College Football Expansion Hoopla V2.0

Will the USC Song Girls cheer for the Trojans or the Longhorns in the 2012 Pac-10 Championship Game?

This topic has consumed about 70% of my sports related attention this month and Expansion Hoopla V1.0 got a lot of hits, so let’s do it again…

A lot has changed in a week (actually not really; the only thing that has changed is my mind).  This super-long post lacks pictures or graphics and is broken down into several text-heavy sections.  If you just want to bitch about the conference or the Pod I put your school in, scroll to the bottom and comment.  If you are a conference expansion junkie like me, sit back and enjoy my rambling inferences and analysis.

The first part of this post explains what I have inferred based on recent comments from relevant conference commissioners, university Presidents, AD’s, and insiders.

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-Maryland and North Carolina have likely both told the Big Ten to pound sand.  They like the ACC for now.

-Texas probably isn’t going to the Big Ten either.  They are more interested in merging the cream of the crop from the Big Twelve with the Pac-10, possibly as a simple six team addition to form the Pac-16 and possibly as a “Western Alliance” with a looser conference connection and as many as 24 schools.

-Nebraska and Missouri are dying to be invited to the Big Ten.  Even Tom Osbourne issued a statement saying as much.  Both schools’ Presidents are already on record as being very interested.

-Oklahoma and Oklahoma State want an SEC invite.  They might get invited to the Pac-16 with Texas or they might not.  They prefer the certainty and immediate prestige the SEC brings.

-Kansas is on the fence between the Big Ten and the Texas led Pac-16.  Either way, they’ll probably be in a better position than they are now.  There is a slim chance that they could end up homeless if the Big Ten invites Missouri and Nebraska and the Pac-10 and Texas don’t invite them to be one of the five teams to join the Pac-16.

-Utah is probably going to the Pac-10 / Pac-12 / Pac-16  regardless of what else happens.

-Boise State to the MWC is a done deal.  Makes sense for all parties and the MWC will need someone to replace Utah if they leave for the Pac-10 or BYU if they leave for the Western Alliance.  Expect this announcement in June.

-Rutgers to the Big Ten is a done deal.  Paul Taglibue’s disparaging comments about the potential Long Island television audience for a Rutgers-Minnesota game reek of bitterness.  If this announcement is made in June then Rutgers will be able to play Big Ten football in 2012.

-Pittsburgh, Syracuse,  and Connecticut would all love a Big Ten invite.  Each has serious drawbacks, but each brings added East Coast viewers.  Pitt’s drawback is that is brings the fewest viewers since Penn State already owns the Pennsylvania market.  Syracuse’s problem is that they are a medium sized private school that doesn’t do much research and has a horrible football stadium.  Connecticut is not a member of the AAU and Continue reading

College Football Conference Expansion Hoopla

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:

Scenario A

-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 Continue reading