Winners and Losers from the latest round of realignment | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde decide who the winners and the losers were in the latest round of college conference realignment.

Video transcript

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DAN WETZEL: So I want to go through some schools and let's talk winner or loser and to what degree. I got a whole bunch of schools all over the country in all different conferences.

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: This was-- I think this is going to be one of my better efforts.

[CHUCKLES]

PAT FORDE: OK.

DAN WETZEL: Winner or loser. USC, are they a winner or are they a loser, Pat?

PAT FORDE: Wow, boy.

DAN WETZEL: Not that easy, is it?

PAT FORDE: No, it's really not. It's really not that easy because-- I'm going to say they are a winner although they are taking a step up in competition. And they may have a tougher time even getting into like a top three or four Big Ten teams that could make a 12 team playoff. But I do think that this is something they have a national brand. They looked around, didn't think the Pac 12 could help supply them.

The platform, the revenue, the competitiveness that they've been looking for. They've got Lincoln Riley. They are dumping scads of money into the program. They're ahead of the game on NIL. They're riding a high right now. So you go ahead and you make your bold move and you're going to make a lot more revenue. As we've said, that doesn't necessarily mean you win more. Doesn't mean it's better for your fans. Doesn't mean it's better for your athletes. But I think they still have a chance. They're still USC and I think that they can come out of this and be a major player once again, even in the Big Ten.

DAN WETZEL: I'm going to say winner but it's close. We will see.

PAT FORDE: Yeah, it's TBD. Because if they end up getting their teeth kicked in and they're going 4 and 8. And they're getting off the plane in Madison for a November 23 game up there, and it's 8 degrees, and your team's no good. You might be thinking it's not so great.

DAN WETZEL: All right. UCLA, winner or loser?

PAT FORDE: Oh, you know, they need the money more.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah.

PAT FORDE: They have been in a more difficult financial situation. And I, you know, true or not there was a scuttlebutt that they could be looking at cutting programs if they didn't get a big infusion of cash. So this is probably more a move of necessity by them. And from everything I've been told this was USC's idea and UCLA was either, like, hey-- asked by USC, hey, you want to come along. Or by the Big Ten, hey, you want to come along. And I think they jumped at that for a revenue standpoint.

DAN WETZEL: I'm saying winner because of the money.

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: ESPN reported or actually the Los Angeles Times reported, $102.8 million three year debt on the athletic department. I think that for UCLA this adds a jolt of energy to the program that desperately needed it.

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: UCLA I'm going with winner. Oregon Ducks, winner, loser?

PAT FORDE: Loser. I still think this could work out for them. But they would like to get in the Big Ten. The Big Ten is obviously like, you're on the maybe list right now at best. So they've been-- they are not getting to go where they want to go. I still think it may work out for them to now like rule the Pac 10. The question is, what's your playoff access from there? If there is playoff access you could be OK with that. But I mean, that's-- they have built a brand. A very attractive brand. Did they need USC and UCLA to help that brand? I don't know.

DAN WETZEL: I think it actually hurts more that-- like, if they're in this Pac 10, what are the exciting games?

PAT FORDE: Yeah, right.

DAN WETZEL: Like, OK, you can win this thing but like what game are you creating that's like, oh, man. Or like they got to pump that non-conference. Like how do you remain big time if you play-- If this is the-- if this is your schedule and you lose the USC game. Even just the perception of those games.

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: And then at the same time USC and UCLA are hey, Ohio State's here, Michigan's here. Like Penn State's here, and stadiums are full, and everyone's talking about the game and you know, it's a big deal. So TBD. I don't know. I think it's a-- think it's a negative. I guess I would go loser but if there's anybody that can prove me wrong on this, it's probably Oregon.

PAT FORDE: Right.

DAN WETZEL: All right, Ohio State Buckeyes, winners or losers on this?

PAT FORDE: Winners. Winners. Co-recruit California some more. Get even more money into your coffers. I mean, Ohio State's recession proof. It can't be ruined unless they somehow hire a terrible coach. We've seen they've had scandals. Those didn't bother Ohio State. Screw it. Bring in the next guy, win 12 games. So this just helps you in ways where, you know, I mean, just if you get a little bit more recruiting reach as if you needed it you're fine. Ohio State perma winner and certainly a winner in this instance.

DAN WETZEL: Agree. All right, Clemson. Say Clemson is not involved in this. Oh, they're always involved.

PAT FORDE: Oh, yes.

DAN WETZEL: Winner or loser, Clemson? And you want me to start?

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: I'll start.

PAT FORDE: Go ahead. Give me yours.

DAN WETZEL: Loser.

PAT FORDE: Yep.

DAN WETZEL: Not huge, but loser because the Big Ten schools are going to make an enormous amount of money here even more than they were going to make. And all the reasons we were just talking it's-- they're going to have a you know, Clemson football is undeniably one of the five biggest programs in the country and Indiana football is undeniably not. And Indiana is going to make $50 million more than you. All of them are. Rutgers, Merrill, everyone's making a lot more money than you and that's not good.

The closer that gap is the better for Clemson. Now, can Clemson overcome that? Are they going to be a better program than Indiana, and Michigan State, and all that? Yeah, probably. But this doesn't help.

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