The reason you won’t hear much about conference realignment this year

… is because the big boys have much bigger fish to fry.

College football is setting the stage for the final season of the controversial Bowl Championship Series and a forthcoming four-team playoff that will crown the sport’s national champion starting in 2014. But the future of the NCAA and how major college football is structured seems more fragile than ever.

In fact, what once seemed like an idle threat now seems like a very plausible scenario: Schools in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC might break away from the rest of the FBS leagues and form their own federation within the current NCAA structure. Such a move would allow the schools and their conferences to write and approve their own rules, such as increasing the value of scholarships to meet the full cost of attendance, reforming recruiting rules and overhauling the way they investigate and punish rule breakers.

Call it Mark Emmert’s final legacy.  At least I’ll have something to write about next January.



Filed under The NCAA

4 responses to “The reason you won’t hear much about conference realignment this year

  1. Here’s the root of the problem:

    “Heck, every FCS, Division II and Division III football program — and even the NCAA member institutions that don’t even field football teams (hello, Albertus Magnus and Oswego State!) — carry as much weight in making important decisions about football as the sport’s power brokers.”

    The Big 5 conferences (top 80 of D1) are like the elephant that has been chained since it was a baby and believes it can’t break the chain. Just go ahead and do it!


    • Macallanlover

      Dead on point, and it doesn’t just apply to the NCAA members. Organizations, institutions, clubs, etc., that no longer meet and serve the interests of their constituents will break apart, it doesn’t matter if they are social, religious, political, or financial in nature. Splinter groups that do not feel their interests are being met will first attempt reform, then rebel or walk away. The haves, and have nots, within the NCAA are widely split in their needs and objectives to the point major reform to satisfy the Big Boys will be granted, or they will go their own way. Since neither group is satisfied with the current situation a divorce is logical and imminent, imo.


      • Exactly – there are clearly irreconcilable differences between the top 80 and the rest of the member institutions of the NCAA. The issue is that the suits in Indianapolis have a financial interest in the status quo. I have said all along that the NCAA wants to protect its interest in March Madness, which is the organization’s cash cow. They will fight any effort to separate that kills the NCAA’s control over the men’s basketball tournament.


  2. The other Doug

    Mark Emmert needs to make a list of reasons the big conference teams would want to stay and then another list of why they would want to leave. After that he needs to go talk to the smaller teams about changes.