You could say the Big Ten movement was inspired by the SEC when that conference voted to add Oklahoma and Texas in a surprising move out last season.
Now comes the waiting game to see if the Securities and Exchange Commission will raise the Big Ten ante. ESPN commentator Paul Feinbaum believes that’s exactly what’s happening as the league is working on exploring new members.
“survival of the fittest”
“I think you’re looking at two superpowers in the survival of the fittest,” Feinbaum said on WJOX in Birmingham.
“It didn’t look like this was an active competition a year ago when the SEC took charge of college football for good, or so it seemed. But I think the dynamics have changed now with SC and UCLA, and the domino effect it had.
“What’s interesting, I don’t know where Kevin Warren has been for the last week or two. I have a pretty good idea of where Greg Sankey is, and he’s been off the radar so he can work in dark or light. Either directly or indirectly. Sometimes it’s from Better to be indirect.
Behind closed doors
All major moves in the reorganization of college football were the result of private and confidential conversations between decision makers in the relevant leagues and schools.
All the diplomacy and negotiations take place where no one can see it, and only when all the terms are agreed does everyone announce the deal to the public.
Feinbaum believes the SEC is sending brokers to talk to people in other schools like Clemson and Florida — but informally.
“It’s very interesting to be one of the primary attorneys at the SEC office in downtown Charlotte,” Feinbaum said.
“It probably wouldn’t be hard for someone representing Clemson or North Carolina or someone to meet this guy. I think that’s what happens.”
Who could the Securities and Exchange Commission add?
It’s still all speculation at this point, but it’s no secret that the SEC will be more than willing to add some of the ACC’s most valuable football programs.
This would include Clemson, a regular contender for the college football game, as well as schools with large followings such as Florida State and Miami.
North Carolina, Duke and Virginia have also been discussed as potential SEC members in recent reports.
But there is a major economic hurdle preventing ACC members from leaving: the convention’s rights-granting agreement that does not expire until 2036.
This deal will force leaving schools to give their media revenue to the ACC until that date, or pay a massive exit fee of about $100 million.
This may be enough to pause the college football reorganization for a while, at least on the part of the ACC team.
But that won’t stop the SEC from trying, even if unofficially.
More from College Football HQ
College football reorganization: 10 schools that connect with the Big Ten
A surprising reason why UCLA joined the Big Ten
Big 12 in ‘Deep Discussions’ to add Pac-12 teams, per report
College football reorganized again: Which schools could move on next?
USC and UCLA plan to move to the Big Ten in 2024
Winners and losers in college football reorganization
What do you worry about? The Pac-12 chief didn’t think he’d lose any team
College Football Reorganization: What Happens Next?
Follow College Football HQ: Bookmark | Ranking | news | tables | Facebook