A little over a year ago, I discussed a theoretical layout of the mega conferences if they were to happen. It now appears that the last few weeks of shuffling talks might be settling down and it's a little scary how some of those predictions are coming true. Here's what we're looking at:
- PAC-12. The PAC-12 has decided to remain a 12 team conference.
- ACC: Pittsburgh and Syracuse will join the ACC, but no sooner than the 2014-15 academic year. Up to eight other schools are being considered to fill two more spots bringing the ACC to 16 teams. Strong rumors have surfaced that Connecticut and Rutgers are strong possibilities. More on this in a bit.
- SEC: Texas A&M has made a bid to join the SEC. Some Big-12 teams, such as Baylor, have threatened to sue as they feel that the departure would violate an agreement made to keep the Big-12 intact. I would imagine that, in the end, this will go through. I would also imagine that the SEC would look to add, at least, a 14th team.
- Big East: "Where's the Ice" disagrees with me here, but good riddance. On the departure, of Tech, BC, and Miami, the Big East scrambled and added Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida. These were all good additions. Should the above four teams depart, the Big East would be left with several questions.
- Do they fold football operations and let the remaining four programs fend for themselves?
- Do they go with B.E.A.F, the Big East Armed Forces Conference? This, for one, would make my day!
- Or do they, as Baylor and other Big-12 teams have suggested, form a conference with the remaining Big-12 teams. This scenario becomes less likely since the PAC-12 closed its doors to teams like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State who were looking to make the move there.
Regardless, the Big East Football Conference, for its entire existence, has been a joke. A basketball first conference cannot survive in the big boy world of football first conferences. As long as Villanova, St. Johns, Marquette, Georgetown, Seton Hall, DePaul, and Providence have a say in how the conference operates, the Big East will forever waddle in the shallow end of the AQ conference pool. Quite honestly, the MWC deserves an AQ spot more than the Big East does.
If all four teams join the ACC, the Big East would be down to four teams. The team I feel most sorry for is West Virginia. And here's where I will tell you the ACC should reject Syracuse's application and go after West Virginia.
First, because we know it's all about the Benjamins, Syracuse adds nothing to the ACC. The upstate New York market will add little to the bottom-line. And before you say, that it would add the New York City market, I present you with Rutgers and Connecticut. Those teams would do far more in that regard.
Second, adding Pittsburgh without adding one of its true rivals, WVU would be a true shame. Also, WVU has a solid rivalry with Maryland and a once glorious rivalry with Virginia Tech. (I miss ducking flying batteries.)
Third, Syracuse sucks. Oh, and the football team is no good either.
Actually, my ideal Big East gutting, would be to take Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Rutgers, and South Florida. I would love to have Connecticut too, but I think the one NYC school would be enough. South Florida is already developed into a solid top 50 team and has standing rivalries with her sister Florida schools, Miami and Florida State.
All in all, it's an exciting time in college football. It'll be interesting to see how the realignment to mega-conferences will affect the bowl season. Well, enough about the big picture and do what we do everyday:
Try to take over the world, NARF!