I’d like to take a hypothetical view of the conference move. This proposition covers sports only, no revenue, politics, academics, just sports.
I expect the sections to be divided as such for Football:
West: Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State
East: Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Colorado
Thoughts: It really bugs me that the Arizona schools may be ousted from the conference. I won’t miss them, but it still bugs me that the conference will be torn apart to add new teams, and from the look of the Eastern Conference, they could have a tough time catching up to the juggernauts of the division.
Here’s an example of a possible UCLA “pre-season” schedule (modeled off of an SEC Schedule)
- Out of Conference
- Out of Conference
To avoid “the perfect storm” I kept UT and OU in the same rotation, and to avoid making two trips to the same area, the Arizona schools are on the same rotation as well. This schedule also allows for a complete tour around the western division, keeps rivalries in tact (i.e. USC-UCLA, as well as the midyear matchup between UT & OU), and is diverse enough to allow Out of Conference games. Hey, why not, add an Out of Conference to the two rotations, and add a BYE week to the Out of Conference slots.
Championship: The Championship Game would most likely take place at the U of Phoenix stadium. The winner of the respective division, by any form of tie-braking, would get a bid to the championship game. In effect, the winner of the East (for the next few years at least) would be the winner of the Red River Shootout, and the winner of the West would be more or less of a tossup.
BCS: Now here is where things can get real interesting, the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl are jeopardized here. To avoid pure “At-Large” bids, there could be some very complex, long string selection processes written. I could see a situation where the winner of the PAC-16 Championship game could get the automatic Rose Bowl bid. Then, the Fiesta Bowl would go down the drain for the Big XII winner, as well as the Holiday Bowl.
Want an edgy suggestion? Make the MWC a BCS conference, they’ll act as the new Big XII, filling spots for the Holiday and Fiesta Bowls. Just a suggestion...
The qualifications for the PAC-16 in the Holiday Bowl could be 2nd place team in the East, 2nd place in all of the PAC-16 if they didn’t receive a BCS bid (unlikely), 3rd place team in the entire PAC-16, and a thousand other combinations. It’s actually pretty complex once you think about it.
The biggest problem would be bowl eligibility for both the divisions; for instance, the lower echelon bowls such as the Pinstripe, Dallas, Armed Forces, and Las Vegas Bowls could be surrendered to accommodate for the new competitive nature of the conference.
That’s it for the Football version, I’ll get into basketball should it deem necessary, or favorable to BN.