The Big Fifteen?

The University of Illinois is feeling lonely in Illinois.

According to,

Two state lawmakers are proposing a plan to have another of Illinois’ state colleges designated a Big Ten school.

The legislation is sponsored by Republican Sens. Matt Murphy and Michael Connelly. It would study the feasibility of having another of the state’s nine public universities join the conference that also includes Penn State, the University of Michigan and Purdue University.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is currently the state’s only Big Ten state school.

Murphy says the university has become so competitive that Illinois students with good grades and test scores often see their applications declined, causing them to travel to other Big Ten schools out of state.

That’s not how it works.  That’s not how any of this works.

Obviously, they are not legislating adding a school to the Big Ten against the conference’s will, but isn’t that the ultimate goal–to add a school?  How much is this feasibility study going to cost the average Illinois tax payer?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask the Big Ten if there are any other existing schools in Illinois that could become members?  If the conference just laughs, then there’s your feasibility study right there.  Hell, give me $100,000 contract and I’ll give you a feasibility study!  (And while it’s cheaper than the Freeh Report, I guarantee it will hold more truth!)

Wasn’t the University of Chicago a founding member back in the days of leather helmets and no forward passes?  Maybe they are still available.

Here is a list, from Wikipedia, of public universities in Illinois:

Chicago State University
Eastern Illinois University
Governors State University
Illinois State University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University

-Southern Illinois University Carbondale
-Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

University of Illinois system

-University of Illinois at Chicago
-University of Illinois at Springfield
-University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Western Illinois University

-Western Illinois University-Quad Cities

 I’d vote for Governors State University just because of the cool name, and it doesn’t have Illinois or Chicago in its name.  And it’s in University Park, IL.  How cool is that?!  Their school colors are black and orange, so it would be like Halloween all year long.  And when it comes to athletics:

Students at Governors State University can participate in a number of intramural sports. All students are encouraged to participate. Available athletic programs include men’s and women’s intramural basketball, handball, racquetball, soccer softball, table tennis, and women’s intramural volleyball.

Watch out for that table tennis team!  A new Big Ten sport!

Maybe they ought to be looking into ways to assure more residents of a spot in the Big Ten school(s)–Northwestern apparently has been excluded from the discussion because it is a private school–they already have.  But wait!  Maybe they don’t want more in-state students, since the cost of tuition is $14,000 higher for out of state students!

Silly me.  It would be cheaper just to add Northeastern Illinois to the Big Ten.

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