College Sports Conference realignment begins [updated]

June 10, 2010

As many in the sporting world know, the Big 10(11) has been complaining that without a championship game, their teams don’t not get a fair shake at the national title game. They’ve been seriously courting a variety of football teams for quite awhile now. Some suggested the Big East would get poached for their untapped East Coast markets, others said basically every team in the Big 12 besides Baylor had an offer and even others, (including myself) thought Notre Dame would give up its ‘independent’ status and join a conference. It’s a risky move, but Notre Dame needs a conference and location wise, it fit the Big 10(11) seriously.

There have been a lot of reasons why this realignment has happened. David Moulton explains it as Nebraska is the Archduke Franz Ferdinan of College Sports. A lot of things got us here, Nebraska jumping ship could have just push that Boulder right over the edge. (see that also works as a pun for Colorado)

If ESPN had given the Big 10 more money they wouldn’t have started the Big Ten Network…

If the Big 12 and Big East wouldn’t have signed their own death warrants by flip-flopping at the last second about a College Football playoff…

the only moves that had to take place were the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big East becoming 12-team conferences… But the Big Ten had to get a team from the big 12 and the Big 12 wasn’t willing to increase Nebraska’s TV money…

But all this could have been stopped if Notre Dame knew whats good for itself.

Today, Nebraska announced that it would be leaving the Big 12 to join the Big 10(11).  It was a surprisingly lame and safe move. Nebraska is basically Iowa with different colored uniforms, but it’s going to start a major realignment in College Sports.

The Pac 10 started getting in on this action as well. If the Big 10(11) was to have a championship game,  the Pac-10 needed one too. Today they went out and grabbed Colorado. The Pac-10 isn’t stopping there but it looks like they won’t go for Mountain West teams but more Big 12 teams. The Pac-10 is interested in acquiring Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, in addition to Colorado, for the purposes of forming a 16-team conference.

TMZ sports is now reporting that Okla State is going to be moving to the Pac-10

Texas’ move is going to have college sports fans on the edge of their seats. If they leave for the Pac-10, the great sports realignment will begin. The Big East will have to grab football schools at the expense of basketball schools (or vice versa as the BE football schools leave)

However,  in a sane world the Big 12 could go and grab a teams like TCU and BYU to replace Colorado and BYU and the Pac-10 would add Utah as their 12th team and the whole crisis would be averted by a few years. Thats not impossible however. With the Big 12 basically crumbling, Baylor and Texas Tech are rumored to be jumping ship to the SEC. Root for Texas to realize that they could reform a new Big 12 instead of joining a Pac-16.

If the Big 12 doesn’t hold itself together, College Football will change for a long time. The Big East, Conference USA and Mountain West will be poached. The remaining teams will be relegated to a conference of leftovers that will join the lowest Big 12 teams. The SEC, ACC Pac-10 (12?) and Big 10 (The New big 12?) will be the only Conferences remaining.

This kills basketball only schools which may have to unite into one super conference of their own. There area lot of teams that are going to have to see how this shakes out.


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