Reports are that the Big Ten isn't done with realignment. Boston College and Virginia appear to be the leading candidates. But what about North Carolina and Duke?
This week's resurrection of conference realignment caught nearly everybody off guard. Saturday afternoon, the word started to leak out, and less than 96 hours later, it's a done deal. Chip Brown didn't even know what hit him; no chance for him and DeLoss Dodds to take countermeasures. Boom, and just like that... the ACC and Big East suffer major wounds.
The ACC will have to pick up another team, almost assuredly from the Big East, to balance their lineup. That puts the entire Big East back into limbo again. So we're not quite done with the effects of this move.
But what if Jim Delaney isn't done yet? Reports are that Delaney may still be working on more teams... is the Big Ten targeting a 16 team superconference, just like what was rumored over two years ago when Nebraska made the jump?
Boston College and Virginia could be next.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) November 20, 2012
Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette thinks Delaney is going to look east and northeast. That might work, but I have to think that he might look instead southeast. North Carolina would seem to fit the blueprint. The Tar Heels don't have the football reputation of a Nebraska, but they've been a solid ACC contender over the year. But they bring impeccable academic credentials and a top-notch basketball program to the plate. More importantly, they expand the geographic footprint of the Big Ten into the south. So who would be the 16th team? Here's my guess: Duke.
There is no better college basketball rivalry than North Carolina-Duke. Duke football is absolutely forgettable, but Duke basketball makes it an engaging get for the Big Ten. Big Ten teams would then be able to recruit in SEC territory and tell players that you will play occasionally in the Carolinas.
Am I crazy? Look at the names Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune is tossing out there..
Florida State? That's deep into SEC territory...and potentially a death blow to the ACC. Virginia Tech is already thinking about joining the SEC. If that happens, they'll poach somebody else to join the B1G at 16...and then the Pac-12 almost certainly has to resurrect their Pac-16 plan. And all of the leftovers from the Big XII, ACC, and Big East scramble off their lifeboats and put together something else.