Conference Realignment – Choose Your Own Adventure Style!

Remember those awesome choose-your-own-adventure novels from childhood?  How about a grown-up version related to college football?  Conference realignment remains the biggest story in college sports and now YOU can determine its landscape choosing who goes where.  But be careful, not all choices are equal; while some realignment decisions make conferences and teams stronger, others doom them to failure.

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All the credit for this idea goes to Chadd Scott of SEC/ACC/C-USA site ChuckOliver.net. We spent hours pouring over scenarios and building this game. While not every possibility is covered, I think it’s a fun way to see how conference realignment is very much like a game of chess or Jenga!

9 thoughts on “Conference Realignment – Choose Your Own Adventure Style!”

  1. At the end of my choose you own alignment adventure, I had West Virginia added as the 14th SEC team. I think WVU is a solid cultural fit that is inline with previous expansion by the SEC. In the past, the SEC has not put as much emphasis tv markets in expansion. The focus was large state schools with a dedicated fan base. What the SEC leadership understood was that the passion of the fan base would push the administration to invest in the football program to achieve success, which would push the conference as a whole to eventually become the best football conference in the country. Your analysis of the Texas A&M and WVU addition is:

    “In choosing to admit a university that does nothing to improve the economic or academic stature of the SEC, the conference begins distributing less and less money annually to its member institutions as its revenue pie is divided into smaller shares. As a result of this, the SEC falls behind the Big Ten, Pac-14 and ACC in facilities and coaching salaries arms race. The brand value of the SEC declines and the Commissioner is fired in disgrace.”

    I don’t think I would consider this reasonable and objective analysis. The SEC added a huge market, Texas A&M, and WVU evens out the conference with a school that is a cultural fit in the Virginia-DC market.

    Is there a hidden agenda?

  2. I appreciate the efforts, but they need improving to really make it anywhere close to feeling like a true simulation. My “adventure” ended with conference realignment “over — for now” but 5 Big 12 teams — KU, ISU, KSt, TTech and Baylor — were left “out there flapping”, and you know they’ll end up somewhere. I had A&M and MU to the SEC, Oklahoma and OK St to the Pac1# and Texas to the ACC (what’s the deal with no option for tu to take Texas Tech as part of the drill?). ACC added Pitt to get to 14 and the Big East added UCF to get back to 8, but then you gave no opportunity to do anything with the remaining Big 12 teams. Can’t leave them in limbo, folks, and you know they won’t stay there since reports are the Big East is interested in them if the Big 12 were to fold so the BE could have 12 FB playing schools and a conference championship game.

    Also note — Pac1# was limited in my adventure to expanding to 14 w/OU & OSU or 16 but only by adding w/TU and TT as well. Pac1# have other options to pair with OU & OSU for 16 if TU & TT go ACC, namely MU and KU. The simulation needs to be more comprehensive, but love what you’ve done so far in the short run. You did a real good job of having options for the Big East once Pitt went ACC (loved the laundry list, that’s the way the whole thing should be).

    Thanks for the diversion — please improve it!

  3. Didn’t give the option that I foresee. OU,O-State, Kansas and Missouri go to the Pac 12, Texas remains Independent and Texas Tech and K-State join the Mountain West. Pitt goes to Big 10, as its academics make it a logical choice.

  4. I think there’s a problem/oversight that needs fixing. I chose:
    A&M to the SEC
    OU to Pac-12
    Pac-12 adds only OSU
    Texas forms a new conference with what’s left of the Big 12.
    If you choose BYU, UH, or SMU the next option says, “Does the SEC choose a former Big 12 school from the buffet or order off the menu and raid another conference?
    The problem is there are no “former Big 12″ schools on the list.

    However, out of the choices from the ACC I picked FSU. They’d be a great fit in the SEC. I met some of the fans when A&M played against FSU in the ’93 Cotton Bowl. We had a blast.

  5. People leaving WVU out of the conference shuffle are smoking crack. They’ll end up in a major BCS conference (beyond the Big East), 100% guaranteed.

  6. This is a great little game you guys have put together. I would love to see, when all the decisions are made, what the conference alignment looks like. Is that a do-able phase 2?

    Thanks again — good stuff!

    1. We would love to add more scenarios, but it takes a HUGE amount of time to do this. In order to put it out there we had to make some executive decisions and limit some options.

      We’ll try and find time to update it in the coming days now that things have changed with the ACC.

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