The Coming of College Football Super Conferences
The New Reality
By: Garrison Ryfun
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
In the upcoming age of super conferences in college football, major brands who are not a part of the Big Ten or SEC are trying to position themselves to be able to compete revenue wise with the brands in those conferences.
Currently, the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners are set to join the SEC in 2024, and the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins are set to join the Big Ten 2024. This is coincidentally the same year the 12-team playoff starts in college football, something that other Power Five conferences are likely happy about due to the massive changes happening in the landscape of the sport – with conference realignment.
Florida State’s latest board of trustees meeting gave insight to how teams are going to deal with this landscape going forward: Either the ACC gives more money to the teams that bring in more revenue, or those teams will do everything in their power to find a better situation for themselves.
Teams like Florida State, Clemson, Oregon, etc. will have to work out better deals for themselves. FSU AD Michael Alford pointed out that with the new television deals going into effect for the Big 10/SEC, schools like Florida State would be behind the curve by about $30 million annually.
This kind of gap will prevent these bigger brands from being able to compete for championships regularly, and in the coming months I expect more and more schools will start speaking about what needs to be done to stay relevant in college football.
This will, in all likelihood, create a very contentious relationship within conferences like the Pac-12, Big-12, and ACC. One way these conferences could help themselves out is by trying to create their own super conference.
The Big 12 is trying to lessen the impact of losing brands like Oklahoma and Texas by bringing in Brigham Young, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston in Fall 2023 – a move that will not make up for the brand loss that will come after the 2023-2024 season.
Notre Dame will likely be a big target for those three conferences, as it is the only independent team left with a brand that big.
Teams may even be poached from one conference to the other, something that would mean the death of at least one power five conference. A thing that may be inevitable in the coming years, and may even help some of these conferences stay competitive or become super conferences themselves.
This struggle is not going to be solved overnight and its effects on football will likely not be seen for a few years.
There will be massive restructuring in the way some conferences are run and the teams that are within those conferences. All we can do as fans is sit back and hope your school understands their value as a brand within the sport.
The future of college football starts with changes made today. How will other big brands respond to the inevitable? There will be some fascinating off-seasons in the next couple of years, that’s for sure.