Conference Realignment: Game of "Musical Teams" is Getting Old in College Athletics

By Brian Lester
Mark L. Baer – US Presswire

The game of musical teams is getting old in college athletics.

The Big Ten is now the Big 14 with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, although the league has technically been mathematically incorrect since the addition of Penn State.

The Big East isn’t so big anymore as Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh are headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

And speaking of the ACC, it has lost its coastal connection.

Unless the geography of the United States has changed since I’ve been in school, Pennsylvania and Indiana have never been mistaken as coastal states.

The Big 12 is down to 10 but doesn’t seem to be planning to expand anytime soon, although with the way things work in college sports these days, that could change in the blink of an eye.

The Pac-12 is staying put for the moment, but again, that could change at any moment.

I love college athletics, especially football and basketball, and I love the history that leagues possess with their original members and the rivalries that have been forged over the years.

Don’t tell me the new schools coming into their respective conferences will form heated rivalries with the established teams.

MarylandOhio State?


DukeNotre Dame?

How about North CarolinaSyracuse?

I don’t know about you, but none of those examples generate a ton of excitement.

Some will say new rivalries will form, that new history will be created, but it will take a long time for that to happen. You just don’t snap your finger and create new rivalries and history. College athletics is as much about tradition as it is about the games and the student-athletes.

I understand it takes money to make the world go around. No person or organization can function without it. But there are other ways to make money in college athletics rather than continue to play a game of musical teams and toss history and tradition off to the side.

The thing is, this game of musical teams and this conference carousel that is in operation at the moment aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.


Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at

You May Also Like