You knew it was coming, just not this fast.
It all started in the early 1990′s when then SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer added South Carolina and Arkansas to the SEC and all of a sudden, other leagues looked to expand.
Flash forward 20 years and now leagues are scrambling faster than Justin Bieber ticket sales to keep up with more and more expansion.
Many people, including me, felt the day would come when we would have four, 16 team “Super Conferences” but I never thought the day would happen this soon.
Buckle up, the Super Conference train is moving out…quickly.
Maryland and Rutgers leave the ACC for the Big 10. Tulane and East Carolina go to the Big East. A vote will be taken today to admit Louisville to the ACC, thereby leaving the Big East. Notre Dame goes to the ACC…except in football of course. I’m getting dizzy, aren’t you?
The Big 12 will almost HAVE to expand now from its current 10 teams. Will the SEC further expand after its grab of Texas A&M and Missouri last year?
The bottom line of all this is one fine mess. Schools are bolting leagues for perceived or real greener pastures for one reason…MONEY. Maryland has been in the ACC since 1953, a charter member, but administrators moved to the Big 10 because that league makes the most revenue than any other league, INCLUDING the SEC. Maryland was dropping sports because it didn’t have the money to support them, the Big 10 has lots of revenue to share…you get the picture.
What you and I knew, at least those of my generation, of the footprint of a college football league, is now totally out the window. Forget geography because it makes no sense in these leagues now. In the Pac 12, is Colorado on the west coast? Utah? Please…
What we knew as the Big 10 has always been the middle of the country, but now Maryland and Rutgers?
And if you are a fan who was once able to drive to most of the venues to play teams in your league, well, pony up some money for these new road trips. Syracuse will play Miami in the ACC, Rutgers plays Nebraska in the Big 10….your ATM will be very active IF you choose to go.
And when these Super Conferences happen, what will become of the smaller schools? Will they form a league of their own? Will the big boys drop out of the NCAA and form their own league as well? Stay tuned for those answers…
In the meantime, keep your head on a swivel and watch all these conferences move and shake to keep up with the Joneses…fascinating stuff.
Maybe even “super.”