“Not another conference expansion article!” I am writing this with 32 days left until the college football season begins, so I have no other choice to get this idea out. The idea comes from way out in left field but in my opinion would be an investment worth waiting on. The last major conference expansion move involved Maryland and Rutgers bolting towards the Big Ten, and Louisville given a chance in the ACC. Today’s article has to deal with another Big Ten Expansion Candidate. Before some of you click off the page after seeing the header image, just check out the reasons why. The investment of Toronto University could be a ginormous for the Big Ten.
Big Ten Expansion Candidate Requirements
#1. Must Make $Money$!
#1a. Must have an awesome TV market to provide money!
#1b. Location must belong to a city with a huge population, which will bring more people in the area to $upport that University.
#1c. Have a large endowment for your University
#2. Be an AAU (Association of American Universities) member
#3. Belong in the mid-western/north Atlantic regional area
#4. Be able to provide elite facilities towards student athletes
Let us just cut to the chase here. Major college athletics that are paired inside major conferences, within one Association, shows that major college athletics are pointing towards the money. In the 2015-2016 finances report by USA Today, every Big Ten school was listed within the top 50. Eight of the Big Ten schools were listed in the top 25 per total finances. This success has allowed the Big Ten to do what most other conferences could not, which was create a conference network. If the Big Ten were ever to expand again, I think Toronto would compliment Big Ten finances well.
In Canada it is no secret that Toronto is the biggest TV market (ask the Toronto Raptors). Toronto would easily be in the top five in TV markets in all of North America. For those who do not know, Toronto is seventh largest city in North America, and is expected to be in the top five within the next decade.
Let us not forget that Toronto University has a large endowment. For those that do not know, an endowment is money and other financial assets that come from donations, usually invested wisely. Currently the endowment for Toronto University is 2.097 Billion CAD (Canadian Dollars).
AAU (Association of American Universities)
For those who do not know the AAU is an organization of 62 Universities that are for the sole purpose of Research and strengthening the goals of education. If your University is an AAU school, then the degree that comes from there is quite prestigious. Currently all members of the Big Ten except Nebraska are AAU members. If Toronto were added, academically it would fit right in, as it is an AAU member.
Making sense geographically
Personally I think a great recruiting pitch for Big Ten schools is that they could offer a chance to play in a different country. Even though Toronto is in close distance with some Big Ten Schools, and a short flight to others. This would be a way better situation than West Virginia having to go all the way to Texas Tech….
Toronto ——->Ann Arbor, Michigan 281.6 Miles 4 Hours 32 Minutes
Toronto ——-> East Lansing, Michigan 294.7 Miles 4 Hours 41 Minutes
Toronto ——-> Columbus, Ohio 428.8 Miles 6 Hours 47 Minutes
Toronto ——-> New Brunswick, NJ 471.2 Miles 8 Hours 26 Minutes
Toronto ——-> Madison, Wisconsin 670.6 Miles 10 Hours 54 Minutes
Toronto ——-> Bloomington, Indiana 565.3 Miles 10 Hours 10 Minutes
Currently the facilities for Toronto University would need a huge over haul. The current stadium pictured above only seats around 5,000 spectators. If the Big Ten promised membership in the future, I am sure the facilities could be corrected at a fast pace. With the money the University has, I am positive there could be a way to invest into their athletic future.
BONUS: BIG TEN HOCKEY
I am sure when the die hard Big Ten fan reads this, they would love a 7th hockey member. Toronto consistently competes in exhibitions against Big Ten programs on the ice.
Yes the Toronto Varsity Blues would be a huge investment towards the Big Ten, and an even bigger risk. But, this could offer the Big Ten a chance to be pioneers yet again. To be the first conference to bring in an “international” team, and have a chance to profit majorly with their addition. The transition would take time, but I think there is a huge reward.
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