College Football State of the Union

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College football is a hair over three strenuous months away. We have no choice but endure these dog days of football-less summer. The next best thing to watching it, however, is discussing it. In that respect, the summer of 2012 has blessed us.

First, let’s rewind two years ago. In the summer of 2010, college football fans nationwide had their eyes and ears affixed on the Big 12 Missile Crisis. The University of Texas and ESPN put a firm handshake on the birth of The Longhorn Network, a network devoted to constant UT sports (and some academic) coverage. The contract between ESPN and Texas was inked to the tune of 300 million over 20 years. This seemingly unbalanced distribution of power and wealth in the Big 12, among other things, led to disgruntled conference members, which in effect resulted in these schools seeking conference affiliation elsewhere. The PAC 10, Big 10, and even the SEC to a lesser extent, had eyes on certain Big 12 members. When the dust settled, Colorado had packed up their spliffs and headed for the west coast, and Nebraska took their historic program to the Big 10. Wheels officially in motion. The Big 12 stayed content with 10 teams, perhaps aware that the landscape of collegiate athletics would be drastically changing in the coming years regardless. The following year more teams sought outside conference membership, but this time the SEC was in pursuit.

Missouri and Texas A&M traded in their overalls for bow ties in 2011. SEC acceptance meant more money, more reputable football, and the hallowed SEC tradition. It was a no-brainer for them. These programs were attractive options due to the television markets they would pack with them on their way to the southeast. The SEC quickly closed on suicide bids Missouri and Texas A&M with a gentleman’s nod and three fingers of Johnnie neat. The two vacant spots left in the Big 12 were filled with programs from lower-tier conferences, West Virginia and TCU.

This takes us to the present. The summer of 2012 has started off in a similar fashion to the two previous. Conference unrest and turmoil is grabbing headlines again, but this time it’s moving east. Headliners this summer are Florida State, Clemson, and Notre Dame. Other schools are being thrown around too, like Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami. You’ve picked up on the theme by now if you’re a male between the ages of 12 and 95. These are teams from the ACC, save Notre Dame who is independent. The ACC is officially on notice. Why? The recent announcement from the SEC and Big 12 of a bowl game between each conference winner (If the conference winner is in the national title game, the second place team in the conference will take their place in the bowl game.) has thrown NCAA football off kilter and appears to be the first step toward the demise of the BCS. The ACC is ripe for a ravaging. Their basketball roots make them a less-sustainable option in the world of college football domination.

“Playoffs?! Don’t talk about…playoffs?! You kiddin’ me? Playoffs!?”

Yes, playoffs. That’s the direction we’re headed. Well, playoffs and super conferences. The aforementioned teams being rumored with instability want to sit at the big boys’ table, and seats are filling up. The way things are progressing, we’re looking at four eventual super conferences. These power conferences will likely each have 16 programs, with the winner of each conference representing a seed in a 4-team playoff to determine a national champion, a real national champion. Be patient, though. A playoff system is likely, but it’s still a few years out.

What’s next?

Expect the dominoes to start falling. There is smoke beginning to build up over Tallahassee and Clemson. Word could start trickling out as soon as tomorrow that these programs are officially seeking other conference affiliation, and the Big 12 appears to be their desired destination. If these programs decide to apply for acceptance to the Big 12, announcements should surface in the coming months.

The wildcard here is Notre Dame. With four super conferences forming, the Irish may have hop on board somewhere. Their independent nature makes their situation more in-depth, but their athletic administration understands what’s at stake here. With their stout tradition and widespread appeal, they’ll get their pick of the litter.

There is also the issue of the scraps, the leftover programs that aren’t included in the formation of the powerhouse conferences. What happens to the little guy? As far as I know, they’ll keep doing their thing with limited revenue and no hopes of a title shot. The BCS Titanic is going down, and only the first class passengers get lifeboats.

Stay tuned. College football could be changing in a big way.

Follow me on Twitter @RogerDornTFM

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  1. Longitude Fratitude

    Noles should stay in the ACC. We’re the best in our conference in football and baseball. It makes no sense, plus it would screw up driving to away games because they’d be insanely far away in the Big 12.

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    • 1860

      Agree with Fratrick. Im a Tiger, and the ACC isn’t going anywhere. Going to theBig 12 would give us better tv coverage.

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    • CarolinaNatty

      I’m also a Clemson Tiger and the only negative I see in FSU and usmoving is less fans going to away games. ACC will be gone within a few years at this rate.

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    • JParksCaldwell1855

      Not sure why you’d think that, even if Clemson and FSU leave, the ACC somehow folds. You’d still have a monster academic conference with huge endowments with Duke, UNC, WF, Virginia, etc., which I bring up because the university presidents want that association for research money, and they won’t get it in the Big 12, which has a few AAU schools, but nothing special. Not to mention you now have an even greater basketball conference with your Big East raids over the years, and a bunch of major TV markets in the northeast which no other conference, especially the Big 12 or Big Ten, can compete with, if the ACC follows their model.

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    • costaking

      JParks is 100% correct. Just because it would become a bogus conference with the tigers and my ‘NOLES leaving, dosen’t mean that it would demise. If anything it may grow. Personally I think that if this whole intraconference switching did occur, then the bottom tier teams would be looking for a new conference. I could see the ACC becoming a top academic conference. hypathetically of coarse,

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    • Frat So Hard U

      FSU will continue to fail because, regardless of their recruiting, they have never had a real football coach. The best moment of their season is when pre-season polls come out. Enjoy good recruiting classes, come time to play ball everything goes downhill. GO DEACS

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    • ItJustComesFratural

      As a Nole, I’m just going to say that I don’t care about academics. I didn;t come here b/c we’re world renowned for our academics. We do however have some of the hottest girls in the country at our school. I know I will hear all sorts of arguments and rebuttals to this, however our athletic program is already looking to be in the red b/c of botched TV deals so clearly being in the AACC isn;t working out too well for us. I do like the convenience of our away games in the ACC and would be even more of a fan of being in the SEC(even though that’s not going to happen) but if it’s better for our school(which it will be) to be in the Big 12 than I am a fan of it. The Big 12 should be beggin us to come. We have one of the football programs in the country(no matter how you look at it), an up and coming basketball team, and a baseball team that consistently make trips to Omaha. Plus this would expand the Big 12′s reach from TX to FL just like the SEC has done which in turn would be a benefit for the entire conference as a whole.

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    • Fratrick Swayzee

      Jparks: The ACC does very little to improve academics. It has the ACCIAC which pools 400k for a couple trips for kids of the schools and minimal scholarships. It is nothing like the B1G which actually has the full functioning CIC where those schools share billions of dollars with research and pool their libraries together electronically. If the ACC had something of resemblance to that then I’d be all for FSU staying, but it doesn’t.

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    • Mr Frattastic

      Clemson won’t do shit in a real conference. FSU, on the other hand, can hang. Clemson has great talent every year, but they can never keep it going long enough to do anything besides go to the ACC championship game. And let’s just be honest, the ACC is not a top tier conference.

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    • Fratrick Swayzee

      As a fellow Nole, I’m going to have to disagree with you. It’s a dying conference and we need need to get the fuck out of it and take Clemson with us.

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    • Longitude Fratitude

      I’m a Nole as well, and what you said is retarded. You didn’t go to college for academics, but for hot girls. Please think before you speak, you’re giving the Seminoles a bad image.

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    • Jerry Fratdusky

      Haha ItJustComesFratural sounds like everyone of my friends that goes or went to FSU. I think that school is one 4-year long day care with alcohol. Frat on.

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    • The CSS Brolumbia

      Noles the best in football? Not only did you not make the Champ game, but you got beat in your own stadium by my Virginia Cavaliers. Suck it, Criminoles.

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    • The Waltz

      Hank Rearden is emotionally conflicted about hooking up with his slam. d’Anconia is way better, even if he’s Argentinian.

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    • Lynchem

      HankRearden you don’t want to join the SEC because you want your team to get better, (Ole Miss) you want to join so you can be “fratty.” PLus just because you play better teams doesn’t make your shitty gang banger players any better. Again look at Ole Miss.

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    • rockytop1

      That’s funny becuase most of my Hokie friends want nothing to do with it. Why settle for middle of the pack when you can win a weak conference. I also doubt Weaver wants to lose his hasty rivalries of App St., JMU, and Marshall.

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    • HankRearden

      We’re not gonna get better until we start playing the big boys regularly. I’ll gladly trade our 10 win seasons for a spot in the SEC.

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    • OMRebelFrat

      While i do believe Hugh Freeze has our program headed in the right direction(and he is certainly recruiting his ass off) we’d be lucky to scrape out 4 wins this year. MAYBE we can sneak out a conference win but im sure as hell not holding my breath. that being said HOTTY TODDY!

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    • dirtydelta

      I agree he has yall going in the right direction. If yall can handle a few more losing seasons yall will eventually go back to being an upper crust sec team. That or yall will just start beating state again. Either way it’s a win-win in my opinion. Too many people in starkville drinking dan mullens kool aid. State will never win the west, much less the sec. Not that i dont have faith in my team, i just think our ultimate goals are unreachable.

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    • Tallapoosa Snu

      It must really suck to be a Rebels fan. I can’t imagine discussing with my friends “which conference game we have a shot at maybe winning this year”… sorry y’all, good luck i guess.

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  2. Bros A Bank

    So where will ND eventually end up? Their first choice was the Big East, but that conference has all but folded. Their second choice was the ACC, because for some fucked up reason they continue to want to be associated with east coast schools. Now with the rumors of defections within the ACC, where can they turn to for a stable conference? Will they finally give in to the pressure and join the big 10?

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    • Fraturally Light

      I think the big ten is happy with 12 right now. Last I’d read, a lot of the big ten ADs were done with ND because of how many times ND had rejected their invitations over the past few decades. When Nebraska joined, I think any hope for ND to eventually join the big ten disappeared. That said, ND would bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the table so it wouldn’t shock me if something did develop.

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    • JParksCaldwell1855

      They won’t go Big 12 because of the academic profile of that conference is too low. They won’t go to the Big Ten (even though they play Michigan State and ann arbor every year) because, even though it makes academic and geographic sense, like you said, they view themselves as an east coast school. And I don’t think the Big East lasts.

      I think that leaves the ACC. One of the top 2 major academic conferences plus endowments, good northeastern base for rivalries, and a good mix of private schools.

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    • JParksCaldwell1855

      Last Wisky-ND game: 1964
      Last Nebraska-ND game: 2000
      Last tOSU-ND game: 1996

      But, you know, aside from that, and not because of a culture of elitism and an alumni base on the east coast, you’re right.

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    • Mashholder Stu

      If you’re from the big 10 conference then you should know that U of M has a bigger alumni base then most schools in this Country

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    • Wagner

      My guess is the Big Ten, that move would keep their rivalry games with MSU Michigan & Purdue, but would forfeit the USC and Army game.

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    • Mashholder Stu

      thats becasue nebraska, michigan state, michigan,ohio state, and Wisconsin continually fuck ND up. Which is why they want to go to the weaker, east coast schools.

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    • timmer

      jparkscaldwell you seem like one of the worst kind of people in the world. A fucking notre lame fan that doesn’t go to the fucking school.

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    • JParksCaldwell1855

      …ND’s one of my school’s biggest rivals (Little Giants = best experience I’ve ever witnessed before Rocket against Wisky this year). I just know about them and their reasoning because I’ve heard ND-to-the-Big Ten-talk for literally all my life. Not going to happen.

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  3. TheFertileTurtle

    I’m not too happy about Mizzou and A&M joining the SEC….and that being said there better not be anymore teams trying to get in our conference..

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    • BeauDuke

      ^^ Yeah except Mizzou has lower admissions ratings and scores than Vandy, UGA, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Bama, Florida, Auburn and have the same ACT acceptance scores as Arkansas. You’re the worst troll ever.

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    • Natural Ice

      Get your shit together Mashholder. I go to a real school in the Big 10, and trust me, nobody outside the state of Missouri who is worth their own weight in shit has ever thought about or mentioned fucking Mizzou in the same breath as UGA, Vandy, UF, or even UK, Tennessee, or Bama.

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    • Mashholder Stu

      ^^missouri has a way better reputation then all of those schools except vandy and maybe UF, but certainly a waaaayyy better reputation then bama and auburn. But I don’t need to tell you, the work place will.

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    • BeauDuke

      Oh yeah, I’m totally going to take the opinion of a troll who can barely string two words together. What school do you even go to?

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    • Mashholder Stu

      ^a real school in the bug 10? if the next words out of your mouth arent u of m, northwestern, or uw-madison then get the fuck outta here

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    • WhiskeyAndBeer

      Mizzou and A&M bring a lot to the SEC. While in football they will both be average in the SEC, not in the very bottom like everyone says, it’s not purely about that. Their great academics will help make the SEC a more well-rounded conference.

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    • OMRebelFrat

      ^I laughed. and i agree with TheFertileTurtle. and it still puzzles me how Mizzou managed to get into the East?! i know it evens the numbers out but i think they should have just moved Auburn

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    • Mashholder Stu

      definitely then UGA, that school is a joke, vanderbilt shouldn’t even be considered part of the SEC. they are irrelevant every year

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  4. Joran van der Frat

    Best solution is four sixteen team conferences, winners get seeded for playoff. 125 teams is too many for one league. Cap it at 64 teams and move the leftover mid-majors into their own league between Div-1 and FCS with its own championship.

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    • Fraternity Lifestyle

      Fuck. This is literally exactly what I was going to say. 16 teams per conference, number one teams play in playoffs. SEC vs. Big 12(16) plays each other in their new bowl, Pac 12 (16) and B1G (16) play in the Rose Bowl. Winners play in the NC.

      B1G adds ND, Pitt, Syracuse, and Boston College
      SEC adds FSU and Clemson
      Pac 12 adds BYU and Boise State, and takes Kansas and KSU from the Big 12
      Big 12 adds Miami, GT, UNC, NCSt, Duke, Wake, UVA, VT, Maryland, and Louisville.

      How about it?

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  5. Joran van der Frat

    Best solution is four sixteen team conferences, winners get seeded for playoff. 125 teams is too many for one league. Cap it at 64 teams and move the leftover mid-majors into their own league between Div-1 and FCS with its own championship. They’ll be pissed about being left behind but tough shit – they’re simple not cut out for the big leagues.

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    • FranklinDBroosevelt

      I like this, but I’d add a relegation/promotion component: the best eight teams in the FCS playoff against the two worst in each FBS conference and the winners play in the FBS the following year.

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