Super 6 Teams

Major football drives the bus for athletic departments at major universities. It’s no surprise then that all of the current BCS conference teams (and all of the asterisked teams below) find themselves in the top 80 of revenue-earning schools. The following 74 are the big winners, elected to the elite alliance of cash-making sports schools. They can make their own rules (unhindered by the NCAA’s overarching rules) and soar to new levels without the struggling or money-losing schools.

Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples suggested a 64 team system that eliminated the Big 12 and Big East, but I believe that too many people out there care for the individuality and identity of each geographic area’s conferences to blend the entire Super 6 into just four regional conferences. I also don’t think anyone can force Notre Dame into a division, at least not as long as they are financially viable as an independent. I give him a nod for planting this seed into my head.

SEC Big Ten ACC Pac-12
Alabama Illinois Boston College Arizona
Arkansas Indiana Clemson Arizona State
Auburn Iowa Duke Cal
Florida Michigan Florida State Colorado
Georgia Michigan State Georgia Tech Oregon
Kentucky Minnesota Maryland Oregon State
LSU Nebraska Miami Stanford
Miss. State Northwestern North Carolina UCLA
Ole Miss Ohio State NC State USC
South Carolina Penn State Virginia Utah
Tennessee Purdue Virginia Tech Washington
Vanderbilt Wisconsin Wake Forest Washington State
Big 12 Big East Independents
Baylor Central Florida* Notre Dame
Houston* Cincinnati BYU
Iowa State Connecticut
Kansas Louisville
Kansas State Memphis*
Missouri Pittsburgh
Oklahoma Rutgers
Oklahoma State Syracuse
San Diego State* South Florida
Texas SMU*
Texas A&M TCU
Texas Tech West Virginia

*These teams would be invited because of strong athletic departments (2008-2009 and 2009-2010 numbers prove each of them to be top 80 revenue-earners) and strong TV markets for their individual conferences and the overall Super 6 contracts. For more explanation on these choices…click.


9 Responses to Super 6 Teams

  1. Brian says:

    Why keep the dead weight already in the big conferences? If this is a perfect world, why are WSU and ISU (just 2 examples) in it?

    • Old relationships die hard, for one. ISU and WSU, despite their low ranking on the athletic department income scale, still find themselves in the top 70. Some of the other “flavor of the month” football schools don’t have the overall athletic programs (i.e. Boise State). I know, I’m being slightly contradictory of myself here, for I keep arguing that football money rules the day. But this is tangentially about academic alliances and small sports prowess and intraconference rivalries too.

      In summary, the dead weight isn’t as dead as you presume.

  2. Brian says:

    Why allow independents? They ruin your plan. Six conferences leading to a 6 team playoff could make sense, but not with ND and BYU floating on the side.

    • I don’t think they “ruin” anything. I guess I could’ve easily pigeonholed ND to the Big East and BYU to the Big 12 (eliminating a new Texas school and SDSU), but I didn’t know how necessary that was. In the same way that non-BCS schools are cautiously kept out of the top 2 in the current BCS, ND or BYU could be kept out of the top 4 in my system if the fans felt them unworthy. But if they are playing a Super 6 schedule, then all they are missing is the CCG. I guess I see it like the “unwritten rule” that exists for the SEC right now…the SEC champ gets in the title game. If the conference is worthy, then their champ will get pushed into the top 4 and be guaranteed a spot in the playoff.

      I still contend (as I did when the “ND to Big Ten” talk was hot last year at this time) that ND and BYU would make more money in a conference, and maybe that would ultimately push them into a Super 6 Conference. But I have egg on my face from that argument the first time around so I thought I’d just let ND (and now BYU) have their druthers and remain on the outside.

  3. Brian says:

    Why not realign the conferences, if it’s a perfect world? Wouldn’t swapping SDSU and Utah make more sense, for example?

    • I like the history and the quirks of CFB. Penn State wanted an Eastern football conference in the 80’s. They were shot down. The Big East eventually got into the football game (and is still losing at it) while PSU went to the Big Ten. PSU lost some of its superiority (perhaps due to geographical divergence, perhaps to JoePa’s gradual slip), but overall, it’s in a far better place than any of the potential eastern rivals. PSU would never leave the Big Ten now. Too much prestige and money.

      You also have to remember that conferences still have autonomy. Why would the PAC-12 want SDSU? SDSU offers NOTHING to the PAC-12. However, the PAC-12 does offer some things (not a lot) to the Big 12–recruiting inroads, connections with West Coast alumni, TV market. And Utah DOES offer something to the PAC-12…an eastern rival for Colorado, strong athletics, and a decent TV market that isn’t open yet to them.

      History is huge in CFB. Yes, conferences have changed and shifted…but many of the rivalries have been around for over a hundred years. Why scrap those for the sake of geography?

  4. joe4psu says:

    Because Houston adds nothing to the Big 12, and the Big 12 has said it doesn’t want schools in it’s footprint, I’d put them in the BE and put Memphis in the Big 12. The BE would have three schools in Texas but since none are going to really dominate their market it would give the conference a better foothold and make the Dallas/FW schools less out of place.

    While I’d like SDSU to get a chance to play with the big boys it may make more sense to have BYU in the Big 12. They may be playing coy right now but if they got the opportunity to join the Big 12 I think they’d jump at it. That would leave ND as the only indy, curse them, and I think ND is much more acceptable as an outsider getting a playoff spot than BYU. Either way scheduling for an indy may be an issue.

    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      You make a valid point about Houston. Maybe Memphis would have more appeal? The only thing Houston would have going for it (other than it IS the namesake university for the 4th largest city in the US) is politics. Faced with exclusion from the Super 6, you’d think Texas lobbyists would push pretty hard to get AT LEAST SMU and Houston into a conference. With four Texas schools already holding votes in the Big 12, I figure they could use their clout if so persuaded and get Houston in.

      The independent thing…yeah, I don’t know. I’m getting flack on this from all over. It would be neat and tidy (and “perfect”) to force ND and BYU into a conference. There are spots in a 6 12-teams conferenes…both ND and BYU would be more desirable than UCF or Memphis or Houston. But I just don’t know if it’s necessary. They can hold their own financially, so they wouldn’t need conference ties. They may not have the extra hurdle of a CCG to keep themselves in the top 4…but voters still have the final say. If 10-2 Notre Dame isn’t judged to be as good as Big East conference champ, 12-1 West Virginia by voters, well, then WVU gets the #4 spot and ND sits at #5 and loses an auto-bid. Independence WOULD still be hurting ND. If they win a conference at 11-2 (or even 10-3 hypothetically) and could stay in the top 10, they’d be in. Instead, they have to gun for the top 4, or else! There is little advantage for ND and BYU staying on the outside of a conference.

      I don’t think scheduling would be a problem. They’d need 9 of the other 72 Super 6 teams to give them a game each year (BYU would be a yearly matchup). Considering their long-standing relationships with UM, MSU, Stanford, USC, and Purdue, I don’t think finding a couple more would be hard at all. BYU is also doing a stellar job of filling their new independent schedule for the future.

  5. This line-up has certainly changed in the past nine months.
    The ACC poached the Big East (Syracuse and Pittsburgh).
    The Big 12 poached the Big East (TCU and WVU).
    The SEC poached the Big 12 (TAMU and Mizzou).
    And almost all of the “non-BCS” teams that I theorized would be added…have been added–to the Big East!

    To speculate at this point, it seems like Louisville and BYU could be Big 12 bound, bringing them back to 12 teams again. The only assets remaining to the Big East would be Rutgers and UConn, and the ACC seems likely to poach them both (although I wouldn’t rule out the Big Ten finding value in Rutgers).

    At that point, the SEC would have 14, ACC 16, Big Ten 12, Big 12 12, and the Pac-12 12. Notre Dame would still be dangling in independence. The Big East–as far as football goes–would be an afterthought.

    What next after that point? Does the SEC or Big 12 attempt to raid the ACC? Do the Pac-12 or Big Ten hunt for Big 12 meat again (Sooners/Longhorns)? The Super 6 seems to be devolving into the Fabulous Five to me.

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