The 50 College Football Teams That Should Change Conferences

Dan VastaSenior Writer IIIApril 3, 2012

The 50 College Football Teams That Should Change Conferences

0 of 50

    We have no patience as fans of college football, so let us put on our dream hats. We are the ones in charge here as we set the teams and conferences.

    Yes, you get to take over Mark Emmert's job as the president of the NCAA for a day (or an article) and you can call all the shots. Realign any and every conference in college football, if you think it is for the best.

    Your job and lone goal?

    Realign 50 current teams from any of the conferences that they are currently in (2012 season). Whether you want to spice up the entertainment and money or perhaps you just want to make the rich get richer (or help out the non-AQ's).

    The job is yours, but I attempt to do the same here as I list 50 teams that I least feel should join a different conference for the 2012 season and or near future.

    Note: This is intended for you to think outside the box a bit, everybody has their own imaginations. Feel free to kindly share your own opinions

Notre Dame

1 of 50

    Obviously the Irish would have made a move years ago in football if they really wanted to join a conference.

    However, how much more enjoyment would there be in college football if Notre Dame joined the Big Ten?

    Sure, another team would likely have to join with them but many fans would hate the Irish less or at least respect them more for having to face a consistent slate of games.

    The excitement most assume would only increase with more rivals renewed and more entertainment (ND in a conference title game would be thrilling). 

West Virginia

2 of 50

    Why on earth did West Virginia have to leave for the Big 12?

    Sure, you could throw the obvious answers but the Big East is almost completely pointless to watch for the average fan now (thank god I have an addiction and watch every conference regardless).

    Geno Smith and that offense is going to be something really special and there is no doubt they will be successful in the Big 12.

    However, we are seeing the top-notch conferences get better and the mid-tier ones absolutely fall apart. That is not a great thing for college football.

Texas

3 of 50

    The Longhorns are hated by many now with their recent deal with the Longhorn Network, and there has been a decent amount of rumors to the Independents (similar to ND with NBC etc).

    Would they still be considered a powerhouse program if they made such a change or perhaps would their exposure grow even larger knowing they would be on their own wavelength similar to Notre Dame?

Boise State

4 of 50

    O, how much the Broncos would of enjoyed themselves if they could have been in a BCS conference a few seasons ago. Perhaps two BCS appearances (non title) would have been their reward.

    The Broncos have dominated the competition, going 45-3 in conference play. Nobody has been able to slow Chris Petersen down outside of Gary Patterson (1 of last 3 TCU has won).

    However, they would love to move to a BCS conference immediately. The Big East is awaiting Boise in 2013, but it would have been nice to see them in the Big 12 or Pac-12.

    A 11-1 season would translate into a conference championship in all likelihood, but the national recognition would have been there if they were given the chance to pull it off. Instead, we must sit back and watch them destroy the Mountain West.   

Pittsburgh

5 of 50

    We understand they are on the move to the ACC, but that isn’t for another full season after this upcoming one.

    Patience is a virtue, but watching the Panthers in the Big East has been disappointing and annoying. They come into every season with high expectations and flop with the best of them.

    Pitt has gone 28-21 in the Big East since 2005, and a change in conference now not next season would be preferable if possible.

Syracuse

6 of 50

    The Orange has been beyond abysmal in the Big East and we really should not care what they do in the Big East next season.

    Well, they are on the move to the ACC which will make college basketball intriguing but they won’t make matters any better in football.

    Waiting for 2013 is not a smart idea, but if we could (we have no choice) most would prefer to see Syracuse head off to the ACC immediately.

    Or I suppose they could go to another conference to perhaps get taken to the woodshed even more (10-40 since 2005).

Miami FL

7 of 50

    The Canes have never been the same since heading to the ACC from the Big East. Sure, going through a few coaches and a national newsworthy scandal hurts a lot.

    Still, the football program has been heading in the wrong direction for several seasons and most think a change is needed.

Vanderbilt

8 of 50

    Maybe this would be one of the more bizarre changes in college football and I doubt they would ever leave (like most of these teams).

    So, despite the recent surge of James Franklin and a program that has fought their hearts out, the Commodores could head to a conference that is similar in terms of prestige universities.

    Many of the SEC schools are respectable, but schools like Northwestern (Big Ten) has made some people ask for a conference change.

Baylor

9 of 50

    This is the season that many non-Baylor fans have been looking forward to ever since the end of the 2011 season.

    Many haters out there did not appreciate the Bears stealing all the top notch primetime games last season (RGIII was worthy for me), so most just assume they will fall flat on their faces without him.

    Nick Florence and the offense is still capable, but how much of a better program would they be if they moved to another BCS conference compared to a non-BCS conference?

Duke

10 of 50

    Those poor Dukies would love to stay in the ACC for college basketball, but we are talking about college football.

    Duke has been abysmal (7-57 since 2005) and they have easily been that walk in the park game in its history with the ACC.

Wake Forest

11 of 50

    Another basement dweller, Wake Forest has been getting blown away by ACC competition. Outside of their magical Orange Bowl appearance in 2006, the Demon Deacons have only had three winning seasons in the ACC since 2001.

    A conference change may seem bizarre since they are in the state of North Carolina, but a small school is not competing consistently enough with the big boys. 

Kansas

12 of 50

    Another Final Four push in the NCAA Tournament by Bill Self has allowed the football to not feel all the pressure in the world.

    Still, Charlie Weis is attempting to get them back to a respectful level because the Big 12 has been obliterating them in recent memory. Charlie Weis is attempting to get them back to a respectful level because the Big 12 has been obliterating them in recent memory (2-22 last three years).  Would a change to the Big Ten makes things better or worse?

    Maybe any conference change would do them well since winning hasn’t been much of an option in recent Big 12 history. 

Maryland

13 of 50

    Coming off a 2-10 season, the Terps wouldn’t cry over some sort of a change. They won their ACC opener against the Canes and they did not win another conference game for the rest of the season.

    They came off a 5-3 year in 2010, but they did just go 1-7 the season before. Would a move to the Big East or any other conference for that matter help?

Connecticut

14 of 50

    Despite winning the Big East two seasons ago, the Huskies have been getting throttled. They have only had two winning seasons (in conference) since joining the conference.

    Sure, they are heading to the ACC after this upcoming season, but they wouldn't mind being allowed to move immediately if it were possible.

Indiana

15 of 50

    The Hoosiers have a great future….for basketball. The same cannot be said for their football program and they would love to achieve success any way they could get it.

    Obviously switching conferences when struggling isn’t realistic necessarily, but IU would love to keep their prestige and get more victories along the way somewhere.

Northern Illinois

16 of 50

    The Huskies are coming off a MAC title and a trip to a big boys conference would be a dream come true. The Big Ten could go mega-conference on us before it is all said and done although the Huskies at the moment are not on the top of the list.

Toledo

17 of 50

    This MAC school is accustomed to scheduling non-conference tilts with big name schools whether they are in the BCS or not. They have gone up against the Boise State's to the Ohio State and Michigan's. 

    More times or not they play a team or two every season from one of the big six conferences and if they could make it official in terms of playing against those big schools more frequently, they would. 

Marshall

18 of 50

    One of your most successful programs from a non-AQ status expects to win despite playing in Conference USA. 

    If they had the option of choosing where to play, the Big East would not be a bad start although their rivals (West Virginia) are off to the Big 12.

    Marshall has appeared in only ten bowl games throughout their history, but they have won seven of them (Five from BCS).

East Carolina

19 of 50

    The Pirates wouldn't mind being given the chance to compete at one of the grandest stages in America but something simple as the ACC or Big East.

    ECU upset Virginia Tech in 2007 when they were ranked ninth in the country, so they are not shy from playing with some of the top competition. 

Southern Miss

20 of 50

    Not saying they could have much of a shot against the SEC or the other BCS conference winners, Southern Miss' squad last season would give the BCS mid-tier teams a legit run for their money.

    Larry Fedora is now gone so that will be intriguing to watch things unfold, but the Golden Eagles would love nothing more than getting the chance to prove they are worthy against any BCS conference.

Houston

21 of 50

    The Houston Cougars offense last season was nearly unstoppable and it would have been a ton of fun if we had the opportunity to see them play in a BCS conference.

    They obliterated a decent Big Ten squad in Penn State, albeit that wasn't the team to prove the nation wrong on New Year's (Jan. 2) .

    Had they gone up against Michigan State, Georgia or a team of that caliber then perhaps the Cougars would get a lot more love. Note we are not talking about just a one game fluke, but a whole season in a BCS conference would have been nice to last season and the same goes for the near future.

SMU

22 of 50

    June Jones will not shy away from the top competition and he is overdue in bringing the Mustangs back to national relevancy.

    He has a ton of talent coming back for the 2012 and the slate is perfect to knock off the big boys. Hosting Texas A&M and TCU could be great news and playing Baylor on the road in the season opener isn't too shabby either.

    Playing with house money is the perfect scenario, but watching them playing in the Big 12 perhaps down the road could be like heaven. 

Brigham Young

23 of 50

    The Cougars were previously in the Mountain West, but they are accustomed to playing against any ranked team.

    Whether it was playing Ole Miss and Texas last year or going back to any recent slate, the Cougars as an Independent isn't as fun.

    If only they could get in some mighty conference instead of being a boring Independent squad.

Arkansas

24 of 50

    Renewing one of the classic rivalries that college football has seen would be great for one. Arkansas and Texas in the SWC was always among the main talks of the game and return trip to the Big 12 is something that has been talked about before.

    The timing at the moment however isn't the best per se on account Arkansas is closer to an SEC title than arguably ever before (Four SEC title appearances, zero wins). 

Texas A&M

25 of 50

    Despite not even playing a game in the SEC, yet I want the Aggies immediately back in the Big 12 on account I never wanted them to leave in the first place.

    Their rivalry with the Longhorns is dead right now and that in itself is a travesty.

Hawaii

26 of 50

    Norm Chow is likely to put Hawaii back on the national map eventually, but maybe it is just my wish of watching them play in the Pac-12.

    Plus, Chow gives that extra incentive of wanting such a consistent matchup with teams like Utah, UCLA and USC. 

Missouri

27 of 50

    Missouri moving to the SEC is a great move according to most of their fans, but I am really intrigued to see the immediate results.

    They host Georgia in the home opener and time will tell based off that game just how impresive the Tigers football program is.

    I am not doubting them so much compared to rather just having them stay in the Big 12 or have them move to the Big Ten even.

Fresno State

28 of 50

    Pat Hill will always be known for his classic any place, anytime, anywhere attitude, but he will no longer be around the Silicon Valley.

    Still, the Bulldogs are not going to back down from going up against the elite BCS games and a move to the Pac-12 would get Fresno excited.

Colorado State

29 of 50

    Colorado State in the Mountain West is not tough to watch, but many of their fans feel that they can do better for their program.

    A move to the Pac-12 would help them their recruiting base out and the national exposure is really all that matters at the end of the day. Sure, they may struggle a bit out of the gates but it would likely only help them at the end of the day.

Oklahoma

30 of 50

    Many would prefer the Sooners to just stay put, whereas others want them to take their talents to the Pac-12 in hopes of forming a mega-conference.

    The rumors are not new and Oklahoma feels that they should not be forced to do anything on account they are among the most prestigious football programs in all of America.

    A move to the Pac-12 may not be imminent despite what some say, but OU is likely going to come out on top like they always do regardless of a possible future decision.

Nevada

31 of 50

    Chris Ault and his Pack wouldn't mind a move to the Pac-12 and their consistent success would surely give them a chance, if they ever did get the opportunity. 

Clemson

32 of 50

    Despite failing to shut the door when given the opportunity to succeed in recent memory.

    The talent they have is exceptional and they could become factors in nearly any conference in America.

    The rumors to the SEC were originally exciting for Tiger nation, but they would first need to maintain success in the ACC before they realistically make a move.

Georgia Tech

33 of 50

    The Yellow Jackets once upon a time were in the SEC and then became Independents. Well, it might be think about anything other than the ACC because they do not have the looks of becoming serious contenders in the ACC right now.

    Paul Johnson has surprised us before, but they do not look like they are capable at the moment. 

South Florida

34 of 50

    Those crazy South Florida Bulls have fooled us so many times.

    Maybe more than others, but the bottom line is that they have never come through in terms of reaching the BCS and their annoyance is getting worse in time.

    The only questions remains as to whether they are worthy of staying in the BCS (they have more talent than bottom dwellers in other conferences), or if they should just change conferences?

Nebraska

35 of 50

    I really thought the Cornhuskers were meant for the Big Ten, but that was probably because I was thinking too much. Nebraska alongside Michigan and Ohio State is classic with the history between the schools.

    However, their rivalries with Oklahoma and a few others have me a bit upset. College football is the best and all of this conference realignment has not made me more excited at the moment.

Penn State

36 of 50

    When the Nittany Lions were Independents some enjoyed college football even more (my father among many friends).

    It is not like the move to the Big Ten has been bad by any means, but I enjoy witnessing those classic matchups with Notre Dame and Miami.

Colorado

37 of 50

    I always enjoyed watching Colorado play in the Big 12 with Bill McCartney and Gary Barnett, so it is not the same as of now in the Pac-12.

    I would love to see them back in the Big 12, although that will likely never happen again.

Minnesota

38 of 50

    The Gophers have struggled mightily and some feel they are not worthy of competing in a BCS conference.

    They were once a prestigious program and are still recognizable in Big Ten country, but mant have suggested they just make football so boring while watching. I do not disagree at the moment as they could go anywhere else they want to as long as they do not get shown on TV getting obliterated by the likes of Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.

Utah

39 of 50

    I bought into the hype of the Utes last season and was letdown severely, but can they bounce back?

    The Mountain West is turning a bit int a joke and the BCS conferences are starting to really jump out on paper compared to the little schools.

    I would have preferred for the Utes to never have left for the Pac-12, so in a perfec world I want them back in the Mountain West.

Ole Miss

40 of 50

    The Ole Miss Rebels have been horrid for the last two seasons and while they might eventually get back into the postseason, they probably won't be playing in a bowl game next season.

    Somebody has to finish last in the SEC, but the Rebels are likely going to be picked by everybody to be at the bottom in 2012. Can we just kick these Rebels out for another season and replace them with another premier team?

Iowa State

41 of 50

    The Cyclones upset and shocked the landscape of college football when they dethroned Oklahoma State. They knocked them out of the BCS title, but they baffled us a bit when Rutgers made them look like the same old Iowa State squad.

    They have not had much of a chance to win the Big 12 and another future challenge should be in store for them if they ever want to get a legit chance.

Washington State

42 of 50

    Mike Leach will eventually get the Cougars back into the postseason, but the program has been a bit of a joke in recent memory. 

    Many believe they are worthy of losing their slot in a BCS conference, but they might make people eat some crow in 2012 and in the near future.

Oregon State

43 of 50

    The Beavers have been brutal for the last two seasons and obviously we are jumping the gates a bit early (that is makes this a different article), but most people that started watching the Pac-12 would not notice who the hell Oregon State is.

    They were as consistent of a program in the Pac-12 outside of your top dog or two, but now they consistently been worse at crucial positions on the field. If they cannot improve they will continue to be disappointing to watch. 

UNLV

44 of 50

    There should be a rule where if you go 4-21 or worse in two seasons, then you should be punished in your conference.

    Not that getting crushed is not embarrassing enough, but the Rebels would do us all a favor if they left the Mountain West in football and played somewhere else (WAC).

Army

45 of 50

    Earl Blaik led this program to consecutive titles in 1944 and 1945, but Army has really not been must watch TV since seemingly those classic seasons.

    A move to another conference would not only make things much better, but their games would more importantly be worthy of watching. 

    Their recent schedules has not had many teams that has made you sit on the edge of your seat, but a move to the Big East (For Ex:) would immediately make things better.

Navy

46 of 50

    The same should be stated for the Navy Midshipmen and remember we are attempting to make everything flawless here.

    There is nothing perfect in life, but if Navy was in a conference the national fan support would only increase. There more often you are given opportunities to shine on national television allows your team to gain additional recognition.

New Mexico

47 of 50

    In case you thought it was NOT possible to go 1-11 for three straight seasons, the Lobos of all teams proved us wrong.

    Does the Mountain West deserve a team like this to just carry the bottom of the conference?

    Couldn't the revamped WAC use an eighth team?

    Yes, yes they could!

Boston College

48 of 50

    Call me anti-change, but I thoroughly enjoyed the days when Boston College was in the Big East. After seemingly every team ever created in the Big East has left for the ACC, there has not been anything good to come out of these moves yet.

    What is next?

    Boston College had a run during Matt Ryan's senior season (11-3 in '07), but they then went from a nine win team all the way down to a four win team this past season.

UCLA

49 of 50

    The Bruins have gone a combined 21-30 the last four seasons and I sadly have watched their inept offense get worse and seemingly worse (72nd in total offense was best in last four years).

    UCLA is still a popular name thanks to the Trojans heating back up in LA, but the lackluster night game performances is flat out dull.

    They could use a change and they aren't worthy of stinking up the joint, at least as members of the Pac-12. Hopefully Jim Mora Jr can change that in 2012.

Florida State

50 of 50

    The Seminoles weren't in the mood for heading off to the SEC when rumors were swirling this past year, but is the ACC still the conference they should stay in for the rest of eternity?

    The Noles dominated the ACC in the 1990s and some fans have wanted them to show their elite status by joining the SEC.

    They haven’t gone to the BCS since the 2006 Orange Bowl and though they should be destined to get back there in 2012-2013, FSU hypothetically wouldn’t back down from a challenge to the SEC in the near future.

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