Syracuse Orange fans probably spent some portion of the holiday weekend wondering about the impact of USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten. We’ve had a spirited discussion in the comments but now it’s time to step back and look at what might come next.
I shared this in the comments on Friday but I’ll put my guess at what 20-team Big Ten and SEC conferences could look like (certainly plenty of room to debate these possible additions). TV markets don’t matter. These two leagues are looking to grab national brands to raise the amount of the media rights deals they are seeking.
- Michigan St
- Ohio State
- Penn State
I’m giving the Big Ten more West Coast schools because I think a 20-team conference will mean a desire to have more schools near UCLA/USC. Would those schools want to have Oregon? Will politics play a factor again and if so do Stanford and Cal get pushed out for Oregon St/Wazzu?
- Ole Miss
- Miss St
- South Carolina
- Texas A&M
- Florida St
- Georgia Tech
If we assume the goal of the SEC is to corner the football market I think trying to grab Clemson/FSU/Miami is a given. The last team to make 20 could go in a number of directions but I’m putting GT there to lock in Atlanta as SEC territory. People have floated Virginia Tech but will the government in Virginia let them leave UVA behind?
Notice that I don’t have Notre Dame in a conference and that’s because as powerful as they grow the B1G and SEC want ND to be eligible for whatever the next version of the College Football Playoff looks like. So that means the Irish have all the leverage and until something changes with the CFP there’s no rush for them to commit to a mega-conference which impacts the football independence they crave.
So what’s left:
Leave Notre Dame football aside for a minute and you could compile two 16-team leagues from this group: Duke, UNC, NC State, Wake, Pitt, Va Tech, BC, Syracuse, Louisville, West Virginia, Kansas, Baylor, TCU, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, Houston, Iowa St, BYU, UCF, SMU, Memphis, Arizona, Arizona St, Utah, Colorado, Washington St., Oregon St., Air Force, Army, Navy, Boise State and Tulane.
Early word is that the Arizona schools along with Colorado and Utah are talking to the Big 12. Could the ACC figure out a way to work together with these two and shift WVU and Cincy to join Army and Navy? If the Big Ten goes after UNC and UVA then would the ACC be better off trying to add Cal/Stanford or would SMU/UCF draw more interest?
Some have floated the idea of Syracuse returning to the Big East for basketball which is great for nostalgia and that program but I’ll get into more basketball-related moves later this week. Today’s focus on football and I don’t see how you get anyone excited about Syracuse playing more games against Pitt and BC if they are also joined by conference games against UConn, UMass, Temple and Buffalo. We’ve debated whether winning or opponent impacts attendance more and we could be getting closer to answering that debate.
Your turn to play ACC Commissioner. If you’ve got to replace four schools, who do you call first? What if the number grows to six?