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Old 07-26-2007, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default RUMOR:Big Ten Possibly Considering Expansion

RUTGERS - The current darling of the Big East, Rutgers boasts one of the biggest television markets in the world - NJ/NY/NYC. The Scarlet Knights lack some of the cache that other schools offer, but you can't beat Rutgers when it comes to TV market.

Despite recently fronting a lot of cash to join the ACC, it's not unreasonable to think that the Big 10 could offer Boston College a better deal to join up. Besides the obvious geographic advantages which would give BC better options for team travel, the Eagles would also benefit from developing conference rivalries that would be within a more reasonable weekend travel distance from Boston. BC would be the second smallest school in the conference, and the Big 10's second private institution. Boston is the 7th largest television market, so you have to think that BC will be on the target list, ACC affiliation be damned.

NAVY - The Midshipmen would be an outstanding football only member, because they have both the #8 (Washington) and #24 (Baltimore) TV markets, but also have a respectable nationwide following. The problem with Navy is that it would require the Big 10 to agree to waive membership in many of the conference's sports.

Just down the list at #28 television market is Hartford/New Haven, which brings us to the UConn Huskies. The Huskies lack the football tradition, but certainly bring some serious pop & street cred on the mens & womens basketball front. At 16,300 undergrads, UConn would be the second smallest school in the conference, roughly twice the size of Northwestern. Still... UConn would open up a new TV market.

SYRACUSE - The Orange have a reputation that would hold up nicely to some of the other Big 10 schools, which could put them near the top of the field, but play in the 79th biggest television market. There are a lot of other options above SU.

PITT - The Pitt Panthers play in one of the larger television markets currently within the current Big 10 conference... but Pittsburgh is already within the Big 10's reach. Long story short, Pitt would be at the bottom of the list for expansion under Delany's new tv-centric strategy.

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