NCAA Football Super Conference Teams Projections & Realignments

September 19th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Projected Super Conferences Teams List & Team Realignments Can Be Found Below

Last season, college conference realignments really shook the landscape of college football as we know it. Now, the Boise State Broncos are in the Mountain West, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are in the Big 10, the Big 10 has 12 teams, and the Big 12 has 10 teams… not to mention that the artists formerly known as the Pac-10 are now known as the Pac-10 after taking the Colorado Buffaloes and Utah Utes. However, conference expansion certainly isn’t done yet, as there are shockwaves that are already rumbling across the country about how conference realignment might pan out.

Here’s what we already know: Next year, the ACC is going to have at least 14 teams in it. The Syracuse Orange and the Pittsburgh Panthers are heading to the ACC to make that conference have 14 teams. It is likely that the ACC is going to be looking for two more teams to add into the fold for an even 16.

We also know that the Big East is at least getting one team back in the TCU Horned Frogs, who made the commitment last year to jump from the Mountain West to the Big East once this athletic year is over.

The Texas A&M Aggies are trying to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, and though the SEC has openly welcomed the Aggies with open arms, there are still schools in the Big 12 like Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor that are trying to block the move. Odds have it, they won’t be successful, and in 2012, A&M will be in the SEC.

The question for the SEC though, is who the 14th team is going to be. There are some thoughts that perhaps TCU could go back on its word to the Big East and try to head to the SEC, but the West Virginia Mountaineers are trying to make the move as well. If this happens, it is clear that the Big East is just a dead conference waiting to be partitioned the rest of the way.

To make matters worse for the Big East, the ACC is also reportedly in pursuit of the Connecticut Huskies and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for their Super Conference. This would round out the conference at 16 teams and would likely lock in the conference for the foreseeable future without any further expansion or departure… or does it???

The new realigned SEC Coference would have 14 teams with the additions of Texas A&M and West Virginia, and it would need two more schools. You just know that there won’t be small, unproven schools coming to the SEC, so the conference will do all that it can to poach from a bigger conference. Remember how the ACC thought it was set? Not so fast. Don’t be shocked if Florida State and Clemson headed to their instate rivals Florida and South Carolina and joins the SEC.

And that would leave the ACC with two open slots again to fill…

And that’s only the half of it. The Pac-12 is in talks with the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners about coming to their conference, and if that happens, the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders will almost certainly be on the move to make that conference the Pac-16 as well.

That being said, the Big 12 would only be left with Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas, and Missouri. Kansas State and Kansas seem to be a package deal, and they could be headed to the Big 10, and that is the preferred conference for the Tigers as well. Iowa State and Baylor would be hung out to dry and might have to join lesser conferences. The 16th team for the Big 10? You’d like to think since this is probably going to ultimately signal the dawn of a college football playoff down the line, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are probably going to have to join, and this is the conference that makes the most sense.

And if you’re keeping score at home, the Big East could only be left with TCU, South Florida, Cincinnati, and Louisville, with the prospects of Villanova joining the FBS ranks for football in the coming years.

So let’s go back to the ACC, which has two slots to fill. Louisville and Cincinnati make relatively close travel partners, and the conference location does fit those schools, and though really any of the holdovers, or the possibility of South Florida and UCF coming into the ACC together exists, we tend to think that it would be the Bearcats and the Cardinals that enter into the ACC.

Thus, the dawn of the college football super conferences that we’ve been hearing all about… And right now, this is what we really could end up seeing when this alignment is said and done…

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Proposed College Football Realignment & New Super Conferences
(College Footall Teams in Italics Designate New Teams Entering Conferences)

ACC “Super Conference”: Wake Forest, Maryland, NC State, Boston College, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Miami, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Louisville

Pac-16 “Super Conference” (the old Pac 10): California, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, USC, Arizona State, UCLA, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech

Big 10 “Super Conference”: Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri

SEC “Super Conference”: Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Florida State, Clemson

Still, that leaves a lot of questions to be answered… Baylor, TCU, South Florida, and Iowa State all wouldn’t have places to go, though they could all come together in Conference USA. BYU is another team that is basically left out in the cold for all of this, and save for going to the WAC and hoping that eventually the WAC and the MWC combine, it could end up as an independent for the foreseeable future without a conference, and potentially without a spot in college football’s prospective playoff.

And then of course, there’s Boise State, the team that thought it was going to a conference in the MWC that could have been a powerhouse… until BYU opted for independence, TCU left for the Big East (or did they???), and Utah went to the Pac-12. There are going to be very, very unhappy teams in all of this, and in all likelihood, these are going to be the unhappy campers that are left out of the super conferences of college football.

The other question is what is left to do with the rest of the Big East Conference in basketball. Teams like Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, and Villanova could be headed to the Atlantic 10, while that conference might have to eliminate some of its members at the bottom of the totem poll to try to get all of these teams under the same conference umbrella.


Posted in College Football, NCAA Basketball on Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 6:35 pm (EST)
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