Big Ten Expansion (part 3): The Contenders

12 04 2010

After discussing some of the  outside contenders for the 12th spot in the Big Ten, lots of noise has been made to cut to the chase and get to the real teams (already). This installment will cover the teams with good chances, but not the front-runners. The top two teams for expansion will follow soon.

Some bloggers and so-called experts have been casting doubt on the “East Coast Media Theory” for Big 10 expansion. The problem is, it is too logical not to apply. The conference wants to send a serious statement to the college football community that it is THE top conference in football by adding a conference championship game as well as gain exposure in the ESPN (Eastern Sports Publicity Network) dominated media market on the East Coast.

Two major teams accomplish this feat; the Syracuse Orange and Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Syracuse has an established football program that has had very strong times, and very weak times – a perfect fit for the Big 10. Other than Ohio State, the Big 10 standings can be highly volatile on a yearly basis. And the basketball team has also had established success. Plus Syracuse is about as close to New York itself as the Big 10 can get.

About the only university closer is Rutgers, another likely option. The Scarlet Knights have had a solid football program over the last decade joined with an increase in credibility as a quality opponent. Joining the Big 10 offers Rutgers a larger stage than the Big East and gives the Big 10 a 12th team that will not be a threat to upset the apple cart immediately in the conference.

Again, major prospects like Texas,  Nebraska and Notre Dame would not consider a move t the Big 10 because they want to be conference championship contenders from the start. The truth is, the conference would not want a drastic shake-up immediately – the individual athletic directors within the conference would not allow it. The team needs to ease itself into conference contention.

Two other very unlikely names to also consider at this point would be the University of Connecticut and the Naval Academy. With recent success for both programs, their presence on the East Coast at least puts them on the Big 10 radar.

Coming up next: The Semi-finalist. Who will take second place in the chase for the 12th spot in the Big 10?

Mr Pressbox Out!!

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86 the 96 idea – NCAA tournament expansion idea gets Major #Fail grade

4 02 2010

On the biggest college football day between the National Championship and Spring practices (the NFL draft doesn’t count), let’s talk some college basketball.

Some knuckleheads got the great idea to expand the college basketball tournament – one of the greatest sports inventions since the forward pass – from its 64-team format to a 96-team mega-format.

What idiot on what planet thought that was a good idea? I know who; some moron who thought adding 32 more teams would generate millions of dollars in added revenue for college basketball.

WRONG! And here’s why.

The 64 teams (ok, Mr Technical, 65) already scrape the barrel of the mid-majors with borderline competition for the major conference champions. Yes it is exciting to see a #2 seed upset by a #15 seed. But that #15 seed is usually a good team from a small college and small conference. They deserve their shot in the spotlight, but no one takes them seriously for a chance to win the whole tournament. That’s why they are seeded against the top seeds – to lose early and go home.

The NIT is filled with all the bubble teams that had a shot at making it, and that tournament is horrible. People don’t watch it on TV or at the venues. What once used to be the pinnacle of college basketball, was replaced by the current tournament (and its subsequent revisions) and is now relegated to a “feel good” for some of the mediocre teams who managed to break .500.

If you add 32 more teams to the NCAA tournament, it’s like adding the NIT and the NCAA Tournament together, and then can you imagine the horrible talent featured in the NIT? And don’t for one second think that the NIT is going anywhere. It’s tradition will keep it alive.

And the only way for a field of 96 to work, and STILL keeping the Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final Four rounds in tact is to incorporate an extensive series of byes or simply separating the top 32 from the bottom 64 until the 64 worked its way down to 32, which would then be merged and re-seeded with the top 32 and formatted like the current tournament. This would extend the series at least by one more unwatchable week of horrible college basketball. And here’s a news flash; no one would watch the tournament until the group was reduced down to the final 32 or even Sweet 16.

So technically, expanding the field would actually hurt the NCAA tournament’s pocketbook because you have to pay for the travel and venues of those extra games somehow, and minimal attendance numbers will not put the ledgers in the black.

So why mess with it? There is no good reason at all to mess with the current SUCCESSFUL formula.

I am totally OK with adding an extra “Bubble Buster Night” adding four more teams to the tournament, making four “play-in” games (one for each bracket) vice the current single “play-in” game. At least people would watch that. People would even attend the game, especially if you held all four games in one venue.

My suggestion is, if the NCAA wants to tinker with a postseason playoff tournament, spend the time and resources wisely and figure out a playoff system for the college football BCS series. Now that is what fans want. Listen!

Mr Pressbox Out!!

mrpressbox.wordpress.com
community.foxsports.com/mrpressbox
www.twitter.com/mrpressbox
pressbox.yardbarker.com

Related posts:
http://www.yardbarker.com/all_sports/article_external/Sources_96_Team_March_Madness_Is_8220Done_Deal_8221/2013949

blogs.dailyherald.com/node/3379

espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/3162/donovan-wouldnt-mind-tourney-expansion

espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/3111/ncaa-tournament-expanding





86 the 96 idea – NCAA tournament expansion idea gets Major #Fail grade

3 02 2010

On the biggest college football day between the National Championship and Spring practices (the NFL draft doesn’t count), let’s talk some college basketball.

Some knuckleheads got the great idea to expand the college basketball tournament – one of the greatest sports inventions since the forward pass – from its 64-team format to a 96-team mega-format.

What idiot on what planet thought that was a good idea? I know who; some moron who thought adding 32 more teams would generate millions of dollars in added revenue for college basketball.

WRONG! And here’s why.

The 64 teams (ok, Mr Technical, 65) already scrape the barrel of the mid-majors with borderline competition for the major conference champions. Yes it is exciting to see a #2 seed upset by a #15 seed. But that #15 seed is usually a good team from a small college and small conference. They deserve their shot in the spotlight, but no one takes them seriously for a chance to win the whole tournament. That’s why they are seeded against the top seeds – to lose early and go home.

The NIT is filled with all the bubble teams that had a shot at making it, and that tournament is horrible. People don’t watch it on TV or at the venues. What once used to be the pinnacle of college basketball, was replaced by the current tournament (and its subsequent revisions) and is now relegated to a “feel good” for some of the mediocre teams who managed to break .500.

If you add 32 more teams to the NCAA tournament, it’s like adding the NIT and the NCAA Tournament together, and then can you imagine the horrible talent featured in the NIT? And don’t for one second think that the NIT is going anywhere. It’s tradition will keep it alive.

And the only way for a field of 96 to work, and STILL keeping the Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final Four rounds in tact is to incorporate an extensive series of byes or simply separating the top 32 from the bottom 64 until the 64 worked its way down to 32, which would then be merged and re-seeded with the top 32 and formatted like the current tournament. This would extend the series at least by one more unwatchable week of horrible college basketball. And here’s a news flash; no one would watch the tournament until the group was reduced down to the final 32 or even Sweet 16.

So technically, expanding the field would actually hurt the NCAA tournament’s pocketbook because you have to pay for the travel and venues of those extra games somehow, and minimal attendance numbers will not put the ledgers in the black.

So why mess with it? There is no good reason at all to mess with the current SUCCESSFUL formula.

I am totally OK with adding an extra “Bubble Buster Night” adding four more teams to the tournament, making four “play-in” games (one for each bracket) vice the current single “play-in” game. At least people would watch that. People would even attend the game, especially if you held all four games in one venue.

My suggestion is, if the NCAA wants to tinker with a postseason playoff tournament, spend the time and resources wisely and figure out a playoff system for the college football BCS series. Now that is what fans want. Listen!

Mr Pressbox Out!!

mrpressbox.wordpress.com
community.foxsports.com/mrpressbox
www.twitter.com/mrpressbox
pressbox.yardbarker.com

Related posts:
http://www.yardbarker.com/all_sports/article_external/Sources_96_Team_March_Madness_Is_8220Done_Deal_8221/2013949

blogs.dailyherald.com/node/3379

espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/3162/donovan-wouldnt-mind-tourney-expansion

espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/3111/ncaa-tournament-expanding