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College football conferences as HBO's Game of Thrones

When you play NCAA football, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.

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Action. Drama. Intrigue. Betrayal. BS targeting calls. Am I talking about college football, or an episode of HBO's Game of Thrones? (It's football. That last one probably gave it away.) While at first glance it may not seem like these two programs have a lot in common, the offseason forces us to think about football in ways it was never meant to be thought about. Who will win the 2015 Heisman Award? How is this sport like a fantasy television show? These are questions that don't need to be asked, and yet they are questions that the internet is trying to answer. With that in mind, let's take a look at how this land of power struggles, bitter feuds, and violence compares to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

The Big Ten = The North

A frozen, snowy land. A kingdom of honor and tradition, where the people enjoy the warm summer but always remember that winter is coming. There is nothing more Big Ten than the North. Hell, if you showed me a shot of Winterfell and another of Minneapolis, I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two. We played in a game known as the Snow Bowl, for crying out loud. The people of the Big Ten stand on principles and traditions that the rest of the world doesn't understand, like our love of knit sweaters and corn hole.

Also, Michigan is House Bolton. No spoilers, but they're the worst.

The SEC = The Westerlands

The most hated, yet most talked-about of all the conferences, the SEC definitely seems like the sort of place to be ruled over by Tywin Lannister. Nobody outside of their land really likes them, but if you want money and/or power, you need to pretend to be a strong supporter. Do you really think that ESPN would have formed the SEC Network if there hadn't been secret threats and promises of gold? Not likely. Plus, look at which team the Selection Committee named as their number one: the University of Alabama, aka the Cersei of the South.

The Pac-12 = Dorne

This revelation came from my brother, and while at first it didn't make sense to me (I was going to just say that the whole state is Texas was Dorne), I can finally see it. In the Seven Kingdoms, Dorne is a bit of an outsider. They do their own thing, and nobody really understands them. As a Midwestern man, that sounds like a perfect description of the Pac-12 to me. I know they're good, but they don't make sense to me. Plus, their lands are so far away and strange to the rest of us. (The IFC documentary Portlandia proves how very strange of a people they are.) #KeepSunspearWeird

The Big 12 = The Iron Islands

If you're going to make it in the Big 12, you'll have to pay the iron price. There is no sissy tournament to decide who rules. You don't win a division; you win the conference. You battle everyone, and only the worthy will be crowned the One True Champion.* Plus, the iron born are conquerers. They plunder wherever they go, be it the Riverlands or West Virginia.

*Note: Not true in any season when the Big 12 reeeeeeeally wants someone in the playoffs.

The ACC = The Stormlands

The mighty folk of the ACC are no strangers to power. After all, Florida State won it all last season and is looking to do it again. They are struggling, though. Losing power and influence. After all, undefeated FSU is ranked lower than two one-loss teams. If anyone should be heir to the throne, it's them, and yet power struggles and scandals have rocked them from their position on top, and now they must fight to reclaim what was theirs.

Other thoughts? Opinions? Theories about who will rise from the chaos to rule over the 2015 Selection Committee? Tweet me.

For now, let's just take the chance to repost this exceptional, updated version of this season's B1G commercial: