Big Ten/PAC-10 Expansions. What it all might mean
Written by Curt Popejoy on 12/16/2009
I've said for years, if a conference is going to whine and moan about the BCS system and lobby for a playoff the first thing the conferences must do, is determine their champions the same way. That means either all BCS conferences go to 12 teams and have a true conference championship, or all the conferences with title games would have to do away with them. Not bloody likely.
In the past week we've heard the Big Ten(11?) is actively pursuing a 12th team for their conference. Getting a 12th would be they could divide into divisions, and have a Big Ten Title game, which would be a huge get for their TV Network. I fully expect the Big Ten to find themselves a team to join in sooner rather than later. But what team?
The three big names being tossed around are Missouri, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers. All 3 make perfect sense, if not from a regional football role, but from a TV market sense. Missouri has already said if approached they would listen. I don't blame Missouri. They would consider it a chance to move into a more winneable conference, and that's what it would all be about. Winning the conference, and getting to that BCS bowl is a goal, but they are overmatched in the Big 12.
Rutgers and Pittsburgh are both sitting in an 8 team Big East, in a conference that isn't really taken seriously. If I am the President of either of these schools, I run not walk to the Big Ten and thank them for taking mercy on them.
Let's say Missouri goes. The Big 12 would then have to find another team. Some have said Arkansas makes sense and it does but I'm not sure Arkansas wants to leave. Bringing in a team like Houston or TCU, then moving Ok State to the North makes more sense to me. I know 5 Texas teams is a ton, and it would split up Bedlam, but those two teams would add a ton of credibility to the conference and be more apt to come over Arkansas.
But let's say Rutgers or Pitt go. What happens to the Big East? I'd think it would be the death roll for the conference. It would be down to 7 teams and probably dissolve, if they couldn't scramble to bring in mid level conference teams into their mix and rush to 12 teams.
It seems the Big Ten expanding is a forgone conclusion, and if I were a bettin' man, I'd bet that either Rutgers or Pitt take the offer and bury the Big East in the Process.
But just yesterday I get a word that the PAC-10 is thinking of caving and adding two teams and going to a similar system. It makes perfect sense and really would be a step in the right direction for a playoff. So who are the prime players in this?
BYU-Makes sense. Great competition for the conference and regional placement.
Utah-See above. I'd lean BYU but both make sense.
Colorado-A bit of a reach, but still regional, and adding a team that is good but not that great, would help the historic powers.
Texas-Heard this today but I see no scenario where they leave the Big 12.
Teams like Fresno State and Boise State have come up, but the market size is a big factor in this. If I were guessing that if they are serious about this, they go BYU and Colorado.
Ok, so going forward, if Missour and Colorado leave the Big 12 are they doomed? Not a chance. They could then move OU and Ok State to the North, and bring in Arkansas and TCU, making for a Super Conference stronger than any in college football. That's what I am hoping and praying to happen.
Regardless of the final turnout, the odds are both the Big Ten and PAC-10 are 12 teams by the 2012 season, and in all likelyhood the Big East is gone. But if you BCS bashers want your playoff this is progress. And progress is good right?
Last Edited: 12/16/2009