Big XII Expansion Thoughts
The folk over at Frank the Tank are having fun talking about Big XII expansion scenarios. Assuming that the Big XII wants to add two schools… and cannot steal from the ACC, SEC, B1G, or Pac-12, where does the Big XII go? Frank the Tank lists them in order as Cincinnati, BYU, San Diego State, Central Florida, South Florida, and then Tulane. The question for ACC fans. Which would we like to see? Which would we hate to see?
The option that would be most troubling for ACC fans would be a Big XII move to take South Florida and Central Florida. The Confidential thinks this is a complete no-brainer for the Big XII. South Florida is in Tampa. Central Florida is in Orlando. These are major metropolitan areas. They are in talent-rich Florida. It would give the Big XII schools guaranteed exposure in Texas and Florida. Envision these divisions:
East: South Florida, West Virginia, Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State
West: Central Florida, Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma
Everyone would get 2 Texas games and 1 Florida opponent. The East is a little weak, but isn’t that a better way to divide up conferences with two heavyweights? Or some other combination. The bottom line is that adding exposure in Florida and two major markets might be the best way to expand. And the Big XII could probably offer USF and UCF 1/2 shares for the first 10 years and it would still dwarf the payments being made by the American.
Why would this hurt the ACC? Well, Texas and Oklahoma would have a reason to recruit Florida. While that might not impact Florida State and Miami, the schools that battle for the Florida leftovers do not want to have additional BCS-level schools roaming around. And it might give some legitimacy to two schools that are chasing Florida State and Miami–to their detriment. So you never know.
East Carolina would be a school that would pose a risk if elevated, but it just seems unlikely that the Big XII would stay away from the 4th and 5th schools in Florida to take a 5th from North Carolina.
What would ACC fans want to see? The best move for the Big XII from the ACC’s perspective would be BYU/San Diego State. Cincinnati would open Ohio up to Big XII schools. Pitt, Va Tech, and Syracuse need as much access to Ohio as possible. No need for other schools to move in. BYU and San Diego State would not impact the ACC recruiting at all. Tulane, meanwhile, would expose Louisiana to the Big XII. The ACC could benefit from anything that will take talent away from the SEC. But the SEC will have to backfill from somewhere… and that would likely be areas where the SEC/ACC compete. So Tulane would be a fun underdog to root for, but probably not the best case scenario for the ACC.
What do you think? Who would you want the Big XII to add? Who would you want the Big XII to NOT add?