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Conference Chaos

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The NCAA has undergone seismic shifts in conference alignments that have fans worried about the future.

Conference realignment has always been a hot topic in college sports, but now it is more chaotic than ever.

Conferences have always been based on location until all the new conference realignment. With location not being important anymore in conference structure, the Pac-12 was demolished. This all started with Texas and Oklahoma deciding to pack their bags and move to the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The main motive behind this move was money.

Then in a shocking turn of events USC and UCLA decided to move to the Big Ten conference. This shook things up in college football because two of the biggest names in the Pac-12 conference decided to leave.

With all of college football in complete disbelief of what they were witnessing, everything went downhill. In a state of panic, Oregon and Washington hopped on the trend and also decided to join the Big 10.

The Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) had been quiet throughout this whole process but recently they voted to add Cal, SMU, and Stanford to their conference. After this move, the Pac-12 is down to just two teams.

The Big 12 conference decided to add a few teams after losing their superstars. The Big 12 is the Big 14 this year with Houston, UCF, BYU, and Cincinnati joining for the 2023 season. The Big 12 decided to take a different approach than other conferences by adding a smaller group of 5 teams instead of college football powerhouses. Then they invited the rest of the Pac 12. Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah will be joining the conference in 2024.

Multiple teams have changed conferences during the ongoing shakeup.

After all this chaos, we are left wondering if we improved college football or ruined it. Just about every college football fan was counting down the days to the 2024 college football season because of the new playoff format but now we are counting down the seconds we have left before all the realignment. There are some pros to the realignment: for example, every game will be a clash of titans.

On the other hand, the chance of a smaller non-Power 5 school making the playoffs is very small because they won’t have as many matchups against bigger schools. The less opportunity they have to prove themselves the less chance they have of making the playoffs.

The real question is how will the fans react to this much change. The fans will make or break this new era of college football. If the fans like the realignment and remain as invested as they are now, college football will remain very popular.

An anonymous 9th grade college football fan said this about his initial reaction, “My reaction to the college football realignment is that it is one of the best things that the NCAA has ever done.”

This is an interesting take, but he had some good reasoning behind it, “Due to the excitement that some of the games will contain, the realignment will form many new rivalries that the fans have long awaited for.”

He was also asked if this made college football better or worse and said, “I think it is going to make college football worse for traveling concerns, but it will be better for the overall games. Since the conferences are better, I think the games are going to be more intriguing and competitive.”

The new thrilling match ups will definitely be exciting. With new rivalries such as Ohio State vs USC every year. It will also be an adjustment watching west coast teams play in the snow and teams like Pitt playing Stanford every year.

The anonymous 9th grade college football fan said,”Yes, because Stanford is a team from the west coast who will have to travel to the ACC (east coast) for most of their conference games throughout the season. It will also add a little bit of anticipation for matchups like this, because we haven’t seen them in a while, or at all.”

WIth all this information and some opinions we are left asking ourselves is this the downfall of college football or just the dawn of a new era?

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About the Contributor
Joe Mullen
Joe Mullen, Staff Writer
Joe is a freshman at NAI who plays baseball and basketball. He is a huge fan of every sport but loves baseball the most.

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  • K

    KenOct 18, 2023 at 9:26 am

    Realignment has really altered the college sports landscape. It remains to be seen if this is a benefit overall, or just for a few schools.