Guessing the proposed Big East division alignments

There are many ways to split the Big East into divisions once the new 12-team iteration kicks off in 2013, probably even including "ship half the teams to CUSA and give the other half back to the Mountain West." But of the many options at [insert Big East commissioner here]'s disposal, three were presented to coaches and athletic directors at the spring meetings this week - two geographic, compass-themed varieties and a bag o' fun one.

Details were lacking, so this being a blog, I made the details up.

For reference, the 12 football-playing Big East teams in 2012 are Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU, Temple, Memphis, Central Florida, South Florida, Connecticut, Rutgers, Louisville and Cincinnati. In 2015, Navy will join, assuming college football conferences still exist by then. Either BYU or Air Force will also come on board.

Also, all teams will play an eight-game conference schedule, so in addition to the five fellow teams in your division, you also get three from the other side. Rivalries will be protected, so Boise State and San Diego State will play each other every year no matter what.

Geographic, East - West split

The most obvious split is down the middle vertically, drawing the proverbial continental divide a few thousand feet to the right of the actual Continental Divide. Things get messy only when you pick nits between Louisville and Cincinnati, which are only separated by a matter of miles and yet one needs to be in Big East West and the other in Big East East.

Big-east-east-west_medium

East West
UCF Boise State
South Florida San Diego State
Connecticut Houston
Rutgers SMU
Temple Memphis
Cincinnati Louisville

Geographic, North - South split

I'm not entirely sure the practicality of dividing a grossly horizontal footprint in half like a hoagie roll. Maybe the Big East employs some latitude hobbyists? Call this the 45th Parallel model.

Big-east-north-south_medium

North South
Boise State San Diego State
Temple Houston
Connecticut SMU
Rutgers UCF
Louisville South Florida
Cincinnati Memphis

Non-geographic, blind dart-throwing split

The third option throws geography and caution to the wind, choosing to split natural pairs of schools so that every team gets to go to places like Texas and Florida and California/Idaho every year (I do hope East Coasters realize that California and Idaho are very different places).

You still can protect your rivalries with the cross-division games, so no worries there. Coaches favor this model.

Coming up with the layout for this one took the most guessing, so feel free to suggest better options if you have them. Also, I did not come up with those division names. The Big East did. Or, rather, the Big East's fourth-grade son.

Big-east-red-blue-1_medium

Red Blue
Boise State San Diego State
UCF South Florida
Houston SMU
Memphis Louisville
Temple Rutgers
Cincinnati Connecticut

Your turn

Which division alignment do you favor? Which one makes the most sense? The least? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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