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Conference Realignment Auction: Introducing the Continental Divide Conference

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Where spending 10% of your budget on Eastern Michigan is all the rage

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Facts

Name: The Continental Conference
Northernmost School: Minnesota
Southernmost School: Arizona
Easternmost School: Virginia
Westernmost School: Nevada
Football Championship Venue: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Basketball Championship Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada
Baseball Championship Venue: Hyames Field, Kalamazoo, Michigan

The Conference

West Division East Division
Arizona Western Michigan
Utah Illinois
Colorado Virginia
New Mexico Minnesota
BYU Central Michigan
Nevada Eastern Michigan
Colorado State Missouri
UNLV Kansas

Isn't. It. BEAUTIFUL? Alma mater (WMU) in hand, I was poised to walk away with the best fictional conference 300 Hustle Belt dollars could buy on the open  market. Mission accomplished

The West

It didn't all go according to plan. Initially my sights were set on a "Water Wars" conference with a rain soaked, cloudy division defending its natural resources from a desert/mountain division gripped by drought. The football championship trophy would have been a solid gold tanker, carrying water from lake Michigan to Phoenix, but life isn't fair, you know?

I still ended up with a strong desert presence, and I would have had my pure "Four Corners Division" if it weren't for Sam Barloga nixing my UNLV (which I got for East Carolina) and Nevada for Arizona State trade proposal. But now I can use Vegas for championship basketball events, so it's not all bad.

The East

With little desire to dip into SEC country and after losing various bids in the Big 10, I had to place bids out east with the following criteria in mind:

1. A division WMU can win in football
2. Spend $30 on Eastern Michigan just because
3. Try not to make the worst basketball conference ever

Great success

Kansas, which I got for just five Hustle Belt dollars (1/6 of what I paid for EMU), is a basketball blue blood in the East division, and won't have a total cake walk with Virginia looming. Heck, maybe Illinois will figure out how to basketball again.

Justin conference

I give you Missouri-Kansas football, because I care

Anything that can turn a normal Saturday into booze soaked bedlam for no apparent reason is okay in my book, and that's why the Continental Divide - with the exception of Virginia - made very sure that regional rivalries did not go ignored. There's Colorado-Colorado State and BYU-Utah out west, Illinois and Minnesota are at least in the same real life B1G division, and the crown jewel of them all, the Michigan MAC, is still alive and well in this realignment universe we've created for ourselves. Of course, no rivalry schedule would be complete without the scoreless draw that is the Missouri-Kansas football game, now would it?

Print the Shirts

I very clearly have the best conference. Don't believe what the others tell you. Although, this is all purely on accident, as I lost out on schools like Michigan, Arizona State, Pittsburgh and Texas by being too cautious. And with over $100 remaining it's safe to say that while I can bargain shop with the best, I don't know when to roll the dice. I'll just send the C-note over to Ypsilanti. I've been told they could use a few dollars.

Overall I really like what I've done here. There's little geographic sense to make out of the inter division play, but there are plenty of regional rivalries that make the Continental Conference feel like a patchwork quilt of hatred and Virginia. I like that there was little sacrificed on the basketball front, too. Arizona, Kansas and Virginia is a respectable first tier, with Utah and Colorado making up a competent second tier. The "CC" is great fun all year round. It even has a MACtion lineup that should be the envy of the entire nation.