The verdict? Rutgers isn't PSU or Nebraska in terms of national draw, but they have the biggest NYC foothold. In terms of overall support, it's very competitive nationally, but would be in a tier with Illinois and Minnesota in the Big Ten. Fair enough. His data also shows that Rutgers fares pretty well comparatively with the other expansion options.
I have two objections to the piece though:
1. Rutgers has less fans than Nebraska for instance, but those 938k Rutgers fans will have a much higher income than 1.23m Nebraska fans, and hence will be far more valuable as a television audience.
2. The assertion that the Eastern schools would "quality of the average Big Ten football game" isn't really backed up by evidence. Maryland, sure, now, but they aren't that far removed from being successful, and are just a good hire away from improving. Rutgers on the other hand would be better than the mean Big Ten team by most statistical metrics.
P.S. For more on Nate Silver, click here.