What about Oklahoma to the Big Ten. They are long time Nebraska rivals and would improve the on the field product as well, not to metion adding another massive fanbase.. The Big Ten also makes more sense geographically than the Pac-12.
With the move of Texas A&M to the SEC now looking like a reality, it is worthwhile to discuss the likely consequences for the Big 12 and the other major conferences. Big Ten fans tend to jump immediately to the question of what our own league will do, but the question is premature. The dominoes are destined to fall in a particular order, with each leading to predictable consequences.
I. Will Texas politicians really let the Aggies move?
For those who wanted the Big 12 to survive, this was always their ace in the hole: Texas politicians wouldn’t allow Texas and Texas A&M to split up, mainly to protect Texas Tech and Baylor, and to keep SEC recruiters out of their state.
But Texas A&M has Gov. Rick Perry in their corner. Perry is well liked in the state, and he is as passionate an Aggie as they come. If he thinks the move is best for the Aggies, it is doubtful that any other Texas politician will cross him. It is also doubtful that the A&M Board of Regents would have the issue on the agenda of their Monday meeting, if they weren’t positive that they have the political cover to make it happen.
After flirting with the SEC two years in a row, if A&M doesn’t move now, it will be an emasculating show of weakness that they won’t live down for many years to come.
II. What Does Oklahoma Do?
After the Texas A&M move is announced, Oklahoma will be on the clock. Publicly, the Sooners remain committed to the Big 12. Privately, that simply cannot be true. Even now, the Big 12 has only the fourth-best TV contract of the major conferences. The conferences ahead of it are continuing to add value, while the Big 12 withers.
It can’t sit well with Oklahoma that Nebraska, Colorado, and now Texas A&M have bolted to greener pastures, while they are stuck in what will quickly become a second-tier league. There are institutions that would welcome an invitation to the Big 12 — commissioner Dan Beebe has mentioned Houston. But no one except Beebe could possibly think that the Cougars are as good a draw as the Aggies.
Oklahoma also faces the same pressures that have led Texas A&M to the point of seceding, namely, that the Longhorn Network gives the University of Texas a permanent structural advantage. And they cannot be pleased when Beebe says publicly that “Texas is the school that holds the key to the Big 12's future.” It reinforces the perception that the conference is just Texas and everybody else. Iowa State may tolerate that, but Oklahoma won’t.
Oklahoma has two very realistic options that are better than staying in the Big 12: the SEC and the Pac-12. Both conferences coveted the Sooners last year, and still do. Both would allow Oklahoma State to come along for the ride, an obvious requirement whatever the Sooners may do.
The SEC is a better geographic fit for Oklahoma, but the SEC has five of the fifteen winningest FBS programs in history (Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Auburn), to say nothing of perennial power Florida. In the SEC, Oklahoma’s path to the conference championship would be a very difficult one. Of course, it will be difficult for Texas A&M too, but the Aggies need the SEC; Oklahoma doesn’t.
The Pac-12, on the other hand, has only one storied program, USC. The rest of the conference isn’t chopped liver, but it has no other program with comparable, decades-long success. In the Pac-12, the Sooners could hope to win the conference title half-a-dozen times per decade, an unlikely prospect in the talent-laden SEC. I strongly suspect, therefore, that the Pac-12 is the future home for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
There are, of course, arguments against the Pac-12, including much longer road trips and night games that start at 10:00 p.m. Central Time. And the SEC’s “red” states are a much closer cultural fit for Oklahoma than the Pac-12’s mostly “blue” states.
There is no realistic chance that Oklahoma would get an invitation to the Big Ten. They are not academically on par with any Big Ten program, and even if the conference were willing to consider the Sooners alone, they certainly wouldn’t sniff at Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma, then, most likely moves to the Pac-12 and takes Oklahoma State with them.
III. What Does Texas Do?
Texas would love nothing more than to save the Big 12. Indeed, DeLoss Dodds, the Texas athletic director, says that he is looking at 20 schools as potential replacements for A&M, including the likes of Brigham Young and Air Force. But if Dodds thinks he can get Notre Dame, he is kidding himself. If the Irish were going to join a football conference, why would they choose the world’s most unstable one? It tells you everything you need to know about the Big 12, that it’s Dodds, and not commissioner Dan Beebe, who is looking at expansion candidates.
Texas was top dog in the conference even before Nebraska and Colorado left. Now, they are sitting pretty with their own $300 million dollar network and a league in which only one other team, Oklahoma, poses a threat to regularly win the championship.
But if I am correct that Oklahoma won’t stand for this, then the Big 12 as we have known it is doomed. Without Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State, the Big 12 is not a credible BCS league. Sure, DeLoss Dodds could find five teams from the mid-majors to replace those he has lost (or is about to lose), but it wouldn’t be a power conference, even with Texas as its anchor.
Texas would have the same two options as Oklahoma (the SEC and the Pac-12), plus two others the Sooners don’t realistically have, the Big Ten or independence. Let’s stipulate that any conference would be delighted to have Texas, the most valuable athletic department in America, in the nation’s second most populous state.
It is already well known that Texas President Bill Powers and Ohio State President Gordon Gee had at least discussed the idea of the Longhorns coming to the Big Ten. That became moot when the Big 12 got an eleventh-hour reprieve last summer. But as Gee wrote in an e-mail to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, Powers has a “Tech problem,” i.e., that Texas politicos don’t want Texas Tech to be the odd man out in conference re-alignment. The Big Ten won’t take Texas Tech, and unless Powers has found a way out of that problem, the Big Ten isn’t an option.
Of course, there is also the question whether the Big Ten is a cultural fit, to say nothing of a geographic fit. Texas always dominated the Big 12, and before that the old Southwest Conference. The Big Ten won’t be bullied, and it’s not clear the Longhorns are prepared to be team players. The Big Ten has the most democratic revenue-sharing arrangement of any major conference, and it is not clear how the Longhorn Network would fit in. The Longhorns have detonated two conferences in less than twenty years. Anyone would be understandably wary of them.
The Longhorns probably don’t want to be independent, either. Scheduling seasons for every other sport (besides football) is an enormous hassle when you don’t have a conference to fall back on, and they would lose their BCS auto-qualifying status. Of course, Texas would never need to worry seriously about getting a bowl invitation when they have a good season, but there is no assurance they would get the same sweetheart deal that Notre Dame got.
For Texas, the argument against the SEC, and in favor of the Pac-12, is much the same as it is for Oklahoma: the Pac-12 is a conference the Longhorns can much more easily dominate. And of course, if Oklahoma is already there, as I believe they will be, it makes sense to preserve their long-standing rivalry.
The Pac-12’s new TV network is tailor-made for Texas. In essence, Commissioner Larry Scott has created an umbrella channel, plus six regional cable channels for each pair of teams (the Washington schools, the Arizona schools, etc.). The Pac-12 won’t mind if Texas has their own network, because their new structure is already set up that way. As the Pac-12 expands in Noah’s Ark fashion, two by two, they would accept Texas Tech, thus bringing the Pac-12 to sixteen teams, precisely the scenario that Scott nearly pulled off a year ago.
IV. What Does the SEC Do?
No conference wants to be stuck at 13 teams. If the SEC adds Texas A&M, it will move quickly to add at least one more. The SEC would be happy to invite Oklahoma or Texas, but for the reasons I have noted, the Sooners and the Longhorns would be better off both financially and competitively in the Pac-12 (although they would be better off culturally and geographically in the SEC).
It is less clear where the SEC goes for its 14th team. Florida State is the rumor du jour, but FSU president Eric Barron says there is “no conversation.” As the dominant football conference, the SEC can afford to be choosy. Florida is likely to resist extending an invitation to their in-state rival, because it would eliminate one of the main recruiting advantages they have over the Seminoles, i.e., that they are in the SEC and FSU is not. South Carolina would probably object to Clemson, Georgia to Georgia Tech, and Kentucky to Louisville, for the same reason.
Of course, there is also the question of how the SEC benefits financially if they add a school that is within their current geographic footprint. How much more will ESPN/CBS be willing to pay for SEC games, if those games don’t bring in many more viewers than the SEC gets already?
If the SEC goes outside of its current footprint, what are the options? Three SEC schools are in states that share a border with Missouri, but Missouri is a “meh” add for the SEC, for the same reason it was a “meh” add for the Big Ten last year.
Virginia and the Washington, D.C., market bring obvious benefits. Virginia Tech has a better football team than UVA and has less of an historical connection with the ACC, to which it has belonged only since 2004. But in the ACC it has won the conference championship or a division title in five out of seven years. The Hokies are highly unlikely to duplicate that feat in the SEC, and they also have strong academic ties to the elite ACC schools.
So, other than the obvious fact that the SEC will add a 14th team, it is not clear how they will, assuming they don’t get Oklahoma or Texas.
V. What Does the ACC Do?
Most of the rumored options for the SEC’s 14th team are ACC schools. As the fifth-ranking auto-qualifying league (measured any way you want: prestige, competitiveness, TV revenue), the ACC cannot afford to lose members. As the Big 12 has shown, losing one member often leads to losing several. And without twelve teams, the ACC would not be able to stage a championship game.
But the ACC would not need to look far to replace Florida State, or any other member. Louisville, West Virginia, and South Florida are either in or adjoining the ACC footprint and would likely welcome an invitation. And if not a Big East school, there are several Conference USA teams that would not be out of place in the ACC, such as Memphis or East Carolina.
VI. What Do The Remaining Big 12 Teams Do?
To review the bidding thus far, if Texas A&M joins the SEC, it seems apparent that Oklahoma will abandon the Big 12 as well (with Oklahoma State), leaving Texas (likely with Texas Tech) no choice but to do the same. That will leave five Big 12 teams without a home: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and Missouri.
Iowa State, perennially the weakest of the Big 12 teams, is the least likely to find a home in an auto-qualifying league. Missouri has at least a geographic argument for joining either the SEC or the Big Ten, but it doesn’t bring enough to the table, either competitively or financially. Kansas has its storied basketball program, and would probably bring Kansas State along wherever it goes. Baylor needs to hope for a rescue, as it did when the Southwest Conference broke up.
The most logical answer—financially, although not geographically—is the Big East. The conference is an odd duck, with sixteen full members, but only eight that play football. It is the weakest of the auto-qualifying BCS leagues, and the only one that has never had a championship game.
Given that the Big East has never much cared about geographic contiguity or compactness, the obvious solution is to invite the remaining Big 12 teams to their party and add a championship game. Doing so would also give their newest member, TCU, a few rivals closer to home. How they would manage a twenty-team basketball conference is a question we leave for another day.
VII. What Does the Big Ten Do?
The short answer, at least for now, is: probably nothing. The Big Ten is already in a position of strength. It has no particular need to expand. There are only two institutions that could improve the Big Ten’s current product: Texas and Notre Dame. The Irish have chosen repeatedly to remain independent, and for reasons noted above, the Longhorns are more likely to choose the Pac-12.
The Big Ten is not going to add Missouri or Pitt, merely because it can. The conference already took a serious look at expanding eastward, but it ran up against an intractable problem. There simply is no Eastern school that can “deliver” the New York market. New Yorkers aren’t going to rush to buy the Big Ten Network because Rutgers or Syracuse is on it.
Adding Nebraska was an obvious win for the Big Ten, as the conference got one of the storied programs in football and was able to add an annual championship game. The next team Delany adds, if any, needs to bring in more than 1/12th of the current Big Ten shared revenue (from TV rights, bowl games, etc.), or else that institution would just drag the average down. There just aren’t many schools that can do that, because the Big Ten is so strong already.
Jack Swarbrick, the Notre Dame athletic director, said last year that he could imagine, theoretically, seismic shifts so profound that it would no longer be viable to remain independent in football. Perhaps those shifts are now upon us, and if they are the Big Ten will always be there to welcome the Irish with open arms. Perhaps Bill Powers will solve his “Tech problem.”
But for now, I expect the Big Ten to stand pat. It has the least reason of anyone to rush into an arranged marriage with a new partner.
What about Oklahoma to the Big Ten. They are long time Nebraska rivals and would improve the on the field product as well, not to metion adding another massive fanbase.. The Big Ten also makes more sense geographically than the Pac-12.
The Big Ten won't approve Oklahoma because they are not strong enough academically to join the Big Ten's academic wing (the CIC).
Oklahoma has greatly improved its academics over the past ten years and are rumored to be up for AAU status. (There was an article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed a couple months back, can't find it as I'm on my phone & saw in the print version). Boren has really broadened the donor base and recruited some big name profs. The real issue is OK St.
Maybe, but we wouldn't take Oklahoma State.
What's the argument against Missouri? The proximity is right. The football program is decent and the men's basketball program is good. The State itself has two good sized markets in St. Louis and Kansas City. Big enough to attract a pro football team in each, so why not?
What am I missing?
All of the recent conference re-alignments have been about football, so Missouri’s basketball program does not materially aid their case. In football, they have never won a Big 12 championship, and they won its predecessor, the Big 8, only once, in 1969. They have never gone to a BCS bowl.
In other words, they don’t do anything to raise the Big Ten’s profile. Now, you could see a scenario where, if the Big Ten gets Notre Dame, they would need a 14th team, and Missouri would get a look (along with others, like Pitt, Rutgers, etc.). But something else has to happen first, for Missouri to be considered. Otherwise, Delany might as well just leave things the way they are.
My 1st choice is Notre Dame.
Even if the Big Ten was to consider adding Notre Dame, another team would need to be added, too. Assuming Missouri is out of the mix, who do you propose? Pittsburgh is not a bad option, academically and geographically.
If Missouri was worth it, they'd already be in. They were practically begging for an invite, and we passed. While you make good points, it must just not be enough to add the $25M+ necessary to make expansion worth it.
good article but im not sure if the democratic big ten would welcome Texas after showing how selfish it really is when it comes to revenue or money sharing.
I agree, the Longhorn Network doesn't work with the Big 10's desire to share amongst its members. I personally think the Big 12 will try to bring in some combination of Boise St, BYU, Nevada, Houston, and Rice to get back to a twelve team league that is completely beholden to Texas and Oklahoma.
The Big Ten is an academic network too. Many of these schools share research and do research cooperatively. Texas and Oklahoma bring what in this regard to the table?
Texas is a highly accredited university. It is the same size or bigger than tOSU and more or less at Michigan's level with academics.
.....but the Longhorn Network and the general princess attitude will likely keep them out of the Big Ten, I imagine, although they would bring in a pretty big market. I do agree with the post here - Texas and ND would improve the Big Ten's overall product, so maybe if it came down to choosing a team, Texas is in the running after all.
Agreed. The benefit that is the Longhorn Network has created a potential implosion of a once major conference. If they Big 12 couldn't handle it, the Big Ten won't bite.
Texas would be admitted to the Big Ten, but their admittance would be contingent on equal revenue sharing. Basically, we'd demand that Texas split any revenues from the LHN equally with every other school and we'd have to work out a way for the LHN to coexist with the BTN in such a way that the BTN would have substantial clout within the state.
Also, it should be noted that everyone in the Big 12 with any clout whatsoever has acted selfishly. Texas gets the lion's share of the blame for this simply because they have more resources than everyone else.
that was a pretty fun read. And to add to your Big Ten would do nothing argument, I just saw a tweet from Mark Snyder in regards to Delany: "We have closed down active expansion."
I was discussed during expansion last year and I was all for the four 16 team conferences, with each conference broken up into 4 divisions. I'd say have one fewer non-conference game and then have the 16 team play-off that has been proposed. Only that the first 2 rounds are within the conference between the divison winners to crown a conference champ. Then the the four conference champs compete for the national championship. The more historical bowls (rose,orange) can stay intact as the pac-16/big10 conference champs always play each other and the sec/acc always play each other/ Now for my proposed conferences:
pac-12 adds oklahoma, oklahoma state, boise state, and tcu
sec add texas a&m, texas tech, kansas, kansas state (stretching geographically a bit, but hey if the big east would do it)`
big 10 adds notre dame, texas, pittsburgh, cincinnati (true what TS said about pitt and rutgers not bringing anything financially, but this makes my system work)
acc adds west virginia, south florida, louisville, rutgers
missouri, iowa state, uconn, syracuse, and baylor all get the shaft
Obviously, the teams selected for each conference aren't perfect, but i think this system would be exciting
but I don't see any way in hell that the Big Ten would add Cincinnati over Missouri
TCU to the Pac 12 eventhough they are Big East bound?
Boise State to the PAC 12 is an interesting case. Sure, they have been dominant on their homefield and have been shown an ability to compete with BCS teams and beat them, but (1) Boise has yet to beat a BCS team on the BCS team's home turf, to my recollection (the first shot will be Sparty) and (2) is the media exposure in Boise enough to warrant inclusion in a BCS conference, keeping in mind the stadium size, too (at 33,500 it would be the lowest stadium capacity, even behind Wazzou). I just see it as unlikely unless Boise State demonstrates a media presence and adds additional seating.
Cincinnati to the Big Ten will not happen, ever. Academics are way too low and they have nothing to offer the Big Ten.
Like the adds of WVU, USF, and UL to the ACC. Was thinking USF might have join the SEC, but if teams are joining in pairs in the SEC, its probably not likely.
My understanding of the way business is done in Texas won't allow Baylor to get left out of any of this as well. I am not sure who they are supposed to piggy back off of but the two big Texas schools would get pressured to not leave behind any of the little three.
I like expansion because we get to play new opponents. I just hope there are no dramatic changes in scheduling. I'd like to keep playing ND, MSU, and OSU every year and have the last regular season game being with OSU.
I couldn't agree more. I understanfd the reality of money and power in sports conferencs, but tradition and rivalries keep the fans' guts on fire. I'd love to beat Texas, but I live to beat the school down South (both of them, now that I think about it)!
This is a great post that goes in and out of a lot of thoughtful detail.
One other viable option is for the Big 12 to grab TCU before it ever gets to the Big East. Geography and competitiveness make TCU a good fit.
The Longhorn Network would still be a destabilizing force for the Big 12, but not for the other teams as much as it is/was for A&M.
In the penultimate paragraph, you wrote Larry Powers instead of Bill Powers as UT President.
A couple of questions:
Doesn't Texas also have a Baylor problem? I know it ends being a political question, but jumping to the PAC 12 and leaving Baylor to fend for itself would probably be a hard sell in their legislature. Moving to the B1G could solve it if the Pac 12 would take TTU and Baylor along with the OK schools.
Might TCU be brought in to prop up the Big XII?
Frankly I don't think Texas would worry too much about losing their BCS autobid. Not saying it couldn't happen, but the Big East has never lost theirs. UT would probably feel their presence alone would be enough to keep the Big XII's. They couldn't ask for an easier path to BCS bowls and championship games than they'd get by staying put.
1. The Baylor problem disappears if the Big 12 collapses and there are no potential takers for Baylor alongside Texas. The only BCS conference willing to take both schools is the Big East, and that is not really a viable option. As such, Texas could probably go to the Pac 12 with Texas Tech.
2. The Big 12 has already stated that TCU is not a viable option. This makes sense because TCU doesn't really deliver anything. Their football team has been good recently, but it has questionable staying power. They do not have a strong national following and they are located in the Dallas area, which is already dominated by Texas. And getting out of their deal with the Big East would be rather expensive, and they could have to wait 27 months to leave if the waiting period applies.
BYU, Air Force, and Houston are all superior options. BYU and Air Force deliver new markets and a national audience, while Houston shores up the Houston market and could come unencumbered by the problems that would plague TCU's entry.
1. I don't see the Big XII collapsing if Texas stays so that's a tricky argument for them to use.. It's going to be weaker, but as you pointed out there are some viable candidates for membership.
2. Thanks for the details about TCU. I figured the Big XII was going to have to be less picky as they need to add a larger number of schools.
3. Good point by Michigan Arrogance above about the PAC 12 academics. Boise doesn't fit there. Other than the recent strength of their football program they don't fit with any major conference. I'm still a little surprised the PAC 12 is interested in Ok St and TTU.
they aren't like the ivy league or anything (Wazzu, ASU hello?). Their pattern is to take Flagship schools with solid reps and they "Ag" school as a tag-along. So, I guess I could seen OkSt going as a package with OU.
Baylor is a private university, so the Texas pols in the legislature technically have no dog in the fight as it relates to them. If I recall correctly, they did have some well-placed alums in the government that forced the Big XII to take them out of the wreckage of the Sure, We Cheat conference. I don't know that Baylor still has that sort of influence.
The last I heard was they still had quite a few legislators in their corner. Last time around they had the governor too, so they may not have enough influence to matter. We may see.
The well-placed alumni happended to include the Governor and the head of the state Senate's Finance Committee. Baylor was just really, really lucky. Houston, Rice, and TCU were all better choices for the conference, in my opinion and will probably be great choices to replace A&M as Texas scrambles to keep its fiefdom together.
I think TCU would dump the Big East in a second.
I think Perry's an Aggie. The broader point stands, though. As the flagship Baptist institution in a Republican dominated state, Baylor retains a lot of political pull.
I was talking about when Baylor was admitted to the Big 12. Ann Richards, the former governor is a Baylor alumnae.
You're right about Perry being an Aggie and I think that will help A&M go the direction it wants to vice the direction that's best for the other Texas schools--which would probably mean staying in the Big 12.
Sorry, saw the past tense just after I posted.
Great read, but I think you're underestimating the academics of the Pac10. I'm not sure they would so readily take OkSt, or other potential teams like Boise, etc.
I do think Texas could be a good fit with that TV contract they have, like you said. that was a great piece.
I agree with you on Boise, but they invited Oklahoma State last year...
I don't remember them offering OkSt.
I think they were willing to stomach OKlahoma St. when they were getting Oklahoma, A&M and Texas. I think now it may be a different story, mainly because of two factors: (1) Texas and the LHN appears to be a hangup for everyone not named Texas, and (2) the Pac-12 just signed a great new TV deal. While Larry Scott may still be looking to make history and move the needle by creating a 16 team super conference, I have a feeling there are more prudent voices at the head of member universities who won't be as eager. I think most will say that they are happy with their new deal and new markets, they don't need the headache of Texas, and without them, no other combination of schools is worth it.
I think absent the SEC pulling a second school from the Big 12, dominos don't fall and everything pretty much stays as is.
Not a bad post but you got some wack ideas about what the ACC would do. The ACC is as academically snobby as the Big Ten and, I would bet, is as likely to pick up East Carolina as the B1G is to grab Eastern Michigan.
Plus, the only "strong academic ties" that VT has to the ACC is that they're absolutely beyond giddy to be associated in a conference with the likes of UVA, Duke, and UNC, academically speaking. There aren't any "ties" like Big Ten schools have with each other via the AAU, they're just happy to run with a few big dogs and not the SEC types. The article is probably right that they wouldn't go, though.
If the ACC loses FSU and Clemson, as is being reported, they'll say "hello Syracuse" and probably work on UConn or Pitt as well. Cuse was ready to make the jump with both feet in 2004 until the VA legislature slammed the door on them.
If the Big Ten could get Notre Dame, Syracuse would have been, in my opinion, the best addition to even out the conference (excepting Texas).
Forgot to mention: I don't see Kansas getting into the B10. They have a small ish market and outstanding basketball, but they only offer like 12-13 sports. They'd be a half member at best, relative to the other schools.
if the SEC goes to 16, might TCU be an option? I know TCU isn't a historic power or anything of that nature, but it gives them another solid football program, another foothold in Texas, and it offers another rival for Texas A&M. Truthfully, I'm not sure if any of TCU's other sports would stack up in the SEC but I bet with Texas / Texas Tech theoretically out of the picture, TCU just has to compete with TAMU for the "but we're in the SEC" recruiting pitch. I could see them becoming just as viable at the BCS level as TTU/Baylor and maybe as much as TAMU
and as for Memphis in this whole thing, since this thing is all revolving around football money, Memphis is SOL until they start to do something about that football program. They're already one of the worst teams in the country in all of FBS, much less the BCS
Maybe someone could help answer this for me. Would the BCS ever consider adding an additional Auto-qualifier? For instance: If the ACC/ Big East merge
Conference USA or New Big East (MAC) going to 16 teams, adding some combination of Mizzou, Kansas, Kansas St, UConn, or Syracuse. IMO this would make the MAC as talented as the Big East is currently.
Potential Conferences could look like
Big East/MAC (East) - UCONN, Syracuse, Buffalo, Temple, Akron, B. Green, Miami (OH), Toledo
Big East/ MAC (West)- Ball State, E. Michigan, C. Michigan, W. Michigan, N. Illinois, Kansas, Kansas St, Mizzou
Conference USA (East)- E.Carolina, Marshall, Syracuse, UCONN, S. Mississippi, Tulane, UAB, UCF
Conference USA (West)- Kansas, Kansas St., Mizzou, UTEP, Rice, Houston, Tulsa, SMU.
No way does the BCS consider giving away an auto-bid. Too much money is at stake for the power conferences.
I guess my point is if the ACC/Big East disolves that negates one of the current auto-bids, would they rather give another at large then?
The big conferences would definitely want another at-large. The only leagues that want more auto-bids are the conferences without auto-bids.
The payout for a BCS bowl is about $15 million. The big conferences would like to keep that money.