There’s a lot of expansion talk running around college football recently. It’s the dog days of the offseason, and this gives fans something to talk about, so rumors and #sources are being thrown about ad nauseam. There was a surprising bomb dropped earlier this week:
Houston?! In the Pac?! Almost definitely not, but it gets the mind racing. So I took this news as a liscence to go crazy and I thought of some weird scenarios where the Conference of Champions expands. Limiting expansion to just two teams wasn’t fun, so I got the conference up to 16 teams, and boy howdy is it a cluster. Instead of 8-team divisions, I broke up the conference into four four team pods. This works out surprisingly well with a 9-game conference schedule. CU would play the three teams in its pod every year, than alternate two teams in the other three pods. So, one example of a conference schedule would be one SoCal and NorCal team (USC and Cal), one Washington and Oregon team (UW and OSU), one Arizona and non-Arizona team (UA and UNLV). Here’s my wonky dream conference:
This would probably challenge the ACC for the best basketball conference, and get pretty damn good at football, too. Adding the Vegas market, as well as Oklahoma’s pull is a huge win, and the main problem with this is the lack of a foothold in Texas. The Mountain Division would have a clear recruiting advantage there. The Cali schools still get to play each other every year, and the original Pac 8 stays largely intact. CU gets to battle KU for worst record for a while, and UA gets to learn what a real basketball blue-blood looks like. Utah seems the most out of place in this alignment, and I’m sure a lot of Buff fans would not like the Big 12 retread division, as CU just spent a lot of time getting out of that conference. Putting Oklahoma in the same pod as the Buffs has the added benefit of making Jon Woods choose between CU and OU, which really shouldn’t be a choice at all. The conference’s culture stays largely intact, too. OU is an academic plus, and an AAU university to boot, and KU and OSU aren’t half bad. UNLV is properly placed in their division (sorry, Adobe Division), but is a growing school.
Now, that’s what I want out of a conference, but if you want some weird stuff, here’s what I came up with:
I wanted SO BAD to put TTU and the Arizona schools in the same division. I feel like they are natural rivals and just weird enough for each other. But, alas, I couldn’t make it work when I added the crazy teams. OU and UT get placed together, as it should be, which makes it a stupidly top-heavy division. Just to mess with UT, I put UH in the same pod, and TTU is there to play spoiler constantly. CU’s division actually turned out quite well, methinks. the Buffs’ three most natural rivals in the Pac-12 get placed together, allowing these rivalries to incubate and making for easy road trips for Buff fans. This scenario also requires the utter implosion of the Big 12, something that was a long time coming, if you ask me.
Well, tell me what you think. What are your Pac-12 pipe dreams? Crazy scenarios? Let me hear it!