Big Ten expansion talk heats up…commissioner says no

11:04 p.m. update

WRAL: Big Ten quashes latest expansion rumors

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany e-mailed conference officials Tuesday to stamp out a rumor that four schools had already been offered a chance to join the league.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith confirmed Tuesday that Delany had quashed a report that the Big Ten had offered expansion spots to Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Rutgers.

Asked if there was anything to that speculation, Smith said, “Nothing. There’s no truth to it whatsoever. Actually, Jim sent us all an e-mail telling us there’s no truth to that – which we knew. There’s no extensions of offers that have been made, so that’s not true.”

The conference is looking at expanding from its current 11 members so that it can extend the reach of its lucrative cable network and add a league championship game in football.

This has taken off quickly. Much more quickly than the 12-18 month time table put forth by the Big Ten commissioner in an interview a couple weeks back.

Sports Radio 810 in Kansas City reported Monday that the Big Ten had made offers to Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame and potentially Rutgers to join its ranks. That report set off a handful of denials today. Nebraska’s Chancellor and Rutgers’ AD have both denied the initial report and Big 12 commissioner Dan Bebee said he hasn’t heard anything from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

Here’s a recap of the report and the denials from Sporting News and a video from ESPN’s Pat Forde.

The most recent buzz about Big Ten expansion allows for an opportunity to look more at what other conferences are thinking of doing should all this happen. Here’s a few links worth reading if you want to get up to speed on all the potential expansion talks.

FoxSports: Making sense of expansion talk

What NFL Draft? Were there spring games (outside of Alabama)? Were there any other news stories? Every radio interview and every sports conversation I’ve had over the last few weeks surrounds the one hot topic on every college football fan’s mind … expansion and realignment.

The Big Ten sure has thrown the world into a tizzy.

I’ve been wanting to do an ASK CFN for weeks, but almost every question has been about what’s about to happen to the alignment of the college football world. Here are some of the main questions that touch on what everyone is asking about, along with some thoughts about what’s probably going to happen.

Orlando Sentinel: College Football Expansion

Now, for the latest installment of college football expansion: Big Ten speculation continues to grow, the ACC says it will be ready, and where does Arkansas go?

First, the Big Ten, of course. A radio station reported yesterday afternoon that the Big Ten had extended initial offers to Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers and Notre Dame, sending the Internets into mass hysteria. Within an hour, the report was picked up on blogs, Twitter and every other form of media. Within two hours, Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers and the Big Ten had issued statements denying the report. Notre Dame said it stood behind the most recent comments from AD Jack Swarbrick, who has maintained the Irish want to keep their independence.

Orlando Sentinel: Swofford says ACC will be ready

While the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences continue to explore expansion options, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said here on Monday that his league will have a plan in place should major conference expansion and realignment alter the college athletics landscape.

About the possibility of major conference realignment, which could possibly affect the ACC, Swofford told the Orlando Sentinel, “I don’t think any conference would be doing its due diligence if you stuck your head in the sand, so to speak. And we will not do that.”

Swofford was speaking between conversations with officials at the ACC’s annual spring meetings, which began Monday morning and conclude on Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton’s oceanfront resort. Officials from the league office and the ACC’s athletic directors, football and basketball coaches convened here amid an atmosphere of uncertainty unmatched in recent times.

Although Big Ten officials continue to say that plans for expansion are not in the works for another year or more, I would not be surprised to see this happen sooner. Reports are coming too fast and too often for something not to be going on behind the scenes. And make no mistake, expansion in the Big Ten will impact the ACC. It’s tough to say exactly how at this point, but it would change things. The SEC would come calling and there are ACC teams who would likely listen to offers. Swofford better not be kidding with his “head in the sand” comment or the ACC could be left out in the cold.

ACC & Other Required Reading

37 Responses to Big Ten expansion talk heats up…commissioner says no

  1. StatePhan4life 05/11/2010 at 1:02 PM #

    Speaking of impacting the ACC the two teams I heard mentioned yesterday regarding the Big Ten expansion were Maryland and GT. Those were both on the Van Pelt radio show iirc. The Tech one sounded a little far fetched but it would put the Big Ten Network in Atlanta which I am sure would make them happy. Geographically the Maryland bit is a little more inline. That would give them potentially a conference that spans from Nebraska to the Atlantic and covering the top half of the country. covering 50% or so of the country would certainly help their network make even more cash.

  2. XtraCrispy 05/11/2010 at 1:05 PM #

    Off topic….but the good news keeps coming…Lorenzo Brown has become fully qualified and will arrive in Raleigh in mid-June to get ready for 2nd session of summer school and to play in the NC-proAm in Durham.

  3. johnboyNCSU 05/11/2010 at 1:25 PM #

    State should be marketing themselves as an expansion candidate. Let’s continue the shake up in athletics and look in a whole new direction…

  4. wolfie91 05/11/2010 at 1:26 PM #

    Hopefully Swofford and the ACC will be proactive in protecting the conference. As much as many of us like to be nostalgic about the old 8 team conference, its time (like that of Reynolds) has more than passed.

  5. nav 05/11/2010 at 1:50 PM #

    Of course those teams denied the report. What else are they supposed to say when asked, “Yeah we’re thinking about leaving the Big 12. Hope they don’t mind.”
    If I remember correctly Miami did the same thing when first asked if the ACC had talks with them about leaving the Big East.

  6. BJD95 05/11/2010 at 2:00 PM #

    I’m sure Swofford DOES want to be prepared and as proactive as possible. The opertaive question is whether his hands are completely tied by “heads in the sand” Duke and, somewhat ironically, UNC.

  7. sautz 05/11/2010 at 2:53 PM #

    Too bad the ACC has to wait on what the Big Ten is doing (and then probably the SEC) to make it’s move.
    If the SEC makes off with any of our teams (GT, Clem, FSU, Miami) we would be scrambling to get whatever is left of the Big East. Hopefully the Big Ten doesn’t touch Syracuse, Pitt, WVU, and UConn. Even with those we would have to reach for the likes of Cincinnati, USF, then maybe two of UCF, Charlotte, Marshall, or Memphis?
    Unfortunately we are the low man on the money totem pole compared to the SEC and Big Ten. I wish that could change.

    This all should be very interesting if it comes to pass.

  8. bradleyb123 05/11/2010 at 3:46 PM #

    Off topic….but the good news keeps coming…Lorenzo Brown has become fully qualified and will arrive in Raleigh in mid-June to get ready for 2nd session of summer school and to play in the NC-proAm in Durham.

    That was (I think) my last fear for the basketball team. I don’t think things could have come together any better. The naysayers ripped Sidney when we lost CJ Leslie. We got him back. They ripped Sidney for recruiting a player (Lo Brown) that failed to qualify in 2009, even though that was out of Sid’s control. They said LoBrown would fail to qualify again this year. He did not.

    I just don’t think things could have worked out any better for State basketball for this year. Everything in our control couldn’t be better. All we have to do now is go out and win some games.

  9. Moose Hunter 05/11/2010 at 4:16 PM #

    With all of this moving like it is, does this mean Lee has input in this until June 30th, or would the Chancellor take over? No interim named yet. It would have been nice to have had an ineterim AD named for the meetings this week.

  10. PoppaJohn 05/11/2010 at 4:24 PM #

    bradleyb123 – You said exactly what I was going to say. Brown’s qualification was the one thing that could have put a sour taste in our mouths for next year. But it’s more good news for State! I don’t know how to act!!!

    Tashawn, you know you don’t want to go to Wyoming, Rhode Island, or Jacksonville. And you know CJ will come after your butt if you do. Sign the papers!

  11. LKNpackfan 05/11/2010 at 4:33 PM #

    If the Big 11 goes to 14, the SEC would to consider it too. And it could easily expand its footprint into VA/DC and NC by adding Virginia Tech and NC State.
    You know the Hokies would bite. Would we?

  12. bradleyb123 05/11/2010 at 5:01 PM #

    PoppaJohn, I thought Mabry was off the table. But apparently not.

    This article is dated May 7th, but it’s the most recent “official” news I’ve heard about Mabry.

    And not that this means anything, but someone posted a comment there claiming that Mays is NOT leaving. First I’ve heard of that, and it’s just an anonymous comment, so take it with a grain of salt. Dude seemed pretty definite about it, though.

  13. XtraCrispy 05/11/2010 at 9:18 PM #

    Think were gonna pass on mabry…save the ship for down the road…2011 might be a ho-hum class with a couple good players..BUT 2012 and 2013 are setting up to be monster top 10 type classes…Pack has a good year this year and we’ll be on a roll for a long time with SIDNEY…

  14. Broccoman 05/11/2010 at 9:59 PM #

    They’d pick Clemson before either of those schools.

    My guess is they’d go after Clemson and Texas.

  15. LRM 05/11/2010 at 10:24 PM #

    The ENTIRE reason for expansion is to extend the TV footprint into new markets. In that case, it would seem to me that after Texas and Texas A&M that State, Carolina and VT make a lot more sense as SEC targets than GT, Clemson, FSU and/or Miami, considering they already have a TV footprint in those states, but not NC or Va.

  16. El Scrotcho 05/12/2010 at 12:38 AM #

    Well if we joined the SEC I guess it would give Miss St and Vandy somebody to beat in football. We would get MURDERED.

  17. Six Pack 05/12/2010 at 8:09 AM #

    LRM, I agree.

    Taking Clemson from the ACC would make about as much sense as the Big Ten taking Iowa State from the Big XII. Neither adds anything to the conferences TV market foot print and that is what the expansion frenzy is all about. Miami is a different story, though. Miami has a unique hold on the S. Florida TV market especially when their football product is good.

    Obvious areas for ACC expansion are WVU, Pitt, Syracuse, UConn, and South Florida; possibly even Louisville and Cinncy.

  18. LKNpackfan 05/12/2010 at 9:10 AM #

    ^^Exactly my point.

    I’m afraid the ACC might be screwed. They’ve crippled the hoops brand with the first expansion (and by promoting ONLY unc and duke) while the football product has been an absolute disaster. Now, despite Swofford’s assertions, they’ll be pretty much relegated to the sidelines during this round of realignments if the SEC decides to counterpunch.
    NCSU is a founding member of the once great conference, and I love the ACC, but I really don’t see a promising future for it as a top-tier conference unless some drastic actions are taken, (hope I’m wrong here). That said, NCSU needs to look out for itself instead of letting the asshats in chapel hill and durham dictate the direction we’re headed.

  19. Sam92 05/12/2010 at 9:33 AM #

    i have to wonder what SEC expansion would mean for the ACC, and I don’t really like the possibilities. likely for expansion targets for the SEC are ACC schools and, unless NCSU were one of them (which I doubt, but it’s possible), it doesn’t bode well for us.

    at this point i just hope for the best and wait – but hopefully Swofford and company are not just waiting.

  20. cWOhLFrPAiCKs 05/12/2010 at 9:44 AM #

    I guess my only question to those of you who seem to want NC State in another conference is this: If we have a hard time competing in football in the ACC, how do you expect us to compete in the SEC? With our football program floundering as it is right now, and with our basketball program being on the rise, a move to a football powerhouse conference just doesn’t make sense to me. But please feel free to prove me wrong!

  21. bradleyb123 05/12/2010 at 10:05 AM #

    It seems the rumors of Big-Ten expansion are false. (Either that or they’re lying now…)

    Update: Oops. I just noticed this article was updated after 11pm last night.

  22. triadwolf 05/12/2010 at 11:01 AM #

    I always thought Rutgers would have been a better fit for the ACC than Boston College and I still do. Hopefully we are also courting them behind the scenes. Swofford should gift wrap BC and deliver them to Delany postage paid and we’ll take Rutgers.

  23. bradleyb123 05/12/2010 at 11:18 AM #

    XtraCrispy, I don’t believe we’re passing on Mabry. From what I’ve heard, we’ve offered him the scholarship. Based on his other offers, he’d be crazy to decline our offer.

  24. wolfbuff 05/12/2010 at 11:27 AM #

    cWOhLFrPAiCKs, this is not just about what we are NOW, it’s about the future. Sure, we might struggle in football in the SEC, but we could hold our own in basketball. But IF we were to go to the SEC (which I do not see happening by the way), we’d hopefully raise the profile of our football program to be competitive. The SEC and ACC are probably equivalent in baseball. And maybe basketball would suffer. My point is that we would adapt. And, hey who wouldn’t want to regularly play Alabama, LSU, TN, FL, etc. in Carter-Finley?

  25. VaWolf82 05/12/2010 at 11:37 AM #

    Sure, we might struggle in football in the SEC, but we could hold our own in basketball.

    State has only had four winning ACC records in BB over the last 20 years or so. So I’m not sure what you consider “holding your own”.

    Of course, anyone that thinks that State would even be on the second tier of schools that the SEC would like to add is just being silly. State wouldn’t add anything athletically or significant TV viewers to the SEC.

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