By Parker Stone
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Two words that always make a college football fan grit their teeth in either excitement or fear is conference realignment. This was brought forth first by the fallout of the Big East at the time, where Louisville, Syracuse, and Pitt left for the ACC, Rutgers left for the BIG 10, and West Virginia left for the BIG 12. Throw in moves such as Maryland hopping from the ACC to the BIG 10 and schools moving lateral such as Colorado to the PAC 12 and schools moving up to Power 5 level such as TCU to the BIG 12 and Utah to the PAC 12, and things looked settled in for the most part.
The new movement began as two schools aimed for the SEC:
Breaking: Texas and Oklahoma have officially accepted invitations to join the SEC beginning in 2025. pic.twitter.com/EIu7Vr40ls
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 30, 2021
Then just a mere weeks ago, two historic California schools leaving the PAC 12 started off as rumors, but quickly gained steam and became official:
Breaking: USC and UCLA are considering leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024, a source confirmed to ESPN.
— ESPN (@espn) June 30, 2022
This has now begun rampant rumors about anyone and everyone moving conferences and what seems to be an impending implosion of the PAC 12 at least as we have known it for the past few years.
Sources have been saying that the BIG 12, in its expansion efforts, has reached out to Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State, and former member Colorado about joining, Oregon and Washington have both been reached out to by the BIG 12 and BIG 10 conference about possibly joining.
But the dust has nowhere near settled on the moving parts of this giant game of chess:
SOURCE: North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, and Virginia are all negotiating to join the SEC. ESPN is trying to void their TV deal with the ACC.
— Braden Keith (@Braden_Keith) July 7, 2022
With this recent news, who knows where the world of FBS college sports is headed. A lot of these moves have been facilitated by TV deals and revenue-boosting moves for teams and conferences.
This affects West Virginia’s future as well. Lots of Mountaineer fans have wanted a move to the ACC for years, but there may not even be an ACC once teams are done moving. With BYU being added to the western end of the BIG 12, you could even see WVU traveling to Arizona for games if the conference adds on the Wildcats and Sun Devils respectively. I think ESPN’s Heather Dinich said it best, in college football: the past is never really the past.