Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Big Ten Could Set Off Another Chain Reaction of Defections
The Big Ten is looking at a 12th team to add to their conference (good idea, by the way). There has been much speculation ... including on this blog ... to who that team would be.
The leader right now is Missouri. I don't think Mizzou would bolt the Big XII for the Big Ten. While the TV revenue would increase, their travel budget would suffer. Right now, they are dead smack in the middle of Big XII country and have a relatively easier time on the road. In the Big Ten, they'd be the team furthest south and furthest west.
However, I hope it is Missouri. They just seem to fit in the Big Ten better than the Big XII (just my opinion). I also hope it starts a chain reaction similar to what shook the college landscape in 1990 and 2003.
If Missouri goes to the Big Ten, you can have this:
EAST: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue
WEST: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Northwestern, Wisconsin
With an open spot in the Big XII now, the choice is obvious -- TCU. TCU was a part of the old Southwestern Conference that broke up in 1995 to help form the Big XII (TCU was left in the cold on that). TCU is perfect for the Big XII, which already has four Texas schools. That also gives the league a base in the Dallas-Ft Worth area. TCU would jump at the opportunity.
It also makes the divisional format better. Send Oklahoma to the North. Sure, it breaks up Oklahoma and Oklahoma State ... but ensure that they are playing each year in a rivalry game (similar to how the ACC and SEC operate) and that should go away. It would also wake up the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry, since they'll be in the same division. And while Texas and Oklahoma already play once a year, setting up that matchup in the Big XII title game is tantalizing.
Here is your new BIG XII:
NORTH: Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma
SOUTH: Baylor, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech
So, that's settled ... but you know that the Pac-10 want in on this. With all of the other BCS conferences playing title games (aside from the Big East), the Pac-12 should emerge. The candidates there are easy -- Utah and BYU.
Both are huge schools and both add the same duo that permeates throughout the league. That's perfect. They edge out Boise State because they've been consistently doing this for a while. Both Utah and BYU would love this because the Pac-10, while expansive, has one of the better travel schedules in basketball.
A new PAC-12 could look like this:
NORTH: BYU, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Washington, Washington State
SOUTH: Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USC
I love that. Of course, the Mountain West would hate all of this since they'll lose their top three programs (TCU, Utah, BYU). The MWC will have to replenish the conference with at least two teams ... probably three ... and better yet six! Yes, the MWC should gobble up a lot of the WAC (or remerge a bit with them) and have a two division conference.
The first two candidates would be Boise State and Nevada. They are in the current MWC geographic area and are good programs too add to the mix. The third school should be Utah State just so they can keep a foot in the Beehive State. If they wanted to go for the throat, add in Fresno State, San Jose State and either Hawaii or New Mexico State.
NORTH: Air Force, Boise State Colorado State, Nevada, Utah State, Wyoming
SOUTH: Fresno State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV
Brought to you by the Sportz Assassin at 1:10 PM