Big XVI: Mountain West vs Big East

The battle among conferences for survival has come down to a tug of war between the Mountain West & Big East for the heartland.  The winner follows the Pac-10's precedence as a 16-school super conference. The loser struggles to remain relevant.

The Big XII has lost Colorado & Nebraska & will lose Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma & Oklahoma State next week.  The remains have been nicknamed the 'Little Five' - Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State & Baylor.  After being rejected by the Big Ten & Pac-10, they held a conference call & resolved to band together. This doesn't sound like a big deal in itself but it could have big implications for the Mountain West & Big East.

The Little Five's options are: 1) merge with the Mountain West, 2) merge with the Big East & 3) absorb the C-USA.

Option 1 - The Mountain West now has 10 teams so the merger with Little 5 only requires 1 more team - obvious choice is Houston from the C-USA. Split divisions into East & West.  The other option is keep New Mexico with the other 7 original MWC teams over Boise State. MWC 16 would be a BCS conference is 2012 in it's first season.

(the #s next to each school is rank 1-120 from last season


Big 8 division Mtn West division
Baylor 79 Air Force 45
Houston 39 Boise State 2
Iowa State 57 BYU 10
Kansas 74 Colorado State 104
Kansas State 63 San Diego State 97
Missouri 46 UNLV 86
New Mexico 118 Utah 19
TCU 6 Wyoming 59


Option 2 -Look eastward and merge with the 8 Big East schools.  Add Houston again with Memphis & Central Florida.  Memphis has been pledged $10 million annually by the CEO of FedEx to get in a BCS conference.  UCF adds a 2nd school in Florida for symmetry  with the 2 Texas schools.


Big East division Big 8 division
UCF 61 Baylor 79
UConn 32 Cincinnati 7
Memphis 112 Houston 39
Pitt 15 Iowa State 57
Rutgers 28 Kansas 74
South Florida 44 Kansas State 63
Syracuse 91 Louisville 90
West Virginia 27 Missouri 46


This leaves the Mountain West stuck with adding Fresno State & Nevada-Reno or Texas El-Paso to reach 12 teams.

Option 3 - absorbing 7 teams from the C-USA. 4 from Texas, 1 from Oklahoma, 1 from Florida & 1 from Tennessee. I don't know if the BCS bid would be preserved with less than 6 teams from the Big XII.


North South
Iowa State 57 Baylor 79
Kansas 74 UCF 61
Kansas State 63 Houston 39
Missouri 46 Rice 113
Memphis 112 SMU 49
Tulsa 81 UTEP 102


But this option also leaves Mountain West's options limited to expand to 12.

Scheduling would require a 9th conference game.  7 against your division & 2 against the other division.  Colorado State could play K-State in 2012 at home then visit Manhattan, KS in 2016.  The division winners would play a 10th conference game to determine a champion & who receives the automatic BCS bid. State breakdown:

1 California, 1 Nevada, 2 Utah, 1 Idaho, 1 Wyoming, 2 Colorado, 1 New Mexico, 3 Texas, 2 Kansas, 1 Missouri, 1 Iowa

0 Washington, 0 Oregon, 0 Arizona, 0 Dakotas, 0 Montana, 0 Nebraska, 0 Oklahoma

Iowa State might not love flying to San Diego State or Boise State to Houston but with 8 teams in each division - long flights should be minimized.

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