With the game of conference musical chairs set to begin any day now according to the wide array of reports that indicate that come this time next week, Boise State will be a lame duck member of the WAC after they accept an invitation to the Mountain West (expected to come Monday). Most pundits around the country think that the Broncos will be the first of many teams changing conference affiliation in what could be a massive restructuring of Division I athletics.
Aside from the Boise-to-MWC rumor (and it is still just that, currently), which seems to be generally accepted by nearly everyone, anything else is just guesswork and speculation. A lot of it centers around the Big Ten and how bold they might be in expanding their overrated conference, but today Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com decided he knew well enough to go ahead and publish his idea. His claim? The Pac 10 is going to invite exactly half of the Big 12 to join their overrated conference. The schools, according to Brown, are Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, T. Boone Pickens State and Colorado. Goo!
I should probably tell you now that Orangebloods is an affiliate of Rivals, and we've all experienced firsthand the kind of journalistic integrity that they possess (which is about as much as this site has- but at least we don't take ourselves seriously). But heck, I figure all of this conference expansion stuff is pretty intriguing, even if it means analyzing the predictions of someone who was let go by the same paper that still pays Jean-Jacques Taylor to attempt to put together legible sentences.
So let's just say this does happen. Obviously, the Big 12 would be about as alive as Omar Little trying to buy a pack of smokes. Anyone left would be looking for the first lifeboat, and you'd have to expect that Nebraska would be the first one to find safety, perhaps with the Big Ten as has been previously rumored. You can be sure that Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State would all be attempting to get a +1 with the Cornhuskers, but I highly doubt the Big Ten would be interested in all four of them. Who's DEFINTELY left alone in this scenario, on the corner begging for a spot in the MWC or CUSA? Baylor. And do I find that funny? Oh, oh Lord, yes.
But as much satisfaction as I would take in the tables being turned on the Bears, I'm not so sure this rumor is actually one I'd like to see come to fruition. If you think the deck is stacked against a small school like TCU now, just wait for the kind of exclusionary tactics that the big dogs of the college football world will enact once they've all gathered into three or four "super conferences" like the proposed Pac 10 would be.
A vast, vaaaaaaast majority of the TV money (read: power) would be pouring into those conferences, and if you think they're going to save a spot at the table for deserving outsiders in whatever postseason structure they build, forget about it. Whether it's playoffs or a revamped BCS, they've had quite enough of the TCU's and Boises of the world crashing their party. So if we see a move towards these super conferences, it's because the popular kids want to move on to something more exclusive. T-shirt fans unite!