The Reevaluation: Was Conference Realignment Worth It?

Stephen Thompson

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July is usually a month for reset in the NCAA. It’s the only month of the year without any official NCAA games or competition. It’s filled with Media predictions and even a few shots in the media. But for some programs each year, it’s a month of change. Uniform and Apparel contracts usually start in July. But what also starts in July is Conference Affiliations. When a team moves to another conference, it becomes official during this month. From 2008 until 2014. Divison One sports was shaken. Major powerhouses left their conferences after long-standing partnerships while some schools just shocked everyone.

It’s been almost close to a decade since that chaos has happened. Due to this, it’s time for some fans to think. Was it really worth it?

Maryland (Big Ten)

Three years into their Big Ten run, UMD has won 25 Regular Season and Tournament Titles in the Big Ten. Their men’s soccer, women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse & field hockey programs have dominated the conference. Their Men’s Basketball team has won at least 24 games in each of their last three seasons as well. The football team is getting there but gaining DJ Durkin from Michigan was huge.

Leaving the ACC was hard for most fans. Even harder for the ACC. But UMD ignored all of the chaos from traditional ACC fans and did what they had to do: WIN

Was The Move Worth It: Yes

West Virginia (Big 12)

West Virginia has won 9 Big 12 titles since 2012. Their program is still recovering from a few finance troubles but it’s a bigger problem. West Virginia seems overshadowed in their conference. The teams can compete but the program doesn’t really fit into Big 12 culture. The Big 12 is usually thought of as Southwestern schools. West Virginia is basically in the Mid-Atlantic and even considered to be a southern state. West Virginia has a geographic problem, and since their wins aren’t coming from lucrative championships, their Athletic Budget is taking a hit. Maybe it wasn’t so smart to join the Big 12. WVU would fit better in the AAC, Big Ten, or even the SEC.

Was The Move Worth It: No, Geographic Issues

Rutgers (Big Ten)

In terms of Big Ten geography, the only reason why Rutgers isn’t an eye sore to Big Ten officials because it gives the conference the ability to attract the New York market. In 2015, the program only had $70,558,935 in reported revenue. That’s a lot but in the Big Ten, it’s dead last in revenue. No matter what has happened or will happen, it seems like this program is here to stay.

Was The Move Worth It: No, Only For The Money

Syracuse (ACC)

The ACC finally got their New York market school: Syracuse. Logically, the Orange needed a better conference. Even if the school stayed with the “New Big East”, their Football and a few other programs would be without a conference. Due to this, the ACC was the logical option. The move was worth it but the program took a few hits. Syracuse and their Big East rivals are no more. And that’s a bummer for the fans. It takes a while for a program to forget their old rivals and competitors for the ones that are in the new conference. Syracuse will be just fine.

Was The Move Worth It: Yes and No

Pittsburgh (ACC)

Pittsburgh was in the same situation as Syracuse almost. Lost of Rivals in exchange for more money and better TV time. It’s just the time these programs function in. Besides, having ACC games in a pro stadium in Pittsburgh is good for the league overall. Pittsburgh is one of the few true blue collar programs left and they will make their mark in the ACC.

Was The Move Worth It: Jury is Still Out, Positive Upside

Texas A&M (SEC)

Texas A&M is the best program in Texas. Even if Texas just hired Tom Herman for their football program, Texas A&M has been living large since joining the SEC. Their football stadium is now the best stadium in the country. Enrollment is up and their revenue is number one, for any college program in the country. Texas vs Texas A&M needs to return quickly. But for right now, A&M has been winning. Johnny Football took over the college football world with a Heisman added as well. Their other sports have most definitely benefited as well.

Was The Move Worth It: For Sure

Missouri (SEC)

Missouri doesn’t fit well in the SEC. The SEC has a true southern feel to any of their sports. Missouri just doesn’t fit that picture. Due to this, most SEC fans don’t really take Missouri as a force. With speculation that the Tigers were trying to move to the SEC West, those claims were quickly shot down by the conference. Missouri has no lee-way or say so in the conference. It might be time to move again.

Was The Move Worth It: No, Just No

Colorado (Pac 12)

Colorado is one of a few schools that can fit well in two difference conferences. Their mountainous geography fits well for the Pac 12. But their rural and mainland feel fits better in the Big 12. The move to the Pac 12 was very good and really made no negative lasting effects. No big issues here.

Was The Move Worth It: Yes, Smooth Move in Boulderville

Louisville (ACC)

Just like Pitt and Syracuse, the Cardinals had to move too. A few national titles and a Heisman Trophy have reached their trophy cases ever since moving to the ACC. With many teams jumping right into the action and competing well on the ACC level. But their Men’s Basketball program is trouble and of course, the ACC isn’t very fond of being involved.

Was The Move Worth It: Yes, Show Me The Money and maybe a NCAA Scandal

Notre Dame (ACC) Except Football

Was The Move Worth It: Yes & No

Utah (Pac-12)

Utah’s move to the Pac 12 was coming. A former Mountain West and Western Athletic Conference team, they just moved to the biggest conference in the region. Their teams have competed well on the National stage. The Jury is still out on this one, America is waiting for Utah to really have a breakout season and get even close to winning their conference.

Was The Move Worth It: Jury is Out, For No

Nebraska (Big Ten)

Nebraska lost a lot of rivals by moving conferences. Nevertheless, Nebraska has been apart of money instant classics in many sports. One of the first teams to move in the early 2010’s, Nebraska joined a good conference and will reap in the near future.

Was The Move Worth It: Yes, Good Results but Many Rivals Lost

TCU (Big-12)

TCU’s move to the Big-12 was logical. That’s All.

Was The Move Worth It: Yes, Rightful Place

 

Stephen Thompson

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