Big Ten expansion candidate: Kansas
The eighth installment in a series looking at 12 different universities that could potentially join the Big Ten
- School: Kansas
- Location: Lawrence, Kan.
- Enrollment: 29,365
- Current League: Big 12 Conference
- Number of sports offered: 16
- Academic profile: Member of the Association of American Universities; 96th (tied with Nebraska) in the U.S. News and World Report National Universities rankings.
- Why it would fit: Kansas adds a rich tradition in multiple sports, especially men's basketball. The Jayhawks have a limited history in football, but had a 12-win season and an Orange Bowl victory in 2007. Kansas is a Midwestern state adjacent to a major media market in Kansas City. It fits academically as both an AAU member and a top 100 university.
- Why it wouldn't: The state is smaller in population than Iowa, which is the Big Ten's smallest. Although its basketball program ranks among the select elite few nationally, its other sports, especially football, don't generate a needed splash.
- Final verdict: It's unlikely the Big Ten will ask Kansas to join. The league seems committed to grow demographically, and Kansas doesn't provide the lift the Big Ten desires. Even though it's more populous than Nebraska and has more tradition than Missouri, those two schools bring the earning potential Kansas doesn't.
- YouTube moment: A look back at Kansas men's basketball's 2008 championship season.