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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Realignment Roulette

Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows...

I know most folks consider realignment talk a distraction from real college football, and are particularly annoyed that it's taking place during the season. I agree with that to some degree, but I also find it fascinating, especially because (or despite the fact that) it almost always involves a blow to my conference. Still, if you follow me on Twitter (and you should) you know that nothing gets my tweet rate up like realignment talk

Just for shits and/or giggles, I figured I'd put together a "next targets" list for all the major conferences (I'M STILL COUNTING THE BIG EAST IN THAT, DAMMIT) based somewhat in prediction, somewhat in fantasy, and somewhat in who-the-hell-knows. This will likely be ever-evolving; all opinions are my own, no sources were harmed in the creation of this post.

ACC: It seems that after losing Maryland (College Park) to the Big Ten, their next target will be UConn. There have been whisperings of Navy as well; not a bad look to pick back up that Baltimore-DC market. I've long said they should go Hopkins for a lacrosse-only membership--also back to Maryland--and Temple would bring Philly, the most major mid-Atlantic city not in play (if you believe that Syracuse brings New York.

Big East: Look, as much as I hate tot admit it, all the Big East has been playing for for some time now is the hope of being the best of the rest. Today, announcements are reportedly on the way to invite Tulane in all sports and ECU as a football only member. Let's just go all out and make it Conference USA circa 2003, and get UAB, Charlotte, and Southern Miss in the mix as well.

Big Ten: Jim Delany and the pursuit of product for the Big Ten Network started this mess up again. To that aim, why not invite Army and Navy and try to get BTN on bases nationally and internationally? Barring that,   the Big Ten's contiguous state doctrine only put one more state in play that wasn't before: Virginia. Adding Virginia and Virginia Tech gives you decent football in Tech, academic prestige in UVA, and what they care about the most: a decent sized metro area in Virginia's Tidewater region. They could also go after Missouri, who, after a lackluster first SEC season decides that's where they'd rather be anyway, or make one final embattled plea at the great white buffalo: Notre Dame.

Big 12: Since we're cannibalizing the Big East anyway, might as well go with Louisville and Cincinnati. Pick up some Florida eyeballs with USF (hey, a guy can dream, can't he?) and reach west for BYU and Boise State.

Pac-12: They should actually probably be the ones making a play for BYU or Boise State; also in the mix would be San Diego State, or, since Larry Scott's a wily sort of guy, get really Pacific on them and bring in Hawaii. And hey, all indications are that the University of British Columbia's football isn't up to snuff, but hell, why not take it international?

SEC: I'm going to side with Clay Travis' Virginia Tech and NC State theory. That'll give the SEC what they should truly have: Presence in every state that seceded from the Union.

One final thought: the College Athletics-Industrial Complex steals all of our rivalry games and sells them back to us as bowl games and specialty matchups. Be on the lookout for the Texas-Texas A&M Cotton Bowl and Maryland vs. Duke in the Big Ten - ACC Challenge.
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