For months there has been talk and speculation about conference expansion that would change the college landscape. This week the talk will turn to reality as the first dominos start to fall.
It all started with the Big Ten as they made it clear that they plan to expand to 14 or 16 teams and form the first Super Conference. Two of the Big Ten’s targets are Nebraska and Missouri. According to reports the Big 12 gave those two schools a deadline of this Friday to decide if they will stay with the Big 12. That move may have backfired as it appears Nebraska may be on the verge of announcing they will move to the Big Ten.
As the Big Ten plans became clear other conferences began to consider how they would react to the changing landscape. Over the weekend the PAC-10 gave their commissioner Larry Scott permission to explore expansion. The PAC-10 is rumored to be considering the possibility of raiding the Big 12. Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado appear to be the targets.
The entry of the PAC-10 into the expansion battle will accelerate the timeline for the Big Ten.
The SEC has said that they plan to be reactive, not proactive as conference expansion begins but that they will do what is necessary to keep their dominant position in college football. With the dominos starting to fall this week expect the SEC to move into the expansion battle sooner rather than later. The Big Ten and now the PAC-10 are marching toward forming Super Conferences. The SEC won’t be far behind.
Texas may be the biggest domino to fall as the Big Ten, PAC-10 and SEC would all like to add Texas. If the Longhorns decide to head to the PAC-10 or Big Ten that will increase the chances of the SEC coming after ACC schools such as Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Georgia Tech. The SEC will need to move quickly if they want to get Texas as the PAC-10 and Big Ten court the Longhorns.
Now that the dominos are starting to fall the wave of conference expansion will move in days and weeks, not months and years. The changing landscape will certainly impact Clemson and the ACC. The impact and the decisions that the league and Clemson will need to make will now come much sooner. Will the ACC expand? Will the SEC raid the ACC? Will Clemson join the SEC? With the dominos starting to fall those answers will become clearer over the next few months.