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Alternate History College Sports Realignment Scenarios
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Nerdlinger Offline
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Alternate History College Sports Realignment Scenarios
Post your alternate history scenarios here!

Here's the present day alignment of power conferences in an alternate timeline in which the Big East football wing never formed. The SEC added Florida State (before the ACC could) as well as independent Miami, while the ACC expanded north, picking up most of the would-be Big East football schools. The Big 8 was torn apart by the Pac, Big Ten, and SEC. The Southwest Conference lasted a bit longer than in our timeline (OTL), past Ann Richards's tenure as governor. Thus when they were eventually beheaded by the Pac, Houston came along rather than Baylor.

ACC
East: Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
North: Boston College, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple
South: Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest
West: Cincinnati, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville

Protected crossovers: North Carolina/Virginia, Pittsburgh/West Virginia

Big 16
East: Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Syracuse
North: Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Purdue
South: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
West: Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin

Protected crossovers: Illinois/Northwestern, Indiana/Purdue, Michigan/Ohio State

Pac-16
East: Houston, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech
North: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
South: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah
West: California, Stanford, UCLA, USC

Protected crossovers: none

SEC
East: Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami
North: Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
South: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
West: Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

Protected crossovers: Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia

Annual interconference matchups
Clemson/South Carolina
Georgia/Georgia Tech
Kentucky/Louisville
Notre Dame/USC
Oklahoma/Texas
Penn State/Pittsburgh
(This post was last modified: 07-07-2017 06:58 PM by Nerdlinger.)
07-07-2017 05:42 PM
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_C2_ Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Scenarios
Thanks for the pat on the back but there's no way Houston would have come along. Houston athletics was a mess and a joke until around 10 years ago. It was playing in a stadium that was put to shame by many local high school stadiums and the basketball arena wasn't so bad but definitely outdated. This is to say nothing of performance on the field of play. 1991-2005 was probably the darkest period in Houston sports history.

Alternatively, UH gets the call to the SEC or Big 8/12 in 1985-90 if the plate tectonics start activating back then.
07-07-2017 06:09 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Scenarios
(07-07-2017 06:09 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  Thanks for the pat on the back but there's no way Houston would have come along. Houston athletics was a mess and a joke until around 10 years ago. It was playing in a stadium that was put to shame by many local high school stadiums and the basketball arena wasn't so bad but definitely outdated. This is to say nothing of performance on the field of play. 1991-2005 was probably the darkest period in Houston sports history.

Alternatively, UH gets the call to the SEC or Big 8/12 in 1985-90 if the plate tectonics start activating back then.

An alternate backstory to the scenario in the OP:

The Big 12 forms earlier than in OTL, in the late '80s. Because Ann Richards is not yet governor, Houston gets the nod rather than Baylor. Then a couple decades later, the Big 12 is later pulled apart by the Pac, SEC, and Big Ten/16 in a manner similar to how it could have been in OTL 2010-11.

How's that? :)
(This post was last modified: 07-07-2017 06:15 PM by Nerdlinger.)
07-07-2017 06:13 PM
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_C2_ Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Scenarios
The deal is that Texas and Texas A&M thought everyone in the SWC was deadweight, including Houston minus a few years here and there on the field of play. The original Big 8 deal was to bring in just those two but politics forced Tech and Baylor in. So C-USA or the WAC were the only realistic landing spots.

Houston definitely would have been in the fold a decade earlier but not after the early 90's, when everything fell off a cliff.
07-07-2017 06:29 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Scenarios
(07-07-2017 06:29 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  The deal is that Texas and Texas A&M thought everyone in the SWC was deadweight, including Houston minus a few years here and there on the field of play. The original Big 8 deal was to bring in just those two but politics forced Tech and Baylor in. So C-USA or the WAC were the only realistic landing spots.

Houston definitely would have been in the fold a decade earlier but not after the early 90's, when everything fell off a cliff.

Given the earlier formation of the Big 12 and the fact that Houston is a public school, I think that they would be chosen over Baylor. BU was an outlier in the Big 12 in OTL until TCU joined much later. And while there would still likely have been pressure from the Texas government to take two more schools to the Big 12, Baylor would have had no advocate in a seat of power. So here politics is the savior of Houston.
07-07-2017 06:38 PM
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_C2_ Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Scenarios
As your location says, it's a moot point. That said, the Big 8 deal was only gonna be for the main two from the SWC and nobody else.
07-07-2017 06:42 PM
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Nerdlinger Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Scenarios
(07-07-2017 06:42 PM)_C2_ Wrote:  As your location says, it's a moot point. That said, the Big 8 deal was only gonna be for the main two from the SWC and nobody else.

Well, the whole point of this thread is for alternate history scenarios, plausible or otherwise. I'm not sure what could have spurred the earlier formation of the Big 12, but it does seem at least plausible that it could have formed in this way.
07-07-2017 06:46 PM
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sugarbuzz Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Scenarios
If the Big XII formed in the late 80s, either BYU or Tulane would be ahead of Houston and that's assuming Arkansas goes to the SEC.
07-07-2017 06:54 PM
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Fighting Muskie Offline
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RE: Alternate History College Sports Realignment Scenarios
I love the speculative history.

I've always wondered about if an eastern all sports league might have emerged centered around Penn St and attracted both Florida St and Miami. The Florida schools and Penn St would be the stars of the show with VT, Syracuse, WVU, and BC making nice showings through the 90s and 00s. (Sorry Rutgers, Temple, and Pitt you're all still cellar dwellers in this timeline)

The question is would is league be able to earn big tv dollars and its best members not lured away? Perhaps Penn St, much like Texas, would prefer to be king in its league and enjoy having a voting block supporting them.

I'm guessing circa 2004 this league steals GT and Clemson from the ACC to get to 12 and start a title game and to better tie in the Florida schools to the rest of the league.

ACC is reduced to Maryland, UVA, UNC, Duke, NC St, WF and has to add Louisville, Cincy, USF, and UCF.

In 2012 this league expands again to 16 with Duke, UNC, Maryland, and UVA. NC St joins the SEC at roughly the same time (instead of Missouri) and Louisville slips into the Big 12.
07-07-2017 08:12 PM
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arkstfan Away
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Alternate History College Sports Realignment Scenarios
Here's one that nearly happened.
End of 1981 NCAA votes to change the "or" in the I-A criteria to make stadium size and attendance mandatory and permits schools to ask for a waiver AState AD Larry Lacewell goes to his father's best friend Bear Bryant to ask for assistance getting a one year waiver for AState and he successfully swings the ten or so extra votes he wasn't able to drum up in reality getting AState the waiver.

If the waiver is granted the handshake deal on the table is:
Arkansas State, SW Louisiana (now ULL), McNeese State, Tulsa, Wichita State and Southern Miss will form a new football league. Independence Bowl indicates interest in the champion.

McNeese State never drops to I-AA.
Wichita State after the vote played football 5 more years. 1982 5 home games 2 non I-A, 1983 4 home games all non I-A, 1984 5 home games 4 non I-A, 1985 5 home games 2 non I-A, 1986 5 home games 4 non I-A.
With a conference and fewer games against non I-A maybe they ride it out. When they dropped there were claims that a professor had taken students out to the stadium and measured the length of each bleacher and applied the NCAA standard of how many inches equaled a seat and found it was like 4 or 8 seats short of 30,000 and Wichita State was to be reclassified and another version said that the consultants hired to evaluate athletics discovered Wichita State would have to reclassify because they were short on both home and the old home and away attendance measures and suggested dropping instead of reclassifying. In either version it was felt Wichita State couldn't survive the blow and mount a return. Under the old rules simply being in a 6 team league with four schools that met the standard would have staved off reclassification threats and may have saved Wichita State football.

If it comes together you have to wonder how the WAC and CUSA may have developed. Maybe the American South is never formed which means the Sun Belt maybe folds after the Metro and Great Midwest raids so never progressed to add football.
Depending on how the schools performed in the stability of a conference TCU, SMU and Rice raid the league to salvage the SWC and if they take Tulane who had nearly been admitted when Arkansas left goes SWC then CUSA maybe doesn't happen since it started with the minimum of six football counting Tulane. Could have prevented CUSA from happening or happening with different schools.
07-08-2017 03:55 AM
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