Should The Big Ten Still Call Itself ‘The Big Ten’ If It Contains 16 Teams?
The days of the Big Ten being a "Midwestern" conference were probably over in 1990 when the conference expanded to 11 teams and expanded their national footprint with the addition of Penn St. Since then the footprint has only gotten bigger and it looks like it will soon include basically all of America.
As the above tweet says, nothing is finalized as of yet, but Thursday's bombshell hasn't been disputed by either of the schools yet, and financially it makes sense for everyone involved.
The addition of USC and UCLA would bring the total number of teams in the "aptly" named Big Ten to 16 teams.
The conference expanded to 11 teams in 1990 with the addition of Penn St. Then went to 12 in 2011 when Nebraska joined the conference. And there have been 14 teams in the Big Ten since 2014 with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland.
The current footprint of the Big Ten looks like this.
Will the addition of two teams from L.A. make travel a bit of a nightmare for STUDENT-athletes? Probably but the vat of money will also probably be too large for anyone involved to pass up.
This is when you realize that college football has completely taken over college athletics. I'm sure Michigan's football team has no problem making a few cross country trips over the course of a season but does the Men's Wrestling team have those kinds of resources? What about Women's Tennis? It just seems like it's about time we separate football (and maybe basketball) from the rest of the NCAA.
Now, a lot more has to happen before this actually becomes official, but there is a considerable amount of smoke to accompany this fire, far more than our usual realignment rumors. But if it happens, does the Big Ten need to change its name?
I didn't hate it when they kept the name "Big Ten" when they added Penn State, especially because of the cool logo they designed as a nod to the 11th team.
I loved the hidden "11" flanking the "T" in the logo. But when the conference expanded to 12 and then 14, it seemed a little silly to continue calling it the Big Ten, especially when the PAC-10 changed their name to the PAC-12 when they added Colorado and Utah in 2011.
The brand is STRONG with the Big Ten so the change to calling it the Big Sixteen is unlikely. Plus, we're not really good at calling old things new names around here so maybe it's better if they just stick with the Big Ten.
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