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An Update on Big Ten.. Ahem.. College Expansion

College expansion has turned into one big tangled mess.

As I sat down to write this article this morning, I pulled my headphones out from my bag and found the wires in a huge knot. Ten minutes later, they were finally ready for use. After some deeper thinking, I found that the case with my headphones is exactly what is happening in the college football landscape right now. Let me try to explain.

In any knot, if you pull just the right wire from the beginning, the cord will unfurl and straighten out on its own. No other tweaks are needed. In conference realignment, that right wire is Notre Dame. If Notre Dame were to come to the Big Ten, reports say that expansion would stop at 12 teams and all would be right with the world. The Big 12 would stay intact and it is doubtful any other shifting of the conferences would take place. Rarely, though, do we ever pick that right wire. Notre Dame does not want to stray from their football independence and will wait until the last minute to join any conference.

So we now end up with our system of knots that is never ending, with different sequences and strategies being put into place to untangle everything. This is what happened late last week when the Pac-10 was rumored to be set to hand out invitations to the entire Big 12 South which includes Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor. With the Big 12 staring its demise right in the face, they have given both Nebraska and Missouri deadlines to pledge their allegiance to the conference. Nebraska’s is set to expire this Friday, while Missouri has until June 17. News came out on Wednesday morning saying that Nebraska was planning on jumping to the Big Ten as early as Friday.

If these scenarios were to come true, we would see the college football landscape be dramatically reshaped. The Big Ten would scavenge for a couple Big East schools, namely Rutgers and Syracuse, along with Missouri. Notre Dame would then get scared and join to create the second-16 team superconference. The ACC and SEC would then pick up the pieces of the now-riddled Big East to create two more 16 team conferences and a fifth would be created by the remnants of the Big 12 and MWC plus Boise State.

And VOILA! The knot has now been untangled. That wasn’t too bad, was it? Now if you want more updated information on all the goings-on with expansion, here are a few sites that you should check out.

http://www.nittanywhiteout.com – Run by our favorite commenter Devon, this is the source for Penn State sports news

http://www.orangebloods.com – The University of Texas fan site. Chip Brown has had tons of great analysis so far.

http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/ – Frank the Tank covers Illini football and is always a good read.

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About the Author

Dan Vecellio

Dan is a graduate student in meteorology, hailing from Bradford, Pennsylvania. His interests include sports, Penn State and commons cheesesteaks. Feel free to contact me through my email or follow me on Twitter.

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