Big Ten Football: 5 Schools That Could Replace Penn State
Throughout the ongoing saga of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and cover-up at Penn State, we have heard countless people talk about what kind of punishment the university and its athletic program should face.
Beyond just NCAA sanctions, some have even discussed the idea of kicking them out of the Big Ten Conference.
On one hand, it would make for a logistical nightmare. On the other, it would be a good chance for the Big Ten to separate themselves from Penn State and start fresh, possibly by exploring a new market.
Here are five universities who could be viable options to replace Penn State should the Big Ten decide to part ways with the school.
5. Iowa State
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They may not be the sexiest pick in the world, but Iowa State University comes with a sound academic reputation, a solid athletic department and built-in rivalries with two current Big Ten schools (Nebraska and Iowa).
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They already have a deal with the ACC in place, but for a shot to join the Big Ten, you can bet the farm that they'd pay any price to get out of that deal in a heartbeat.
In addition to its solid academic and athletic reputation, Pitt would also allow the Big Ten to keep a footprint in the Keystone state.
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Hear me out on this.
Navy brings a built-in national fanbase.
Chances are, you have a friend or relative who is or was in the Navy. Sailors are proud people, and their pride extends to Navy football. Their games against Army and Notre Dame are always nationally aired because the networks know there's an audience for them.
The Big Ten would be crazy not to want to showcase games like Navy vs. Ohio State, Navy vs. Michigan or Navy vs. Nebraska annually.
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The Big Ten is making a strong push to become the elite basketball conference in the nation.
What a coup it would be to land the Jayhawks, one of the true blue bloods of the sport, to bolster the conference's reputation.
Kansas seems to want to shed the image of being a basketball-only school, given that their three hires for the position of head football coach have all been popular names in the football community.
The Big Ten would also inherit a sizable chunk of the Kansas City metro market.
1. Notre Dame
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Ah, the Holy Grail (no pun intended).
The idea has been kicked around for years. What better time than now for the Big Ten and Notre Dame to team up for a fresh start, especially in what appears to be the dawn of a new era on the college-football landscape?
With existing built-in rivalries with Michigan and Michigan State, imagine the the possibilities if Notre Dame had annual matchups against the likes of Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin.