Big Ten invites four schools to join

According to 810 WHB out of Kansas City, the Big Ten has made “informal” invitations to four schools to join the conference.

The Big Ten Conference has extended initial offers to join the league to four universities including Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12, according to multiple sources close to the negotiations.

While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join. It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario. Notre Dame has repeatedly declined the opportunity to join the Big Ten. If Notre Dame remains independent, Rutgers would be the 14th team. The Big Ten would then decide whether to stop at 14 or extend offers to two other schools. If Notre Dame joins, sources say an offer will be extended to one other school making it a 16-team league.

It’s a little frustrating that the Big Ten calls itself that even though it has 11 teams. Now they’re going to expand to 14 or 16 teams, and for what?

It makes a lot of sense to continue to convince Notre Dame to join. Geographically, that’s the move that makes the most sense. But the Fighting Irish seem intent on keeping their football independence, so the next logical choice would be Missouri, since it borders Iowa and Illinois, but I don’t like the fact that the Big Ten is trying to pluck the Big 12 stalwart.

And 12 teams is the perfect number. In basketball, it’s a small enough conference where a team can play every other team twice (home/away) while in football, it would allow for two divisions of six-teams each. Once you start going to 14 or 16 teams, it’s impossible for basketball to have a balanced schedule.

Easier said than done, but the Big Ten should convince Notre Dame to join the league and then change its name to the Big Midwest. Case closed.

Update: The Big Ten denies inviting any schools to join.

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