Ok, put on your thinking caps. I want some realignment brainstorming. The Big 12 is in a position to add some teams. The favored configuration that we're hearing about is a 10 team conference. 10 teams is nice and neat, you get 9 conference games a year, everyone plays everyone, and the best record moves on.
However, critics claim that you're leaving money on the table by not having enough teams to implement a conference championship... so, what is the ideal conference configuration?
Here is a list of assorted arrangements that a conference may or may not have:
- Round robin scheduling ( only available with 11(?) or less teams )
- Conference Championship Game ( only available with 12 or more teams )
- Pod configuration
- Regional division configuration
- "Zipper" divisions
Here is a list of things to consider when organizing teams in a conference:
- Preserving rivalries ( OU-Texas )
- Limiting travel
- Reducing "rematches" in the case of a conference championship game
- Reducing chances of a lop sided "power" division, ala the historical Big 12 South
Considering all these things, what is an example of a "well-organized" conference? If I've missed anything, let me know and I'll add it to the bullets.
Would you do 16 teams with two 8 team divisions or is four "pods" better? If you keep OU and Texas in the same division to preserve the rivalry, how do you keep the other division from becoming an afterthought?
Is all this divisional strife worth it to add one game at the end of the season?