The college landscape is changing faster than anyone could have predicted. In just 12 months, many of the reforms I had suggested are in the legislative process. The “Super 6” might not be ready to break off from the NCAA, but we’re definitely seeing more separation from top to bottom among the “FBS” schools.
My predictions for how certain schools would rise into the “Super 6” conferences were definitely off (mainly because the Big 12 had more power than I thought), but the selection of schools was amazingly accurate. I called for Houston, SMU, UCF, Memphis, and San Diego State to move up, and thanks to the Big East, they did. I didn’t predict the Big 12 reaching outside their geographic footprint (WVU) and TCU leaving the Big East so quickly, but those defections (plus the defections of Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC) made spots in the Big East available.
I no longer foresee a clean and even 6×12 structure for the big time college football teams. I think that for the time being we’ll see the SEC at 16, with everyone else at 12. Something like this, when the summer’s musical chairs game ends.
|Big Ten||Big 12||ACC||SEC|
|Nebraska||*Florida State||*Rutgers||*N.C. State|
|Penn State||*Clemson||*UConn||*Virginia Tech|
|Ohio State||West Virginia||Pittsburgh||Kentucky|
|Michigan||Texas||Boston College||South Carolina|
|Illinois||Oklahoma State||North Carolina||Vanderbilt|
|Wisconsin||Kansas||Wake Forest||Texas A&M|
|Iowa||Kansas State||Georgia Tech||Alabama|
|Pac-12||Big East||Ole Miss|
|Arizona State||Central Florida||Independents|
|Washington State||San Diego State|
The starred teams are obviously ones that I’m predicting will move in the next few months. To speculate beyond this seems a bit outlandish even for me.
Will the Big Ten want to supersize to 16? Maybe, but they’d surely need ACC schools. The ACC seems sufficiently strong, with its six core members still intact plus solid ex-Big Easters.
Will Notre Dame finally succumb to conference affiliation? Probably not, but if they can’t get enough TV money in a few years, then they’ll be forced to align with a money-rich league.
Can the Big 12 remain stable? Can the Pac-12 expand eastward, even if it wanted to?
All of these are questions we might see answered in the next year. God knows how much has changed these past 12 months.