Realignment hovers over college football, lingering like a party guest you can't nudge out the door.
It's essentially killed a league, the Pac-12, that's been around for a century. In the upcoming years, realignment will reverberate through every corner of the sport as it recalibrates from the seismic conference shifts.
Realignment is shaping the new 12-team playoff, redrawing the conventional geographic paradigms of college sports and testing the last ounces of the landscape's common sense.
Another nuanced aspect of conference realignment will reveal itself in the upcoming years. As we examine the coaching job market for 2023, it's impossible to ignore realignment's impact.
The league shifts move money, and the transfer of money means behavior patterns will inevitably change.
There's an annual joke about the realities of losing intersecting with fiscal common sense. And those limits will be tested in a year where potential openings at places like West Virginia, Syracuse and Indiana are the biggest brands the industry is watching.
How will the landscape evolve in the job market? Here are two questions that will illuminate the evolving landscape in what portends to be a light year in coaching changes, followed by a league-by-league look at who is under the most pressure this season.
1. Are traditionally difficult jobs like Northwestern and the potential opening at Indiana more attractive now that there's so much financial separation between the Big Ten and SEC and the other conferences?