Power Ranking the Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and Big East Post-Expansion
College football is undergoing a seismic shift.
Obviously, the conference jumping is not over. It just may take longer than we expected, largely because of Texas.
The Longhorns have their own network and don't want to share revenue evenly among other conference members.
Texas will have to give up some revenue from their new network in order to jump conferences. For the time being, they're acting as if they'd like to go independent.
That being said, other pieces tend to be falling in to place. Here's a look at the power rankings in two parts.
First, we'll power rank each conference based off the teams that have already committed. Then we will power rank each conference based on the teams that have been connected to new conferences recently.
Part 1, No. 1: SEC
There's no doubt about it. The SEC is hands down the best conference in college football and they continue to get better.
Texas A&M brings a giant market to this already well-off conference, and if anything the Aggies should get better.
Being able to recruit in Texas and play as an SEC school will give the Aggies a greater chance to land better recruits against rival Texas.
Currently, 13 teams are in this conference with A&M, who currently ranks eighth in the country.
The rich get richer, and it will be interesting to see who the SEC targets next.
Part 1, No. 2: Big Ten
The Big Ten has been rather quiet since acquiring Nebraska last year, and are currently sitting pretty with 12 teams. They come in second on this list.
Nebraska is quickly becoming a national power once again, Wisconsin is on the rise and Michigan seems to be somewhat revived under Brady Hoke.
Add to the mix Penn State, a solid Iowa team, Michigan State and Illinois and you have a very solid conference.
The wild card is Ohio State. It's hard to tell which direction this program is moving, but more than likely they'll rebound in 2012. If so, the Big Ten is a lock for the second best conference.
Part 1, No. 3: Pac-12
The Pac-12 is on the fringe for this spot. If we're ranking right now then it fits perfectly.
However, the future doesn't look as bright, if the conference were to remain with these 12 teams.
USC has so far survived probation, but there lack of scholarships will hurt them in the coming years, not right now.
Stanford will likely drop off after quarterback Andrew Luck graduates and Oregon faces a bit of uncertainty after questions regarding their recruiting practices.
The Pac-12 added Utah and Colorado last year, but those programs are never going to blow you away.
UCLA, Oregon State and Washington State doesn't seem to be getting any better, Washington is progressing slowly and Arizona and Arizona State are average programs at best.
The Pac-12 may hold the three spot in 2012, but beyond it's unlikely unless they add schools like Texas and Oklahoma.
Part 1, No. 4: ACC
If we were talking basketball right now, the ACC hit the lottery. But, we're talking football and the ACC didn't get much better.
The good news is that the Syracuse program has been better of late and is moving in the right direction.
Pittsburgh should be better than they are considering the talent that rests in western Pennsylvania. That being said, maybe a change of scenery is what the Panthers needed.
The ACC now has a presence in the Northeast and a major gap in the conference was filled, considering the closest school to Boston College was Maryland.
Boston College has been having a terrible season, but history shows there a pretty average program and this abysmal performance so far this year shouldn't be expected annually.
Duke and Wake Forest do struggle on a regular basis and will likely continue to lie at the bottom of this conference.
Virginia Tech and Florida State are still the class of this conference, but Maryland, Clemson and UVA are all moving in the right direction. The school that remains the wild card is Miami.
When the NCAA lays the hammer down on this program it will likely set them back for a few years.
Part 1, No. 5: Big 12
The future is still very unclear for the Big 12, which currently has 10 teams and will be left with nine after this season.
However, it is listening to its power players in Oklahoma and Texas.
Oklahoma said they would need Dan Bebee out of the picture. He's gone.
Now they have to figure out a way to make everyone not envy the Longhorn Network.
Schools should not have their own network of this magnitude unless they're an independent in every sport for this very reason.
Texas has polarized this conference, and the Pac-12 doesn't currently want to bring that type of controversy west.
For now, the Big 12 lives another day. The Sooners, Longhorns and Oklahoma State Cowboys will keep this conference afloat, and it will be the job of schools like Baylor and Texas Tech to make sure they keep performing at a high level.
Part 1, No. 6: Big East
The Big East continues to struggle and they're not currently left with much of a conference.
West Virginia and South Florida are currently by far the best programs in this conference.
Cincinnati isn't bad, Rutgers is a middle of the road team and Louisville is trying to turn a corner under head coach Charlie Strong.
UConn isn't bad, but there's a chance they'll be gone after this season. The future is incredibly uncertain for the Big East and a merger could be in the works.
Part 2, No. 1: SEC
The SEC is unlikely to expand past 14 teams unless the Big East dissolves.
If that happens, there's a good chance West Virginia becomes a member, but it's unlikely.
West Virginia doesn't bring a lot of T.V. revenue to the table, and let's be honest; that's what started this mess.
Missouri was connected to the SEC recently, but the conference denied reports that the Tigers have been an official invite. Still, if that route is explored down the road, it will be a good move.
The SEC gets a new T.V. market, expands their brand and adds a solid program to an already stout conference.
Part 2, No. 2: Pac-16
The Pac-16 would benefit from the additions of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, but conference commissioner Larry Scott recently said the Pac-12 has no plans to expand at this juncture.
It would add an interesting twist to the conference, considering these four teams would be in the same division, likely with Arizona, Arizona State and two others.
This scenario could come back to life if Texas decides to share its revenue from The Longhorn Network equally with the rest of the conference, but its reluctance to do that stopped the Pac-16 from forming in the first place.
If this ever happens though, the Pac-16 would be the first real mega conference, considering geographic coverage.
Part 2, No. 3: Big Ten
This is a toss up really between the two and three spot, but any conference that can add Texas and Oklahoma gets the go ahead.
The Big Ten will stand pat at 12 teams. The primary reason is Notre Dame.
If the Big Ten could add Notre Dame it's likely they would without much debate.
Yes, the Fighting Irish are polarizing, but they've turned down multiple chances to join the Big Ten in the past. They said earlier this month they'd rather join the ACC if they have to end up choosing.
Having 12 teams is not a bad thing for this conference. The Big Ten thrives on tradition and adding 2 or 4 more schools would affect that.
Plus, besides Notre Dame who would they turn to? Iowa State? Unlikely.
Part 2, No. 4: ACC
The ACC is in a very unique situation. They surprised everyone and added Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
They made it so there current teams can't defect the conference unless they want to pay a $20 million buyout, up from $13 million.
They now have 14 teams and UConn clearly wants in. So that's 15. Who would be the 16th?
It's unlikely that any conference, other than the SEC, adds another team until the future of the Big 12 is realized, meaning we need to know what's going to happen with Texas and Oklahoma.
If those schools jump to the Pac-16, then the ACC will likely add UConn. But then it gets crazy. Why is that?
Well, the Big 12 would be down to four teams. The Big East would be down to six teams with TCU. That means a merger between these two would likely occur.
If that happens, the Big 12-Big East conference would have 11 teams (TCU remember) looking for three to five more. Why is this relevant to the ACC? It's because Notre Dame is sitting right there waiting to come in.
The Fighting Irish would not want any part of the Big 12-Big East merger for their other sports and would likely join the ACC for all sports, including football, giving the ACC a 16th team.
Rutgers has been talked about, but there's no way the ACC adds Rutgers over Notre Dame. Talk about T.V. money.
The Irish would bring millions to the ACC, which could turn into a powerful football conference in addition to an incredibly powerful basketball conference.
Part 2, No. 5: Big 12-Big East
This would obviously be the weakest conference of the bunch.
You'd be looking at these 11 schools: West Virginia, Louisville, South Florida, Cincinnati, Rutgers, TCU, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor.
A very average lineup, and likely to get even more average. The Big East is currently talking about adding Navy, Army and Air Force.
Now, Navy and Army are located on the East Coast, with Air Force based in Colorado, so it's hard to make sense of Air Force in this scenario.
East Carolina and Central Florida have made it known that they want in to the Big East, but the Big East would rather add the service academies. That's honestly still very hard to believe.
The Big 12 has multiple options. They have Houston, SMU, BYU and have also talked TCU, who is supposed to be on their way to the Big East.
Basically, it's a huge mess. If everything were to pan out like it's said to here, there's no doubt a merger would happen between these two, and they'd have to decide on a few new members.
Either way, this conference would be good for dead last on any power ranking.