With the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten Conference likely to be announced tomorrow, the conference will look to for another four teams to complete their expansion.
With multiple candidates being considered as the Big 12 Conference slowly falls apart, it would be in the best interest to make as many regional rivalries as possible.
If the conference were to add Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, and Notre Dame, it would create the two competitive divisions.
The Big Ten West would consist of: Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
The Big Ten East would consist of: Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern, Penn State, and Indiana.
The Big Ten West would keep the traditional rivalry between Missouri and Kansas intact. It is a yearly sellout for both programs; they typically have played the game at a neutral site over the past few years to boost ticket revenue.
The Big Ten would add the Kansas and Kansas State basketball programs to what is already considered a power conference in the sport.
It would also keep the travel time to a minimum for traditional Big Ten programs: Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
The Big Ten East could be considered a group of the best eight teams in the country. With Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame all within the same side of the conference, it would give the teams a chance to play each other every season.
It would also boost the chances of an eight-team or more playoff system to be implemented after the BCS contract expires.
The chances of these four teams as the selections of the Big Ten are not very high at this point. It appears Texas and Notre Dame are 'Option A' for the Big Ten. If they take Texas, they must take Texas A & M; if that happens, it eliminates Kansas.
If Notre Dame accepts, they will get their choice of whether they play in the East or West. It's likely they will be kept with Purdue and Michigan, but all rivalries could go by the wayside with this seismic shift in the NCAA landscape.
Here are all the candidates and their likelihood of joining the Big Ten, plus the conference likely to accept them if the Big Ten does not.
Missouri - Big Ten (90%) Other candidates would be the P10, MVC, MWC
Iowa State - Big Ten (10%) MVC, MW, C-USA, SUMMIT
Kansas - Big Ten (50%) P10, SEC, ACC
Kansas State - Big Ten (50%) P10, SEC, ACC, MWC
Colorado - P10
Nebraska - Big Ten
Oklahoma - Big Ten (10%) EARLY REPORTS SAY THEY'RE HEADED TO THE PAC-10
Oklahoma State - Big Ten (10%) EARLY REPORTS SAY THEY'RE HEADED TO THE PAC-10
Texas - (Big Ten 10%) EARLY REPORTS SAY THEY'RE HEADED TO THE PAC-10
Texas A & M - (Big Ten 10%) EARLY REPORTS SAY THEY'RE HEADED TO THE PAC-10
Texas Tech - (Big Ten 5%) REPORTS ARE THEY HAVE BROKEN PARTNERSHIP W/ UT, TAMU
Baylor - (Big Ten 1%)
BIG EAST CANDIDATES
Cincinnati - (Big Ten 5%) Proximity to OSU gives them an outside shot.
UCONN - (Big Ten 10%) Issues in basketball program likely eliminated them.
Louisville (Big Ten 1%) Look to have very little chance, could be picked up by the SEC.
Pittsburgh (Big Ten 40%) Market, Good Programs, All Signs Good and Proximity to Penn State.
Rutgers (Big Ten 50%) It's all about the market they play in, the B10 Network plays a role.
South Florida (Big Ten 0%) No shot for a team in the wrong conference to begin with.
Syracuse (Big Ten 20%) They'd be a big add in basketball and with a rebuilding football team.
West Virginia (Big Ten 10%) It's a good program in all major sports. It's a tough add, though.
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