It looks like we may get out full-blown apocalyptic conference realignment after all. With Pittsburgh and Syracuse reportedly headed to the ACC, and the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State-Texas Tech-Texas-Austin combo group pondering Pac-12 membership, there are now two BCS Automatic Qualifying conferences fighting for their very survival, in the Big XII and the Big East.
There seem to be two different scenarios in which this could benefit the University of Houston:
First, one or both of the Big XII and the Big East start adding new schools in order to stay alive and maintain their AQ status. The Big XII would be without UT-Austin or Texas A&M, so Houston could be an attractive option to re-establish a presence in Texas. The Big East would be looking for schools with respectable football programs, and with TCU already in the fold, Houston could make sense there, as well.
Alternately, if the Big XII and Big East end up merging, there would be one less AQ conference. Looking to fill that void could be Conference USA and the Mountain West, who are discussing a merger of their own, with the notion that the winner of a consolidated football conference would automatically qualify for the BCS.
As usual, Houston Athletics Director Mack Rhoades is playing it close to the vest. Call it the anti-SMU strategy.
Now, it's worth mentioning that if all of the conferences go nuclear, the BCS will have to take a long, hard look at how the auto bids are handed out. But if we make the leap of faith that any of the following options would provide an auto-bid, where would you prefer to see UH end up?