fighting muskie wrote:
I might have suggested this on here before so forgive me if this is a repeat. I think it would be incredibly bold of the SEC if they, in attempt to corner the market on college football, became two conferences as opposed to one. At first glance this sounds ludicrous but if the SEC West combined with the best elements of the Big 12--Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma St and the SEC East absorbed ACC powerhouses like Florida St, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia Tech the landscape of college sports would have just 4 players--the Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC EAST, and SEC WEST. The SEC consortium would control half of college sports and likely have the gravitas to muscle around the other two leagues.
If the Big Ten decided to grow to keep pace they would not have an incredibly deep pool to choose from. Notre Dame is the only real gem. Kansas, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, BC, UVA, and UNC are their other options.
The Pac 12 however would be geographically hemmed in. With Texas unavailable the Pac 12's prospects are dim. It's add MWC schools (or BYU) or stay at 12. No MWC schools are going to move the television needle--not with USC/UCLA already owning the San Diego market, Utah having a presence in Salt Lake/Provo, and Boise being a utterly worthless tv market. They could reach out and try to create a northeastern enclave with some of the schools I mentioned when discussing the Big Ten but even that would do little to salvage the Pac 12's image.
The two SEC's (I'll call the eastern one the SEC and the western one the SWC) could look something like this:
SEC North--Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Clemson, one of :Louisville/WVU/NC St
SEC South--South Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida St, Florida, Miami
Or perhaps a zipper model would be best--
SWC East--Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss St, LSU, Arkansas
SWC West--Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech
That's the risk. Once 16-plus is achieved, the idea and pressures for a split grow. Traditional conference rivals play those from the other division even less. Or, the top ones of both divisions decide to split away. Then each tries to expand again to pick-up what desirable ones are out there.
In terms of logistics and some real common sense pending a hypothetical change, a model with Texas, OU, Okla. St., etc., in association with A&M, LSU, Ark., Mizzou, etc. would be formidable.
But, the SEC is not going to want to bring in the Baylors' or the even the TTUs' (allowing for the political dependencies in movement facilitation) to adjust to their current schools, then divide or re-shape.
Nothing against the B12 here at all, but the suggested alliance with the ACC would have all kinds of issues popping up. Basically, the geographic divide (and traditional/cultural factors) is wide and very distinct. Not much commonality except where WVU hangs (physically away from their host conference), and Louisville which is between the two, but still basically east. And both were recent replacement schools.
I agree there could be better designs and compositions across the board if the idea is really to have 4-super-sized conferences of similar value and potential strength. The process has been to pick and choose as opportunities arise, rather than mass cooperation, with some knowing they sure will be losers in such methodology.
Agree FightingMuskie, the PAC12 don't have great options for the mega-stuff. If embraced, their hope would be that Texas & top company bond with them and thus skip over much of the MWC domain.
PAC12 could get 14 now if they bend a bit on criteria. That would make them on par in numbers with the SEC, B1G, and the ACC. Thus, it remains the B12 that is the shortest on numbers with not much out there that is both pleasing and available. That's why those interests also want the B1G and the SEC to further expand with ACC schools to free-up some ACC schools for the B12. The wishing and hoping on this are certainly not uniform.
Despite the chatter, the B1G and the SEC may hold at 14 for a few years or perhaps longer. Even those two have to worry about, in chasing TV network dollars, becoming too big too fast and what reprecussions would result.