College football has seen a seismic shift the in past few months. There’s been more changes to the landscape of the NCAA recently than Nick Canon has children.
So what does it all mean? Let’s dive in.
Well for one, the Big Ten and SEC are now the clearcut leaders in the clubhouse when it comes to football programs that can realistically compete for championships. Starting in 2024, this will be what these two conferences look like:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Penn State
- South Carolina
- Mississippi State
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
These two conferences alone will be home to 21 of the last 25 college football champions.
The 4 champions that didn’t come from these two conferences? You can thank the ACC for the parity.
Quite frankly, this sucks. College football has essentially been reduced to 2 conferences + Clemson, Florida State, and Miami (who have all shown various degrees of anxiousness the last couple of years about not being part of this 2 conference system).
So the Big Ten and SEC are the elites, no question. The Big 12 and ACC? They’ve been relegated to the middle class. Because while yes, the ACC has Florida State, Clemson, and Miami, all historically good football programs, there’s not much meat left on that bone. And while the Big 12 just added Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah, the last team from that conference to win a national championship was Colorado…in 1990…because of a 5th down.
But teams switching conferences isn’t the only thing that’s changing college football. Not even close.
Kids can now switch teams on a whim, creating a free agent system where now a commitment means nothing more than a 1 year trial run.
College athletes are now getting endorsement deals that has taken the amateurism completely away from the sport.
There’s 18 year old’s making millions of dollars before they step foot on campus, with coaches and boosters promising kids endorsement deals to come to their school, creating even more disparity because the big schools with the big football money have even more to offer than they used to.
Oh, but don’t worry, kids can still make money if they don’t play football or basketball. All they need to do is be a hot blonde on a balance beam.
So where does this all leave us?
The little guys are left in the dust. The big boys have a greater advantage than they’ve ever had before. College football did throw the underdogs a bone by expanding the College Football Playoff to 12 teams, but that’s the only thing I can find myself being optimistic about as a college football fan.
So no, parity in college football isn’t completely dead.
It’s just on life support.