Will The Big Ten Target Harvard? The Money Is Tempting

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Would the Big Ten ever come calling for Harvard?

I know what you’re thinking. That’s maybe the most insane college football/sports related question you’ve heard in a long time, but before you jump down my throat or call me crazy, it’s not as wild as you might think.

The Ivy League is on the fast track towards allowing athletic scholarships, and once that happens paired up with potential NIL dealings, the conference’s members will be in uncharted territory.

During a Tuesday appearance on OutKick360 with Chad Withrow and Jonathan Hutton, we broke down the crazy hypothetical, and it truly comes down to one thing:

Money and lots of it!

Would the Big Ten actually target Harvard or Yale?

Before coming to a conclusion of your own, let me just lay out some facts. First, if Harvard or Yale actually want to build a football powerhouse, the programs have to leave the Ivy League because it’s an FCS conference. While FCS football is fun, it doesn’t move the needle. Nobody is going to write massive checks for FCS titles, and seeing how the Ivy League doesn’t even send its champion to the playoffs, it’s a pointless conversation.

Will the Big Ten target Harvard for expansion? (Photo by Carlin Stiehl For The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Big Ten prides itself on incredible academics, which Withrow opened the discussion with, and Harvard and Yale are arguably the two most prestigious academic institutions in the world. The Big Ten could give both programs a massive athletic platform neither could have dreamed of before without sacrificing their academic reputations.

Let’s talk money.

The fascinating part about Harvard joining the FBS really revolves around the fact the school has more resources than any other academic institution in America when we’re talking NIL potential.

The latest data indicates more than 180 billionaires went to Harvard. That’s the most in the world for any school.

When you dig further into the data, the school is believed to have generated north of 17,000 alumni worth at least $30 million. Do you really think that if just a couple of those billionaires got together and started writing NIL checks the Crimson wouldn’t start rattling off wins within a few years?

Just to gauge the interest, I texted a Harvard grad who owns an international company to get his thoughts on the situation. He made it clear getting the NIL money together would be insanely easy. It would just be a matter of people caring, which historically, they do not.

Would Harvard consider joining the Big Ten? (Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsport/Getty Images)

However, it only would take a couple billionaires to change everything. Look at what Phil Knight did at Oregon. Now, imagine 20 of him writing checks.

Now, do I think Harvard or Yale will leave the Ivy League? No, I don’t, but it’s not as crazy as you think. As we all know, money turns the wheel of progress and the Big Ten and Harvard and Yale all have lots of it.

I’ll cap this off by throwing out a question like I did on Twitter. If Harvard ultimately decides to go all in on NIL and just starts buying up elite players, how long would it take them to win a national title? I think it would happen much quicker than people believe.

Written by David Hookstead

David is a college football fanatic who foolishly convinces himself every season the Wisconsin Badgers will finally win a national title. Has been pretending to be a cowboy ever since the first episode of Yellowstone aired.

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