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Schools: Notre Dame, Syracuse, Rutgers and ???
Positives: By adding Syracuse, Rutgers and a third Big East member, the Big Ten will essentially end the Big East as a football playing conference. This is likely the easiest way to force Notre Dame in to joining a conference. No longer having its Big East bowl tie-ins, instability in the conference home for its basketball and non-revenue sports in question, and fear of being left in the cold after the formation of 16-member super conferences may finally convince Notre Dame join a conference. Its longstanding rivalries with Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State make the Big Ten the obvious choice.
Syracuse and Rutgers give the Big Ten access to New York and will force cable providers in the nation's largest media market to put the BTN on their basic cable packages. Both schools are football programs on the rise under Doug Marrone (Syracuse) and Greg Schiano (Rutgers).
Penn State (specifically Joe Paterno) has been begging the Big Ten to expand eastward for quite sometime. JoePa's ideal choices have always been Syracuse, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh.
Rutgers is an AAU member and Syracuse left the organization earlier this year. In the event that a third suitable Big East school cannot be found, Delaney can instead go after Missouri or an ACC school.
Negatives: Collapsing the Big East does not guarantee Notre Dame will join the Big Ten (or a conference at all). In fact, Delaney attempting to manipulate his school may convince Rev. John Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick to take the Irish to the ACC/Big East Remnant instead (I wouldn't expect this to be the result, but it is a possibility).
There is not a third Big East school that fits the Big Ten profile. Though they have all had recent success on the football field, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Louisville are urban universities overshadowed by their state's flagship universities (Penn State, Ohio State and Kentucky respectively). West Virginia and Connecticut don't meet the Big Ten's academic standards while South Florida is out of the Big Ten's geographic range.
Though Syracuse has produced some of the most gifted football players in history, the program has been laughable for the better part of a decade. Its last conference championship and major bowl appearance came in 1998-99, a 31-10 Orange Bowl loss to Florida in Donovan McNabb's senior season. Rutgers has never won a Big East championship and seems to have plateaued after their big Thursday night win over then-undefeated Louisville in 2006.