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Nebraska Recruiting: The Trickle-Down Effect Of The Latest Conference Realignment Conversation

July 26, 2021

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


The questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about so we have been taking reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. For this week’s topic we got inspired by the big news in college football. Right before we started filming this week’s video the news broke that Oklahoma and Texas would not renew their grant of media right when they expire in 2025.

That’s widely viewed as the first step toward the two traditional powerhouse football programs leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. For now, let’s put what this huge news means for the Sooners and Longhorns on pause. What does this mean for recruiting?

The impact should be felt pretty quickly on the recruiting trail. It’s not going to necessarily be about the commits in the 2022 cycle for Texas and Oklahoma. Those recruits will be excited about playing in what many feel is the best conference in college football. The first trickle-down effect is going to be for commits at other schools remaining in what is left of the Big 12.

Oklahoma and Texas say they are currently sticking around until 2025. It is very likely that they will want a way out before then. What happens to the rest of the conference then? Let’s say you are committed to one of the remaining eight schools. Other programs have a pretty good pitch on why you should flip to them. Nebraska and other schools can explain to recruits that it’s not even certain what conference their school will be playing in. That’s a big deal to consider during their college careers.

Recruiting is a cut throat part of college football. Every school in the country recruiting against these schools will use instability against them. Teams pounce on coaching instability. They will do the same for conference instability. The effects will be felt even more on future classes. The 2023 and 2024 classes are being recruited right now too. As things rapidly evolve for those schools it’s going to be tougher and tougher for them to recruit.

There is one other part of this that is relatively new. We can’t escape the transfer portal. The longer the remaining schools go without switching conferences or adding others to the Big 12 the more likely the players already on campus are to leave. Upperclassmen could leave to finish their careers on a high note. Underclassmen could leave to have more stability for the future.

Things continue to happen rapidly around this latest round of conference realignment. We don’t know what will happen with the remaining schools in the Big 12. We do know they need to act quickly to form a plan before players and recruits start fleeing.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska 2023 quarterback target Reese Mooney got some good work in this weekend.

>> Michigan wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr. committed to Michigan State on Monday.

ICYMI

>> Derek Peterson dove into Husker harmony, conference chaos and a whole lot more in his weekly column.

>> The gap in the Big Ten West keeps getting smaller according to coaches in the league.

>> For Nebraska and the rest of the conference it’s all about chasing Ohio State once again.

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