A developing situation that continues to become more tangled, the college football landscape may drastically change in the coming weeks.
Amidst rumors that Missouri and Nebraska will defect from the Big-12 and move to the Big Ten, technically making it the Big 13, it seems that one of college football’s strongest conferences may fall apart. If the dominos fall as reported six additional Big 12 teams will be offered membership in the PAC-10, making that the PAC-16 (isn’t this fun?). According to the ESPN article (linked), Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech will have the opportunity to join the PAC-10. All of this will break up the second most powerful conference in college football. The Big-12 has been the only conference to challenge the SEC for dominance in Division 1-A (Football Bowl Subdivision) in recent years. Now, this powerhouse may dissolve.
However, with the addition of the six rumored schools, the PAC-10 will become an ultra-powerhouse with so many strong teams in their stable. The PAC-10 would then boast Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State – plus the six new members. This new alignment could seriously kill USC if the rumored sanctions comes down on the perennial powerhouse.
The remaining schools from the Big-12 will be Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State. Kansas and KSU are really the only two schools that would be attractive to mid-major conferences, that includes the Big East in my book. But, in the time immediately after the transfer these teams would be homeless. I think adding Kansas and Kansas State would seriously boost the Big East’s rep, while the Big Ten would be wise to extend an additional invite to Iowa State. An annual conference battle between Iowa and Iowa State, that could potentially lead to a championship game berth, would be excellent for the Big Ten.
Of course, the Big Ten would still remain overrated, in my book. In fact, I surprised that the Big-12 wouldn’t shove Nebraska and Mizzou out the door and remain stronger as a whole with the likes of Texas and Oklahoma still sticking around. Because, it remains to be seen if the Huskers are for real, or a one year hiccup.
For my money, the ultra-conference created by the new teams in the PAC-10 would seriously challenge the SEC for supremacy, I’m hoping the realignment goes through, quickly.