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Could Georgia Tech Be a Target for Big Ten or SEC Expansion?

After USC and UCLA made the move to the Big Ten, could Georgia Tech be a target for expansion?

A seismic move happened in college athletics on Thursday afternoon when it was reported that USC and UCLA were set to leave the Pac-12 conference for the Big Ten. 

This move comes almost a year after Texas and Oklahoma made a similar move to join the SEC and leave the Big 12 behind. Both moves are signaling a potential move to two "super conferences" and it has left fans and analysts wondering what is the next big move in this realignment shift. 

With the Big Ten adding both USC and UCLA, they are expanding to the west coast and getting a foothold in one of the largest markets in the country, as well as adding one of the most recognizable brands in college football with USC. The conference is now sitting at 16 teams and it sounds like this is only the beginning of the Big Ten adding teams. 

So with the Big Ten looking to get to either 18 or 20 teams, could Georgia Tech be one of the teams to get an invite? 

The idea is not as far fetched as some think. While I don't think that Tech is going to be first on the list for the Big Ten (that would be Notre Dame), Georgia Tech has some things to offer for the Big Ten. 

First, they are an excellent academic institution that is located in one of the biggest markets in the country in Atlanta. The Big Ten now has programs in Los Angeles and now they may want to try to expand south so they could have programs in all regions of the country. Those are two very important things to conferences and Georgia Tech would have both. It would open up more recruiting ground for Big Ten schools in one of the top talent areas in the country. 

From an athletics standpoint, it is a bit of a harder sell for Georgia Tech at the moment. The football program has had three straight three win seasons and no signs of momentum currently. The basketball program has not had consistent success either and it is hard for a conference to take a program that is struggling so much in the two biggest money making sports. 

Would Georgia Tech make the move? 

The first thing to note about this is the grant of rights in the ACC. The grant of rights extends through 2036 and it requires that if any school leaves before that deadline, any earned TV revenue would have to go back to the ACC. 

Now, the revenue and the opportunities that the Big Ten would present would certainly be enticing to Georgia Tech. In the 2021 fiscal year, the Big Ten was second in terms of conference revenue, behind only the SEC. The conference reportedly distributed between $43.1-$49.1 million dollars. In comparison, the ACC distributed $35-$38.1 million to each school. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Big Ten has reportedly had interest in adding Georgia Tech back in 2012, after the school had added Maryland and Rutgers. The idea never became anything more than a rumor, but it was out there nonetheless, as Dan Wolken of USA Today pointed out last night. 

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Would the SEC be an option?

It is less likely than going to the Big Ten, but the option is still there. Geographically it makes more sense than the Big Ten and the revenue would be more substantial. However, I think it is more likely that the SEC puts programs like Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and other ACC programs first due to their competitiveness in the revenue driving sports. 

Overview

I think this is something to watch in the coming months, as Georgia Tech has some intriguing things to offer the Big Ten. College sports are changing rapidly and it is going to fascinating to see how the landscape looks in collegiate athletics in a short amount of time. 

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