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High-ranking Big Ten representatives will meet Sunday afternoon in Washington D.


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Remember the talk that the Big Ten would take 12-18 months to decide whether to expand?

An accelerated timetable has emerged, according to sources familiar with the process.

High-ranking Big Ten representatives will meet Sunday afternoon in Washington D.C. to discuss expansion. The timing and location of the session make sense considering the Association of American Universities is holding its semi-annual meetings in D.C. from Sunday-Tuesday, and all 11 Big Ten schools are AAU members.

Among those attending will be Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, according to a university spokesman, and University of Illinois interim chancellor Robert Easter.

If the league can emerge from the D.C. meetings with a mandate to expand, commissioner Jim Delany could take a substantial step next week at the annual BCS meetings, outside Phoenix.

As laid out in the Big Ten's Dec. 15 statement, Delany would "notify" the commissioner(s) of the affected conference(s) before "engaging in formal expansion discussions with other institutions."

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/04/big-ten-reps-to-talk-expansion-in-dc-on-sunday.html

In other words, Big East commissioner John Marinatto would get a heads-up if the Big Ten wishes to contact schools such as Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

That would allow the Big Ten more than a month to negotiate with schools before conference presidents and chancellors meet in Chicago during the first weekend in June.

That timetable also makes sense from a financial standpoint. The fiscal years of universities end on the last day of June, "so if you go past July 1, then you have to wait an extra year," said one source.

Delany could not be reached for comment Saturday and has declined interview requests, saying he's in a "silent phase."

The thinking among those in touch with Big Ten officials is that the league is likely to add at least three schools -- to end up with a 14- or 16-team league.

"I don't think 16 is scaring anyone off, as long as you can find that many (five) that are a good enough fit," said one source who has been consulted during the conference's exploratory phase. "They're looking long-term, across the horizon. What gives them the best shot at keeping value at a high level?"

Notre Dame remains Option A, though observers are flummoxed about the school's intentions because of seemingly divergent statements made by Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick.

By joining the Big Ten, the Irish could increase their annual TV revenue from roughly $12 million to $22 million per year, get a national TV platform (the Big Ten Network) for its top-notch Olympic sports and decrease travel costs for its teams.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/04/big-ten-reps-to-talk-expansion-in-dc-on-sunday.html

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this looks like its going to get very interesting.  May seem trivial,but I am thankful that USF basketball had a good season, that football support continues to be solid as evidenced by spring game and that new spring sport facilities are in the works now. 

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Yes, it looks like its going to happen sooner vs later. If they take 3 BE teams they ACC might want to expand as well which would be good for USF.

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Notre dame only to the Big 10 could be a wash for BE, with gains in football and a loss otherwise.

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I think plan A is just get ND. If they say no, plan B is expand East and take PITT, SU and RU. Although ND is better in terms of stengthening their TV Network, they may have to settle for the other scenario.

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If the Notre Dame wanted in the Big 10...they'd be in right now.  I think ND already said, "No".  That's why they'll be having these meetings.  They will be looking to expand past 12, imo.  I don't think the ACC is looking to expand, rather just replace any team like Boston College, who might be gone.  The Big 10 expanding is for their TV network.  The ACC doesn't have one and thus doesn't need more than 12. 

The Big 12 on the other hand may be looking for some new members if Colorado goes to the PAC 10 and the Big 10 goes after Mizzou or Nebraska...or both?  Who knows?

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I think Notre Dame realizes that they probably can't stay independent forever.  The meetings might be on how mush to offer Notre Dame as one of the options.

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If I were the Big East, now would be the time I'd say to Notre Dame, "all in or all out".  They'd have no place for their other sports and it might keep the Big Ten off of the Big East's back.

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There's a ton of variables here, and I've written about them before.

But the most interesting involve ND and the southeast.

With ND, they have stated a desire to remain independent unless there was some major change that forced them to join a conference.  I believe that the Big 10 would be content to ONLY take ND (and thus not divide the money up even more), but it doesn't seem like the Big 10 offering only ND is the "major change" sufficient to get ND to go.  Therefore, I think the Big 10 will bite the bullet and invite teams that it would otherwise not invite (based on past history) so that they can convince ND to come along.  Especially with no BE to fall back on.

Then you have the ACC and SEC fighting within the same geographic footprint.  Yes, it seems natural that the ACC would be a good landing spot for any remaining BE football teams, but what happens if the SEC invites any current ACC teams?  I think you are going to see a footrace between those two conferences--if the SEC invites some combo of UM, FSU, Clemson, and GaTech, it's going to be VERY hard to say no.  But if the ACC nails down 4 additional teams first (which it could do if the SEC drags its feet over "proper fit"), it would be very hard to leave.

I think that UM/FSU only go to the SEC as a pair.  Relations are very good between the schools, and both could see the other as a hedge towards being marginalized by UF.

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