14 schools to monitor as Big Ten expands

USC and UCLA are now in the Big Ten. The news came quickly and in shocking fashion. Now there are rumors circulating about which other schools could join them.

Below, we look at 14 programs that could join the Big Ten if the conference plans to continue growing.

state of Iowa

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Iowa State is said to be one of the Big 12 schools interested in joining the Big Ten, and would make sense geographically for both sides. The Cyclones have become a consistently strong football program under Matt Campbell and are said to have some regional rivalry ties to the league with Iowa and Nebraska.

West Virginia

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It never made sense for me to have West Virginia in the Big 12, so I wouldn’t be shocked if the Mountaineers want to leave the league. The ACC might make more sense for West Virginia, but don’t be surprised if the Big Ten is also in the mix.

pitt

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Pitt has clear geographic ties to the league and rivals Penn State, so this could be an easy match for the Big Ten. The Panthers would fit right in with the Big Ten if the league were to add a new Pennsylvania state school.

Kansas

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Adding Kansas to the Big Ten would be strictly a basketball move, but could be a route the league follows. It’s the flagship school for the state of Kansas and is a basketball blue blood, so that alone could get the attention of the Big Ten.

Syracuse

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If the Big Ten are to continue bolstering their East Coast presence, stealing Syracuse from the ACC would help. As with Kansas, this would be more of a basketball (and money/market move) but I see this could be a program the league is looking at as a new member.

Georgia Tech

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It feels like there have been rumors of a marriage between the Big Ten and Georgia Tech for years. There are many reasons the Big Ten would be interested — including adding the Atlanta market to the league’s footprint — so keep an eye out for the Yellow Jackets as expansion talks continue.

State of Oklahoma

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Oklahoma State is reportedly already exploring options outside of the Big 12, and the Big Ten is considered one of those options. So only fitting to put the Cowboys on this list.

Boston College

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Boston College is on this list as a kind of wildcard to keep an eye on. Its football and basketball programs aren’t particularly high-end, but adding another large market to the East Coast could be attractive to the Big Ten.

Virginia

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Virginia was considered one of the teams to watch the Big Ten the last time we rescheduled the conference, so don’t be surprised if we hear whispers again. Meeting all the needs of a Big Ten college, the Cavaliers would be a new addition to the East Coast to further expand the league’s geographic footprint.

North Carolina

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Like Virginia, there was the rumble of the Big Ten chasing North Carolina during the conference’s final rescheduling. Can the league give another boost to the Tar Heels? If they do, would they also consider bringing in Duke so as not to break that historic rivalry? There are many factors at play, but North Carolina would be a slam dunk addition for the Big Ten.

Miami (FL)

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Another wildcard to keep an eye on is Miami (FL). There are no rumors or reports suggesting the Hurricanes want to leave the ACC, but they match much of what the Big Ten should be looking for in a new member. I’m not sure if there’s any appetite from Miami, but if there is, the Big Ten should be a big push.

Notre Dame

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Notre Dame has avoided joining the Big Ten for years, so it seems unlikely they’ll take up the offer now (if that offer is even still on the table), but the Fighting Irish can’t be left out of this list. Notre Dame makes too much sense not to be included in an expansion list of this nature, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for the Fighting Irish – and I suspect the Big Ten won’t either.

Oregon

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If USC and UCLA move to the Big Ten, Oregon could be the next big domino. Oregon, a perennial powerhouse, would come into the Big Ten as a huge contender for the conference title.

Washington

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As in Oregon, the PAC-12 appears to be dying out with the loss of two of their biggest programs, so we could see Washington act quickly.

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