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Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
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Nerdlinger Offline
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Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
Hi all! I'm new to the board. I'd love to see a 4x16 power conference realignment, even if simply for the symmetry and balance of it. Unfortunately, plausible routes that lead there are not so easy to envision. Below is what I think to be the most plausible route (at the moment). Feel free to critique my scenario and to post your own!

With the expiration of the Big 12's grant of media rights looming in 2025, the collapse of the conference seems imminent. Those members that have escape routes begin feeling them out, while the other conferences circle like sharks around a sinking ship.

The Pac-12 strikes first, securing the Longhorns and sealing the fate of the Big 12. Part of the deal is that three other schools in UT's backyard tag along. The Sooners balk at the offer and instead opt for the SEC. A relieved Oklahoma State also receives an invitation from the SEC (at the urging of OU and the Oklahoma state legislature). Fortunately, there isn't enough bad blood between UT and OU over the split to prevent an annual out-of-conference Red River Showdown.

The move by OU limits the Longhorns' options for travel partners. Texas Tech is deemed acceptable by the Pac, as it was when the first offer to UT was made back in 2010. The Pac sneers at TCU for being a religious school, but their academics are nothing to scoff at, so the Horned Frogs also receive an invite. In a situation similar to the formation of the Big 12 in 1996, Baylor angles for the fourth Texas slot. However, the scandal-ridden Bears are turned down, as the Pac invites Houston instead and in this manner becomes the Pac-16.

The Big Ten cannot pass up the chance to add to its basketball chops and pick up another state, admitting Kansas as its 15th member. While the Big Ten sat at an odd number of schools for two decades before the acquisition of Nebraska, it's not an ideal situation from a scheduling standpoint, so a 16th member is sought. Iowa State meets the basic qualifications but offers nothing new. The Big Ten would love to add Notre Dame, though the Irish are yoked to the ACC until the expiration of that conference's GOR in 2036.

The 16th member of the Big Ten ends up being a school which had recently begged to get in: Missouri. A school's voluntarily leaving the SEC had seemed unthinkable for many, but the Big Ten is a better fit for the Tigers in terms of culture and academics, and the timing is right. The defection is facilitated by the SEC's lack of a financial penalty for departing schools. Indignant over the coup, the SEC taps an ecstatic West Virginia as a replacement.

By this time, it has become evident that 16-school conferences are what's in. The ACC, as the weakest remaining power conference, must go with the flow or risking falling too far behind. Notre Dame also sees the writing on the wall and finally relinquishes its football independence for a spot in the ACC and a decent chance at a CFP championship. The ACC considers adding Cincinnati over Connecticut to better bolster its football reputation, but ultimately selects UConn for its stellar hoops.

Sadly, Iowa State and Kansas State fall down the AAC or MWC along with Baylor.

Thus we arrive at a 4x16 power conference alignment. (Here's a map!) Each conference consists of four 4-team "pods," which alternate between two 8-team divisions every two years. For two years it's the "Northeast" and "Southwest" Divisions, and for the next two it's the "Northwest" and "Southeast" Divisions.

ACC
East: Boston College, Connecticut, Virginia, Virginia Tech
North: Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
South: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami
West: Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest

Protected crossovers: Boston College/Notre Dame, North Carolina/Virginia

Big Ten
East: Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
North: Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin
South: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue
West: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Protected crossovers: Illinois/Northwestern, Michigan/Ohio State

Pac-16
East: Houston, TCU, Texas, 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, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina
North: Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
South: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
West: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M

Protected crossovers: Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia

Annual interconference matchups
Clemson/South Carolina
Florida/Florida State
Georgia/Georgia Tech
Kentucky/Louisville
Notre Dame/USC
Oklahoma/Texas

The conference schedule is 9 games across the board. For two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod, the 4 other teams in its division, and 2 teams from the "opposite" pod (i.e., North vs. South, East vs. West). For the next two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod again, the 4 other teams in its division (this time it's a different pod of 4), and the other 2 teams from the opposite pod. This way, with the exception of protected crossovers, each team plays every other team in its conference twice in 4 years.

Conference championships proceed between the two divisions as they do currently. The CFP becomes a de facto (if not de jure) competition between the champions of the four remaining power conferences.

So what do you all think? Poke (constructive) holes in this scenario if you see any, and submit your own scenarios! :)
06-13-2017 10:20 PM
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ColKurtz Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
No one is taking anyone just to get to some magic 4x16 number. It makes no sense. Conference revenue appears to be peaking, so going forward having less mouths to feed is going to be worth more than expanding the footprint to capture carriage fees.

Now that the B1G and SEC are in the $40+M per team payout, ACC $33+M after 2019, any new teams added need to bring that much value. Only UT, OU, and ND offer that. If you're going to add 2 teams, both need to be close to the per-team payout. OU and OSU together would make no sense since they both share the same markets and carriage fees.
06-13-2017 10:50 PM
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goofus Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
Congress will never let Iowa State or Kansas St be left behind.

what starts the dominos falling is Oklahoma and Kansas receives a bid from the BigTen. Texas works out a 4 team.package deal where the PAC takes Texas, TT, KSU and ISU. The ACC invites ND and WV. SEC takes TCU and OkST
06-13-2017 10:59 PM
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Kaplony Offline
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RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
UConn isn't getting into the ACC unless one of the two things happen:

A. The schools where football is the priority have left

or

B. Norte Dame makes it an absolute requirement for them joining in full.


Neither is a realistic scenario at this point.
06-13-2017 11:50 PM
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DavidSt Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
Plus, some of the P5 conference will not leave money on the table with several of the G5 schools making better money at ticket sales than some of the bottom feeders of the P5.
06-14-2017 12:38 AM
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Kaplony Offline
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RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
(06-14-2017 12:38 AM)DavidSt Wrote:  Plus, some of the P5 conference will not leave money on the table with several of the G5 schools making better money at ticket sales than some of the bottom feeders of the P5.

Ticket sales mean nothing at the conference level unless the conference does ticket revenue sharing, so no....your theory doesn't hold water. As usual.
06-14-2017 12:47 AM
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DavidSt Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
(06-14-2017 12:47 AM)Kaplony Wrote:  
(06-14-2017 12:38 AM)DavidSt Wrote:  Plus, some of the P5 conference will not leave money on the table with several of the G5 schools making better money at ticket sales than some of the bottom feeders of the P5.

Ticket sales mean nothing at the conference level unless the conference does ticket revenue sharing, so no....your theory doesn't hold water. As usual.


Boise State > Washington State

Boise State is better than Washington State in ticket sales. More fans in the seats.
06-14-2017 12:56 AM
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BadgerMJ Offline
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RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
(06-13-2017 10:20 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  Hi all! I'm new to the board. I'd love to see a 4x16 power conference realignment, even if simply for the symmetry and balance of it. Unfortunately, plausible routes that lead there are not so easy to envision. Below is what I think to be the most plausible route (at the moment). Feel free to critique my scenario and to post your own!

With the expiration of the Big 12's grant of media rights looming in 2025, the collapse of the conference seems imminent. Those members that have escape routes begin feeling them out, while the other conferences circle like sharks around a sinking ship.

The Pac-12 strikes first, securing the Longhorns and sealing the fate of the Big 12. Part of the deal is that three other schools in UT's backyard tag along. The Sooners balk at the offer and instead opt for the SEC. A relieved Oklahoma State also receives an invitation from the SEC (at the urging of OU and the Oklahoma state legislature). Fortunately, there isn't enough bad blood between UT and OU over the split to prevent an annual out-of-conference Red River Showdown.

The move by OU limits the Longhorns' options for travel partners. Texas Tech is deemed acceptable by the Pac, as it was when the first offer to UT was made back in 2010. The Pac sneers at TCU for being a religious school, but their academics are nothing to scoff at, so the Horned Frogs also receive an invite. In a situation similar to the formation of the Big 12 in 1996, Baylor angles for the fourth Texas slot. However, the scandal-ridden Bears are turned down, as the Pac invites Houston instead and in this manner becomes the Pac-16.

The Big Ten cannot pass up the chance to add to its basketball chops and pick up another state, admitting Kansas as its 15th member. While the Big Ten sat at an odd number of schools for two decades before the acquisition of Nebraska, it's not an ideal situation from a scheduling standpoint, so a 16th member is sought. Iowa State meets the basic qualifications but offers nothing new. The Big Ten would love to add Notre Dame, though the Irish are yoked to the ACC until the expiration of that conference's GOR in 2036.

The 16th member of the Big Ten ends up being a school which had recently begged to get in: Missouri. A school's voluntarily leaving the SEC had seemed unthinkable for many, but the Big Ten is a better fit for the Tigers in terms of culture and academics, and the timing is right. The defection is facilitated by the SEC's lack of a financial penalty for departing schools. Indignant over the coup, the SEC taps an ecstatic West Virginia as a replacement.

By this time, it has become evident that 16-school conferences are what's in. The ACC, as the weakest remaining power conference, must go with the flow or risking falling too far behind. Notre Dame also sees the writing on the wall and finally relinquishes its football independence for a spot in the ACC and a decent chance at a CFP championship. The ACC considers adding Cincinnati over Connecticut to better bolster its football reputation, but ultimately selects UConn for its stellar hoops.

Sadly, Iowa State and Kansas State fall down the AAC or MWC along with Baylor.

Thus we arrive at a 4x16 power conference alignment. (Here's a map!) Each conference consists of four 4-team "pods," which alternate between two 8-team divisions every two years. For two years it's the "Northeast" and "Southwest" Divisions, and for the next two it's the "Northwest" and "Southeast" Divisions.

ACC
East: Boston College, Connecticut, Virginia, Virginia Tech
North: Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
South: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami
West: Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest

Protected crossovers: Boston College/Notre Dame, North Carolina/Virginia

Big Ten
East: Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
North: Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin
South: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue
West: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Protected crossovers: Illinois/Northwestern, Michigan/Ohio State

Pac-16
East: Houston, TCU, Texas, 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, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina
North: Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
South: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
West: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M

Protected crossovers: Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia

Annual interconference matchups
Clemson/South Carolina
Florida/Florida State
Georgia/Georgia Tech
Kentucky/Louisville
Notre Dame/USC
Oklahoma/Texas

The conference schedule is 9 games across the board. For two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod, the 4 other teams in its division, and 2 teams from the "opposite" pod (i.e., North vs. South, East vs. West). For the next two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod again, the 4 other teams in its division (this time it's a different pod of 4), and the other 2 teams from the opposite pod. This way, with the exception of protected crossovers, each team plays every other team in its conference twice in 4 years.

Conference championships proceed between the two divisions as they do currently. The CFP becomes a de facto (if not de jure) competition between the champions of the four remaining power conferences.

So what do you all think? Poke (constructive) holes in this scenario if you see any, and submit your own scenarios! :)

I'll give you credit for putting some thought and effort into your summation.

The problems I have with it are that I don't think MO will be leaving the SEC anytime soon. I also don't see the B1G taking them, that ship sailed years ago.

Seems that the biggest problem may be that it appears that you're thinking that the B1G will just sit back and take the scraps. I don't see them just letting TX and OU go without a fight. True they might take KS, but they aren't going to just sit back and take an SEC reject or an inferior Iowa State.
06-14-2017 06:28 AM
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TodgeRodge Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
Texas is not going to be in the PAC 12 while A&M, OU and others from the Big 12 are in eastern based conferences

the PAC 12 hours and game times are a disaster even with a couple of other Big 12 teams in the mix and there is no chance that any group of Big 12 schools that does not include OU would be enticing to Texas to make that move

and Texas is really not all that excited about the PAC 12 even if OU was in a group of 3 or more others making the move

the hours and game times are still terrible and the exposure is not great either especially since the wess coass cares a great deal less about college sports and eastern fans and media are in bed or passed out drunk by the time most PAC 12 games are at half time

then there is the simple math done over and over by Jon Wilner that shows the PAC 12 is the one with the greatest issues with media dollars then there is the fact that the PAC 12 far and away has the most teams in the P5 with the lowest revenues, highest academic side subsidies and the highest athletics department debts

the PAC 12 has 3 of the top 10 teams in athletics department debt with Cal being the leader and a total disaster and the PAC 12 has 5 of the 8 highest academic side subsidies for public P5 schools

it is Rutgers well in the "lead" @ 23.8 million then ASU @ $19.4 then Maryland @ $14.6 then Virginia @ $13.6 then CU @ $12.2 then AU @ $9 and Utah @ $8.8 million

and Maryland and Rutgers should improve although Rutgers seems to be run like a disaster and Maryland will not be getting a full share from the Big 10 for a long time because of front money designed to get them out of debt from leaving the ACC

and several of the PAC 12 schools that are at the very low end of P5 revenues also have very very high debt levels relative to most P5 programs

lastly if Texas and or Texas and OU bring enough value to the PAC 12 to move their media contract up closer to the SEC or Big 10 then Texas and OU bring that much or more value to 8 teams in the Big 12 Vs to 12 other teams in the PAC 12 it is simple math

the PAC 12 has a lot of financial issues and will for the long term simply because of low overall program revenues often subsidized by high academic side contributions and high debt loads to match

that is not an attractive situation especially with the hours and game times
06-14-2017 07:53 AM
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AntiG Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
The B1G will not expand with a magic number of 16 if all they get in return is Kansas and Missouri. They are good ride-along candidates, but certainly do not warrant expanding for - otherwise they would have taken them in the last round when they were right there and there was no B12 GOR.

The B1G actually considered to Mizzou last time as a partner candidate if they were able to close the deal on the Nebraska-Mizzou midwest + Notre Dame-Rutgers NYC metro expansion attempt, but ND rejected it outright and the conference ended up solely taking Nebraska, rejecting Mizzou, and later grabbed Rutgers along with Maryland. Meanwhile Kansas was left out there when the B12 almost died.

There's only three "free agent" candidates that will get the ball rolling for Big Ten expansion - Notre Dame (not happening), Texas and Oklahoma. If one or two of them don't join, then the conference will not expand.
06-14-2017 08:47 AM
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Post: #11
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
(06-13-2017 10:20 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  Hi all! I'm new to the board. I'd love to see a 4x16 power conference realignment, even if simply for the symmetry and balance of it. Unfortunately, plausible routes that lead there are not so easy to envision. Below is what I think to be the most plausible route (at the moment). Feel free to critique my scenario and to post your own!

With the expiration of the Big 12's grant of media rights looming in 2025, the collapse of the conference seems imminent. Those members that have escape routes begin feeling them out, while the other conferences circle like sharks around a sinking ship.

The Pac-12 strikes first, securing the Longhorns and sealing the fate of the Big 12. Part of the deal is that three other schools in UT's backyard tag along. The Sooners balk at the offer and instead opt for the SEC. A relieved Oklahoma State also receives an invitation from the SEC (at the urging of OU and the Oklahoma state legislature). Fortunately, there isn't enough bad blood between UT and OU over the split to prevent an annual out-of-conference Red River Showdown.

The move by OU limits the Longhorns' options for travel partners. Texas Tech is deemed acceptable by the Pac, as it was when the first offer to UT was made back in 2010. The Pac sneers at TCU for being a religious school, but their academics are nothing to scoff at, so the Horned Frogs also receive an invite. In a situation similar to the formation of the Big 12 in 1996, Baylor angles for the fourth Texas slot. However, the scandal-ridden Bears are turned down, as the Pac invites Houston instead and in this manner becomes the Pac-16.

The Big Ten cannot pass up the chance to add to its basketball chops and pick up another state, admitting Kansas as its 15th member. While the Big Ten sat at an odd number of schools for two decades before the acquisition of Nebraska, it's not an ideal situation from a scheduling standpoint, so a 16th member is sought. Iowa State meets the basic qualifications but offers nothing new. The Big Ten would love to add Notre Dame, though the Irish are yoked to the ACC until the expiration of that conference's GOR in 2036.

The 16th member of the Big Ten ends up being a school which had recently begged to get in: Missouri. A school's voluntarily leaving the SEC had seemed unthinkable for many, but the Big Ten is a better fit for the Tigers in terms of culture and academics, and the timing is right. The defection is facilitated by the SEC's lack of a financial penalty for departing schools. Indignant over the coup, the SEC taps an ecstatic West Virginia as a replacement.

By this time, it has become evident that 16-school conferences are what's in. The ACC, as the weakest remaining power conference, must go with the flow or risking falling too far behind. Notre Dame also sees the writing on the wall and finally relinquishes its football independence for a spot in the ACC and a decent chance at a CFP championship. The ACC considers adding Cincinnati over Connecticut to better bolster its football reputation, but ultimately selects UConn for its stellar hoops.

Sadly, Iowa State and Kansas State fall down the AAC or MWC along with Baylor.

Thus we arrive at a 4x16 power conference alignment. (Here's a map!) Each conference consists of four 4-team "pods," which alternate between two 8-team divisions every two years. For two years it's the "Northeast" and "Southwest" Divisions, and for the next two it's the "Northwest" and "Southeast" Divisions.

ACC
East: Boston College, Connecticut, Virginia, Virginia Tech
North: Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
South: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami
West: Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest

Protected crossovers: Boston College/Notre Dame, North Carolina/Virginia

Big Ten
East: Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
North: Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin
South: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue
West: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Protected crossovers: Illinois/Northwestern, Michigan/Ohio State

Pac-16
East: Houston, TCU, Texas, 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, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina
North: Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
South: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
West: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M

Protected crossovers: Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia

Annual interconference matchups
Clemson/South Carolina
Florida/Florida State
Georgia/Georgia Tech
Kentucky/Louisville
Notre Dame/USC
Oklahoma/Texas

The conference schedule is 9 games across the board. For two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod, the 4 other teams in its division, and 2 teams from the "opposite" pod (i.e., North vs. South, East vs. West). For the next two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod again, the 4 other teams in its division (this time it's a different pod of 4), and the other 2 teams from the opposite pod. This way, with the exception of protected crossovers, each team plays every other team in its conference twice in 4 years.

Conference championships proceed between the two divisions as they do currently. The CFP becomes a de facto (if not de jure) competition between the champions of the four remaining power conferences.

So what do you all think? Poke (constructive) holes in this scenario if you see any, and submit your own scenarios! :)

Why would the ACC expand with UConn for their basketball? The ACC already has basketball in spades. They are only going to expand when Notre Dame goes all in and will add whomever Notre Dame dictates. If Notre Dame has no preference they will just fill in with the school that has the best relationship with the ACC Presidents.
06-14-2017 09:11 AM
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Eldonabe Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
Texas to the Pac 12 makes the least sense - They still have the weight (at least for now) to call their own shots and the West Coast time scenario is a pretty big hurdle that they cannot control. they need to keep their exposure to keep their power so they stay central or move east to keep that. Oklahoma is in a similar spot with their exposure needs.

The SEC makes way too much sense for both teams so it will probably never happen. That would be a huge coup for the SEC and lock them in as the #1 football conference forever.....

My personal distaste for UConn aside, they only have one way they can get into the ACC - and that would be for the ACC to make being the #1 Basketball conference priority #1 and #2 over football..... However, if this process actually takes until 2025 to settle, that would give UConn sufficient time to establish a solidified football presence and I just don't see it happening - They (along with my Minutemen) are just not in a football crazed geography and getting the support (financially and asses in the seats) will be a huge hurdle to overcome.
06-14-2017 09:20 AM
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Post: #13
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
First off, your post is well thought out, and is not that outlandish a scenario. I think there are some small things to take issue with in how you arrive at four 16 team leagues, but in general, I think you did a good job in nailing it down.

Having said that ... I just don't see these conferences expanding to 16 just to get to 16. The only reason to do so, is to add attractive schools to the conference, and/or population centers to their network.

So ... to me ... the biggest issue with your post is the assumption that there will be 4, sixteen team, power conferences eventually.


IF AS YOU SAY .... the Big XII dissolves (highly possible), leaving only 4 power conferences ... and ..

IF AS YOU SAY ... the ACC is the last to add any of the Big XII schools, what would be their motivation to get to 16?? Why do it at all?

I don't see the ACC just adding a school to add them ... With only 4 Power conferences left, the pressure to "survive" is reduced significantly. 4 power conferences would work together to continue their monopoly of collegiate athletics. There wouldn't be some unseen pressure to see that dwindle to 3 power conferences through continued consolidation.

If the ACC can add a quality school from the state of Texas, then I think they'd do it. But in your scenario I don't think the ACC would do anything.

Just my two cents.



The small things in your realignment I am not too sure about ---
-- Texas going west ...
-- The Big Ten not making a huge play for Texas
-- The SEC agreeing to take on Oklahoma State
(This post was last modified: 06-14-2017 09:33 AM by Pervis_Griffith.)
06-14-2017 09:30 AM
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Lenvillecards Offline
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Post: #14
Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
(06-13-2017 10:20 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote:  Hi all! I'm new to the board. I'd love to see a 4x16 power conference realignment, even if simply for the symmetry and balance of it. Unfortunately, plausible routes that lead there are not so easy to envision. Below is what I think to be the most plausible route (at the moment). Feel free to critique my scenario and to post your own!

With the expiration of the Big 12's grant of media rights looming in 2025, the collapse of the conference seems imminent. Those members that have escape routes begin feeling them out, while the other conferences circle like sharks around a sinking ship.

The Pac-12 strikes first, securing the Longhorns and sealing the fate of the Big 12. Part of the deal is that three other schools in UT's backyard tag along. The Sooners balk at the offer and instead opt for the SEC. A relieved Oklahoma State also receives an invitation from the SEC (at the urging of OU and the Oklahoma state legislature). Fortunately, there isn't enough bad blood between UT and OU over the split to prevent an annual out-of-conference Red River Showdown.

The move by OU limits the Longhorns' options for travel partners. Texas Tech is deemed acceptable by the Pac, as it was when the first offer to UT was made back in 2010. The Pac sneers at TCU for being a religious school, but their academics are nothing to scoff at, so the Horned Frogs also receive an invite. In a situation similar to the formation of the Big 12 in 1996, Baylor angles for the fourth Texas slot. However, the scandal-ridden Bears are turned down, as the Pac invites Houston instead and in this manner becomes the Pac-16.

The Big Ten cannot pass up the chance to add to its basketball chops and pick up another state, admitting Kansas as its 15th member. While the Big Ten sat at an odd number of schools for two decades before the acquisition of Nebraska, it's not an ideal situation from a scheduling standpoint, so a 16th member is sought. Iowa State meets the basic qualifications but offers nothing new. The Big Ten would love to add Notre Dame, though the Irish are yoked to the ACC until the expiration of that conference's GOR in 2036.

The 16th member of the Big Ten ends up being a school which had recently begged to get in: Missouri. A school's voluntarily leaving the SEC had seemed unthinkable for many, but the Big Ten is a better fit for the Tigers in terms of culture and academics, and the timing is right. The defection is facilitated by the SEC's lack of a financial penalty for departing schools. Indignant over the coup, the SEC taps an ecstatic West Virginia as a replacement.

By this time, it has become evident that 16-school conferences are what's in. The ACC, as the weakest remaining power conference, must go with the flow or risking falling too far behind. Notre Dame also sees the writing on the wall and finally relinquishes its football independence for a spot in the ACC and a decent chance at a CFP championship. The ACC considers adding Cincinnati over Connecticut to better bolster its football reputation, but ultimately selects UConn for its stellar hoops.

Sadly, Iowa State and Kansas State fall down the AAC or MWC along with Baylor.

Thus we arrive at a 4x16 power conference alignment. (Here's a map!) Each conference consists of four 4-team "pods," which alternate between two 8-team divisions every two years. For two years it's the "Northeast" and "Southwest" Divisions, and for the next two it's the "Northwest" and "Southeast" Divisions.

ACC
East: Boston College, Connecticut, Virginia, Virginia Tech
North: Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
South: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami
West: Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest

Protected crossovers: Boston College/Notre Dame, North Carolina/Virginia

Big Ten
East: Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
North: Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin
South: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue
West: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Protected crossovers: Illinois/Northwestern, Michigan/Ohio State

Pac-16
East: Houston, TCU, Texas, 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, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina
North: Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, West Virginia
South: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
West: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M

Protected crossovers: Alabama/Tennessee, Auburn/Georgia

Annual interconference matchups
Clemson/South Carolina
Florida/Florida State
Georgia/Georgia Tech
Kentucky/Louisville
Notre Dame/USC
Oklahoma/Texas

The conference schedule is 9 games across the board. For two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod, the 4 other teams in its division, and 2 teams from the "opposite" pod (i.e., North vs. South, East vs. West). For the next two years, each team plays a home-and-home against the 3 teams in its pod again, the 4 other teams in its division (this time it's a different pod of 4), and the other 2 teams from the opposite pod. This way, with the exception of protected crossovers, each team plays every other team in its conference twice in 4 years.

Conference championships proceed between the two divisions as they do currently. The CFP becomes a de facto (if not de jure) competition between the champions of the four remaining power conferences.

So what do you all think? Poke (constructive) holes in this scenario if you see any, and submit your own scenarios! :)

Welcome to the board first of all.

Your scenario is plausible & IF it did play out that way I think the ACC would take Cincinnati over UCONN. Ohio is a larger state with better recruiting & a state that ND recruits regularly. They would increase the ACC presence in B1G county as well. Additionally, I don't think that Missouri would leave the SEC. The ACC would have the option to go to a 3x5 lineup or choose between Cincinnati & WV as #16. If the B1G stayed at 14, I wonder if ESPN would make it financially worth while for the ACC to go to 18 with ND, Kansas, WV & Cincinnati? I doubt that the B1G would see much value in Iowa State & UCONN but possible.
06-14-2017 10:21 AM
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YNot Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
Conference alignment symmetry is for OCD message boards. Not going to happen.

The Big Ten was at 11 members for 20+ years and is now at 14. The PAC grew to 12 and has buyer's remorse. The Big 12 has 10 and recently decided against expansion. The ACC has 14 +1.

The powers-that-be decided that it's okay to have a conference championship game with only 10 schools to avoid "the tail wagging the dog." They rejected the idea of full deregulation that might alleviate some of the cross-division scheduling pains felts in the ACC and SEC - to avoid "some odd structure that's unfamiliar." (quotes from B1G commissioner Jim Delany).

With that said, I could see the Big 12 lose its heavy hitters and the "power" perception such that it becomes a de facto P4. But I don't see 4x16, and even if the Big 12 loses both Texas and Oklahoma, the conference still has a vote in the autonomy structure, so it won't be completely cast aside - likely fill a role similar to the Big East in the BCS system.
06-14-2017 10:36 AM
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Hokie Mark Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
For the ACC to have any thoughts of doing this, it would have to be something like this:

ACC
North: Boston College, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
East: Louisville, Cincinnati, Virginia, Virginia Tech
West: Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Wake Forest
South: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami

Protected crossovers: North Carolina/Virginia

Even so, you're looking at a 9-game schedule, which presents a problem for FSU, GT, Clemson and UL (and possibly Pitt), and it's a serious problem for Notre Dame, which currently has only 5 ACC games per year.

But I suppose it's fun to dream...
06-14-2017 11:56 AM
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otown Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
SEC is not gonna take OkSU and WVU.
06-14-2017 12:16 PM
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msm96wolf Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
I don't think you will see the pod system instead I see two mini conferenences under one umbrella. Conferences go to 9 game conference schedule and one crossover rival and on interdivisional game. CCG are now default Semi's. Winners to CFP and Losers to ROSE/SUGAR/ORANGE

Using the ACC as an example.

Atlantic vs Coastal (Using existing lineup, I do think there will be teams moving divisions if ND ever joins)
FSU vs MIAMI
CLEMSON vs GT
NCSU VS UNC
WAKE vs DUKE
SYC vs Pitt
LVille vs UVA
BC vs VT
ND vs TEAM 16
06-14-2017 02:05 PM
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AntiG Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
(06-14-2017 09:30 AM)Pervis_Griffith Wrote:  I don't see the [CONFERENCE P4] just adding a school to add them ...

That's really thing thing here... none of the current conferences are DESPERATE to expand. They are all in good condition. The PAC is probably in the worst expansion situation due to less members and inability to find appropriate expansion candidates due to most of the western US being sparsely populated, but they are also in the most stable situation due to being so far from the others.

The B1G, ACC, PAC, SEC - all are stable, none are desperate, all would love to add the 3 major free agents out there Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma.

None are going to add a school just to add them.
06-14-2017 02:27 PM
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clpp01 Offline
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RE: Plausible Routes to a 4x16 Power Conference Alignment?
(06-14-2017 02:05 PM)msm96wolf Wrote:  I don't think you will see the pod system instead I see two mini conferenences under one umbrella. Conferences go to 9 game conference schedule and one crossover rival and on interdivisional game. CCG are now default Semi's. Winners to CFP and Losers to ROSE/SUGAR/ORANGE

Using the ACC as an example.

Atlantic vs Coastal (Using existing lineup, I do think there will be teams moving divisions if ND ever joins)
FSU vs MIAMI
CLEMSON vs GT
NCSU VS UNC
WAKE vs DUKE
SYC vs Pitt
LVille vs UVA
BC vs VT
ND vs TEAM 16

I kind of look at it the opposite way, if/when the conferences start moving to 16 we will see a push for pods. Even at 14 they are already stretching the definition of a conference. in the SEC take Texas A&M for example, they joined in 2012 yet they won't have played home & home against each conference school until 2025. The ACC has already seen two conference members schedule a home & home series as part of their non conference schedules because of how long the gap is before they rotate back onto each other's conference schedule.

By dividing further into 4 pods/divisions it makes it so that you'll be able play conference members home & away every 4/6 years depending on any rivalries being protected cross divisions and if you have 3 of 4 or all 4 power conferences sitting on 16 you'll have no trouble getting rules on how conferences can be set up and it's impact on staging a CCG (potentially semifinals wouldn't be out the question either) amended to allow it.
06-14-2017 03:00 PM
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