And while we’re on the subject of big conference autonomy, John Pennington asks an excellent question that I’ve pondered lately, namely, if the mid-majors call Mike Slive’s bet and the Power Five react by forming the Division IV Slive threatened to create if he didn’t get his way, will that lead to a new round of conference expansion/realignment?
Pennington’s in the “duh, of course it will” camp and cites a couple of reasons why. First (and most obvious), there are going to be some programs left out initially that want to be brought into the tent. Because, you know, money. Second, a hyper division is going to lead to plenty of political jockeying among the power conferences and a bigger conference will be able to cast more votes on a contentious issue.
I tend to agree that a new division will set off another realignment whirlwind. I’d like to think it would be for a positive purpose, as it would give the power conferences a chance to realign into something that could benefit the postseason in a way that would strengthen the regular season – the chance to organize four sixteen-team conferences, with the conference championship games serving as the first round of the playoffs for the national title. But I’m kidding myself, of course. For one thing, that would mean lopping off one school (current power conference members plus Notre Dame total sixty-five.) Second, when’s the last time these people did the right thing?