Yes, we’re not fans of the direction the NCAA is headed, as you know, but if the “cheating” is going to be “legalized” from now on, we all might as well get with the program. And with the noise about the SEC raiding the Big XII, we’re seeing silly media ideas floated about the B1G and the Pacific-12 Conference trying to poach what’s left of that Midwest conference.
It’s all wrong: The B1G and the Pac-12 should merge, right now, to get the jump on the inevitable ACC/SEC merger. And yes, the new superconference that the B1G and the Pac-12 should form can still raid the Big XII for its few jewels (i.e., Kansas basketball, for example, and solid football programs at Iowa State and Oklahoma State).
Think about it right now … if the traditional Rose Bowl rivals joined forced, there would be a 26-team superconference, and with selective choosing from the dying Big XII, the new superconference—name yet to be determined, of course, but it would have to be bold, daring, and stunning (something like … the Rose Conference!)—could reach 30 teams, easily, with a variety of options for divisions on the table.
This is our proposed lineup for the 30-team Rose Conference, as the teams exist right now:
- Pac-12 North: California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State
- Pac-12 South: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, USC, Utah
- Big XII: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma State
- B1G East: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers
- B1G West: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin
This could literally be broken up into six, five-team divisions, creating more opportunity for football revenue with a conference tournament. That’s just one example; as there could be many different ways to split up the teams to maximize exposure for all revenue-generating sports (i.e., basketball and football).
But these 30 teams pretty much establish a coast-to-coast entity that an ACC/SEC merger would be unable to compete with, even if they took lower-tier schools in the West in an attempt to do so (like TCU, for example—no offense to the Horned Frogs). The Pac-12 is already the Conference of Champions—toss in the B1G with its rich history and tradition, and you’ve got some serious power across all sports.
Adding the four worthy schools from the Big XII to the fray, and it only becomes an even bigger entity. Sure, it may be complex, but any merger is just that. The time is right to accept change, adapt, and evolve. The B1G and the Pac-12 have the ability to do this and in the best way, leading the NCAA sports landscape into a new frontier.
Get to it, people, and remember where you heard it first: The Rose Conference.