I’ve been purposely avoiding the big elephant sitting in the corner of the college football room. That elephant being conference expansion. The expansion rumblings coming out of the Big Ten are getting louder and louder by the day. It is definitely going to happen, it’s just not clear as to how many schools they plan to add. Everything I’ve been reading, though, says they plan to expand to at least 14 teams with their preference being a 16 team super conference. There are even some reports circulating around the internet that the Big Ten has already offered expansion spots to Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Rutgers. Some other schools that have been reported to be on the Big Ten’s radar are Texas, Pitt, Maryland, UConn, and Syracuse.
If the Big Ten does expand to more than 12 teams surely the SEC will expand to match them so both conferences will keep their big dog statuses. The SEC expansion talk hasn’t gotten anywhere near the media attention that the Big Ten expansion has because the SEC is happy where they’re at. The have the luxury of just sitting back and seeing how things unfold. Speculation has been all over the place as to who the SEC might target if they do choose to expand. Some think they would go further west and look at schools like Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. Others think they would strengthen their southern base with some combination of schools like Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina.
I can’t see the future (and if I could I would be living in a huge mansion in Las Vegas instead of wasting that power on this stupid blog), but I think the SEC would combine those two trains of thought by adding Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, and Miami. Those four schools would fit in well performance wise making the SEC the power football super conference and they also would add some big TV markets (a.k.a. MONEY) which in the end is what this conference expansion is all about.
The reason I’ve been avoiding this conference expansion talk so far is because I was hoping that it would go away. I just don’t like the idea of 16 team super conferences because in the end all it’s going to be is two mini 8 team conferences that send their champs to play each other. At least for football purposes, this is a football blog so what do you expect, you will only see the teams from the other division once every eight years. I guess that helps correct unbalanced scheduling which is the main gripe about 12 team conferences, but if you’re never going to consistently play the teams from the other division what’s the point? Call me a hater, but I don’t like it.
With the Big Ten and SEC the main players calling all the shots, all the other conferences are left to sit back and hope for the best. It’s not like the ACC can be proactive like last time when they raided Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami from the Big East. If it does go down like most people expect (16 team super conferences) then it looks like it will again be the Big East that suffers most as the ACC would probably look to Big East schools like UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and South Florida to try and keep up with the Joneses. The timetable for conference expansion has definitely been moved up from what the initial reports were saying so it will be very very interesting to see how this whole thing plays out over the next several months. DFCF will be here to pontificate his thoughts throughout the whole process so make sure to check back when the shit hits the proverbial fan.