There has been rumors flying for a while about different teams joining their league and with deals all ready done. Now it seems official that the Big 10 has sent out offers to Notre Dame (who is expected to decline), Rutgers, Missouri, and Nebraska. First off, this looks like Big 10 is going to sixteen teams if they land Notre Dame, because if all four accept that leaves the Big 10 at 15 teams. With Notre Dame expected to decline that would put them at 14 teams, and the Big 10 would like teams to decide by this summer:
Big Ten representatives have also told Missouri officials they would like to have the entire expansion process wrapped up this summer with a formal announcement coming no later than July.
Missouri and most likely Nebraska would gain $1.5 million extra in revenue from just the Big 10 Network, however speaking of Nebraska they sent out an official release saying they have not had an offer to leave the Big XII. Missouri has said the same thing with this response:
"There's nothing there at all," said the source, who said he had spoken with MU athletic director Mike Alden on Monday. "Not yet. ... nothing has changed."
So, this could just be another one of those stories with unnamed sources close to negotiations, which is stated in the release. No formal Big Ten expansion plans can be approved until league presidents and chancellors meet June 1 in June in Chicago. That is only a few weeks away so start up the 'what if' machine and see where this thing goes.
Now, if these reports are accurate with Notre Dame declining and the Big 10 stops at 14 then the shift will happen for other leagues to make a move. First, the Big East will not be dead, but will be on life support and will need to add one team to remain at the FBS level. The league could try to convince Villanova, UMass, or Georgetown to move up from FCS, they could try to get Temple in as a full time member -- for football since they were a member up until they were kicked out in 2004 -- in all sports which would keep their basketball league at 16 teams, or they will go after another strong school perhaps Navy or East Carolina to become the eighth member.
As, for the Big XII they will need to replace two northern schools, and really my opinion is that they should go after Utah and BYU to join. This would keep the geography in line without having to have a non-geographic divisional setup like the ACC. If they want to go another route with TCU and perhaps Utah or BYU. In my opinion there is no need for TCU since it would create that unbalanced divisions and Dallas is all ready owned by the Big XII with alumni from Texas, Oklahoma and other league schools.
Adding Utah and BYU would give them an untapped market that is on par with Kansas City and Nebraska. The waiting game is on until June, and if the Mountain West wants to keep growing go become a major league they need to do something to protect themselves by adding Boise State, ASAP.