I saw a thread on Rivals about this earlier, so I wanted to investigate it for myself. Here is a link to an interview Barry Alvarez gave to an ESPN radio station in Madison yesterday.
To start off with, Alvarez prevents the scenario of adding a travel partner for Penn State in strictly hypothetical terms, but here's what he says starting at the 20:00 mark. This is my quick transcript.
The profile has to fit academically first of all. You'd like someone, and I think, a couple, a few years ago we did some research, and one of the, you know, one of our fact finding answers that came back was a travel partner with Penn State would maximize us in the East. We really haven't maximized Penn State. Uh, we haven't gotten the New York market like you want to get the New York market. If you had, if you have a travel partner with Penn State, uh, you may be able to maximize, uh, our exposure in the East.
I think the overriding factor in this story is that expansion will be driven by growth potential in new markets and future revenue. Just adding any team would create millions in revenue from a conference championship game. They could add a second-class member to do that. The real prize is the wealthy New York City region, as even a small percentage would be quite lucrative.