First off, let me say that I didn't start off as a fan of moving to the Big 10. I love the history of the Big 8, the Big 12 itself (mostly, aside from the annoyances we all agree on), do enjoy the rivalries with Kansas, Nebraska, and yes, even teams like Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Colorado. Those are "our schools", particularly being a life long resident of the Kansas City area. I also love the Big 12 tournament, having attended all but one (oddly enough, the one Mizzou won in 2009), as well as the last year of the Big 8 tournament.
However, it now appears imminent that the college landscape will change. Of course, in college basketball, you'll still see several small conferences (Patriot, etc) so it will have a huge impact there too, but for the purposes of organizing major colleges, I thought I would focus on college football in this post.
With that in mind, I want to make a few stipulations that I think will be facts:
- No teams will drop from FBS to FCS, outside of possibly someone like Tulane, who is already having issues anyway. But there will no mass drop.
- In fact, when the ban on teams moving up expires in 2012, you're going to see several new "FBS" level teams -- South Alabama, Georgia State, Texas State, UTSA, Lamar, James Madison, Portland State, Cal Davis, Cal Poly, App State, Charlotte, Montana -- you'll probably see around 132 FBS level teams.
- Army & Navy will remain the only independents as Notre Dame will join the Big 10.
With that in mind, here is my stab at what I think the conferences will look at in 2014:
Pac 16: Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
Mountain 14: Utah, BYU, UNLV, New Mexico, San Diego State, Air Force, Wyoming, Colorado State, TCU, Boise State, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor,
WAC: San Jose State, Utah State, Idaho, New Mexico State, Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada, Cal Poly, Cal Davis, Montana, Texas State, UTSA, Portland State, Lamar
Big 16: Iowa, Illinois, N'Western, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Missouri, Nebraska, Rutgers, Pitt
SEC: Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Ga Tech, West Virginia, Florida State
ACC: Boston College, Maryland, Duke, UNC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, NC State, Wake Forest, Miami, UCONN, Syracuse, South Florida, Louisville, Cincinnati, Central Florida, East Carolina
MAC: N. Illinois, Ball State, W. Michigan, C. Michigan, E. Michigan, Buffalo, Ohio, Akron, Miami-Ohio, Kent State, Bowling Green, Toledo, Temple, James Madison
CUSA: Rice, Houston, Tulsa, La Tech, UTEP, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulane, Marshall, UAB, North Texas, Louisiana Tech
Sun Belt: LA-Monroe, LA-Lafayette, Arkansas State, Fla Atl, Fla International, Troy, Middle Tennessee, South Alabama, Western Kentucky, Georgia State, App State, Charlotte
Army & Navy