No Sleep Till Football

Like Brooklyn Except It's Football

A Lot of Smoke But No Fire?

We’ve heard a ton of talk about expansion in college football, but I still stand by the idea that if Notre Dame joins the Big 10 then nothing is going to change. ND has at least let it be known to the Big 10 that if they decide to join the Big 10 conference then they’d prefer the conference to stick with 12.

This makes a ton of sense. I get the idea of more revenue and all that, but destroying 2 conferences in the process? That doesn’t make much sense to me. Here are the likely scenarios:

1. Notre Dame joins the Big 10. The Big 10 becomes a 12-team conference (won’t they have to rename it now!?) and there is no massive changes to college football. The Big XII & Big East are preserved.

2. Notre Dame plays footsie with the Big 10. The Big 10 has been jerked around a couple of times before by the Irish and finally says screw it. We’ll accept Nebraska as an expansion team. The Pac 10 takes away the 6 Big XII teams they want, Missouri joins Nebraska and the Big 10 goes ahead and picks up Syracuse & Rutgers. This of course leaves a spot open for Notre Dame who will essentially be forced to accept, but now with a bloated 16-team conference. The Big XII & Big East are destroyed and there is massive chaos in the college football landscape.

There are two problems with Option #2

1. There are currently 66 teams in the FBS that are a part of the Big 6 conferences including Notre Dame. If you basically create 4 16-team leagues, it leaves 2 of those schools out. Do those 2 squads become independent? What about basketball? Which 2 teams have to leave conferences? None of it really makes sense to be honest.

2. If the Big XII & Big East collapse then you are stuck with the ACC, SEC, PAC 10 & BIG 10. The problem here is having 2 of the 16-team conferences occupying the same geographical region. If you wanted to have the PAC 10, BIG 10, BIG XII & SEC then it makes sense, but having the SEC & ACC in the mix for 16 teams within the same territory? It’s odd. It could possibly work, BUT you almost need 5 big conferences.

3. Teams that have legitimate claims to being big time football programs get seriously screwed. If the Big 6 becomes the Super-4 then they are going to want to freeze everyone out of the BCS pie. However, there are teams that should be a part of it. What happens to BYU, Utah, TCU, Boise St. & Nevada? You could go so far as to throw in Memphis, Houston, & East Carolina in the mix. Don’t forget Navy & Air Force too. They aren’t also ran programs. Fresno St. is going to be a very solid football team as long as Pat Hill is around. What do you do with those teams?

Pete Fiutak is a college football writer for College Football News and he’s now written a couple of pieces on what the college football landscape might look like if expansion happens. In this piece written on May 10th, there was only talk of the Big 10 expanding. Fiutak thought the final landscape would look like this:

ACC: Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, East Carolina, Florida St., Maryland, Memphis, Miami-FL, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Central Florida, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia

In: Cincinnati, ECU, Memphis, Pitt, UCF, West Virginia
Out: Clemson & Georgia Tech

BIG 10: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio St., Penn St., Rutgers, Syracuse, Purdue, Wisconsin

In: UConn, Missouri, Nebraska, Rutgers, Syracuse
Out: nobody

BIG XII: Baylor, BYU, Colorado St., Houston, Iowa St., Kansas, Kansas St., New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU, Utah

In: BYU, Colorado St., Houston, New Mexico, SMU, TCU, Utah
Out: Colorado, Nebraska & Missouri

PAC 10: Arizona, Arizona St., Boise St., California, Colorado, Fresno St., Nevada, Oregon, Oregon St., San Diego St., Stanford, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Washington, Washington St.

In: Boise St., Colorado, Fresno St., Nevada, San Diego St., UNLV
Out: Nobody

SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St., South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

In: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, South Florida
Out: Nobody

Now this makes some sense although it’s still completely putting the college landscape in turmoil. Since Fiutak wrote this the Pac 10 is now in the fray. Fiutak wrote a piece on June 4th now talking about how things would turn if the Pac 10 steals the 6 teams from the Big XII:

ACC: Boston College, East Carolina, Cincinnati, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Syracuse, West Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, South Florida, Central Florida, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

In: ECU, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Syracuse, West Virginia, South Florida, Central Florida
Out: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida St. & Miami-FL

BIG 10: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio St., Penn St., Purdue, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Connecticut

In: Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, UConn
Out: nobody

BIG XII: Boise St., Colorado St., Fresno St., Kansas, Kansas St., Iowa St., Nevada, UNLV, Baylor, BYU, Houston, San Diego St., SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Utah

In: Boise St., Colordao St., Fresno St., Nevada, UNLV, BYU, Houston, SD St., SMU, TCU, Utah, S. Miss
Out: Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri

PAC 10: Arizona, Arizona St., UCLA, USC, California, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon St., Washington, Washington St., Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Colorado

In: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Colorado
Out: nobody

SEC: Clemson, Florida, Florida St., Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Miami-FL, Mississippi, Mississippi St.

In: Florida St., Georgia Tech, Miami-FL, Clemson
Out: nobody

In this 2nd scenario I still don’t get the 5 big conferences. The ACC & Big XII are taking on horrific teams by Big 6 standards. The Big XII might as well be the Mountain West. The ACC gets screwed out of 4 of the best 5 football schools in the current ACC! The Big East ceases to exist.

The other 3 conferences make it huge though. The Big 10 winds up with Notre Dame, but they also throw in Nebraska & Missouri for their football teams! They also pick up Connnecticut for basketball purposes. That’s a tremendous haul even if the Big 10 does have to take on Rutgers.

The Pac 10 is a huge winner too for landing Oklahoma, Texas & Texas A&M. You don’t get more storied programs than those 3 and they join an already fairly prolific Pac 10 when it comes to football.

To me in this scenario the SEC wins HUGE! They already have the best football conference in the nation, but adding on Miami-FL, Florida St., Clemson & Georgia Tech is MIND BLOWING! There would be no point in watching any other conference when it comes to college football. It’s that insane.

I suppose this makes sense if you want the Big XII to survive. The ACC & SEC get rearranged a bit, the Big 10 gets it’s teams and the new Big XII basically takes the 4 remaining Big XII schools and cherry picks the best football schools from the MWC, WAC & CUSA.

Maybe it works, but one quick acceptance from Notre Dame to the Big 10 conference and all of this is moot. It all depends if ND wants to be proactive or reactive? Rumor has it that Nebraska might accept an offer to join the Big 10 on Friday. That means ND has 2 days to be proactive enough to join the Big 10 and squash all this expansion talk.

If they are reactive and wait for a couple of moves to be made, they’ll end up joining the Big 10 either way. Why not come to a conference on your own terms?

That is what Notre Dame has to ask themselves.


June 9, 2010 - Posted by | Expansion, Notre Dame

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