Welcome to the new age of College Sports. Where NIL and Transfer Portal turn a once amateur sport into an institutionalized version of the NFL.
How Transfer Portal and NIL began
NIL and Transfer Portal under the current format have been only out since 2021. But college sports fans including myself remember the “good old days”.
Up until October 2018, transferring to another school was a very rough process. Unlike now where players may switch schools in the middle of the season, they typically waited until after the national championship was over to announce their decision. When a player announced their decision, it was on ESPN and local news channels. There was no posting their announcement on Twitter or Facebook.
Complain about the portal all you want, but I also remember the outrageous rules of transferring. Back then, a player had to sit out for an entire season while also losing a year of eligibility. To me, that was a farce. A transfer should be able to join his team right away and also play like recruits always did.
As for NIL, players could not profit off their name, image, and likeness. That meant the next option was to stay in school and attend classes for free. Declaring for the NFL draft was the way of cashing in as an amateur athlete. But now that players can be paid for their name, image, and likeness, they will still likely go to the draft. It also may convince them to stay in school and attend classes for one more year, but have some nickels to their name.
That one extra year of college attendance will give the player the extra knowledge they would need in the long run. They would be able to graduate with money in their pocket, due to sponsorships.
How this affects Syracuse Athletics
Syracuse has been in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) since 2013 and prior to that, they were in the legendary Big East Conference (1979-2013).
When Syracuse originally left the Big East for the ACC, many fans were wondering why break up a great basketball conference in the Big East? The answer was clear. It was all about making more money in the ACC for the football program. While the football and basketball teams have struggled in the ACC, they have been able to make revenue to upgrade and rename the Carrier Dome to the JMA Wireless Dome.
Also, with NIL and transfer portal, it has helped Syracuse pay their 3 star recruits as much as Alabama and the good SEC programs pay their 5 star recruits. Basically, it has been a decent equal opportunity factor. Also, the Orange have brought in SEC transfers specifically quarterbacks Garrett Schrader (Mississippi State) in 2020 and recently Carlos Del Rio-Wilson (Florida).
The Down Side for Syracuse
Just recently, there has been a domino effect taking place across the NCAA. The USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins recently agreed to join the BIG 10, (for some odd reason) and leave the PAC-12 conference where geographically they have been. But this is not the 1990’s anymore. It’s about money and recruiting rather than playing your closest neighbors.
We also see the potential rumor of Clemson, Miami, FSU, and North Carolina moving to the SEC. Will Syracuse pull a USC and UCLA and move to a conference of Southern and Northeastern teams? There’s another possibility that CUSE could join the Trojans and Bruins in the BIG 10. Why does Syracuse have to move conferences again, when they did this almost a decade ago? It seems they want to make even more money by moving to another Power Five Conference again.
How the other conferences are affected
So in today’s game, you have NIL and Transfer Portal. Now lets talk about the Conference Portal. The dynamic of Power conferences are shifting and we might be heading to having only two Super conferences combined of 20-25 teams?
That means mid-majors like the MAC, American, Big East will all be gone and those teams may have to join the Super conferences. There may end up being a situation where you only have the SEC and the BIG 10 with mumbo jumbo amount of schools that were previous in the Big 12 or the dead on arrival “doa” PAC-12.
It would be very confusing with how teams would play non-conference games and the 4-team playoff will be long gone by then. So you would either have to expand the playoffs or have a BIG 10 playoff and an SEC playoff. The winner of those two conference playoffs matches would meet for the SCP National Championship. Instead of the CFP, we will call it the “Super Conference Playoff National Championship”. Ok, I may have to work on the name, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Any way, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Also, be sure to keep listening to my NCAAM podcasts on YouTube, Apple, or Spotify. You can also listen to the Mental Dime NCAAF podcasts too on these same platforms.
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