Big Ten – Why 12 teams?

NDPanther brought up a good question from my previous post, I just thought I would elaborate a little bit.

Why does the Big Ten need 12 teams?

The reason is that in order to have a championship game you must have 12 teams, it’s part of the NCAA rules.  The championship game is one step closer to a playoff, and getting rid of the crappy BCS system.

What would will we call the Big Ten if it is 12 teams?

  • Geographically the majority of the Big Ten teams are in the Midwest or Northern states. So it could be called something like:
  • Big North
  • Big Midwest
  • Midwest Conference
  • Northern Conference
  • Big 10 – It was still the same with 11 teams
  • Big 12 part duex 

How would they be split up?

There are a lot of different ways to break up the conference, here are two examples:

East – West —- The East is kind of stacked, but it’s a simple way of breaking up the teams.

East

  • Penn State
  • Ohio State
  • Purdue
  • Indiana
  • Michigan State
  • Michigan

West

  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Northwestern
  • Notre Dame – assuming ND will buck up and join the big 10.

North-South —- This is a much more even separation of teams. and still an easy way to breakup the teams

North

  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Northwestern 

South

  • Penn State
  • Ohio State
  • Purdue
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Notre Dame 

Personally I like the North – South the teams break up good, there can still be good rivals for championship games like Ohio State vs Michigan, Michigan vs Notre dame. The whole scheduling thing will still be a pain, but every conference goes through it, so Delany can deal with it.  Anyway, what was the question, oh yeah, 12 teams are needed for the championship game.

Comments 1

  • Everyone who brings up this subject only ever thinks about the sports. The Big Ten is an association of universities. They have linked undergraduate and graduate programs, and they are all large state, generally land grant institutions. This has been one of the big hurdles in getting a 12th team. They haven’t found the proper match of schools who would be willing, who the university presidents would get behind. Notre Dame is not a good fit, being a private school.

    Secondly, the Big Ten wants to expand toward the population on the East Coast. Missouri and Miami (Ohio) do little to expand their television network.

    Lastly, you have to consider travel for ALL sports, not just football or basketball. Every lacrosse, rifle, synchronized swimming, etc. team would have to travel, so the FAR East coast, (Rutgers) is not likely. Keep in mind, OSU has 44 varsity sports. Even big athletic programs like Georgia and Texas only support about 1/2 that.

    The likely candidates would be schools to the east of Ohio, who have an enrollment of over 30,000 with significant graduate level research programs. Right now, the only one I can think of that would be a possibility would be Pittsburgh. I’m not sure what’s in it for them.

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