by Mike Potter
Slowly but surely, the move to four 16-team “super conferences” at the top level seems to be taking shape.
With the really big-time schools trimmed neatly into four groupings, all that would be needed for a true “National Championship” would be one “plus-one” game at the end, following two huge bowl games two weeks earlier after the conferences play their title games.
How to expand to 4 x 16? Easy.
The ACC adds Connecticut and Rutgers.
The Big 10 adds Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Notre Dame.
The Pac-12 adds Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.
And the SEC adds Cincinnati, Louisville, Texas A&M and West Virginia.
Would that make outsiders unhappy? Of course it would.
But there shouldn’t be any rule limiting the conferences to 16, as long as each figures out its own system to produce a single champion at the end of the process.
So adding BYU or Hawaii to the Pac-12 or TCU or Baylor or even East Carolina to the SEC is no big deal, as long as each umbrella conference produces just one champion at the end.
On another track could be the “NCAA Division I Championship Tournament” after the entire (now renamed) Division I-AA concept is junked and there is just one Division I. If that means Elon at Iowa State in a first-round game, so be it.
It happens in basketball all the time.
And anyone who thinks the four biggest conferences couldn’t accomplish such a plan or that they would somehow be barred from the NCAA basketball tournament needs to go back and re-read the story of Chicken Little. It isn’t going to happen.