The 12 Pack is three-fourths complete! With the last pick of the eighth round of the SB Nation Conference Re-Draft, the league selected the Virginia Cavaliers. The Boston College Eagles were added with the first pick of the ninth round.
The former ACC schools join the Clemson Tigers, Duke Blue Devils, Georgia Bulldogs, Texas Longhorns, UCLA Bruins, Washington Huskies, and Wisconsin Badgers in the new conference. By choosing Boston College and Virginia, the 12 Pack continued its trend of selecting strong academic institutions situated near major media markets. The league, which already boasted six of the 30 largest stadiums in college football, now adds Charlottesville’s Scott Stadium, which holds as many fans (61,500) as the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field.
The Wahoos likewise bring another strong revenue stream to the table, and the eclectic mix of quality athletics has been strengthened by solid additions in lacrosse to match the 12 Pack’s already strong women’s gymnastics base. The league also looks like a real powerhouse in baseball, and, on the all-important football side of the equation, sharing an affiliation with Boston College and Virginia ensures that Georgia will not have to face either of them in a bowl game, after having encountered one or the other of them in the postseason five times between 1986 and 2001.
The only flaw in the conference’s composition so far is evidenced by this map:
The league continues to form a ring around the continent, but there has been a distinct shift eastward in recent rounds. (Frankly, the pickings in the mountain time zone are a little slim.) As we head toward the final rounds, and the selection of the last three teams, we need to begin giving consideration to such matters as divisional splits.
Unless the league ends up adding a trio of schools on the far side of the Mississippi River, an east-west dividing line would require putting Wisconsin in the 12 Pack West, due to the clump of teams along the eastern seaboard. On the other hand, a north-south alignment would produce some interesting bedfellows. Right now, such a divisional breakdown would look like this:
|12 Pack North||12 Pack South|
Right now, Duke is basically on the borderline, and the Blue Devils could go either way, depending upon which teams are taken in the tenth and subsequent rounds. What do you think? How should the divisions be structured? Where should the 12 Pack go from here?