The talk of the of the off-season (STEP program notwithstanding for PSU fans) is about conference expansion in the Big Ten. Do they add one team? Three teams? Five teams? Among the many candidates bandied about are Notre Dame, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, Pitt, Syracuse and Rutgers.
You can spend countless hours reading about possible scenarios and financial considerations at Frank the Tank's Blog. Despite Internet rumors galore, Adam Rittenberg reports that conference commish Delaney denies extending any invitations at this time.
But why worry about media footprints, TV contracts, subscriber cost and all those other so-called factors? Does it even matter if the school wants to join the Big Ten? I think we need to take a practical look at this issue, step back from the confusing rumors, and ask ourselves some serious questions.
Missouri? Do we really need another M in the conference? Seriously. There's one too many already if you ask me.
Syracuse? We've got orange in Illinois and a Spartan S in East Lansing. It's like the spawn of some incestuous mating. What good is a hybrid of that going to add to the conference?
Pitt? Seriously. While there are a few old school alums that would love to see the Pitt-Penn State rivalry renewed for reasons that are beyond obscure, what could Pitt possibly bring to our table besides a guaranteed loss in the mid-rounds of March Madness? We already have Purdue with a P, and you can't spell Paterno State University without a P either. Let's just Pass on Pitt.
Nebraska? OK--I'll admit it. I'd love to see Nebraska join the conference, particularly if we would get to play them on a regular basis. But, alas we already have an N. A big purple N. Like a bruise, or Barney the Dinosaur. Of course if push came to shove, we could ask Northwestern to leave. (I'm just kidding Wildcats. No hate mail please!) We have a couple of I's, why not a pair of N's? Can't spell Penn State without TWO N's!
How about Vanderbilt? We could use a V. (For Victory!) Xavier. Yeah for the X factor! Texas brings a nice burnt orange T to the table and who doesn't like a good cup of T to go with the Joe that we already have?
But above all this, we have Rutgers. Although I personally think we have way to much red and scarlet in this conference already--enough to get me seeing red--Rutgers brings something intangible to the alphabet soup besides a big red R, which you have to admit is stupidpretty impressive. We could all become best buddies and email pals with RutgersAl! Imagine the possibilities.
I hope Rutgers includes this with their application.