NCAA Roundtable: Thoughts on the Conference Re-Shuffling

With all of the changes that have or will be coming to the NCAA, a few of the writers have their own opinions on what will happen…

Daniels: I don’t follow college football much, but it seems like 4 super conferences on the way to a 4-team playoff is the ultimate, money-printing machine goal?

Em: Both The Pac-10 & Big Ten have realized the folly of not having a conference championship where it counts most: their wallets. The Big East just doesn’t have the cache-exluding basketball-to attract major programs. As for the next moves, ND will move to The Big Ten. Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, & Colorado will move to The Pac-10. TCU, Houston, SMU, will move to The Big-12. Possible candidates to round out The Big-12 are: Utah, UTEP(University of Texas El Paso), Colorado State, and longshots Arkansas and Rice.

Trent: Notre Dame will be hard pressed to move because they love that Independent tag (not to mention the NBC sweetheart contract) but if more persistent rumors become reality (the Big East implosion that could occur) the Irish might not have a leg to stand on.

The bigger problem for ND is not so much the fact that the rest of the sports they offer couldn’t get by in a different conference. The problem may become that with these super alignments that teams will be stuck playing with in the conference to the extent that the Irish lose the ability to work out agreements with teams they otherwise would schedule. Squads like USC, Michigan (and State) and Purdue, depending on the arrangement, might have to remove ND from the schedule in order to accommodate their new “conference” opponents. That plays against the Irish because NBC expects to have drawing power teams across from the Golden Domers, so losing someone like USC suddenly makes NBC cringe because ratings won’t be as high. They could be forced into a corner where NBC will cut ties early but also not be admitted into a major player conference and then ousted from the BCS (which I think is two years from extinction unless they change a lot of things).

The Big XII is screwed. When Texas decides to leave, it is done and dusted because Texas is the money maker ($188 million last year alone) and without the Longhorns the Big XII has nothing. The big winner here might be the Mountain West because Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor have to go somewhere. They could drag in Boise State finally and make themselves a prominent member in the BCS picture (assuming that Baylor holds itself together and Kansas gets back to winning).

Should the Big Ten raid the Big East for Rutgers, Pitt and possibly Syracuse, it would not surprise me if the ACC gobbles up West Virginia, Louisville, UConn and Cinncinatti and pushes the Big East out of contention. Yes, the Big East gets most of its rep for being a “basketball conference” but if you pull those three suddenly you’re playing at half strength and that can’t be sustained. Outside of South Florida, the rest of the league doesn’t have enough of a football pull to resist this kind of change and will desolve without much option.

All this said, there will need to be some sort of indication from the Big Ten about their intended targets to incorporate. If they leave the Big East alone they could consievably resist for some time. What remains to be seen is how much chaos is caused once Texas leaves for the new West Coast 16.

Joseph: First off, all of the major conferences have been nothing more than a giant melting pot to trade money amongst for years. Why do you think only certain conferences get big bowl bids, while a team like Boise State, who had a great season, a really good team, and a good program, gets left out in the cold?

Good question, easy answer: no major conference backing. In my eyes, this is simply shrinking the size of the pot.

Now, as far as conference implications go, I don’t think Notre Dame will go anywhere. With that big NBC contract, they’d risk losing it if they actually joined a conference, which in turn loses the school exposure AND money. As a Michigan fan (and ironically, a Rich Rodriguez HATER), I would personally find it interesting to see Notre Dame join the Big Ten, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

From what I understand, and being an ex-Louisville student (now going to Murray State, an OVC team, hence my “melting pot” rant), the Big East is more known for their basketball programs. The only real impact that would be caused is if Pitt left the Big East, and I feel that this would not even compare as a ripple in the water when one looks at the moves already done, such as the Colorado and Nebraska moves.

I agree that the Big XII is pretty much dead in the water if Texas were to leave, as that is indeed their moneymaker. The main team that I could see benefiting from any of this could be Boise State. If they are invited to a conference of note, they could FINALLY get that elusive bowl bid.

All in all, like I said, it just seems more to me that it’s a matter of reducing how many possibilities there can be for bowl bids.

Just one man’s opinion…

Mark: Personally, I think the Big 12 is doomed unless Texas and Oklahoma stay, and if Oklahoma State leaves for the Pac 10, OU will follow shortly thereafter.

Arkansas will never leave the SEC as long as the Board of Regents for the University is dominated by people not from the Fayetteville area. There are too many on the board who see LSU, Tennessee, Mississippi and Miss. State as their rivals because of being from the Southern part of the state. If the board ever ends up dominates by those from the NW corner of the state, they would have been more than happy to be in a conference with MU, OSU, OU, KU, and Nebraska, in short the old Big 8. Close natural rivals and easier drives for the students.

Yes, it is a mess. Maybe MU, KU, K-State, and Iowa State, plus Baylor, find some willing partners and create their own league. Maybe TCU, SMU, Houston, Louisville, Cincinnatti, Northern Illinois, and Tulsa look to form a conference with the Big 12 remmants. Maybe Texas and OU decide to not jump to the Pac 10. Maybe the Big 10 takes them and A & M jumps to the SEC. Tech might stick with Baylor and stick with MU and the bunch. In short, who the hell knows what will happen over the summer. It will be one amazingly wild ride probably.

Eugene: New rumors show Texas to the Big 10, which I don’t buy; Texas has too much to lose there. Only 1 source has it, and many others have shot it down.

Today should be a big day on conference news.

Joseph: Texas to the Big 10? That’s a pipe dream! It would make for some interesting scheduling, but it won’t happen…they’re getting too much coverage in the Big XII.

Eugene: I’m a Mizzou fan, so I want them in the Big 10 and Texas to go to the Pac-10. It makes more sense that way.

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