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College football realignment: Alabama coach Nick Saban raises idea of relegation

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College football realignment and expansion were once again the story of the offseason after the Big Ten announced it would add USC and UCLA in 2024.

That, a year after the SEC's bombshell move to accept Texas and Oklahoma in time for the 2025 football season.

Expansion is in the air as conferences look to get more of the ever-bigger pot of TV money, leading to questions if college football will look more like the NFL in future.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban sees the sport going in that direction, but if so, will have to be tough in dividing the top teams from everyone else.

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“It’s probably going to be good for some people,” Saban told the Dan Patrick Show. 

“But it’s not going to be good for all people, because not everybody is going to be able to compete at that level. So we’ll create a separation, like at least probably 50 percent of the schools that are considered Division I schools now would not be able to compete that way. 

“Now maybe they come up with some kind of way like they do in soccer over in Europe I think. I don’t understand it completely.”

Mega conferences are coming, too

When the Big Ten and SEC both expand in future years, both conferences will have 16 members, ushering in what could be an era of so-called mega-conferences.

Saban believes that's likely where the sport is going, and overwhelmingly from where the College Football Playoff will select its teams.

“I think we’re probably headed in the direction like it or not of mega conferences,” Saban said. 

“How that all turns out and what’s too big and what’s not big enough is probably a pretty good question to try to figure out, but I’m not sure anybody has the answer to that right now and maybe we have two or three mega conferences and then that’s where the playoff teams come from.”

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