Michigan's David Brandon Sees Another Round of Expansion

By Jay Beck

Conference expansion has once again dominated the offseason headlines in college football the past several months.  Things have cooled off just a bit these last few days, however, as conferences and schools wait to find out exactly what playoff format will soon be adopted.

Until more facts are known on that front (possibly by late June), any worthwhile news regarding conference realignment figures to be at a minimum over the next several weeks.

Where all this is headed is anyone’s guess, but it sounds like if  Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon had a guess, we haven’t seen the last of teams looking for new homes.


Now it’s left up to anyone’s interpretation as to what “another round” is, but it’s clear the final months leading of the 2012 season could be filled with another game of musical chairs as teams look to cash in on big TV deals while finding a landing spot that gives their schools a reasonable chance at being part of the new four team playoff.

The hottest rumors the past several weeks has been that the Big 12 will add at least two new teams – possibly Florida State and Clemson – which if that happens, will leave the ACC scrambling meaning more dominoes are likely to fall as a result.

And if his thought that we will see more 16-team conferences comes to fruition, anything and everything is on the table.  Those four-16 team conferences – lets’ assume the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC are the survivors – means there’s room for those conferences to add 16 new members in total.

The ACC would likely evaporate into thin air sending their 14 members into one of the other four super-conferences leaving two spots left for Notre Dame and one other lucky school.

Of course I’m getting way ahead of myself here by reading too much into one person’s opinion, but if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is out of the question.

It also goes without saying that just because one conference goes to 16 teams, it doesn’t mean everyone else is automatically going to fall in line and do the same.  Maybe the SEC ends up with 16 teams and the Big Ten and Pac-12 stand pat right where they’re at.

Or maybe not.

Whatever happens – not that this is some sort of earth shattering prediction – here’s guessing the college football world as we know it today will look drastically different five years from now.  Heck, it already does on some fronts.

Who would have thought two years ago we would have Legends and Leaders divisions and Michigan would be fighting Nebraska for the right to go the Big Ten title game?  Or that Texas A&M would break off their marriage with Texas and the Big 12 and head to the SEC?

Whether it’s good or bad or whether you agree with it or not, it’s happening.  And as one prominent AD has already said, it’s doubtful we’ve seen the end of it.

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