Ok over last few weeks we’ve had a lot of action with the Big10 and new teams coming into it. For most of us we see the teams that moved and say that all they want is the money that the Big10 network rakes in every year. A ton of people have weighed in on this whole subject and most are saying that they hate the idea of Maryland and Rutgers and the rumors swirling around Virginia and North Carolina leaving the lacrosse power conference that the ACC is. Personally, being that I live in the Midwest, I’m optimistic with the Big10’s prospects of becoming a lacrosse conference along with its outstanding football, basketball and soon hockey.
Now when we look at the schools in the Big10 Conference we’ve got Ohio St., Michigan, Michigan St, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, and Penn St., plus newly added Maryland and Rutgers. So with lacrosse we’ve got 5 teams that are in the Big10, but every other school in the Big10 except for Northwestern (who plays in the GLLL) has an MCLA D1 team. Plus of those that have an MCLA team Michigan St. is out right the best of them but Minnesota is starting to get their program pointed in the right direction, Wisconsin has, at last count, 4 teams on campus playing in both the MCLA and GLLL, Indiana is getting into the winning ways, and Illinois is normally in the National conversation. With these teams being staples of the Big10 and the addition of two big names in the lacrosse world the chances are going up for lacrosse players that grow up in the Midwest to actually get to play close to home.
So let’s take a look at what would need to happen for the Big10 to actually get off the bench and create a new lacrosse conference. The way to a new conference, especially the Big10, is not as easy as saying oh we have 5 teams that have established teams, here ya go we are now a lacrosse conference to. What it would really take is a few of the current MCLA teams bumping up to the NCAA level. I see Michigan St. being the first to make that jump, mainly because of Michigan already being at the D1 level. I also see Minnesota being close behind, more due to the fact that its women’s team is making the leap to the NCAA level soon, this is what I have heard from people at Minnesota and others in the area. I can see Wisconsin going to the NCAA level soon also if the Big10 did create a conference to play in, this is due to the fact that they have a huge campus full of lacrosse players to support the team and go to games.
With the changing conferences really being easy more schools will leave for money its just how it works these days. The thing that few people are talking about is that Maryland’s athletic program isn’t making money, nor is Rutgers for that fact. The Big10 distributed 26.7 million dollars to its schools last year ( Maryland only made around $815,000 last year). This is a smart move by the schools, to make more money. Making more money will help keep around those periphery sports, which unfortunately lacrosse falls into.
I can’t wait to see which MCLA teams will be the next to make the jump to the NCAA. I can’t wait to see the Big10 to jump onto the lacrosse seen.