Photo provided by McMaster Marauders
There are currently 130 FBS football teams in the NCAA. All 130 of them reside in the United States.
With two countries bordering the U.S., perhaps international expansion could be in the cards down the road. If you’re looking for a candidate, how about McMaster University?
The right fit? The Big Ten.
Who is McMaster?
The McMaster Marauders reside in Hamilton, Ontario. McMaster University is a public research university with an enrollment of 27,000 undergraduates and 4,000 post-graduate students.
It has 18 men’s sport and 16 women’s sport with a 13 total national championships. Athletic teams play in U Sports which is the America equivalent of NCAA.
The football team went 8-3 in 2019 and beat the No. 1 team Western Mustangs 29-15 to win the 112th Yates Cup. What is the Yates Cup, you may ask?
“The Yates Cup is presented annually to the winner of the Ontario University Athletics football conference of U Sports. It is the oldest still-existing football trophy in North America, dating back to 1898 and surpassing both the Grey Cup and the Little Brown Jug in longevity.” (Source)
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The Marauders play in Ron Joyce Stadium, which is host to their football, soccer, and rugby teams. The permanent seating is 6,000 seats but with the capacity to hold 12,000 seats. The stadium was constructed in 2008 and the surface is artificial turf.
Why the Big Ten?
- The Big Ten would get a new recruiting footprint.
- More expansion in the near future with other Canadian teams.
- Many other sports than just football could join the Big Ten, such as men’s and women’s hockey.
- Travel time by car: Maryland – 9 hours, Nebraska – 15 hours, and Indiana – 9 hours
- Weather on average does not get below 33 degrees at night in November.
- Canadian strict laws allowing people with criminal records into the country. So lets say a player from America had a DUI charge , the chances of him passing through the border could be a tough and football fans would not want their star player to miss a game due to a rule like that, especially if the player already served his time and everything needed for the charge. If they had a felony they would not get in at all.
- Airport to campus is 40 minutes by car.
While expanding into Canada may seem like a stretch at this point, many would have said the same thing about having 40 bowl games decades ago. If the NCAA does look into going international, McMaster is a good place to start. The Big Ten is a good place to land.