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The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

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The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

College Conference Realignment

Wikimedia Commons/DanDG44
All Division I FBS programs for the 2023-24 season.

Division I collegiate athletics bring excitement to fans of all sports. Traditional rivalries and regional matchups between universities help to thrill fans and elicit greater school pride. However, over the past two years, universities have changed the overall landscape of college sports by realigning themselves into different conferences.

Most Division I universities are grouped into conferences where each university competes against the other schools in the conference. In most NCAA Division I sports, conferences are given the power to schedule regular season matchups with their schools. A majority of regular season games are interconference. Typically, conference championships are held to determine the best school in the conference. In most sports, a conference championship is important for a school to compete in post-season tournaments or games. Five of the Division I conferences are nicknamed the ‘Power Five,’ as these conferences include the most athletically dominant and largest schools. The Power Five includes the Pacific 12 (Pac 12), Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

The universities in each conference, starting in 2024, will be very different from those in 2022. All colleges but Oregon State and Washington State left the Pac 12, meaning the conference will likely be dissolved in 2024. The schools that left the conference joined the Big Ten or the ACC, meaning travel times for those west-coast schools will be greatly increased and west-coast rivalries will be likely gone. Another big move will be Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 and joining the SEC. A critical in-state rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will be gone in the future as Oklahoma State remains in the Big 12.

Universities realign for better economic opportunities. Schools can make a huge profit off of their football games televised and sponsorship deals. The Pac 12 was known to not provide its schools with as much money from television and sponsorship deals as compared to other conferences, so the schools just left. Texas and Oklahoma felt that they could earn more money by being a part of the SEC. Unfortunately, due to schools searching for more profit, traditional conference matchups will be a thing of the past.

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About the Contributor
Reese Brown
Reese Brown, Sports Editor
Hi, I’m Reese and I’m a senior this year at Fauquier. This is my first year taking journalism and I’m excited to write for the Falconer! I am a part of the cross country and track and field team as I enjoy running and competing. Montana is my favorite place to be as I enjoy the scenery and hiking there. Every weekend I will be watching college football and the NFL.
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