The Pac-12 is Here!
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags:
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This is a repost . I wrote this article after the bowl games, but the discussion on the matter has heated up once again headng into this season....A Mountain West Conference team laid a convincing defeat on a traditional SEC power in the Sugar Bowl, and now talks have swirled once again about the post-season of college football and the way it is set up. Up until a few years ago, it was pretty much a given that the national champion of college football must come from one of the six BCS conferences, or Notre Dame (Yes, I know, BYU won it all in '84). Now though, after Utah and Boise State have defeated two of college football's heavyweights in Alabama and Oklahoma, respectively, in BCS games in the last few seasons, the talks are hotter than ever about how to get these mid-majors a realistic chance to bring home the crystal football. One idea: Expand the two teams into the Pac-10 to create the Pac-12.
These mid-major teams, such as Boise State from the Western Athletic Conference, and Utah from the Mountain West Conference, have opened the door to serious discussion on whether or not college football has a legit post-season in place. Fans from the major conferences laugh at this notion, saying things just "are what they are" and if these teams played "real schedules" then we wouldn't be having this discussion. To me, that is turning a head to a problem - that problem being that these fans know deep inside that a few of these mid-major teams can flat out play ball and that it is easier to assume things than to actually prove superiority on the field.
Georgia beat Hawaii last year pretty badly in the 2008 Sugar Bowl. Fair enough. But Utah and Boise State straight-up won their BCS games fair-and-square in 2006 and 2009 hands down, no questions asked. These were two games in which the "big-name" school had a month to get ready and yet lost. These were two games which were high profile, where the "big-name" school would settle this "mid-major thing" once and for all and yet still lost. These were two games where BSU and Utah "will be shown how to play big-boy football" and yet they not only were competitive, but they won.
I am not saying that Boise State and Utah are two programs that are beginning to stake claim as two of the top college football programs of all-time. But to ignore the fact that these two teams can play football on the same field with any team in America needs to stop. These two programs, more than any other two non-majors, have proven they can play and beat the big-boys, and they deserve better. Yes, it is yet to be seen if these teams could hold up the same under a schedule that would include at least 8 or 9 major conference oppponents rather than 4 or 5. But my guess is that they would, and that they would win a high percentage of those games, as well.
So, with all of this said, I have a proposal for Utah, Boise State, and the Pac-10 conference: Team up and create the Pac-12.
It only makes sense, really. The Pac-10 needs two more teams to form a super-conference such as the Big-12, SEC and ACC. And Utah and BSU need a chance to compete at the top level, week in and week out. The 12-team conference has proven to be a success for the conferences that have opted for the two-division set up, and I see no reason it can't work for the Pac-10. Let's face it, if this happened, the league would be considered upgraded from a national perspective.
The Pac-12 would work geographically, it would work on the field, and it would work in the stands. And here is how it would work:
The conference would be split into two divisions, the North and the South, for geopgraphical purposes. Also, by luck, the football would be quite balanced this way, as well.
Possible sites for the league championship game: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle...
There will be people who will read this and say there is no way that this idea could or should ever happen. But when the ACC went to expansion after 2004, many in the first talks thought the teams coming in would be Syracuse, Miami and West Virginia. As it turns out, the three teams ended up being Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami. Things can change in talks, and that is why the talks on this need to begin. Some in the Pac-10 probably oppose expansion, but there are most certainly some that do not. The same could probably be said amongst the brass at BSU and Utah - some would be open to it, others would not. But if the talks got going, who knows what could unfold.
In conclusion, I do feel that Utah has a legit argument to be the number 1 team in America. They beat the same Alabama team that Florida did by more points just a few weeks apart. And to those of you that say Alabama didn't have their heart or head in that game, then my only response is that it is nobody's fault but Alabama's. If you didn't want to get beat by Utah on national TV, then play better. Alabama was number 1 for 7 weeks, and Utah beat them fair and square to go undefeated. Yes, they have an argument at number 1, and it is truly a shame we didn't see Florida play another game - not against Southern Cal or Texas, but against Utah.
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