As I sit here thinking about a college football expansion scenario that would benefit the Big XII conference, I thought back to my previous article “Big XII: Go West, My Friend”.
Then it hit me – what if the Big XII and the PAC-10 moved beyond their upcoming TV agreement and created an alliance that pitted the best team from each conference in a championship game each year. The championship game could rotate between the Rose Bowl and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
The Western Alliance would allow each school to maintain its current look and feel, with the exception of the addition of a few new schools; and would include a total of 14 schools in each conference. The reason both conferences would agree to 14 schools is to completely eliminate the existence of the MWC and WAC, and ensure that all of the television sets from Texas to Hawaii are tuned into the Big 12 and PAC-10.
Each Western Alliance school would maintain their historic conference schedules and would include nine games within their conference, three games against the other conference, and no non-alliance games. Alliance games would not just be played at the beginning of the year but would be sprinkled throughout the season to ensure that every game counts.
So what might the new Western Alliance look like?
USC, UCLA, California, Stanford, Fresno State, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Colorado, Utah, Hawaii
Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, New Mexico, BYU, UNLV, Nevada, Boise State
In this scenario, despite the alliance, Colorado still moves from the Big 12 to the PAC-10. Missouri and Nebraska also move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten.
There are numerous benefits to this alliance. A 28-team alliance could command a respectable TV contract based on the major markets in their area, competing equally with the Big Ten and SEC. Also, the elimination of sub-divisions would mean Oklahoma State and Texas A&M could compete for the Western Alliance Championship based on their total body of work, and not just have to win the Big 12 South.