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Big Six Conference Makeover

This summer, six SB Nation blogs will be re-drafting the six major conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, and Big 10) using a fantasy-style snake draft. This post will explain the object and the rules governing the draft.

This idea is not to improve existing conferences through minor tweaks, but starting clean and compiling six conferences by drafting athletics programs. We're also ignoring geography and time-zones.

After the jump is a detailed explanation of the game and how the draft will be unfolding over the next six weeks. Read through the objectives and rules carefully to make sure you understand how it works, then dive in and let's start what should be an interesting conversation: What do you value in an athletics program? In a conference? Who would you draft?

Read through the drafting rules and remember, the goal is not to improve the existing conferences. The goal is to use a draft to value schools and have fun strategically grouping them together.

Objective - The purposes of the fantasy draft are: One, to explore the values of individual schools by drafting them sequentially, and two, to have fun strategically building a conference of schools.

There will be six conferences, and as stated before, such conferences are NOT meant to be new versions of current conferences. The goal is to draft schools based on their overall value.

What makes a school valuable and appealing? We leave that open, with a few important guidelines. First, bearing in mind that we are drafting athletics conferences, athletics should be weighted heaviest.

While obviously athletics must be considered, the following are factors you may, but are not required to consider:

Weather/Desirability of Destination
Historic Success
TV Revenue Potential
Rivalries (two teams)

Conference Commissioners - There will be six conference commissioners: BC Interruption (Boston College blog), House of Sparky (Arizona State), Big East Coast Bias (Big East), Black Heart Gold Pants (Iowa), Team Speed Kills (SEC) and Red Cup Rebellion (Ole Miss).

An (incredibly) important note: The six commissioners will start with a blank slate. BC Interruption, House of Sparky, Black Heart Gold Pants and Red Cup Rebellion will not be starting with Boston College, ASU, Iowa or Ole Miss in their conference already. If they want their own schools, they'll have to use a draft pick on them.

By luck of a random number generator (Not chosen by me), BC Interruption gets first pick in the draft. The complete draft order is as follows:

1. BC Interruption
2. Black Heart Gold Pants
3. Team Speed Kills
4. Big East Coast Bias
5. House of Sparky
6. Red Cup Rebellion

The draft will be a snake draft, with Red Cup Rebellion receiving the 6th and 7th picks, BC Interruption receiving picks 12 and 13, and so on and so forth.

The draft is officially being run by the OSU Cowboys blog Cowboys Ride For Free, so Samuel will be playing the role of head commissioner.

Schedule - This week, SBN bloggers are introducing the project and want to get the conversation going. We need to start thinking about the following questions:

Who would you want to draft?
What kind of alliances should we seek?
What sort of values are we looking for in a program?

On Monday, June 13, the draft begins and the first round selections will be made. The conference commissioners will then consult with their first-round draft choice (if there is a blogger for that school) and the two of them will collectively decide on their draft strategy and make their second round choice. By Friday, each conference will have a commissioner, two schools, and up to two more bloggers to collaborate with on their picks. By Sunday, each conference will select the new name of its conference.

On June 20, Cowboys Ride For Free will announce the conference names and recap the first two rounds of the draft. We'll have a post here at BTD about where Texas was drafted and who we helped select in the other rounds.

After the big reveal of conference names and founding members, the draft will continue with two draft picks a week for the next several weeks. Once a conference drafts 12 members, a conference can be complete. If they want, the draft will continue for conferences who wish to add more members. If in any subsequent round only one conference remains, it may select the remaining members of its conference up to a maximum of 16.

Finally, on July 25, the full and complete conference rosters will be announced and discussed across the SB Nation community of NCAA sites. Hooray!

Other points of note - When selecting a school, you are bringing on all of its NCAA-sanctioned programs. So if you select Notre Dame for its football program, all of their other sports come along with it. Same for Duke football and Oregon State Basketball.

So, if you've gotten this far, congrats! We want to make sure that everyone clearly understands the objectives and rules as this sort of thing only works if we're all operating on the same planet. Basically, understand that the goal here is not to re-draft the Pac-12, except without Washington State and California.

Now it is your turn. What do you value in a program? In a conference? Who would you draft?

Connor's Big Board

Similar to Mel Kiper's Big Board throughout the NFL Draft, I will be releasing my big board with the best programs remaining after each round. Here are my top five before Round 1:

1. Texas A&M

This is an interesting choice, but think about it. The Aggies finished the college football season ranked 19th, they finished the college basketball season ranked 30th, and they are currently ranked 11th in college baseball. They also have one of the most rabid college football fanbases in the nation -- The 12th Man.

Academics? Check
Co-eds? Check
Weather/Desirability of Destination? Definite Check
Historic Success? Check
Traditions? Definite Check
TV Revenue Potential? Check

All around, a very good program. They might slide down the board, but they are a very attractive option to me.

2. Florida

One of the most obvious choices in the draft, a definite top five pick. The Gators have everything: A great football program and good basketball and baseball teams. The TV market is huge for them and the weather is very desirable.

3. Connecticut

I doubt the Huskies will go very high, but they should. A great men's and women's hoops team, an up-and-coming football program, and a solid baseball team. They do lack a good TV market and nice weather, so that will probably slide them down the draft board. Still, I think they would be a steal.

4. Auburn

A few commissioners aren't going to take the Tigers because of the NCAA violations. But if we are truly wiping the slate clean, this is a great pick. They are coming off a national championship in football, have pretty good academics, and the weather is top-notch.

5. Kentucky

The Wildcats should be a solid top-five pick. The Wildcat basketball program is top-notch and their football team is solid. They have great weather and great potential for TV revenue. Definitely a great pick.