You can’t kill conference realignment, you can only hope to contain it.
While a lot of the most recent talk about schools moving leagues has been related to UConn’s departure from the AAC, there have been other rumblings across college athletics of additional moves ahead of a key stretch in the 2020’s where a number of Power Five conferences renegotiate their TV deals.
Which brings us to Conference USA. The Denton Record-Chronicle did a deep dive into the league’s upcoming 25th anniversary this season and among the great nuggets from the piece was this fascinating bit of discussion that has surfaced recently:
Several C-USA athletic directors also said they have informally discussed the idea of the conference realigning on a more regional basis by trading teams with other leagues, including the Sun Belt. Those discussions have never progressed to the point where C-USA officially explored the possibility.
Keith Gill took over as Sun Belt commissioner in May. He doesn’t anticipate any movement toward regionalization.
“There haven’t been any discussions since I have been in the Sun Belt,” Gill said. “We are really comfortable with the schools we have.”
School trades! That would truly take conference realignment to the next level and make the summer of 2010 pale in comparison in terms of drama. “We’ll give you Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic and a quarterback to be named later for Appalachian State. Thoughts?”
While some sort of alliance among Group of Five leagues may eventually emerge out of these “informal” discussions, actually trading schools for one another as part of a geographic swap seems far-fetched even if there would be mutual benefits all around.
Still, we can all still dream of something along those lines happening.