It’s an excellent question people keep asking. Just who is playing in which conference this year? After all the realignment talk no one really knows for sure. So I thought it would be helpful to let you know who is in which conference for this upcoming season so you don’t embarrass yourself in a conversation with your friends by saying something stupid like “West Virginia will own Boise State in the Big East this year!”
All, first let’s look at the ACC. This conference is unchanged. The Atlantic Division is still Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. And the Coastal Division is still Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech. They are still the model of mediocrity and you will probably see Florida State triumph over Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship this year.
Next, a conference that has changed, the Big 12. We’re looking at the same scenario as last year, meaning there are still just 10 teams, everyone plays everyone, and no conference championship. Those 10 teams are Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU (new), Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia (new). This will easily be the most competitive conference this year as you have a complete tossup between six of them as to who might win the conference. I would say Oklahoma has the best shot, but Texas or West Virginia could just as easily take it. Going to be very interesting to watch.
Next we have another new conference, the Big East. They are still barely holding it together with 8 members, those teams being Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse and Temple (new). Temple replaces West Virginia this year and makes the conference a lot worse as a result. If any team in the Big East manages to get ranked this year it will be a miracle. Who will win the conference? Write every team on a piece of paper except Temple, put them in a hate, and pick one out. I guess Louisville shows the most promise of the bunch, but that’s like being the skinny kid at fat camp.
The Big Ten is unchanged from last season. Still twelve teams, still inexplicably named Leaders and Legends divisions, still a lot of overrated teams. I won’t list them here as you probably know them all. We’ll just have to wait and see if Wisconsin plays Michigan or Michigan State for the championship. Both have tough first games with Alabama and Boise State respectively. Should be a solid #3 or #4 conference in the country.
Conference USA remains unchanged and you don’t care about it as no one does, so no need wasting space with them. Along those same lines, the Independents are the same as last year and you won’t hear much from any of them except maybe Notre Dame. Also you don’t care about the MAC, but they lost Temple and otherwise remain the same.
The Mountain West Conference, or WAC 2.0, is going to be different this year. They lost TCU but picked up some more WAC teams. This year the MWC will feature 10 teams: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State (new), Hawaii(new), Nevada(new), New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV and Wyoming. Boise State will roll over everyone and play in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The Pac-12 is still the same as last year. This is USC or Oregon’s conference to win. Probably USC who has a much easier conference schedule.
The SEC is a little different, adding Texas A&M and Missouri from the Big 12. Missouri joined the East Division with Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vandy. Texas A&M joined the West Division with Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. I estimate 5 total conference wins between the two newbies. The SEC will likely come down to Georgia and Alabama in the championship. But here’s a shocker- this might be the year we don’t see an SEC team in the championship. Why? If ever there was a year an SEC team wouldn’t run the table, this is it. Going to be hard for any of them to go undefeated.
The Sun Belt is the same but no one cares. The WAC is fully reloaded with schools you have never heard of and won’t be continuing football after the 2013 season anyway, so that tells you what kind of conference they might have.
Hopefully that helps you know who is where. Next year we’ll see some more conference shifting but for now this is how they stack up this season.