May 23, 2012 02:26 PM EDT
New map for college football remains under scrutiny
Since June 2010, 26 schools originally in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) - the highest level of athletic competition - have switched conferences, while seven schools have moved up from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) - the second highest level - to conferences in the FBS.
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This makes for a total of 33 schools slated to change conferences by 2014.
With these sweeping changes, many college students are concerned about the impact these shifts will have on them and their universities.
The most unpopular result seems to be the loss of many traditional rivalries, such as Kansas and Missouri, West Virginia and Pittsburg and Texas and Texas A&M. These rivalries have been played for over a century, but are now a thing of the past.
Realignment also increases many conferences' geographical footprints, requiring more travel for teams and fans. Schools like San Diego State and Boise State - members of the Big East starting in 2013 - will likely find themselves traveling thousands of miles across the country throughout the year to play their new east coast competitors. These cross-country trips not only put a strain on student athletes, but make travel to away games nearly impossible for students, fans and family of the athletes.
Despite all this, many remain optimistic about college athletics' future and believe their schools have positioned themselves well in this round of realignment.
James Santucci, a senior, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst - one of the seven schools making the move to FBS - remains opportunistic that his school will be able to move up the college athletics ladder.
"Now UMass will be playing games against teams that I recognize," Santucci told USA Today.
While Santucci is glad that his school's team will be playing more recognizable opponents, he remains skeptical of the recent realignment as a whole.
Santucci told USA Today that the "realignment makes college football more like professional football," insisting that taking away the spirit of amateurism differentiates the sport.
However, while many college students are either optimistic or enraged with the changes of the past two years, some remain completely oblivious. When asked what he thought of the recent conference realignment, recent University of Tulsa graduate Brett Taylor responded, "What is a conference?"
FBS team conference moves
Boise State Broncos
FIU Golden Panthers
Fresno State Bulldogs
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Nevada Wolf Pack
North Texas Mean Green
San Diego State Aztecs
San Jose State Spartans
TCU Horned Frogs
Texas A&M Aggies
Utah State Aggies
West Virginia Mountaineers
FCS teams moving to FBS
Georgia State Panthers
Old Dominion Monarchs
Texas State Bobcats
Source: USA TODAY; Greenville Today