Big Ten Expansion: Fifteen Teams, Not Texas, In The Running

Eric GalkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  The Texas Longhorns run out onto the field prior to the Citi BCS National Championship game between the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

According to, Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez released some interesting insight on the Big Ten expansion talks.

Alvarez first off dismissed Texas (as well as Notre Dame) as possibilities for the expansion. Though that could change as time passes, Texas was not a part of the fifteen team initial list to be considered over the next 12-18 months.

The fifteen teams were not released by Alvarez or anyone as of now, but I've constructed a list of teams who I believe are the prime fifteen candidates for the Big Ten opening. Keep in mind that the conference could add one, three, or even five new teams.

Pittsburgh Panthers

With the Panthers emerging as a NFL pipeline and a Big East top dog, the Big Ten would be wise to snatch up the Wannstedt lead Pittsburgh quickly.

Missouri Tigers

The Illinois rivalry is the biggest factor bringing Missouri to the forefront of the talks. A spread offense could be what the Big Ten needs, and the location is good as well.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Maybe a stretch to leave the Big East this quickly, the Bearcats have already become a staple in the Big East and a BCS threat. The location is right in the Big Ten country.

Syracuse Orange

The Big East team with the most tradition, Big Ten advisers may be encouraged by Doug Marrone's start of the turnaround. They also have a national following.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Greg Schiano runs a Big Ten-like program, building tradition and focusing on team defense and running the ball. Still, with a history of mediocrity, they don't bring star power.

Temple Owls

Al Golden has turned the Temple program right around and they have a roster that could be a 10-win contender for years. Tradition and youth give the Owls a chance.

Kansas Jayhawks

Probably a stretch because of their basketball ties, Kansas fits location-wise and could make more money in football because of the Big Ten's tradition.

Connecticut Huskies

Edsall has built a great program in UConn, a team that is very competitive the past three seasons. The basketball team success also helps in the Big Ten transitions.

Other Teams Likely Considered

Buffalo Bulls
Central Michigan Chippewas
West Virginia Mountaineers
Nebraska Cornhuskers
Northern Iowa Panthers
East Carolina Pirates
Memphis Tigers

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