Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Conference Expansion: Who Does It Hurt Or Help The Most

The Pac-10 has taken over for the Big Ten in the making huge offers department. The Pac-10 has offered half of the Big 12 (or the entire Big 12) to join and increase revenue. The Pac-10 doesn't make a lot of television money compared to the Big 12, Big Ten or SEC. Outside of USC, who is going to get in a ton of trouble really soon, most Pac-10 teams are on the down in the last decade. They have trouble beating Mountain West teams in recent years. The Big Ten should expand, and the Big 12 will be ripped apart. Then the scraps will be picked apart by mid-major vultures. Here are programs who would be winners and those will be left behind.


Boise State: They need to get out of the WAC badly. If they ever want to compete for the National Title, they can't play San Jose State or Hawai'i for conference games. The logical choice is the MWC, although the Pac-10 would be a home run. Both would mean a year or two off from competing, but this is the only move they can make to succeed.

Pac-10: They need money to compete with the other conferences, and a larger fan base. They are basically stuck in California, Oregon and Arizona and those aren't great football states like the Midwest, Texas and the South. They have huge markets but need more power. Whoever they get, MWC teams, Big 12 teams, Boise State, it will be an improvement.

Independents: Notre Dame, Army and Navy are dinosaurs in football. They don't have a conference. Now, if the Big East sticks around (if the Big Ten doesn't rip it apart) ND and Navy could (and would) join the Big East in football, and still compete very well. Navy is a very good football program and ND will need a home. ND would fit better in the Big Ten, but with basketball ties, they could go that route. Army would fit best in the MAC. They should shoot for a mid major, they already play a lot of MAC teams and it would help the conference out. CUSA didn't work out, but they should be scared to try again.


Mid-Major Conferences: With this money grab, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Sure, television revenue could increase (with most games being on the conference's own network, ESPN will have to show somebody) but with these super conferences combining money, almost every school (above 90%) would increase their cash flow, get more attention and create more buzz on the ESPN talk machine. The Mid Majors will be represented less and won't get match ups with bigger teams because they can use intra-conference games (they'll have a ton of teams to pick from). College football could be turned into 4 conferences who matter and 4 who don't.

BCS: Hooray! Right? Well, with these ultra-conference the winners of each will truly be considered the best by the voters, and more elite match ups would mean the BCS will bury Cinderellas and. Could this mean the Championship winners all meet for a playoff? Maybe, in a few years. But the BCS will suffer, which will be celebrated by fans.

The Conference With The Scraps: Someone is going to lose on the Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma and MWC sweepstakes. You really want to be the ACC and get the Big East leftovers? Thats just expanding to keep up. It could get ugly. You have to take the good with the bad.

Expansion should be fun and create better football for all. It could take a year to start, maybe two, but within 3 years we will see all the fallout from this. In this economy, this will help the schools and bring some hype. When the dust settles, we will see where everybody stands. Until then, your guess is as good as mine.

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