The Making of a Super Conference
The breaking news of the day was the report that USC and UCLA would exit the PAC-12 Conference and move to the B1G TEN beginning in 2024.
The B1G TEN will then be the B1G 16 (or sixteen). The “Super 16” has a better ring to it. The addition of the Trojans and the Bruins in one of the largest media markets in the country is a feather in the old helmet for the B1G TEN.
And its huge for both USC and UCLA. Bitter cross-town rivals skipping hand in hand into a better conference with better competition, more exposure and big-time revenue. The PAC-12 is dead, not to mention it hadn’t been represented in the College Football Playoff since 2016 (with the Washington Huskies).
The B1G TEN is negotiating a new media rights deal projected to be worth $1 billion. As they adjust their cape while exiting the phone booth, they will wield a lot of power in the college football world, along with the SEC.
What’s left of the PAC-12 and maybe even the ACC are on the outside looking in, the red-headed stepchildren.
After losing Texas and Oklahoma, the Big 12 Conference added Cincinnati, Houston, UCF, and BYU. Not a bad lineup with regards to competition and the size of their respective media markets.
And the B1G TEN may not be done. They could poach more PAC-12 teams. The two best teams still left in the PAC-12 are Oregon and Utah. Oregon is a huge brand (along with a ton of Nike money). Utah is 33–14 since 2018.
Another team that makes perfect sense, both from both a brand and a geographic standpoint, is Notre Dame.
It’s a no brainer to go after the Fighting Irish. The rich tradition and national brand are renowned. And the rivalry with USC would remain intact. If the B1G TEN calls, Notre Dame needs should answer the phone.
The days of being an Independent are over.
And What about the SEC?
The SEC moves to 16 teams with the addition of Texas and Oklahoma. Could they add more teams and get to a 20-team super conference? Who would be some great candidates?
If I were SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, and further conference expansion was on the agenda, I would pick up the phone and call Miami (Fla.), Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville. Why those four teams, you ask?
Branding and rivalries.
Miami and Florida State are natural in-state rivals with each other and with the Florida Gators. Clemson is South Carolina’s in-state rival. And Louisville and Kentucky also have that “in-state rival” vibe going on.
Not to mention, Miami and Florida State are historically baseball powerhouses. Louisville is a basketball blueblood. Plus, they are a up and comer on the baseball diamond. The SEC has won the last two men’s CWS titles.
The number of national titles in multiple sports in the SEC, and the exposure that comes with winning championships, is hard to ignore.
It’s a new world order in college football. NIL deals, the transfer portal, and conference expansion are happening at an ever-increasing rate. Oh, and that loud chirping noise you may be hearing are the crickets down at NCAA headquarters.
Thanks for reading.