The domino effects of the Big 12 adding four new members by next July

Image Courtesy: Vanquish the Foe

2020s conference realignment has been crazy. Here are five collegiate athletic conferences that have been impacted the ever-changing college football landscape:

The American Athletic Conference added Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA to replace the likes of Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston who left for the Big 12. The six schools joining will officially be members by July 1, 2023.

Here’s what the league will look like in 2023-2024:
*Basketball-only member*
Eastern Carolina
Florida Atlantic
North Texas
South Florida
Southern Methodist
*Wichita State*
Texas-San Antonio

The Big 12 will add football independent BYU along with three American Athletic members Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston in July of 2023 to try to replace the likes of Oklahoma and Texas. The Sooners and Longhorns will join at the very latest in July of 2025 but could leave by each school paying $75-$80 million dollars each to exit early. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey explained to the media at 2022 SEC Media Days that their plan to join the league in 2025, as expected.

Here’s what the league will look like in 2025-2026:
Central Florida
Iowa State
Kansas State
Oklahoma State
Texas Christian
Texas Tech
West Virginia

Similarly to the Big 12 in 2023, the Conference USA will add Jacksonville State (FCS), Liberty (Independent), New Mexico State (Independent), and Sam Houston State (FCS) next July. The CUSA lost six schools including Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA to the American, and Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss to the Sun Belt. All schools will be joining their respective conferences in July of 2023. According to multiple reports, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky will remain in the conference after interest in MAC as well as remaining members Florida International, Louisiana Tech, and UTEP. With only nine conference members entering 2023, the conference is expected to look at expanding with Connecticut and Massachusetts, both whom are independent football schools per a Saturday Down South report.

Here’s what the league will look like in 2023-2024:
Florida International
Jacksonville State
Louisiana Tech
Middle Tennessee State
New Mexico State
Sam Houston State
Texas-El Paso
Western Kentucky

The SEC started realignment in 2020s by sending shockwaves through the sport by adding two of the biggest (and winningest) brands in college football in Oklahoma and Texas. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has said that he does not plan on expanding beyond the Sooners and Longhorns but any smart person would know that the SEC has to be planning beyond their 2025 additions with scheduling changes, NIL Rules, the transfer portal, and a potential new College Football Playoff contract and bracket beyond 2025.

Here’s what the league will look like in 2025-2026:
Mississippi (Ole Miss)
Mississippi State
South Carolina
Texas A&M

The Sun Belt got involved in realignment by adding CUSA members Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss and FCS football power James Madison to a conference that got smaller when non-football members Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington joined the Ohio Valley and Western Athletic Conferences respectively. All other members stayed intact.

Here’s what the league will look like in 2023-2024:
Appalachian State
Arkansas State
Coastal Carolina
Georgia Southern
Georgia State
James Madison
Old Dominion
South Alabama
Southern Miss
Texas State

Media Rights News:

According to an Athletic report, the Big Ten “is likely to partner with NBC and CBS”. Fox, who has broadcasted the Big Ten’s top college football game every Saturday during the fall over the last stretch of years, locked up rights to the conference a few months ago. Notably, ESPN pulled out of negotiations with the Big Ten, ending a forty year run of coverage of both football and basketball in the conference. With the CBS and NBC deals, it is expected that a Big Ten college football Saturday will look like this come when their current deals ends in 2023: A noon eastern game on Fox, a 3:30 PM eastern time game on CBS and prime time on NBC. Outside of the SEC, a Stewart Mandel tweet suggests that the game day in the southern part of the country looks like this: A noon eastern game on ABC/ESPN (SEC), a 3:30 PM eastern time game on ABC/ESPN (SEC), as well as a prime time SEC or ACC game on ABC/ESPN.

By Carter Huff

Please enjoy all of my content :) <3-Carter.

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