely be adjusted to accommodate Maryland and Rutgers’ athletic transportation budgets (all sports). Regarding future expansion, based on market territory* and academic similarity, Missouri and Syracuse** make sense. Obviously, Notre Dame would be welcomed with open arms should they ever end their independence.

*regional similaity remains valuable in the case of the Big Ten
**never forced out of AAU membership, has “flagship” state school characteristics

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