We are so close to real football, but this is also our last chance to think about Big Ten expansion for a while.
This summer brought insanity to the Big Ten conference when UCLA and USC announced they were leaving the Pac-12 to face opponents across the country. It also sparked a number of discussions surrounding who would be next. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has been very public about leaving the door open to other schools joining.
FiveThirtyEight recently took a statistical approach to who would actually fit best in the Big Ten conference. What did they come up with? Here is a look at the ten schools they could see joining based on tiers of how good the fit would be (Tier 1 = best fit):
Tier 3: Clemson
Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) and teammates celebrate their win after the game at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina Saturday, November 27, 2021. Clemson won 30-0.
Tier 3: Utah
Apr 23, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham looks on during the second half of the Utah Spring Football Game at Rice–Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Tier 3: Miami
Jan 22, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mario Cristobal reacts while hyping up the crowd during the second half between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Tier 3: Stanford
Nov 27, 2021; Stanford, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (18) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium. Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Tier 3: Cal
Dec 4, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; California Golden Bears wide receiver Nikko Remigio (4) runs the ball against USC Trojans defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu (49) during the fourth quarter at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium.
Tier 2: North Carolina
Nov 14, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) runs for a touchdown as Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive linemen Miles Fox (11) and Carlos Basham Jr. (9) defend in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Tier 2: Oregon
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; The Oregon Ducks mascot on the field during the second half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Tier 2: Florida State
Jul 20, 2022; Charlotte, NC, USA; Florida State defensive back Jammie Robinson speaks to the media during ACC Media Days at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Tier 2: Washington
Jan 29, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies football head coach Kalen DeBoer speaks at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Tier 1: Notre Dame
1/1/2022 Glendale, AZ; Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, Chris Tyree breaks free for a touchdown.