The Little 11

joepa1 If Joepa wants a 12th team, then the Little 11 has to listen. I mean, this is Joepa we’re talking about guys. This is one of the premier coaches in all of college football, let alone the Little 11. And don’t give me this crap about Penn State being the youngest member. They and “The” Ohio State University are really the only two schools that even have any resemblance of relevance in that embarrassment they call a BCS conference.

Little 11 Commissioner Jim Delaney says the one extra team might actually detract from the conference “like it did for the ACC”. I don’t know if he’s noticed, but former Big East member Virginia Tech, one of the newer members of the ACC has represented them in the BCS the last two years. Boston College, also formerly of the Big East, has competed in the ACC Championship game against Virginia Tech the last two years, so as Mike Gundy would say – “Get your facts straight” Jim. By the way, it’s not like you’re adding three teams like the ACC did anyways. You’re only adding one!

And what’s with you guys always finishing your season a month before everyone else? Joepa’s got it right. You can’t afford to let teams jump you in the rankings after you make it in the clubhouse unscathed due to your pathetic competition and non conference schedules featuring juggernauts such as Cal Poly, Youngstown State, Coastal Carolina, Maine and many others.

Adding one extra game may be the way to solve this problem. Once you solve that problem, however, there’s going to be a whole new problem. Who gets to be the Big 12? I think the two conferences should have a fight to the death like in good old ancient times…oh wait, if history repeats itself, you’ll probably keep the Big 10 name won’t you? My bad. You couldn’t name your conference the Big 10 plus 2 because that just sounds Bush League, and the Pac 10 has already called dibs on the 12 Pac, once they add two teams.

Now, to naming the 12th team to enter the Big 10, sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it? The obvious answer that jumps out to everyone is Notre Dame. I couldn’t disagree more. First of all, they have their huge T.V. contract with NBC. Why would you ever just throw away $9 million a year? Even if NBC can pull off a contract where they get exclusive Big 10 rights, and still televise the Notre Dame games, why would the Irish want to share their pot of gold with anybody, but themselves? Secondly, if they join the Little 11 in football, the Big East may kick them out of their conference, since they are in the Big East for everything, but football. Finally, if Notre Dame does want to join a conference, wouldn’t it make more sense to join the supposedly weaker conference (according to all the experts) so they could get a free pass to the BCS every year?

Now the question becomes, who does the Little 11 raid? Do they go after the Big East again? Well, where else would they turn? It seems almost like the perfect case scenario for them to look at Pittsburgh. You’ll instantly create a new in-state rivalry between Pitt and Penn State, you’ll go into the 23rd best t.v. market with a great basketball team and a decent football team.

Pitt is definitely a better choice than say, Iowa State, who would give Iowa a rivalry game and travel partner, but wouldn’t add coveted market value. They may also look at Nebraska, which has a great football tradition, and looks to be getting back on track under Bo Pelini, but Nebraska really doesn’t have any natural rivals or travel partners in the league. Also the Nebraska market isn’t really going to excite that many people around the Little 11.

Two other teams the Little 11 would be looking at are Syracuse and Rutgers. These teams are probably the second best option after Pitt, but they would cause major problems with travel. The good thing for the Little 11, however, is either team would give them a brand new recruiting base in the northeast. Problem is, I don’t see Syracuse leaving the Big East under any circumstances. They have great rivalries with Georgetown and Connecticut. They don’t want to risk losing these rivals forever like Boston College, who UConn won’t schedule for leaving the Big East to this day. Rutgers may consider jumping ship, but the Little 11 has to ask themselves, is this entire program really worth it? You’ll be getting an above average football at best and a great women’s basketball team. Is that what you really want Little 11? But then again, this seems like the entire direction their conference is taking – mediocrity…


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