The Mountain West is on notice.
The Big East too.
Don’t forget the Big 12 which could be ripped asunder.
One or all of those conferences are going to be impacted if, as expected, the Pac-10 and Big Ten expand in the near future.
After writing about the big picture on Wednesday, we’re here to speculate freely about how other conferences might be impacted.
Mountain West: After leading his league to the brink of BCS automatic qualifying status, commissioner Craig Thompson has to be concerned.
A BYU-Utah defection to the Pac-10 makes a lot of sense. In basketball, the league has travel partners (Washington-Washington State, Arizona-Arizona State). The Utes and Cougars are bitter rivals but would be make ideal additions due to the far-flung nature of the league.
I still don’t know how the Pac-10 views the academic aspect of expansion, so I’m not sure how it views the combination of a state school (Utah) and what amounts to a private school (BYU). If there is a fallback, it could be San Diego State.
If the Big Ten were to take Missouri, that’s a potential three teams ripped from the Mountain West and could mean the end of the league. The three most likely replacements would be Boise State, Fresno State and Texas-El Paso.
The best non-BCS league could find itself teetering on the edge of existence, or at least relevance.
Big 12: The biggest hit comes if both Colorado (Pac-10) and Missouri (Big Ten) leave.
If Missouri or Colorado leave, the Big 12 would go get TCU from the Mountain West. While that would wound the MWC, the league would most likely then invite Boise State.
If both Colorado and Missouri left, the Big 12 would get TCU and, maybe, Houston? Either way, the Big 12’s TV stature would shrink.
Big East: The league was almost wiped out when the ACC expanded five years ago. What happens if Pittsburgh, Syracuse or Rutgers is taken by the Big Ten?
Most likely the Big East would raid Conference USA for Central Florida. That would get the league further into Florida. UCF is third-largest school in the country (53,000) behind Ohio State and Arizona State. There's got to be some football players in there somewhere. Plus, the school has made a huge commitment to facilities.
Sooner or later doesn’t Big East football and basketball have to split? The unwieldy existence between the two sides (16 teams in basketball, only eight of which play football).
After the wounds caused by the ACC, another hit could cause the end of the Big East in football.
My latest look on how the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and MWC might look in the future.
San Diego State