Super Conferences? We’re Already There.
14 +14+10+12+15= 65. You may wonder why I would start this blog with a math problem. Well, that’s the number of teams in the SEC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 12, and ACC added together. For years the rumor in college football has been that we are headed for super conferences. 4 of them to be exact. With 16 teams each. I’m here to tell you that we are already there. Not exactly in the mathematical sense, but we’re there. Realignment as we have seen it over the past 4 years is done. The shuffling will stop. You saw the math problem. 65 teams. 5 leagues. It’s not even. It doesn’t make as much sense as 4 leagues and 64 teams, but hey, it’s college football. What does anymore? West Virginia and Texas Tech are in the same conference. Realignment always made me think of this scene from Ghostbusters.
But it’s over now. The ACC has a Grant of Rights. What that means is that now if anyone wants to leave, they have to sign over all their TV money. The Big 12, PAC 12, and Big 10 all have this same type of contract. The SEC doesn’t, but seriously, who’s leaving that league? And if they did, we’d have to make sure that the school and it’s alumni weren’t taken over by body snatchers. And no one is giving up their TV money. In case you don’t know, with the new BCS playoff on the horizon, there is going to be plenty of it to go around. The ACC now has locked in Florida State, Miami, Clemson, and North Carolina. All schools rumored to be headed elsewhere on the message boards.
But what about the former Big East, now the All American Conference? Sadly they will be the victim in this. What about Conference USA? Please. The schools in those leagues will have to sit and wait for one of them to be good enough to get in the Top 4. Then maybe they can hope that things change again to include them more. In all likelihood, it’s all on the 5 power conferences now.
What’s the next move? I think it will be a shift to separate the Big 5 from the rest. But that’s probably another decade or so down the line. It’s never really going to be over. As long as there are TV networks, big piles of cash, and egos there will be something going on. But the big game of musical chairs is over for now. If you found a spot in the PAC 12, Big 12, SEC, ACC, or Big 10 you won. If you didn’t, my condolences.
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