HOLLYWOOD — The Faculty Soccer Playoff appeared destined to increase and increase rapidly.
For 2 years, a bunch of CFP executives labored to create a mannequin that they introduced to choice makers and have disseminated throughout school soccer. Their 12-team proposal, largely celebrated throughout America, appeared on the quick monitor to approval in a September assembly, doubtlessly inside two years of changing the present four-team mannequin.
After which, in a seismic and gorgeous shift, the Large 12’s two greatest manufacturers, Texas and Oklahoma, began the method this week of becoming a member of the SEC. Pac-12 leaders right here on the convention’s annual media day say the transfer compromises the growth mannequin and can nearly assuredly delay its approval, even doubtlessly leading to wholesale modifications to its construction.
Actually, league directors imagine the SEC’s chess transfer, whereas calculated and crafty, will begin a responsive chain of serious modifications throughout the panorama of American school sports activities.
It’s the tip of the iceberg, says one. There might be extra, says one other.
The Realignment Warfare of 2021 has begun, and this time, there’s a notably treasured battleground: the expanded playoff mannequin.
Conferences are scrambling and faculties are jockeying, all of them tossed right into a tizzy of motion by the SEC’s daring play—stockpiling extra of the nation’s richest school soccer packages.
It’s clear who the unhealthy guys are this go-around: commissioner Greg Sankey and the Southeastern Convention, brandished by some right here because the particular person and the entity that helped destroy a convention, pushed school soccer into a multitude of disruption and compromised the growth mannequin.
Sankey was on the four-person working group that created the 12-team proposal, main some round school athletics to query his motives as one in every of few who knew that his league may quickly increase.
“It’s fishy,” says one.
“It’s insider buying and selling,” says one other.
Whereas some say the SEC properly and secretly leaped forward of everybody else within the subsequent wave of realignment, others describe the transfer as pointless and dangerous to school sports activities. The SEC burned already charred bridges and even ruined private relationships, they are saying.
Because of this, high-level decision-makers are considering a retaliatory transfer. Does the Pac-12, Large Ten and others kind an alliance towards the large, unhealthy SEC?
“We may have a response,” says one Pac-12 administrator.
For now, the league’s new commissioner, George Kliavkoff, is making an attempt to protect his personal membership at a time of uncertainty, retaining collectively the group and its golden goose, USC, whereas additionally weighing the opportunity of including extra. The Pac-12 is receiving vital curiosity from suitors about growth, Kliavkoff instructed reporters right here Tuesday. And whereas they’re listening, convention leaders are more than pleased to stay at 12 groups, he says.
Some directors imagine that not one of the remaining eight Large 12 groups supply worth to the convention—they’d not enhance the league distribution. Others say packages akin to TCU, within the Dallas-area hub, is engaging, in addition to Kansas’ basketball program.
However how does this Realignment Warfare actually finish? Some right here imagine the ultimate chapter is a 30-plus workforce superleague, an unique membership of grandfathered packages and school soccer bluebloods governing themselves in a construction that will even function collective bargaining and their very own postseason, fully separate from the NCAA system and working by itself accord. The whispers have began to develop louder, and the SEC’s growth is the beginning towards such an occasion, a number of school officers imagine.
“That’s the place we’re heading,” says one.
And so what subsequent? Many decline to foretell such a transfer. However they know one is coming.
The Realignment Warfare is right here. The battles are simply getting began. And the dominoes are solely starting to topple.
“Two groups transferring from one convention to a different, that’s high quality,” says Stanford coach David Shaw. “Now, what does that encourage different conferences to do? If it’s simply two groups, good for them and let’s transfer on. However I don’t suppose it can simply be two groups.”
Extra Faculty Soccer Protection:
• The place Does the Remainder of the Large 12 Go From Right here?
• Even within the SEC, Texas A&M Cannot Escape the Longhorns
• Texas and Oklahoma’s Inquiry Into SEC Stuns Convention Media Day
• Texas, Oklahoma and the Realignment Speak That Might Reshape Faculty Sports activities