Ok, so it seems college football is drastically changing. There is the probable playoff system that many support. There is conference realignment that has been as busy as it has been in at least a decade. Then there is the super conference. For all intents and purposes, there are four conferences looking to be super conferences: PAC 12, Big Ten, Big 12 and the SEC. So, where does that leave the rest of the FBS conferences?
Well, we see the Big East grabbing anyone they can to remain viable. Regional team unity has gone out the window and the BE has pulled from CUSA and the MWC. Yet, it will probably do them no good in the scheme of super conferences. While it looks like they will cap out at 12 teams by 2013-2014, the conference champion probably won’t be invited to the playoffs (unless an undefeated team with impressive out of conference wins is available).
CUSA is very much like the MWC. It got raided then raided other conferences to shore up its losses. All their possible BCS busters left for the BE.
The ACC seems to be left out of the mix as rumors fly about Florida St going to the Big 12, Clemson and Virginia Tech to either the SEC or Big 12. Tack on the SEC-Big 12 champion bowl that was recently announced and even with the additions of Pitt and Syracuse (and possibly UCONN and Rutgers) the ACC is falling short in the eyes of many "power brokers". Also, Notre Dame was a possible logical fit for the ACC (and always the Big Ten), it looks ND might be looking southwest to the Big 12…especially if the BE basketball folks decide to part ways with the football folks.
The WAC is barely above water; they are just about down to their last breath. As for a football conference, it requires a serious miracle. (Think the 1980 US hockey team vs the Russians on the same day as a complete solar eclipse while having the winning lottery numbers in two different state lotteries). Everyone playing football has departed minus NMSU and Idaho. I figure both should move down to the FCS unless someone invites them…and that hasn’t happened yet. Don't think the MWC will invite, but I wouldn't mind seeing NMSU there.
The Sunbelt is improving and could have BCS busters in the immediate future. The MAC is a good FBS conference (I’m a Central Michigan alum) and is very competitive, but no BCS busters as of yet.
Which brings us to my favorite conference, the Mountain West Conference. So our best have departed for greener pastures (we’ll see about that…the green part); BYU, Utah, TCU, Boise St, San Diego St. We did add Hawaii, Fresno St, Nevada, then Utah St and San Jose St. Now, personally, I think for the most part all five were good pick-ups. We really needed to shore up key areas respective to maintaining a regionally oriented conference. SJSU needs improvement (all sports minus Judo) and Utah St is on the rise. Ok, I’m good with that. I’m not sure the MWC can get to 12-14 teams without some schools making the jump to FBS. I would look at recently hot football programs in the west (Montana, Montana St, Sam Houston St). I’m not sure we have any other options right now. And I’m ok with the MWC not being a super conference. We had the first BCS busters and we can do it again. To me, it's not about the $$, it's about football. Good quality football. And a commissioner who should be proactive not reactive.
Thoughts on my rant???