On June 4th, I said the College Football Is About to Change Forever. The Day is Today that the change is here - 8/3/23.
8/3/23 Update- Arizona was approved to join the Big 12
8/4/23 Update- Oregon and Washington have been approved to join the Big 10. It has happened.
8/4/23 Update- Arizona St. and Utah applying to join Big 12. It is done.
We are at the cliff folks. This week - starting today- Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah are going to vote to join the Big 12. VERY soon- next week if not earlier- the Big 10 is coming for Washington and Oregon. Stanford and Cal have been so quiet one may believe they are leaving too. This is far less clear. Reports on 8/3 indicate the Big 10 may NOT take Stanford and Cal.
When the schools do leave, the Pac-12 (Pac-9?) will cease to exist. For College Football fans, it's the end of the world as we know it. Realignment has truly arrived. All day this part of the REM classic from 1987 has been playing in my head. Play it and you will have your new theme song for college realignment.
The question is do we feel fine? Should we feel fine? Well, there is even more news on the east coast as well.
Florida State is acting like they have a plan they intend to execute to blow up their Grant of Rights with the ACC. I am NOT a legal expert. I have understood that FSU was the LAST to sign the ACC GOR extension. I THINK they are going to claim they were forced to do so under duress and undue influence of the ACC conference. IF they have documentation demanding they sign, PERHAPS they will have a case. but some consider this very difficult to establish. It may be a longshot but the very threat of the lawsuit along these lines, especially if they have documentation, may force a settlement which lets FSU out of the GOR. IF they can get out of the GOR, others will follow, and there will be a major east coast conference earthquake that will match the events of the Pac conference. This might take years though. As word comes out on what the actual FSU claims are, I will update and discuss.
How do we feel about this? I have been prepared for it as I showed you in June, I think we are headed to three super conferences. If a university wants to truly compete in college football and to a lesser extent college basketball, that university will affiliate themselves with one of these three super conferences. My overall attitude is, while I may not love it, I think it will be exciting to watch. I think it is inevitable, so fighting this change seems pointless. It truly leads to the end of the regionality model in college sports.
Things have moved rapidly since June. Here is where I think we will be possibly as soon as the 2024 season. For now, I will assume the ACC is together in 2024 with FSU.
Washington St., and Oregon St., Stanford, and Cal will be forced into the Mountain West, merge with the Mountain West, or go Independent. Expect lawsuits.
I now believe the landscape will look more like this for some point in the future when/ if the ACC implodes. The path to this may be faster than we think.
The three super conference solution seems to be the most likely outcome.
I adjusted the thoughts below based on the news of the day. Several conferences seem to be signaling they will max at 20 schools.
I believe the Big Ten will get Notre Dame to join as their options to fill out a schedule dwindle. I then think they get North Carolina from the ACC.
I think the SEC will take most of the core ACC teams- Clemson, Florida St., Miami, and Virginia- to keep ESPN satisfied as they lose the ACC GOR. ESPN might make more money with those four playing in the SEC than they make on the ACC now. I believe the SEC will stay out of current events to have room for the ACC implosion.
If this turns out to be correct- it won't- several teams will be frozen out.
From the ACC- Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, and Wake Forest- to AAC?
From the Pac- Oregon State, and Washington State- to MW?
From the Pac- California, Stanford- destination unknown- independents?
It truly is the end of the college football world as we know it. The new world will begin sooner than you probably think.
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