College Football Super Conferences: The Crystal Ball Has Spoken!!!

-John Turner

Alright so the inevitable has already begun. There is no stopping this train as it’s gone well off the rails. What we originally feared was that NIL and the transfer portal would kill college football in a variety of ways. Well… the schools themselves, not to be outshined by the players have said, “hold my beer”. Now entire teams are jumping into the transfer portal for greener pastures. If we thought a player leaving one program for another to stuff his pockets was bad, how do we feel about a whole school leaving one conference for another in order to get a big payday?

TheAthletic

The ashes have settled on Oklahoma and Texas heading to the SEC, The Big Ten didn’t waste much time countering, luring over USC and UCLA, hell even the Sunbelt has jumped into the mix replacing some losses they’ve been hit with. The Big 12 scrambled quickly after the Sooners and Longhorns made their announcement and got four teams to make up for it. Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, and UCF have now joined the party. The Pac 12 is trying to figure out what exactly they need to do first probably and it appears the ACC is still suffering from PTTD (post traumatic transfer disorder), as they have done absolutely nothing but fail at getting Notre Dame to stick around long term.

DetroitFreePress

Naturally I decided to take a look at all the schools on a spread sheet and start moving pieces around to see what I could come up with and I’m satisfied for now… but remember… attention spans are short and my opinions change with the wind these days. Be that as it may I’ve looked through my crystal ball and I have seen the future!!! Behold, the Super Conferences are upon us and man they are super! I think we will see a Power 3 in the FBS break away from the pack. I believe it will be The Big Conference, The SEC, and The Alliance. Now I know The Alliance has already experienced a little purging from the other two, but if they get their act together they can basically become, “The Field” of the new look FBS.

FronterasDesk

As for the Group of 5 and independents, I believe once Notre Dame makes their decision on what conference to choose from, it’s going to make life as an independent very difficult for everyone else in that situation, and force them to hop on a ship. So I’ve predicted a few more purges to come and elevated a few from the FCS to keep numbers nice and round while trying to make as much geographical sense as possible and this is what I’ve come up with. Agree, disagree, whatever. Doesn’t matter to me. Just let me know what you think.

NDInsider

THE BIG CONFERENCE:

WashingtonPac-12
OregonPac-12
StanfordPac-12
CaliforniaPac-12
UCLABig Ten
USCBig Ten
MarylandBig Ten
NebraskaBig Ten
Ohio StateBig Ten
MichiganBig Ten
PurdueBig Ten
WisconsinBig Ten
Penn StateBig Ten
NorthwesternBig Ten
RutgersBig Ten
Michigan StBig Ten
IllinoisBig Ten
IowaBig Ten
IndianaBig Ten
MinnesotaBig Ten
Notre DameFBS Independents
West VirginiaBig 12
CincinnatiBig 12
PittACC

That’s right!!! Notre Dame chooses the Big show. We’ve also heard the Big Ten wasn’t done with cherry picking the Pac-12 so I threw in the obvious targets. I just don’t see the Pac-12 getting a new TV deal in time to remain a power house. As for the addition of Pitt, WVU, and Cincinnati… I think not only do they make perfect sense geographically, but they get a big rivalry spot (The Backyard Brawl) to sell in the conference every year as well. I’m pretty sure Luke Fickell and the Bearcats wouldn’t mind going up against his old defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman (Notre Dame) and his old employer Ohio State every year either.

NYTimes

THE SEC:

South CarolinaSEC
TennesseeSEC
ArkansasSEC
AlabamaSEC
AuburnSEC
LSUSEC
Mississippi StSEC
MississippiSEC
OklahomaSEC
GeorgiaSEC
FloridaSEC
Texas A&MSEC
TexasSEC
MissouriSEC
VanderbiltSEC
KentuckySEC
BaylorBig 12
Oklahoma StBig 12
UCFBig 12
ClemsonACC
Virginia TechACC
Miami ACC
Florida StACC
North CarolinaACC

We knew the moment they brought in the two big programs this spring that they weren’t done. I have them basically taking whatever they want from whoever they want. Baylor, OSU, UCF… come on down. As for the ACC, Clemson doesn’t want to be the only team left in a conference worth their weight in salt, I’m sure. Tech, Miami, Florida State, and North Carolina all bring a variety of value. It’s close, but I still believe this makes the SEC still the strongest conference out there. Things can happen with NIL and the Portal and like I said its close, but man that’s a lot of power in one conference.

TheAthletic

THE ALLIANCE:

ArizonaPac-12
ColoradoPac-12
Arizona StPac-12
Oregon StPac-12
Washington StPac-12
UtahPac-12
Fresno StPac-12
San Diego StPac-12
Kansas StBig 12
HoustonBig 12
Texas TechBig 12
TCUBig 12
KansasBig 12
Iowa StBig 12
BYUBig 12
SMUBig 12
VirginiaACC
North Carolina StACC
LouisvilleACC
DukeACC
SyracuseACC
Wake ForestACC
Georgia TechACC
Boston CollegeACC

The remaining eight from the Pac-12, Big 12, and ACC decide it’s now or never and merge. Not exactly the little sisters of the poor, but as you can see they are miles behind the other two conferences. They wont get the TV deal the other two will, and they won’t get as many CFP spots, but it’s a pretty solid stable on paper. Unfortunately games aren’t played on paper. By the way you’ll notice the Pac went out and got Fresno State, San Diego State, and Utah. Big 12 made the move for SMU. ACC did absolutely nothing and still ended up a winner somehow. Now for the really fun stuff…

ESPN
AACSunbeltMid-AmericanCUSAMountain West
MemphisCoastal CarolinaBuffaloJackson StUNLV
East CarolinaAppalachian StEastern MichiganSam Houston StSan Jose St
TempleTroyMiami OHLibertyAir Force
TulsaTexas St-SMAkronNew Mexico StUtah St
TulaneGeorgia StBall StFIUHawai`i
USFLouisiana-MonroeCentral MichiganUTEPNevada
NavySouth AlabamaBowling GreenLouisiana TechWyoming
Florida AtlanticLouisiana-LafayetteKent StUConnBoise St
CharlotteGeorgia SouthernOhio U.UMassColorado St
North TexasArkansas StNorthern IllinoisMTSUNDSU
UTSAMarshallToledoWKUSDSU
RiceSouthern MissWestern MichiganJacksonville StMontana
UABOld DominionYoungstown StVillanovaMontana St
DelawareJMUArmyVMISacramento St

Boom!!! There is your new Group of 5!!! Didn’t have to do much to the Sunbelt as they’ve already done the heavy lifting. Delaware moves up to the AAC. Youngstown St and Army head to Mid-American. Conference USA had the most work to do after being completely gutted, but managed to come out of it still respectable. Jackson State should help them make a little noise, while Villanova returns to the big show. Jacksonville State and VMI just felt right in CUSA. The Mountain West also managed to remain relevant with additions that make sense for them. NDSU, SDSU, Montana, Montana State, and Sacramento State all boast stadiums with over 20,000 capacity and I believe all these teams can play with each other.

Boardroom

At now 72 deep I’d have the Power 3 play a 16 team playoff. Each Conference sends four teams and then there are four wild cards that can be from any of the three conferences. If each Super Conference is split in half, that puts two divisions of 12 in each conference. therefore you’d be looking at six division winners and six runner ups plus the four wild cards.

ESPN

In the Group of five now at 70 teams, I’d split each conference in half again. That means a total of 10 divisions will seven teams each. That give a lot of creativity to scheduling as each team only has six divisional games to play each year. If they play 12 regular season games, they could play three from the other division within the conference, and three other Group of Five teams. I’d again have a 16 team playoff, but with 10 division winners and six wild cards.

WNCT

If you’re doing the math, we are still left with about 114 FCS teams in circulation. I’d say they can get into relegation with the Group of %, but some of those schools have tiny stadiums that probably don’t work at the next level. It was a stretch just putting VMI in there while only having 10,000 seats… they’ll just have to upgrade. FCS can always dip into the Division II and Division III bag to reload as well. A team like IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania could probably make the leap without issue.

VMI

Anyways guys… what say you? I like it but of course I do, but how bout you? It’s A Football World, we’re all just passing through.

Feature Photo: TheSpun

John Turner

I like Food, Family, TV and Movies, Talking Sports, and Hall and Oates