Monday, November 7, 2011

Conference Realignment...What It Should Look Like

With all of the talk of conference relaignmet going on these days, we lose track of what makes sense and what does not in the course of argument. Nobody questions the sense of it enough, nor do they wonder loudly enough at how expensive it will be for a school like West Virginia to travel in all sports for Big 12 dates when the nearest conference rival is now over 800 miles away at Iowa State.
Here is my take on what conference realignment should look like, with a geographically sound approach to the task at hand. It really does work.

Wake Forest, NC State, Boston College, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Miami, North Carolina, Duke, Rutgers, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, UConn, Syracuse, South Florida
The ACC becomes a Big East/ACC merger, while losing Florida State and Clemson to the SEC where they pair off with Florida and South Carolina. Divisions would become split by North and South divisions, losing the stupid Coastal and Atlantic division names. Wake, BC, and Maryland would move to North Division with Big East members.

Clemson, Florida State, Texas A&M, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State
Pretty standard here. FSU and Clemson head to the SEC East, while A&M and Mizzou head to the SEC West as the SEC joins the ACC as a 16 team super conference that makes sense.

Big 12
Cincinnati, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas, Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Houston, SMU, Rice, TCU
Again, we go with a north/south split with divisions. Cincinnati, Louisville, Oklahoma St., Oklahoma, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Kansas take the north, while the Texas schools reside in the south. The league holds at 14 schools.

Big 10
Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota
As you can see here, nothing changes at all with the Big 10, but Notre Dame remains on the table as a possible join. For now, it's all good without them.

Conference USA
Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UCF, Memphis, UAB, Tulsa, UTEP, Tulane, Louisiana Tech
CUSA loses Houston, Rice, and SMU to the Big 12, but gains Louisiana Tech from the WAC to get back to ten. Divisions are eliminated, as is the conference title game. If you wanted to go to five team divisions, you could.

Ohio, Miami (Ohio), Temple, Kent State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Akron, UMass, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan
The MAC stays exactly as it will look in 2012 with the addition of UMass from the FCS Colonial Athletic. UMass would be placed in the Eastern Division, with a school of your choice slipping to the west.

Mountain West
Boise State, Wyoming, San Diego State, UNLV, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii, Fresno State, San Jose State, Utah State, New Mexico State, Idaho
The only thing that makes any sense here is that the MWC takes in the wayward WAC drifters. New WAC members UTSA and Texas State, and existing member Louisiana Tech head elsewhere, with UTSA and Texas State heading to the Sun Belt, and La. Tech heading to CUSA. TCU is off to the Big 12. Divisions are split into Mountain and Pacific, splitting up Idaho and Boise State, as they basically hate each other anyway.

Arizona, Arizona State, USC, UCLA, Utah, Colorado, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
Nothing changes at all, and the school presidents get their wish.  Stability reigns supreme.

Sun Belt
Arkansas State, UL-Lafayette, Western Kentucky, FIU, North Texas, Troy, Middle Tennessee, UL-Monroe, FAU, UT-San Antonio, Texas State, South Alabama
The Sun Belt is a big winner in my realignment model, as they lose nobody, and gain three schools in FCS transfers UTSA, Texas State, and South Alabama. UTSA and Texas State come from the WAC, while South Alabama is moving up from FCS, which was already planned. The divisions split into east/west, and a conference title game is added.

Notre Dame, BYU, Navy, Army
This group also stays the same, as there is no issue with independence. Navy and Army would not split in any scenario.

No comments:

Post a Comment