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For conference strength, round robin is by far the best, so 10 is max this way. But every one is on board with expansion, AS LONG AS IT FITS. So what does that mean?
12 works as 2 divisions with 3 rotating games from the other division for a total of 8. Doesn't produce as strong a bond of familiarity and unity, and it is hard to balance the strength of the 2 divisions, but at least you get compensated for the extra trouble beyond the additional members by getting paid for the CCG. You just have to work harder at communication and consensus decisions.
14 becomes really hard with no inherent benefits. Much tougher scheduling and even harder to equally set up the divisions. With 12 everyone plays everyone else at least 2x every 4 years, nice home & home. 14 isn't so smooth as you can't divide 7 evenly by 2 or 3. The SEC appears to be experiencing this, as several members have advised us to think long and hard before going to 14.
16 sounds great on paper with one of the various versions of rotating pods and cross pod rivals. Everyone would play each other at least 2x every 6 years. But now you have to set up 4 divisions more or less equally and work that much harder on communication and consensus. The effort has expanded exponentially, not just 2x, or even 4x, but 8x harder. NO conference has attempted it and survived.
So, if we go to only 12 and FSU is included, be it with Clemson or with ND, FSU is stuck on an island with 1 other or by themselves, and WVU would be in the same situation. Not a good long term solution for them being content in the conference.
But if planning our moves and we wanted to go to only 12, we should try to accommodate everyone's desire to have regional rivals (defined as opponents whose games you could comfortably drive to). What makes sense is to get ND and 1 of (in order of travel preference) UL, Pitt, Maryland, or VT. This would make for a nice swing from the Kansas schools & Iowa State eastward, and unify that division. If not ND, then take 2 or the those 4 or UNC or NCSU.
Geography still matters somewhat, and FSU really only makes sense if we expand to at least 14, and the numbers will work only if we go to 16, and that has never worked. But then, it has never been attempted with a GOR, so who knows.
I'm not arguing for or against, I'm not even sure Deloss is per se. But I agree that after 12 it becomes uncharted waters, and much more risky. If we decide to go that way, we need to have 4 strong anchor teams in place to secure the 4 pods with equal strength. This explains Deloss' insistence that we get ND in place as the first step to going down that path. We already have Texas and Oklahoma as anchors, and know we can get FSU, and 4 additional teams to make 16 should be no problem. If ND won't accept, then UNC is the only other option to attempt 16, or we need to stop expansion to stay at 10, or only look for 2 neighbors for WVU and then quit. Bloggers and Fans to the contrary, these are the only options historically that make any long term sense.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Old Tascosa on 5/22/2012 at 3:09 AM
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Largely agree with Old T.
Here's the thing about 16. Ever since the WAC broke up in the late '90s, I've considered a 16-team football conference with divisions to be two eight-team conferences.
You can shuffle pods all you like, but you can't run a 16-team football league as a unit, and the BE has shown that a 16-team basketball league isn't all it's cracked up to be, either.
I'm also skeptical that a 14-team football league can run smoothly. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the SEC. I saw on a Missouri board that after this season, Alabama won't be playing at Missouri again until 2024. If I were a Missouri fan, I'd find something wrong with that picture.
I can see why Texas and OU are trying to apply the brakes, if that is true, beyond their obvious self-interests. The Law of Unintended Consequences often applies where it is least expected. FSU, Clemson, GT/Pitt and ND seems like it's do-able, and if it's do-able, it seems like a no-brainer. But there's really no going back. You make a mistake, you'll pay down the line, either with a clunky operation that can't do things right and drags everyone down, or another stage of peeling away decent assets for nothing or next to nothing.
“Kansas may wind up number one in these polls, but that would be so unfair to Texas...” -- Len Elmore, 2/13/11
"I've heard some of our fans say, 'We were always an SEC school. We just didn't know it," athletic director Bill Byrne said.
Miami's problem is no one knows how hard the NCAA is going to hammer you and if the football team will be down for many years as a result of it. Also, your President does not seem to really support the football team.
That being said I would love for the Big 12 to take Miami. I will still watch Miami when they are playing another high profile opponent so I have to think Miami is still a national draw.
This post was edited by Hookem89 on 5/23/2012 at 11:22 AM
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