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NCAA Football: Rise Of The Mega-Conference Stuck
Posted on May 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

College football conference realignment has become one of the nation's fastest growing reality shows.

Teams are switching conferences multiple times in the same year; some before spending a single day as a member of a conference they once were destined to join. Conference icons are even looking for new relationships as rumors swirl of potentially devastating breakups.

And perhaps the most ridiculous of all; the Big East is considering a "West" division to accommodate the addition of teams like Boise State and San Diego State.

The reality of it is that it makes no sense unless you use money symbols when you write an "s". And that i$ ju$t non$en$e.

While schools on the outside of the BCS have scurried to get a seat at the table, the administrators at the controls have moved even faster to shrink the number of spots available.

The latest one-step-ahead-of-you move by the BCS has been the conglomerate formed by the SEC and Big-12 for postseason play. A partnership, when grouped with the PAC-12 and Big-10 postseason duo, paint an interesting picture for the proposed four-team playoff to settle a national champion.

As the prospect of a four-team playoff becomes more of a certainty, the double-tandem between Big-10/PAC-12 and SEC/Big-12 sets up as a natural semifinal format. And to think that we once scoffed at the ludicrous idea of super-conferences.

Welcome, like it or not, to the age of the mega-conferences. Four of them in total. College basketball has the Final Four. College Football? The Mega Four.

ACC? Gone. Big East? See ya. Sun Belt? Sorry, we still have to include them.

The Big-10, Big-12, PAC-12, and SEC run the show now. They are the four remaining if-you-cant-beat-em-join-em clubhouses of college football.

So how do we play? Im glad you asked.

Since only four conferences would exist, each remaining conference would be absorbed into the Mega Four. For the sake of covering a few years into the future, I have included teams that are projected to join the FBS through 2015. Those teams are: Georgia State, UMass, South Alabama, Texas State, and UTSA in 2013. And in 2015; Charlotte and Old Dominion.

My projections are very loosely constructed for each of the projected Mega-Four conferences based on three simple factors. The first is that of current rumors. For example, Florida State is rumored to have interest in the Big-12, so naturally I will place them as such. The second is that of geography which is self-explanatory. Finally, I attempted to divide teams so that conferences had the same number of schools. Between the four conferences there are 127 teams to distribute. This results in three conferences of 32 and a single conference of 31.

Due to the number of schools per conference, I project each to have four divisions. Within each division the result is eight teams -- the exception being one of the divisions from the Big-12 as the odd man out with 31 in the conference.

Each team would play a regular season that includes six games within their division. This would result in an almost-round-robin format within each division. The division with only seven teams (see Big 12, Div. 4 below) would play a true round-robin division schedule. Beyond this, each team would play two intra-conference games and two inter-conference games. Thus, each team would play a minimum of ten games to constitute the regular season.

To complete the postseason, the winner of each division faces off in the conference semi-finals, with the winners facing off in the conference finals to crown the conference champion. The conference winners represent the final Mega-Four teams to face off in the two BCS games which serve as the national semifinals.

The winners would then battle for the first true national championship this beloved sport has seen.

A maximum of fourteen games would be possible for those worthy of the national championship game. And all other teams not making the greatest championship game yet to happen? Bring on those bowl games.

Now that's a reality I can get into.

How do you feel about the implications of college football mega-conferences?

Justin is a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can find him on the forums under the username jmik58. Follow him on Twitter @long_snapper.
# 1 chi_hawks @ May 30
Not happening. There is no way the likes of Michigan and Ohio State are going to split conference revenues (remember, Big10 revenue shares) with Toledo and No. Illinois.

I think you are right that Big10, Pac12, Big12 and SEC will be the 4 main conferences, but I highly doubt they end up adding any other teams (except for maybe a few big east and acc castoffs).
# 2 StaubachKid @ May 31
I do see this happening buddy. The expansion is as big as its going to get now.
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