June 17, 2010

Linkbacker U is talking Big Ten Divisions

The first phase of Big Ten expansion is done (we assume), meaning it's time to start looking at the Big Ten's new 12-team future. We've been quiet around here because life tends to come slamming down at the most inopportune times, particularly when it happens to all of us at once. But I'll have a quick update for you all, following the link digest.

Big Ten Expansion, Divisions:

Brad Wolverton - Al Grivetti was a graduate student at Northern Illinois University in 1990 when he got a dream assignment: Design a new logo for the Big Ten Conference, whose membership was about to increase to 11 institutions. With two brilliant strokes—spelling out the "Ten" to play down the numeral, and adding a subliminal "11"—he created a logo that has lasted 20 years.

Rusty Miller (AP) - No matter how the schedules are drawn up, some schools likely will grumble quietly. The conference will try to preserve old rivalries, but there are no guarantees that all will be played annually. There's no question that new ones will be created.

Adam Rittenberg - But the Big Ten says it will continue to examine expansion for the next year or so, and Delany could "act and act again," he said earlier this month. So here's some advice to the league: If Phase 2 of expansion becomes a reality, make recruiting a top priority.

Brian Cook - Unfortunately, there's no obvious winner. Geography is going to be hewed to fairly closely if only because the serious rivalries in the league are based on it. So the Big Ten faces a choice between throwing three of its four-ish (three and a half, really) glamor teams in the same division, creating an unbalanced split of the top six programs, or disrupting some of the leagues most treasured rivalries.

Bruce Cisky - Outside of the uncertain future for Michigan (powerhouse, consistent contender or something worse), there aren't a lot of issues with putting divisions together. Delany and his cohorts have plenty of favorable options here, and it shouldn't be that hard to satisfy both those looking for geographic sense or tradition in divisions and those who want the divisions to be drawn with a sense of competitive balance in mind.

Pac-10 Expansion, Divisions:

Ivan Maisel - Instead of the unknown, college football awakened Wednesday in a slightly different known. In most pre-Scott expansion landscapes, the schools that best fit a move to the Pac-10 were Colorado and Utah. After all the negotiations, after all the rumors and discussions of a 16-team Pac-10, the league ended up with Colorado. Speculation is rampant that Utah is soon to follow.

Pete Fiutak - The Pac-10 Conference has extened an invitation to Utah to become the 12th member. It's a move that became necessary, and relatively obvious, once the Big Ten and the Big 12 all decided to stay together, and now Utah, assuming its higher-ups accept, has its BCS shot.

Pete Alfano - Order has been restored to college football, but for how long? "The only constant is change," Scott said, "so I wouldn’t rule out the super conference idea. I think that it’s been proven in this process that it is a compelling concept for the TV networks and schools."

Ralph Russo (AP) - Scott said he never felt he had an agreement in place with Texas that would have led to the Longhorns, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M joining the Pac-10. And he said he holds no animosity toward Texas for essentially killing the deal.

John Taylor - Based on geography, it would make sense for the conference to split into sort of a North and South division. Whether that's exactly how the Pac-10 decides to divide remains to be seen as the ink's not even dry on Utah's acceptance to an invite, but here goes nothing anyway.

Big 12 Expansion/Contraction:

The Trenches (TSN) - Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan, citing an unidentified source familiar with Jones' thinking, blogs that Jones is the "driving force" behind the idea of the Fighting Irish and Razorbacks replacing Nebraska and Colorado.

Big East Expansion:

Sporting News (wire) - Orlando, Fla., television station WKMG reported Wednesday that the Big East Conference will issue invitations to Central Florida and Memphis as early as next week. The station cited multiple college football sources. Under that scenario, the Big East would become a 10-team football league and an 18-team basketball behemoth.

LBU Update:

As I pointed out at the top of this article, it's been slow this week at LBU. We are truly sorry about that. I guess after all the expansion stuff last week, there was a burn-out factor going into this week. However, I can assure you all that there will be plenty of stuff going on this summer, probably starting as early as this weekend. Tim is working on a special edition 10 Minutes or Less (we're not telling which team it features, but you can probably guess), while I will dive back into the recruiting world. Plus, our weekly features like the team profiles by Galen and the blogger Q&As by Tim will settle into their schedules, especially since we will be getting into the Big Ten teams soon.

And don't forget, if you ever have any questions or suggests, you can email us at WeAre.LBU[at]gmail[dot]com, or find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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