Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State are all looking for new homes Saturday evening after the Big Ten announced it was dropping the five schools for their part in the conference getting swept in its New Year’s Day bowl games.
“We do a lot of things completely backward in the Big Ten,” said Jim Delany, commissioner of the inaccurately named 12-school conference. “But our terrible showing on New Year’s Day was an embarrassment that requires immediate action.”
It remains unclear if the Big Ten will attempt to replace the expelled schools. Delany said he wasn’t sure if the conference would try to poach other schools like in June 2010 when it stole Nebraska from the Big 12.
“Today we saw five programs more deserving of being in the Big Ten than the schools we just kicked out,” said Delany. “So if you’re listening Mississippi State, TCU, Florida, Alabama and Texas Tech, consider giving Big Jim a call. I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse, unless of course you’d prefer to keep playing in your superior conferences. In that case, it will probably be an offer you can refuse.”
The Big Ten entered play Saturday with a 2-0 bowl record after somewhat surprising wins by Iowa and Illinois. Should Ohio State lose the Sugar Bowl Tuesday the conference will have a pathetic 2-6 postseason record. However, Delany said he won’t boot the Buckeyes should they drop their bowl game.
“Even though they have a less-than-stellar academic reputation and always seem to be breaking the rules, Ohio State has a long tradition of fielding football teams that are competitive on a national stage,” said Delany. “And if there’s one thing we need right now, it’s football teams that don’t suck.”