What a potential 40-team college football league might look like


It was announced Thursday that the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins are interested in leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten Conference.

This decision widened the gap between the two best conferences and those outside. The Trojans’ and Bruins’ interest in greener pastures was likely a response to Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC.

College football is a lucrative business. That’s probably why TCU and Baylor were left out of the college football playoffs in 2014. Both were 11-1 and deserved a playoff spot, but they just wouldn’t generate. revenue from a playoff that includes Ohio State.

With Texas, Oklahoma, USC and UCLA potentially leaving their traditional rivals, we are moving closer to a two-conference college football league.

Here’s what a potential 40-team college football league with the SEC and Big Ten might look like.

SEC Southwestern Division

  1. Arkansas
  2. Missouri
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Texas
  5. Texas A&M

Many future SEC variations involve a combination of the above teams. If the SEC were to expand to add Miami, Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech, it follows that these five would play in the same division. Missouri is joined by former Big Eight foe Oklahoma, while Texas resumes rivalries with Arkansas and Texas A&M.

SEC Central Division

  1. Alabama
  2. Auburn
  3. USL
  4. Ole Miss
  5. Mississippi State

Texas A&M and Arkansas were more recent additions to the SEC than this group. These five date from the original SEC release. Alabama retains its rivalry with LSU and Auburn, while Ole Miss continues to battle with LSU and Mississippi State.

SEC Eastern Division

  1. Clemson
  2. Georgia
  3. Kentucky
  4. Tennessee
  5. Vanderbilt

The SEC East has been known as the weaker of the two divisions since Nick Saban joined the Alabama Crimson Tide. Georgia will now have to deal with Clemson. Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt complete the division.

SEC Coastal Division

  1. Florida
  2. state of florida
  3. Miami
  4. Caroline from the south
  5. Virginia Tech

Florida, Florida State and Miami battling for state supremacy would be great for college football. The move would likely keep Florida talent in the state and increase the urgency of all three programs. Virginia Tech has one of the most successful ACC football programs of this century, even though it happened a while ago. Virginia Tech played for a national championship in 2000 under Frank Beamer. In this scenario, they will share a division with South Carolina, the team that his son, Shane Beamer, coaches.

Pacific Big Ten Division

  1. Oregon
  2. Stanford
  3. UCLA
  4. USC
  5. Washington

Oregon’s recent success earns them a spot in these four traditional football programs. The Big Ten as currently constructed could add six teams. With USC and UCLA already headed there, Notre Dame and those three make sense as potential additions.

Midwest Big Ten Division

  1. Iowa
  2. Minnesota
  3. Nebraska
  4. North West
  5. Wisconsin

Geography connects Nebraska and the Northwest in the same division, although they have less in common than all the other schools. Together, the group makes up an underrated five-team division, with Minnesota claiming four national football titles, while Nebraska claims five. Iowa and Wisconsin have enjoyed consistent success over the past two decades.

Great North Ten Division

  1. Illinois
  2. Indiana
  3. our Lady
  4. Penn State
  5. Purdue

Independence is one of Notre Dame’s core values, but competitive football is a priority for the Irish. They finally join the Big Ten and form two new rivals in the state. While Penn State is further east, it is moving to the North Division to keep Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State together.

Big Ten East

  1. Maryland
  2. Michigan
  3. state of michigan
  4. ohio state
  5. Rutgers

Rutgers and Maryland made smart decisions going to the Big Ten conference in 2014. While they struggled to play competitive football, they secured a spot in this hypothetical super-conference. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State continue a tradition of victories and a historic rivalry in the division.


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