I’m going to do my best to not beat the dead horse that is the Penn State Football Scandal. Rather, I want to look at the scandal from a different perspective. What is the B1G’s next move? The Big Ten has long prided itself on its strong academic standing as well as being comprised of quality athletic departments who play by the rules and are rarely in the news for negative press. To be fair, the Big Ten has had well publicized issues, most of which have come from its two marquee programs; Ohio State and Michigan. No conference has been free from NCAA infractions and to compete at the highest level sometimes you need to interpret the rules a little differently to try to stay competitive (that is a whole other story for another time).
Regardless of what the NCAA decides to do and if PSU finally takes it upon themselves to do the right thing and shut the program down, I believe the B1G needs to take a hard look at disassociation. PSU obviously lacks the morals and ethical integrity required to be a part of this prestigious conference. There are conferences in this country who could care less about moral integrity and only care about the product on the field, we all know who they are so they need not be named. The B1G is not that way. Our coaches rarely jump ship to the NFL, most programs are built on integrity with a strong focus of graduating players and turning young immature athletes into disciplined, educated contributors to society.
There have already been hints to this happening. It is my belief that the Penn State scandal played a big role in the B1G and Pac-12 calling off their scheduling agreement. One of two things could have contributed to this. One, the impending ban/disassociation of PSU (by either NCAA or B1G) caused too much of a scheduling conflict between the 12 and soon to be 11 team conference. Two, if there are no plans of disassociation, the Pac-12 does not want to be involved with a conference with a member who has committed such heinous acts.
It is in the best interest of the conference to disassociate with PSU. We cannot stand for what happened there. Likewise, I have a hard time believing that Penn State will be able to put a competitive product on the field as long as the cloud of this scandal hangs over their school. An NCAA ban will likely set the program back five to ten years, with no ban, I have a hard time seeing them attracting the types of recruits that they have in the past. This in turn would result in a much worse product on the field than they have produced in the past.
So say the B1G does disassociate, what’s next. You know that B1G wants to be at 12 teams. There are two teams out there that would be perfect fits for the B1G. I have said it for years, West Virginia and Missouri. West Virginia brings a competitive football and basketball program. As well as a rabid fan base in a city that thrives on the success of the football team. Just like in Columbus, Madison, and Lincoln, a victorious Saturday is a boost to the local economy. WVU does not meet the high academic standards of a Michigan or Northwestern, but they are on par with other B1G universities.
Missouri has not had the success that WVU has had on the field or court, but they are rarely a push over in athletic competition. Both their basketball and football programs provided reasonable competition to their conference powers on a yearly basis. The high academic standards of Missouri align perfectly with the B1G. Not to mention adding their journalism school with Northwestern would give the B1G the top two journalism schools in the country.
The problem is, Missouri just joined the SEC and there is no way they are leaving. So we can count them out. I think the B1G has a reasonable shot at landing WVU. They just left the Big East and have not entered Big-12 play yet. For the same reason, I think B1G would have a reasonable shot at landing Pittsburgh (which would easily fill in the gap in PA left by PSU).
You’ll all notice that I didn’t mention Notre Dame. We all know what a perfect fit they would be. But with that TV deal they have, there is zero reason for them to join a conference.
The fact of the matter is, Penn State needs to go. If they aren’t going to take it upon themselves to do the right thing and if the NCAA isn’t going to do it; then we need to do it. It’s not that I hate PSU, I just have no respect for them after what happened and don’t want to have any association with them.
Just do the right thing B1G, do the right thing!
Does PSU still deserve to be a part of the B1G? Could they make it as an independent? Let me know on Twitter @kylecedwards713