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College Football Conference Changes 2011

Nebraska  - Big 10

Utah and Colorado - PAC 10


They can threaten to strike in the NFL but as football fans we can always count on college football teeing it up each fall. I for one, enjoy college football much more than the NFL. If you're a bettor, your best chance to consistently win comes with college ball, not the NFL. But when you flip on your TV this fall, things might seem just a tad different. That's because there are a few teams changing conferences.

The first change is actually a good fit. Nebraska will be joining the Big 10. You won't notice this change until October as the Huskers play a non conference schedule in September. They open up their Big 10 schedule October 1st at Wisconsin. They also play Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan and Iowa.

Nebraska in the Big 10 is a good move. They should fit right in. Many football fans don't like change. But this move adds even more juice to a conference that I have always enjoyed handicapping and watching.

The other major changes take place in the PAC 10 as they welcome Colorado from the Big 12 and Utah from the Mountain West. Of the two, the Utah move should be the most interesting. The Utes have had a solid program year after year but have often been criticized for the schedule strength (despite having spanked Alabama in a bowl game a couple of years back). I'd expect Utah to be in the running in the PAC 10 each year.

Colorado however, looks to have their work cut out for them. We all remember their unofficial welcome to the PAC 10 last season when Cal blew them off the field 52-7. The Buffs will get their chance for revenge on September 10th as Cal visits Colorado. Circle that date.

The other significant conference change this year is BYU exiting the Mountain West and becoming an Independent, joining Notre Dame, Army and Navy. I'm not so sure I like this move, as a fan or a bettor. I'd prefer to see teams competing in a conference, where they can develop rivalries and compete for a title year after year after year. You lose that when you are not aligned with a conference. I can live with Army, Navy and Notre Dame as an Independent. They are National teams. BYU? Not so much.

Lastly, Boise State will move from the WAC to the Mountain West. I'd love to see Boise State in a strong conference. They play Georgia to open up the season but after that there is once again lot's of cream puffs on their dance card.

There will be several more changes taking place in 2012 and then again in 2013.  We'll see a few teams making the jump to the big time, like UMASS and Villanova and we'll see teams like TCU playing their last games in their current conference. More on that when the time is right.

Change can be good. New rivalries will be created and before you know it, it will seem as though a team like Nebraska was always in the Big 10. Hey, seems like just yesterday when Penn State left the Independents to join the Big 10 (it was actually 1990!)

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