In December, the Big Ten conference (the bestest and richest athletic conference in the galaxy) announced that it is studying the idea of expanding. The Big Ten did not announce whether it is thinking about expanding by one team (preferably Notre Dame) or whether it might pull a Big East or a WAC and create a superconference of up to 16 schools. This stuff fascinates me, and I have been reading expansion plans from bloggers and columnists all over the internets for the past four months. The following are two proposals with a sliver of realism that I would really enjoy:
-Notre Dame stupidly turns down the Big Ten yet again.
-Big Ten grabs Texas.
-Big Twelve starts to panic, as Texas is responsible for 40% of the already crappy TV contract.
-Colorado bolts for the Pac-10, which also takes Utah from the Mountain West.
-Big Twelve counters by poaching TCU and BYU from Mountain West.
-Mountain West is now on its heels, having lost its top three programs.
-WAC steps in and invites New Mexico, UNLV, and San Diego State.
-They accept and the Mountain West folds, leaving Wyoming, Colorado State, and Air Force homeless.
-The Big East is now the only major conference without 12 teams, and the new WAC is looking stronger. Notre Dame is also feeling the heat.
-Big East pressures Notre Dame into joining for football and invites Memphis, Central Florida, and Temple for football and basketball.
-CUSA is now two teams short, so it steals Louisiana Tech from the WAC and Middle Tennessee State from the Sun Belt.
-The WAC picks up Wyoming to get back to 12 teams and the Sun Belt relents and takes Colorado State in order to get back to nine teams.
-The dust settles and the 2011 football season begins with nine 12 team leagues, one nine team league, and three independent military academies:
ATLANTIC: Clemson, Boston College, Florida State, Wake, NC State, Maryland
COASTAL: Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Miami
UPPER: Temple, Rutgers, Connecticut, Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia,
LOWER: South Florida, Central Florida, Louisville, Memphis, Cinci, Notre Dame
EAST: Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Purdue
WEST: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Northwestern, Texas
NORTH: Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, BYU
SOUTH: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor
EAST: Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado, Utah
WEST: California, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State
EAST: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
WEST: Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas, LSU
EAST: Boise State, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah State, New Mexico, New Mexico State
WEST: Hawaii, Fresno State, San Jose State, San Diego State, Nevada, UNLV
EAST: Buffalo, Ohio, Bowling Green, Kent State, Akron, Miami OH
WEST: Central Mich, Western Mich, Eastern Mich, Northern Ill, Ball State, Toledo
EAST: Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Middle Tenn State, La Tech
WEST: Tulane, Tulsa, Rice, Houston, UTEP, Southern Methodist
*Sun Belt: Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, North Texas, Colorado State
Independent: Army, Navy, Air Force
*Ideally, the Sun Belt would move back to the FCS where it belongs, leaving nine strong conferences which would each get an automatic bid in a 16 team playoff.
-Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany swings his diick around a little bit and gets the SEC and the Pac-10 to help him complete a major power play in the world of college sports. Delany, a few of the prominent Big Ten Presidents and AD’s, the commissioners of the SEC and the Pac-10 and a few of their Presidents and AD’s, and the President and AD of Notre Dame meet in secret to discuss a plan Delany promises will more than triple most schools’ media revenues within five years.
-Delany lays out his plan to form four mega-conferences of 16 teams each that will rule the new college sports landscape. The Big Ten will of course be one, and it will of course still call itself the Big Ten. The Southeastern Conference will of course be one, as it has the second best media contract and the second best fan support. The Pac-10, renamed the Pacific West Conference, will have a chance to become the third or fourth most profitable conference in the country through the addition of six key schools and a new television network. A conglomerate of Eastern schools from the Big East and the ACC will eventually form the fourth mega-conference, but only after the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference pillage their best teams and bring both conferences to the brink of collapse, forcing them to accept the new proposal and join the Atlantic East Conference.
-This goes down over the winter, an oral agreement is hatched, and in April 2011 the fun begins.
-The Big Ten publicly invites Notre Dame, Missouri, Nebraska, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. They all accept quickly, as the Big Ten is a huge step up in pay from the Big 12 and the Big East and Notre Dame knows what’s coming.
-The SEC invites Florida State, Miami, Clemson, and Georgia Tech. Miami and Florida State have no allegiance to any conference and have always wanted to join the SEC, while Clemson and Georgia Tech have in-state rivals there. For those reasons and because the SEC promises a huge revenue boost, they all accept quickly.
-Schools left over in the Big 12, Big East, and ACC are getting nervous, as their leagues are now missing some key members. Texas is especially nervous, and rather upset at being snubbed by both the Big Ten and the SEC. But this is all part of Delany and company’s plan, as the Pac-10 is set to make the next move.
-The Pac-10 invites Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado to their conference. These teams all quickly accept, as they will get to stay together and the ten teams they will be joining are far more attractive than the four they are leaving in Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Baylor.
-There are now three 16 team leagues and a host of schools upset at not being a part of one of them.
-Delany and the commissioners of the SEC and the Pac-10 head to Greensboro to meet with the ACC commissioner and the Presidents and AD’s of interested ACC schools. They outline a plan to form the Collegiate Sports League, which will be run by a group of administrators in Chicago and effectively replace Division 1 of the NCAA. This group of 64 schools will completely secede from the NCAA after a three year transition period that will be needed to get legal issues and media contracts in order.
-The eight schools left in the ACC agree and invite Rutgers, Connecticut, Temple, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Louisville, Memphis, and East Carolina to join them in the new Atlantic East.
Here’s what’s left:
EAST: BC, Rutgers, Connecticut, Temple, Cinci, W Virginia, Louisville, Memphis
WEST: Maryland, Virginia, V Tech, E Carolina, N Carolina, NC State, Duke, Wake
EAST: Clemson, S Carolina, Georgia, G Tech, Tenn, Florida, Florida St, Miami
WEST: Kentucky, Vandy, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Miss St, LSU, Arkansas
EAST: Syracuse, Pitt, Penn St, Ohio St, Michigan, Michigan St, Purdue, Notre Dame
WEST: Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Minn, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mizzou, Nebraska
PACIFIC: Washington, Wash St, Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC
WESTERN: Arizona, Arizona St, Colorado, Kansas, Texas, A&M, Oklahoma, Ok St
*notable football schools left out of Collegiate Sports League
Nevada, UNLV, Boise State, Utah, BYU, New Mexico, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston, Texas Christian, South Florida, Central Florida
*Big East non-football schools also get stuck in smaller conferences for all sports
Like I said, this topic fascinates me. I have spent more time recently looking at expansion talk on the internet than I have spent looking at porn on the internet. I’m interested in all comments. If you want to read a more credible blogger’s expansion views and analysis, the best one on the internet is here.