From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

Much like a certain columnist we all know (and love?) on Page 1 of sports, Big Ten football is worried that no one pays attention to it. There are rumors that the conference might expand to 12 teams, thereby setting up a conference championship game.

The last school to join the Big Ten was Penn State back in the early '90s. Pitt, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Missouri and Notre Dame have been mentioned as possible additions.

Is it a good idea for the Big Ten to swell to 12 football programs and, if so, which school would you like to see join the mix?

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

Temple.

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

Whoa, slow down there, Mr. Chatterbox. Save some for later.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

Oh, you want me to type your parts for you, too? I could do that, but the readers would notice the improvement and be on to you right away.

My first sense of it is that Pittsburgh would be the most logical. It would set up a potentially great rivalry with Ohio State almost immediately and would rekindle the same with Penn State. It is a school of about the right size, of about the right location, and with a good football tradition. Cincinnati, regardless of current success, seems a bit small-time. Rutgers seems like just a little too far East. Notre Dame should just get it over with and drop football.

As for whether it's a good idea, I guess. Anything that makes a little more money for these greedy cruds has to be good.

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

Forget about the money and what it means to the Big Ten's bottom line. Conference championship games are fun. They give people something to watch while we're waiting for the NCAA to hold bowl games instead of conducting a legitimate playoff. I'm all for this. And I like Pitt here, too - but only if the Panthers can stay in the Big East for hoops. Otherwise, it wouldn't make any sense on their end.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

Conference championship games are fun? I was in Atlanta the night before the Eagles game there, when they were playing the SEC championship game in the Georgia Dome. Didn't look like much fun. Looked like just another game.

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

'Bama vs. Florida didn't excite you, not even after the Sabans ruined Tim Tebow's farewell party? I'm starting to worry about you, Mr. Cranky Pants.

From: Ford, Bob

To: Gonzalez, John; Fox, Ashley

Subject: Big 12?

Who's Tim Tebow? And where's Ashley? Talkin' smells like a locker room today.

From: Fox, Ashley

To: Ford, Bob; Ford, Bob

Subject: Big 12?

Sorry. I'm having lunch with Cohen. He says hi.

As a Big Ten girl, I'm fairly protective of who is included, and to me, none of the schools you mentioned fit. You can't have someone join only for football. That makes no sense. And Notre Dame is too busy thinking it still is a powerhouse to realize a conference affiliation would be a good thing.

Cohen went to Wisconsin. He agrees.