The joke goes that every other commercial on the Big Ten Network is an ad for Ro*Tel, a line of canned tomatoes and green chiles that you add to your cheese dips in order to make them spicier, zestier or festiver. I wouldn't really know this from experience because I would have to watch a lot of Big Ten Network to realize it and I just don't give a crap about Wisconsin field hockey.
That said, I might be forced to start giving a crap about Wisconsin field hockey very soon if Syracuse were to join the Big Ten. The Impending-Conference-Realignment-That-Must-Not-Be-Named just got a whole lot more likely with the news that the Big Ten is accelerating it's timeline for extending invitations to one, three, four or possibly five teams. While we don't know who those invitations will go out to and how many, we do know that Syracuse is one of the names on the short-list. Syracuse might not be the most exciting school out there (low revenue, low football attendance, small media market, lack of recent FB success), but being that we make sense geographically, provide an in-road to NYC and come packed with football tradition & basketball success, we're still a very viable candidate.
Whether or not you WANT to join the Big Ten might be beside the point by now. There's too much money on the table and Syracuse needs as much of it as it can get its hands on after watching its endowment plummet. Not to mention the exposure that the Big Ten Network brings and the prestige of the conference. Giving up our yearly basketball battles with UConn and Georgetown for home-and-home series with Minnesota and Iowa might be the price paid.
Of course, this is still speculation until we know for sure. But to keep track of how things are looking, we're going to need an O'Meter to help us understand exactly how close we are to going or staying in the Big East. The O'Meter has been extremely helpful in the past, showing us how close we were to finding paradise in Toronto or sorting out the sexy football coaches from the ugly ones.
And so, without further adieu, I give you...The Ro*Tel Big Ten O'Meter...
Some explanation after the jump.
We know how much JoePa wants expansion. We know he wants conference expansion and we know he wants Syracuse to be a part of it, amongst other schools. So depending on how this all plays out, Paterno is either going to be really happy or really sad. It would only make sense that the O'Meter tracks itself by those emotions. And so you see on one side, Sad JoePa. If it begins to look more and more like SU will not be part of the discussion, the arrow will veer towards him. On the other side is Happy JoePa. If Syracuse gets invited and/or looks like they're going to accept, we go that-a-way. Somewhere in the middle is Quizzical JoePa and Pleasantly-Surprised JoePa filling in the emotional range that he's capable of.
We'll update the O'Meter as it makes sense. When news breaks, someone comments or a feeling in the air creeps in, we'll see where the arrow goes. With it, so goes JoePa's emotional state. And Syracuse's financial and athletic future.
H/T: Axeman for the suggestion