Friday, June 18, 2010

NCAA Conference Expansion Winners And Losers

It’s amazing to think that a week ago we were talking about the breakup of the Big XII and the expansion of the Pac-10 and Big Ten that would lead to the creation of four or so super conferences. However, now that the University of Texas has achieved keeping the remaining 10 schools in the Big XII together, most talk of conference realignment and super conferences has ceased.

So now that most if not all of the conference jumping has ended, who are the winners and losers?

First, let’s look at the teams that did make moves. Nebraska and Colorado will both leave the Big XII with Nebraska heading to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-10. Also on the move was Boise State which found a new home in the Mountain West Conference, a move all the remaining teams in WAC are excited for because now they can compete for the championship with the Broncos out of the picture. The last team expected to move will be Utah, who after Texas’ snub to the Pac-10 will most likely accept the Pac-10’s offer to become the 12th team in the conference.

Winner: With all conference expansion complete, the overall winner would have to be Texas, who will now control the new-look Big XII. With the departure of Nebraska and Colorado, Texas is poised to increase their already-number-one revenue stream. Plus, most fans in the Lone Star State have wanted a "Texas Network" and with Texas’ increased power over the conference, they will probably get it. When all is said and done, the new conference will continue Texas’ hold on college football in that part of the country.

Losers: With Texas and the rest of the six invited team from the Big XII giving them the snub, the loser has to be the Pac-10 who instead of expanding to 16, will have to settle for 12. Yes, the Pac-10 will still be one of the best conferences out there, but losing out on Texas and Oklahoma still gives them a losing grade.

As for the other conferences, they seem content with their current arrangements. The ACC didn’t have any jumpers though many thought that there would be a couple to the SEC. The Big East remains the same (although there are murmurs of Memphis and UCF joining their ranks), and the Big Ten takes a step forward by adding a historic program like Nebraska to its ranks. The SEC too will remain a powerhouse even though they didn’t add any teams, and the remaining Big XII will still be fine. In fact they will all probably make more money out of the departures.

 Article first published as NCAA Conference Expansion Winners And Losers on Blogcritics.


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