Re-alignment series starts with a review of big-stage presence in football & basketball. Big 12 wins.

Conference re-alignment has significantly altered the landscape in college athletics. Which leagues emerged from the recent shifts as the biggest winners?

The answer depends upon your personal perspective and what you value. Each day this week, I’ll use a different measure to rank order the leagues’ new or future members.

The schools included in this study are TCU & West Virginia (Big 12), Pitt & Syracuse (ACC), Boise State, UCF, Houston, San Diego State & SMU (Big East), Nebraska (Big Ten), Colorado & Utah (Pac-12) and Missouri & Texas A&M (SEC).

Today’s benchmark is recent, big-stage presence in football and basketball.

In the last half-dozen years, the new Big 12 members have participated in more BCS games and/or basketball Final Fours than the new schools in the other five major conferences combined.

·         Big 12 has six – West Virginia: 2006 Sugar Bowl, 2008 Fiesta Bowl, 2010 Men’s Basketball Final Four, 2012 Orange Bowl; TCU: 2010 Fiesta Bowl, 2011 Rose Bowl

·         Big East has two – Boise State: 2007 Fiesta Bowl, 2010 Fiesta Bowl

·         Pac-12 has one – Utah: 2009 Sugar Bowl

·         SEC has one – Texas A&M: 2011 Women’s Basketball Final Four

Your personal parameters might be different, but for major sport big-time performance in recent times, the Big 12 wins handily.

Tomorrow’s review will center on the academic performance of student-athletes.

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