One might be thinking that the Syracuse players are trying to tackle the Pitt runner … before he gets to one of the last remaining seats in college football’s version of musical chairs. Boy, the times they are a changin’ ! For those of you without a scorecard, here’s what has happened over the past 4 weeks, through today:
— Texas A&M will become the 13th member of the SEC
— Pitt and Syracuse just yesterday announced they will be joining the ACC, thereby raising ACC conference membership to 14 schools. It’s not clear how quickly that move can be made. I’ve read that the amount of notice required to leave the BE is 27 months.
— The Pac 10, er … uh, Pac 12 is strongly rumored to be adding Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to their membership from the crumbling Big 12. That brings them to a 16 PAC, so I guess they’re just about done.
So what is this fascination with four 16-team “Super Conferences” and 64 teams? People have been talking about this for a couple years now …. and it appears this is the way we’re headed. But why can’t it be four 20-team super conferences, so 80 teams in all?? Or why not 5 at 20 for 100 teams in all?
It appears as though the four super conferences will be the PAC 16, the ACC, the SEC and the Big 16 (formerly the Big 10). So … what if you’re already a member of one of these super galaxies, but not very good in football??? For instance, Vanderbilt. Exhibit B … Indiana. Exhibits C and D: Duke and Wake Forest. Are current members guaranteed a seat at the table once the music stops???? That’s a key question.
Now, what if you’re a member of one of these crumbling conferences (Big 12, Big East) but you have a decent football pedigree? Maybe West Virginia, or now Baylor … or one of the Kansas schools … or Cincinnati? Where’s Louisville gonna end up?? What should you do …. scramble and beg for one of the last remaining chairs?
So … if it’s true that there will indeed only be four super conferences with only 16 teams apiece … and if it’s also true that current members are guaranteed their slots, then there are really only 9 chairs remaining at the table of the Super elite as follows:
— 4 in the Big 10-to-16
— 2 in the ACC
— 3 in the SEC
— 0 in the PAC 16
Grab your partner … doe see doe … if ya wait too long, they’ll say “no”.
So what should Notre Dame do? Although their last decade or so of on-field football performance has been far less than dazzling, they remain college football’s best national brand and drawing card. Should they wait to be courted or choose their date to the dance and pick their seat? Should they leverage their clout into starting a 5th super conference that has more of a national flavor? What if ND teamed up with new independent, BYU, the 3 military academies, TCU, Boise State, Baylor, Houston, L’ville, Rutgers, Iowa State and a handful of other schools left at the altar by the other big boys?
I’m kinda thinking ND should brush off their file on the Big 10 and seriously start looking at that. ND told ’em “no” a couple of years ago, but I gotta think the Irish will begin looking at B10 affiliation a little more fondly given all the movement over the past month. And if ya want any special terms or treatment (TV deal!), the time to negotiate that is now … not when there’s only one seat left and 16-20 teams are begging for it.
Questions, questions … anyone out there have some answers???