Rise of the College Football Superconference: What the Future may Hold
With the Big Ten threat of inviting four teams to try to force Notre Dame into the Conference, many are left wondering whether or not the other Conferences will try to play catchup and move to make more 16 team conferences.
Money will be the main motivator, so rivalries between schools from different conferences will not be a major factor into my calculations. Here is my scenario for a new look to the NCAA
Big Ten: The Hunt for Notre Dame
The Big Ten will be looking for Universities that add something academically as well as new revenue, so they will be looking for Big East, and Big Twelve schools situated in ideal locations.
The first school they will wish to target will be Missouri, as they want to be in the conference and they bring good academics along with them. Then the Big Ten will be looking towards the Big East, grabbing Syracuse and Rutgers, because they are in ideal places to grab the New York markets, and Syracuse has the bonus of having one of the nations consistently top basketball teams.
Nebraska will join because they will be looking to get out of the crumbling Big Twelve, and bring along a huge national following. This will force Notre Dame to join the Big 10 or be left behind in the financial wake the Big 10 will be generating with its new acquisitions.
The New Big North
The New Big North will have two divisions, being separated by dividing the tradition rich teams into two divisions.
Power I Division
Note* Sorry about the Division names, couldn't come up with anything better
Southeastern Conference: Here Comes Texas
With the Big 10 expansion, the SEC realizes its going to have to expand to catch up, and they will be looking to fire the big guns and, before the PAC 10, gets a chance, will make an offer to Texas and Texas A&M.
Texas will never leave their rivalry with A&M and have to realize that they will soon be in a conference with only three teams producing the bulk of the revenue, as Colorado and Kansas will soon be looking west for the PAC 10 and Texas should realize the SEC will make them even richer than they already are.
With Texas and A&M in their grasps the SEC will be looking towards the ACC for teams with good markets and good recruiting grounds, namely Virginia Tech and North Carolina. While Virginia Tech is in the western part of Virginia, they make their living off the rich recruiting grounds in the Chesapeake Bay area, and the kids living their follow Virginia Tech for the most part, being that the other Virginia school pales in comparison as far as athletics go.
The SEC will also look to grab the North Carolina Tar Heels, as the State is also fertile recruiting grounds, and UNC appeals to the many media markets in the state.
In addition to all that, UNC also brings one of the premiere basketball programs in the country, and along with Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida, could make the SEC one of the best basketball conferences and would open the of North Carolina to rich basketball recruiting as well.
The New SEC
The SEC would keep the same format with the Eastern and Western Divisions, with the new teams joining their respective geographic sides.
Atlantic Coast Conference: Scraping up the Big East
With the Big Ten raiding the Big East for several top teams, and the SEC taking away North Carolina and Virginia Tech, the ACC will look to rebound by taking over the rest of the crippled Big East Conference.
West Virginia and Pittsburgh both bring in both good football and basketball teams to go along with a great, hard fought rivalry and bring in the Pittsburgh media market along with the rest of Pennsylvania. Louisville will help make the ACC an elite basketball conference again, and brings in a football program with a promising future and the state of Kentucky as a rich recruiting area in basketball and talent in football.
Cincinnatti's purpose is to give the Conference a road to Ohio, which has several strong markets and even though Ohio State is the program most follow, Cincinnati is a program starting to grab the headlines even with the departure of Brian Kelly.
South Florida helps to solidify the Florida market, and Memphis of Conference USA brings in rich recruiting grounds and the media markets in Tennessee.
The New ACC
The New Conference will have a complete restructuring, with the new divisions looking something like this
PAC 10: Slow But Deliberate
The PAC 10 will be the last conference not gutted to look for expansion, but they will not be making picks solely to catch up with the rest of the country. If they did not feel that the teams they would be looking at did not bring more money to the table, then they would decide to stay at ten teams.
For the purpose of this discussion however, they do make it to 16, and every team has a purpose for being there. The first team the PAC 10 will look to add will be Colorado. Colorado has wanted out of the Big 12 and hopes that they will be able to recruit better out west.
Colorado is a good academic university and has tradition in their program, and even though it has recently fallen on hard times, a good season or two could bring in a large market for the PAC 10.
The second team the PAC 10 would want to take would be Utah. The Utes also have good academics and bring a large market in Salt Lake City, and a football team that has recently proven itself worthy of facing elite competition, defeating then SEC runner-up Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in the 2008 postseason.
The PAC 10 would then target Kansas, because it would bring an elite basketball program to the PAC 10 that could compete with UCLA as best basketball team in the Country and in the Conference.
Even though it would be expensive traveling the the Westernmost states, Kansas would accept because the financial benefits would be better than staying in the crumbling Big 12. Then the PAC 10 would invite Air Force Academy. This would be purely a financial move on the part of the PAC 10, as the AFA brings little to the table in competition, as football recruits rarely want to join the military, but many people go to the games for the service academies, whether it is to support their country, are in the Air Force, or have served in the Air Force.
To go along with that, the Air Force also has strict Academic qualifications. The PAC 10 would also want to bring in UNLV to bring Las Vegas into the PAC 10 and has a good basketball history. They would also want to bring in Fresno State to capture the central California market, and someone who will bring in a gritty football team willing to play anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The New PAC 16
The New PAC 16 will split up east and west, but the divisions will be Pacific and Coastal, mimicking the ACC
Air Force Academy
The Big 12 Conference: Salvaging a BCS Berth
With the Big Twelve being ravaged by the SEC, PAC 10 and Big 10, The only football power left is the Oklahoma Sooners.
With the Big 10 not having the foresight to see the raping of the Big 12, the PAC 10 and the ACC being too far away, and the SEC not having them in their plans, Oklahoma is left to try to salvage what is left of the Conference to try to keep an Automatic BCS Berth and stay relevant with the rest of the nation.
With only half of the original Big 12 remaining, the Big 12 is tasked with finding good mid-majors teams sitting in good markets to save their berth. The first place the Big 12 will look towards is the state of Texas, knowing that they need Texas recruits to survive, they will go to the Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth markets, grabbing up-and-comers TCU and Houston, from the MWC and C-USA respectively. The next place they will head is north to Idaho, to grab Boise State. Although in a poor market with a small stadium, Boise State does command national respect and would be a good decision when the board decides whether or not the Big 12 keeps its bowl berth. Next, the conference would turn towards Utah to grab BYU, a mid-major power with the 1984 national championship trophy under their belts, along with a portion of Salt Lake City. They would then take Nevada from the WAC as they have a strong mid-major resume, and could bring the state with them. They would then look east to grab Troy, another strong mid-major located in Alabama, and would go after Tulane University, perfectly situated right in New Orleans.
Because of the lack of quality mid-majors and quality markets, the Big 12 would be left standing at thirteen, praying that they would keep their conference bid.
The New Big 12
Here is the New look Big 12, keeping a north and south division look to it
Big 12 North
Big 12 South