On Friday, June 11, 2010, Nebraska made it official that they would be joining the Big Ten (12).
It was called a “historic day” by many because Nebraska was one of the building stones of the Big Eight and Big 12.
Yet, Nebraska could not look past all that Jim Delaney and the Big Ten had to offer for them: publicity and money. There is much more than this, but these are the two most important things.
This is fantastic news for the Big Ten because now they added a college football “powerhouse” to their résumé.
Along with that, they can now have a conference championship game, which is something they have needed for quite a while—for most of the BCS conferences have one.
I am also very intrigued by this unfolding event and would not be surprised to be the Big Ten to add at least one, or possibly up to four more teams.
The leading candidates to fill these the empty spots are Notre Dame, Rutgers, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, Maryland, Connecticut, Syracuse, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.
Now, we need to discuss what the divisions may look like because that will be something many people will be interested to look at.
Here are my ideal divisions if Nebraska is the only team to join:
I think this looks very similar to what it may look like in the end.
Although, I would not be surprised to see Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State swapped with someone because they are usually the top teams in the Big Ten, so you would not want all three of the top teams in one division.
As for the games, you would play everyone in your division, three from the other division, and then have a chance to play four non-conference games.
What are the Pros of Adding Nebraska to the Big Ten?
First of all, and most importantly, it gets them more publicity, which also would involve more money getting thrown their way.
Into further discussion about the money; the Big Ten definitely came out as a winner in that category.
In a Forbes article, there was a list of the most valuable college football schools. Nebraska came in at No. 4 on that list, finishing behind Texas, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Nebraska has a team value of $93 million and a profit of $49 million.
Second, it gives the Big Ten another team with a rich history of college football.
This program has been one of the best in college football over the past 50 years, and adding a national “powerhouse” like Nebraska can only make the Big Ten look more respectable.
In their 119 seasons in college football, they have an all-time record of 827–341–40, a combined record of 24-22 in bowl games, and have complied five national championships. Also, Nebraska is the winningest college football program over the last 50 years, both by winning percentage and number of wins.
Third, as mentioned earlier, it gives the Big Ten the option for a championship game to end the season.
The Big Ten teams will usually end their season before Thanksgiving, giving the teams who play in a BCS game a lot of time off. So, it will determine which team(s) go to a BCS bowl, and will give the two teams a game further into the year so they don’t have as long of a break.
Lastly, Nebraska is also a member of the AAU (Association of American Universities), which is an association of 63 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada.
This means that Nebraska not only adds high quality athletics to the Big Ten, but also superb academics.
Whether you support or don't support Nebraska joining the Big Ten, it’s pretty obvious that this is perfect for both of them because it gives both of them more prestige, more publicity, and more money.
Now, who’s going to be the next member?