Creating the 14-team Big East's Future Schedule

Problem: The Big East is expanding in 2015 to 14 teams, it will be hard to create divisions with 9 eastern teams & 5 western teams. Even if there could be good 7-team divisions, it still means a home&home series with the other division's teams takes 12 years. It won't feel like 1 conference. Players will miss 2 conference opponents in their 4-years on campus. 1 game every 6 years isn't enough.

Goal: Maintain regional rivalries while creating a coast-to-coast national conference.

Step 1: Follow the ACC's & SEC's lead by getting permission from the NCAA to have a BE Championship Game without divisions:

Step 2: The rule change puts all 14 teams in 1 pool & matches up #1 vs #2 in the conference championship.

Step 3: Each team is matched up with their top 5 rivals for annual games. For Rutgers, it will be UConn, Temple, Navy, USF & UCF.

Step 4: The other 8 teams are rotated through the remaining 3 conference game slots. This way Rutgers in our example will get to play Cincy, Louisville, Memphis, Houston, SMU, AF, Boise St & SDST 3x each every 8 years (3 games/yr for 8 years = 24 slots for 8 teams, 3x each). It fits evenly. A full cycle of 3 home games vs Louisville & 3 away games vs Louisville (6x total) will take 16 years. & repeat.

I listed out the 5 annual rivals for each team below but 1st some rules:

1. Every school plays 2 annual games vs Texas or Florida schools to make sure everyone has an annual trip for recruiting. The exception is the military academies. But 4 of their rotating games will be vs TX/FL teams so they will play @ TX or FL most every year.

2. TX & FL schools don't have annual matchups against each other.

3. Keep the 5 annual games as regional as possible & maintain rivalries.

4. Everyone except the military academies needs to play 2 BCS teams out of conference.

Connecticut Huskies (2004) plays (Rutgers, Temple, Navy, USF, UCF)

The BE would've had 6 teams in 2004 b/c Miami & VPI joined the ACC so UConn jumped up from 1-AA to be the 7th team. Their annual opponents will be the 3 other northeast schools & the 2 Florida schools.

Game 9. Boston College - only other major program in New England has to be an end-of-season rivalry but they've only played 5 times despite being 80 miles apart.

Game 10. find a 2nd BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1993, Founding Member) plays (Temple, UConn, Navy, USF, UCF)

Rutgers is the only school that has been in the BE every year since it started in '91. I listed '93 as the date they joined b/c there weren't conference standings in '91 (the highest ranked team in the AP poll won the "conference") & in '92 Miami won while only playing 4 conference games (teams hadn't adjusted to their new schedules yet). In '93 all 8 teams played a "full" 7 game conference schedule (the BE from '91 to 2012 has still never put together a full 9-team, 8-game football conference). Rutgers will play the other 3 northeast schools & the 2 Florida schools.

Game 9. Syracuse - battle for NY has been played 38x in the past 80 years & they're 240 miles apart

Game 10. find a 2nd BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Temple Owls (1993 - 2004, 2012) plays (Rutgers, Navy, UConn, UCF, USF)

Temple was kicked out of the BE after the '04 season b/c they won 14 conference games in 14 years (including '91 & '92-hybrid conference seasons). They played all these awful football games off-campus at the Eagles old NFL stadium, the Vet, in front of ten's of thousands of empty seats.

Game 9. Penn State (3-37-1 all-time) or Pittsburgh (8-26-1) - they'll need to play Penn State home&home then Pitt home&home & repeat, keep alternating getting their butts kicked in-state so Penn St & Pitt can play in a NFL stadium in Philly

Game 10. find a 2nd BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Game 11. Villanova - I say continue playing the Battle for the Liberty Bell to start the season annually, Nova will get beat up but they're a BE team right? take 1 for the conference

Navy Midshipmen (2015, football-only) plays (Air Force, Temple, San Diego St, Rutgers, UConn)

Navy is scheduled to play their 1st BE game in 2015. They'll play Air Force, the 3 other northeast teams & SDST for the large military presence in San Diego. They don't have annual matchups w/ Florida or Texas schools but half their non-annual games will be against them so they should have a road game in TX or FL most years. Navy doesn't have to play any BCS teams out of conference since they're a military school but they'll want to play 2 other annual games:

Game 9. Army - for the Commander-in-Chief

Game 10. Notre Dame

South Florida Bulls (2005) plays (UCF, Louisville, Rutgers, UConn, Temple)

USF joined the year after UConn in '05 w/ L'ville & Cincy to replace Miami, BC, VPI & Temple & keep the BE at it's usual 8 teams. The BE has to raid CUSA after losing half its' teams in 2 years. USF will play the other directional Floridal team, the 3 northern schools & L'ville. Off subject but where are the Bulls in Tampa & are they seriously green?

Game 9. Miami will want home&home w/ USF then home&home w/ UCF & repeat since Florida won't play the U

Game 10. will need to find 2 BCS teams to play when not playing Miami, get FSU or Florida some years

Central Florida Golden Knights (2013) plays (USF, Cincy, Temple, Rutgers, UConn)

The Golden Showers will join next year to finally give the BE a real 8 game conference schedule for the 1st time w/ 12 teams, 2 divisions & a conference championship game. They'll continue the War on I-4 w/ USF (& play it to end the season), play Cincy & the 3 northeastern teams. If the BE eventually adds Army, there will be Scarlet, Golden & Black Knights in the BE. Could the Knights' Sword ever be a more meaningful trophy than the Commander-and-Chief?

Game 9. Miami will want home&home w/ UCF then home&home w/ USF & repeat since Florida won't play the U

Game 10. will need to find 2 BCS teams to play when not playing Miami, get FSU or Florida some years

Cincinnati BearCats (2005) plays (Louisville, Memphis, Houston, UCF, Air Force)

Cincy jumped from mid-majors to BCS in '05 w/ USF & L'ville. They'll play a heavy C-USA schedule w/ L'ville, Memphis, Houston, UCF & go out west to play AF. Cincy & L'ville are the only schools that either play FL or TX, the rest have 2 annual games in TX or FL, not 1 vs each.

Game 9. Miami (Ohio) - I love tradition, it's great they've played every year since 1954 & they should start opening the season w/ Miami but you have a 7 game winning streak going so...

Game 10. find a BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Game 11. find a 2nd BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Game 12. rotate paying the other 5 MAC Ohio teams to come to Cincy

Louisville Cardinals (2005) plays (Cincy, Memphis, SMU, USF, Boise St)

Will play the opposite of Cincy's schedule - USF & SMU instead of UCF & Houston & will play Boise St out west instead of AF. L'ville is rumored to be the 11th team in the Big 12 but won't be added unless BYU agrees to be the 12th & it's hard to negotiate football games w/ the LDS church. If L'ville does leave (by themselves), I'd still want AF as the 13th team in 2015 & go get East Carolina. The Pirates play in a 50,000 seat on-campus stadium & have rivalries w/ UNC, NC State, VPI & West Va. They love football.

Game 9. Kentucky - has been played every year since 1994 to start the season, I'd like to see it moved 'til the end but good job for playing this

Game 10. find a 2nd BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Memphis Tigers (2013) plays (Houston, SMU, Louisville, Cincy, Air Force)

Memphis is the 1st 'western' team so from here on out you'll see teams w/ 2 TX games instead of 2 FL. They're in a good spot as the TX teams, L'ville & Cincy are all regional. They also have an annual tilt w/ Air Force. They play in the 62,000 seat Liberty Bowl & have FedEx behind them but they really suck at football. They're 44-73 (38%) in CUSA games since its' inception in '96. That's an average of 2.8 wins/ year. They're 2-22 the past 3 years so they definitely don't deserve the BE invite over ECU.

Game 9. Ole Miss (10-32-2 all-time) or Miss State (10-27) - Memphis has a large enough stadium & is 1 of the only large metro areas close enough to the Mississippi schools to do a home&home with. Play Miss 2x, play the other 2x, repeat.

Game 10. find a 2nd BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Houston Cougars (2013) plays (SMU, Memphis, Cincy, San Diego St, Boise St)

Keep in-state SMU as an annual game + Memphis (who was in CUSA East) & add Cincy, SDST & Boise St). They're spending $105 million on a new 40,000 seat stadium that will have a Phase 2 to make it 60k seats. They have 7 consecutive seasons w/ 4+ wins in CUSA (5 w/ 6+ wins).

Game 9. Rice - start the season w/ in-town Houston & finish it w/ in-conference SMU

Game 10. rotate Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech - 2 years on, 4 years off (games in Houston can be played at Reliant Stadium)

Game 11. rotate Baylor, TCU, UTEP - 2 years on, 4 years off

Southern Methodist Mustangs (2013) plays (Houston, Memphis, Louisville, San Diego St, Boise St)

Pony Excess have lived down their big booster reputation & land in a good spot in the BE. They'll play 2 regional games, L'ville, SDSt & Boise St. They're the only private school in the football BE (Navy & Army are federal).

Game 9. TCU - start the season w/ in-town TCU & finish it w/ in-conference Houston

Game 10. rotate Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor - 2 years on, 6 years off (games in Dallas can be played at the Cotton Bowl or Cowboys Stadium)

Game 11. rotate Rice, Tulsa, North Texas, UTEP - 2 years on, 6 years off

Air Force Falcons (hypothetically 2015, football-only) plays (Navy, San Diego St, Boise St, Memphis, Cincy)

BE still needs a 14th team & since it won't be BYU (too good?) or Army (too bad!), they're hoping its' AF. They have to play Navy, keep MWC games vs Boise St & SDST & will travel somewhat east for Memphis & Cincy. Unlike Army, they're good at football & I believe they should join Hawaii, SDST, & Boise St as the 12th member of the non-football Big West conference.... AF doesn't need to play any out of conference BCS teams since they're a military academy but they'll want to keep 3 rivalries annual:

Game 9. Army - for the Commander-in-Chief

Game 10. Colorado State - has been played 51x since '57

Game 11. Wyoming - has been played 51x since '57

Boise State Broncos (2013, football-only) plays (San Diego St, Air Force, SMU, Houston, Louisville)

The BE's savoir, the Broncos. The Most Winning Football program since 1999. They've won 87% of their 168 games. 146 wins, 22 losses in 13 seasons. They'll play the 2 other western teams, the 2 TX teams & L'ville.

Game 9. BYU - they have a 12-year annual series starting in 2013 w/ the Cougars, I'm a fan of what Boise State is doing b/c they'll play anyone, anywhere ... home game for Michigan State for a return trip to Boise 10 years later? no problem, VPI in DC, Georgia in Atlanta. Best part is the always win (looking back now, it's surprising a medicore Sparty could beat Boise at home but 2012 isn't the normal Boise).

Game 10. another BCS team, anyone, anywhere (looking at you Pac-12)

Game 11. I think Nevada, Fresno St & Hawaii are rivalries worth preserving (2 years on, 4 years off, home&homes)

Game 12. just don't play Idaho ever again & I know Boise State knows that

San Diego State Aztecs (2013, football-only) St plays (Navy, Boise St, Air Force, Houston, SMU)

SDST is the only school that plays both military academies b/c its' such a large military area. They'll also play thhe other western team & the 2 TX teams.

Game 9. rotate the 4 Pac-12 California schools in&out

Game 10. find a 2nd BCS team to play home&home or neutral NFL site w/

Game 11. will need to alternate playing Fresno St & San Jose St, probably Hawaii too

Thoughts?: What do you think? Is playing 5 teams annually instead of 7 / playing the other teams 6x every 16 yrs instead of 6x every 36 years better? Do you like potentially matching up #1 & #2 in the BE Championship Game? Or do you think it'll create worse matchups than a zipper division setup would (undeserving team playing other a better team)?