14 schools to monitor should Big Ten look to expand

·4 min read
14 schools to monitor should Big Ten look to expand

USC and UCLA are now in the Big Ten. The news came quick and in shocking manner. Now, rumors are swirling about what other schools could join them.

Below, we look at 14 programs that could join the Big Ten if the conference intends to keep expanding.

Iowa State

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Iowa State is reportedly one of the Big 12 schools interested in joining the Big Ten, and would make sense geographically for both parties. The Cyclones have become a consistently strong football program under Matt Campbell and would have some regional rivalry ties to the league with Iowa and Nebraska.

West Virginia

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It never made a ton of sense to me to have West Virginia in the Big 12 so I wouldn’t be shocked if the Mountaineers look to leave the league. The ACC may make more sense for West Virginia but don’t be surprised if the Big Ten is in the mix as well.

Pitt

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Pitt has obvious geographical ties to the league and is rivals with Penn State so this could be an easy match for the Big Ten. The Panthers would fit right in with the Big Ten should the league look to add another school from the state of Pennsylvania.

Kansas

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Adding Kansas to the Big Ten would strictly be a basketball move but could be a route the league goes. It’s the flagship school for the state of Kansas and is a basketball blue blood so that alone could draw attention from the Big Ten.

Syracuse

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If the Big Ten wants to continue to beef up their east coast presence then stealing Syracuse from the ACC would help. Like with Kansas, this would be more of a basketball (and money/market move) but I see could this being a program the league looks at as a new member.

Georgia Tech

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It feels like there have been rumblings on a marriage between the Big Ten and Georgia Tech for years. There’s a lot of reasons why the Big Ten would be interested — including adding the Atlanta market to the league’s footprint — so keep an eye on the Yellow Jackets if expansion talks continue.

Oklahoma State

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Oklahoma State is already reportedly exploring options outside the Big 12, and the Big Ten is considered one of those options. So only fitting to include the Cowboys on this list.

Boston College

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Boston College is on this list as somewhat of a wildcard to keep an eye on. The football and basketball programs aren’t particularly stellar but adding another east coast big market could be enticing to the Big Ten.

Virginia

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Virginia was considered one of the teams to monitor for the Big Ten the last time we had conference realignment so don’t be surprised if we hear whispers again. The Cavaliers meet all of the needs of a Big Ten university and would be another east coast addition to further expand the league’s geographic footprint.

North Carolina

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Like Virginia, there were rumblings of the Big Ten pursuing North Carolina during the last conference realignment. Could the league again make a push for the Tar Heels? If they do, would they also consider bringing in Duke to not break up that historic rivalry? There’s a lot of factors in play but North Carolina would be a slam dunk addition for the Big Ten.

Miami (FL)

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Another wildcard to keep an eye on is Miami (FL). There’s been no rumors or any reports to suggest the Hurricanes are looking to leave the ACC but they do match a lot of what the Big Ten should be looking for in a new member. I’m not sure there’s any appetite from Miami but if there is, the Big Ten should make a heavy push.

Notre Dame

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Notre Dame has avoided joining the Big Ten for years so it seems unlikely they’ll now jump on the offer (if that offer is even still on the table) but the Fighting Irish can’t be left off this list. Notre Dame makes too much sense to not be included in an expansion list of this nature but I’m not holding my breath waiting on the Fighting Irish — and I’m guessing the Big Ten won’t either.

Oregon

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If USC and UCLA are heading to the Big Ten, Oregon could be the next big domino. A perennial powerhouse, Oregon would come into the Big Ten as a huge contender for the conference title.

Washington

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Same as Oregon, the PAC-12 looks to be fizzling out with the loss of two of their biggest programs, so we could see Washington forced to make a move soon.

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