Expansion Makes Cents

by John Furgele

Count me in as one of those who think college football should create superconferences.  The time is right and this is more about 20 to 30 years down the road, not tomorrow or a few years.  Travel will be burdensome, but the creation of superconferences will generate enough monies to allow schools to charter flights to get to and fro. 

The Big Ten, known for being staid, is the forerunner here.  They have the Big Ten Network, which according to all reports is making big profits for its schools.  The Big Ten needs one more school to get to 12, a number that would allow them to stay relevant by staging a conference championship game, something that the ACC, SEC and Big 12 all have. 

The Big Ten, though wants to add as much as four teams to have 16.  They would love Notre Dame, a university that will try to hold on to its independent status, something that will be difficult to do in the long term. 

The Pac 10 also would like to stage a conference championship game, and like the Big Ten, there has been talk of a Pac 16 superconference.  Having conference championship games will serve as a defacto playoff game to better help determine the BCS champion. 

The two conferences on the hook are the Big East and the Big 12.  It looks like everybody ois trying to pry Texas and without Texas, the Big 12 sinks.  If you take Texas, you probably have to take Texas A&M, Texas Tech and likely Baylor, all perfect fits for the Pac 10.  Then, the Pac 10 could go and get Colorado and maybe a Utah and there is 16. 

The Big East, the weakest football conference is in danger of extinction.  They only have eight schools and if they can’t Notre Dame to come in, they will likely be done.  And, despite the competitiveness, the 16 school basketball with the football and non-football division is not working. 

The Big 12 would like to stay together, but if Texas leaves and takes the other Texas schools with them, how can it survive?  It would leave Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State in a precarious states. 

In the end, it will be good for college football and college sports in general.  Each conference will get its own network and will generate plenmty pof revenue for other sports.  College sports is all about money, let’s be honest and the cost of attending college is not going down.  Moreover, the public has shown an increased appetite for college football as one could argue that college football is the second most popular sport behind….NFL football. 

Vision is needed and hopefully, vision will prevail.

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