Adding :order to the find method using a self-referencing model

My issue is with a single table, Conferences, that uses a column
parent_id to reference itself. This way, I identify big conferences
(like NCAA) and the smaller conferences that make it up (like PAC
10). What I'd like to do is use the :order modifier of the find
method to sort each conference by it's parent's name. The best I've
gotten so far is being able to sort by the parent's ID (which isn't
particularly helpful).

One thought was to change my reference column from parent_id to
parent_name (and force these to be unique). However, I'm guessing
that would break the :counter_cache functionality. Anyone know what I
should do? Thanks.

#model
class Conference < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :teams
  belongs_to :conference, :foreign_key => "parent_id", :counter_cache
=> true
end

#table columns
id
name
abbr
parent_id
conferences_count
teams_count

#controller
@conferences = Conference.find(:all, :order => 'parent_id')