The Big 12 Movie Monster
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The Big XII is the movie monster that, no matter how many times it seemingly meets it’s demise, lives on to torture unsuspecting victims in the sequel. The latest word is that Commissioner Dan Beebe is out and the surviving pieces are talking nice. A seismic shake up in conference realignment doesn’t appear to be on the horizon, although we have once again experienced small tremors with the movement of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and presumably Texas A&M.
My guess is that conference realignment is not done, but the Armageddon predicted by a certain four letter network won’t happen anytime soon. As a mater of fact, if the conferences follow my plan, we could see minimal movement, stability, a college football playoff, and more money for the greedy institutions. Of course this is just a dream. My plan is admittedly biased (for the B1G Ten) but I tried to be realistic as I spent some time in fantasy land.
Let’s start with the conference additions and movement involved in my plan. When it’s all said and done the Big East will cease to exist in the college football world, but will thrive as a basketball conference. That will leave 5 major conferences, each with 14 schools. The ACC, B1G Ten, Big XII, PAC 12, and SEC will absorb the football playing Big East schools. In addition, five schools currently not affiliated with a major conference will join to round out the 70 schools in the Super 5 Conferences -- Notre Dame, BYU, TCU, SMU, and Boise State.
There are only two major shifts of a University moving to a new conference (with the exception of the Big East schools and new comers). One, Texas A&M to the SEC, we already know about. I am confident this move will happen in the near future. The other major shift is me thinking outside the box and I will explain my warped thinking in a moment. Virginia Tech will leave the ACC for the B1G Ten.
“No way that will ever happen“, you say. You’re probably right. “You have lost your mind“, you continue. I’ve known that for some time. Need I remind you that this is my fantasy? If you really want out of the box thinking just wait until I get to the playoff portion of this article. No one saw Nebraska to the B1G Ten before it happened. If I remember correctly, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Missouri were shoe ins for the B1G.
Virginia Tech makes sense in the B1G Ten. In my opinion, the school fits right in with it’s avid fan base and game day atmosphere. I see a football first school, and basketball second. Academically the University is on par with Penn State, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska. The B1G Ten would reach into the Virginia/Washington DC market while adding a top notch research University. The Hokies would join a conference with a football first mentality and unparalleled academic success.
Now that I have many of you shaking your head and screaming obscenities at your computer, lets take a look at the breakdown of the Super 5 Conferences. New members are italicized.
ACC Atlantic: BC, Clemson, FSU, Maryland NC State, UConn, Wake
ACC Coastal: Duke, GT, Miami, UNC, Pitt, Syracuse, UVA
B1G Ten Legends: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame
B1G Ten Leaders: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, purdue, VT, Wisconsin
Big 12 North: BYU, Cincy, Iowa State, Kansas, K State, Missouri, Rutgers
Big 12 South: Baylor, Louisville, Oklahoma, Ok St, SMU, Texas, Texas Tech
Pac 14 North: Boise, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford Washington, Washington St
Pac 14 South: Arizona, ASU, USC, Colorado, Utah, TCU, UCLA
SEC East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vandy, West Virginia
SEC West: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Miss St, Texas A&M, Arkansas
Now that the Conferences are set, lets look at my playoff system that keeps the basic structure of the traditional Bowl System. Under my plan, there is an eight team playoff. When you take into account the Conference Championship games, the playoffs actually consists of 13 teams. Here is how it will work.
The first Saturday in December is known as Championship Saturday. All 5 Super Conferences will hold a Conference Championship game with representatives of their respective divisions. Christmas will come early for college football fans with five meaningful games on the same day . Many will argue that you can’t squeeze that many games into one day. I disagree. It will bring back the glory days when New Years Day football was the holy grail of the sport. Football all day with every game meaning something.
The five conference champions will advance to the playoffs along with three at-large teams. First round games will be played on the third Saturday in December at the home stadium of the top four seeds. Each team will be seeded by a committee (similar to the NCAA basketball committee). The five Conference Champions will be guaranteed seeds 1 through 5 with the at-large selections filling out the field. At-large selections are open to any member institution of the Super 5. It might be the loser of a championship game, or a one or two loss team that did not qualify for their championship game. I have to keep some element of controversy.
The semi-final games will match the winners of round one games. The games will take place in lieu of two Bowl games on January 1. In addition, the four teams that lost in round one will play in two other bowl games that day. The current Bowls can bid on hosting the semi-final, consolation, or the championship game. Those Bowls that are not selected or who choose not to bid, will still be played and match teams that did not qualify for the playoffs. The Bowls will not be harmed. Fans are still going to follow their teams to warm weather cities during the holidays.
The two winners of the semi-final games will face off for the crystal a week later in a true National Championship Title game. I know I’m crazy and this will never happen. But it was fun to dream about.
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