Faceoff: Who will be the Big Ten's 12th team?
Ask Tate and Turpin who they think should be the 12th team by submitting a question for Monday's chat here.
Marcus Jackson says Connecticut
Like most things in college sports these days, the decision to add another team to the Big Ten comes down to, you guessed it, the almighty dollar.
The Big Ten wants to add an institution (Jim Delaney's favorite word) that will bring in fans from a new media market. What bigger market is there than New York?
The Big Ten Network would benefit with a ridiculous amount of new viewers, and folks on the East Coast, who care little about the Big Ten, will find themselves with a rooting interest in the league.
Missouri makes sense geographically, but the league already has a presence in St. Louis with Illinois getting plenty of airtime in the Gateway City.
Sure, you add Kansas City. But we're talking market No. 31 vs. market No. 1. Advantage: Connecticut.
And with Penn State being the lone soldier out East, it makes a very logical travel partner for the Nittany Lions.
With the Huskies' basketball program, you'd add one of the elite programs in the country to an already powerful league.
And with the caliber of coaches in the league – Tom Izzo, Bruce Weber, Tubby Smith and Matt Painter, just to name a few – adding another personality like Jim Calhoun to the mix is genius.
Tony, you're a women's basketball fan, surely you would love to cover Geno Auriemma's program.
The Huskies don't add a ton of power to the league as far as football is concerned, but their up-and-coming program would benefit by joining the Big Ten.
So, as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys so eloquently put it, "Let's hear it for New York" – or Connecticut.
Tony Bleill says Missouri
As I wrote in Sunday's News-Gazette, I believe the natural fit for Big Ten expansion revolves around Notre Dame. But the Irish – who would benefit greatly from joining – likely aren't interested.
So the most logical fit from a realistic standpoint is Missouri. The school does not offer some of the benefits that would accompany other potential suitors – more on that later – but Missouri is the most likely school to be interested in what the Big Ten has to offer. The Tigers have no decades-deep tradition in their current conference (the Big 12 hasn't been around that long) and would lose only one natural rival, Kansas, while maintaining its secondary rivalry against Illinois. The league would benefit by adding the Kansas City media market and would gain a greater stronghold in St. Louis.
I realize that, when it comes to media/sponsorship dollars, Kansas City and St. Louis aren't the same as New York, which is what the league would gain if it could attract Rutgers or Syracuse. But neither of those schools are leaving the Big East, particularly the latter. Pittsburgh makes some sense because it would add a decent-sized market while giving Penn State a travel partner. The Panthers could renew their rivalry with Penn State. But what would Pitt gain?
I would, however, be mildly surprised if any team decides to join. It's a big step, a risky one for some schools, and there aren't many candidates that seem to be a good fit from both sides.
If it's not Notre Dame, then who? I'll guess Missouri, while placing a longshot bet on Pittsburgh. But it's not a wager on which I'll be betting the rent money.