Videos by OutKick
Thanks to Texas and Oklahoma jumping ship and heading to the SEC, it seems that conference realignment rumors will be around for the foreseeable future. Every day, a new angle, possibility, or consideration gets floated, even if the idea has no plausible basis in reality.
Today on the Dan Le Batard Show, producer Mike Ryan Ruiz tried to suggest that the University of Miami could potentially flee the ACC for the Big Ten if Notre Dame decides against joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. Of course, local Canes media picked up the story as if the move were a real possibility, even though ACC bylaws currently impose massive fines for abandoning the conference before 2036. In other words, the ACC may absorb some more teams before all is said and done, but the chances of any school jumping ship are unlikely.
The “news” does raise an important point, though, and that’s the relative meaninglessness of geography in impending realignment. Interstate rivalries and geographic history is about to be tossed aside in favor of teams that can boost television numbers, it seems. The conferences that we grew up knowing and seeing in our head up against a map of the US are going by the wayside. Plus, given the extreme weakening of the NCAA by NIL laws this summer, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see total realignment under the governance of a whole new collegiate administrative body one day soon.
If all conferences “fold” in the coming years in favor of a totally reimagined college landscape, then the idea of schools playing other schools, regardless of geography, may become the new normal. Miami versus Ohio State every fall, while interesting to think about, would mean that college sports are undergoing much more than a little conference realignment. Anything is possible in this brave new world. I just hope that some of the local pageantry survives—the stuff that made college football great in the first place.