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OK State's Mike Gundy: CFB Conference Realignment Is Only Happening Because of Money

Erin WalshJuly 13, 2022

Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With numerous NCAA Division I schools switching athletic conferences, Oklahoma State football head coach Mike Gundy said Wednesday that he believes the realignment is just a big cash grab.

"The moves that are being made are only being made for the money. Period," Gundy told reporters.

This is not the first time Gundy has discussed realignment.

In October 2021, he predicted that conferences would realign again in 2024 while speaking on his weekly radio show (via Kyle Boone of Pistols Firing).

“They’ve got to get some central time zone teams [in the Pac-12] in my opinion in order to keep the level of a power-something conference to continue to put forth television money. The central time zone teams that were discussed the last couple months with all this realignment, this whole thing could realign in three, four years, don’t kid yourself. I think you will see someone in this time zone trying to go back and forth to put it all together.

"SEC’s not going anywhere, ACC feels comfortable and the Big Ten’s got a ton of money. At some point I would think [the Pac-12] will feel like there could be some realignment to gain strength and momentum. That’s just my opinion. … I’m just telling ya at some point they’ll have to see it that way.”

The Big Ten is set to add USC and UCLA in August 2024, and the SEC will add both Texas and Oklahoma in 2025.

With the Big 12 set to lose both Texas and Oklahoma, the conference could aim to realign with other conferences. Gundy's Oklahoma State figures to be the face of the Big 12 if the conference remains as is.

After the loss of UCLA and USC, the Pac-12 and ACC have discussed a "loose partnership," according to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports. If the two conferences partnered up, it would help decrease the financial gap between them and the "superconferences" that are beginning to form.

Losing both UCLA and USC will be a tough blow for the Pac-12 financially. Without those two schools, rights for Pac-12 teams are worth around $30 million per year, according to Dodd. With both in the fold, they were worth around $42 million per team.

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