Senior Writer

Future of NCAA football: Five super conferences


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fourth in a series of four stories regarding college conference expansion

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As the BCS meetings ended Thursday, it was time to ask: Were they merely a backdrop for the beginning of the end?

The end of college football as we know it, that is. The game pretty much moved along at a slow, languid pace for 129 years until the BCS came along in 1998. Twelve years later we stand on the brink of the first super conference, 16 teams spanning half the country and raking in billions in revenue.

No one is saying that out loud, but if you read between the rhetoric here this week, something big is coming. While little was decided, it's clear the game is about to change. We learned that the Big Ten is going to take its time in expanding. We also learned that the SEC is not going to sit idly by and let the Big Ten take over.

We learned that the Big East is not dead as a football conference. At least not yet. We also learned the Big 12 is confident about its position.

Now someone tell me the Big 12's position. Here is our guess as to how it all might shake out:

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.

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