Best Of Expansion Talk.

It’s been THEE topic since it leaked out on Sunday. We’ve all – I think – have done a great deal of reading and listening about it. Of what I’ve come across, here’s what I wanted to share with you.

I’d lost the source, but Nick Roddy says this comes from Adam Rittenberg at ESPN.

The top two cities for Michigan alumni are, not surprisingly, Detroit and Chicago. The third and fourth? New York and Washington. The top regions for Ohio State alumni outside the Buckeye State are Washington, D.C./northern Virginia and New York. It’s the same for much of the Big Ten.

From Derek Thompson at The Atlantic.

Stop right there. Stop thinking like a college fan who wants to preserve the 1980s-era conferences, and start thinking like a television executive. I just told you that every pay-TV household with BTN is worth one dollar a month. The obvious question is: How do I get more of those folks? Answer: You expand into more television markets where people haven’t had any reason to care about the Big Ten, yet. Each time the Big Ten adds a school in a new city, the Big Ten Network adds a market. So, more schools, more schools!

The University of Maryland, which just announced it would join the Big Ten in two years, sits in a local market around Washington, D.C., with more than 3 million households paying for television. Let’s say Maryland joins the Big Ten, and BTN negotiates with those local cable providers to get the same deal it’s made in the Midwest. That’s a cool $36 million for the conference “before the first ad gets sold,” Andy Staples writes.

From Dana O’Neil at ESPN.

The NCAA will have you believe that runners and agents are the most insidious cancer in the game today, that the notion that athletes are on the take has disenchanted the fan base to the point of no return.The NCAA is wrong. The commissioners are the ones on the proverbial take and everyone knows it.

Now I know what the AAU is, thanks to Gene Wojciechowski.

Rutgers and Maryland are members of the prestigious Association of American Universities — almost always a prerequisite for Big Ten admittance. And just for fun, I’ll throw out two other programs that are AAU members: Kansas and North Carolina. So is Georgia Tech.

From Michael Weinreb at Grantland.

Those of us who still bother to pay attention to Big Ten football1 have seen it coming for quite some time. The demographics are working against us. The population is shifting south, where high schools practice in the spring and construct $60 million stadiums; Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have all shed electoral votes since 1980, while Florida and Texas have gained them. Only Ohio State (and perhaps Michigan, to a lesser extent) seem positioned to be nationally competitive by recruiting locally.

Thanks to his pinpoint accuracy of the election, you should know Nate Silver, who’s got roots in B1G country.

Although New York is the nation’s largest media market, and although Rutgers is the most popular team in the New York City area, its over all numbers were just average by this method.

That’s because only about 15 percent of New Yorkers are avid college football fans, among the lower figures in the country.

In addition, although Rutgers might be the most popular college team in the region, it hardly dominates the market, with many fans declaring allegiance to universities like Syracuse, Connecticut, Penn State or Notre Dame instead. Many New Yorkers are also transplants from other parts of the country, and bring their football allegiances with them. Only about 20 percent of college football fans in the New York region listed Rutgers as their favorite team.

Therefore, although there are approximately 20 million residents in New York’s media market, only about 3 percent of these people are estimated to be fans of Rutgers football specifically. That’s about 600,000 people.


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