Oklahoma

Ex-Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops takes issue with NCAA ineffectiveness and envisions Power Five

Major changes lie ahead for collegiate athletics on the front lines of conference realignment. USC and UCLA exit the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024, and Oklahoma and Texas exit the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025, bringing the sport to the cusp of the “Super League” era. Some, including ex-Sooners football coach Bob Stoops, are considering whether the Power Five schools — or even a select group within them — will eventually break away from the NCAA, whose reputation as the governing body of collegiate athletics is less than glowing.

“I for the rest of my life don’t know what the NCAA does, if anything, other than host a (March Madness) basketball tournament,” Stoops said this week at The Blitz 1170 AM in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Other than that, all this NIL and the transfer and where you’re going – they haven’t done much, that’s for sure. And I don’t know how they get their arms around town. I could see the Power Fives breaking away and starting their own conference somewhere. I don’t know what that would look like, but at some point it feels inevitable.”

FBS football is an interesting case as it is.

While high-profile championships for other sports, such as March Madness and the College World Series, are run by the NCAA, the College Football Playoff operates independently.

NCAA rules and regulations still apply to FBS programs from a compliance perspective, although that could change if Stoops’ vision becomes a reality. ESPN reported last summer that the College Football Playoff Board “briefly” considered the notion that great college football might be governed outside of the NCAA. The College Football Playoffs recently approved expansion to 12 teams in time for the 2024 season with new parameters that will increase the weight of the conference championships. the The top six ranked conference champions now get automatic slots, while the remaining six slots are unrestricted.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey told 247Sports ahead of the college football playoffs national championship game in Los Angeles earlier this month that he believes expanding the playoffs will be positive to cap a true title National Champion with many capable teams eliminated from the current four-team format each season.

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“In my opinion we need (an expanded format) to ensure football has one National Champion,” Sankey told 247Sports at the time. “If I remember correctly, the Pac-12 hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016. This is fertile recruiting ground (in Los Angeles), even for the Southeastern Conference out here on the West Coast. Supporting strong college football nationally is one element.”

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