Realignment Strikes Again

Tyler Anderson

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Over the past few years, the college sports landscape has shifted drastically. Colorado went west while Utah upgraded to help form the Pac-12. Nebraska left many rivalries behind for the Big Ten’s greener pastures. The same went with Missouri and Texas A&M, who wanted to leave the shadow of big brother Texas in search of their own identity, to the Southeastern Conference. In response to all of these defections, the Big 12 brought in TCU and West Virginia.

The ACC raided the Big East once more by inviting Syracuse and Pittsburgh to move its membership to the magical number 14. With major conference moves, this shook the mid-majors as well. The Big East went west, and the Mountain West and Conference USA cherry picked the Western Athletic Conference into college football oblivion.
All seemed to calm down once again, but it was only the beginning.
It started when the new college football playoff and Norte Dame, who is playing for the national championship, struck a deal with the ACC to compete in Olympic sports while its independent football program would play against five ACC schools during the college football season. The Big Ten Conference, who invited the Irish numerous times in the past, took the next move.

Enter Maryland and Rutgers going to the Big Ten.

With Maryland going out, the ACC goes on warpath. They won’t let Maryland go without a fight, suing them in a Greensboro, North Carolina court. They also sense further defections, going after the University of Louisville. Now UConn and Cincinnati are stuck in the Big East with the likes of mostly former Conference USA members. Now the Big East, adding Tulane and East Carolina for football only, creates a hodge-podge of all-sports, non-football sports, and football-only member universities. This smaller Big East could include the likes of the University of Dayton, Butler University, and Xavier University to create a very familiar, yet stout basketball conference.
For some more realignment; Conference USA added Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic. This will cause the Sun Belt to possibly offer New Mexico State a life raft and convincing Georgia Southern, Sam Houston State, Lamar, or James Madison to make the transition to FBS football. This could continue, even down to the lower Division I conference rankings.

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Realignment Strikes Again