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NCAA Conference Expansion (UPDATE 6:04 PM)

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With the talks of conference expansion swirling, nearly everybody has a take on what will happen. This is extremely important to the future direction of college athletics because of where money will be going. The whole process has been driven by two things: the aggressive stance that new Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott has taken, and the restlessness of the Big 12 (Texas and Nebraska in particular). Here is my take on how the expansion will look when it's all said and done.

Click through to see the mock conferences as I think they will play out.

Here's what I think everything will look like when it's all said and done:

ACC (12 teams)
UNC
Duke
Wake
State
UVA
VT
Maryland
BC
UConn
Syracuse
West Virginia 
South Florida/Louisville (wild card 12th spot)

If we decide to go the 16 team route then toss in WVA, Pitt, Louisville and a wildcard.

The ACC will become a primary basketball conference with a secondary look on football.

Clemson, FSU, Miami, and GT will move to the SEC because of the natural footprints, rivals, and SEC outlook on things (football first, basketball 2nd if not 3rd behind baseball).

I see both sides to Swofford's decision to not allow teams in the ACC to be in it if they do not bring football and basketball, but G-Town and Villanova both are better academic schools than WVU (obviously, as is every other school in the country).

Pac-16
Oregon
Oregon State
Cal
UCLA
USC
Arizona
Arizona State
Washington
Washington State
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Baylor (Colorado/Boise)
Stanford


Big 16(?!?)
Illinois
Iowa
Michigan
Michigan State
Wisconsin 
Ohio State
Penn State
Indiana
Minnesota 
Northwestern
Purdue
Kansas
Kansas State
Iowa State
Mizzou
Nebraska

SEC

Vanderbilt

Tennessee

LSU

Alabama

Florida

Arkansas

Georgia 

Ole Miss

Mississippi State

Kentucky 

Auburn

South Carolina

FSU

GT

Clemson

Miami

 

 


The Big East will merge with the C-USA and become a small bigger conference with teams like Houston, ECU, Rutgers, Providence, Seton Hall, with G-Town and Nova headlining it. This will be interesting because in basketball, those two schools will obviously be the cream of the crop, but they can continue to be in AA in football.

The MWC and WAC would be wise to form up too and make a good football conference out there. Boise is in an interesting spot because I don't know that they want to be in the Pac-16 if the Texas schools are going to be in it. They will have a tough decision to make if they are in fact extended and invitation.

Another thing that could happen is Kansas, Colorado, Iowa State and Kansas State join the MWC if they decide not to merge with the WAC. This is obviously not ideal for these schools, but it could happen.

I probably missed some things and a school here and there, but I think this is what will likely happen in the future (if not immediate future with talks of Nebraska going to the Big Ten by Friday).

This whole process hinges on the one school that everybody wants: Texas. They will essentially choose where they go, and will likely take all the Texas teams with them (with maybe Baylor being left out). 

Another great article (along with this one of course), is the one written by Dan Wetzel on Yahoo! Sports that blames the Big 12 for eschewing playoff. This outlines the things that led up to the talks of expansion and why the Big 12 will likely fold as a result of it.

Like always, feel free to comment and let's get a healthy debate going on here about what will happen. I would love to see your picks too so feel free to throw out your own predictions either on here, or make a FanPost about it.

 

***UPDATE***

Nebraska to the Big Ten appears to be moving very quickly. Joe Schad reports that the Big Ten prioritizes as follows:

1. Nebraska (check, more or less)

2. Notre Dame (no check)

3. Rutgers/Maryland (very interesting, nothing yet to either).

This is pretty interesting and could affect the ACC if they decide to pursue Maryland.