Big 10 Will Expand to 20 eventually – Texas and Oklahoma Will Be Among Them

images[Editor’s note – This was posted as a comment by someone identified as BIG20, and presents an interesting perspective on conference realignment.  What I like best is the writing style that is sort of like listening to a guy talk sports in a bar.  He argues with himself a bit, and although I don’t really agree with too much, the perspective and execution is interesting enough to share.]

If we are talking about BIG expanding to 20 schools, the conceivable targets include: Virginia, UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Vandy, BC, Syracuse, Florida, Iowa State, and UConn. I added some I don’t really believe in to make some people happy. So lets cut it down.

We all know the BIG 3 rules to expanding, contiguous, AAU, and media markets. Let’s add the unspoken considerations of research dollars, large alumni base, cultural fit, avoiding hitting the same market twice, the exceptions of huge football brands, and being Notre Dame. Let’s also consider that the ACC is more likely to stand than the Big 12, and people don’t leave the SEC lightly. Now lets begin cutting down the list.

The AAU schools include: Texas, Virginia, Kansas, UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Missouri, Florida, and Vandy. Well that’s 10 right there! But hold on. Iowa State doubles a market, so its off, Duke and UNC double each other, UNC is preferable so Duke is off. Texas, Florida, and Georgia Tech, aren’t contiguous even considering those others so their off and we are left with five. Virginia, Kansas, UNC, Missouri and Vandy. But would Vandy ever leave the SEC? No… Would Missouri? Yes! Why? its a lateral move, except they can compete easier for now, love the culture match better, and as we’ll see, have closer rivalries than with the SEC.  The trouble seems to be the BIG not giving them an offer.

Would UNC ever leave the ACC?  Odds are against it.  UNC and ACC seem like they’re glued together, and if the Big 12 falls then the ACC won’t, and if the ACC isn’t gonna fall its not gonna give up one of its linchpin members.

Would Virginia leave the ACC? the odds are better there, and if the price is right the BIG could nab anyone they want really, and Virginia’s research dollars and recruit homeland is just what the BIG wants. Would Kansas leave the Big 12?  Yes. But, lets say our list ends with one guarantee and two maybes, Kansas, and then Missouri and Virginia.

Now lets take a look at some of those huge football programs: Clemson, Florida State, Florida, Notre Dame, Texas, and Oklahoma. Clemson has good football now, has new markets, would potentially be contiguous, but doesn’t fit with AAU, or culturally, the odds are against this add.

Once again Florida and Florida State are not contiguous, but hold on. Florida is an AAU, new markets, all things considered there’s a lot to offer, but unless Florida doesn’t like their fit in the SEC anymore, this won’t happen.

Florida State is not AAU, but could be if the effort is put in. Notre Dame has everything BIG wants except the research dollars, the AAU membership, and the new markets, but it is a national brand, and meets one of our exceptions. Would ND join?  Odds are no, not unless the ACC falls or ND is forced into a full membership to sit at the “big kids table” and decides on the BIG over ACC. But here’s the thing, they will be forced to a full membership somewhere, and I believe its a 50/50 shot between BIG and ACC when it comes down to it, so let’s list them as a maybe.

Oklahoma is now contiguous, still doesn’t meet the academics, but is a national brand, would upgrade the football quality and more. Would OK leave the Big 12?  Odds are better than you might think; they know they world is changing and bringing along OK State isn’t possible anymore, the only other rivalry the can’t live without is with Texas, and lets see. With the possible add here Texas is now contiguous! and oh yeah! AAU member, huge media markets, obviously the BIG wants them.

Would Texas leave the BIG 12?  Again, the odds are better than you might think, but lets go with the nay-sayers for a second. Alright fine, Texas won’t leave the Big 12. Well luckily, Texas is the Big 12. And if it means going to a conference which has rivals OU, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri again they might just feel more like home again. I do understand that politics with those other Texas universities cause problems, but politics is run by smart (supposedly) people. And anyone smart knows that times are changing, and that it will come to the point, at sometime, that the state of Texas will LOSE money comparatively if they keep packaging Texas schools together, which no conference will accept. Texas will be allowed to leave, must leave.  Texas won’t be allowed to take the the LHN with them to any new conference, and the BIG will be their best fit. So lets put down OU and Texas as guarantees and ND as a maybe.

Any schools I’ve missed? BC, UConn, and Syracuse. All of three of these schools double up on the NY market the BIG supposedly had a hold on. None of them are AAU, none are huge football schools, they do not seem to be real considerations.  Sure BC adds Boston, sure UConn and Syracuse are good at basketball, but these are all unlikely. Would they leave their respective conferences for the BIG?  Yes, but they won’t get offers. Best shot is UConn, but its not Contiguous, (although the mileage between UConn and Rutgers is far less between many other distances in the current BIG.

It seems we have ended with Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas as sure picks, and Notre Dame, Missouri, and Virginia as maybes. Odd that makes 20.

If some things go different ways, the BIG still will get to 20, and listed are the only schools under consideration. Sure if the ACC is the one that falls, the BIG may go straight down the east coast, or maybe they stand pat at 16 with Kansas and UConn for all I know. I’ve said what I can, but lets be sure of this much, four super conferences are coming, not five. The BIG, SEC and PAC aren’t going anywhere. Notre Dame will have to pick a conference.

Money is key. And Grant of Rights are just exit fees.

44 thoughts on “Big 10 Will Expand to 20 eventually – Texas and Oklahoma Will Be Among Them

  1. Jim Smith

    The Big 10 will never ask Notre Dame to join. Papa Joe had it right. “We gave them a chance.”
    There is already market saturation in their state
    While they maybe a name brand they are like a woman who has had many marriages all of which ended in divorce, and never was she part of the problem. If they were to join they would have to leave the ACC which has the GOR. They left the Big East which is struggling. They dropped Michigan as a competitor after many years of being a partner. No I think the big 10 could go in a different direction, establish a new market and actually have a team that want to be with us then one that has said “No Thanks” many, many times. If I was Jim Delaney I would target Missouri, Kansas possibly Iowa State or UCONN. I would also target/grant North Dakota Affilate status in Hockey. While Iowa would be problematic due to being in an already established market their football is not all that bad and they have played with the big boys.

    If the Big 10 dropped or stopped playing ND in all sports I would be quite happy. Let them(ND) trapse halfway across the country to play a game against some east coast school which they feel is a better fit. Even if the majority of their fans/students can’t attend the event.

    The two (ND/Big10) will never be comforatble with each other and so a happy medium is that they don’t marry each other.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Don’t mistake the GOR as anything but an exit fee. It won’t stop anyone from making a move into the Big Ten.

      1. robert cowgill

        Would not be surprised if Florida State is added as well. Florida has many people from the northeast and midwest who reside there and that could be a good fit for the expansion model. Also, the Seminoles have a solid football brand and their fans are willing to travel. I understand that FSU does not have a great history of compliance but it is a solid school academically (Forbes recently had them at number 33 for public schools and 217 overall). To expand their footprint and take advantage of the market in Florida is something I could see happening, history of compliance may not be an issue as money is the driving force.

  2. James

    This Big 10×2 would be the ultimate conference. Imagine these pods:

    Pod A: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Northwestern, Illinois
    Pod B: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue
    Pod C: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri
    Pod D: Notre Dame, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia

    1. Augustine

      Pod schemes are confusing. If fans have trouble remembering if their football team is in the Legends or Leaders division, think of the confusion when rotating pods every year or two.

      Anyway Notre Dame doesn’t want to join the Big Ten. The above pods make sense because Notre Dame’s pod includes their East Coast fans. But their Big Ten rivals are in another pod, and they would only play the teams 2 times every 6 years, and in the same year! The above pods keep existing Big Ten rivalries, but forget historical rivalries like Nebraska and Oklahoma, and Missouri and Kansas.

      Same for Virginia. The Beltway Brawl would be a great rivaly for the Big Ten. Virginia is a great school and everything. With a small undergraduate enrollment but large endowment, Virginia founded by Tom Jefferson is more like the University of Pennsylvania founded by Benjamin Franklin than the Pennsylvania State University.

      But the other 4 schools would be great additions to the Big Ten. There could be 3 divisions for football:

      Division A: Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois
      Division B: Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland
      Division C: Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue

      Schools play 2 schools of the other 2 divisions for 9 conference games. The first 2 divisions are stronger, but there could be a semi-final playoff, including wild-card team. Imagine how much $$$ adds up!

      1. kentsterling Post author

        That would certainly be preferable for Indiana. Division C would be a hell of a lot more fun to play in that what is going to be launched next year.

      2. Scott

        Now you’re thinking. Three divisions is much better, IMO, than smaller pods. That being said, 21 would work just as well with 3 divisions of 7. I actually think Missouri is off the table and would suggest the following:


        Ohio State
        Michigan State

        Penn State
        Virginia Tech
        Notre Dame
        North Carolina

        I’ve thrown Notre Dame in simply because…I don’t think they’ll join but in this scenario they play up and down the east coast, which they seem to want. While Virginia Tech is a stretch I think they could fit and provide some football punch to a fairly weak eastern division. Feel free to dump VT and ND and replace with Georgia Tech and FSU.

        Play 10 conference games as 2 (or three, which I think may be coming anyway) non-conference and you are guaranteed to play every school in the conference at least once very four years.

        Division winners and team with highest ranking play conference semifinals and then championship for spot in national playoff…

    2. Aloysius

      An advantage of 7-school divisions for football is that each school can have 3 home and 3 away games for their division games. This advantage is lost when having 3 divisions of 6 schools each. Furthermore, non-division games would comprise 44% of a school’s conference schedule, and also be important for determining the wild-card school.

      How then to fairly schedule the 3/2 home/away division games with the 2/2 home/away non-division games for 3×6 school divisions?

      One way would be to seed the schools for each division and then schedule the same amount of home and away games for the top 3 seeded schools. Each of these schools would then pair with the bottom 3 schools for the non-division games. In this way each school could have 1 home game and 1 away game for each of the top 3 seeded schools of the other divisions for its non-division games.

      In this way, fairness is less of a problem for those years when the bottom 3 seeded schools each have 3 home and 2 away games for their division games. However, it becomes more unfair for the other years, for example when Michigan State would have only 2 home games in their division, while Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State each would have 3 home games.

  3. daniel

    According to Frank Glass the Big Ten isn’t discussing any new partnerships at this time. He also says that 16 institutions is the sweet spot. So…. two more institutions. Either two from the east or two from the midwest. He also said that the schools should have a successful broadbased athletics brand. One more note was that contiguity was preferrable but not necessary.

    There are only eight schools that meet the criteria: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech and Florida State. To mention any other scool is to ignore the Big Ten’s desire to be associated with high accedemic and research oriented schools. Oklahoma and Florida State are exceptions because of the huge football brands they have.

    1. OP

      I like what the guy above said about 3 divisions with a wild card, that’s the first time 3 pods sounded good, and it seperates rivalries better. Sad you got rid of notes dame and Virginia, but it fits better with the idea of only the big 12 collapsing. Yes lots of money indeed. Division c would be fair, but I Doubt would ever send a wildcard school.

      To the more recent guy, I like what drank the tank rights too, but if your just gonna repeat what he says, post the link and be off. He says good things, but the cards can fall in a million different ways, as much as I don’t like it, GT could be taken with not contiguous states along with some other random school, who knows. Personally I feel like we can take duke off the list. The BIG knows it needs high quality football to counteract the Maryland Rutgers move, Kansas along with those other schools makes sense, duke coming along with anyone other than Florida state would be a seen as a weak move, and that would be two noncontiguous states. I still think the BIG, and maybe another conference goes past 16 before the end. Waiting for everything is the tough part! We know we past wait for law suits to end before it picks up again, and we know two schools will be official before 2017.

      1. daniel

        I meant to say Fred Glass – AD at IU. But no, I’m not quoting drank the tank. I was extrapolating based on Fred Glasses coomments.

        He actually is the first insider to say that the ADs are the ones sending the presidents the recommendations. Everyone else so far has been saying it was being driven by the presidents. When he says that 16 is a sweet spot I don’t think heans stopping point kust that 16 is ideal. Which one could take to mean that expansion isnt finished but unlikely to go beyond 16.

        1. daniel

          It’s only my opinion. Feel free to disagree. Negativity doesn’t change my opinion. And Grank the Tank does actually “write” some interesting points and he hasn’t once claimed to have insider information. He is only “writing” his opinion.

    2. Joyce

      Indeed! IU AD Fred Glass hits the sweet spot with a 16-school Big Ten football conference.

      A disadvantage of a Big 10×2 conference is that 4×5 school pods should rotate every year, otherwise student-athletes would not play 5 conference schools during a 4-year scholarship. Such every-year rotation may also frustrate fans and affect conference cohesion.

      For 3×6 school divisions, only the cross-division schools need to rotate every year to allow student-athletes to play all conference schools at least once during a 4-year period. This is less confusing but balancing home/away schedules for cross-division games would cause unfair home/away division games for the bottom seeded schools every other year, or 50% of the time until infinity.

      For 4×4 school pods, the top 4 seeded schools of the West Division could form one pod, and the top 4 seeded schools of the East Division could form another pod. Then the 2 pods of the bottom 4 seeded schools of each division could rotate between the 2 top seeded pods. This is similar as the quadrant divisions of the WAC super-conference of the late 1990’s. Unfortunately, these rotating WAC quadrant divisions lasted as long as the Legends/Leaders divisions before ending in the dustbin of history.

      For these and other reasons, 2×8 school divisions is possibly the sweetest spot for a 16-school Big Ten football conference.

      For example, consider the “grand slam” addition of Texas and Oklahoma to the West Division, with Purdue moving to the East Division, as hypothetical example.

      An example cross-division schedule for 9 conference games could then be the following:

      For Year 1, cross-division games of the West Division schools, accordingly:

      Texas : / Ohio State @Indiana
      Minnesota : / Purdue @Penn State
      Oklahoma : / Michigan @Maryland
      Iowa : / Rutgers @Mich State
      Illinois : / Indiana @Ohio State
      Nebraska : / Penn State @Purdue
      Northwestern : / Maryland @Michigan
      Wisconsin : / Mich State @Rutgers

      For Year 1, cross-division games of the East Division schools, respectively:

      Ohio State : @Texas / Illinois
      Purdue : @Minnesota / Nebraska
      Michigan : @Oklahoma / Northwestern
      Rutgers : @Iowa / Wisconsin
      Indiana : @Illinois / Texas
      Penn State : @Nebraska / Minnesota
      Maryland : @Northwestern / Oklahoma
      Mich State : @Wisconsin / Iowa

      For Year 2, the cross-division games of the West Division could be scheduled by shifting the schools in the left-side column upward one cell, with the school in the top cell moving to the bottom cell. For the East Division, the schools in the left-side column would then shift downward one cell, with the school in the bottom cell moving to the top cell.

      For this example cross-division schedule, there would be home/away imbalances during a particular year for the cross-division games. However, such imbalances would reverse after 4 years, so that the net effect for any 8-year period is zero.

      For example, in Year 1, Texas and Oklahoma are both at home to Ohio State and Michigan, but in Year 5 this reverses with both Texas and Oklahoma away to Ohio State and Michigan. In Year 3, Texas is away to Michigan while Oklahoma is home to Ohio Sate, but in Year 7 this reverses with Texas home to Michigan and Oklahoma away to Ohio State.

      For this example schedule, the scheduling pattern also harmonizes with future Big Ten schedules for the 4-year 2016-19 football seasons.

  4. daniel

    I’m also not saying that all of those schools would become members. Only identifying who I think are the only likely candidates of which the two remaining member spots would come from. I include duke because it would satisfy the egg head presidents as far as academics are concerned, not to mention the basketball brand. I also think it’s going to very very difficult to go farther south without them because North Carolina and Duke absolutely don’t want to be separated. I don’t think the Big Ten would add such far flung schools and put them on an island. They’re not going to be giving every new member a 30 million dollar travel subsidy like they gave Maryland. Think WV like being alone on the east coast?

  5. Ryan

    Honestly, although I think the window of opportunity for Pittsburgh has passed, I feel like the author should have at least considered them. Decent football, good basketball, good at other sports, AAU, neighbor of Carnegie Melon, play at Heinz field, contiguous, etc.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Pittsburgh has already moved conferences, so my assumption is that the Big Ten passed. Pitt is a very solid candidate on many levels. Not sure why the Big Ten moved on without them, but they did.

    2. Pauly Balst

      Big Ten has Penn State and no desire for two teams overlapping in the same state. Penn State has a near veto power, like Florida, who will never ever allow FSU or Miami to join the SEC. Texas A&M totally pantsed Texas by joining the SEC, so Texas will join the Big Ten eventually. It’s all about Comcast and TV sets. Butts in seats are mere TV props.

      Big Ten turning up their nose at Mizzou is a little more puzzling in hindsight, you’d think they’d bring the St Louis and KC markets, AAU and geography. Delaney has a plan, and it includes Texas.

      1. kentsterling Post author

        St. Louis is a weak Mizzou market. They have a haughty attitude in Columbia, and I’m not sure the rest of the administrators would have found their hubris enjoyable.

        Pitt was a nice fit with research money, academics, and reasonable athletic success.

        Not sure who bequeathed near veto power to the member seated 11th in seniority.

  6. mbradleyc

    When the Big Ten was founded, schools like Northwestern and Chicago made sense. But they quickly became a land grant university conference and I don’t believe they will ever take in a school that is not LG. City schools like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati need not apply.

    Missouri would have made sense, but I like the eastern focus. That’s where the money is, not merely in sports but in research funding. I originally expected them to go after West Virginia along with Rutgers and was pleasantly surprised by Maryland.

    I don’t see them expanding beyond 16. so for the two remaining spots, there really aren’t many options. Southern schools simply do not fit with northern schools. That can’t work. I have lived in both Virginia and Texas and there is no way they will ever join the Big Ten. The ACC is trying to establish a coastal mindset rather than north and south. That may work, but what do Pittsburgh and Clemson have in common?

    I was thinking that Kansas would be a good choice, but more and more I think they like their situation the same way that Kentucky has with the SEC. They may suck at football, but they both are the big dogs in basketball in their conferences, so I don’t see them moving. I do believe the Big 12 will remain a strong conference. Texas is already getting their comeuppance.

    So now I think the B1G should go after UCONN and UMASS. Neither are AAU, but maybe joining the conference can be the catalyst they need to complete their acceptance. They are strong, well established universities. They would solidify the Northeast and New England for the B1G territory and they would also strengthen the conference in basketball in the face of the ACC’s new lineup. Also, neither school has a Grant of Rights to worry about.

    I was right about Nebraska back when people were all about Notre Dame. I think I will be right this time too.

    1. mbradleyc

      That would allow Michigan State to join the west division and renew their rivalry with Wisconsin, which has been some of the best football in the conference in recent years.

    2. kentsterling Post author

      UConn begged for an invitation. If the Big Ten wants them, all it will take is a phone call from Jim Delany to Susan Herbst.

    3. Wax

      UConn and UMass WILL NEVER BE APART OF THE B1G. Congrats on being right once but in no way shape or form do they fit. Y dont we add Toledo and Bowling Green while we’re at it

      1. mbradleyc

        Notre Dame will go back to the Big East. It is perfect for them. Like-minded schools in all other sports. but football independence forever. They may try an associate deal with the B1G in hockey, though.

        Texas will never join the B1G. If you knew Texans, you would know that is quite impossible. The Big 12ish will stay in business and that is where they will always be.

        1. kentsterling Post author

          The Big 12 has no chance to exist long term as long as the Longhorn Network generates millions and millions for Texas. Without a level playing field, the other schools will continue to bolt and be replaced by lesser schools.

          1. cfreeze

            You are absolutely right. The motivations that caused Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Texas AM to leave are still there. In the Big 12 it is Texas and everybody else. At the very least, OU will not live with that forever.

  7. Patrick

    This is like watching your out of town friend pick out a girl at the bars. Sure Tiffany may be insanely attractive and probably a lot of fun in bed, but then you wake up in the morning and find out you now have joint bank accounts and she’s already “found” your grandmothers wedding dress.

    If Texas wanted to be reasonable and not politically dominate it’s conference the Big 12 would still have 12 schools.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      The Big 12 might see some more erosion. The choice for Texas might be independent vs. Big Ten vs. Pac-12.

      1. Patrick

        Quite true, though with the grant of rights in place it would take a major event to change the Big 12 in the immediate future.

        Academically I think Pac-12 and B1G appeal to Texas but they’re certainly capable of being independent.

        1. kentsterling Post author

          Grant of rights agreements are nothing more than an easily negotiated buyout. Don’t let the existence of those contracts convince you of stability.

          1. Patrick

            I’m no contract lawyer, but the loss of tier 1 and 2 media rights seems a little too expensive to leave. Obviously I don’t discount a school negotiating a way out, but it seems the situation needs to deteriorate much more before that becomes a legitimate option.

          2. kentsterling Post author

            You are right, but things can go downhill in a hurry. Would not surprise if the Big 12 looks very different by the end of the decade.

          3. cfreeze

            Contracts are only as good as the people involved in them. If Texas finds it attractive to leave the Big 12, and ESPN and all the other interested parties like it also, it could happen.

  8. Wax

    I believe the buck stops at 16 or 18. Everyone will be stuck at 14 until tv contracts expire down the line. The B1G going to 18 should add Texas Oklahoma make one more push for Notre Dame in an offer they likely wont refuse. Notre Dame need rivals to be impressive and bringing their rival Oklahoma to a conference where they already have Michigan MSU and Purdue will entice them.
    ND can keep their USC and Oklahoma rivalries and possibly add another in the Florida region like Miami and can still fit another ooc matchup in a nine game league schedule in the B1G.
    However if ND still refuses which I doubt Mizzou will come in from the SEC. Mizzou dont bring much to the B1G. I would love to see a St. Louis classic between Mizzou and Illinois at Edward Jones Dome every year.
    Them are my 4 teams but if any of them don’t want B1G money thrown at them offer it to a school like Kansas. Not really a football move but it does add the state of Kansas tv markets and a powerhouse basketball team. I also fully expect Kansas to improve recruiting in a conference like the B1G. Texas recruits will want to stay close to home and Texas and Oklahome only have 85 scholarships a piece. This past year the state of Texas had over 500 incoming recruits.

    I am also waiting to see the result of the ACC division proposal which will be decided in May which puts the top 2 teams in a conference against each other in the championship game and ends divisions. Each team will have a set amount of permenant rivals and rotate the remaining teams. I believe that will be a prerequisite for Notre Dame to enter because there won’t be a division that incluse Michigan and Oklahoma. Rivalries will look something like this keeping majority of B1G trophy games.
    Mary. PSU. Rut. OSU. Ind
    Rut. PSU. Mary. MSU. Pur
    PSU. OSU. Rut. Mary. ND
    OSU. Mich. PSU. IL. Mary
    Mich. MSU. OSU. ND. Minn
    MSU. Mich. Ind. Rut. Wis
    Ind. Pur. MSU. Mary. NW
    Pur. ND. Ind. Rut. IL
    ND. OU. Pur. Mich. PSU
    IL. NW. OSU. Mizz. Pur
    NW. IL. Wis. Neb. Ind
    Wis. Minn. NW. MSU. Tex
    Minn. Wis. Mich. Iowa. OU
    Iowa. Tex. Minn. Neb. Mizz
    Mizz. Tex. Neb. IL. Iowa
    Neb. OU. Mizz. NW. Iowa
    OU. ND. Neb. Tex. Minn
    Tex. OU. Mizz. Iowa. Wis

  9. David

    Okay. There are some more AAU schools that you have missed. Half of the PAC 12 are AAU, but Colorado would be closer fit.

    Cal.-Davis is an AAU school.

    Buffalo is another one.

    Stony Brook is also another one.

    One point to ask the question would be do people in New York state really cares about Rutgers? Now, add Stony Brook, and you could have a rivalry game between them and Rutgers.

    The other AAU schools are in D2 and D3.

  10. Bill

    I’d love to see B1G expansion to 20 as the OP speculates, but that would require Texas to admit that it’s not strong enough to hold the Big 12 together. I don’t know if that’s even possible for Texas to do.

    Instead, I think eventually Texas, Notre Dame and maybe Florida State put together a proposal to basically merge the Big 12 with the ACC and create a new conference. Right now the two conferences have 24 teams, 25 if you assume ND becomes a full member. The new conference would need to find an acceptable home for 5 schools, but that would be relatively easy to do.

    The PAC might take some combination of Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State or Kansas State to pair with Colorado and Utah. The SEC would love to pick up Virginia Tech and NC State and would probably take Oklahoma State and Kansas State as rivals for Missouri. The Big 10 would take Kansas and Virginia or Virginia Tech and, if no better candidates were available to get to a round number, maybe Syracuse.

    Heck, since it doesn’t take a unanimous vote to dissolve the Big 12 (8 of 10) or ACC (11 of 14, I think), they could even just drop a weak school or two, like Wake Forest or TCU, and ease the pain with a little cash and a promise of out of conference scheduling arrangements for 10 years.

    If that happens, the B1G and SEC wind up settling for teams that are farther down on their wish list in order to even get to 16.

  11. mbradleyc

    So I’ve had a revelation. I just don’t see the ACC being viable with all those distinct cultures and schools. I also think the American conference is what the Big East football schools were trying to get to in the first place. I could explain further, but this is going to be a big post as it is. In this version topping at 14 teams I have no changes to the Big Ten and SEC as they are now, although I have some ideas about that too. So this is what I have come up with:



    BIG 12




    PAC 12




    I have a lot more ideas about this, but space is limited and I don’t have the patience to place them side by side. It looks a lot better that way though.

    1. mbradleyc

      Oh yeah, I stopped at 12 with the ACC and Big 12, although I could come up with schools for them too that would make sense. I just didn’t see the need.

      The Big East is 12 but that doesn’t matter.

      1. Mk

        I feel like there’s no need to mention AAU schools in the PAC 12 when discussing big ten expansion. The PAC and the big ten are not gonna lose members, I doubt the SEC would either. I also feel like trying to come up with scenarios where Notre dame Florida state and Texas work together are over our head, or putting Louisville into any conference out of the acc doesn’t really make sense. Or putting south and central Florida into the acc who already has two Florida schools, I doubt they go to four, maybe three but not four.

        If super conferences become a thing I believe we are gonna have somewhere between 64 and 80 schools in 4(5?) conferences. If I consider all the schools currently in a major conference are shoe ins, then I feel like the list of viable schools is about 15: Connecticut, Cincinnati, Memphis, UCF, Houston, SMU, USF, navy, army, Air Force, Notre dame, Colorado state, New Mexico, Nevada, Boise state, and San Diego state. Sure you could add or change a couple.

        I feel like one of the more interesting questions is, which of these schools find their way into a major conference?

  12. William

    Texas and Oklahoma are the Big 12. Just like UNC and Duke are the ACC. The rest of the Big 12 is game for poaching but the only attractive gets are Kansas because of basketball and AAU and possibly WVU one day but they have to get their academic profile raised. OU and Okie State are mandated by state government to be in the same conference so splitting them up is going to be impossible. I don’t think this same situation exists with KU and KSU.

    The B1G getting KU and Mizzou is a possibility but Mizzou would have to think long and hard about leaving the cash cow of the SEC. But that does balance the B1G into two geographically correct divisions. The SEC can then get one to three new members but that will be expensive.

    Expansion is probably dead for 10 years anyway because of GOR. Then the landscape will have changed again so all bets are off.

      1. William

        The GORs have ostensibly locked in the programs of four of the five power conferences until their respective expiration dates. The SEC does not have GOR in place, or an exit cost penalty.

        As the expiration dates get closer, then the jockeying for a better deal in another conference will commence. Or a re-upping of GORs and an increase in exit cost penalty for leaving.

        The kicker is going to be the value of SEC and Big Ten membership based on annual payouts, vs. the payouts in the ACC and Big 12, in about eight to ten years.


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