How many excellent conferences should college football hold: one, two, or more?

Like it or not, college football is heading toward the super conference model.

The only question is how many will be when this reorganization round is over. The Big Ten added the USC and UCLA on June 30, matching the Securities and Exchange Commission that added Texas and Oklahoma in 2021. These power moves have led to speculation about the extent to which these conferences will prompt a reorganization, and what might happen when the final step is taken in near future. If college football has taught us anything over the past 30 years, reorganization will never end.

Bender: Greed is a good thing. Why am I excited about super conferences

Here are some options that may approach the sport in the coming years.

Option 1: Premier League

Super conferences: One

Accommodation: SN mapped out what Premier League football might look like in 2021 when rumors swirled of 15 teams in the European Premier League. The World Cup, Champions League, and Major League Soccer have 32 teams. College football would probably go for a similar model that mixes those events and puts the top 32 teams in the same conference. They can even legislate a four-year landing review period.

Positives: Regular matches of the season will be off the charts. Imagine a case featuring Alabama, Texas, Penn State, and the University of Southern California. This would ensure the best competition in the field with programs that are designed to compete in the NIL era. This will be the league that supports the best income generating schools in sports.

MORE: Sorting through Notre Dame reorganization options

Negatives: The tradition of regional competitions is gone. This could mean that Power 5 conferences are going away and that more than half of the schools that are P5 now will be, and that won’t happen any time soon. This also means that only 24.4% of FBS’s 131 teams compete for a national championship. It’s hard to sell that to the whole country.

Will this happen? Mostly not. You are simply asking conferences to give up a lot of power.

Option 2: AFC-NFC Model

Super conferences: 2

Accommodation: ESPN Analyst Paul Feinbaum’s reaction to the Big Ten adding UCLA and USC says it all: “It looks like something we’ve been talking about here for some time is starting to pay off which is the prospect of two super conferences: the SEC and the Big Ten and quite frankly, nobody matters. truly “. The SEC and Big Ten, the only 16-team conferences, raided the ACC and pushed their conferences to 20 to 24 teams. FBS is roughly divided into three sections. SEC and Big Ten, remnants of the previous Power 5 conferences and the rest of the Group 5.

Positives: This could pull Notre Dame into the Big Ten, and the next domino after that will be the ACC. Do they hold together or are the Triangle schools in Duke, North Carolina, and NC State going next? This will be an interesting play for either the Big Ten or the SEC. The Big Ten also has the option to add more Pac-12 schools to create more natural travel partners for UCLA and USC. Finebaum is right. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Big Ten have power. It’s just a question of how much they want to push that. Here’s a hypothetical look at what those 24 teams would look like:

big ten

Cal Minnesota Bordeaux
Colorado Nebraska Rutgers
Illinois North West stanford
Indiana our lady University of California
Yes Ohio State USC
Maryland Oregon Utah
Michigan Pennsylvania state Washington
Michigan State a house Wisconsin


Alabama Georgia Tech North Carolina
Arkansas Kentucky Oklahoma
Auburn LSU Oklahoma
Clemson Miami Tennessee
duke Mississippi Texas
Florida Mississippi Texas A&M
Florida Missouri South Carolina
Georgia North Carolina Vanderbilt

Negatives: That’s a lot of moves extended by the conference. That’s 48 of the 130 teams this time around – which is 36.6% of FBS. The schools that will be left out will be the hardest part because in-country competitions will die. No more Oregon Oregon. What happens to Virginia and Virginia Tech? Will the Securities and Exchange Commission take over Duke and North Carolina over Louisville? It will require some new geography lessons. Schools will be excluded, meaning that programs ranging from West Virginia and Syracuse on the East Coast to Washington State and Cal on the West Coast will struggle to find a conference partner. All gains from Cincinnati, UCF and Houston becoming Power 5 schools will also be lost.

Decor: What are the most attractive schools for the Big Ten?

Will this happen? It can happen, but the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 will never go out of business. The SEC and the Big Ten have separated themselves into a Power 2 of sorts, and the more teams they pull off from other Power 5 conferences, the more likely that is to happen.

Marcus Freeman-Headset-120121-Getty-FTR.jpeg

Option 3: Rearrange the deck

Super conferences: 3 or 4

Accommodation: No scenario supports three super conferences at this point. Four can be executable. Notre Dame clings to the ACC as a full member, and the Irish convince Clemson, Florida and Miami to resist any calls from the SEC or the Big Ten. The ACC is taking West Virginia out of the Big 12 just to be sure.

ACC, Big Ten and SEC

ACC big ten SEC
Boston College Illinois Alabama
Clemson Indiana Arkansas
duke Yes Auburn
Florida Maryland Florida
Georgia Tech Michigan Georgia
Louisville Michigan State Kentucky
Miami Minnesota LSU
North Carolina Nebraska Be a beauty queen
North Carolina North West Mississippi
Our Lady* Ohio State Missouri
a house Pennsylvania state Oklahoma
Syracuse Bordeaux Tennessee
Virginia Rutgers Texas
Virginia Tech University of California Texas A&M
Wake Forest USC Vanderbilt
West Virginia* Wisconsin South Carolina

This leaves 21 schools between the Big 12 and Pac-12. Tournaments will have three options at that point.

Try to expand on their own and tone down the conference. Merge and cut five teams, which would be messy. Or the third option, which is a 24-team super conference with three divisions. That’s basically “everyone else” in college football outside of the 5’s. At this point, they’d probably add Boise State, Memphis and the NFL. Critics may dismiss this as an “island of inappropriate games,” but they’d have a better case for an automatic place in an extended playoff with this group.

PAC-12-Big 12 fusion

Baylor Arizona
BYU Arizona
Cincinnati Cal
Houston Colorado
Iowa Oregon
kansas Oregon
Kansas State stanford
Oklahoma Utah
TCU Washington
Texas Tech Washington State
UCF Boise State *
Memphis * USF *

Positives: Nobody in Power 5 gets left out, and that keeps 72 teams, or 55% of FBS, involved in the National Championship chase and likely facilitates the playoffs expansion. It also maintains some sense of territory within the sport.

Negatives: This is just a force reassembled 5. The ACC needs Notre Dame to come and fight back against Clemson, Florida and Miami, the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Pac-12/Big 12 has three playoff teams in Oregon, Washington, and Cincinnati. Can they hold the 24-team energy conference? The gap between the Big Ten and the SEC and everyone else will continue to grow.

Will this happen? Four conferences make it easy to learn supplement expansion, and can push this model in the right direction. It will be either two out of four at this point, and this allows for a gradual change rather than more drastic movements.

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