Friday, January 25, 2013
OSU's Gee: B1G expansion talks continue
By Adam Rittenberg
Our apologies for posting this so late, but The Bowtie -- Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee -- is at it again, recently confirming what most of us believe.
The Big Ten has hardly closed the book on expansion.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Gee told Ohio State's athletic council in December that Big Ten expansion talks are "ongoing."
From The Dispatch:
Gee said "there has been ongoing discussion" about expansion and "believes there is movement towards three or four super conferences that are made up of 16-20 teams."
When a student member of the Athletic Council asked Gee what direction the Big Ten might take, Gee said "there are opportunities to move further south in the [E]ast and possibly a couple of Midwest universities."
Although the fact that a Big Ten president said this publicly is important, no one should be surprised. Rumors about additional Big Ten expansion targets -- mainly Georgia Tech and Virginia -- have been out there from the moment the league announced the additions of both Rutgers and Maryland. It's notable that Gee referred to other Midwest universities as potential targets. Could this be good news for, say, Kansas, an AAU member in a new market? Perhaps.
I still think if and when the Big Ten expands beyond 14, it will look to the South or East.
The league's athletic directors will meet several times during the next few months to discuss important topics like division alignment -- using the 14-team model they know will be in place in 2014. But they're also aware that the expansion landscape continues to shift.
"Based on the last three years I've been in this business, you’d be crazy not to think about it," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon told ESPN.com on Friday. "But it's hard to model anything because you don’t know what to model. The minute you get yourself convinced that you're going to go from 14 to 16, for all you know you’re going to 18, and a lot of people think the ultimate landing place is 20. Who knows? There’s too many variables out there to predict it."