The top ten programs that should join the Big Ten in further expansion according to FiveThirtyEight

By now, you’ve probably gone off the deep end — and maybe even into the abyss — looking at predictions and predictions about which sports programs could join the Big Ten if it decides to expand further. And it’s unrealistic with comments made recently by conference commissioner Kevin Warren to think there are more teams to be added in the future.

Since the shocking news of UCLA and USC joining the Big Ten hit the news cycle while I was on a cruise ship trying to take a Mickey Mouse vacation, seemingly everyone has an opinion on what happens next. Heck, we even got into the action as soon as I got my sea legs on land.

However, it’s one thing to eyeball things and form an opinion, and another to use analytical data to try to make sense of it all.

And that’s why we love FiveThirtyEight. We follow the popular analytics site during the college football season to see which teams have the best chance of making the College Football Playoff, but now Nate Silver has gotten down to business by crunching the numbers to determine which schools are the best for the Big Ten.

The method used has a long explanation that you can check for yourself, but basically, it’s based on athletic performance, fitness and market in both football and basketball among 38 Power Five schools considered. Scores are given for most recent successes as well as overall national titles in both sports, with more weight for football.

The results can be a little strange in some cases, while others are the same schools we’ve heard ridiculed in the news.

Here’s a look at the top ten candidates for programs to further expand into the Big Ten in the future courtesy of FiveThirtyEight.

First up… Level 3: How big should B1G be?

California Bears

November 3, 2018; Pullman, Washington, USA A California Golden Bears helmet sits during the second half of a football game against the Washington State Cougars at Martin Stadium. The Cougars won 19-13. Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

44

87

24

52

Stanford Cardinal

October 17, 2019; Stanford, CA, USA Stanford Cardinal cheerleaders and tree mascots pose during the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

59

64

35

53

Miami Hurricanes

October 30, 2021. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Miami Hurricanes helmets on the sideline against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

48

40

72

53

Utah Utes

Ohio State vs. Utah: 3 reasons the Utes could be trouble in the Rose Bowl

Ohio State vs. Utah: 3 reasons the Utes could be trouble in the Rose Bowl

December 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA Utah Utes helmet pictured with a rose after the win against the Oregon Ducks in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

50

61

50

54

Clemson Tigers

The Clemson football helmet near the Fiesta Bowl trophy at the coaches’ press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona Friday, December 27, 2019. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

57

44

75

59

NEXT… The “mindless”

Washington Huskies

November 23, 2018; Pullman, Washington, USA A Washington Huskies helmet sits during the second half of a football game against the Washington State Cougars at Martin Stadium. The Huskies won 28-15. Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

49

83

64

65

Florida State Seminoles

September 28, 2019; Tallahassee, FL, USA The Florida State Seminoles flag Osceola and Renegade during the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Doak Campbell Stadium. Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

55

58

82

65

Oregon Ducks

Report: Oregon in 'preliminary discussions' with Big Ten about joining

Report: Oregon in ‘preliminary discussions’ with Big Ten about joining

December 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA The Oregon Ducks mascot on the field during the second half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Alamodome. Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

60

63

77

67

North Carolina Tar Heels

March 25, 2022; Philadelphia, PA, USA North Carolina Tar Heels guard Caleb Love (2) and guard RJ Davis (4) celebrate after defeating the UCLA Bruins in the semifinals of the NCAA men’s basketball East Regional at the Wells Fargo Center. Credit: Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

61

73

71

68

NEXT … Tier 1: The Slam Dunk

Notre Dame

The IrishCast Twitter account says Notre Dame should

IrishCast’s Twitter account says Notre Dame should ‘intimidate’ Ohio State

ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 29: A detail view of a Notre Dame Fighting Irish player’s helmet displaying the CFP logo during the College Football Playoff Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic semifinal against the Clemson Tigers at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

What the FiveThirtyEight data says

Sports rating

“Fit” rating.

Market score

Total composite score

77

49

93

73

NEXT… What are we talking about?

Conclusion: What are we saying?

Big Ten football is reportedly looking at eliminating the East and West divisions

Big Ten football is reportedly looking at eliminating the East and West divisions

The Big Ten logo dominates Monument Square in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, after the conference announced it was pulling out of the men’s basketball tournament due to concerns about the coronavirus. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

What are we talking about

I like. I’m a coach in my “other life” and have embraced the new age analytics of what’s going on inside the game’s numbers, and it makes sense to factor in here. I always say that analytics don’t tell the whole story and other things have to go into decision making, but it does one history and you would be doing a disservice to dismiss data and metrics altogether.

However, one thing I want to make clear with all of these lists is that it is highly unlikely for the Big Ten to take on a non-AAU team academically. If you know anything about the Big Ten, you probably know what that means, so I won’t bore you with the details here.

However, accepting non-member schools has been a cultural non-starter in the past and will likely remain so, except for Notre Dame. This is the only exception because of everything the Irish bring to the table.

For that reason, I think Florida State, Clemson, and Miami aren’t realistic options (though it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been surprised). The SEC doesn’t have the same kind of academic preferences as the Big Ten, and these three schools would probably be a better fit there if they were ever to jump from the ACC. Rumors suggest otherwise, but we’ll just have to see if and when it all comes to fruition.

With that in mind, of course Notre Dame is the Holy Grail for Ohio State, but beyond that, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington seem to make the most sense when you look at everything as a whole.

But hey, what do we know? What does anyone really know about all of this other than what’s on the inside?

[listicle id=92927]

Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter and like our Facebook page for ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes and opinion. Follow along Phil Harrison on Twitter.

Let us know your thoughts and comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.

The story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *