Monday, May 10, 2010

Meek 11 Expansion and What It Means for Vanderbilt

Reports have surfaced the the Big Ten has contacted Notre Dame, Rutgers, Missouri, and Nebraska about joining their league. The ripple effect of such an expansion would certainly subsume the Big East and perhaps the Big 12 as a football conference. As Pat Forde said last week on the Tony Kornheisher show, the best case scenario for college football (and it's fans) is if Notre Dame accepts the fact they are no longer exceptional, joins the Big Ten (giving them 12 teams), and allows the other conferences to remain intact. The "best interest" argument, while ordinarily fantasy, might be feasible in light of the NCAA's decision to not destroy the NCAA Tournament by expanding the field to 96. However, unlike tournament expansion, the money (i.e. the way to make more of it) would cut against Notre Dame giving up their "special" status (and own network). Still, the question is what would this mean for Vanderbilt and the SEC?

Hopefully, nothing. As Mrs. O'Shea points out, the SEC's got nothing to prove. Even with the emergence of super-conferences, does anyone think that the Big Ten adding Rutgers, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, or whomever else would jump their conference's proverbial ship would make them a better conference then the SEC? Nope. While it's possible expansion could create a super-conference than rivals the SEC, there's no rumors that should cause SEC fans any concern. The best we can hope for is the SEC resists the temptation to expand.


chad said...

on sportscenter last night they suggested that vanderbilt might possibly be a big ten addition. i say there is a 0% chance that happens.

CAR said...

Big 10 makes a lot of sense for Vanderbilt in my opinion. Will make recruiting easier (will no longer be the dormat of the SEC) and we will have a greater chance of success in all sports. Certainly the other schools in the Big 10 are much more closely aligned to Vanderbilt than the SEC and a Big 10 expansion for Vanderbilt will give the Big 10 Network an ability to expand into TN. I dont think it will happen, but Vanderbilt would almost certainly be in a better position to compete for large bowl games in the Big 10.

Also, so you know, EVERY Big 10 school makes more money on TV than Notre Dame does on the heels of the Big 10 Network. The NBC deal for Notre Dame, while rich at the time, has completely lost its luster. That is the big reason that Notre Dame is considering joining the Big 10. It is also the reason that the weaker schools in the Big 12 (Mizzou for one) are dying to get out of the conference. The Big 12 has a horrendous TV deal and the revenues are not split evenly. If Mizzou is invited to the Big 10, it will be a no-brainer. It is also a good expansion for the Big 10 as they can expand the network into Missouri.

CAR said...

Also, the best case for the SEC if the Big 12 does die is to get Texas and Texas A&M. this would not be the best thing for Vandy, but certainly for the conference as a whole.

Telling the kids that they will get to play in Texas 1 or 2 times/year would do wonders for coaches trying to make greater inroads with the Texas athletes.

Alabma and LSU would be licking their chops.

Anonymous said...


No conference rivals the SEC in FOOTBALL.

This expansion has some pretty significant effects in Basketball, however.

Taking in Mizzou and Taking Notre Dame away from the Beast, particularly in an NCAA field that allows 4 more worthy teams to compete, increases the competitive nature of the Big 10 with the Big East.

These 2 conferences would be dominant in the middle-to-high seeds in a tournament rack with mediocre SEC, Pac 10, Big 12 and ACC teams.

Anonymous said...

No way Vandy goes to the Big 10. However, if other conferences expand to sweeten their conference deals and bring in more cash it's foolish to think the SEC won't do it too. They'd go after big schools like Texas, Texas A&M, OK St, Oklahoma, Clemson, Miami, etc. It would expand our market (especially the west teams) and it's all about more cash. Really foolish to think the SEC won't do this if the Big 10 and Pac 10 both do this.

Bobby O'Shea said...

I really don't see the Meek 11 + 3 with Notre Dame and Missouri as that much better of a basketball conference, certainly not such that it would affect the Big East as the perennial #1 conference.

There are certainly reasons why Vanderbilt going to the Big 10 makes sense: not the least of which is that conference has schools that share Vanderbilt's academic rigor (something you can't really say about the SEC). It all comes down to economics. If Vanderbilt can make as much money as a member of the Big Ten than they can as a member of the SEC, they'll think about moving. If they can't, they won't.

Still, given the schools rumored to be in the mix for an expanded Meek 11, I don't see the SEC's position nationally, in either basketball or football, being disrupted based on what's being proposed.