We’ve all heard Texas and Oklahoma are likely leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC and are probably still a bit shocked. We shouldn’t though as being in the SEC is far more lucrative as this past season the SEC brought in $728.9 million (2nd in Power 5) in revenue and gave $45.5 million (2nd in Power 5) to each full-shared member compared to the Big 12 bringing in $409.2 million (Last in Power 5) and $38 million (3rd in Power 5) per full-shared member. The Big Ten brought in $768.9 million (1st in Power 5) and gave $54.3 million (1st in Power 5) to each full-shared member.
The Big Ten Conference has the money-making ability to wave in the face of schools they’re interested in bringing in, and with the SEC making moves the Big Ten needs to follow suit to keep up for the title of the best conference in the nation. Going to 16 teams, in general, would’ve made the SEC become a superconference but when it’s Texas and Oklahoma that’s huge. The state of Texas will truly be SEC territory, Oklahoma has been a consistent participant in the College Football Playoff, and Texas looks to be on the rise with Steve Sarkisian. The Big Ten needs at least two more teams and become a superconference itself but it needs to try and match the impact of bringing in Texas and Oklahoma the best it can.
There are already reports that Kansas and Iowa State are reaching out about joining which would be great for basketball but not much else. It doesn’t expand recruiting territory in a meaningful way and those aren’t the biggest of money markets. I say add both of those schools to the Big Ten AND add another two. If the SEC is going to jump to 16 teams the Big Ten should one-up them and outdo the SEC expansion.
There are interesting options but four, in particular, stand out as schools to go all out to get. Adding a couple of big-name schools in addition to Kansas and Iowa State should be the goal. Adding only Kansas and Iowa State doesn’t sound nearly as good as adding Texas and Oklahoma and isn’t nearly as lucrative for the conference.
Notre Shame of course is the first that comes to mind because it’s a legendary program and they already have rivalries with Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue. We also know yearly matchups between the Irish and Ohio State would be great to see. This makes nothing but sense. Hopefully this finally fucking happens.
Shoot for the stars and do what’s needed to poach Clemson away from the ACC. That would add a national powerhouse to the conference, expand recruiting territory into the south, and the Tigers already have the start of a rivalry with Ohio State as they’ve battled three times in the College Football Playoff already. This sounds impossible but if Texas and Oklahoma are going to abandon the Big 12 I think any move is possible now. Also, you know the SEC will try to poach Clemson at some point.
Florida State would be a great addition because it expands the money market, gives the Big Ten a reach into Florida, and would give a school with a legendary football program and a solid basketball program. FSU in football is trying to get back to playing winning football but would give the Big Ten a great addition still.
The final school to try and take a stab at if they can’t one of or any of the other three is North Carolina. Bringing in the Tar Heels adds a legendary basketball program and an on the rise football program that can become a powerhouse. In terms of money markets, this expands the Big Ten’s territory and gets them further south for recruiting turf.
Texas A&M’s Athletic Director reportedly isn’t happy about the idea of Texas and Oklahoma, two former Big 12 rivals, joining the SEC. Perhaps they’d be mad enough to leave the SEC as they want to have their own identity and be the only Texas team in their conference. It would be a great get for the Big Ten as it would give them better reach into Texas and add another real competitor in the conference.
All revenue numbers from https://footballscoop.com/news/heres-how-much-each-power-5-conference-made-last-year