Friday was a historic day for college athletics and college football.
Just a day after the SEC’s chancellors and presidents unanimously voted Thursday to invite Texas and Oklahoma for membership into the conference beginning in 2025, Texas’ and Oklahoma’s boards of regents officially approved the move from the Big 12.
The landscape of college athletics is quickly changing, and many are wondering what the future of college football and college sports in general will look like with conference realignment.
In an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show on Friday, ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit weighed in on what the Sooners’ and Longhorns’ transition to the SEC tells us about what is happening right now and what he thinks might happen going forward.
“I think it tells us a few things,” Herbstreit said. “Number one, my thoughts right away go to what is left of the Big 12? You imagine, in the Big Ten, if you took Ohio State and Michigan out of it, what would be left of the Big Ten. If you took Alabama and Auburn, those type of teams out of the SEC, what’s left of the SEC? It’s hard to lose the programs that really are your identity. So, my first thought is, is the Big 12 going to survive, where are they going to go? Are they going to become a Group of Five type of conference, or are others within the Big 12 going to leave, and where are we going? In a year from now, what are these presidents thinking behind closed doors and who are they getting calls from and what’s happening? Because things are happening, right. We know that. So, that’s one thought.”
Herbstreit wonders if the SEC creating a super-conference will trigger a domino effect and lead the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 to attempt to establish super-conferences of their own, and possibly even break off and form their own playoff.
“Is the Pac-12 going to get a bunch more teams?” Herbstreit said. “Is the Big Ten going to try to gather some teams? Is the ACC going to try to gather some teams? Are we headed down that path? … Are we going to potentially see these four conferences break off and form their own world and create their own 12-team playoff and their own legislative body that’s going to be the new power world of college athletics and college football? Is that where we’re going? It kind of feels like this is the beginning of the first few dominos falling towards that.”