Blog Entry Future Football Power Rankings

Posted on: September 22, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: September 22, 2011 1:27 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

In our realignment crystal ball, Brett McMurphy and the rest of the Eye on College Football team broke down each conference landscape and the division of power after the current wave of realignment settles and the college football ship sails forward. But what about the entire college football landscape? How do the six major conferences stack up against each other when it comes time for the BCS contracts to renew in 2014?

By our best guess, no conferences will implode we will still have six major conferences. There has been some expanding, replacing, and in the case of the Big East even further separation between football and basketball. As a reminder, here are our projections for further conference realignment once this current wave of transition is complete.

Big Ten - remains at 12 teams
Pac-12 - remains at 12 teams
SEC - Adds Texas A&M and Virginia Tech
Big 12 - Adds BYU to replace Texas A&M
ACC - Adds Connecticut, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. Loses Virginia Tech to the SEC
Big East - loses Connecticut, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh. Adds TCU, Houston, UCF, Villanova, Navy, and Air Force as football schools.

Based on these projected movements, here are the Realigned Football Conference Power Rankings

1. SEC - Based on our projections, the rich get richer. The almighty SEC, holder of the last five national championships, adds the passion and history of Texas A&M along with a Hokies program that has won four ACC titles in the last seven years. Since joining the ACC Virginia Tech has been the most dominant team in the conference, and adding Frank Beamer's squad along with the Aggies is nothing but an upgrade to an already dominant conference.

2. Big Ten - The reason Jim Delany is comfortable with his current membership roster is because he doesn't need any more members to survive. The most important pieces in the makeup of the Big Ten are some of the most storied programs in history, and he only increased that status with the addition of Nebraska. The Big Ten Network pioneered conference-wide television rights, and this conference is till among the best in the nation even after sitting out this last round of realignment.

3. Pac-12 - Larry Scott opts to stay at 12 in this wave of realignment because there is no reason to expand. The possible additions of Texas, Oklahoma, and their in-state counterparts was beginning to look like more of a headache than the conference wanted to deal with at this point. The Pac-12 has annually fielded at least one national title contender, including a top three AP finish in three of the last four seasons. But while the Big 12 can also claim title contenders, the Pac-12 offers depth where the Big 12 does not. Briskly brushing over Washington State, schools like UCLA, Cal, and Arizona State all have the potential to field a competitive team on a yearly basis. The same cannot be said for the likes of Iowa State and Kansas.

4. Big 12 - After being days away from possible implosion, this conference likely survived because Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said "no." With Oklahoma getting the reform they wanted from the conference, and Texas getting to keep the Longhorn Network, all the conference needed to do was replace Texas A&M. BYU doesn't bring enough to the table football-wise to boost their stock over the Pac-12, but tossing the Cougars into the mix isn't too much of a downgrade either. Bronco Mendenhall has delivered six bowl appearances and five Top 25 finishes since taking over as head coach in 2005, and the upgrade from independence will only boost exposure and recruiting.

5. ACC - From a football perspective, this wave of realignment will only add to the national criticism of mediocrity in the ACC. Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Syracuse have only three COMBINED Top 25 finishes in the last decade - all three are Pittsburgh, and none of them is higher than 15. Additionally, losing Virginia Tech to the SEC strips some of their recruiting presence in the Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach area and erases their greatest recent benefactor in the BCS formula. These additions secured the conference's future, but did not boost their overall status among the other BCS conferences.

6. Big East - The addition several non-AQ schools will boost the excitement and intrigue for Big East football. Do not confuse this excitement and intrigue for an upgrade in performance, where you can likely expect a similar situation to the state of the conference since the last ACC raid. TCU and West Virginia will carry the banner for the conference nationally, while come combination of USF, UCF, Louisville and Navy will beat each other up to the result of the occasional national ranking and numerous 8-win seasons. The Big East's current membership boasts their "competitiveness," but after this realignment it will be TCU, West Virginia, and everyone else clawing to 7 wins for bowl eligibility.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 3:34 am Future Football Power Rankings

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Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: October 2, 2011 1:22 am Future Football Power Rankings

LOL....the big east would rank #3 in bball????......lets see uconn hasn't left yet but even if they do....there's Villanova,Georgetown,WVU,Louisville,N.D,St.Johns,Cincy,Marquette...need i go rank the conf 3rd is laughable

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: September 22, 2011 10:13 pm Future Football Power Rankings

Virginia Tech will never join the SEC.

Since: Sep 18, 2011
Posted on: September 22, 2011 10:05 pm Future Football Power Rankings

I agree that the Big East would take Villanova over Temple - but not because it makes sense from a pure competitive or market perspective.  Temple has proven this year that it has far more fans, better TV ratings, better facilities and, of course, a better team (the Owls are NOT the ones that got blown out at home by ... ready for this ... Monmouth).  Rather, it's because what's left of the Big East football schools CONTINUE to be the bee-atches (sorry if the term offends ... would butt-boy be better?) of Providence College, Seton Hall, etc.  They can't go out and start a new conference because it would lose the brand name and, more importantly, the AQ.  

Had Rutgers, UConn, WVA and the others had an ounce of guts or brains, the football schools would have broken away and started a new conference years ago - before UM and BC left.  They could have llured in other top notch schools ... maybe even pulled Penn State back in.  They owned the biggest TV markets in the country, for goodness sakes.  They practically live next door to the execs from ESPN and CBS.

To Providence College, Seton Hall, Villanova and St. Johns and the rest of the current and former members of the Big East, I say congratulations.  You've killed Eastern football forever! 

Since: Sep 6, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2011 3:07 pm Future Football Power Rankings

The Virginia Tech stuff in Patterson's post is ridiculously ignorant for these reasons: 1) Tech loves the ACC because it plays all of its natural rivals (except WVU), makes good money and challenges for a BCS berth every season, and 2) Tech would be a mid-level SEC team (in the Georgia, Arkansas or South Carolina mode rather than LSU or Alabama or Auburn or Florida mode), as it's proven by its poor record against Top 10 teams (it has become a power only because the ACC has had no national-caliber programs since the Hokies left the Big East, where -- by the way -- they were 4-3, 3-4, 4-3 in conference play their last three years before bolting).

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:45 pm Future Football Power Rankings

I agree with Buford62.Virginia Tech wont leave the ACC for the SEC.We would love to have them but its not going to happen.My projection is SEC will end up taking W.Virginia after its all said and done because they need to add someone to join the SEC east and theres not many options out there.I dont think any ACC team will be leaving the conference so who else can we get?

Since: Sep 13, 2011
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:24 pm Future Football Power Rankings

I really don't see any ACC schools leaving to come to the SEC becasue the ability to compete is as big a factor as money.  Would love to have Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson, etc. just don't see it happening.

It isn't a bad strategy for any of the conferences to stagger their additions because it opens the door to renegotiating their TV packages each time.  I wonder how long it will take for a conference to write a TV contract that says $1 more than the best deal given to any conference! 

I don't know when but the magic number is 16 members so you can have 4 divisions and open the door to divisional playoffs as well as conference championships.  For a conference like the SEC it would mean millions in additional revenue.  If you think it won't work and no one would ever win the national champonship again well that is what they thought before and that was proven incorrect also.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:16 pm Future Football Power Rankings

Virginia Tech will not leave the ACC for the SEC !

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: September 22, 2011 12:58 pm Future Conference Power Rankings

Hey Chip, 
You need to edit, as you have Florida State as an SEC add, but then reference Virginia Tech.

Next Steps by conference:


SEC rejected West Virginia.  Missouri is also rejected for the most part.  I always said that SEC Presidents would never admit it, but really would not want to include a "Yankee" school.  Not because the still believe in the Confederacy, but to protect traditions and their identity.

So, I predict the SEC will seek to go to 14 not 16.  Next move is Florida State, Florida will object but the school's appeal is overwhelming.  Consider that there are five major football programs in Florida, yet two schools from Mississippi in the SEC and only one from Florida.  C’mon. 

Second choice VA Tech, but Virginia politicians are heavily involved in their schools and they will not want Virginia and VA Tech to be split up now that heir together.

Final choice NC State.  North Carolina/Duke will not be split, but NC State has no such connection.  Fits the SEC map well.

Louisville, Miami, sorry no city schools in this conference.



Will stand pat for now.  Less pressure now that Pac12 has rejected expansion.  Would add a Rutgers if Notre Dame ever came aboard.  However if ND felt pressured to lose independance, the ACC is as likely as BIG TEN.  One day if the Big 12 implodes, Kansas and Missouri may come aboard.  


Thank you Larry Scott/Pac12 Presidents.  I had always said, the Pac12 won't accept Oklahoma/Oklahoma State without Texas.  



Survives, but difficult to predict.  It's funny how Texas had all the real power, but Boren comes back to the Big 12, chest puffed out and all.  But Texas needs the Big 12 to stay together.

Probably accepts BYU.  Having been this close to extinction again, they will push get to 12 and a Conference Championship.   Yes, they may reach out to Louisville and West Virginia if UConn and Rutgers announce departing the Big East.  I do think discussions will happen with Houston, SMU, TCU, Boise State, and maybe even Colorado State.

For those who think TCU is a natural, recall that the reason they were not asked when Nebraska and Colorado left because of the difficulty around accepting TCU without SMU and Houston, Texas politics being what they are. 

In the end, don’t be surprised if the Big12 goes to 16 before or at the same time as the ACC does.



IF an SEC rumor about an ACC school starts up in time, the ACC may only take UConn and stay at 14.  IF it doesn't happen in time, they may take UConn and Rutgers (Once Rutgers is convinced BIG TEN acceptance won’t happen), then if the SEC takes a team, I predict they will look at Villanova or Temple.  They have already rejected WVU.  

IF they lose Florida State or NC State, Central Florida or South Florida might be targets, but I doubt it as their both Tier 3 schools, as is West Virginia. 

I also think they will have several discussions with Notre Dame, but unless there are an impending four 16 Team conferences, ND won't feel pressured, and stays independent. 

Big East

Eventually, the Big East loses AQ Status which should have already been removed if it wasn't for Notre Dame.

UConn will be gone.  Rutgers still may be gone.  IF the Big12 radically grows, TCU will move.  Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati all beg to be included in a Big 12 expansion.  If the football members implode and IF West Virginia goes, TCU would stay in the Mountain West who would then surpass Big East football. 

Isn't it quite a slap in the face to Army, who is in West Point NY not to be mentioned, yet Air Force from Colorado Springs, is?  I do predict that if they invite Navy and Air Force, they will have to include Army.  The armed forces will stay together.  More likely Air Force stays in MWC and Army/Navy joins. 

East Carolina has applied for membership, but I’m not sure why.  I think they are miscalculating the “recommitment” that the football schools have made.

Losers are; UMass and ‘Nova who both had hoped to get to Big East football eventually.  They still might, but in a diminished status.  South Florida and Cinci who aren’t in the conversation. 



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or