Last night, the only ranked team in the Big East went down. Syracuse defeated West Virginia at home sealing the fate of the Big East this week. When the polls come out on Monday it is more than likely the Big East will not have a single team in the top 25. The conference is already on life support as conference realignment continues to shift the world of college football.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh have already notified the Big East that they will be moving to the ACC. TCU left the conference before it played a single game in the conference. The two moves leave the conference with only 6 football playing members. In hopes of not losing their Automatic Qualifier (AQ) status the Big East invited; Boise State, Air Force, Houston, and University of Central Florida. The remaining six football members voted on increasing the buy out to 10 million dollars this week. In other words if a school wanted to leave the Big East it would have to pay the conference 10 million dollars (versus the 5 million it was previously). The deal however, is contingent upon expansion, which is where things get interesting.
This week University of Missouri gave their Chancellor the go-ahead to move the school to a new conference if it was in the best interest of the school. It has been long speculated that if Missouri left the Big 12 they will land in the SEC. This move will have a ripple effect among the college football landscape. The Big 12 announced, if Missouri does leave the conference they will act quickly in finding a replacement. It is speculated that the Big 12 will invite current Big East members; West Virginia, Louisville, and possibly Cincinnati. This move will most certainly force Boise State and Air Force to stay put and thus cripple the Big East. They have held on to their BCS AQ status for too long as it is and at this point the remaining schools need to find a home soon or they will be left behind.
Last week the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA announced a conference alignment. They will not be merging the two conferences, as they will have their own separate divisions, but the 22 teams will be under one conference umbrella. The move was made in an effort to keep Boise State and Air Force in the Mountain West and to stave off the Big East from poaching their schools. There is hope from the Mountain West and Conference USA that the merger along with the collapse of the Big East will result in AQ status for the Mountain West/Conference USA alliance.
The BCS is a flawed system and needs to be changed. The answer though is not the “Super Conferences” as some claim. Too many schools will be left in the dust, rivalries will be a thing of the past, and too much pressure will be put on college athletes being forced to travel from coast to coast to play games. Schools need to stop chasing the top dollar and do what is best for a long term solution for the sport of college football. Unfortunately, at this point it seems it is all about the money.
What do you think of conference realignment? Is it good or bad for college football as a whole? As always don’t forget www.biginthegame.com for your ticket needs. Use discount code: WordPress when checking out.