Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

Price of college football realignment: Losing seasons, stiffer competition


The grass and cash may look greener elsewhere, but the tradeoff for college conference realignment is often more losing. Few teams have sustained success in new leagues in the past 20 years.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. We often hear “its just business” from teams, leagues, athletes and media personalities when talking about sports. What does that mean?
  2. How might the recent conference realignment in college sports underscore that concept?
  3. What are broadcast rights?
  4. Why are broadcast rights to live sports so valuable to a media company like ESPN, Fox, CBS, etc?
  5. Why are they valuable to a sports property like the Big 10 Conference?
  6. What recently happened in college sports in terms of conference realignment?
  7. Why would a university leave its existing conference to join a new one?
  8. How do you think broadcast rights impacted conference realignment?
  9. Do you conference realignment is a good thing for college sports? Why or why not?
  10. According to this story, how does realignment often impact the schools who move over to new leagues?
  11. If it isn’t always a winning proposition, why would a school want to join a different conference?
  12. In your opinion, how should schools and conference approach realignment in the future? Be prepared to discuss your ideas in class.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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