With Auburn football set to see the likes of Texas and Oklahoma–and maybe even Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, and Florida State down the line–to the SEC, there could be a ton of reshuffling going on throughout the college football landscape in the years to come.
We know the Big 12 isn’t going to be recognizable without the Red River Showdown, and that conference could even be picked apart further by an AAC raid.
On the flip side, the Big 12 can flex its Power 5 muscle and poach teams from the American instead. Why stop there? The Big 12 can aim to replenish its ranks by checking out other Group of Five programs as well.
And what about the ACC and Big Ten? Losing Clemson/FSU and Michigan/Ohio State, respectively, would be disastrous for them. You can’t imagine they’d take those losses lying down either.
Group of Five schools will soon have to make the jump to the next echelon of college football notoriety, making way for FCS powers like North Dakota State, Sam Houston State, and James Madison to hopefully one day make the leap we’ve seen from Coastal Carolina in the last few years since joining the Sunbelt in 2017.
While we’ve made an official SEC wish-list made up of G5 schools before, this list will also include independents as well. Not only that, but the exact landing spot conference is secondary to the general idea that these teams could be on the move to a Power Five conference sooner than later.
So given all of the movement in college football in motion, these 5 teams could one day join Auburn football in the SEC or another Power 5 conference in the future:
Former Auburn football HC Gus Malzahn and UCF make the leap
The only Group of Five school to have a claimed national title since the beginning of the College Football Playoff is the University of Central Florida. They earned that title via a Peach Bowl win over Auburn football that served as the cherry on top of an undefeated 2017 season.
Whether it’s against his former team on the Plains in the SEC, on the ACC sidelines as a Florida State Sunshine State replacement, as a member of a re-imagined Big 12, or even as the sideline leader of the school leading the charge for the AAC, Gus Malzahn seems like he took the Knights HC gig with this sort of jump in mind.