SEC, Big 10 Form Advisory Committee to Examine Issues in College Football; How Does This Affect Texas A&M Football?
Ever since this latest round of realignment, kicked off by Texas and Oklahoma following Texas A&M football to the SEC, talks of super conferences, seismic changes, and more have abounded in the college football community. Many things which have seemed previously to be far off are now growing nearer and nearer, with the 12-team playoff, falls from grace for lesser conferences (and the essential dissolution of the PAC-12), all coming to a head this offseason.
Now, it appears that more seismic change could be on the horizon. It was announced today that the SEC and Big 10, the biggest winners from realignment, are forming an “advisory committee” that will “look at the entire college football landscape and solutions within it,” according to Pete Thamel.
If that sounds overly broad to you, I think that’s on purpose. My inference from this is that the conferences are, in all likelihood, laying the foundation for a structure to fill the inevitable power vacuum when the NCAA finally falls—a result that could arrive sooner rather than later, given the content of the lawsuit that the AGs of the states of Tennessee and Virginia have now brought against them.
In other words, this “advisory committee” is the beginning of an institution that will eventually function as a centralized superleague office. As Bill Connelly said, with the lack of a single person as a commissioner, “the two most powerful conferences will serve the role instead.”
I understand if that sounds like something of an extreme conclusion here, but I do think this is the direction in which college football is headed. The power is consolidating under each conference’s respective umbrella, with nearly every top brand name in the sport now belonging to one of these two leagues.
In the case of the Big 10, the league is simply far too geographically stratified, which I believe will eventually—once the move to this “superleague” is more imminent—return us to a world of primarily localized scheduling in this and other sports. To put it another way, we could see NFL-style divisions come to College Football, even as an NFL-style playoff structure becomes more and more likely for the FBS.
So, what does this all mean for Texas A&M football? For one thing, it’s good they’re already in the SEC, and had the foresight to get there early. They’re one of the “haves” in this scenario, and are very well-positioned, now with a forward-thinking coach and on the search for a forward-thinking AD, for whatever may come down the pike.
The world of college football is changing. Things in 10 years will look far different than they did 10 years ago—they already do! The biggest worry is what will happen to smaller schools with decent football programs, such as SMU or Baylor—teams who have struggled at times but also enjoyed success such that they still have a sizable fanbase. How will they fare in the landscape to come? There are a lot of questions there.
But, for now, hang tight. Texas A&M football will be just fine, and these changes could even end up being exciting for Aggie fans. I expect more news on this front to happen soon, especially after the SEC Spring Meetings take place.