Conference Realignment: Let the Bickering Begin

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Conference Realignment: Let the Bickering Begin
A Southwest Conference "family portrait", circa 1969.

Does anybody remember the SWC (Southwest Conference)?

If you do, I congratulate you on your age and/or sports history knowledge.

By the way: you can get bonus points for identifying the eight mascots in the "family portrait" on this page! This little humorous history lesson is a way of showing how top-level (formerly I-A, now FBS) college football has changed over the last 40-plus years, as television has permeated (some say corrupted) every aspect of the game...even conference membership.

Traditional conference affiliations based on geographic and/or historical ties are being replaced by discussion of television markets and national profiles...as if these conferences didn't already have national profiles by representing their region in inter-conference or postseason games.

In the following slides, I will briefly discuss the prospects for the four soon-to-be "super-conferences," along with the two aspiring "mid-major" conferences which may succeed in getting a place at the BCS table and the three "minor" conferences which will be left with the scraps.

I offer up my reasonably thought out (yet emotionally affected) predictions for what things may look like in 2012 and 2013, when this latest game of musical chairs comes to a halt.

Nota Bene: These predictions presume the complete collapse of the Big 12 and the Big East. Should those two conferences somehow survive, I would include them with the five "mid-majors," as they would be essentially gutted of their most successful programs.

[pictures are from a set of 6" x 9" postcards printed in 1969 by the Collegiate Marketing Corporation in Austin, Texas: I found them through this website: http://www.uni-watch.com/2011/01/22/what-kind-of-fan-are-you/ accessed on Sept. 14, 2011]

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