The Changing Landscape of College Football

Essay by rmttaylor1University, Bachelor'sA-, April 2013

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The Changing Landscape of College Football

Division I college football, has always been an evolving sport. From the creation of the sport in the early twentieth century to the formation of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in 1998, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has always prided itself on its ability to adapt the sport to modern day's expectations. But are the newest changes and shiftings of major collegiate athletic programs an adaptation in response to new modern day expectations, or a money driven push into a new era of the sport? Many powerful programs such as Texas Christian University, Syracuse University, and Pittsburgh University are abandoning their original regionally built conferences for ones with bigger television deals and BCS eligibility.

Many critics argue that the future of college football is these new mega conferences while many abandoned divisions like the Big Twelve are fighting to pass stability programs (new programs in each conference dedicated to keeping teams happy and in their conference), to keep the sport divided the way it originally was.

The new conferences with twelve or more teams offer more opportunities for expansion and monetary growth through merchandising and television exposure. Also twelve teams is the minimum requirement to have a conference championship game at the end of the year before bowl season starts. So is the future of college football fewer yet larger conferences, or will most teams stay in their regionally built conferences with their traditional rivalries and schedules?

Recent Moves Made by Teams

The past six months has seen a flurry of inter-conference changes between teams. In the spring of 2011, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Utah announced their intentions to leave the Big Twelve and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) respectively, and join the then Pac Ten conference. TCU...