College Football Expansion: Super Conference Poker

J CarterContributor IMay 21, 2010

I had an interesting thought yesterday, based on a comment from one the readers from my article “Big XII: “Go East My Friend.” He mentioned that the pending conference shuffle that will take place in the near future is akin to “Texas Hold 'em”.

So, I thought I would take a stab at it and try to determine which conference will move first to build a super conference and when I think it will happen.

Let’s start by sizing up the guys at the table and take a look at their hand.


Big Ten

Richest guy at the table. Heck, he is the richest guy in the room. He doesn’t mind showing his hand. He lays his cards out for all to see. He tells the other guys he is considering expanding his conference anywhere from one to five schools and he will unveil his plan in the next year to a year and a half.


Big East

Smallest guy at the table but comes across as pretty darn smart. Looks a little squeamish though. He keeps his hand close to his chest. Can’t get a read on him through those rimmed glasses he is wearing. He offers no thoughts on what he plans to do next.



Tall basketball player looking guy. His face is blank and he keeps his hand close hold. Can’t read his next move.



Biggest guy at the table. Kind of intimidating. He doesn’t show his hand, but it’s clear, he’s in this to win. He’s not scared of the rich guy and quickly says, “If the rich guy is in, so am I”.



Pretty good sized cowboy. His cowboy hat is sitting low over his eyes so you can’t get a good read on him, but you can sense he’s a little nervous. He makes it a point that he’s not scared of the biggest guy at the table. The only thing he offers is the fact that he has several courses of action but has not decided on which one to pursue as of now.



Good looking guy. He has shaded glasses on so you can’t get a read on him. He doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. He offers no thoughts on his intentions.


I will start by saying that I believe the Division I conferences will eventually form five super conferences.


I also believe the dominoes will fall like this


Big East / ACC

Big Ten





Here’s my logic.

I believe the Big East and ACC will move first and combine their conferences to guard against the pending raid from the Big Ten. Their plan will form a super conference which could have as many as 20 schools. This move will take place within a year and will force all of the other conferences to move immediately afterward.

The Big Ten will move next and form a new super conference with 16 teams with the addition of teams from the Big East and Big XII.

The SEC will move next and form a super conference with as many as 16 teams and will offer invitations to teams in the Big XII and ACC.

This will force the Big XII to move next and create a super conference with 16 teams mainly from the MWC.

And finally, the PAC-10 will make a move to form a super conference with as many as 14-16 teams and will include schools from the Big XII, MWC and/or WAC.