The world of college athletics that we know is changing right before our eyes. NIL is already having a big affect on things, and now we have conference realignment. The first big shift was Oklahoma and Texas making the move from the Big 12 to the SEC, which will be official in 2025. Then last week, USC and UCLA announced they are joining the Big Ten at the start of the 2024 season.
With the dominoes already starting to fall, it is inevitable more teams are going to move conferences, and so far the Big 12 and Pac-12 have taken the biggest hits. But with the Big Ten and SEC being the two conferences adding some big schools, it is expected they are going to be the ones to continue to grow in the future, meaning the ACC could be up next to lose some top schools.
If the world of college sports is really headed toward two super conferences, there are a lot of big schools that are still going to move around. Here are four more teams that I would like to see join the Big Ten.
Out of every school in the country, I think it makes the most sense for the Fighting Irish to join the Big Ten. They’re already located in Big Ten country, so the move makes geographical sense. Plus, Notre Dame has a big rival in the conference already with the Michigan Wolverines, so we possibly wouldn’t have to wait until 2033 when they are currently scheduled to play next.
Notre Dame needs to be in a conference, as we’ve already seen their lack of conference hurt them before. I would love to go back to Michigan and Notre Dame playing in football every year. Who doesn’t want that? Put the Irish in the Big Ten.
With the addition of USC and UCLA, the Big Ten has now nabbed big schools from the Pac-12 and Big 12 (Nebraska in 2011) in recent years. It’s time to move into the ACC.
Duke is a great academic school and a basketball blue blood. I think a lot of people overlook the impact realignment has on basketball and only focus on football, but basketball and other sports are also important.
The Big Ten is already known as one of the premier basketball conferences, but taking Duke from the ACC could make it the undisputed best. And I don’t want it to stop there.
I think this would be a similar move that USC and UCLA had. Two big rivals like Duke and UNC can’t separate. The basketball rivalry between the two schools is one of the best in all of sports. North Carolina is a great academic school as well.
The addition of North Carolina, along with Duke, USC and UCLA would put the Big Ten above all other conferences in the basketball world. Watching all those teams battle in the Big Ten would be incredible to watch.
North Carolina’s football program is also making strides under Mack Brown and has had some success in recent years. I mostly want to see them in the conference for basketball purposes, but they can provide some fun football matchups as well.
Oregon is another big Pac-12 school like USC and UCLA that will need a new home with the fall of the Pac-12. Playing a conference schedule with your toughest game being against Washington or Utah isn’t going to cut it when the Big Ten and SEC exist.
Oregon is a great school with an exceptional athletic reputation, and getting the Ducks would add exciting matchups in multiple sports. At the end of the day, I want to watch Michigan have exciting games against exciting teams, and playing Oregon more often would do exactly that.
It’s hard to tell what’s really going to happen with conference realignment, but let’s be glad Michigan is part of a conference that is growing, not dying.