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Jim Harbaugh, other coaches on Big Ten expansion – The Columbus Dispatch

INDIANAPOLIS — Pat Fitzgerald was a hard-nosed linebacker at Northwestern in 1995 when the Wildcats ended an improbable season against Southern California in the Rose Bowl.

It …….


INDIANAPOLIS — Pat Fitzgerald was a hard-nosed linebacker at Northwestern in 1995 when the Wildcats ended an improbable season against Southern California in the Rose Bowl.

It represented a traditional matchup between the champions from the Big Ten and the Pac-12, then known as the Pac-10.

But in a couple of years, the schools will be a part of the same conference after the Big Ten added USC and UCLA last month in a drastic round of expansion.

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Fitzgerald, who now enters his 17th season as the coach at Northwestern, sees the additions as the latest in a series of shifts within the sport from loosened transfer restrictions to expanded opportunities for players to make money through name, image and likeness.

“Change,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s college football right now.”

Increasingly accustomed to an evolving landscape, Fitzgerald was among the majority of coaches who sound enthusiastic about the impending arrivals of the Trojans and Bruins in 2024.

“We’re not going backwards,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re not going back to 10 teams. We’re not going back to eight league games. So wherever we’re going to go, we need to embrace it and create plans as coaches to be efficient and successful.”

The Big Ten has been expanding for decades, first moving beyond 10 member schools in 1993 with Penn State joining the league.

Then Nebraska followed in 2011, and Maryland and Rutgers in 2014.

But even as it went beyond its Midwestern roots, each step was relatively modest, keeping the conference’s geographic footprint within contiguous states.

There is little proximity to USC and UCLA, which are based in Los Angeles and separated by more than a thousand miles from the closest Big Ten school.

“Coming to Iowa is going to …….

Source: https://www.dispatch.com/story/sports/college/football/2022/07/29/jim-harbaugh-other-coaches-big-ten-expansion/10161298002/

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