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Future of College Football Conferences

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by UtilityPlayer, May 9, 2016.

  1. UtilityPlayer

    UtilityPlayer Member

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    http://espn.go.com/college-football...ge-football-expansion-realignment-looked-like

    Last week's college football headlines were dominated by expansion chatter emanating from the Big 12, which has been a 10-team league since 2012, when it went from being a 14-team league to an eight-team league to the current dime roster.

    If you are surprised to hear the Big 12 kicking around the idea of adding a pair of new schools, thus adding a conference championship game, its first since 2010, and getting back in line with its other four Power 5 brethren, then ... why in the world are you surprised?

    If you were surprised at this, then you'll probably also be surprised at the next inevitable step for all five of those conferences: one more round of expansion and realignment across the board. This will be the final great tectonic shift that forever breaks the Power 5 away on their own, becoming some sort of self-governed alliance of 16-team conferences.

    To those folks, that's a perfect world. To a lot of other folks, it's not, particularly those schools within the Group of 5 busy trying to build a program that might become the next TCU, Boise State or Utah.

    But if that's where this is indeed all headed, what would that perfect Power 5 membership scenario look like? For the sake of dreaming, let's forget about the money-grubbing insanity that leads to moves like Maryland in the Big Ten or West Virginia in the Big 12. Instead, let's imagine what would work best from a purely regional, purely football point of view. A world where conferences worry more about dominating their corner of the map instead of invading others, giving us true regional representatives in their conference championship games and then the College Football Playoff (which, by the way, should stay at four -- my feelings on this are well-documented -- though I know it won't).

    Here's my version of that 16-team Power 5 Utopia.

    Note: New members are in italics, while those switching divisions are denoted with an asterisk.
    Big 16

    North
    Air Force
    BYU
    Iowa State
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State
    Texas Tech

    South
    Baylor
    Texas
    TCU
    SMU
    Tulane
    New Mexico
    Houston
    Rice

    We start in the Big 12 because it has the most work to do, finding six schools to add, and those moves will alter what everyone else ultimately does. The Big 12 North heads for the Rockies to add BYU and Air Force. That brings two new states into the fold, adds the prestige of a service academy and a pair of good football schools with history between them (never bring up 1984 and BYU to a true Air Force fan).

    The Big 12 South is an Art Briles dream, a nearly all-Texas division (sorry, Texas Tech, but you were too far north) that adds newbies Houston, SMU and Rice. This is the mentality that conferences should have -- lock down the homeland! It creates old-school regional pride, revives some old-school regional rivalries, and just might help shore up defenses against the growing recruiting invasion from outside conferences (read: SEC). But what about adding new TV markets and new states? That's why we go get New Mexico and Tulane. Yeah, I said it, New Mexico and Tulane.

    But I hear you out there. "What about Memphis?" Funny you should bring that up ...
    SEC

    East
    Auburn*
    Charlotte (ECU/UCF?)
    Florida
    Georgia
    Kentucky
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    Vanderbilt

    West
    Alabama
    Arkansas
    LSU
    Memphis
    Mississippi State
    Missouri*
    Ole Miss
    Texas A&M

    The Tigers are now in their natural habitat, the SEC West. It's a good media market, surrounded by natural rivals in Ole Miss, Vandy, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky, and adding them to the conference locks down all three chunks of the Volunteer State for the SEC, forever and ever, amen. Joining them in the West will be Missouri as we ship Auburn off to the East.

    So, who does the SEC add in the East? This is tricky. Rumors persist that it covets North Carolina and/or Virginia, and UCF keeps coming up as big market in Florida. But none of the Tobacco Road schools are leaving, and neither is Virginia Tech. Even if they did, the post-Maryland defection escape fee is way too steep. And the SEC already owns central Florida via the Gators. So, would it consider rolling the dice on a fledgling like Charlotte? It's a big media market located just up the road from South Carolina, a school the ACC wants nothing to do with, and the home of SEC Network HQ. Just saying ...

    Speaking of the ACC ...
    ACC

    Southern Division
    Clemson
    Duke
    Florida State
    Georgia Tech
    Miami
    North Carolina
    NC State
    Wake Forest

    Northern Division
    Boston College
    Connecticut
    Louisville
    Pitt
    Syracuse
    Virginia
    Virginia Tech
    West Virginia (Navy?)

    The perpetually confusing Atlantic and Coastal divisions are gone, replaced with the Southern, which is a Tobacco Road lineup sure to make jilted old-school ACC fans happy, and the Northern, which is sure to make jilted old-school Big East fans happy. The Northern division adds UConn and West Virginia. Yes, I said West Virginia. Show of hands: Who thinks the Mountaineers are a great fit in the Big 12? Oliver Luck, put your hand down, you don't even work there anymore. The addition of WVU and Connecticut fill in the missing pieces that would now allow the ACC map to truly cover the entire coast in its name.

    But wait, isn't Notre Dame supposed to be in the ACC?
    Big Ten

    East Division
    Cincinnati
    Indiana
    Maryland
    Michigan
    Michigan State
    Ohio State
    Penn State
    Rutgers

    West Division
    Illinois
    Iowa
    Minnesota
    Nebraska
    Northwestern
    Notre Dame
    Purdue
    Wisconsin

    Yes, per Notre Dame's contract with the ACC, should they ever join a conference football-wise, that's where they would end up. But this is our Power 5 Utopia, where we can do whatever feels right. And the Irish feel right in the Big Ten. They just do. Remember our regionalism mantra!
    In Ryan McGee's ideal world of college football expansion, Notre Dame and Michigan would be conference rivals, even if it can't happen in real life. Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

    In that spirit, we're also recruiting Cincinnati to lock down Ohio. Get over it, Ohio State. This would lead to some awesome in-state squawking, and you know it. And as much I want to move Maryland back to the ACC or do the same with Rutgers, that's never happening. Maryland and the ACC are like your aunt and uncle who were last seen throwing Thanksgiving dinner at each other. It doesn't matter how pretty their wedding pictures are. Those photos are old and crusty now. They're never getting back together, not even in our Utopia.
    Pac-16

    North
    Boise State
    Cal
    Oregon
    Oregon State
    Stanford
    Utah*
    Washington
    Washington State

    South
    Arizona
    Arizona State
    Colorado
    Colorado State (Air Force?)
    Hawaii
    UCLA
    UNLV (Nevada?)
    USC
     
  2. UtilityPlayer

    UtilityPlayer Member

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    If i'm correct the Big Ten Academic reputation prevents some schools from being allowed to "enter" the conference.
     
  3. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    Donny pointed out that it might not be an official written rule and think he is right. With that said, the Big Ten was the only conference where all members were AAU members and Carnegie 1 status. That was until Nebraska lost their AAU status after they moved in.

    I do think they would be way more selective based on academics though.
     

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