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Td1984's Blog
My take on the upcoming NCAA realignment 
Posted on September 3, 2011 at 05:24 PM.
With Texas A&M apparently headed to the SEC and the possibility of Oklahoma being the next to flee the sinking ship that is the Big XII, I figured I would post my prediction on how the College Football landscape will look once the dust finally settles.

NOTE 1: If you do not like the idea of super-conferences, I would suggest leaving this page now.

The SEC would make the first move adding A&M. If that is the only team they take from the Big XII, they likely get the other 3 from the ACC (which 3 does not matter that much, though in the later example I use Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech). If they go to 16, the Pac-12 and B1G have to counter by going to 16 as well (of course, there is always the possibility that the Pac-12 is the conference to go to 16 first).

The B1G almost certainly adds Mizzou from the Big XII and since they want in to the New York market, they add Rutgers (or maybe 'Cuse, not sure how their following is in NYC compared to Rutgers). They also likely add Pitt due to their heated rivalry with Penn State. That puts them at 15. Notre Dame is not stupid. If the conferences begin to explode in size (as it would be obvious they are), they will decide to give up their Independent status. Plus the B1G has had the invite available to them for years now if they have wanted it. They will finally take it and get the B1G to 16.

With the biggest Independent of them all finally joining a conference, no program in their right mind and with national championship aspirations would go independent. So, the Pac-12 deals the fatal blow to the Big XII and takes Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas & Texas Tech (the conference has the most expansion-friendly TV deal of all) to get to 16.

The Big XII refugees Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas & Kansas State will not be able to join the Big East due to the fact that they are too unwieldy as it stands, with 17 teams after TCU comes in. The BE will likely have problems of their own with the ACC looking to ensure their own survival. So the remnants of the Big XII will likely go to the Mountain West (along with likely BYU, who went independent thinking that if ND could survive as one, so could they) which would put the Mountain West at 14 (keep that in mind) after Air Force decides to join Army & Navy as indies.

The Big East I figure will come to the same end in one of two ways. Either the ACC adds the football schools (sans TCU- whom I figure will return to the Mountain West which will have BCS AQ status, largely due to TCU's performance as a member of the MWC) in an attempt to guarantee their own survival (and will add UCF to get to 16), or the BE basketball schools decide after losing a couple of schools to the B1G to no longer sponsor football and the remaining football schools end up in the ACC that way.

With the Mountain West at 15, they likely invite Utah State (whom they had approached last year but were rejected) to finally get to 16. With the WAC decimated like the Big XII, they either find 2 or more FCS schools to add to their ranks, or does the smarter thing and merges with the Sun Belt.

For those of you who would rather see a diagram of the above, here you go.

NOTE 2: For conferences that have protected rivalries, I denoted the pairings. Just match the numbers in the parenthesis. There may be other conferences that would adopt this idea, though I am not sure how the pairings would shake out (credit for the idea goes to dochalladay32).

ACC
The SEC poaches Clemson, FSU and Georgia Tech. The ACC then takes the remaining football-playing schools from the Big East and UCF from C-USA.

North:
Boston College
Cincinnati
Connecticut
Louisville
Maryland
Syracuse/Rutgers
Virginia
West Virginia

South:
Duke
Miami
North Carolina
North Carolina St
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
UCF
USF

Big 12
Dead. After Texas A&M joined SEC, Mizzou was invited to join the Big Ten. Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas & Texas Tech joined Pac-12. The remaining teams join Mountain West.

Big East
After losing Pitt and either Rutgers or Syracuse to the Big Ten, the non-football schools kick out the other members, which are taken in by the ACC, with the notable exception of TCU, which returns to the Mountain West after a 2-year absence.

Big Ten
Invites Missouri, Pittsburgh and likely Rutgers. Notre Dame, realizing this is their final chance to join the Big Ten, decides to sacrifice their independence and agrees to join as well.

West:
Illinois (1)
Indiana (2)
Iowa (3)
Minnesota (4)
Missouri (5)
Nebraska (6)
Northwestern (7)
Wisconsin (8)

East:
Michigan (4)
Michigan St (8)
Notre Dame (7)
Ohio St (1)
Penn St (6)
Pittsburgh (3)
Purdue (2)
Rutgers/Syracuse (5)

C-USA
Loses UCF to the ACC, picks up Louisiana Tech from the WAC.

West:
Houston
Louisiana Tech
Rice
SMU
UTEP
Tulsa

East:
ECU
Marshall
Memphis
Southern Miss
Tulane
UAB

Independents
Notre Dame joins Big Ten & BYU returns to Mountain West after realizing they can't make it as an Indy.

Air Force
Army
Navy

MAC

West:
Ball St
Bowling Green
Central Michigan
Eastern Michigan
Northern Illinois
Toledo
Western Michigan

East:
Akron
Buffalo
Kent St
Miami (OH)
Ohio
Temple
UMass

Mountain West
Regains BYU and TCU and adds the Big 12 refugees and Utah St from the WAC. Air Force decides to join Army and Navy as Indies.

North:
Boise St
BYU
Colorado St
Iowa St
Kansas
Kansas St
Utah St
Wyoming

South:
Baylor
Fresno St
Hawai'i
Nevada
New Mexico
San Diego St
TCU
UNLV

CCG: Cowboys Stadium in Arlington

Pac-12/16
Adds Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas and Texas Tech from the Big 12.

Coastal/West:
California
Oregon
Oregon St
Stanford
UCLA
USC
Washington
Washington St

South/East:
Arizona
Arizona St
Colorado
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St
Texas
Texas Tech
Utah

SEC
After getting Texas A&M from the Big 12, they poach Clemson, FSU and Georgia Tech from the ACC.

West:
Alabama (1)
Arkansas (2)
Auburn (3)
Georgia Tech (4)
LSU (5)
Mississippi St (6)
Ole Miss (7)
Texas A&M (8)

East:
Clemson (8)
Florida (5)
Florida St (3)
Georgia (4)
Kentucky (6)
South Carolina (2)
Tennessee (1)
Vanderbilt (7)

Sun Belt
The only conference to remain relatively unchanged (with the exception of adding Appalachian St & South Alabama).

Appalachian St
Arkansas St
FAU
FIU
LA-Lafayette
LA-Monroe
Middle Tennessee St
North Texas
South Alabama
Troy
Western Kentucky

WAC
Becomes the Western version of the Sun Belt (in other words, essentially a I-AA conference masquerading as a I-A conference). NOTE: Another possibility is the WAC and Sun Belt merging completely, instead of adding 2 more I-AA schools.

Idaho
New Mexico St
San Jose St
Texas St
UT-San Antonio
plus 2+ others that are likely in I-AA at the moment

Am I off a bit? Yes. However, if Oklahoma leaves the Big XII for the Pac-12 (and takes Oklahoma State along with them), odds are the era of the super-conference will have arrived. We could see some slight differences (Air Force may not go Indy, TCU may join the ACC anyway, even though it would make more sense geographically to return to the MWC, therefore leaving UCF out in the cold, the BE may only replace the exact number of schools they lost and somehow be able to survive, etc.) but ultimately, I think it will end up reasonably similar to this.
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