With all the talk of the Pac 10 taking over the Big 12 and so on, it got me to thinking. What could be the best college conference consisting of 16 teams? A couple of rules, in order to be pick for this, the school has to be a contender in both Football AND Basketball, these are the two biggest college sports. Mid Majors are eliminated, however, teams from the Mountain West are consideration. Max number of teams is 16, this allows some board line football schools make it into basketball and board line basketball schools make it into big time college football. Competitive balance was a factor too, and just because the school is a top 5 basketball school doesn’t mean it makes it in cause they would get slaughtered by the football portion and vice versa.
Teams just missing: Alabama (Top notch fb program, non existent bball), Duke (the opposite of Bama), Utah, Oregon, Purdue, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, Kansas, UCLA, FSU
Georgia Tech- Tech flies under the radar in both sports every year. Always makes the NCAA Tourney in Basketball, Tech is surprisingly the ACC champs in football. A unique team that features a triple option in football and a handful of NBA players on the basketball side, Tech can compete in both sports.
UNC- North Carolina is one of, if not, the top basketball program in the conference. Their football program isn’t one of the better ones, however, it has gone through streak where it has had its share of great pros (LT, Peppers), and is thought to be a top 25 team in football this upcoming year.
Texas- Texas maybe the most complete school in here, and there is good reason they will make out like bandits by leveraging the Big 12 to give them a huge cut in TV contracts. Top football program, top basketball program, they will be near the top every year.
Oklahoma- Despite a poor year last year, Oklahoma has been one of the top basketball schools in the past decade. It’s football program is one of the best in the country, and the rivalry between them and Texas carries over.
Pittsburgh- Every year, Pitt is a top basketball program and football program in the Big East. Pitt brings toughness to the court (They have a lot of kids that are “New York Tough”) and their football talents are represented well in the pros with Larry Fitz being a top 3 wide out.
West Virginia- The Final Four basketball team led by Bob Huggins will be a top contender every year, and their football programs has tons of talent. Noel Devine and crew will be a tough match up for any team.
Notre Dame- One of the top teams in the Big East basketball wise, ND can hold their own on the court. As far as football wise, they have won their fair share of championships and I am pretty sure people always know what ND’s record is. I don’t care if they sucked the past couple of years, ND is the exception to the rules, they have to be in.
Ohio State- A no brainer, Ohio State has become a great basketball school in addition to the legendary football program.
Wisconsin- You always know what you are getting with Wisconsin. The basketball team will never wow you, but it gets the job done. The football program is fantastic, and can more than hold its own.
Michigan State- A fringe team, State makes it mostly cause it is really hard to keep the basketball team out. The difference between them and say Duke or Kansas is that Michigan States football team is better, even though it would be one of the worst here.
BYU- I put BYU here because they are another team that always has great records, and I figured either them or Utah had to get in. BYU would get its chance to go against the big boys.
USC- While Michigan State gets in cause of bball, USC gets in strictly cause of football. Their bball team has had its moments, but that is cause they cheated. On the other hand, the football program did too, but USC has to be in.
Washington- Jake Locker will bring the football program back to the national spotlight, and the bball program is a top 2 team in the Pac 10, so they make it.
LSU- Top notch football, mixed in with a mediocre basketball team, LSU is a late addition.
Tennessee- Tennessee is one of the biggest football programs in the country, and Bruce Pearl has done an amazing job with the basketball team.
Florida- No doubt on this one, its a very obvious choice.