Numerous sources are reporting this morning that Nebraska is jumping from the Big 12 to the Big 10. (Nigel Tufnel: “Why do that? The Big 12 is two bigger!”) So now the Big 10 will have 12 members, and the Big 12 will have 11. Assuming, of course, that six of them don’t go off to the Pac-10, which would make it the PAC-16.
Of course the move is all about money. (Though I wonder how much having the Longhorns own the Cornhuskers in football contributed to the decision. Going back through the records, I was surprised to see that Nebraska has beaten Texas at football only once throughout the entire existence of the Big 12, and even that year (1999) they were only .500 against the Longhorns, having lost to them in the conference schedule before beating them in the Big 12 Championship game.)
But if it’s is all about money, why stop there? Every conference has its Little Sisters of the Poor for marquee programs to beat up on every year, be it Baylor or Vanderbilt. Why not create a real national power conference, consisting of all football powerhouses? Call it SuperConference America. (I was thinking about SuperConference USA, but that’s too close to Conference USA, about which there’s nothing super, and it’s best not to tarnish the brand before you’re even out of the gate.)
An eight team conference would look like this:
Every team there has a huge following and a strong football tradition, and every team there except Penn State has won a National Championship in the last decade.
Want to make it a sixteen team conference and add a Conference (and de facto National) Championship game? Add:
one more team (BYU and Washington are two possibilities, if only for regional balance in the west)
Now you have a conference that includes every team that’s ever played for a National Championship in the BCS/BCA era, and every AP champion back to 1991.
Can you imagine the TV ratings of those powerhouse schools playing each other every week? I suspect SuperConference America would earn more than all the other football conferences combined; every week would feature multiple games between powerhouse teams. It would be great for fans and great for the schools included. (And schools left out? Well, no one is really worry about them in the current conference realignment, so why should we?)
Academics? Other sports? Rivalry games?
Yeah, let’s pretend those matter. This is all about money, and great football. But none of those schools are slouches in the academics department. As for other sports, just like Notre Dame plays in the Big East for everything else, the teams in SuperConference America could retain their existing conference affiliations for other sports. And 7 games against SuperConference America foes still leaves space on the schedule for the Longhorns to beat up on the Aggies, for Florida and Alabama to pretend Georgia matters, etc.
This scheme is a sure-fire money maker. No one is going to miss seeing Texas play Baylor when they can see them play Alabama every year. And the only thing anybody has to give up (except for a few wins every year from playing real football teams rather than conference patsies) is the pretense that college football conferences are about anything other than money.
Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide, College Football, Florida Gators, football, LSU Tigers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Penn State Nittany Lions, Texas Longhorns, USC Trojans