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Big 10 Expansion and USF - One-Team Scenarios

(Author's Note: While Toro Grande is adamant that the Big 10 and Notre Dame will somehow come to their senses and they will be the only team added to the league, there's no indication that that scenario or the other one-team expansion scenario have any chance of becoming reality. Still, we promised we'd work our way up from minor to chaotic, so we'll do these first.)


Let's say that the Big 10 realizes how difficult it is to run a 16-team, all-sports league (see: Western Athletic Conference, 1996-1999). Instead of going for the Godzilla conference, they are judicious and only add the one team they need to hold a conference championship.

SCENARIO #1A: The Big 10 only adds Notre Dame to the league, and the super-expansion missiles all stay in their silos.

This probably creates the least trouble for USF and for the BIG EAST. The league can either replace Notre Dame with an all-sports member (see below), or find a non-football member to keep the balance between football and basketball. Candidates might include UMass, Rhode Island, or Charlotte, who I would prefer because of USF's long and enjoyable history with them.

The PAC-10 could still add two members to get to 12, whoever they might be, but the only additional moves are just nibbling at the edges. Also, Teddy Greenstein would have to go into hiding.

SCENARIO #1B: The Big 10 doesn't add Notre Dame, and they pick a team outside the BIG EAST as the 12th member. The super-expansion missiles all stay in their silos.

Status quo.

SCENARIO #1C: The Big 10 doesn't add Notre Dame, but they pick a BIG EAST team as the 12th member. The super-expansion missiles all stay in their silos.

It really wouldn't matter who the choice is (Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers, Connecticut). The BIG EAST would still get to keep its BCS designation, but it would also need to go shopping for another all-sports member. Fortunately, our three candidates are all waiting to put their best foot forward so our bachelor can make a conference match. And heeeeeeeerrrre they are!


Now our bachelor is ready to ask questions to our panel and figure out which candidate he'd like to have join his college sports conference. Here we go!


MARINATTO: School #1. A lot of people want me to pick you, including the Orlando mediathe blogosphere, and some of our coaches. You're for sale, School #1. Why should I buy you?

SCHOOL #1: Well, we're in Florida, which everyone likes. And we spent a bunch of money on new facilities *eventhoughweborrowedmostofitandtheschoolhadtoloanusmoneyillegally*. And we'll do whatever you ask, we just want to be picked! PICK ME PICK ME PICK ME!

MARINATTO: School #2. I'm a success-oriented guy. What kind of success can you give me?

SCHOOL #2: We've won our conference football title the last two years, and one of your teams hired away our coach, so we must be doing something right. Plus we have one of the best baseball teams in the country, which is something your league could use, if you're into that kind of thing.

(School #2 winks toward the camera. Crowd hoots and whistles.)

MARINATTO: School #3. I like to go bowling, but we don't have very many good places to bowl where I come from. Can you do anything about that?

SCHOOL #3: There's a bowl game in our home city that's been around for almost 50 years. We'd be happy to deliver it to you. Plus, you'd get to play against an SEC school and prove your worth against some big-time competition! *ifyouconsiderarkansasbigtimecompetition*

MARINATTO: OK, good so far! School #1. You sound really anxious to get picked.


MARINATTO: But what about that football game with West Virginia that you backed out of? And Tennessee? And messing with a 2-for-1 series with Pittsburgh so much that they gave up trying to get a second home game out of you? And how you annoyed everyone so much during the last round of expansion that I heard one athletic director  said that there was no way you were joining their conference? And what sports are you actually good at right now? Can you explain yourself?


MARINATTO: School #2. I like your football and baseball success, but your basketball team is just terrible. Plus your TV market is lacking. I'm not sure I can get behind that.

SCHOOL #2: Oh come on! You've got a school in Morgantown and another one in Syracuse. TV can't be that important to you. And you let USF in last time when they weren't even competitive in their old basketball league. Why would you hold that against us?

MARINATTO: School #3. Same question, just reversed. In fact, your former football coach called you out for not supporting the program, didn't he?

SCHOOL #3: That's why we want to get in. We can pay the bills with basketball, and we'll get our football team going eventually. Memphis is bigger than Greenville, too. Besides, do you want our bowl game or not?

(Trumpet fanfare sounds, ending the round.)

JIM LANGE: Time is up! Well, our bachelor has a tough decision to make. We'll be right back and he'll tell us who he's picked! Don't go away!

(Crowd applauds. Marinatto looks like he wants to drink a gallon of paint. Fade to black.)