Reporter confused on importance of post-conference realignment SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 rivalry games

Tennessee v South Carolina
Tennessee v South Carolina / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

The Athletic's Max Olson gave a statement on the Andy Staples On3 podcast that revealed just how different college football will be this Fall with conference realignment upending the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12: what games are we supposed to prioritize?

“We’ve got Ohio State and Oregon playing on Oct. 12 for Big Ten dominance,” Olson said. “We’ve got the first SEC Red River between Texas and Oklahoma. We’ve got Ole Miss-LSU. We’ve got Penn State-USC. We’ve got Kansas State-Colorado. I think there are going to be a few Saturdays this season where you’re like ‘I don’t know how to order the conversation around these games.’ There are so many games and so many matchups that we just have never seen before.

“Saturday night and Sunday morning talking about what we just watched, I think there are going to be a couple of mind-blowing nights this fall because realignment is going to give us some matchups that we have not seen. When you add the Playoff component too, it’s going to be a lot of wrap our heads around in a good way.”

ACC realignment nowhere near as significant as SEC, Big Ten, or Big 12's

The most unscathed conference of any in 2024 with the mass changes college football is experiencing is the ACC -- which added three schools that aren't expected to seriously contend with the old guard (FSU, Clemson) of the conference. Of the three, SMU has the best chance, but the ACC won't have any newcomers sneak into the College Football Playoff.

The SEC and Big Ten are adding two 2023 CFP teams, Texas and Washington, respectively, in 2024. The Big 12 is bringing on the sport's ratings cash cow (Colorado) and a school that's made two of the last three Rose Bowls (Utah).

It's undeniable that those conferences have moved ahead of the ACC, which is buoyed by two schools, FSU and Clemson, that are suing the conference and most certainly going to leave at some point.

That's why Olson didn't mention any significant matchups from the ACC.