Here is my realignment scenario. This is just to make some interesting realignment discussion.
Big 12 takes....Clemson
Reportedly, Clemson has agreed in principle to join the Big 12. Unlike FSU, Clemson has not denied or approved a move to the Big 12 openly. They move under the radar to get a deal done, while FSU on the other hand is distracted by the media. Is this move true? To make my scenario work, it is. The dice have been cast.
Big 12 takes...FSU
Now FSU has an excuse to leave after denial after denial. They will claim since Clemson is leaving, they see a sinking conference and they will leave too. We will all know this is not entirely true, but nobody cares how it is done, it only matters that it is done. The Big12 finally lives up to its name..12.
The Big 12 takes....Miami and Georgia Tech
I know I just posted a link that said Miami was unlikely to leave for the Big 12. Things chance real fast in conference realignment. The Big 12 makes this move to get even with the SEC at 14. This makes FSU and Clemson happy having border neighbors. Miami has a football tradition to keep alive here. You are not going to have nearly as many opportunities for greatness in the ACC, the super conferences are where it is at. Plus, your rivals are leaving...you would look pretty silly alone in the cold. After Miami leaves, Georgia Tech has no choice but to go, unless it wants to be alone down south.
The ACC takes...UConn and Louisville
The ACC has been thinking about taking UConn for months, and UConn has been blabbering about wanting to come nonstop since Syracuse left. The ACC basketball heaven yet again takes some more b-ball champions. Louisville doesn't make sense geographically, but nobody cares about that anymore.
Virginia Tech reaches out the SEC...joins soon after
Virginia Tech is yelling at the top of its lungs for a away out of the basketball conference. It contacts the SEC. The fans in Blacksburg have not been on board leaving the ACC for a while now, but now their mindset has changed. The school would probably prefer the SEC due to geography and fan persistence. The SEC has wanted to expand north for a while now, but really hasn't gotten the chance (it didn't like WVU). Virginia Tech is another school with a great football tradition that reaches into a new market. The SEC accepts VTU in, and the ACC is toast. The ACC only has 15 schools now, one short of where it wants to be. To be continued...
The Big 10 takes North Carolina and Duke
The Big 10 doesn't like sitting around and watching rival conferences get fatter. It likes academic schools, especially AAU schools. North Carolina is a good prize, but its pesky little buddy Duke will have to follow it along. The Big10 doesn't mind Duke joining, a top 10 academic university is lovely for them. North Carolina is Big 10 country now. NCU and Duke see the ACC breaking up around them, and know the SEC or Big12 could strike again at any minute. It's awesome having a basketball friendly conference when you are the best at b-ball, but these schools have football programs too. North Carolina is still the football loving south. The Big 10 is academically friendly and has some good basketball schools in it too. It's too much to pass up, even though geography isn't great. As I said, nobody cares about that now.
The waiting game.....
- The Big 12 and Big 10 are both waiting on Notre Dame to make a decision. Both conferences have been wooing it for a while now, but the school is still thinking.
- The SEC and Big 12 are wooing Maryland to join so they can have a piece of the Baltimore and Washington DC markets. Maryland is waiting on the Big 10, its preferred conference.
- North Carolina State and Virginia are making telephone calls to all three active super conferences begging to join. With Virginia Tech, the SEC has no interest in Virginia and its overlapping market. It puts NC State on standby. The Big 10 has no need for NC State and its overlapping markets, but it puts academic Virginia on standby. The Big 12 is feeling both schools but also taking a hard look at Louisville, Cincinatti and Pittsburgh as well.
- The Pac12 waits patiently, wondering how the heck they are even going to come close to the size of these conferences.
- The ACC announces it is no longer a conference...no more leaving fee!
It is no longer going to be independent. It finds the new playoff system would handicap the program if it were independent. They must join a major conference. They choose the Big 12. It wants to keep its deal with NBC, and the Big 12 lets it do just that. The Big 10 gives out equal shares, and Notre Dame doesn't like that one bit. But, Notre Dame requests Louisville join as well to give it a regional partner (just a drive down highway 31 to Louisville) and a easy opponent for its quad (you will see what I am talking about soon). Finally, the Big 16 is born. Honestly, I want to forget about the past of our conference. The Big 16 would start us off fresh.
The Big 10 spends no time on tears, nabs Maryland and Virginia
It has been rumored that the Big 10 has been interested in Maryland for a while now, and it would invite it if Notre Dame came to make 16. Washington D.C and Baltimore are Big 10 territories now. Virginia, left out in the cold by SEC because of overlapping markets there, gives the Big 10 another academicly friendly school, Richmond, Norfolk and more Washington D.C markets and a bridge to the North Carolina schools. Penn State is no longer alone in eastern territory, certainly not.
Finally, the slow moving SEC settles for NC State
There really isn't any other options left on the table. Wake Forest is nothing. NC State has a respectable 30,000 students and gives the SEC a hand into North Carolina as well as a bridge to VTU. NC State always hated being in the shadows of NCU and Duke, now they are free.
Pittsburgh and Syracuse are going to wish they never joined the ACC. Pitt had a Big 12 spot they laughed about at the time. Now, they cry about it. Boston College and UConn are in ruins as well. Conference USA anybody? Big East? Maybe the Pac12 will go east to get them? Stranger things have happened.
Big 16 "quads"
With 16 teams, the Big 16 can make some quads (groups of 4 to those who don't know). Each will be like its own division. The top 2 quad champions with the best records will play each other in the Big 16 championship. Or how about a 4 team playoff? I'm just dreaming. Haha.
Big 16 North: Notre Dame West Virginia Louisville Iowa State
Big 16 East: Florida State Georgia Tech Miami Clemson
Big 16 South: Texas TCU Baylor Texas Tech
Big 16 West: Kansas State Kansas Oklahoma Oklahoma State
The only team having a fit would be Iowa State, having to play a bunch of unfamiliar faces. However, there is not much they can do considering how powerless they are. Our west division has some nice old rivalries in it, but it is going to be challenging as long as Oklahoma is in it. I guess that is the price you pay for being so close to them. But hey, at least we get to keep our rivalry with KU.
Tell me what you think. It's just a fun little scenario I made. Here's to hoping it leads to some good discussion!