For almost half a century, college athletics has experienced periods of multiple conference realignments. We might be entering one of those periods, and here are some of the reasons:
→Soon-to-expire TV agreements.
The Big Ten Network has created new opportunities and demands for markets and content. Conferences are more cognizant of TV markets than ever before.
→Proposed changes to the NCAA Tournament, from 65 to 96 teams.
How would those extra slots be accessed? They would mean big money to a conference. Leagues want to be poised to take advantage.
→Football championship games.
The Pac-10 and Big Ten were late to the table in staging conference basketball tournaments, but eventually they jumped aboard. To do the same thing with football, both must expand.