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Nate Silver weighs in again

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.

Big Ten roundtable, pt. 3

Pour a 40 for the Big East. Our blog consortium gathers again to pre-emptively sit shiva in anticipation of the forthcoming demise of the conference, and throw tiny daggers at our chosen scapegoats. The synchronicity here is honestly a little freaky. All three blogs are pretty much on entirely the same wavelength. Apart from radical disagreements of course surrounding which of the three teams would be the most attractive candidate to the Big Ten (psst, it's the guys in red). Ready your colorful plumage and pheromone-rich colognes.

Internet goes crazy over Big Ten rumors

Earlier today a Kansas City radio station reported that the Big Ten has sent out invitations for Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Rutgers. To this point, no one else has confirmed the reports, and another K.C. media outlet claims to have spoken to a Missouri source that disputed the rumors. The same is coming from South Bend, with further word that the Irish will likely remain independent. As expected, Rutgers and the other mentioned programs have publicly denied the rumor. By large, the more informative report yesterday was one that exclusively focused on Missouri. Remember all the talk about the Big Ten actually looking at Rutgers way back in 1989 and 1994? That's seemingly confirmed by this new article. There's a bonus dose of Rutgers-specific skepticism included, so we all can do what we do best in response and carry around a giant chip on our shoulders. It's like the Greg Schiano to Penn State meme is finally dead in the water for good now, so in turn every member of the national media is contractually obligated to include a replacement shot at RU. Surely each and every one has their finger directly on the pulse of New York City. While Rutgers has the best foothold of any college football program in the area, expansion has never been about dominating every inch of the city, and no one seriously expects that. It's about getting Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner to fork over 70 cents per subscriber, or even more now that the Big Ten Network would have additional leverage. The ACC added Boston College and the Big East added South Florida with an eye on geography and television markets, and there's no reason to expect that the same factors won't be in play here.

Rutgers faculty should embrace possibility of B10 move

By now, most readers have probably seen the Star-Ledger article on Rutgers potentially moving to the Big Ten on Sunday. It is unclear which sections were authored by football beatwriter Tom Luicci, and which were penned by Ted Sherman, who wrote a series of faulty articles on the athletic department two years ago. I don't really have the energy to address all the points in full (unless someone here really wants that), especially since it retreads ground better left in the past. I stand by my past take on the athletic department's fiscal situation. There are some informative points in there, and some that aren't so good. Parts are too unflattering, and on the other hand, I can't understand how the article could cite the Knight Commission report and then state that Rutgers makes a profit on athletics. Same goes for the academics quoted - Glickman is a plain killjoy, and Killingsworth's opportunity cost argument is odd considering that you can just point to the millions in direct institutional support for athletics instead. All faculty at Rutgers should be wholly supportive of a move to the Big Ten. Whatever the financial numbers work out to, the athletic department will make out ahead in the deal, and subsequently take less in subsidies from the university general fund. It's a complete vindication of the past decade. Perhaps joining the CIC will be a boon for academic research dollars as well, although I'm not too certain of the specifics there.

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