Realignment 2021: UT, OU to SEC; UH, UCF, UC, BYU to Big 12

Humphrey

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The same thing that keeps fans rooting for the vast majority of European football clubs - a team can have goals and feel successful without being a contender for a national title. It’s actually one of the things I like most about college sports - if you’re a fan of Duke in basketball or Bama in football sure anything less than a title feels like a failure but if you’re a fan of Ball State or whatever winning the MAC and beating Purdue or something might be a historically great season.
Also, perhaps, getting to watch a live game instead of on TV- in most places, there aren't a lot of big time games a short drive away.
 

8slim

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Dan Wetzel made a great point recently about the landscape of college football, the ADs and schools have made fans care about money that isn't ours. The idea being that fans should care about rivalries and conference championships rather than the ability to pay an assistant strength coach a million plus.

Obviously this is all about money, power, and recruiting, but has expansion really benefitted most of the teams that have moved? Sure they get more money and that leads to better facilities and what not but does it translate to wins and championships? If you take a look at the expansion in modern college football, the answer is not really.
This is all so true. Generally speaking, every conference expansion has made the on-field and on-court product somewhat less interesting. My alma mater (Syracuse) moved to the ACC. We had to, otherwise we'd be in the American with crummy revenue. And yet, compared to the Big East days, we have almost no football rivalries left (if you want to call BC and Pitt rivals, they're really more just long-standing opponents) and hoops has a very NBA-like feel (meaning, games vs. Duke and UNC are interesting when we're good, but there's no consistent heat with anyone like we once had with UConn & G'town).

On my favorite Syracuse sports board, people are all buzzing about what a 16 or 18 or 20 team ACC could look like, by adding all the B12 leftovers. It bores me to tears. Why do I want my school to be playing Kansas or Oklahoma State in anything? How does that improve my fan experience? It's all so dumb.
 

luckiestman

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This is all so true. Generally speaking, every conference expansion has made the on-field and on-court product somewhat less interesting. My alma mater (Syracuse) moved to the ACC. We had to, otherwise we'd be in the American with crummy revenue. And yet, compared to the Big East days, we have almost no football rivalries left (if you want to call BC and Pitt rivals, they're really more just long-standing opponents) and hoops has a very NBA-like feel (meaning, games vs. Duke and UNC are interesting when we're good, but there's no consistent heat with anyone like we once had with UConn & G'town).

On my favorite Syracuse sports board, people are all buzzing about what a 16 or 18 or 20 team ACC could look like, by adding all the B12 leftovers. It bores me to tears. Why do I want my school to be playing Kansas or Oklahoma State in anything? How does that improve my fan experience? It's all so dumb.

Your problem probably has as much to do with Syracuse sucking as it does with conferences. If Miami, BC, VT, FSU, Syracuse, and Pitt were good along with Clemson you would like following your team because those would all be big games.
 

8slim

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Your problem probably has as much to do with Syracuse sucking as it does with conferences. If Miami, BC, VT, FSU, Syracuse, and Pitt were good along with Clemson you would like following your team because those would all be big games.
OK, that's certainly a take. I enjoy following my team just fine.

Care to tell me anything else about what my problems are? Or maybe you can regale us with more MMA stories.
 

luckiestman

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OK, that's certainly a take. I enjoy following my team just fine.

Care to tell me anything else about what my problems are? Or maybe you can regale us with more MMA stories.
Yes, I’m sure if Cuse was playing for the National Champioship every year you would still be crying about the Big East glory days.

I don’t know what MMA stories have to do with this, is that meant to be some weird insult. Ok man, you got me.
 

grsharky7

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The same thing that keeps fans rooting for the vast majority of European football clubs - a team can have goals and feel successful without being a contender for a national title. It’s actually one of the things I like most about college sports - if you’re a fan of Duke in basketball or Bama in football sure anything less than a title feels like a failure but if you’re a fan of Ball State or whatever winning the MAC and beating Purdue or something might be a historically great season.
I agree with this take on the situation, however I feel like CFB is getting further away from this. Prior to the playoff, getting into a BCS or New Year's Day bowl game was a big deal and you still felt great about a season where you didn't win a national title or even a conference title. Now, if you're not in the playoff its a letdown and kids are sitting out bowl games (which there are too many) making them even more worthless. Big money has dramatically changed the nature of the sport. Just in the past month we've seen two seismic events that will continue to change the game, and we don't know what that will look like yet. What I was trying to get at in the earlier post is, is all of this change and consolidating of power good for the sport?

1. Unrestricted transfers will further destabilize things in CFB. Now when one of the big time teams goes into an offseason with a weakness, they can pretty much actively recruit a player from a lower level school. Throw in possible higher NIL money and that kid would be more likely to leave. I felt they should've made a rule that if your coach leaves, then a kid could transfer anywhere without sitting out. This just makes it almost like free agency in pro sports. Now mid level schools have to worry that the freshman receiver who had a breakout first year may just decide to transfer to play on a championship contender

2. This doesn't seem like the end of conference movement, what schools will change homes next? The ACC is going to fall further behind the revenue of the SEC, a few years down the road will Clemson and FSU get wondering eyes now that the gentlemen's agreement about in state schools is out the window? Does the B10 look to UVA and UNC to expand? These are just hypotheticals, but if that did start to happen then the ACC becomes vulnerable and you'd potentially leave even more schools by the wayside in a weak conference. They use the term conference expansion, but the longterm play here seems more like conference contraction. Fewer teams are going to have a seat at the table if the super conferences do emerge.

3. Prior to the pandemic attendance has been falling for the past few years. College football must innovate as FBS attendance dips for sixth straight year to lowest since 1996 and the TV ratings have been dipping as well Media Circus: College Football Ratings Are on the Decline. This year's championship game had terrible ratings, but that could also be due to the weird pandemic season. I understand that ratings are down for most sports, but if this is a long term trend, it's not a promising look.

4. Participation in youth and high school football has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years. Even the state of Texas is not immune to it. Texas High School Students Are Moving Away From Football. With fewer kids playing that means fewer good players. The good players will still go to the top schools, but fewer will fall to the midlevel programs, widening the divide even further.

The beauty of college football for so long was the regional connections, rivalry games, shared history, and traditions. Now a lot of college games are starting to feel like NFL light and the product is becoming more corporate. From cruising the Big 12 message boards, it seems like a lot of the fans feel the same way, they just got thrown out like yesterday's garbage, why care anymore? If that starts to happen to more schools with conference destabilization, what will become of the sport 15-20 years down the road? I love college football and I don't think its going to disappear tomorrow, but what will it look like in 15 years? Will it still have the magic and thrill or will it be a second professional football league?
 

8slim

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Yes, I’m sure if Cuse was playing for the National Champioship every year you would still be crying about the Big East glory days.

I don’t know what MMA stories have to do with this, is that meant to be some weird insult. Ok man, you got me.
Crying, that's what I was doing. Totally.

How about you not reply to me, I stopped doing that for you a long time ago.
 

bsj

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On my favorite Syracuse sports board, people are all buzzing about what a 16 or 18 or 20 team ACC could look like, by adding all the B12 leftovers. It bores me to tears. Why do I want my school to be playing Kansas or Oklahoma State in anything? How does that improve my fan experience? It's all so dumb.
ha I am pretty sure one of those posts was mine assuming it’s the board I think it is

I’m fairness my proposal involved adding WVU and creating 3 5 team pods, of which ours would only be old Big East teams so…
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Yes, I’m sure if Cuse was playing for the National Champioship every year you would still be crying about the Big East glory days.

I don’t know what MMA stories have to do with this, is that meant to be some weird insult. Ok man, you got me.
Just seeing this exchange now, and it's none of my business really, but I'm guessing he loves the Orange, but doesn't give two craps about Oklahoma State and adding them to the conference Syracuse is in interests him not in the least. Which is a perfectly fair take.

@8slim or @bsj - PM me with what that SU message board is, if you don't mind.
 

canderson

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It sounds like Texas and OU might be SEC members as soon as next season ... the Big 12 revenue without them falls nearly $30m dollars immediately so they'll need to add teams somehow, which triggers the grant of rights.
 

bsj

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Just seeing this exchange now, and it's none of my business really, but I'm guessing he loves the Orange, but doesn't give two craps about Oklahoma State and adding them to the conference Syracuse is in interests him not in the least. Which is a perfectly fair take.

@8slim or @bsj - PM me with what that SU message board is, if you don't mind.
will do

for me I just don’t like adding random teams with no connection to any of the existing ACC teams. I say add WVU because there are some good rivalries already there, it makes geographic sense, and is a solid program. Save the 15th spotjust in case the gold domers want in. That’s it. That’s a solid conference. Amazing? No. But solid.
 

BaseballJones

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will do

for me I just don’t like adding random teams with no connection to any of the existing ACC teams. I say add WVU because there are some good rivalries already there, it makes geographic sense, and is a solid program. Save the 15th spotjust in case the gold domers want in. That’s it. That’s a solid conference. Amazing? No. But solid.
Agreed. I have no interest in Oklahoma State or Kansas and, like 8slim, am not intrigued one bit at the prospect of adding them to the ACC. One of the keys for the ACC, though, is that bellwether football programs need to get good again. It would help immensely if, in addition to Clemson being great, Florida State, Miami, Syracuse, and Pitt all went back to being really good. That would be a terrific conference, even if it wouldn't be as good as the SEC.
 

bsj

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Agreed. I have no interest in Oklahoma State or Kansas and, like 8slim, am not intrigued one bit at the prospect of adding them to the ACC. One of the keys for the ACC, though, is that bellwether football programs need to get good again. It would help immensely if, in addition to Clemson being great, Florida State, Miami, Syracuse, and Pitt all went back to being really good. That would be a terrific conference, even if it wouldn't be as good as the SEC.
At this point, I don't even need Syracuse to be really good. If they can get to being a team that bounces between 5-8 wins most years with the once or twice a decade special season, that would be just fine.
 

8slim

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will do

for me I just don’t like adding random teams with no connection to any of the existing ACC teams. I say add WVU because there are some good rivalries already there, it makes geographic sense, and is a solid program. Save the 15th spotjust in case the gold domers want in. That’s it. That’s a solid conference. Amazing? No. But solid.
I think it's bizarre that there is increasingly more scheduling history and consistency for my favorite pro teams than my favorite college team. And while the brunt of that has been borne by the schools that have switched conferences, if these leagues continue to expand its going to be felt by everyone soon enough.

In the case of the ACC, given the 8 game football schedule and 7 team divisions, we're at a point where every school plays 6 of the 14 conference schools just once every six years. That's crazy, and makes the conference feel less like a conference. I mean, the Pats never go more than 4 years without playing every single NFL team. When we have 16 team... 20 team...32 team "conferences" then they're really just made-for-media conglomerations.

Putting aside my own fandom, I'm just not sure any of this is good for the health of the college game.
 

luckiestman

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Just seeing this exchange now, and it's none of my business really, but I'm guessing he loves the Orange, but doesn't give two craps about Oklahoma State and adding them to the conference Syracuse is in interests him not in the least. Which is a perfectly fair take.

I don’t give a shit about about adding OSU either (as a Nole alum) but it’s not that big of a deal. I care about playing them about as much as playing West Virginia. The problem for the ACC is that Miami, BC, Cuse, and FSU are not good enough right now. Saying you can’t build a rivalry because of conference whatever doesn’t make sense to me. If Syracuse was playing Virginia 3 out of 4 years in a row in conference championship games they would build a rivalry. When both teams are 5-5 every year it’s tough to care.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

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In realignment, fortune favors the bold. I'm all in on a PAC-12/ACC merger with a few Big 12/indepedent teams to make a 30-team conference. ACC should be trying for this immediately to freeze out the B1G. Pretty easy geographically as well.

The Atlantic Pacific Conference (APC) would be :

Pacific Division (14 to start, moving to 15):
PAC 12
Texas Tech
OSU or BYU (preferably BYU)

Atlantic Division (15 to start pending Notre Dame):
ACC
WVU
ND (eventually and move WVU to Pacific, which would be toughest sell)

Move to 10 game conference schedule, playing every team within your division twice every three years, with 'natural' division rival played every year. One non-conference and one cross-division game each year.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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I don’t give a shit about about adding OSU either (as a Nole alum) but it’s not that big of a deal. I care about playing them about as much as playing West Virginia. The problem for the ACC is that Miami, BC, Cuse, and FSU are not good enough right now. Saying you can’t build a rivalry because of conference whatever doesn’t make sense to me. If Syracuse was playing Virginia 3 out of 4 years in a row in conference championship games they would build a rivalry. When both teams are 5-5 every year it’s tough to care.
Each can have his or her own reasons for what they believe and why.
 

8slim

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If Syracuse was playing Virginia 3 out of 4 years in a row in conference championship games they would build a rivalry. When both teams are 5-5 every year it’s tough to care.
Which is exactly what NBA "rivalries" are like, and I literally said as much in my post.

When a school doesn't play 42% of the conference more than once every six years, that makes it tough to build rivalries as well. That will be even worse when conferences are 24+ teams, which seems to be a desired end-state for some.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Jay Bilas suggested that the ACC approach the SEC with the idea of merging the two conferences. He cited some natural rivalries that kind of exist already and he makes some sense.

Florida - Florida St
Florida - Miami
Georgia - Georgia Tech
South Carolina - Clemson
South Carolina - North Carolina
Alabama - Notre Dame (if ND would want in on this, which if it goes to this...just might happen)

I'm probably missing some but Bilas does make some sense.
 

Ale Xander

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Auburn Clemson too
And Duke Vandy could/should become one for academic reasons, a lot of overlap there in applications.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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I think it is only a matter of time before the SEC pushes for some sort of rule change that guarantees them a minimum number of spots in the playoffs-something like the Champions' League coefficients (not that I understand them) that measures the strengths of the various conferences. Or it could be something simple, like "one slot for each SEC team that finished the prior year in the top 10, plus two". I'm not sure what the other conferences would/could do if the SEC forced their hand.

To be clear, i'm not saying the specific teams would be predetermined before the season starts, but the number of slots would be.
 

canderson

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Texas and OU will send application letters today to the SEC, and ESPN is reporting SEC presidents and chancellors are meeting Thursday to discuss expansion and vote to add those two schools.
 

canderson

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Texas and OU regents both scheduled meetings for July 30 to discuss conference membership.

This is a done deal. It's truly amazing how this was under wraps until aggy leaked it and apparently expedited the process.
 

TheGazelle

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Texas and OU regents both scheduled meetings for July 30 to discuss conference membership.

This is a done deal. It's truly amazing how this was under wraps until aggy leaked it and apparently expedited the process.
So when will Texas and OU formally join? The articles that I have read seem to say 2025.
 

canderson

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So when will Texas and OU formally join? The articles that I have read seem to say 2025.
By laws require that to the be the earliest they can request, but they already have Big 12 buyout money lined up and authorized so very likely it'll be 2022 when they join. If two other schools bolt, they IIRC don't owe the Big 12 anything then so I bet that happens.
 

bsj

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By laws require that to the be the earliest they can request, but they already have Big 12 buyout money lined up and authorized so very likely it'll be 2022 when they join. If two other schools bolt, they IIRC don't owe the Big 12 anything then so I bet that happens.
This is 100% going to happen in 2022 IMO. I suspect that the Dead Man Walking nature of keeping the two schools around will lead to a negotiated buy out that is still painful but less than the full amount.
 

canderson

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This is 100% going to happen in 2022 IMO. I suspect that the Dead Man Walking nature of keeping the two schools around will lead to a negotiated buy out that is still painful but less than the full amount.
ESPN owes Texas like $150m for the rest of the LHN contract, so that's a starting point to making it a moot issue.
 

axx

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Now the Big 12 is directly accusing ESPN of trying to encourage other members of the Big 12 to leave so the buyout doesn't have to be paid.
 

StuckOnYouk

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I completely believe everything about ESPN meddling behind the scenes considering the fact they assisted - if not led - in the destruction of the Old Big East in 2011.
 

Zososoxfan

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The Big 10 (down with the stupid B1G name in light of potential realignment) seems to be pretty quiet on the realignment front, with Kansas making overtures to join the conference, but the conference itself only putting out minor interest in the popular PAC schools (namely USC), at least publicly.

The thing about USC or a partial addition of PAC schools (call it <6) is that it doesn't seem feasible for scheduling considering the geography. Furthermore, while I'm not opposed to the idea of merging the PAC and Big 10 and having a "Western/Pacific Division", I'm surprised the Big 10 hasn't gone after certain ACC programs that are much closer geographically, good fits culturally, and may be solicited by the SEC. I'm thinking primarily about UNC, UVA, GA Tech, VA Tech, and to a lesser extent NCST, Wake, and Duke.

The ACC has a handful of schools that are clearly northern, or at least not-Southern (1. BC, 2. Louisville, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Pitt, 5. Cuse), 2 that are clearly in the South (FSU, Miami) and the rest are all clustered around NC (1. Clemson, 2. Duke, 3. GT, 4. UNC, 5. NCST, 6. UVA, 7. VA Tech, 8. Wake). Adding 2-4 schools (e.g. GT, ND*, UNC, UVA) from that mid-Atlantic cluster to tap into the TV markets (DC is 7, ATL is 10, Charlotte is 21, and Raleigh-Durham is 27) and have better access to recruits from the talent-rich areas of the DMV, Norfolk/VA Beach, and the stretch between ATL-Charlotte (aside, is there a specific name for this area, or is it basically ATL+Research Triangle) could really strengthen the conference without breaking the alignment model to pieces.

Thinking a bit bigger, if the Big 10 wanted to take a lead role for the non-SEC schools, they should add an "ACC Division" and then do the same for the PAC, and have 4 divisions spanning the nation. Although if that happened I would hope the Big 10 would look to shed some dead weight in the transition (looking at you Rutgers and Nebraska).

*Notwithstanding the obvious importance of ND to realignment, to hell with Notre Dame!
 

axx

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I think it would help the popular ACC schools if they went to the Big 10 but I don't think it's essential. One thing is that it looks like the Big 10 is adamant about only AAU schools. I think it's entirely possible that there's no further realignment.

Thinking a bit bigger, if the Big 10 wanted to take a lead role for the non-SEC schools, they should add an "ACC Division" and then do the same for the PAC, and have 4 divisions spanning the nation. Although if that happened I would hope the Big 10 would look to shed some dead weight in the transition (looking at you Rutgers and Nebraska).
Rutgers def isn't going anywhere because of the NY market.