Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Geno's fantasy realignment for the Big 12 conference

                                  Photo Credit: Geno Green

With spring games in the rear view mirror, the majority of the talk around college football has revolved around the future of the Big 12 conference as it pertains to possible expansion.

The Big 12 stands out as the only power conference to play in a round-robin format and not hold a title game, but will change as the league will re-instate the championship contest in 2017.

With all of the speculation with teams like Memphis, Cincinnati and even Colorado State joining the conference, I decided to play a fantasy scenario and pretend as if I was the Big 12 commissioner and you might like it.

The scenario:

Enough of all the teams joining a conference from millions of regions because as commissioner, I would add Houston and SMU to make the conference of former Big Eight/Southwest Conference schools, sans West Virginia.

Houston would bring instant credibility fresh off winning the American Championship Game and an upset in the Peach Bowl against Florida State from the Atlantic Coast Conference, while SMU brings the Dallas market into play full-time and gives the former SWC members its own division.

In basketball, SMU would fit right in with teams like Kansas, Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa State in terms of respectability with three straight 20-win seasons under coach Larry Brown, while Houston could be on the verge of a turnaround with coach Kellen Sampson after a 22-10 finish and an National Invitational Tournament bid in the 2015-16 season.

With 12 teams, long-term stability and a championship game, here are what the conference alignments would be like under my watch in football.

Big 12 North:

Oklahoma State
Kansas State
Iowa State
West Virginia

Big 12 South:

Texas Tech

Crossover games:

Oklahoma vs Texas
Oklahoma State vs Texas Tech
Kansas vs SMU
Kansas State vs Baylor
Iowa State vs Houston
West Virginia vs TCU

Similar to the Big Ten's current format, Crossover games should not be confused as rivals and is the case in the Big 12 outside of Oklahoma/Texas, but gives the remaining schools a consistent foe outside of division play each season.

With 12 teams and a competitive balance across the board, the Big 12 will set itself in a good spot assuming the finances equal out and does not become a victim of the next round of realignment like the BIG EAST back in 2013-14 when The American Conference absorbed the leftovers in football.

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