The realignment of the top echelon of college football started in 2011, with the arrival of Nebraska in the Big Ten and Colorado and Utah in the Pac-12. One year later, the Big East played its final football season and we went from six BCS conferences to the “Power Five.’’
When you go back five years and throw in basketball, how would you rate the Power Five on the additions and departures to its conferences? Here’s an attempt to do that:
1. SEC. The Southeastern Conference went from 12 to 14 teams with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M in 2012. There was a feeling that both football programs were walking into more than they could handle, but A&M has given a tremendous Texas presence to the SEC and Missouri has been solid.
There was speculation that Missouri was interested in joining the Big Ten. The Tigers have no complaints about where they wound up — although they are geographically misplaced in the East in football.
2. ACC. The Atlantic Coast Conference added Syracuse and Pittsburgh in 2013, and added Louisville and subtracted Maryland in 2014. It also added Notre Dame as a non-football member.
The expansion helped to keep Florida State (there were SEC rumors) in place. Plus, Louisville, Syracuse and Notre Dame reaffirm the ACC as the best men’s basketball league, even if it is with an unwieldy 15 teams.
3. Big Ten. Nebraska is a terrific asset, with its football tradition and excellent all-around athletic program. Maryland is ho-hum and Rutgers should be known as (commissioner) Jim Delany’s Folly.
4. Pac-12. Early on, there were reports the Pac-10 was going to wind up with as many as six teams from the Big 12 — including the big gets of Texas and Oklahoma. The league wound up instead with Utah and Colorado. Yawn.
5. Big 12. This conference lost Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Texas A&M, and added TCU and West Virginia. That’s a Jake Arrieta for Scott Feldman trade. The rest of the conference hates Texas and its profit-mongering. And, there’s a strong need to expand from 10 to 12 teams to get a football title game.
Plus Three from Patrick
Two collections of Cougars for Big 12 to reach 12 schools:
• Brigham Young. This is a stretch geographically, but BYU has a large Western following, good football and a strong all-around athletic program.
• Houston. It has a new on-campus football stadium and has made aggressive hires in Tom Herman (football) and Kelvin Sampson (men’s basketball).
• Other options: Bring SMU back in the fold, or add Boise State to pair with BYU, or add Cincinnati to fit geographically with West Virginia.