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National Conference Change

College Football Conferences Will Experience Huge Team Changes in 2024 

Illustration by Mary Kate Kise/Maclay Andalusian

College football has been the same for years and ever since Tulane left the Southern Eastern Conference (SEC), there have not been many conference changes. However, with teams suffering loss of funding and lack of support from their conferences, they have been forced out by the very people that brought them in. With 10 teams leaving the Pacific-12 Conference (PAC-12), the likelihood of their survival rests in the palms of smaller teams willing to save the confrence. Due to the widespread changes of conferences across the country, this will be the last normal season of college football.

“It's reassuring on how we are finally changing college football,” freshman Cameron Kise said. “This huge change will make college football more interesting.”

In 2022, multiple teams announced that they will be leaving their current conferences, but the two main moves would be Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC. After being a part of the Big 12 for 10+ years, these bigger programs felt as though they shouldn't have to share money and funding with smaller universities. 

“This change could be good but I feel the choices could be better,” senior Nathan Lillie said. “I like the expansion idea but I feel like teams should be taken out before we start adding other teams, like Vanderbilt and Mizzou who aren’t really big competitors.”

Midway through 2023, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced that they will be adding teams from the west coast and Texas, both of which are not near the Atlantic Coast. By 2024, Stanford University, UC Berkeley and SMU will join the ACC not just in football but in all sports. This jurassic change in adding these teams will make the ACC the “All Coast Conference.” 

“I don’t understand why they [the ACC] are adding teams from the west coast,” Lillie said. “The conference's name is the Atlantic Coast Conference, so this doesn’t make much sense.”

The PAC-12 will be on the brink of extinction after the 2023 season, with 10 teams leaving the conference. This will leave Oregon State and Washington State as the only two teams remaining in what then will be the PAC-2. 

“To think that a conference that has been around for so long will just disappear is crazy to me,” sophomore Hayden Chaires said. “The teams joining conferences that have other teams all the way across the country will only create problems in areas of travel and academics. Forcing players to commute that far for a Saturday night game is outrageous.”

As this season plays out and fans see which teams are playing well, the question of how the conference change will affect the outcome of games grows stronger. FSU is currently ranked fourth by the Associated Press (AP) and they are speculated to leave the ACC to join the powerhouses of the SEC. This change would not only affect the ACC, but also the outcome of the national playoffs if teams that move are faced with more competition. With talks about FSU leaving the ACC to join the powerhouse of the SEC, the idea of super/mega conferences also came into question. With conferences not being based off of region and having over 15 teams, there will only be a need for around five conferences instead of the current 11. These changes create new questions of the ethics of transferring conferences, which will only be furthered as the current season plays out.


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