Obviously a couple of moves have been made, Nebraska to the Big Ten (now with 12 schools?), Colorado to the Pac 10 (so much for academic standards), and Boise St. to the MWC.
No one in their right mind thinks any of these schools are the ones driving the bus. It is my own personal opinion that Texas is the bus driver, but that is a different debate entirely.
The reality is that until we get firm commitments from all of the schools involved we won’t really know how it will all play out, and that likely won’t be firm until June 30 after which schools cannot make a change for the 2011 season.
So rather than speculate on topics where university presidents and conference commissioners are the only ones that REALLY know what is going on, I thought I would take a look at who may end up benefitting most from all of this craziness.
The one premise that I am basing this on is that the Big 12 will see to its own demise once everything has played itself out. Though I don’t understand why they would do it, I feel like that is likely to happen, which leads me to my point.
Assuming that the Big 12 is going to fold the MWC may end up being the big winner in this whole mess.
The MWC has already positioned itself well to earn an AQ bid to the BCS, and only improved their case by adding Boise St. That case may be bolstered further should they add Kansas and Missouri who they are rumored to be interested in.
However, it is not the addition of teams to the conference that may ultimately lead to their inclusion in the BCS, but rather the fall of the Big 12.
The BCS recently released to the public their standards for BCS inclusion which have been covered ad nauseum, just like everything else in the sports world these days.
In short those standards require that a conference place in the top six in three different categories. The MWC places well in two of the three, but is seventh in the third.
Prior to the realignment explosion the only way the MWC stood a chance of inclusion was for their lower tier teams to step it up and boost their ranking. The demise of the Big 12 may end up making that a moot point.
There are two ways to move up in a rankings system: outperform those ahead of you, or remove them entirely from the race. Should the Big 12 disappear the MWC would automatically move up a spot in the rankings placing them in the top six of all three categories.
Now it is entirely possible that I don’t understand the acceptance standards, and I am pretty sure that I would be in good company as they are about as easy to understand as the tax code, but this seems like a pretty simple situation.
It is also possible, if not probable, that the BCS could change their whole system due to the conference realignment situation.
The loss of one conference, and possibly two if the Big East gets raided, may cause the BCS to change their tune and rewrite the rules completely. This would be nothing new, and would once again leave many teams out in the cold.
Maybe this is all just wishful thinking on my part as a lifelong BYU fan that would like to see my team get a seat at the cool kids table, but maybe it is an actual opportunity for some change in a messed up system.
I am sure that this topic has been considered by the powers that be as I am not so sure that Texas and their playmates would be so quick to give up their AQ bid to another conference just to increase their TV revenue.
But, maybe in the midst of all this money grubbing they have overlooked all of the ramifications of their actions. If this scenario could potentially play out this way it may be what is causing the Big 12 to at least give pause to consider it.
Whatever does happen in the coming weeks we can all be assured of two things:
- It is all about money, and
- It is all about money.