Rumor mill includes North Carolina as next possible Big Ten expansion target

Could North Carolina be next for the Big Ten? - Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

Go ahead and add North Carolina to the shortlist for perspective future Big Ten expansion teams.

We've already heard murmurs that Georgia Tech administrators have been angling for a potential golden parachute out of the ACC to the Big Ten. Then we heard open speculation that Boston College and Virginia could also be potential names of interest for the recently expansion minded historical conference. Could North Carolina be a player in the mix as well? Bucknuts' Dave Biddle is hearing so:

Hearing from several people the school Big Ten/Jim Delany really wants to add now is #NorthCarolina. Where did Delany attend college? #UNC.

Delany actually played on the basketball team for the Tar Heels. Big Ten would love to add UNC and G-Tech as the 15th and 16th teams.

So it sure sounds like we can safely add Chapel Hill to the mix of perspective Big Ten expansion candidates. But does it make sense? North Carolina's been a sleeping giant college football-wise since Mack Brown departed for Texas, and perhaps Larry Fedora can be the guy to get them there. Mentor's Mitch Trubisky sure isn't a bad start. And of course North Carolina's storied basketball program pretty much speaks for itself. But what about their NCAA situation?

The NCAA appears to have wrapped its investigation (at least with respect to former coach Butch Davis' improprieties), but that doesn't necessarily mean the door's closed on their problems as a whole. The latest academic scandal whistle blower to come out seems to corroborate that the school condoned systemic cheating across multiple sports. It would certainly seem at face value a risky situation to attach your conference to (particularly in lieu of the PR challenge Penn State's been for the last year), though given Maryland and Rutgers' athletic financial situations, maybe the appeal of rescuing programs in distress has its appeal.

Otherwise, the Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro markets make a lot of sense for the league. To pair it with Atlanta could really be something in terms of opening the league up to the south, that is of course if the demographics of Big Ten alums living in the area make it make sense for the rest of the partner institutions.

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