Before everyone starts sharpening their knives, let me clarify. I think there will need to be at least five sixteen team super conferences. Right now the projected four sixteen super conferences would be based on the present PAC 12, Big 10, SEC and ACC/Big East format. The mix of teams can be debated from now to doomsday.
In every scenario the four conference format includes only 64 of about 120 FBS schools. Below is just a brief list of well established schools, some recent powers and some with long traditions, which will be left in the cold :
2. Kansas St
7. Iowa St
Should the Current Conferences?
9. Boise St
12. Air Force
13. Notre Dame (if the Irish want in)
And current ACC and/or Big East teams left out after the two merge to form one off the initial four super conferences. I'm sure readers can think of other teams worthy of inclusion.
If, as it seems may happen does and Texas A&M moves to the SEC while Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas and Texas Tech join the PAC 12, there would be only three spots in the SEC and four in the Big 10 to absorb all those left out. Remember, the ACC and Big East merged to provide the East Coast super conference.
Not having a fifth super conference will leave the other four open to law suits by schools left on the outside looking in. Baylor threatening to sue the SEC and Texas A&M over the Aggies desire to join the SEC is just one example of what to expect. These schools stand to lose too much money by being relegated to second tier status and cut out of the most of the media money pie. To make matters worse, there are so many states represented that there is a good chance Congress will become involved.
Having a fifth super conference would raise the number of schools from 64 to at least 80. The additional 16 would provide a spot for all the the current BCS schools and still have room for the Boise States, which meet stadium and attendance requirements to be determined.
The down side of an uneven number of super conferences is it makes a playoff more difficult. A possible solution would be a play in game between the lowest ranked super conference winner and the highest ranked second place team from another super conference.
A possible alternative would be to have four twenty team super conferences. The major problem with that format is the conferences would be unwieldy and severely limit OOC games.
I think the advantages of having a fifth sixteen team super conference more than offset problems caused by an uneven number. The sixteen team format is more manageable and allows for more quality OOC match ups than the twenty team format.