Conference Realignment

#9      
CUSA is basically a holding ground for teams that move up from FCS, it's a very hodge-podge conference with bad bowl tie-ins, crappy tv deals and a conference filled with teams that have very little geographical and historical ties to one another. It's basically a training ground to move up to a better conference IMO.
Everything you said is true although I think it's gonna be a better conference on the field than people give them credit for. In most cases these teams were passed up for reasons other than athletic success. Louisiana tech, Liberty, WKU and MTSU make bowl games nearly every year. Sam houston st and Jacksonville st have had strong fcs programs and UTEP seems to be turning things around. The only really weak teams are FIU and NMSU who just hired Jerry Kill and we know that guy is a winner.

I expect everyone in that conference to do everything in their power to get good until the next round of realignment because they are all going to want out asap. They no longer have stability to fall back on
 
#11      
Would prefer not to see it happen but...NASCAR is very popular across the country as will be a SEC playoff. The quality of the competition will validate any claim they make.

SEC has dominated, but it's not like they've won it every year. You'll have fans of other teams (rightly) claiming they're better than the SEC winner, and without a game to decide it, who's to say? tOSU, Clemson won it all in the CFP era, and if you go back over a couple decades, you see other powerhouse teams winning the NC (USC, Miami, Texas, Nebby, OK, FSU).

But that's beside the point. It's all about money, and it's a losing position. They already have a conference championship, so taking their ball and going home would leave CFP money for the other conferences that do participate. Looks like a bluff, and a bad one IMHO.
 
#12      
#13      
The Athletic has proposed a B1G protected rivalry alignment in which we would play Northwestern, Indiana, and Purdue as our annual opponents.

Yes please.....(!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I would be very good with that, I just dont think the B1G gives any teams more than two " protected rivalries" , and just one annual rivalry would not surprise me with the possibility of two other teams that alternate, so that maybe we play PU and IU every other year, but NW every year, and the rest of the B1G rotates thru every third year . Something like that . They need to decide if we play 8 or 9 conference games, and if 8, are 2 of the other 4 based on agreements with PAC and ACC ?
 
#14      

Shief

Champaign Area
The Athletic has proposed a B1G protected rivalry alignment in which we would play Northwestern, Indiana, and Purdue as our annual opponents.

Yes please.....(!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I would LOVE to have NW, Indiana, and Purdue as Illinois' three protected annual football opponents but I don't think it'll be that easy. I suspect that NW would be locked in as our rivalry/Thanksgiving week game and the second would be between Indiana and Purdue, I would prefer Purdue personally. I would not be surprised if the third game would be a more traditionally or recently powerful team like Ohio State (Illibuck), Michigan, Wisconsin, or Nebraska (growing rivalry there, may need a trophy eventually IMO). Just my two cents.
 
#15      
I would LOVE to have NW, Indiana, and Purdue as Illinois' three protected annual football opponents but I don't think it'll be that easy. I suspect that NW would be locked in as our rivalry/Thanksgiving week game and the second would be between Indiana and Purdue, I would prefer Purdue personally. I would not be surprised if the third game would be a more traditionally or recently powerful team like Ohio State (Illibuck), Michigan, Wisconsin, or Nebraska (growing rivalry there, may need a trophy eventually IMO). Just my two cents.
I was surprised that we didn't get a big power as our third protected rivalry too. But when you look at everyone's rivals, you wouldn't really balance it out that much more by spreading us and the Indiana schools out more. Michigan is likely to play OSU and MSU, OSU is likely to play Michigan and PSU, and PSU is likely to play OSU and MSU. The four schools in the west make up their own pod. Its not crazy to think we get our own little central pod, and honestly it may make a good competitive argument to have us all together. Not saying its a sure thing, but it makes a lot more sense than I previously thought it did.
 
#16      

Shief

Champaign Area
Going in a crazy direction, I thought that I saw something a while back proposing that the B1G snag more teams to get to 20 or 24. This is an outlandish and possibly unwieldy idea but getting to 24 by adding Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, USC, UCLA, Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, Oregon, and Washington - all AAU schools BTW - could create a coast to coast ultra-conference that would include many well known schools (prestige) and would also expand conference tv channel(s)/media attention in several big media markets/states (money). Football could be an 11 game conference schedule with 5 annual rivals (one natural rival and a game against a team from each region - East, Central, West, Pacific) and 6 rotating games either doing a home-home so that you play at every stadium in a 6 year period or you play every team in a 3 year cycle where you play team X at home in year 1 and then away in year 4. Again, this a crazy idea but thought I'd stir the pot a bit here.
 
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#18      

ILFaninFL

Nature Coast in Florida
One thing to remember is the Big Ten plays 3 non-conference games vs 4 for the SEC. That means teams that only win 2 games in the SEC are bowl eligible if you load your non-conference with cupcakes.
 
#19      

dgcrow

Kelso, WA
Purdue, Indiana, and Northwestern as the three "protected" rivalries (annual opponents)? Perfect!
 
#23      

Illini92and96

Austin, TX
ACC just got rid of divisions and went with the 3-5-5 split. I think it makes total sense to play a team at least every 2 years. Have to make the permanent rivals somewhat equitable however. Not say I would mind NW, Purdue and Indiana for us......
 
#24      
ACC just got rid of divisions and went with the 3-5-5 split. I think it makes total sense to play a team at least every 2 years. Have to make the permanent rivals somewhat equitable however. Not say I would mind NW, Purdue and Indiana for us......
 
#25      
ACC just got rid of divisions and went with the 3-5-5 split. I think it makes total sense to play a team at least every 2 years. Have to make the permanent rivals somewhat equitable however. Not say I would mind NW, Purdue and Indiana for us......
therein lies the rub