I read today — with obvious enthusiasm based on that headline you just read — a report indicating the universities of Texas and Oklahoma are eager to join the Southeastern Conference.
For the love of all things good, let’s do it.
It’s long overdue.
The next wave of conference realignment would set up 64 elite schools. It would allow the NCAA and the four super conferences that would be created to establish a true money-no-matter-what level of college sport. We can put further into the past the hypocrisy of the “student-athlete.”
Please, let’s also end the pretense of “the mid-majors matter” and create a true Division I, made up of these 64 schools.The four super conferences can ditch the mid-tier conferences and have the top level of the college sports universe all to themselves. No more worries about whether some pesky Group of 5 might steal a place in the sacred college football playoff.
Heck, if they want the college basketball and baseball championships all to themselves, fine. Let them have all they want. Good freaking riddance.
A next tier — call it whatever you want — will include plenty of schools that will generate plenty of headlines, tournaments and money. We know there’s plenty of that out there.
We all know the entire FBS/Division 1 college sports landscape becomes much clearer with four super conferences, each made up of 16 teams. Yes, the Big XII will be no more.
Texas and Oklahoma going to the SEC triggers a few logical follow up moves resulting from the demise of that conference. Here’s how I believe it plays out:
- Notre Dame and West Virginia join the ACC
- Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State join the Big 10
- Nebraska and Oklahoma State head to the currently named Pac 12. They are joined by two of the following four teams: Baylor, BYU, TCU or Texas Tech. (Come on, Nebraska in the Big 10 simply hasn’t worked. Send the Cornhuskers west.)
Here’s a possible layout of the divisions for each conference (ignore the division names; they’re negotiable):
PAC 16 EAST: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Utah and two more (and I think Baylor is a lock to be one of them)
PAC 16 WEST: California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State
SYNOPSIS: The old Pac 8 gets back together, allowing for some semblance of history to be acknowledged by the Conference of Champions.
ACC EAST: Boston College, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech
ACC WEST: Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt, Wake Forest, West Virginia
SYNOPSIS: The geographic proximity of the southern teams makes almost any combination of 8 and 8 realistic.
SEC EAST: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
SEC WEST: Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M
SYNOPSIS: Before you threaten to murder me, please remember that the 8 eastern-most teams would now be in the SEC East. If you don’t believe me, look at a map.
BIG 10 EAST: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers
BIG 10 WEST: Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin
SYNOPSIS: Purdue getting bumped to the Big 10 East is the most logical move here.
There are two potential scenarios for an 8-team football playoff.
- The equality model: The division winners from each conference play each other, ensuring that one team from each of the four super conferences has a spot in the so-called final four. The winners are then ranked 1-4.
- The merit model: The eight division winners are ranked 1-8, regardless of conference, and a true bracket is created.
Count me among those hoping to see Texas and Oklahoma start a necessary chain reaction of conference realignment allowing for the overdue changes to “Division 1” sports to finally happen.