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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Super Conferences - The New Landscape 2

Current Members: Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, California (Berkley) , Standford, UCLA, Southern California
Targets: Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Colorado, Colorado State
Overview: The Pac 10 wants two things - its own network and Texas. It sees the latter as a means of creating the former. Texas brings the mega-market that is Dallas and the countless millions in TV money that comes with it. Unfortunately, Texas also comes with Tech and A&M (and possibly Baylor). Bringing along another strong team and rivalry in the form of Oklahoma just makes sense. The Pac 10 also covets the Denver market, which Colorado delivers. Oklahoma State and Colorado State are in this discussion because the Pac 10 prides itself on its Noah-esque habit of bringing teams in two-by-two to create natural rivalries.
Result: After Missouri and Nebraska bolt from the Big 12, the conference successfully adds all six teams from the Big 12 South to create the second Super Conference. Countless scenarios are worked out in an attempt to bring Colorado in, but political pressure prevents Oklahoma State and Baylor from being dropped in favor of the Buffaloes and Rams. The result is a two division conference consisting of the old guard and new guard arranged geographically.
-Pacific: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, California (Berkley) , Standford, UCLA, Southern California
-Southwest: Arizona, Arizona State,Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor
Effects: The Pac 16 would be recognized as one of the most powerful football conferences in history with three perennial national championship contenders - Oklahoma, Texas, USC - and a host of strong programs behind them. Its cream puffs - Baylor, Washington, and Arizona State - are still stronger than the middle weights in most conferences. The Pac 16 Network would rival the BTN from day one.
As a result of the entire Big 12 South leaving, the Big 12 conference ceases to exist.
Current Members: Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Texas Christian, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming
Targets: Boise State, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Fresno State, Idaho, Nevada, Southern Methodist, Houston, Rice, UTEP, Tulsa, Montana
Overview: This is the conference nobody is really talking about. Most people forget that the nine team MWC already has its own network and would undoubtedly like to see its presence grow. They also boast some very tough teams - teams that have cracked the BCS games despite not having an automatic berth. They are currently on the verge of gaining that berth; many feel that simply adding Boise State (another highly successful non-BCS team) could give them the needed push.
Boise State may be the key to the BCS, but its television market does not add much to the MWN. The Broncos are likely to bring Idaho along for the ride, which will provide an immediate rival but not much in terms of football prowess.
With the demise of the Big 12, Colorado is the big prize. Not only does the MWC get a natural rival for Air Force and Colorado State, but they completely control the Denver market. The Buffaloes are an up and down team, but should find more success within their geographic region.
Kansas and Kansas State help bring in a chunk of the KC market. They may find some success on the football field, but will ultimately benefit on the hardwood where their prowess will make them the class of the league.
Fresno State, Houston, Rice, and SMU all bring the promise of strong TV markets. Nevada, UTEP, and Tulsa bring natural geographic rivalries; Iowa State has familiarity with Boise State after playing a few bowl games in their blue turf stadium. All four bring in relatively small markets and iffy teams. Montana is a dark horse that fits geographically but boasts a strong program - although it is at the lower FCS level.
Result: The time is right for the MWC to follow the examples of the Pac 16 and Big Teen by expanding into a Super Conference with a guaranteed BCS berth. The new teams strengthen the network by securing Denver, grabbing Kansas City, and doubling the conference's presence in Dallas. The two divisions are primarily based on geography with an emphasis placed on rivalries. The East is definitely more far flung with TCU and SMU (Dallas) in the south and Wyoming in the north. Overall, the conference is fairly balanced in terms of football prowess.
-East: Kansas, Kansas State, Southern Methodist, Texas Christian, Air Force, Colorado State, Wyoming, Colorado,
-West: BYU, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, UTEP, New Mexico, Boise State, Idaho
Effects: The new MWC effectively replaces the Big 12 and assumes its spot on the BCS ladder. While its teams are not yet at the level of the Pac 16 or Big Teen, they will continue to be contenders. The potential revenue created by the stronger MWN will help the conference develop increasingly powerful programs in the near future.
This effectively kills the WAC by taking away several key teams and the conference's juggernaut.

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