Big 10 and SEC aim to change college sports
It has been a busy week in sports as NBA free agency is still going, and the NHL draft is taking place. However, big news occurred a few days ago, sending shock waves throughout college sports.
On Thursday, June 30th, the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) announced they would leave the Pac-12 conference, joining the Big 10.
Many college sports fans around the country were shocked to hear the news broken before the start of NBA free agency. It also left many people thinking about how this would make sense since both universities are on the other side of the country compared to the other institutions.
This move is not about geography. Instead, it is about a move that may change the college sports landscape.
In the past, we’ve seen realignment in college sports take place, like when Oklahoma and Texas announced that they would be leaving the Big 12 to join the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and when Group-of-Five schools such as Cincinnati, Houston, and University of Central Florida (UCF), and BYU moved up to the Big 12.
USC’s and UCLA’s departure to the Big 10 will cause more of a change in college sports, creating a scenario in which geography will not matter as much.
In professional sports in North America, each league has two significant conferences. With every conference seeing major changes due to programs continuing to leave, we might see two major conferences in college sports: the Big 10 and SEC.
Although the ACC has not been affected by the ongoing change of scenery, there is a good chance they will be next.
Ever since the news came out, it has been rumored that the SEC will look to target ACC schools to add more programs to their conference, such as Clemson University, Florida State University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Virginia, which could lead to the downfall of the ACC and other notable Power-Five conferences.
It was also revealed that both the University of Oregon and the University of Washington have applied to join the Big 10 to follow USC and UCLA. However, the Big 10’s decision for approval was put on pause.
Before adding Oregon and Washington to the Big 10, the conference will await Notre Dame’s choice on potentially joining the Big 10 or ACC. On top of that, USC and UCLA could potentially block Oregon and Washington’s attempt to join the Big 10, which may result in both institutions joining the Big 12 along with other Pac 12 schools such as the University of Arizona, Arizona State, the University of Utah, and the University of Colorado.
Notre Dame plays in the ACC for every other sport except college football, where they are independent, meaning they don’t participate in conference play. However, the realignment is making a significant impact that may play a role in Notre Dame’s decision to either move to a different conference or stay independent.
If Notre Dame opts to join the Big 10, there is a good chance that college sports will turn into two power conferences just like in professional sports, and the ACC would be the next victim of a realignment.
Even if Notre Dame decides not to join the Big 10 or ACC, there is still a good chance we will see a massive change, leaving questions and concerns for the future of college football and basketball.
The rest of the world waits on Notre Dame’s decision since it holds so much stake and power within sports and TV networks.
Although realignment is set to take place, the future of college sports is in a land of uncertainty. Even though this will affect college basketball, it may be safe to assume that this change of scenery will hit college football the hardest.