As the college football season slowly approaches, this may be one of the final years of college football as we know it. The traditional “Power 5” conferences consisting of the SEC, ACC, PAC-12, BIG-10 and BIG-12, are looking to be completely different or may even be the “Power 4” in the coming years. One of the first changes is coming in the Southeastern Conference(SEC), which already consists of the biggest football schools such as, the University of Alabama, University of Georgia (UGA), Vanderbilt University and Louisiana State University (LSU) to name a few. Two new schools, University of Texas at Austin and University of Oklahoma, are looking to join and compete in the SEC to get the recognition that comes along with playing in the hardest collegiate sports division.
This potential move is very controversial, and while the fanbases of these two teams look forward to being able to play in the most competitive and fierce collegiate football conference, other fans do not like this. One main conflict brought up is that the conference is expanding so far west that it’s losing its connection and roots to the “Southeastern” part of its name. The other main conflict is that this will completely blow up the previously fair east and west divisions. This change is seen as unnecessary since these schools are both currently very mediocre at football in comparison and are only being added due to their money and extensive name, image, and likeness (NIL) investment in football. This will likely move Auburn over to the east division, leaving both divisions with seven teams instead of six, and give Auburn a far easier schedule and finally something to look forward to besides basketball. These rearrangements are also sparking conversation for the SEC having their own playoffs compared to the standard four-team college football playoff.
As for the other side of the country, the PAC-12 is seemingly falling apart. Many members of the Pacific Coast Conference are very upset with the management and the underfunding the league provides. This caused the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) to campaign to leave the PAC-12 and attempt to join the BIG-10. This brings up a variety of issues. The first, of which is that this will nearly deconstruct the PAC-12 and leave all the other members of the conference scrambling to find new athletic competition. Secondly, these two teams will geographically disrupt the BIG-10 since they are across the country from their division rivals, creating travel complications for every member and every team they compete against.