College football realignment picked up again after USC and UCLA reached out to join the Big Ten in 2024, and once again the sport is undergoing major changes.
The man who has dominated the sport in the 21st century says he has a few concerns about where it’s all going.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban appeared with former Crimson Tide quarterback Greg McElroy on the “Always College Football” podcast to discuss the future.
College football’s tradition is at risk
“With realignment, there’s a lot of tradition in conferences that will no longer exist. I think we’ve gone through that to some degree in the past,” Saban said.
“The Oklahoma-Nebraska game used to be a big game and they’ve not been in the same conference for quite some time now. I think mega conferences are probably here to stay.”
You can watch Saban’s comments in full here.
Nick Saban’s ‘biggest concern’ with realignment
“My biggest concern is competitive balance. In the NFL, every rule that they have is to create competitive balance,” Saban said.
“We don’t have any guard rails on what we’re doing right now. We have no restrictions on who can do what.
“Some people are not going to be capable. The bottom line is we’ll lose some competitive balance, which everything we’ve always done is college football is to maintain (that). Same scholarships, everybody had to play by the same rules whether it was recruiting or (whatever). Right now, that’s not how it is.”
A two-horse race
After the latest realignment, college football has taken a sharp turn towards being dominated by what appear to be two budding super-conferences, the Big Ten and the SEC.
On the field, the SEC is the unchallenged leader, winning 12 of the last 16 national championships going back before the College Football Playoff era.
But the Big Ten is lapping its Southern rival when it comes to revenue from its current media deal, and is about to negotiate its next TV contract now with more leverage to bid up its value after adding two landmark programs in the Los Angeles media market.
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