School of fBS: Restructuring the outlook of college football conferences

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A map of the new college football conferences | Joe Azar

by Joe Azar

Driving in Grand Junction is weird. The roads have awkward names like “24 ½ Road,” there are stops signs where there should be street lights and God forbid they put a green arrow on left turns. It’s like the people who created the town decided to just make up the roads as they went along, ending up with a sloppy and confusing system.

The way college football conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) is arranged have a striking similarity to how Grand Junction’s roads are constructed. Whether it be due to money or….no it’s just money. Universities are placed slapdash in conferences they don’t belong in, leaving people scratching their heads as to why the Southeastern Conference is home to a team from Texas.

Just for fun let’s imagine we live in a fantasy world where money isn’t involved in college athletics and a university isn’t so desperate to find players that they hire prostitutes as part of a recruit’s visit (no seriously, that’s a real thing).

Some of the fixes to the conferences are simple, like the Big 12 actually having 12 teams. Other issues will take a little bit of creativity and wishful thinking; but hey, that’s what this article is about. It’s time to channel the inner sports nerd and change the landscape of college football.

Big 10

 

  • Michigan
  • Ohio State
  • Penn State
  • Michigan State
  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Northwestern

 

Not every conference is going to be completely turned on its head, and just because a team is technically geographically closer, doesn’t mean they are added to a conference they don’t belong in. The Big 10 having that exact number of elite college football programs would bring a sense of nostalgia to the old days where Michigan and Ohio State featured the best two teams in the country. Penn State is included due to their history in the conference despite being in Pennsylvania.

SEC

 

  • Alabama
  • Auburn
  • LSU
  • Ole Miss
  • Mississippi State
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • Kentucky
  • Vanderbilt
  • Tennessee
  • Clemson
  • Georgia Tech

 

For the most part the SEC is pretty rock-solid in geographical terms. Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and Texas A&M are moved out in order to fill other slots needed in better conferences.

Big 12

 

  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas State
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma State
  • Nebraska
  • Boise State
  • Colorado
  • Colorado State
  • BYU
  • Utah
  • New Mexico

 

Teams from the Mountain West are joined by some of the conference’s classics to make the Big 12 a power conference once again. Don’t worry the Texas teams will be fine, big plans are ahead for them.

Pac 12

 

  • UCLA
  • USC
  • Oregon
  • Cal
  • Stanford
  • Washington
  • Washington State
  • Arizona
  • Arizona State
  • UNLV
  • Fresno State
  • Oregon State

 

California teams shuffle into the Pac 12 to make up for the loses and UNLV is added to a make the conference even at 12.

ACC

 

  • Florida
  • Miami
  • Florida State
  • Louisville
  • Wake Forest
  • Southern Florida
  • Syracuse
  • Boston College
  • Virginia Tech
  • North Carolina
  • Duke
  • Pittsburgh
  • Virginia
  • NC State

 

Nicknaming this “The Florida Conference,” only one major Florida team makes it out as a conference champion and the rivalries within the state get even more meaning.

Southwest Conference

 

  • Arkansas
  • Texas
  • Baylor
  • TCU
  • Texas Tech
  • Texas A&M
  • Houston
  • Rice
  • SMU
  • UTEP

 

What is the Southwest Conference? It’s a call back to the 1910s where the majority of Texas’ elite football universities battle it out to see who is superior. Now only one team can call themselves the pride of the state, and fans outside of Texas have the luxury of avoiding those crazy football fans, outside of Oklahoma, who keeps the Red River Showdown alive in a out of conference game.

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