Joe Paterno has been known to support the idea of having a 12th school join the Big Ten. However, yesterday he let us know which schools he is thinking and as a PSU fan, I must disagree with him.
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Joe Paterno claims he would add Syracuse, Pitt or Rutgers, in no particular order. He also said that Notre Dame lost their chance when they turned down the offer in the past.
Ahhhh stubborn ol' Joe! It doesn't matter if they turned us down in the past, they are still the team that makes the most sense.
His reasons for Rutgers, which seems to be his top choice, and for Syracuse, is to add the NYC market to the Big Ten. This would make for nice ratings and more Big Ten Coverage on the east coast.
However, this would hurt Penn State more then any other team in the Big Ten.
In 2005 through 2009, Penn State has recruited 105 players with 22 of those coming from New York or New Jersey. That's roughly 20% of their incoming freshman in the last 5 years coming from those two states.
12 of those 22 are from NJ.
This is not counting players who Penn State may be looking at and then chose another Big Ten school, or some other program in the South (Georgia for Knowshown Moreno) or West (Brian Cushing to USC), who may have stayed local had the schools been more "big time" which by joining the Big Ten could potentially happen to a Syracuse or Rutgers.
It would definitely be an upgrade from Big East Football.
I think by joining the Big Ten, a school like Rutgers or Syracuse will benefit more then anyone else in the conference. Neither school is really a Football powerhouse and by joining a power conference, they will have new recruiting benefits.
(It may also actually hurt a school like Syracuse in the world of NCAA Basketball which is obviously what the school is known for and being in the Big East is probably better for basketball.)
Rutgers will be able to maintain more kids from NJ rather then losing them to Penn State who is the closest big time football program to NJ. Same applies to Syracuse and keeping kids in New York.
Pitt already competes with Penn State for players just based on an in state rivalry. However, given that the Big Ten is a more powerful football conference, Pitt would be able to keep more kids who may be choosing between the two schools. Right now, Penn State usually has the upper hand in those battles.
As for Notre Dame, this is a obviously a school that does not need help in recruiting. This is one of the few schools who can sign the top recruited quarterback in the nation, from California, and make him move to the Mid West (Jimmy Clausen). They also fit right in the middle of big ten country.
Having PSU, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame would give the Big Ten 4 of the top 7 winningest programs of all time.
Having Notre Dame join would actually benefit the Big Ten more then it would do for the University itself, and making the Big Ten better is what is most important when looking for a 12th school.
Obviously monetarily this wouldn't make sense for ND due to their lucrative contract with NBC. Hopefully when that runs out, and ND begins to feel effects of kids picking schools where they can play for a conference championship, if not a national, may make the school rethink their old fashion ways.
Right now after 1-2 losses, ND is virtually playing for nothing since they are independent and don't win an actually conference. All the other schools after losing 1-2 may be out of the national race, but can still battle for a conference title, which could effect how incoming freshman pick their school.
My point is that in the interest of Penn State recruiting, adding a New York area team would hurt Penn State the most, not to mention the negative effects it would have on the big east.
The Big Ten needs to find a team that will make the Big Ten better and not just make the school that is joining better.