So, if D-1 college football is morphing into two super conferences, the Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference, that will likely expand significantly beyond their current numbers, where does the latter go from here?
If you’re Greg Sankey, that’s not an easy question to answer. There aren’t any obvious major media markets to gobble up, as the Big Ten just did. At least not as long as the ACC exists. On paper, that’s for a while.
Now, I don’t doubt there are some clever minds out there sharpening their pencils in an effort to find the means to scuttle that, but I’m not certain that would help the SEC much, either. Sure, Clemson and FSU would likely clamor to join, but neither brings much to the table in terms of media rights. Sankey’s problem there would be that even if they don’t, he might not have much choice but to invite them to join, strictly as a defensive measure, because even if they don’t move the needle much for him, they would make for an enormous beachhead for the Big Ten to establish in this part of the country if they went there.
So, assume for now, the ACC fends off disaster, probably with some help from Mickey. In that scenario, where does Sankey go to meet future expansion needs? I don’t think that’s a question arising from the silly dick measuring contests we’ve seen between the two conferences over the better part of the last two decades, but instead one recognizing where the balance of power in the sport is headed. No obvious choices jump out at me now, although I recognize the situation is fluid.
What do y’all see?