Colorado is headed to the Pac-10 a year early after posting bail. Nebraska paid its own ransom to be released from the Big 12. BYU has declared independence. The WAC is suing Nevada and Fresno State like a jilted lover.
And the fun is only beginning.
The 2011 season is going to look a lot different from the 2010 season. But take this to the bank: The 2013 season is going to look a lot different from the 2011 season. More teams will move. More BCS berths will be negotiated.
The lynchpin of all this movement will be the Big Ten. Should it decide that adding Nebraska achieved its goals, fine. But should it decide it must have Notre Dame (and three other teams), then look out.
The domino effect will hit the Big 12 and Big East hard. But even if the Big Ten stands pat, the Big 12 might have another play up its sleeve anyway. And that's going to help blowing up the Mountain West, or meld it back with the WAC.
Is your head spinning yet? Good. The Guru will now break it all down.
Let's review the 11 I-A conferences and the independents. What they look like now, what they will look like next year, and what they might look like even before the current BCS contract runs out:
SEC, ACC, Big East, C-USA, MAC and Sun Belt - unchanged from 2010.
Pac-10 - Adds Colorado and Utah in 2011. Two divisions (Washington and Oregon schools plus Colorado and Utah in the North; California and Arizona schools in the South), with the winners meeting in the Pac-12 title game.
Big Ten - Adds Nebraska in 2011. Two division winners meeting in the Big Ten title game.
Big 12 - Loses Nebraska and Colorado in 2011. Conference championship game eliminated.
Mountain West - Loses Utah and BYU and adds Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada (the latter two pending a lawsuit by the WAC).
WAC - Loses Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada. Only six teams remain in the conference.
Independents - BYU joins Notre Dame, Army and Navy.
2013 Season (Scenario 1: Big Ten does nothing)-
Big Ten, Pac-10, SEC, ACC, Sun Belt and Independents - unchanged from 2011.
Big 12 - Adds TCU and Houston. Both added to the South Division with four Texas schools while the North Division has six non-Texas schools. Restores conference title game.
Big East - Adds Villanova (moving up from I-AA).
Conference USA - Loses Houston and adds Temple.
MAC - Loses Temple.
Mountain West* - Loses TCU.
WAC* - Adds Montana (moving up from I-AA).
* The MWC and WAC may decide to merge if, a) Montana stays in I-AA, b) San Jose State drops football or moves down to I-AA, c) Louisiana Tech leaves for the Sun Belt, d) Hawaii becomes independent in football and joins the Big West or WCC in other sports. Should at least two of those scenarios materialize, then a 12- or 14-team new conference is a possibility.
2013 Season (Scenario 2: Big Ten goes for it)-
Pac-10, SEC, ACC and Sun Belt - unchanged from 2011.
MWC, WAC, C-USA and MAC - unchanged from Scenario 1.
Big Ten - Adds Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Missouri and Kansas. Notre Dame and Pittsburgh join the North Division with Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern. Missouri and Kansas join the South Division with Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana.
Big 12 - Loses Missouri and Kansas. Adds TCU and Houston. Remains a 10-team conference.
Big East - Loses Pittsburgh and adds Villanova (moving up from I-AA).
Independents - Loses Notre Dame. Army, Navy, BYU and maybe Hawaii remain.
Yes, this is a little hard to digest. But all this maneuvering should make life easier for the BCS. A weakened MWC, without Utah, BYU and also TCU, has no chance of landing an automatic BCS bid. Even a MWC-WAC merger, with no marquee school other than Boise State still in it, should not be enough to produce an AQ-worthy conference.
So as they say, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Bet you didn't know the BCS was invented by the French.