Why Colleges Should Be in Separate Conferences for Football and Other Sports

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Why Colleges Should Be in Separate Conferences for Football and Other Sports
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Hello, college basketball fans!

With huge increases in athletic conferences' television contracts and the profitability of in-house networks like the Big Ten Network, universities are changing athletic conferences at an unprecedented rate. Conferences are trying to add schools with good football programs and/or schools in desirable geographic areas.

This is causing conferences to increase in size. This year, the SEC added two teams for 14 total. Next year, the ACC will be playing at 14 teams in football (i15 in men's basketball once Notre Dame joins in other sports). The Big Ten will be at 14 teams once Maryland and Rutgers join. There are rumors that conference expansion is not done, and conferences (specifically the Big Ten) may want to expand to 16 teams.

A negative in college football is that the more teams in a conference, fewer teams play each other within the conference. If a conference has 16 teams, splits into two divisions of eight teams, and plays a nine-game schedule, teams would play only twice a season against teams in the opposite division. This holds true in other sports. 

The Big 12 currently has just 10 teams. The current football schedule is a true nine-game round robin, and the current men's basketball schedule is a true double round robin. To me, it is the best way to crown a conference champion. The negative is that a conference must have at least 12 teams to be eligible for a potentially lucrative conference championship.

While conference expansion and realignment has introduced conferences to new geographical areas, introduced new exciting football rivalries such as Nebraska vs. Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State and Texas A&M vs. LSU and Alabama, and increased the value of television contracts, not all of the changes have been good. 

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