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Clemson, A&M, FSU, and Mizz to the SEC?

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 13, 2011


What will the conferences look like in 2014? If Texas A&M really does go to the SEC, who's next? Florida State, Clemson, and Missouri might be off to the SEC, Texas will be important, and the Big Ten will try to make some big moves, and the rest of the conferences are going to have to adjust.


College Football 2014

How The Leagues Will Look

By Pete Fiutak
- Follow us ... http://twitter.com/ColFootballNews

The conference realignment game of musical chairs didn't stop with the Pac-10 becoming the Pac-12 and Nebraska taking off for the Big Ten. If and when Texas A&M really does leave for the SEC - and there's some thought that it's all a lot of posturing to get a better deal from the Big 12 - then everything will start to tumble.

The door will be open for Oklahoma and other Big 12 schools to leave, Conference USA will be raided for teams, the ACC will have to fill a slot after losing Florida State, and the Big Ten will want to be bigger and better in an attempt to get more big TV markets for the BTN.

So how will the college football conferences look in 2014? After all the dust settles and all the network deals are figured out, here's the best guess - going off of swirling rumors, inside tips, and a little bit of blind speculation - on what the conferences will end up becoming.

ACC – What It Is
Atlantic - Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, NC State, Wake Forest
Coastal – Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
Atlantic - Boston College, East Carolina, NC State, South Florida, Wake Forest, UCF
Coastal – Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech

The ACC will keep the traditional basketball powers – the North Carolina programs aren’t going anywhere – and it’ll make up for the loss of Florida State to the SEC by taking away South Florida from the Big East and UCF from Conference USA. The league will make up for the loss of Clemson, sort of, with East Carolina. All of a sudden, the ACC would have the Orlando and Tampa TV markets to go along with Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Virginia, and the Carolinas.

Big 12 - What It Is
Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
Baylor, Colorado State, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas State, Rice, Southern Miss, SMU, Tulsa, UTEP

Texas A&M will start to topple the dominoes. The Aggies will leave for the SEC, and then Oklahoma will listen to Bob Stoops, who’s livid about Texas having its own TV network, and take off to the Pac-12 along with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Kansas. The Big 12 will scramble by taking as many Texas schools as it can grab from Conference USA in an attempt to give Texas cannon fodder for the Longhorn Network, but it won’t work. Texas won’t want to be bogged down with a Conference USA schedule and will go the independent route to schedule Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech on a yearly basis, while also getting its share of other Texas schools like Houston and Rice. The Big 12 will try to expand a bit with Colorado State, Tulsa, and Southern Miss, but the power will be in the Lone Star State.

Big East - What It Is
Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, West Virginia

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pitt, Temple, TCU, West Virginia

South Florida will likely take off to the ACC, while Rutgers will go to the Big Ten along with either Syracuse, Connecticut, or Pitt. The Big Ten wants New York eyeballs and will take Syracuse. TCU is joining the league next year and there might be a race with the Big 12 to see who can get Houston and SMU first. The Big East will want East Carolina, but it'll want to go to the ACC. Temple wouldn't be a huge get, but it's a natural fit to bring the Philly market back to the mix. Army and Navy might be on the table, and the Big East will make an ongoing pitch to try to bring in Notre Dame as an anchor, but all three will stay independent.

Big Ten - What It Is
Leaders – Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Legends – Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
Leaders – Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse
Legends – Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin

The Big Ten wanted Texas, but that was never going to happen with the Longhorn Network in the works. The BTN is going to be a cash machine if the right ad markets are added to the mix, and New York is the right ad market. Connecticut will be in the discussions, but there’s no need for the Huskies if the Big Ten can get a few other key Big East schools. The idea of bringing in Pitt didn't seem to matter before, considering the league already owns Pennsylvania with Penn State, but with Missouri likely off to the SEC, and with no interest in Iowa State or Kansas, getting Pitt gets another decent market while setting up some nice rivalry games. Rutgers and Syracuse will bring in New York City, Buffalo, and everywhere in between, and Maryland expands the TV reach to Baltimore and Washington D.C. Illinois and Wisconsin will move over from the Leaders Division with the Illini being paired with Northwestern and the Badgers having a natural tie-in with Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

Conference USA - What It Is
East – East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB, UCF
West – Houston, Rice, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa, UTEP

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
East - Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Memphis, Western Kentucky
West - Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Troy, Tulane, UAB. ULM

It’s not going to be pretty. Conference USA will suffer from geography, with the Big 12 stealing away the Texas teams, the ACC wanting UCF, and the Big East looking to fill out the roster with some of the eastern programs. There’s only one place to go: the Sun Belt. Getting Florida Atlantic and FIU would ease the pain of losing UCF and would keep a presence in Florida. Taking Louisiana Tech away from the WAC is a given, and rivalries can quickly be formed with Louisiana-Lafayette and ULM, while adding Troy would create a wee bit of a buzz and a rival for UAB. There might not be any power programs in the conference, but it would be competitive and entertaining.

Independents - What It Is
Army, BYU, Navy, Notre Dame

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
Army, BYU, Navy, Notre Dame, Texas

The independents are the biggest wild card. Army and Navy could end up in the Big East or Conference USA, Texas could end up staying put in the Big 12, and it wouldn’t be a shocker if Notre Dame ended up in the Pac-12 or even the SEC – but not the Big Ten. In the end, the money will be too great for BYU, Notre Dame, or Texas to be a part of any league, while Army and Navy will continue to like the national schedule it can create.

MAC - What It Is
East – Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami University, Ohio, Temple
West – Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
East – Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Massachusetts, Miami University, Ohio, Villanova
West – Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan

The TV markets and the fan bases simply aren’t there for the other conferences to come in an poach. Temple might go back to the Big East, and Conference USA might come calling, but the MAC should stay relatively set with Akron moving from the East to the West to make way for UMass and Villanova.

Mountain West - What It Is
Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV, Wyoming

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming

The Mountain West should be solid with the addition of Fresno State, Hawaii, and Nevada next year. Boise State suffers from geography, but it'll settle in and should be just fine as an anchor for the best of the non-BCS leagues.

Pac-12 - What It Is
North – California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State
South – Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, USC, Utah

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
North – California, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State
South – Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UCLA, USC, Texas Tech, Utah

The Pac-12 tried to go big last year in an attempt to get Texas and Oklahoma, and while everyone is saying the league will stay as is after taking Colorado and Utah, don’t believe it. The Pac-12 might want to take Texas and let the Longhorn Network stand, but there's no way USC would stand for that and forget about getting anyone else from the Big 12. Oklahoma wants out of the Big 12, and when all is said and done, it’ll bring Oklahoma State and Texas Tech along for the ride to make the Pac-16 South tremendous. Colorado will move to the North, while Kansas will come in because of the basketball program.

SEC - What It Is
East – Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
West – Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
East – Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky,  South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
West – Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M

And now the world really blows up. Texas A&M appears to be a lock for the SEC, and Florida State is in the mix, but now the big story if Clemson and Missouri. While it might not make much sense to bring in Clemson, it's a power program that boosts up the league's cache, while Mizzou gets the SEC the St. Louis and Kansas City markets. However, there are two wild cards on the table. 1) Notre Dame. The Irish brass love the idea of being independent, but they might like the money and the prestige of being in the SEC even more. The idea has been floated out there, and the SEC would do whatever it takes to make it happen. 2) Oklahoma. The other SEC programs would blow a gasket at the idea of adding another superpower to the mix after bringing in Texas A&M and Florida State, but the next TV package could double if the Sooners and Oklahoma State come aboard. Don't dismiss the idea of going to 18 teams.

Sun Belt - What It Is
Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Troy, ULM, Western Kentucky

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
FCS. Conference USA is going to need teams and the Sun Belt won't be able to keep them.

WAC - What It Is
Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Utah State

The 2014 Version Will Probably Be …
Idaho, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Texas State, UT-San Antonio, Utah State

After being a part of the BCS mix with Boise State and Hawaii, the WAC will be a shadow of its former self as it becomes everyone’s fill-in payday September home non-conference game.