Conference Realignment for NCAA 12, Part I: Nicknames

So, about a week ago I was fooling around with my NCAA 12, and decided to blow up the conferences. I remembered THIS FANTASTIC POST by Anonymous IV at Mono Lake from just under a year ago, and his attempt to reorganize the conferences by nickname. Go on, take a minute to go back and reread it. I'll be here...

...done? Good. So, I started with that with my base, but quickly ran into some issues. Maybe with 2013 they'll just allow you to completely destroy conferences and reorganize however you like, but in 2012 EA Sports requires you to keep at least 4 teams in each conference. This means that 3-team conferences like Anon's "Ursidae" division are out. But, using it as a base, here's what I came up with; enjoy, debate, whatever, and I'll be back with another geographic based organization as part II.

NCAA 12 Rules: Must have 4 Independent Teams. Must have 4 teams per conference. No conferences can be destroyed.

Own rules: Make categories fit together as best given the rules above. I go by the team nickname, not that mascot, so for instance Carolina is the Tarheels, not a goat. Also, I don't care if your team was named after some Civil War unit--Tigers are Big Cats, not people. The exceptions are noted in the explanations below.

Teams are listed by conference in their current order as of 3rd season played with this alignment, Week 11. Conference in parentheses is the conference replaced in the game.

Big Cat Conference (ACC)
Houston Cougars
Penn St Nittany Lions
Auburn Tigers
Fuck Clemson Tigers
LSU Tigers
BYU Cougars
Missouri Tigers
WSU Cougars
Pitt Panthers
Memphis Tigers
FIU Golden Panthers

11 Teams

I couldn't fit all the felines into one conference, so the ACC becomes the "Big Cat" conference.

Cats & Bears (MAC)
Kansas St. Wildcats
UCLA Bruins
Northwestern Wildcats
Baylor Bears
KY Wildcats
Cal Bears
AZ Wildcats
Cinci Bearcats
Ohio Bobcats

9 Teams

The rest of the cats tied together nicely with the bear teams, especially since the "Bearcats" fit into both categories. They could have gone to the "Critter Conference" had I been scientifically technical, but this just worked nicely.

Canine Conference (Big 12)
Miss St Bulldogs
UGA Bulldogs
Arky St Red Wolves
Wash. Huskies
NC State Wolfpack
UCONN Huskies
Nevada Wolfpack
Fresno St Bulldogs
N. Ill Huskies
New Mex Lobos
La Tech Bulldogs

11 Teams

Pretty self explanatory, I'd think.

Avian (Wild) Conference (Big East)
Eagles Div
S. Miss Golden Eagles
BC Eagles
Ball St Cards
Air Force Falcons
LA Monroe Warhawks
E. Mich Eagles
Owls Div.
Louis Cards
Miami Redhawks
FAU Owls
Bowling Green Falcons
Rice Owls
Temple Owls

12 Teams

For sake of balance, I divided falcons and hawks between the two divisions.

Farm Animal Conference (B1G)
Cattle Division
USF Bulls
Texas Longhorns
Marshall Herd
Buffalo Bulls
Colorado St Rams
Colorado Buffaloes
Poultry and Horses Division
SMU Mustangs
Oregon Ducks
VT Hokies
Boise St. Broncos
SC Gamecocks
W. Michigan Broncos

12 Teams

Couldn't get all the birds into one conference, so I threw the farm-types in here with the horses and cattle.

Critter Conference (Conf USA)
GT Yellowjackets
Wisc Badgers
Maryland Terps
TCU Frogs
Mich Wolverines
Oregon St Beavers
Florida Gators
Arkansas Razorbacks
Minn Gophers

9 Teams

The rest of the animals fall into here.

Industry & farming conference (SEC)
Nebraska Cornhuskers
IND Hoosiers
UNC Tarheels
Texas A&M Aggies
? Boilermakers
Utah St Aggies
UTEP Miners
Akron Zips
Toledo Rockets
NM State Aggies

10 Teams

Here's where it starts to get interesting. Humans are a lot harder to group, and while Anonymous IV had some great groupings, they didn't fit as well into the game. Here we have industry (Boilermakers, Miners, Rockets, Zip(per)s, Tarheels) and farmers (Aggies, Huskers, and Hoosiers). Sure, no one knows what a Hoosier is, but they fit, and Tarheels could have been a military unit reference, but they also could have been referring to the tar industry in NC, so here they are.

Cowboys & Indians Conference (MWC)
Natives Division
Illinois Illini
C. Mich Chippewas
Utah Utes
Iowa Hawkeyes
FSU Seminoles
Hawaii Warriors
SDSU Aztecs
Cowboys & Settlers Div.
Ok St Cowboys
Oklahoma Sooners
Tex Tech Red Raiders
WVU Mountaineers
MTSU Blue Raiders
Wyoming Cowboys
WKU Hilltoppers

14 Teams

Hawkeyes are not birds, so I categorized Iowa as a reference to the Last of the Mohicans character. Hawaii is a native group, if not technically "Indians". I'm not sure what a "Hilltopper" is, but it seemed like some sort of Hatfield/McCoyish hillbilly thing like a Mountaineer.

Old World Conference (PAC12)
ND Irish
VA Cavaliers
Idaho Vandals
MSU Spartans
Troy Trojans
USC Trojans
San Jose St Spartans
UCF Golden Knights
Army Black Knights
Rutgers Scarlet Knights

10 Teams

While the "Knight" teams don't technically refer to European geographic areas, that's where knights come from, so they are here. Trojans are here as well, even though technically it's Asia Minor.

American History Conference (WAC)
Tenn Volunteers
ECU Pirates
KS Jayhawks
Navy Mids
Ole Miss Rebs
Vandy Commodores
Louisiana/Lafayette Ragin Cajuns
UNLV Running Rebs

8 Teams

Jayhawks are not birds, so this is really the only team I went with as a Civil War unit reference. Sorry, LSU fans. Volunteers I took to specifically mean the volunteering Davie Crockett, et al, from Tennessee, so they fall under US History as well.

Nature/Colors (Sun Belt)
Ohio State Buckeyes
Alabama Crimson Tide
Miami Hurricanes
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Stanford Cardinal
Syracuse Orange
Kent St. Golden Flashes
Tulane Green Wave
Iowa St. Cyclones
N. Texas Mean Green

10 Teams

Colors are part of the rainbow, and the rainbow is a natural phenomenon, right? So they got rolled in with weather patterns.

Supernatural (Independents)
Duke Blue Devils
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
ASU Sun Devils
UAB Blazers

4 Teams

Last we have the independents, and since there were four mythical/religious beings, I put them here.

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