What a potential college football league with 40 teams could look like

It was reported on Thursday that the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins are interested in leaving the Pac-12 to participate in the Big Ten conference.

The move furthered the rift between the two summits and those on the outside. The Trojans and Bruins’ interest in greener pastures was likely a response to Oklahoma and Texas collaboration with the SEC.

College football is making money. That’s likely why TCU and Baylor stayed on the outside of the College Football Playoff in 2014. Both were 11-1 and deserving of a playoff spot, but they just wouldn’t generate the revenue of a playoff with Ohio State.

With Texas, Oklahoma, USC and UCLA potentially leaving their traditional rivals, we’re one step closer to a two-conference college football league.

Here’s what a potential 40-team college football league with the SEC and Big Ten could look like.

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SEC Southwest Division

  1. Arkansas

  2. Missouri

  3. Oklahoma

  4. Texas

  5. Texas A&M

Many variations of the future SEC involve a combination of the above teams. Should the SEC expand to include Miami, Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech, these five would play in the same division. Missouri is joined by former Big Eight nemesis Oklahoma, while Texas resumes its rivalry with Arkansas and Texas A&M.

SEC Central Division

  1. Alabama

  2. maroon

  3. LSU

  4. Ole Miss

  5. Mississippi state

Texas A&M and Arkansas were later additions to the SEC than the aforementioned group. These five are a more original version of the SEC. Alabama maintains its rivalry with LSU and Auburn, while Ole Miss continues to fight with LSU and the state of Mississippi.

SEC East Division

  1. Clemson

  2. Georgia

  3. Kentucky

  4. Tennessee

  5. Vanderbilt

The SEC East is known for being the weakest of the two divisions since Nick Saban joined the Alabama Crimson Tide. Georgia now has to deal with Clemson. Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt round out the division.

SEC Coastal Division

  1. Florida

  2. State of Florida

  3. Miami

  4. south carolina

  5. Virginia Tech

Florida, the state of Florida and Miami competing for state would be great for college football. The move would likely preserve Florida talent and increase urgency for all three programs. Virginia Tech has one of the more successful ACC football programs of this century, even if it happened a while ago. Virginia Tech played for a national championship in 2000 under Frank Beamer. In this scenario, they will share a division with South Carolina, the team his son Shane Beamer coaches.

Big Ten Pacific Division

  1. Oregon

  2. Stanford

  3. UCLA

  4. USC

  5. Washington

Oregon’s recent success earns them a spot on these four traditional football programs. The Big Ten as currently being built could add six teams. With USC and UCLA already moving there, Notre Dame and these three make sense as possible additions.

Big Ten Midwest Division

  1. Iowa

  2. Minnesota

  3. Nebraska

  4. northwest

  5. Wisconsin

Geography links Nebraska and Northwestern in the same division, although they have less in common than all the other schools. Together, the group forms an underrated division of five teams, Minnesota claims four national titles in football, while Nebraska claims five. Iowa and Wisconsin have had consistent success over the past two decades.

Big Ten North Division

  1. Illinois

  2. Indiana

  3. Notre Dame

  4. Penn State

  5. Purdue

Independence is one of Notre Dame’s core values, but competitive football is a higher priority for the Irish. They finally join the Big Ten, forming two new rivals in the state. While Penn State is further east, they move to the North Division to keep Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State together.

Big Ten East

  1. Maryland

  2. Michigan

  3. Michigan state

  4. Ohio state

  5. Rutgers

Rutgers and Maryland made smart decisions by moving to the Big Ten conference in 2014. And while they’ve struggled to play competitive football, they’re securing a spot in this hypothetical super conference. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State carry winning tradition and historic rivalries in the division.

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