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FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel Predicts A Radical Next Step For Conference Realignment

first_imgLogo map of college football teams.Up to this point, conference realignment has largely been about the expansion of the leagues’ footprints and adding games available to sell to broadcast partners. Even with possible movement in the Big 12, most believe that there will be around 64-68 schools divided up between four or five power conferences at the end of the day, with the rest of the FBS on the outside looking in.FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel thinks things will take an even more drastic change, with the sport’s upper crust eventually setting itself apart in an even more meaningful way. This morning, he published a post, framing what he believes the college football world will look like in 10 years. Rather than the four or five power conferences that we are now accustomed to, Mandel sees the top 24 schools in the sport joining together to create their own four-division “conference” that will eventually decide the four teams that make up the College Football Playoff. Rather than further expansion, he expects a “consolidation of power” in the sport.What will college football realignment look like in 10 years? Think consolidation, not expansion. Story: https://t.co/ErD34sFUVD— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) May 16, 2016 Here is how Mandel lays things out: mandel divisions His explanation: with the ongoing shift in how people consume television and live events, maximizing the number of big-name matchups to draw the biggest audiences every week will be the new goal of the sport.Whereas the last round of realignment was driven by inventory — bundle together as many schools from as many markets as possible to command the highest possible subscriber fees — the next round will be more about content. Put on the biggest possible games to garner the largest possible audience because the viewers themselves will become the buyers rather than Comcast or Time Warner.This is certainly different than what we usually see in college football realignment projection columns, and there is plenty of logic behind a lot of this. Whether these schools would actually ditch the majority of their leagues to make this happen is a huge question, but it is definitely not outside the realm of possibility.[FOX Sports]last_img

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