In 2010 College Football had six power conferences the BIG 10, SEC, BIG 12, ACC, PAC 10 and Big East. These conferences dominated the sport, and all had BCS bowl tie-ins. 13 years later we are looking at having three super conferences taking over conference football. In the last two years, we have seen 14 teams change the landscape of college football and college athletics as a whole. It all started with Texas and Oklahoma jumping to the SEC giving the conference 16 members starting in 2024. This was followed by USC and UCLA joining the BIG 10 giving that conference 16 members as well. This saw the BIG 12 add four new members BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and, UCF. For the time being, things seemed quiet. That would soon change.
In the last few weeks, we have seen a tidal wave wash its way over College Football. The First domino to fall was Colorado who announced that they would be rejoining the BIG 12. What seemed like moments later Oregon and Washington headed to BIG 10 country. The final move was Arizona, ASU, and Utah announcing their departure to the BIG 12. This means the BIG 12 and SEC are at 16 schools while the BIG 10 now has 18. Now this begs the question what about the PAC 12?
The PAC 12 is one of the oldest conferences in College athletics. It has a proud history with many national titles under its belt. But these moves have left the once proud conference with only four member schools: Oregon State, Washington State, Stanford, and California. So, what is the PAC 12 to do? The first option is to fold completely and make the four-member schools fend for themselves. The next and most likely option is for the PAC 12 to absorb at least eight new members, most from the Mountain West Conference. The eight most likely candidates to form the new PAC 12 are Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah State, UNLV, Nevada, and SMU. Adding these schools will not bring in the revenue they had in the past, but the PAC 12 is a proud conference and they will not give up without a fight.
One conference that has remained relatively untouched by all this has been the ACC. That soon could change however, the SEC will most likely want to expand to 18 or 20 teams and regionally many of the teams make sense for the SEC. The four schools that could possibly switch over are Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Louisville. All four regionally make sense and all of their rivals are SEC schools making these four a natural fit in the SEC.
All this realignment is leading to the very real possibility that we are looking at three power conferences in College Football. The game we grew to love is going to change forever and I don't think in a good way. This takes regional pride out of play, it destroys rivalries and makes it harder for many teams to contend for a conference championship. So buckle up because 2024 is going to be something we have never seen before.
Alek Kisiel / WNSR Columnist
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