Alright. We've talked about all the logical Big Ten Expansion candidates. Missouri. Pittsburgh. 'Cuse. We've even talked about the not so logical ones. Rutgers. Iowa State. (Just kidding. No one's talked about them. The Big XII is actually trying to give them away.) At this point in the debate we're stretching the sanity of just about everyone. Nebraska? Texas? It's not going to happen people, no matter how much we personally may want it to happen. We just don't have that kind of pull.
But to hell with it. Why shouldn't we breach the topicof the absurd? If the Big Ten is going to expand, lets make it count! So with that in mind, we're getting greedy. Picking for the impossible dream, the perfect addition or additions. 12 teams 14. Whatever. And I don't care where they are. Geography is for fifth graders and people with maps. We're neither. Your school is located in California? Manitoba? Brazil? Come on down. Logic had no place in our machinations on forming a league of super villians bent on taking over the world. So it has no place in our ruminations on forming a super conference to rule them all. Screw logic. We're picking the best possible athletic institutions that would make a good fit for the Big Ten. And we're gobbling them up Unicron style.
Once the Big Ten decides you're edible, you might as well just let it devour you.
And face it, when Jimmy Dollaz starts making it rain Benjis like a Jamie Foxx video, your knees will tremble. You know its right. You can always blame it on the a-a-a-al-al-al-cohol.
The Kansas Jayhawks - Those bastards over at BHGP beat me to proposing this, but according to CCHA rules since I intended to propose it before they did, I win. Credit now fully my own, Kansas would be an excellent fit despite the loss of Mark Mangino. And believe me, that's a big hit to their candidacy. Any person that makes LSU Freek do this, is a critical addition to any conference. But let's get down to the vitals. Kansas has a great basketball tradition, decent baseball and football teams, and strong women's sports programs. They've even got a decent academic reputation. But most importantly for the big Ten, Kansas forms one half of the most vicious college rivalry in all of college athletics. Ohio State Buckeye and Michigan fans might have dislike each other, but neither has ever rolled into the other's hometown, killed the inhabitants and burned their city to the ground. Some might say that's not a good reason for admittance to the conference. I disagree. It shows passion! Passion the Conference needs. Just check your weapons at the door before the conference meetings, boys. Another benefit of Kansas joining the Big Ten is their outstanding blog, Rock Chalk Talk, which insanely covers football as well as it covers it's No. 1 ranked basketball program. But, sadly, the loss of Mangino truly hurts their candidacy (though not their players! Zing!).
The Tennessee Volunteers - Putting the Vols in the Big Ten would be a masterful addition. Not only would we get some of that EEEEESSSSS EEEEEEEE SEEEEEEE speed in the conference, we'd have an endless line of Fulmer and Kiffin jokes to throw at our new conference mates. As an added bonus, nabbing Neyland Stadium would give the Big Ten an unprecedented FOUR stadiums with over 100K capacity. Imagine, we'd be able to fit the entire Big East football fanbase inside of them! On to the vitals: Great football tradition; excellent men's and women's basketball programs (with the women's being unquestionably the best program in the country [yeah, I said it]); and balanced men's and women's non-revenue sports. Vol fans are insanely passionate. You might have seen some of that passion when they wouldn't let Kiffin leave his office when all he was trying to do was convince all the recruits he brought to Tennessee to go to USC instead. Tennessee's perfect. Vol fans are a little imbalanced, they drink heavily, they take things way too seriously, and they tailgate like maniacs. Really, they're a lot like Michigan fans, except with better weather, and with Rocky Top Talk (the MGo of the Vol-o-sphere). We even share the same problem with stadium seating. there's simply not enough space to accomodate our more rotund fans.
But what this really comes down to is I want an excuse to tailgate with the Vol Navy every other year. I don't care if it makes for a lopsided conference or makes it harder to make BCS bowl, this is about me. Not reality.
The Kentucky Wildcats - I'm picking Kentucky mostly because I want a basketball superconference, and not for any other reason. Well, that's not true. I also want to have all those Rich Brooks jokes at my disposal that SEC fans fans have taken for granted over the years. I don't care if he stepped down or not. I tried to talk about Big Ten expansion with him, but Rich Brooks thinks this is cow feces. Kentucky would be a nice addition to the conference in the sense that, like Tennessee, it would open up Big Ten recruiting in the south. Unlike Tennessee, it would not be a football threat on par with the addition of Texas or Nebraska, and would leave the natural heirarchy of the conference football pyramid undisturbed. On the blogging side, we get the outstanding Kentucky blog, A Sea of Blue, which consistently churns out the best roundball coverage on the interwebz (along with generally being awesome). As a nice side benefit we'd get the Kentucky hockey team and their fans as a bonus. I'm not kidding. And honestly, I'd love to have Rich Brooks'
drunk cantankerous ass on board at Big Ten media days, even if he's just showing up for the free booze.
The UCLA Bruins - A natural fit for the Big Ten. Outstanding academics. Historically strong men's and women's sports. A football team on the upswing. A great baseball program. It works. Except for the whole two to three time zone difference. If there's a fanbase that is as manically depressive, judgmental, over educated, nerd laden, and has expectations that vastly exceed their on-field capabilities west of Iowa and east of Ohio, I haven't found it. Basically they're Michigan, except in California. They also have an interwebz giant of their own in our homies over at Bruins Nation, which (rightly or wrongly [depending on what side you're on]) dominates the PAC 10 blogosphere. How much fun would it be to see Bruins Nation and MGoBlog going at it on a regular basis? You'd be able to heat your house off of the angry back and forth prior to and after football games. It'd be wonderful. For our own purposes, we'd instigate and sit back and watch the fun. Like Kentucky and Tennessee, the Big Ten would also get the benefit of UCLA's insanely hot co-eds, which would do wonders for bringing up the quality of "talent" in the Big Ten.
The Virginia Tech Hokies - Hellz yes. Beamer Ball in the Big Ten. Tech's engineering program is one of the best on the East Coast, their football team is always in the top 25 (if not the top 10), excellent men's and women's sports programs, and a state legislature that won't give Tech any crap if they decide to jump ship. Come on. It's Virginia. You can't tell me the State wouldn't love the money. As a side benefit, Tech's colorful history with the Vick brothers will fit right in with the legends of the MSU nerd beatdown, Maurice Clarett, the City Boyz, and many other noteable Big Ten fellons. We'd also get Gobbler Country, an excellent Tech site. Virginia Tech would further expand the Big Ten reach into the lucrative east coast, and help us expand recruiting over there as well.
The Miami Hurricanes - Yes. That Miami. Just a personal perference, but I'd love to have the Hurricanes in the conference. If only for the the possibility of a November game on South Beach. Again, their co-eds help the Big Ten's hotness rating, and surprisingly, it's not all partiers and revelers on the student campus. Miami is a serious academic institution, with excellent undergraduate and graduate programs. This may be the biggest reach of them all, but they be a lot of fun to have in the conference and we'd get the BHGP-style craziness of the Seventh Floor Blog.
It'll be snoop-tastic. How how do you throw a Big Ten gang sign?
Who else should be adding?