Rumors have been swirling all day about the Big Ten looking to add a 12th team. Many coaches in the League have been pushing for this expansion for years and the league is going to finally take these thoughts seriously over the next 12 to 18 months.
So the question is, would the addition of a new team rejuvenate this lack luster conference? The Big Ten is still a premier conference in most sports. Lately though, the football has struggled to keep up with the speed of the SEC and Big 12 schools in major bowl games. This has led many to perceive the Big Ten as somewhat inferior in football to these other big time conferences.
With the addition of another team, they could divide the conference up into 2 divisions of 6 and add in a conference championship game. This would help subside the lull that many Big Ten teams suffer from the extra long layover they have before the big bowl games. Due to the conference lacking a title game, they have at least an extra week off from teams in the other big time conferences like the SEC and Big 12. This extra week off puts the teams at a disadvantage and lately has shown in their performance in the big time bowl games.
So I am definitely all for the Big Ten expanding. Maybe the addition of a new, hot-shot team, could help alter some of the ultra conservative play that the conference has exhibited lately. Many feel that the Big Ten’s traditional style of play and run first mentality has put them in a no win situation against the speedsters that come out of the SEC conference. I still think the Big Ten has solid teams, but the style of play of most of the teams makes it near impossible to defeat the Florida’s and LSU’s of the world.
So what team could make an instant impact and alter the conference? Well there has always been talks of adding Notre Dame. I do not see this happening anytime soon, though the addition of a coach like Brian Kelly would instantly add a pass happy offensive juggernaut to the conference. There has also been talks of possibly adding a Pittsburgh, or even a Cincinnati. I am not sold on either of these schools as ones who would even exhibit interest if asked.
I am honestly not sure if any of these 3 schools would join if asked. They all have strong football and basketball programs though and would add to the overall level of play in the Big Ten.
So my question for you all today is should the Big Ten add another team, and if so, who would be the natural fit?
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.