In the future, the average college football player will be making $70,000 a year.

Perhaps that’s on the low end, but as part of a players’ union, salary isn’t the only number he’ll be negotiating. In the future, that same player will have direct input in his own avatar in the resuscitated NCAA football video game.A game, it should be noted, he’ll profit from having collectively negotiated a licensing agreement with EA Sports.

It doesn’t end there. In the future, that income will be taxed, which means by some definition the average player will be an employee. And if they are employees, they’d be eligible for workmen’s compensation. And then who the heck needs the NCAA?

Are we taking this leap too soon?

Maybe not. The above is merely a hypothetical snapshot. CBSSports.com continues its preseason coverage with the second of two looks at the future of the sport. (Part 1: Baylor wins with innovation, 400-pound TE)

If you doubt the aforementioned scenario, consider where we were at the beginning of this century:

The BCS was just beginning. A playoff wasn’t a consideration. The star offensive lineman for the 2000 national champions (Frank Romero, Oklahoma) weighed only -- snicker! -- 300 pounds.

Bobby Bowden was still coaching. New coaches still had hopes of getting a five-year window to turn things around. Conference lineups were relatively stable.

If you even spoke of paying players, the NCAA’s thought police would be on your doorstep. Obviously, it’s a bold new world, one you’re not likely to recognize in the near future.

Baylor may have a 400-pounder starting at tight end.

The sport anxiously awaits the National Labor Relations Board approval of a players’ union at Northwestern.

Is the first $10 million-a-year coach around the corner?

The athletic directors hiring those coaches are less patient with them.

No surprise the whole amateurism model is up for debate.

“College sports has taken on a whole new dimension,” said University of Miami law professor Alicia Jessop. “Is a scholarship enough?”

Are shoulder pads and a helmet enough? In the future, a player’s every twitch could be tracked by a surgically implanted chip. The legal liability of not doing so could be too great for his employer/alma mater.

In the future, players will be told they cannot play football before they actually play football. Genetic tests may be able to tell who is more susceptible to concussions.

Given pressure on the existing system, that four-team playoff is beginning to look like a warm-up act.

Too soon? Never. The sport is changing quicker than Baylor can snap the ball.

Future of College Football (CBS Sports)
Do not expect gradual changes, college football is moving into the future rather quickly. (CBS Sports)

Here are a few more snapshots of the future of college football …

End of dynasties: The days of any conference winning seven titles in a row are over. Done. Kaput.

Simple math should tell you -- it now takes two (playoff) games instead of one championship game. That’s double the effort to match the SEC’s unprecedented BCS run from 2006-2012, which has already impacted the SEC.

What does that mean for the fan? More, better, diverse champions. Ohio State ushered in the era of the Cinderella. That was a word seldom heard in the sport before last season. It’s not enough just to get in the playoff. As Ohio State proved, it’s about being hot at the right time. As Alabama proved, it doesn’t necessarily matter who’s No. 1 in December. It's who wins it all in January.

Bracket creep: The first year of the College Football Playoff was a smashing success. Just don’t ask the Big 12. The fallout from the first Power Five league to be left out of the bracket has been amazing, really. It spurred indignation, confusion, speculation, talk of expansion, a conference championship game.

If the sport can’t slow its roll after the first playoff year, what other mind-bending controversies are left out there? If this is what happens when the Big 12 is left out, what happens -- God, forbid -- if/when the SEC is left out. Or a deserving Notre Dame.

The pressure is already there to expand the playoff to six or eight teams. That allows all the deserving teams under the tent, creating more, better postseason content.

Just don’t expect the SEC -- or any other conference -- to monopolize the postseason. Best guess: The field will expand halfway through the CFP contract following the 2019 season.

Conference realignment: It’s coming again at some point. The signs are too obvious to ignore. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is besties with Texas AD Steve Patterson. Notre Dame has a scheduling agreement with the ACC, if only for better access to the playoff.

The Big 12 is only as viable as Texas and Oklahoma being in it. Scott seemingly hasn’t lost his appetite to expand into the Central Time Zone. A lot of those Pac-12 games still end after midnight in the East.

The Big Ten has a new media rights deal to negotiate by 2017. Are 14 teams enough?

The ultimate question is, what will be the next trigger? All the primary conference deals have a decade, or less, to run. Maybe it’s technology. Who’s to say Netflix isn’t bidding against ESPN in the next round of realignment? If Notre Dame goes 11-1 and doesn’t get in the playoff, does it head for a conference and that 13th game? The champion of each of four 16-team conferences would fit nicely into the current playoff structure.

Meanwhile, has everyone forgotten the ironclad grant of rights that seemingly binds everyone together? That reminds me an old adage I just made up: Texas never signed a contract it never knew how to get out of.

The new “amateurs:” Jessop regularly asks her students: If a Hurricanes’ quarterback got a job at McDonald’s, wouldn’t you expect him to get paid? Of course. Then why, she asks, shouldn’t the average major college player be compensated? They’re overworked and, some say, undercompensated. That free schollie be damned.

Those who control the sport basically have admitted as much. Previous concerns over competitive imbalance have been replaced by an emphasis on student-athlete welfare. Cost of attendance kicks in this month with athletes’ being paid a monthly stipend … because they’re athletes. That’s pay for play, folks. If the O’Bannon lawsuit goes through, players could have a $20,000 trust fund waiting for them upon graduation.

The national discussion has shifted for many reasons. That free scholarship doesn’t include treatment for a debilitating medical condition that may manifest itself decades later. Coaches can leave on a whim, but players are -- in a way -- indentured.

The sport doesn’t -- and won’t -- have a central authority. The NCAA has little to do with football beyond enforcement and play and practice rules. There is no college football commissioner, no executive director. Conferences are operated like separate Fortune 500 fiefdoms.

It's no surprise, then, the pot of unregulated money got so big that lawyers and reformers were bound to pounce and divide it up. Hence, you have unionization bubbling up at Northwestern. You have the realistic prospect of athletes being paid some sort of actual salary in the future.

The ultimate question is how much the public will stomach all of this before being turned off by “amateur” athletics. Attendance is already down, slightly. Has college football peaked?

Athletes are increasingly self-aware of their leverage. A sit-down strike was almost called at the Final Four in the early 1990s. How long before team captains negotiate working conditions, practice times? Heck, even the intensity of practice. Three conferences already have limited full-padded practices (Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12).

A lot of it started when Ed O’Bannon thought it was unfair he never got a dime for appearing in a video game. Jessop, like a lot of us, is amazed how far it has come. “It’s a car salesman [O’Bannon] who racked up $50 million in attorneys’ fees,” she said.

Game tempo: The argument over how fast football should be played may be getting resolved before our eyes. The game is actually slowing down per research by CFB Matrix. Oregon is coming off its slowest pace of play in the last five years (2.90 plays per minute).

After increasing each year from 2008-13, average plays per minute flattened to 2.413 in 2014. Only nine Power Five schools showed up in the top 20 in plays per minute. Among those, only Oregon (No. 20) won a championship.

Are defenses catching on? Does fast play necessarily translate to winning? The crucial stat is becoming offensive efficiency.

What do you do when you have the ball? Three of the top four playoff participants (Oregon, Ohio State, Alabama) finished first, fourth and fifth in that category. (Florida State was 24th). Five of the last seven national champions finished in the top three in scoring efficiency. All were in the top 20.

Advanced analytics: If you aren’t geekin’, you aren’t trying. Coaches are increasingly hiring analysts to break down games in ways never thought before. Armed with certain information, Arkansas’ Bret Bielema called a defensive back in to tell him he was the most targeted DB in the SEC.

How’d he get that information? The sources are new-age sorcerers in the age of analytics. (SB Nation’s Bill Connelly is a savant.) Nebraska recently hired a PhD as a director of sports analytics. Memphis just lost one of its analysts to the Indianapolis Colts. The College Football Playoff selection committee uses the same company (SportSource Analytics) as Oregon.

Bielema went out and hired legendary defensive mind Carl “Bull” Reese out of retirement to join the analytic party. “If you look at one guy and say this guy has given up 58 percent of the tackles for loss compared to this guy’s 12 percent, where am I going to put my best pass rusher?” Bielema asked rhetorically.

Medical concerns: Players are safer on the field than they have ever been. The overall death rate is down, thank God, thanks to increased testing.

Baylor is in the process of a developing a DNA test that will tell if a player is -- for example -- allergic to wheat. A biorhythmic device invented in Australia has been credited for Florida State’s 2013 title. The NCAA is in the process of at least improving its concussion awareness.

The sport cannot move on until the liability of such injuries is addressed medically and legally. We don’t know about head trauma may take decades to figure out. Maybe one day that Baylor DNA test could be used to predict who is more susceptible to concussions.

Meanwhile, no helmet in existence is 100 percent safe. In that sense, nothing has changed for the future: Play the sport at your own risk.