80-team college football Super League must overcome big obstacle with SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 to happen

Ohio v Tennessee
Ohio v Tennessee / Michael Chang/GettyImages

All Cardinal's Kevin Borba revealed the one obstacle to the proposed 80-team college football Super League that was revealed by The Athletic's Stewart Mandel on April 3: getting the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 to sign off on it.

"The only obstacle, which it's a big one, is to get everyone to agree on this," Borba said of the Super League idea. "Something that will prove to be difficult considering the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 haven't met with the group. Whether this happens or not, clearly college football is due for some more changes."

Per Mandel, Notre Dame and newly-christened Power conference program SMU would have permanent spots along with the other (formerly) Power Five teams from the 2023 season, while a sort of relegation system would exist for the remaining Group of Five programs.

"The current CST outline would create a system that would have the top 70 programs — all members of the five former major conferences, plus Notre Dame and new ACC member SMU — as permanent members and encompass all 130-plus FBS universities," Mandel wrote. "The perpetual members would be in seven 10-team divisions, joined by an eighth division of teams that would be promoted from the second tier.

"The 50-plus second-division teams would have the opportunity to compete their way into the upper division, creating a promotion system similar to the structure in European football leagues. The 70 permanent teams would never be in danger of moving down, while the second division would have the incentive of promotion and relegation."

College football Super League could be tabled because of power players from SEC and Big Ten

A world without the SEC brand, and the Big Ten brand for that matter, seems almost unfathomable. And it may stay that way because of the top power players from those conferences not wanting to forego the TV rights deals currently in place.

Notre Dame figures to be an interesting wild card considering the declining value of their NBC Universal contract. The Fighting Irish continue to lose clout in the sport as teams from the SEC and Big Ten continue to win titles and make College Football Playoff appearances as Notre Dame continues to be good, but not good enough, to be a true contender year in and year out. Still, being added to the Big Ten -- the SEC doesn't feel like a proper fit for the northwest Indiana institution -- could be on the table.

On one hand, it feels like the Super League is inevitable. On the other, breaking up these conference monoliths seems like too tall of a task.

The next few months and years are going to be a wild ride in this sport.