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The Handwriting on the Wall

The South East Conference is setting the new football status for Division 1A. Starting as early as 2024, the SEC will start their season with 16 teams. This one move is starting a period of new realignments.

The new PAC12 commissioner has consulted with the B1G and the ACC commissioners and have taken no actions at this time. They have apparently decided to wait and see (pre-plan) what future actions need to be taken.

One fact is clear, the four remaining Power 5 Conferences will need to rise to the standard the SEC is setting- a conference with a minimum of 16 football strength schools. The timeline to be met is the start of the 2024 season. That only leaves the question of when the real realignment will occur.

Each of the Power 5 conferences have until March of 2022 to line up prospective new members. The SEC will probably stay at 16 football, and may add 2 new basketball strength teams. Both the B1G and ACC are currently at 14 football teams, and will need to add two more football prospects and two more basketball prospects each. Leaving the last two power conferences, the PAC 12 will need to add a minimum of four football ready teams plus two basketball school, and the B12 which has already sipped the realignment waters and profited with a net gain of two schools. Leaving the B12 to once again draw from the Group of 5 stream a total of 4 more football power teams-and two more basketball members-to-be. Most schools need to give a 27 month notice to leave the old conference.

Here's where the handwriting is clear and evident. The Group of 5 Conferences will be raided for their strongest power teams. There is the future need of 12 football and 10 basketball replacements. Once the 2024 season begins, the G5 will become the General Purpose 5, and in effect have no power squads remaining. The GP5 has two choices. The first is to consolidate with another conference, or, secondly to slip back into a lower NCAA bracket (FCS 1AA). Either choice essentially puts them into the sub-bracket of "cup cake" power schools.

Lastly, for the G5 schools to survive at the current minimal status levels, they need to gather strength from those lower levels of conferences nearest their geographic locations-for both categories of football and basketball. The FBS level Division 1AA will both lose and gain from this newest realignment.

Moral to this prediction, ’deep pockets can afford to take more chances’-sometimes.