The Grass Isn’t Always Greener: Chasing Money in Conference Realignment Doesn’t Equate to More Wins

Photo credit: Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

All throughout college football, we have experienced ground-shaking conference expansion.

For nearly two decades now, bigger conference have poached teams from smaller conferences, and the domino effect trickles down. College football is a billion dollar business, and each conference is trying to gain the most it can.

Scheduled by 2025, the SEC will welcome Oklahoma and Texas. That will bring its total number of conference members to 16. In your father’s college football, it used to be a regional geographical sport.

Today, programs are chasing a national brand and the most amount of money they can. If we’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that more dollars hardly equate to more wins. Here’s a look at some programs to make the switch in recent years.

1992: South Carolina and Arkansas become official members of the SEC.

2004/2005: Miami and Boston College become official members of the ACC.

2011: Nebraska becomes an official member of the Big Ten.

2012: West Virginia becomes an official member of the Big 12

2012: Texas A&M and Missouri become official members of the SEC.

2013/2014: Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse become official members of the ACC.

2014: Rutgers and Maryland become official members of the Big Ten.

All the teams listed (13) have one conference championship combined, and that is thanks to Pitt winning the ACC this past season. There’s a good chance that Texas A&M and especially Missouri are still far off from winning the SEC. Adding two teams won’t make it any easier.

There have been clamoring from fan bases like Clemson and Florida State that want some of that SEC money. FSU would actually be a success story in the conference jumping saga. Since going from an independent to the ACC in 1992, the Seminoles have won 15 conference titles and three national championships.

If a program has traditionally been a middle-of-the-road team or hasn’t had elite success in a while, is it worth trading money for a chance to win big? In some cases, that is the question.