Will The SEC and The Big Ten Ruin College Football?

Mike West Editorials

Initially sending out signals they were considering leaving the NCAA outright, the Power Two Conferences have been playing hardball in this year’s negotiations for the second stage of expanding the College Football Playoffs. Fans, the media and coaches alike howled at the audacity the leaders of the Power Two conferences displayed last week. Mr. FishDuck has been thinking to buy FC coins, and when I brought the following dilemma below to him, he agreed with my concerns.

I fret over this entire process in play, wondering why in the world are the Conference Presidents, Commissioners, and Athletic Directors moving so fast? The current structure of College Football screams for reform, and the playoffs (in my mind) are second in priority when it comes to dealing with this new era.

If the leaders of this great sport fail to address the impact of NIL and the Transfer Portal, it won’t matter what version of playoffs we end up with in 2026. Yet the reaction from fans, coaches, Presidents, (and more than likely the players) is toward the power grab in process instead, and that is intriguing to me.

Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game

Personally, I’ve chuckled in amusement at some of the comments from coaches in response to the outrageous stance the Power Two have taken. They absolutely know if NIL and the Transfer Portal are not redesigned, the Big12 and ACC might as well join the Group of Five Conferences. That’s merely the beginning of the challenges they face.

I believe the ACC, the only conference with any prospect of winning a National Title outside the Power Two, will cease to exist by 2031– when the expected contract with ESPN for the next version of the playoffs will end. Florida State recognizes this, and they can’t hyperspace fast enough out of the ACC. The free fall facing this sport is compelling to say the least.

Lane Kiffin has used his recruiting skills and NIL to jump past teams outside the SEC and B1G. (Screenshot from Ole Miss Athletics Video)

I say so because the talent gap in the Power 2 conferences is about to grow further, which will remove any thought that FSU, Clemson or Notre Dame will ever win another Natty. Nevermind the likes of Kansas State, Oklahoma State or Iowa State-you know, the only teams to wrestle a Big 12 crown from departing Oklahoma and Texas. Or Utah, a former champion of the now defunct PAC12 (they can claim the name, but it is a zombie version of the real McCoy).

The Future that Lies Ahead

Consider this year; Ole Miss has a chance to go undefeated in the SEC, due to their incredible transfer portal class. Ole Miss has been a previous third tier program in the vaunted SEC, but not now when armed with an extensive NIL war-chest. Friends, we are witnessing rumblings under Mount Saint Helens all over again. Ole Miss used to struggle with the likes of Oklahoma State, Utah et all. Now those teams will scrap for talent leftovers in this new world.

NIL is a powerful incentive that is wreaking havoc on the collegiate level. Recruits and experienced impact players alike are exploiting the Transfer Portal to snatch NIL bounty. Fox and ESPN showered the Power Two with enough cheddar (cash that is) to walk right into the mousetrap called a cynical fanbase. That my friends, will be the earthquake, or rather St Helens, blowing its top.

Do you agree? Let me know in the only free, civilized, Oregon Football Message Board out there, the Our Beloved Ducks forum.

Mike West
Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Screenshot from ESPN Video

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