Conference-geddon is Upon Us


UPDATE: Both OU and UT have BOR meetings on Monday with conference realignment on the agenda… the UT meeting is scheduled two hours after the OU meeting. Could be set up in response to OU voting to leave.

Though nothing has been made official by any conference, make no mistake all hell has broken loose in college athletics.  The Big XII isn’t just a sinking ship – it’s a sinking submarine.  It’s been underwater since Nebraska and Colorado bolted with all the life rafts last summer.  Women and children first.  For the past year the skipper (Texas), in classic pirate fashion looks to have raped and pillaged their final victims in the Big Texas.  Texas A&M abandoned ship a few weeks ago and is slowly swimming their way to safety in the SEC.  Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are opening the hatch of the submarine about to let the ocean water into the cabin to finally sink Texas and their mindless goons (Baylor).  The question is, who will get a life raft and who will get sunk with Texas?

Enough with analogies, you get the point, this is all the fault of Texas and their Longhorn Network.  Too long has Texas hogged the majority of the Big XII revenue, too long have they basked in the money of an independent school while enjoying the perks of dominating a conference politically.  Due to Texas’ arrogance, a conference poised to once again be second fiddle to the SEC is on St. Peter’s doorstep.  The only way I see the Big Texas surviving into next year is if the Longhorns and their cronies drown the league with incompetent Texas programs like SMU, Houston and Rice.  No stable program in their right mind would throw themselves in the dumpster with this lot.  What most people tend to think is when word is official that OU and OSU are gone the dominoes will begin to fall, which could happen as early as Monday when the OU board of curators is expected to vote for Pac XX membership.

Outside of rumors and speculation there is really no solid information on how this will play out, the best anyone can come up with is a good ol’ scientific guess.  I’m going to move conference by conference stating how I think everything will play out as of today based purely on what I’ve heard, what I believe and going with my gut.


First up is the SEC!  The SEC could very well be the first conference to become a “power conference” with sixteen teams, but may not be the first conference to play a schedule with sixteen teams.  Due to a gentleman’s agreement among SEC schools, it has recently seemed unlikely any school from the same state as a current SEC school will be asked to join the conference, same thing goes for ACC teams.  On September 13th Florida State formed a conference realignment committee meaning they could be looking to jump to the SEC, which many FSU officials and boosters clearly prefer to the ACC.  The problem with a potential FSU move would be that Florida, Georgia and South Carolina could team up to block their membership.  Another key factor in a Florida State decision is they need to give two years notice before leaving the ACC, therefore they wouldn’t be eligible until 2013 – but neither would West Virginia, another potential SEC member.  From what I’ve learned the SEC would like to add in this order: Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, Florida State, North Carolina State and West Virginia.  The first three schools seem to be out by default. Virginia Tech can look as much as they want, but the Virginia state legislature has already brought up specific problems with them leaving.  This leaves Missouri as the next most viable option; Missouri would bring in a ton of TV sets and very good football, basketball and baseball programs.  Therefore I believe Missouri will join with Texas A&M in 2012, while two teams, most likely to be West Virginia with the possible addition of FSU could join the conference in 2013.  Missouri and West Virginia are as close to automatic as you can get in this new stage of conference realignment and it looks like Florida State is taking the most action out of the ACC teams to leave.

Two different formats are being looked at, two divisions of eight teams or four “regions” of four teams – with two regions in each of two divisions.  Personally I like the idea of four, four-team divisions, which could create a playoff within the conference leading to a quad power conference playoff system… finally destroying the BCS (the root of all evil).  In this scenario the winner of each region would play the winner of the other region in its division.  Then the winner of the division would play the winner of the other division creating a conference championship.  The winner of each of the four supposed “power conferences” would face each other in a four-team playoff.  Confused?  Here’s a scenario:

We end up with four regions in the SEC (in 2013) looking something like this:

Region 1 (West)

Arkansas

LSU

Missouri

Texas A&M

Region 2 (Alassippi)

Alabama

Auburn

Mississippi State

Ole Miss

Region 3 (Appalachian)

Kentucky

Tennessee

Vanderbilt

West Virginia

Region 4 (Southeast)

Florida

Florida State

Georgia

South Carolina

Regions 1 and 2 would be in the Western Division, while Regions 3 and 4 would make up the Eastern Division, or something incredibly pretentious like Leaders and Legends.  Throughout the course of the season each school would play their own region, along with two schools from every other region.  Therefore Arkansas’ conference schedule in 2013 would look something like:

@LSU

Missouri

@Texas A&M

Alabama

@Auburn

Kentucky

@Tennessee

Florida

@Florida State

This makes for three non-conference games.  In 2014, the schedule flip-flops home and away games.  However in 2015, they exchange out of region opponents so their schedule would look like:

@LSU

Missouri

@Texas A&M

Mississippi State

@Ole Miss

Vanderbilt

@West Virginia

Georgia

@South Carolina

Get it?  Good.  Now as far as the league playoff goes, let’s say LSU, Alabama, West Virginia and Florida State win their regions.  Then LSU would play Alabama for the divisional championship and West Virginia would play Florida State.  The winners of these games would play in a Conference Championship resulting in the winner of the SEC.  The winner of the SEC would then go on to play the winners of the other four “power conferences” in a four-team playoff… if the power conference format were to take shape, which I think we will find out shortly if that happens.

As of now I’m predicting the Pac XX to stay at 14 if Texas doesn’t submit to their demands of giving up the LHN.  If that happens I could see Texas joining the ACC, taking the spot of Florida State.  The Big East has already been prodding for KU, KSU and MU, but with MU in the SEC they would likely replace them with Texas Tech.  This would expand the Big East to a 12-team football conference and 20-team basketball league.  I could then see them adding either Baylor or Iowa State to replace West Virginia.  In my opinion the only way the Big 10 makes a move is if Notre Dame finally decides they are ready to join, or if the Pac-12 also expands to 16.  With only one 16-team football conference the Big 10 won’t see it necessary to expand, therefore we may have to wait until a third round of conference realignment to see power conferences, if we ever see four of them developed.

IF and that’s a big IF the Power Conferences become prominent in the NCAA I could see thing play out somewhat like this, with the Big East getting picked off next:

The Big 10 would likely have to make the next move in round 3 of conference musical chairs by adding independent Notre Dame, while stealing UConn from the ACC and Pitt and Kansas from the new Big East… unless Kansas hadn’t made the move yet.  Here are your Big 16 divisions:

Region 1 (Leaders)

Ohio State

Penn State

Pittsburgh

Rutgers

Region 2 (Legends)

Michigan

Michigan State

Notre Dame

Indiana

Region 3 (Narcissists)

Illinois

Northwestern

Purdue

Wisconsin

Region 4 (Farmers)

Iowa

Kansas

Minnesota

Nebraska

With KU gone the opportunity for a KU/KSU team to head out west is gone.  Therefore the Pac XX would look back west at Nevada, BYU, Boise State and Air Force.  I believe they would choose BYU for the TV sets and Boise State for the football team.  Giving you a new conference alignment of:

Region 1 (California)

California

Stanford

UCLA

USC

Region 2 (Northwest)

Oregon

Oregon State

Washington

Washington State

Region 3 (Southwest)

Arizona

Arizona State

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State

Region 4 (The Rockies)

BYU

Boise State

Colorado

Utah

The last, but not least power conference would be the ACC who has already replaced FSU with Texas.  They have the pick of the litter among the remaining Big East teams.  I’d say the first two they pick up would be Syracuse and Uconn.  The remaining top options would be Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, TCU and Texas Tech.  TCU would be last on the list with South Florida close behind, since they already own the market thanks to Miami.  I would assume Texas would beg for Texas Tech to join with the ACC with which they would comply and also drag Louisville into the fold.  This would form a conference shaped like this geographical jumble:

Region 1 (Northeast)

Boston College

Maryland

Syracuse

UConn

Region 2 (Coastal)

North Carolina

North Carolina State

Virginia

Virginia Tech

Region 3 (Atlantic)

Clemson

Duke

Georgia Tech

Miami
Region 4 (Sucks to be Wake Forest)

Louisville

Texas

Texas Tech

Wake Forest

So to clarify my playoff scenario, let’s say Alabama wins the SEC, Oklahoma wins the Pac-16, Wisconsin wins the Big 16 and Florida State wins the ACC. We pit Oklahoma (Pac-16) against Wisconsin (Big-16) in the Rose Bowl then Alabama (SEC) against Florida State (ACC) in the Orange Bowl. We’ll say Alabama wins the Orange Bowl and Oklahoma wins the Rose Bowl, creating a National Championship through a Conference style playoff system giving us a more defined National Champion by far than the current BCS system allows.  Again I don’t believe things will end up going the power conference route any time soon, but it’s fun to think about.  All we know right now is the Big 12 is on life support, things will get interesting very soon and with the possibility of college athletes being paid, the entire college landscape could change very quickly.  As Samuel L. Jackson would say in “Jurassic Park”, “Hold on to your butts!”

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23 thoughts on “Conference-geddon is Upon Us

  1. Never going to happen like that in the ACC. Wake Forest will not be split from the other three Carolina schools, nor would Duke.

    Instead, you’d have Maryland paired with the two Virginia schools and Clemson in a re-forming of three of the original ACC members plus the Hokies, who wanted to be an original member. Division 2 would be the four Carolina schools. Division 3 would be BC, UConn, Syracuse and Louisville, and the Texas schools would pair with Miami and Georgia Tech. The Carolina schools run the ACC the way Texas runs the Big 12. They’re not going to let that happen to Wake Forest.

  2. Makes sense to me, the ACC was by far the most difficult conference for me to attempt to separate into four pods, just because you have about six schools right next to each other and the rest are somewhat spread out… like Miami, Louisville and the Texas schools. Either way somebody has a long drive (Louisville) in your set.

  3. Kansas to the Big Ten? ROTFLMFAO

    Big Ten expansion will be about three factors – (1) academics, (2) football, and (3) money/television.

    Kansas strikes out on all three.

    Your 16 team Big Ten will eventually be more like:

    Big Ten West – Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue

    Big Ten East – Notre Dame, Maryland, Virginia (or Pitt), Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State

  4. Texas will only go where they can have their LHN….which right now looks only to be the ACC. Virginia will never leave the ACC and Maryland in the Big 10 makes no sense… I’m assuming you’re a Big 10 fan who thinks you can pick up anyone… An ideal league for the Big 10 would involve UT, ND, MU and Rutgers… but no way that happens. As I said I doubt the Big 10 expands at all in “this round.” Meaning the Big 10 won’t have the pick of the litter.

    • Rumors from people who have provided very detailed information and knew of Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten before it happened have Texas and Notre Dame having put a proposal before the Big Ten to join the conference in 2014, and the Big Ten looks on this proposal very favorably. Seems they feel they can work around the LHN by incorporating it as part of a regional Big Ten Network. Probably hear more about it after Oklahoma puts another nail in the coffin of Big 12 by announcing its intent to bolt for the Pac-XX.

      Once Texas and ND join, then it becomes a matter of whether the Big Ten wants to expand to 16, and if so when. Maryland and Virginia fit the Big Ten profile very well. Other options would be Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Misery-U.

      But I notice you still haven’t defended the orginal nonsense of Kansas to the Big Ten.

      • Yes, I’ve heard the rumor from the Northwestern site. It is possible UT could end up in the Big 10 with ND, UT could end up anywhere from Pac to ACC to Big 10 to independent. BUT there is no way Missouri, Virginia or Maryland join the Big 10. If the B1G decided to go to 16 their primary targets will be Syracuse, Rutgers, Pitt and Kansas as a last resort. As I’ve stated in my scenario UT will be in the ACC already. The ACC will not loose any teams, except maybe FSU… they seem to be the only team wanting to jump to the SEC, but they could get blocked by Florida, in which case I have UT replacing FSU. IMO Syracuse would choose the ACC over the B1G. With Texas, MU and Syracuse gone, clearly the best options after adding ND would be Rutgers, Pitt and Kansas hence KU being added to the B1G in my scenario.

  5. Maryland’s fan base might revolt if the school considered the Big Ten. The Terrapins’ fans are absolutely horrified at the idea of leaving the ACC and want nothing to do with the Big Ten.

    • Maryland will do whatever is in Maryland’s best interest. I’m guessing that SEC expansion will take out some ACC schools (some combination of Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, Miami) freeing up Maryland and Virginia to bolt for the Big Ten.

      • The SEC has already stated they don’t plan to pick apart the ACC. Nonetheless it looks as though MU and West Virginia will be teams 14 and 15, therefore one ACC team will suffice. I have that as FSU, due to the fact the majority of their fan base wants to jump and the school is interested enough to form a realignment committee. You have no idea what you’re talking about if you think Virginia or Maryland will leave the ACC.

      • Exactly, and what is in Maryland’s best interest is staying in the ACC. The SEC has no interest in Miami. Virginia Tech has no interest in the SEC. That leaves Clemson and Florida State, who will be blocked by the bloc of South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida. The Terrapins are going nowhere.

  6. Why would you put ANY stock in what the SEC has said to date? As soon as the UT and ND dominoes fall, they’ll claim that “the landscape has changed” and proceed with raiding the ACC for whomever they want.

    Given the ever increasing importance of football income to supporting college athletics departments, the ACC is going to be a relatively weak conference when the MUCH bigger money of the SEC and Big Ten comes calling. There will be defections from the ACC and the leftovers of the ACC will have to combine with a selection of Big East teams to form the fourth superconference (along with the PAC-XX, Big Ten, and SEC). But that fourth megaconference will be by far the weakest of the four.

    In the end, the SEC, Big Ten, and PAC-XX will get whomever they most want (unless taken away by one of the other two) because it is going to be all about schools positioning themselves to maintain maximum revenues – and that will mean being in the SEC, Big Ten, or PAC-XX.

    • “As soon as the UT and ND dominoes fall”… You are a fool if you think ND would move before the SEC already has 16 teams. You are a fool if you think Maryland and Virginia would leave the ACC. The Big 10 hasn’t even expressed interest in them, or anybody outside of ND for that matter. The ACC will most definitely remain intact with the Big East getting eat up IF power conferences happen. As I said, I believe FSU is the only ACC team with a chance of leaving. You have to think about this chronologically

      • You are confusing yourself now. I said ND is going to the Big Ten with Texas, not the SEC. ND and Texas become the 13th and 14th members of the Big Ten.

        This happens after Oklahoma and Oklahoma State bolt for the PAC-XX and seal the fate of the Big 12. In the meantime, the SEC takes Texas A&M from the now defunct Big 12 and rapidly settles on Virginia Tech as their 14th team.

        The SEC then decides which other two ACC teams it wants (Miami, Florida State, Clemson, NC State, UNC) to round out to 16. This makes it open season on the ACC. They likely end up taking Florida State + one other. I’ll guess Clemson.

        Then the Big Ten considers its options. Although I like Pitt, it brings very little in terms of new market shares. Rutgers is way overrated by many as it doesn’t deliver anything but a tiny fraction of the New York market. So the Big Ten targets two the jewels of the now bleeding ACC – Maryland and Virginia, very high quality state universities who are AAU members and fit the Big Ten profile perfectly. MD and VA give the Big Ten an immense presence in the heavily populated mid-Atlantic seaboard from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, down toward Charlotte.

        Ultimately, there is a Big East/ACC merger (West Virginia, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Louisville, Cincinnati). This “conference of leftovers” extends and offer to Misery-U to be its 14th team.

  7. You are hopelessly delusional. I’m not confused whatsoever. I’m saying Notre Dame won’t go to a conference until they feel they have to. MU to the SEC is practically set in stone if/when the Big 12 blows up. West Virginia will be #15. There is no chance the Virginia Tech, Miami, UNC, NC State or Clemson leave the ACC. Maryland and Virginia would never leave the ACC for the Big 10, nor would the Big 10 bother to invite them. You are a lost case and I’m done with this conversation, I’ll come back to say I told you so in a couple weeks.

    • Nothing could be more delusional than projecting KANSAS to the Big Ten. LOL You stil haven’t begun to explain what would possess the Big Ten to even think about offering them when they are passing on Oklahoma and even Misery-U.

      Latest report out of NY has Pitt and Syracuse talking to the ACC, which starts to spoil your projection of Pitt to the Big Ten as well. They’ll be great backfills when other ACC schools are raided by the SEC and Big Ten.

      And you are delusional about the SEC salivating over Misery-U. There are far more plum options for them by dismantling the southern ACC than offering Misery-U.

      I’ll guarantee:

      1) Kansas is not going to the Big Ten – EVER.

      2) West Virginia is not going to the SEC. Even all the West Virginia fans I know recognize that isn’t happening because they simply don’t bring enough to the table.

      3) Misery-U, if the get an invitation from the SEC or Big Ten at all, won’t be doing so other than to be that conference’s 16th team. Way too many better options for the Big Ten and SEC to pursue before Misery-U.

      4) Texas is not going to the ACC. If they end up in a conference (and they will), it will be in the Big Ten.

      5) Notre Dame will join the Big Ten before being the conference’s 16th team.

      • I’ll guarantee that 2, 3 and 5 are all wrong, as is part of 4. At least one of West Virginia or Missouri is almost certainly going to the SEC now because the SEC is out of options if it wants to get to 14 teams after the ACC’s trump card came out. The SEC is now totally blocked from going east (unless it decides it wants East Carolina) and will have to look north or west. That means either West Virginia or Missouri and probably both.

        If this report about Syracuse and Pittsburgh is true, then the battle between ACC and SEC is over and the ACC has won. The SEC spent too much time focused on a school (Virginia Tech) that never wanted to join, allowing the ACC to swoop in and block the SEC’s plans. Further, it makes the ACC even more attractive to Texas because the Longhorns now see a stronger league that will allow the Longhorn Network. With that in place, Texas is never joining the Big Ten. Notre Dame is simply going to form the Vatican League with the other Catholic Big East schools, add schools like Xavier and Dayton to fill it out and continue its independence.

        Missouri and West Virginia weren’t the SEC’s first choices. But they’re the best choices the SEC has left. Otherwise, the SEC can’t reach 16. I’d even say Kansas to the Big Ten could now happen, because who else is the Big Ten going to turn to? The way south is blocked. Rutgers is the one school in the east they would want, but that leaves three other schools. Kansas to the Big Ten now looks much more likely.

      • I agree with Dan completely. All of your guarantees are shit Michell, you are a mindless idiot with a giant boner for the B1G. Reports are coming in that the ACC offered both Texas and Notre Dame for slots 15 and 16.. if they accept hell yeah the ACC won. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Texas accept, Notre Dame decline and the ACC picks up UConn. But then again this Pitt/Syracuse thing came out of nowhere, so nobody really knows until it’s over… I bet we find out by next week at this pace.

  8. Tim, what about Texas’ partner in the ACC being Baylor instead of Texas Tech? Now that I really think about it, the Bears make more sense for the ACC than the Red Raiders. Baylor’s athletic department is stronger as a whole than Texas Tech’s, with football as the lone exception, and the Bears are improving quickly in that area.

    Baylor is a much better academic institution than Texas Tech, and Waco is a mere 100 miles from Austin, which would allow the ACC to easily schedule consecutive road games at Baylor and Texas to ease travel concerns. Lubbock, by contrast, is 400 miles and requires another flight from Austin.

    It really seems to me that Texas Tech brings absolutely nothing to the ACC, but Baylor offers the league quite a bit.

    • As you probably now well know… UT/TT/OU/OSU is nearly a given to the Pac… as is MU to the SEC according to some OU boosters and an unanimous Texas big-wig. Looks like UConn is a given for the ACC, along with possibly ND, who stated they prefer the ACC to the Big 10… bet MItchell will love that.

      • LOL – again.

        Texas is far from a done deal to the PAC. If fact, both spokesmen from Oklahoma and Texas have come out indicating that they may well not end up in the same confernece. ESPN is simply hoping that Texas doesn’t end up in the Big Ten and is pushing whatever story they can about Texas going to the ACC or PAC. Texas is no doubt negotiating with several conferences, but from a geographic, academic, cultural, and monetary perspective, they’ll end up in the Big Ten or be independent, like I said.

        ND going to the ACC? Again, not going to happen. ND is also looking for whatever leverage they can get in negotiations with Delany, but ultimately they are not going to give up their long-standing (and profitable) rivalry games with Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue, which they would likely have to do if they went to the lesser ACC.

  9. By the was, CBS Sports is apparently now reporting that West Virginia’s applications have been rejected by both the SEC and ACC (see my #2 above).

    How is your prediction of WV to the SEC looking now?

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