Future of conference realignment

Very interesting article on the potential role that FAANG may have to play.

A somewhat scary quote ”Again, back to my friend at Amazon. “We’re still seven or eight years away,” he said, “but if we had to restructure the landscape today, we would not start by negotiating with a conference. We don’t care about the SEC, Big 12 of Big 10 as a whole. In our opinion, those entities are not our focus.
“Instead, we would want to identify 30 or 40 teams that command the biggest audience. That may be by reputation or location, but generally we all know that there are members in every one of these conferences that frankly don’t move the needle.”

Basically they will either kill the conference model, or still keep conferences going, but make deals with individual programs.

First there are the 20 odd usual suspects who are guaranteed to be in the 30-40 team. If they select just 30 winners, UH is screwed. If they go for 40, UH stands of chance of being among the winners.

The next 5 - 8 years are this critical. The brand has to be built to such a high level that it’s an automatic no brainer for inclusion at least in the top 40.

Can we cool it with the realignment talk lol.

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It would be the end of CFB and there would be lawsuits flying


Why lawsuits? If the selected schools don’t break any contracts, legally there is no reason why these schools can’t sign individual deals.

It will increase the gap between haves and have nots, but I doubt it’ll kill CFB.

there will be lawsuits from the have-nots re: collusion, and from student athletes wanting to get paid, because basically the networks, not the NCAA, the networks will be forming was amounts to a professional development league. It will kill conferences, rivalries and create some fantastical middle-aged sportswriter’s wet dream ‘league’…this will not be CFB

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This is why it is critical for us to win each game with the biggest margin possible. A system like the Run N Shoot Team in 2018 would be ideal to get us where we want to be. People and especially millennials want to see points, lots of points. That moves the needle.

I don’t see how it’s collusion of the Big name schools form their own deals. Conference affiliation is on purely voluntary basis.

I think the conference model can be preserved within the new media environment. You’ll just have some programs earning more than others. Conferences to be retained for scheduling purposes only.

Some kind of payment of athletes is on its way regardless.

It is collusion if the networks and 40 schools collude to exclude the rest of the FBS schools from competition and money. It will be far from voluntary, it will be selected by the networks.

The ‘conference model’ will be preserved by name only, the regional/traditional conference model will be destroyed.

This CFB poison pill will accelerate the student athlete payment issue

The example of we have of a school dealing directly with a network, the LHN, has been quite destructive to their conference (B12 exodus) and has had ripple effects CFB wide. It has been a money loser for ESPN.

What is the definition of insanity? Proposing to do the same thing with 40 teams will be equally destructive. If I wanted to see an exclusive entitled league, I’d watch the NFL. Why the hell would I want to watch Texas or Alabama or freaking Iowa

I doubt it happens. This has been something floated around for awhile, but there are some limitations.

A big one is mentioned in the article regarding the “40 teams” not wanting to play each other every week and needing “cannon fodder.” The problem with pulling 40 teams out of the current conferences is that someone has to lose. None of those schools are going to want to hurt their brand by losing and possibly losing a lot. These schools didn’t get to where they are at in leagues full of parity; they got their by winning and winning a lot.

Secondly, I get what the tech companies want to do, but the schools have to want to do it too. Is the B1G just going to drop their network, their years of history together, and their academic ties just to play in this new league. Same goes for the PAC12 or the SEC. There’s a reason why schools like Ohio State, Michigan, USC, etc haven’t gone the way of Notre Dame and I doubt it will change in 6-7 years.

Lastly, I’d be wary of anyone from Oklahoma making these type of articles. They see dollar signs, which is fine, but they are a big reason why the Big 12 is teetering on its last legs. They were also a big reason for the expansion fiasco a couple of years ago. Call me when someone like Jim Delaney begins to mention this type of possibility, otherwise, this is just fantasy.


If you think the SEC, Big 10, AAC, and PAC12 would agree to dumping teams to satisfy TV deal, I think you may be in for a surprise. For sure, the SEC & Big 10 would stand solidly together. They are in the drivers seat on this, not the TV people. They aren’t commanding the big bucks because they aren’t in demand. The article is just another opinion of some person who does not understand the magnitude of conferences like the B1G and SEC. I suspect the AAC and PAC12 would hang together as well.

The only one I think would jettison conference mates in a heartbeat is the B12 which is ruled by the greediest of the greedy – UT.

Yep, I agree with you. Just responding to the concept proposed in the article.

Different people are reading this article differently.

The way I read the article is that tech companies will take out 40 teams and pay them. Those 40 teams are still going to be at a conference and those 40 teams have to figure out how they’re added revenue may or may not be split up with conference members. But it simply looks like the LHn Model multiplied by 40. And those 40 teams will still play their conference games and also have extra money to pay for the cannon fodder out of conference games.

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Still won’t happen. There’s a reason it isn’t happening now.

I can’t see UT going anywhere. They’ll get maybe a 20-25% share, or a check for $70-87 million using today’s contract value, instead of the $35 million they get now by threatening to leave the Big12. No other conference will pay that much. It also looks like fan base will be more important as opposed to locale so we need to step up here.

I could not access the article, but if UH is hoping to be in the top 40 I do not see how that is
possible. Our stadium only seats 40,000 and our TV viewership is hurt by mediocre
opponents. Can anyone explain the criteria or measures that would be used for rankings?

Moncoog, that is exactly how I understood the article. Netflix may make a deal with 10 of those teams and Amazon may have a deal with 12 of them across different conferences. Like someone has already said, the rich will get richer and there will be nothing anyone can do about it. A school will get its conference share plus its Netflix cut. $$$

@Ron1102 and @Moncoog you guys have hit the bullseye. That’s exactly how it’ll happen. The conferences will remain, the Big guys will just take away their media rights from the conference and sell them individually.

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Isn’t that even worse? Like the LHN? Giving an advantage to certain teams within the conferences?

That is what it sounds like Netflix and others want to do but I think conference commissioners are going to fight against that configuration and try to get equitable shares for all its members. I think the SEC schools will stand together and maybe the B1G schools but UT will jump for the big bucks as they do not care what the other Big 12 schools think.


I don’t think B10 and SEC be able to win this one. Suppose Netflix offered tOSU and Michigan $80-90 million each (as opposed to the $60 million they would be getting otherwise) you really think they’ll turn that down just because it’ll mean Purdue and Indiana etc making a lot less revenue?

Same for Alabama and Georgia in the SEC.

If these schools do turn down such a deal, their regents would be grossly derelict.

All it takes is one or 2 schools to take the money, and the scramble will start. It may be OU and UT that get the ball rolling, but others will follow suit in short order.

Why should UT and OU or any other school turn down the offer? No program owes any other program anything. Each programs sole responsibility is to itself alone. If a P5 offered UH membership tomorrow, would we turn it down because of the negative effect our leaving the AAC would have on the other AAC members?

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