The Big "Ten" Conference now having 14 teams makes me once again cringe at all the conference shifting that has gone on around college football in recent years. I don't mind expansion, when conferences add teams which make sense geographically.
Maryland and Rutgers moving to the Big Ten makes sense for Penn State, but they aren't close to the rest of the conference, which is midwestern other than Penn State, which was a stretch add itself, not being in the midwest, and being much closer to the former Big East Conference, which had most of the teams PSU played when they were an independent.
Nebraska made slightly more geographic sense in the Big 12 than the Big 10. Sure, they are close to Iowa, but they are too far west for the Big 10, just like Penn State is too far east.
TCU joining the Big 12 made a lot of sense. They now play schools close to them, instead of Mountain Region teams. They also are proof that a "small school" can play with the big boys in a "major" conference. But West Virginia moving to the Big 12 made no sense at all. The state isn't adjacent to the states of any other Big 12 teams. They are closer to the SEC, or even the new eastern Big Ten teams. And Iowa State would definitely make more sense in the Big 10.
Virginia Tech moving to the ACC made sense, but Pittsburg, Syracuse, and Boston College? Huh?! They are no where near the other teams. Plus the ACC stands for Atlantic Coast Conference, so what's with these new landlocked schools? The implosion of the Big East cause a lot of the geographical mess we now have in college football. Pitt lies in between Penn State and the Big Ten. Perhaps we need a northeastern conference, much better constructed than the Big East, including Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse, BC, etc, but without Big East geographic oddballs like Miami and VA Tech?
Then we get to the SEC. Texas A&M and maybe even Missouri should be in the Big 12. Arkansas is borderline to go either way. Florida should be in the ACC, since I'd love to have the 3 big Florida teams (Florida, Florida State, and Miami) in the same conference.
All of the NCAA Football teams jumping conferences lately has made a jumbled mess of random opponents. I think the NCAA should completely scrap the current conferences and start from scratch, making regional conferences where you play the teams closest to you.
Sure, there are some longtime bitter rivalries (such as Ohio State vs. Michigan) that should be kept intact, but most of them are geographically close already, so they wouldn't be impacted. And the longtime members of most conferences are geographically close to each other, because that was the original point of the conferences. Plus, I'd have the non-conference games of each conference be against a nearby conference, so that is another way to ensure established rivalry games if the two teams didn't end up in the same geographically based conference.
Think of the new or renewed rivalries: Penn State vs. Pitt vs. West VA, Miami vs. Florida vs. Florida State, Texas vs. Texas A&M vs. Texas Tech vs. TCU vs. Rice vs. Baylor, Nebraska vs. Oklahoma, Iowa vs. Iowa State, maybe Pitt vs. Ohio State.
Most geographic areas have big schools, small schools, and schools somewhere in between. This would eliminate the current problem of smaller schools struggling to gain revenue and exposure, and being lowballed in the rankings and bowl selection, simply because they play in a "small school" "non-BCS" conference with an "easy" schedule. If they played in a regional conference with school of varying size, they would garner more respect in the overall college football picture. And the many upsets in recent years prove the talent gap has lessened, and the smaller schools would be able to compete better than you think.
Do I think this makes sense? Yes. Do I think it will happen? No, not wide scale anyway. But I do think there will be some major changes in NCAA football conferences the not too distant future.