NCAA Superconferences: 10 Rivalries That Could Be Born with Realignment

Eli MargerCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2011

NCAA Superconferences: 10 Rivalries That Could Be Born with Realignment

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    No matter what happens in the next few months and years regarding the landscape of college football, we are in for a wild ride.

    We could see anything from conference expansion to a playoff to antitrust suits, and that's just getting warmed up. To say that a lot could change in the coming year would be a severe understatement.

    That said, many fans, myself included, are tantalized by the idea of "superconferences," a group of several conferences containing a massive amount of teams. The most common number of teams proposed for these conferences is 16.

    Athlon Sports' Braden Gall has published my personal favorite proposal for superconferences. The alignment of these conferences will be revealed in the first four slides.

    Taking those into account, I realized there would be the possibility for some exciting new rivalries to be born.

    With that in mind, here are 10 new rivalries that could come into being with the creation of superconferences.

    Disclaimer: The arrangement of the conferences is the idea of Braden Gall and the rivalries that are named in this article are assuming the conferences are created exactly as Mr. Gall proposes.

Conference: Pac 16

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    NORTH:

    -Cal Golden Bears

    -Oklahoma Sooners

    -Oklahoma State Cowboys

    -Oregon Ducks

    -Oregon State Beavers

    -Stanford Cardinal

    -Washington Huskies

    -Washington State Cougars

     

    SOUTH:

    -Arizona Wildcats

    -Arizona State Sun Devils

    -Colorado Buffalos

    -Southern California Trojans

    -Texas Longhorns

    -Texas Tech Red Raiders

    -UCLA Bruins

    -Utah Utes

Conference: SEC

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    West:

    -Alabama Crimson Tide

    -Arkansas Razorbacks

    -Auburn Tigers

    -LSU Tigers

    -Mississippi Rebels

    -Mississippi State Bulldogs

    -Missouri Tigers

    -Texas A&M Aggies

     

    East:

    -Florida Gators

    -Georgia Bulldogs

    -Kentucky Wildcats

    -South Carolina Gamecocks

    -Tennessee Volunteers

    -Vanderbilt Commodores

    -Virginia Tech Hokies

    -West Virginia Mountaineers

Conference: B1G

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    Legends:

    -Iowa Hawkeyes

    -Kansas Jayhawks

    -Michigan Wolverines

    -Michigan State Spartans

    -Minnesota Golden Gophers

    -Nebraska Cornhuskers

    -Northwestern Wildcats

    -Notre Dame Fighting Irish

     

    Leaders:

    -Illinois Fighting Illini

    -Indiana Hoosiers

    -Ohio State Buckeyes

    -Penn State Nittany Lions

    -Purdue Boilermakers

    -Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    -Syracuse Orange

    -Wisconsin Badgers

Conference: East Coast Conference

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    Atlantic:

    -Cincinnati Bearcats

    -Clemson Tigers

    -Connecticut Huskies

    -Florida State Seminoles

    -Louisville Cardinals

    -Pittsburgh Panthers

    -Texas Christian Horned Frogs

    -Wake Forest Demon Deacons

     

    Coastal:

    -Boston College Golden Eagles

    -Duke Blue Devils

    -Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    -Maryland Terrapins

    -Miami Hurricanes

    -North Carolina Tar Heels

    -North Carolina State Wolfpack

    -Virginia Cavaliers

Utah vs. Colorado

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    Utah in the Pac 16 would be a very interesting move. Geographically speaking, there are no natural rivals for the Utes.

    Except Colorado.

    Only (only?!) eight hours away from each other, these two schools would make for an interesting rivalry. Though it won't have any national impact for the foreseeable future, it would still make for some good, intense football.

    Both fan bases are closely tied to their football teams,and having a once-a-year showdown with their state neighbors would be great for both schools.

    Rivalry Score: 5/10

Connecticut vs. Boston College

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    While neither school is exactly a college football powerhouse, the geographical proximity of Boston College and Connecticut make this a potential rivalry.

    The campuses are only about an hour and a half apart, making a football game a perfectly legitimate reason for a road trip one weekend per year. Both teams know they can be champions, but neither have really experienced greatness in football yet.

    But with Connecticut's success on the basketball court and BC's great hockey team, these fan bases have lots of school pride and it should show at the football games.

    Rivalry Score: 5/10

Rutgers vs. Penn State

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    It's a four-hour drive from Piscataway to University Park. What does that mean?

    Road trip!

    This would be a convenient rivalry for these new B1G conference foes. There is plenty of tradition at both schools, and though Penn State has had more success in football, the fans of Rutgers know what their Knights are capable of.

    This isn't the rivalry that would get all the national hype, but it would be a fun one and a relatively short drive for the fan bases.

    Rivalry Score: 6/10

Missouri vs. Arkansas

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    In the 2008 Cotton Bowl, the Missouri Tigers, led by Chase Daniel, ripped apart a clearly overmatched Arkansas Razorbacks team, 38-7.

    But ignore that result, and think about what kind of rivalry this would be. First off, the Razorbacks would be Missouri's closest geographical neighbor in the SEC.

    The five-and-a-half-hour drive from Fayetteville to Columbia would be an easy trek for the rabid fanbases of these teams.

    It would be a good ol' Great Plains shootout, with conference standings and recruiting turf on the line.

    Rivalry Score: 6/10

Florida State vs. TCU

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    One of the more intriguing potential rivalries on this list would be between Florida State and TCU. Why? Well, basically, because they'd be the two best teams in their conference.

    This wouldn't be a rivalry in terms of the schools hating each other. Rather, it would be a Clash of the Titans. Neither team seems destined to have a dropoff any time soon, so the yearly meetings between the Seminoles and Frogs would have serious implications.

    Compare it to Florida versus Alabama—the teams don't exactly hate each other, but they are constantly near the top of their conference and will use their matchup as a way to command respect.

    These would be some hard-fought games.

    Rivalry Score: 7/10

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

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    Thought it wouldn't quite be a Backyard Brawl like the WVU-Pittsburgh rivalry is now, a potential conference game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Mountaineers would be an exciting proposition.

    Located only four-and-a-half hours from Blacksburg, West Virginia would get the chance to play another well-respected football team that is basically just around the corner.

    Given the good amount of success these teams have had the last few years, it should make for some high-quality football from teams and fans that take their Saturdays very, very seriously.

    Rivalry Score: 7/10

LSU vs. Texas A&M

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    Having just met in this year's Cotton Bowl, LSU and Texas A&M already have a taste of what could be in store in a rivalry. Of course, LSU won by 17 points, so Tigers fans might not even consider it a potential rivalry.

    But look at it this way: with the way that A&M has been playing lately, the recruiting battle in the Texas/Louisiana corridor is getting a lot tougher.

    If the Aggies joined the SEC, they would join LSU in a region of SEC recruiting that has traditionally been dominated by the Tigers. Their rivalry on the field might have some major bearing on recruiting.

    Rivalry Score: 7/10

Oregon vs. Oklahoma

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    Two of the best teams in college football.

    Two of the most passionate fan bases.

    One storied program. One up-and-coming powerhouse.

    What isn't there to like about this potential rivalry? The last time Oklahoma and Oregon played, Oregon stunned the Sooners on a blocked field goal. Now, there could be something at stake.

    Imagine Oklahoma's offense matched up against Oregon's breakneck no-huddle. The teams would need to install special scoreboards in their respective stadiums.

    Rivalry Score: 8/10

Notre Dame vs. Ohio State

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    This would be an epic battle, wouldn't it?

    Two of college football's proudest programs, with a combined 18 national titles, would square off at two of the most legendary venues in America. Whether at the Horseshoe in Columbus or at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, these games would be sure to provide excitement, intensity, and nostalgia.

    With both schools always in the news for various on- and off-the-field reasons, these games would always be surrounded by a huge amount of media coverage and hype. It would certainly be quite the spectacle.

    And honestly, a win over a team like Ohio State is exactly what Notre Dame would need for the country to take the Irish seriously again.

    Let's make this happen.

    Rivalry Score: 9/10

Southern California vs. Texas

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    Oh man, would this be good.

    Everyone knows that when you take two college football powerhouses and put them head-to-head, it is an epic matchup. But having two of the sport's most storied programs in the same conference is just asking for a fierce rivalry.

    Southern Cal and Texas have traditionally dominated the national recruiting scene and are generally two of the biggest contributors to NFL rosters. Though both programs have had a rough time in the past year or so, they are nevertheless proud programs.

    Plus, there was that little game they played back in 2006.

    Rivalry Score: 9/10