The Dawg House

    The title of this blog basically sums up how the state of college football will most likely be after Friday. It was reported yesterday that the Nebraska Board of Regents have met and informally agreed that a move to the Big 10 is necessary. It appears that Nebraska, who has the second-most Big 12 Conference titles in all sports with 68, will definitely be leaving for Big 10 country. What happens next is hard to tell. Some think Missouri will follow the Cornhuskers in joining the Big 10, while others think that the Pac-10's invasion of the Big 12 teams will happen as soon as Nebraska makes the official announcement that they are gone. All the rumors of what will happen and what won't happen are starting to add up, so here's what I believe each of the main 3 conferences involved in this will look like, if not tomorrow, sometime very soon.

   The Pac-10 - The Pac-10 will add Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado. Initially I believed that the PAC-10 would not be successful in taking all 6 teams from the Big 12 that they invited, but that was before it was abundantly clear that the Big 12 is collapsing. I really wish the SEC could jump in and get Texas or Oklahoma, but that would mean getting the other schools linked to both schools, and I find that the SEC wouldn't really be interested in doing that. Plus it seems that both Texas and Oklahoma are more interested in moving west, not east. There have been issues about whether the last Big 12 school to move would be Colorado or Baylor. Personally, I see Colorado being the better fit. It is the farthest west of the Big 12 schools, it would provide the Pac-10 with the Denver TV market, and Colorado is a member of the Association of American Universities, whose other members include UCLA, USC, Cal, and Washington. Cheer up, Baylor. Maybe you'll find join a conference you actually have a chance of winning sometime soon.

   The Big 10 - The Big 10 will add Nebraska and Missouri from the Big 12. Although there are rumors that Notre Dame is interested in joining the conference, it fails to happen. I think that of all the teams that are moving around, Nebraska and Missouri make the most sense. Both states are located directly below what was Big 10 country, so addition is easy, both schools have had a recent history of winning, and both made it clear that they weren't happy with the Big 12 conference. Nebraska made it appear that a move from the Big 12 would not be as painful due to the fact that the team had not established a long history with the conference. I mean, just compare both conferences. The Big 12 was created in 1996; The Big 10 was created in 1896. Advantage Big 10.

   So, what does this mean for Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor? In truth, it's really not clear. By just looking at their locations, each team could fit in either the Mountain West Conference or Conference USA. All really except for Iowa State. Iowa State would fit best in the Big 10, but I don't see an opportunity for them to join along with the two other Big 12 schools. Just for the sake of predictions, I'm going to predict that Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor go to the Mountain West, while Iowa State joins Conference USA.

  What I've been dying to know is if the SEC will jump in and expand the conference from the 12 current teams or not. Although it appears that the SEC is just sitting back comfortably and watching the demolition of the Big 12, you know Commissioner Mike Slive doesn't want to let the SEC be outdone by another conference. I can hear the arguments about the best conference now. "The SEC's the best", says one person. "No they aren't," says another. "The Pac-10 is. The SEC only has 12 members. The Pac-10 has 16! Now that's competition!" There's no way the SEC can justify moving very far west and grabbing the remnants of the Big 12, so expansion would have to occur by taking some teams from eastern conferences (like the Big East, C-USA, or ACC). So, what schools would fit in with the SEC? I have 4 good candidates to help the SEC stay even with the Pac-10.

Louisville - This one hit me like a bolt of lightning last night. Louisville would be a perfect fit in the SEC. Like Nebraska in the Big 12, Louisville doesn't have a long tradition of being a Big East member (joined in 2005). The Cardinals have a huge rivalry with Kentucky, an SEC team, have a new football head coach who just came from the SEC, and could make tons of money in basketball with Rick Pitino vs. John Calipari in conference matchups every year.

TCU - Why not bring the Horned Frogs to the SEC? Sure, some may see moving west as problematic for the SEC, but come on! TCU would definitely be worth it. They have a recent history of great success, provide the SEC with the Texas recruiting pump, and bring to the SEC the Fort Worth TV market. This would also benefit TCU. They would finally be guaranteed a BCS berth if they provide the great record, they wouldn't have to worrry as much about Gary Patterson jumping ship to go to a higher-tier team, and they would finally get significant mention with the big teams. Sounds perfect to me.

Georgia Tech - As much as it hurts me to say it, Georgia Tech would be an excellent addition to the SEC. They have a strong program under Paul Johnson, would provide the SEC with the money-making Atlanta TV market, and would create a totally different kind of atmosphere in the annual game of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Could you imagine the Georgia vs Georgia Tech game being played at the very end of the regular season for a chance to play in the SEC Championship? Now that's what I'm talking about! Plus, this wouldn't be the first time Georgia Tech would be a member of the SEC. The Yellow Jackets played in the conference from 1932 to 1964, winning 5 SEC Championships during that time.

Clemson - Another school with a rich football tradition would be wonderful for the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers have many links to the SEC, including being located in SEC country, having a huge rivalry with South Carolina, and having previous rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs. Every Bulldog fan old enough to remember will never forget that Clemson was the team that Kevin Butler kicked his famous 60 yard field goal against to help Georgia win the game 26-23. There are already two teams in the SEC with the name "Bulldogs". How about three with the name "Tigers"?          


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