Our college football writer's list of schools he would like to join the Big Ten, which needs two additions to go from an uncomfortable 14 to an easy-to-manage 16:
1. Notre Dame
Yeah, yeah, I know it's never going to happen. But maybe someday the Irish brass will realize the school is located in the middle of the Big Ten footprint and far away from the bulk of the ACC. Plus, it would guarantee a football game every year against Michigan.
Illinois and the rest of the Big Ten schools are already recruiting in the Lone Star State. The Longhorns bring value in terms of name recognition and TV sets. And ...
... if you are going to add Texas, you might as well bring the Sooners, too. Oklahoma won't provide as many new TV sets as Texas, but Oklahoma is a national brand with a long run of success in the sport that matters most.
4. North Carolina
It opens a new pocket of the country to the conference. Football has dropped off in Chapel Hill, but basketball and other sports remain strong. Bonus: Gives you another chance to boo Roy Williams.
There was a time when the Tigers looked like strong candidates to join the Big Ten. They went from the Big 12 to the SEC. Geographically, this makes more sense.
6. Iowa State
Selfish reasons here. Two of my favorite restaurants are in Ames. And it would mean a chance to see Nathan Scheelhaase, now on the Cyclones staff.
The basketball boost is obvious. The Wildcats have turned into a consistent winner in football.
Two words: Rocky Mountains. And Ralphie is the coolest mascot in college sports. Football is down, but athletic director and former Illini Rich George will fix it.
Betcha didn't know what the Cougars belonged to the American. Just a hunch the school would jump at a chance to join the Big Ten.
If the idea of adding Rutgers was to make New York part of the Big Ten, it missed the mark. According to a Syracusan (Syracusite?) on the staff, the state identifies more with the Orange. I believe.