BCS Conference Expansion and the Consequences

Recently, it has come to light that many of the BCS conference are looking to expand and realign.

The consequences of this move could have ripple effects around the college football landscape and have immediate and large effects on the Bowl Championship Series.

During the past few seasons, the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Big 12 Conference have all been able to hold conference championship game because they all have 12 member schools. By the rules set out by the BCS, only conferences with 12 teams are allowed to hold conference championship games.

Teams from conferences that don’t have 12 teams have cried foul about the rule, saying that the ability of schools of these three conferences to hold a championship game and give one team another quality win gave those three conferences a better shot at securing a BCS National Title game bid, because of the effect of a final-week game on the human and computer elements of the BCS rankings.

And sure enough, this season saw the winner of the SEC Championship Game and the Big 12 Championship Game get bids to the national title game, a circumstance that was almost preordained before the season even started.

Now it has been revealed that the Big 10 and Pac 10 are both looking into securing enough teams to hold their own conference championship game. The reasons behind the expansion reach further than simply a boost in the BCS, as both are looking at gaining an upper hand in television rights negotiations, but the fact remains the same. Five conferences with 12 teams, and therefore five conference championship games would have a major impact on the BCS.

No longer would the Big 10 have the convience of waiting for good teams to loose and submit Ohio State to the BCS National Title game for all those years in the mid 2000’s. No longer would the Pac-10 be robbed of the chance to submit USC to the National Title game because they played a 6-6 UCLA on their final weekend, and not a 9-3 California or 8-4 Oregon State.

The Big 12 and SEC would no longer hold an upper hand on the final weekend, and the computers and even the human elements would have to notice. And this would change things drastically.

And with the current revolt in Congress and the Senate against the BCS, this move towards change could only further confuse what could be a huge opportunity for big change in the college football landscape and the way that the Football Bowl Subdivision crowns its champion.