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Not That Big 12, The Other Big 12

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Just when you thought it was safe to settle into the current Big East structure and think about the future, along comes a USA Today article (via The Axeman) that mentions Big Ten expansion, Big East teams and big headaches for all involved.

Eleven teams is nice, but twelve teams means conference championship game which means more money which means the Big Ten (Eleven) is extremely likely to expand in the coming years, especially with the creation of the Big Ten Network. But who shall that expandee be?

Surely Notre Dame is at the top of that list. The location and their the standing Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue rivalries alone make it the logical choice before you even get to the fact that their Notre Dame.

But the article points out another option, one that Axeman rightfully points out has a little to do with the schools involved and more to do with the giant metropolis near them. Syracuse and Rutgers are named as possible invitees to the conference,
although that sounds like here-say and not something that a Big Ten official is on the record as saying.

First of all, I love how Rutgers has ONE good season and all of a sudden their the big swinging dick of the Big East. They are the football equivalent of Chris Rock's joke about the guy who never got laid before he had a girlfriend and now gets propositioned nightly. Greg Schiano dressed them up, wiped the crust of they eyes, gave'm a tic-tac, now everybody loves them. As much as they are the closest major football program to NYC, don't expect a conference with the tradition and pageantry of the Big Ten to take Rutgers anytime soon, no matter how many amazing Texas Bowl victories they have.

As for Syra
cuse...yeah, it does sound tempting. The Penn State rivalry. Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin on the yearly schedule. The chance to play in the Rose Bowl (someday). They all sound pretty enticing. And let's face it, we are the university that had one foot out the door into the ACC before we got slapped back into reality so its not like we're chaining ourselves to Big East headquarters.

But it just doesn't feel right. After all the shit we gave Boston College for leaving, what a shame it would be to follow suit just a few years later. And what about our basketball team? One of the defining teams of the Big East basketball conference, which, has a helluva lout more cache than Big Ten basketball. It's not just about football here, you have to think of the entire athletic program and the identity of Syracuse sports. We're a Big East school, for better or worse. And with the way things are looking in football, that's not such a horrible thing these days, is it?

But at the end of the day, won't the Big Ten do whatever it takes to get Notre Dame? Don't you think that, since this will be their last chance to get the Irish into the conference, they'll pull out all the stops? I'm sure getting Syracuse or Rutgers or Pitt would be a nice little addition to the Big Ten, but they have to consider getting Notre Dame the crown jewel.

This is all probably all just guesswork and theories at this point. But the day may indeed come where a Big East squad if forced to make a tough decision. If they make the decision purely for football reasons, we're screwed cause its an easy choice to leave for the Big Ten. But if they think about the all-around and not just the bottom line, we'll remain intact. At least until the ACC expands again.