The Realignment Timeline: Where Do Major Conferences Turn from Here?
If you’ve been anxiously hoping for more conference realignment to unfold, you’re in luck. Also, what is wrong with you? Please, talk to someone about this.
The shuffle is upon us once again, and the conference waltz is far from complete. After dabbling with this exercise the past few offseasons—with some conferences doing more than just dabbling, of course—it’s now a full-fledged feeding frenzy.
The Terrapins and Scarlet Knights are Big Ten bound, the East Carolina Pirates and Tulane Green Wave are headed to the Big East and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and Florida Atlantic Owls are taking their talents to Conference USA.
Oh, and most important of all, the WAC added Grand Canyon University, which is 100 percent real and 200 percent hilarious.
The “Lowered Expectations” theme from MADtv comes to mind with news of many of the latest moves, but can you really blame them?
Well, you can, but the news isn’t so much that these teams have been added, but that somebody actually wants them. It doesn’t matter why.
We’ve entered survival mode—especially if you’re not a power conference—and being mocked over your additions is better than being told to get out of your cozy conference mansion with its creaky floorboards and lousy water pressure.
The dominoes are beginning to tumble, but this is all far from over. Things are going to get weird and wild, and here’s what I see happening next.
The Big Ten Adds Georgia Tech
In need of more teams that may or may not make it to a bowl game every year, the Big Ten continues to dominate the mediocre additions. Just think of the wonderful rivalry game that will take place between Georgia Tech and Purdue, each playing for the right to hopefully not get fired in a few weeks.
Oh, Jim Delany isn’t done just yet, Big Ten fans. He has another future Leader (or Legend) up his sleeve, and I can’t believe we have to call them that.
The ACC Adds UConn
The ACC says it’s done with realignment, but I don’t believe 'em. UConn is also currently standing outside the ACC mansion, boom box raised high, blasting “The Power of Love,” hoping that it too gets a Golden Ticket.
The Huskies are going to keep standing there, ACC, and they’ve brought plenty of extra batteries. Call the police or let them in.
The Big 12 Adds Florida State and Virginia Tech
Following solid lawyering efforts out of Maryland, the Seminoles decide to head west with a running mate. A $50 million exit fee, eh? Not so fast, my friends.
This is the equivalent of your average dine and dash. The Seminoles and Hokies are playing football, losing meaningful games...business as usual. And BAM, both are gone. They pack their things in the middle of the night and join a new conference quicker than Todd Graham changes teams.
It’s quiet in Big 12 land. A little too quiet.
The SEC Continues to Eat Expensive, Cajun-Style Popcorn While Laughing
No, really. You’re entertaining them, keep going. Don’t stop now. They’re watching this all unfold from their trophy room, which actually has a throne with “Nick” engraved at the very top and a ball pit (like the ones you see at Chuck E. Cheese's) where Les Miles usually does his thinking.
If you need them, they can be reached at wehavesomuchmoney@SECSECSEC.com.
The Big Ten Adds Virginia
Jim Delany’s raid of the East Coast continues, and he’s thrilled to bring in Illinois 2.0. Those are his words—not mine, actually—and he drops that verbal bomb at the press conference, which seems somewhat fitting.
Similar color scheme, similar quality, similar results (something something about television markets something something), and you can decide if that’s a compliment.
Virginia thinks about backing out, but it loves money, so it doesn’t.
The Big East Steals Grand Canyon University Away from the WAC
A shocking bit of realignment news, and the Big East goes west (again) for their next team. You laugh, but the WAC saw something in this school, which is good enough for Big East head honcho Mike Aresco at this point.
Also, it probably would beat South Florida, and did we mention that it is called GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY? Hard to argue those perks. Live that dream, Big East.
The Pac-12 Adds the University of Apple Powered by Google
And you thought they were done.
I’ve confirmed that this will happen because the Pac-12 allowed me to use their time machine to get the scoop for this piece. And while it seems strange now, Jumbo iPads (think opposite of Mini iPads) will soon be allowed to play football, and they will operate on Google’s new football AI.
Think Chip Kelly with three gallons of coffee and a PS3 controller. Also, you’re so, so screwed, Colorado.
The SEC Runs out of Popcorn, Proceeds to Buy More Popcorn and Make Moonshine
I mean, the headline really tells the story here. Who needs more universities when there’s popcorn, moonshine and piles of money that would force Scrooge McDuck to step up his game?
Nah, they’re cool. Keep scramblin’, though.
The Big East Adds the University of YOU
Please? Pretty please? Pretty, pretty please? Don't make 'em beg, just join.
You'll have fun, maybe.
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