So I return from a family cruise in the Caribbean and all hades is breaking loose in college football.
Colorado bolts to the Pac 10, Boise State joins the Mountain West, and Nebraska jumps to the Big Ten(?).
The most interesting move there may actually be Boise State to the MWC. Why? Because that gives the MWC ten teams and shores up a conference that includes TCU, Utah, and BYU. All three of those schools would have been potential Pac 10 or Big 12 targets…but the addition of Boise State to that league gives them a core of teams that can easily lobby for a BCS bid. That reduces the likelihood that TCU, Utah, or BYU look elsewhere.
So if TCU and Utah are off the table as Big 12 replacements for Colorado and Nebraska what do the Texas and Oklahoma schools do?
This thing is getting to be a mess…and ironically, Notre Dame doesn’t really figure into the equation right now. They may have sat idly by for too long, stroking their NBC contract and muttering “My Precious” under their breath.
Here’s what I’d like to see happen…
1) The Big Ten stops at 12 teams after adding Nebraska. (They’ll need to finally rename their conference…)
2) The Pac 10 grabs BYU to join Colorado and become their 12th team.
3) The Big 12 grabs TCU and perhaps Utah / Houston / SMU. (That might be an upgrade over their losses…honestly!)
4) The SEC, ACC, and Big East remain at 12 teams with no need to pillage or protect anything.
5) Notre Dame stays independent and out in the cold when their NBC contract comes up for renewal in the future.
The wrinkle here really is the Big 12. If they cannot entice a TCU or Utah to come on board and backfill their losses then the Texas schools will likely look at the Big Ten while the Oklahoma schools look at the Pac 10. The Big 12 would shatter irrevocably starting an arms race that would force the power conferences to all look at getting to 16 teams.
If that happens…all bets are off…
If the SEC feels pressured to expand there is a good chance they’ll look at a few ACC teams. FSU and Clemson are the obvious choices. GT is a long shot. I don’t think VT and UVA would split. Would they grab schools close to Arkansas geographically? What about Missouri or Kansas State?
The Big Ten is also likely to look at Maryland and Georgia Tech since both are AAU institutions and provide attractive TV markets for the Big Ten Network.
That would leave the ACC trying to poach from the Big East and Big 12. Would they go after Kansas, Pitt, Syracuse, or WVU?
Then what does the Big East do?
This could get really crazy. If the power conferences try to get to 16 teams then alot of old regional rivalries will get flushed in the interest of television money.
Personally I’m hoping that everyone pushes back from the table at 12 teams rather than rushing head long over the cliff into the abyss of total bedlam…