There is a ton of realignment chatter going on right now. Right now it revolved around the B1G. Some people are excited. Some people are stressed. Here is what I will tell you: donít worry about it for 5-7 years. The Big 12 isnít expanding. The B1G isnít expanding. No one is going to do squat right now.
Realignment has nothing to do with football, basketball, academics or anything else. Realignment is 100% about making money. No more, no less. How conferences go about achieving that goal varies from conference to conference, but that is the goal.
So if money is the goal, why am I telling everyone not to worry about expansion right now? TV contracts. It has nothing to do with anyoneís GOR or hefty buyout clause. Almost every conference out there has had a new TV contract within the last couple years or one that is expected to be renewed in the next year. Conferences arenít going to risk adding a new member and having the TV networks tell them that they arenít going to renegotiate the contractÖbecause then everyone makes a little less money. If the goal of conference realignment is to make more money, no one is going to do anything that is going to cost them money long term.
Stability has nothing to do with the number of teams a conference has or doesnít have. It is 100% dependent upon the financial side of things. No one is leaving their conference to make less money. No one is adding a team to their conference if it means that every conference team makes less money for an extended period of time (2-3 year is doable and justifiable but not much more than that). A conference with 12 well paid members is more stable than a conference with 16 poorly paid members.
Look at what we have seen from a realignment perspective so far with relation to TV contracts:
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