Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Big Ten expansion and Midwest population decline. Or: Why the real reason why the B1G added Rutgers and Maryland.

Big Tentacles
Jim Delany's new friend, Testudo. Via

Stewart Mandel takes a look at the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten in the June 23 edition of Sports Illustrated. The article gives one reason behind controversial move - the projected decline (or at best, stagnation) in the population growth of the conference's traditional Midwest fan base.

"Most of all, Delany believes the conference had no choice. As the Big Ten's population moves South and West, the conference's base is rapidly shrinking: Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa all rank among the 12 states with the smallest projected growth from 2000 to '30." 

The B1G's traditional fanbase may not like the addition of the two eastern U.S.-based schools, but population trends reveal the sick, sad truth. According to SI, the population of the current Big Ten footprint is only expected to grow 5.4% in the next between now and 2013. When combined, the populations of Maryland and New Jersey are expected to grow at a rate of 15.5%.

(via Sports Illustrated.  Note: You'll have to watch a video ad to unlock the story. Just click on the promo for USA's Graceland and enjoy. Great show.)

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