What about subtracting 2 teams and become the Big 8, playing powerful non-conference schedules with 8 really strong teams? Not sure which 2 to shed, maybe Kansas and West Virginia to the Big East, or whatever.
In the current climate, shedding teams would make the league less attractive. The only exception would be where you’re not giving up any TV markets; i.e., dropping Okie Lite and K-State while keeping Kansas and Paperclip U. KU may suck in football, but they give them the KC market and do manage to keep people’s attention from November to April in that indoor game. West Virginia was a pure TV set grab, mainly the Pittsburgh market (Morgantown is like 90 miles from PIT). If you’re unloading schools just because they suck in football, it would be KU and ISU, but again ISU is strong in basketball.
It makes sense that the networks are concerned. I’ve wondered all along what any of the schools bring to the conference. They’re all mid-majors with very little football tradition. BYU brings a bit of tradition, but not of the sort I’d think a major conference would especially want
BYU is good enough in football (couple of recent wins over Texass included; 18 teams in the final top 25 since 1976), SLC is a top-35 TV market and they have a built in national following thanks to the LDS (6 million members around the country; BYU is pretty much their Notre Dame).
Houston’s football tradition was just fine under Bill Yeoman and Jack Pardee; they won about two-thirds of their games, several conference titles, etc. But after the SWC imploded… not so much.
Travel has to be considered when the Big 12 makes its picks. BYU would be fine for the networks and awful for the members. It’s one thing to ask the West Virginia or Iowa State football team to fly to Utah for a weekend game. It’s another thing to ask the basketball or volleyball team to do that on Tuesday night and be in class Wednesday morning.
I think the Big 12 will inevitably fold up when the next grant of rights expires. Based on the teams available, I can’t see expansion strengthening the product. The SEC and Pac-12 will probably raid the conference in about six years and it will become another version of The American.
The SEC might indeed raid them for the top teams, but I hope it never comes to that. We’ve all had the discussion before, but I see a “conference” with 16, 18 or 20 teams as no conference at all. At least not in any sense we’ve used the word for over 100 years. The real conference, assuming there’s even some effort to keep such a thing, will be the divisions within the conference. We’ll be in a re-worked amalgamation of parts of the old SWC, Big 8, & SEC. Something on the order of an 8 or 9 member division made up of Texas, OU, OSU, MU, us, LSU, Ole Miss & MSU & someone else. The east half of the new “SEC” will be Alabama, Auburn, Tenn, UGA, UF, USC, UK, Vandy, W. Va.–or something along those lines. Our division champion will play the other division champion in the first game of the 8 game playoff with something similar happening in the ACC, PAC-20, & Big 10 (or 18). It’ll be the low-salary version of the NFL. It won’t be college football as we know it. I just hate the prospect of what seems to be inevitable.
not sure how the proposed scenario would be all that different (in mechanics) to the way the SEC works today. The best in the west plays the best in the east and the winner is almost guaranteed a spot in the playoff
Mechanically, it wouldn’t be much different. However, we now play 2 teams from the east every year. One is permanent, but we play every other team once every 6 years. Add more teams & we’d likely never play anyone on the other side–or we’d play them so seldom it wouldn’t matter. Once every 6 years is hardly frequent, but at least we see all conf foes some. That at least sorta makes us a conference. In basketball I guess we could play a 1-game round robin. In baseball, I guess we’d still play 10 teams, but I have no idea what kind of rotation. Other sports? Who knows?