The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022

Winds of change blowing in college football

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

It appears the college football landscape is changing yet again.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Oklahoma and Texas are leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference, which will likely set off a ripple effect among other conferences and schools. There’s plenty of speculation that Kansas will meet with Big 10 officials to discuss coming aboard.

With all of this in mind, here is a list of how collegiate conferences have changed over the last 40 years. One thing has been constant – change.

1981

Clemson won the national championship, the Big 10 actually had 10 teams and there were west coast conferences like the MAC-level Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Being an independent wasn’t a bad thing – there were 23 teams that didn’t belong to a conference.

ACC (seven teams)

Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Wake Forest

Big 8 (eight teams)

Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

Big 10 (10 teams)

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minneosta, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin

MAC (10 teams)

Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, Ohio University, Toledo, Western Michigan

PAC-10 (10 teams)

Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Washington, Washington State

PCAA (six teams)

Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Long Beach State, Pacific, San Jose State, Utah State

SEC (10 teams)

Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

SWC (nine teams)

Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Rice, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Texas Tech

WAC (nine teams)

Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah, UTEP, Wyoming

Independents (23 teams)

Army, Boston College, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisville, Memphis, Miami (FL), Navy, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Temple, Tulane, UNLV, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

1991

The 1991 season produced two national champions in Miami (AP poll) and Washington (Coaches Poll). Eight independent schools joined the Big East Conference, Georgia Tech had become a member of the ACC and the PCAA had become the Big West Conference and added New Mexico State and UNLV.

ACC (eight teams)

Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Wake Forest

Big 8 (eight teams)

Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

Big 10 (10 teams)

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minneosta, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Big East (eight teams)

Boston College, Miami (FL), Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

Big West (eight teams)

Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, Long Beach State, New Mexico State, Pacific, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State

MAC (nine teams)

Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, Ohio University, Toledo, Western Michigan

PAC-10 (10 teams)

Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Washington, Washington State

SEC (10 teams)

Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

SWC (nine teams)

Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Rice, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Texas Tech

WAC (nine teams)

Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah, UTEP, Wyoming

Independents (18 teams)

Akron, Arkansas State, Army, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida State, Louisiana, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Memphis, Navy, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Penn State, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa

2001

By 2001, noticeable changes had been made to the college football landscape. The Big 8 had become the Big 12, the Big 10 had 11 teams, Conference USA and the Sun Belt Conference had been formed, the SEC and MAC had expanded, the SWC was gone and Miami (FL) claimed the national championship.

ACC (nine teams)

Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Wake Forest

Big 10 (11 teams)

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minneosta, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Big 12 (12 teams)

North: Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska
South: Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

Big East (eight teams)

Boston College, Miami (FL), Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia Tech, West Virginia

Conference USA (10 teams)

Army, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Southern Miss, Texas Christian, Tulane, UAB

MAC (13 teams)

East: Akron, BGSU, Buffalo, Kent St., Marshall, Miami (OH), Ohio
West: Ball St., Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan

MWC (eight teams)

Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming

PAC-10 (10 teams)

Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Washington, Washington State

SEC (12 teams)

East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
West: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St.

Sun Belt Conference (seven teams)

Arkansas St., Idaho, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee St., New Mexico St., North Texas

WAC (10 teams)

Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, Rice, San Jose State, SMU, Tulsa, UTEP

Independents (seven teams)

Connecticut, Navy, Notre Dame, South Florida, Troy, UCF, Utah State

2011

By 2011, the Big 10 had 12 teams and featured division names Leaders and Legends, the Big 12 had 10 teams and the PAC-10 had become the PAC-12. Alabama was crowned as national champion.

ACC (12 teams)

Atlantic: Boston College, Clemson, Florida St., Maryland, North Carolina St., Wake Forest
Coastal: Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech

Big 10 (12 teams)

Leaders: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio St., Penn St., Purdue, Wisconsin
Legends: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

Big 12 (10 teams)

Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

Big East (eight teams)

Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, West Virginia

Conference USA (12 teams)

East: East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, UAB, UCF
West: Houston, Rice, SMU, Tulana, Tulsa, UTEP

MAC (13 teams)

East: Akron, Buffalo, BGSU, Kent St., Miami (OH), Ohio, Temple
West: Ball St., Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan

MWC (eight teams)

Air Force, Boise St., Colorado St., New Mexico, San Diego St., Texas Christian, UNLV, Wyoming

PAC-12 (12 teams)

North: Cal, Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, Washington, Washington St.
South: Arizona, Arizona St., Colorado, UCLA, USC, Utah

SEC (12 teams)

East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
West: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St.

Sun Belt Conference (nine teams)

Arkansas St., Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee St., North Texas, Troy, Western Kentucky

WAC (eight teams)

Fresno St., Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico St., San Jose St., Utah St.

Independents (four teams)

Army, BYU, Navy, Notre Dame

2021

Changes appear to be in store in terms of realignment but they won’t have an effect on the 2021 season.

AAC (10 teams)

Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, USF

ACC (14 teams)

Atlantic: Boston College, Clemson, Florida St., Louisville, North Carolina St., Syracuse, Wake Forest
Coastal: Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Pitt, Virginia, Virginia Tech

Big 10 (14 teams)

East: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan St., Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St., Rutgers
West: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin

Big 12 (10 teams)

Baylor, Iowa St., Kansas, Kansas St., Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia

Conference USA (14 teams)

East: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee St., Old Dominion, Western Kentucky
West: Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP, UTSA

MAC (12 teams)

East: Akron, BGSU, Buffalo, Kent St., Miami (OH), Ohio
West: Ball St., Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan

MWC (12 teams)

East: Air Force, Boise St., Colorado St., New Mexico, Utah St., Wyoming
West: Fresno St., Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego St., San Jose St., UNLV

PAC-12 (11 teams)

North: Cal, Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, Washington, Washington St.
South: Arizona, Arizona St., Colorado, UCLA, USC, Utah

SEC (14 teams)

East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
West: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Texas A&M

Sun Belt Conference (10 teams)

East: Appalachian St., Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia St., Troy
West: Arkansas St., Louisiana, South Alabama, Texas St., ULM

Independents (seven teams)

Army, BYU, Connecticut, Liberty, Massachusetts, New Mexico St., Notre Dame

POSTED: 07/24/21 at 8:12 am. FILED UNDER: Sports