Conference Chaos Curious, Comical – Part I

If we are to believe what we've been hearing, there is a chance that as many as a dozen schools could announce new conference affiliations in the next few days. For those of us hoping for radical changes in major college football and an eventual legitimate method of choosing the national champion, this is a wonderful thing.

If six Big 12 schools accept invitations to join the Pac-10 and help it come up with a new name and Nebraska and Missouri bolt for the Big-Ten (which will also need a new name) we could see a complete upheaval of major college football as we know it.

The Big Ten (for now though there are 11 of them) could then expand East to grab Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Rutgers making it the second "Mega Conference" and put the pressure on the rest of the top leagues to do something dramatic.

But what?

Assuming the earlier part happens the Big 12 would be dead. Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State would be sitting out there with no place to call home, but we'll get back to them in a second. The Big East would also be dead as a football conference with just five remaining members in that absurd assemblage that has 16 members for all sports except football in which it has (had) eight.

The next move would be made by the SEC which has to match the voting and marking clout of the other two mega conferences by adding four members, but which four. To me the first three are easy choices.

Virginia Tech ---- The Hokies have a solid all around program both athletically and academically and have a lot in common with SEC schools including their fans' willingness to travel. It also gives the SEC a foothold in the 12th largest state in the country with the largest school in the state.

Houston and TCU ---- Neither is a great all sports program, but both offer something no one else does…. PEOPLE!! Texas has 24 million of them and getting in there is crucial to making the TV package even more attractive. Houston is also a natural rival with LSU and both schools are in cities where airport access is superb unlike several existing SEC towns.

That leaves a fourth team and it needs to be in the East. It won't be North Carolina. There's no way that's going to happen. And it won't be Clemson because the Tigers add nothing in terms of exposure and is another tough place to get to.

Georgia Tech is a natural fit, but how would Georgia take it? Not well, I can assure you but it is so convenient you have to ignore the Bulldawgs' wishes and go for it. But let's say Tech decides to stay in the ACC. The next logical move is to add a second team in Florida. While the Gators may not be thrilled with the idea, it is a really big state. There are four candidates.

FSU ---- Bobby Bowden was right almost 20 years ago when he said that joining the SEC would make life too difficult for his team. They don't want the higher level of competition nor do they want to be Florida's "little brother" in the same league. They can be the top program in the ACC. They can never be No. 1 in the SEC.

Miami ---- The SEC imprint in South Florida would definitely be more noticeable with the Hurricanes in the conference and that's a lot of TV homes, which is what's driving this shake up. Miami has several good programs but would have to add several sports in order to be an acceptable SEC member. Are they willing to do that? I don't know. Back in 1990-91 many SEC schools objected to the added cost of traveling all the way to Coral Gables and they probably feel the same way today.

USF/UCF ---- One of these two would be more compatible from a travel standpoint, though neither is as big as UF in its city. Both would also have to add sports in order to be a fit, but not as many as Miami. UCF has better on campus facilities but USF has access to a superior football stadium. To me it's a coin toss, but for argument's sake let's invite UCF.

All that's left now if for the ACC, which is down to 11 schools to accept the five members of the Big East and become mega conference number four.


The four mega conferences would now have total control over major college football with a voting block of 64 that could pass any legislation.

In part two we'll look at how you go about scheduling a 16-team mega conference in all sports.


2012-13 SEC Divisional Assignments and parallel opponent

Eastern DivisionWestern Division
Florida LSU
Georgia Auburn
Tennessee Alabama
Kentucky Miss. State
Vanderbilt Ole Miss
South Carolina Arkansas
Virginia Tech TCU
UCF Houston

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