Will This Be The New Logo If UCLA, USC Join The Big Ten?
So is the Magic Kingdom going to replace the stylized logo the Big Ten Conference has now? (The "Plus" sure fits.) I've referred to the Big Ten as "the conference that can't count" for years, but if you sprinkle some fairy dust on USC and UCLA and make them members, that still adds up to 16, and not ten. There's time to figure out logistics, but this move makes a loud and clear statement: Big time college sports and now Big Ten athletics, especially football, is more than ever about money. And with this move, the Big Ten can keep up with the SEC.
Now, as a recruiting tool, this works a lot better for the existing schools than the presumptive new members. "Hey kid, come play at our school and you'll find out what happens when the smog clears in Southern California. The answer is "U.C.L.A." You don't even have to win a title and you can tell everyone "I"m going to Disneyland."
I"m not sure that sales pitch works the other way. "Hey, USC or UCLA recruit, come play for us and you'll see Lincoln, Nebraska, State College, PA or are you ready for this? Piscataway!"
We debunked the concept of student-athlete in big-time college sports a long time ago, but still, that's not a short plane trip for a junior studying for a mid-term exam, if you're flying cross-country for seven or eight hours.
One more thing; don't think this is the end of expansion. This is about TV markets. The Big Ten is now in Chicago, Detroit, New York (media market number 1), and soon, media market number 2, Los Angeles. And there's at least two more schools stranded in the Pac-12. Arizona and Arizona State. Phoenix is TV market number 5. But if you welcome them in and say also Washington and Utah, you have twenty schools and then you could dub yourself the Double Big Ten, or the Super-Sized Big Ten. Look what that did for McDonald's.
But as we welcome USC and UCLA into the fold, how about we all hold hands and sing "It's small world after all"?