With the NCAA relaxing restrictions on requiring divisions in order to play a conference championship game, pods seem to be back in style. I recently saw a "Locked on Big 12" podcast where they suggested this pod arrangement:
MID-WEST POD: BYU, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State
TEXAS POD: Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Houston
EAST POD: Iowa State, Cincinnati, West Virginia, UCF
That's not bad but I think that a 3 team pod system could work even better. Here's what I'd like to see:
NORTH POD: Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State
EAST POD: Cincinnati, West Virginia, UCF
SOUTH POD: Baylor, TCU, Houston
WEST POD: BYU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech
Each year every team would play everyone in their pod and everyone in two out of the three other pods on a rotating basis. If 9 conference games are desired for inventory, you can add a single team from the last pod each year. Scheduling could be a little tricky but not too bad.
Assuming that Oklahoma and Texas will be in the conference for 1-2 years after the newcomers join, temporary divisions could be used for scheduling purposes (not necessarily to decide who will play in the CCG):
NORTHEAST DIVISION: North Pod, East Pod, Oklahoma
SOUTHWEST DIVISION: South Pod, West Pod, Texas
This setup splits the new teams evenly between the two divisions and allows the pod rivalries to remain intact once Texas and Oklahoma leave. Thoughts?