Opinion: College football landscape, simply not the same

TRL’s Will Doig shares his take on new college football landscape

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Hannah Gonzalez

“I feel bad for the younger generations that will watch college football games on a completely different layout than the now “old” version of how things used to be. It’s cool though, shout out to you Texas and Oklahoma, for ruining everything.”

Ever since I was 10 years old, I rushed downstairs every Saturday morning in the fall to sit on my couch and watch ESPN’s College Gameday in anticipation of the games for the day. Once the games began, I was excited for the marquee matchups like Alabama vs Auburn, Michigan vs Ohio State and Oklahoma vs Texas. Now fast forward to the present time, teams that have been in the same conference for decades are now scrambling to other conferences making college football simply not the same. I thought Texas A&M and Missouris’ move to the SEC years ago was a big deal, but no, it got worse.

The First Domino

On July 29, 2021, the SEC voted unanimously to invite Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. Just one day later, both institutions accepted and were set to join the gauntlet conference in the near future. My jaw dropped when I heard this news. Southern schools like Georgia, Alabama, Florida and others would be traveling to Oklahoma and Texas to play a conference matchup? As time went by, I started accepting the fact that this delusion would eventually occur. So I accepted it as most would until more news dropped.

The Second Domino

In September 2021, it was announced that American conference schools UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston along with Independent conference BYU would be set to join the Big 12. This move was largely a domino effect of the Texas and Oklahoma move to the SEC. It was recently announced that all four schools would join their new conference next season. Due to these teams joining the Big 12, the American conference was forced to add more teams. Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA were added to the American Conference for the 2023 season.

The Third Domino

As if things couldn’t get worse, they did. On June 30, 2022, news came out that UCLA and USC were set to join the Big Ten in 2024. This was odd, you’re telling me that two teams up in Los Angeles, California would be traveling to places like Ohio, Michigan and Indiana every year? We’re talking about two schools who have been playing in the year-around sunshine out west for what seems like forever and are now bolting to play up north where it snows, and do it every other week? This news was a shock and for me, the most surprising.

Finale

Unfortunately, this seems to be the beginning of the end of the classic college football landscape where teams play their opponents that are close to their geographical region. Although I’m sure everyone will adapt, it’s sad to know that everything is seemingly changing right before our eyes. Not to mention, there have been talks about “superconferences” where there will be only a few conferences that are stacked with teams from all around the country. Plus, there have also been talks about teams and conferences leaving the entire NCAA and forming their own similar format. I feel bad for the younger generations that will watch college football games on a completely different layout than the now “old” version of how things used to be. It’s cool though, shout out to you Texas and Oklahoma, for ruining everything.