College Football Nostalgia: Bring Back the Southwest Conference!
TCU's resurgence as a national power comes with the news that they are now playing in the Big East conference? Why the Big East?
Geographically it makes no sense to me.
It got me thinking: why not bring back the Southwest Conference?
The Southwest Conference was composed of eight Texas universities and the University of Arkansas. In the 70s and 80s, it was a true power conference as much as the SEC is today.
It was home to the nation's best players (Eric Dickerson, Earl Campbell, Doak Walker) and legendary coaches (Bear Bryant, Lou Holtz, Ron Meyer, Darrell Royal).
There were rivalries, scandals, tradition, and great football.
Now the schools are scattered amongst four conferences, but I think it is now time for the conference to reform and challenge the SEC as the nation's deepest.
In my proposal, you bring back the original nine teams: Arkansas, Rice, Texas Tech, Baylor, SMU, Texas A&M, Houston, Texas, and TCU.
But also add 3 more teams: Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., and Missouri.
This essentially blows up the Big 12 Conference, which was already losing Nebraska and Colorado, and leaves Kansas, Kansas St. and Iowa St. without a home.
But I don't think anyone is going to confuse those three schools as a national power, although K-State had a good run in the 90s. And it might get tricky in terms of basketball, because the Jayhawks are one of the NCAA's blue bloods.
Set up two divisions, the South and West. I know it's not as creative as Leaders and Legends, but it works.
In the South Division: Rice, Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas and TCU.
In the West Division: Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Missouri, Arkansas, SMU, and Houston.
Set up a conference championship game to be played each year in the new Cowboys Stadium.
The winner of the conference is an automatic qualifier for a BCS bowl game.
The improvement of all these schools in football is the motivation behind my idea, and I'm sure the state of Texas won't complain, because they can renew all those old SWC rivalries.
Rice, to me is the only black mark in this ultra-competitive league, but they still let Vanderbilt play in the SEC.
And don't come at me Commodore fans, Vandy has been good for about two seasons since I was born in 1974.
SMU is improving under June Jones.
Baylor has a legitimate Heisman contender in Robert Griffin.
Houston still runs a potent offense.
Rice has players with good GPAs, which will help the reputation of the conference.
And the other schools are top 25 caliber, with Texas, Oklahoma and TCU being the crown jewels of the new SWC.
Recruiting battles will be intense again, with everyone who is not a Longhorn hating the Longhorns.
Texas is arguably, well... not in my eyes, Texas IS the greatest state in terms of high school football competition and talent.
Might as well have all the relevant universities (again, sorry Rice, but you're grandfathered in) packaged into a Texas super-conference.
With a multi-billion dollar television package, the SWC should come back stronger than ever. I am a fan of the super conferences, and want to give my ideas for conference realignment that I feel would make college football stronger.
The ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, Big East and now the SWC are the power elite.
The Big East still needs work on the football side of things and Boise St. needs to join the Pac-12. Colorado needs to be deleted from the Pac-12 plan and join up with Kansas, Kansas St. and Iowa St. in a newly formed mid-major.
Notre Dame needs to relinquish their independent status. It would help their win-loss record and probably increase the job security of their coaches.
Wouldn't it be nice next season not to hear Mark May (who is really smug and annoying) cry about TCU and Boise St.'s strength of schedule?
Hopefully someone is listening.
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