As we, the college football fans of America, laid our heads down on Saturday night, we were exhausted. Not from the games, mind you. No, our brains were spent after having woken up in a world where Syracuse and Pittsburgh were still in the Big East, but by lunch they had migrated to the Atlantic Coast. As I tried to drift off to sleep, I started running future conference scenarios through my mind. West Virginia to the SEC Texas to the ACC Oklahoma to the Pac-10, er, 12, er, 16 a Big 12 implosion a Big Ten expansion raiding parties rumbling toward every conference in between.
But no matter where my mind took me, one thought dominated all others. And it's been there for a while.
What if, going back nearly 30 years, Penn State had gotten what it had originally wanted? What if, in 1982, the Nittany Lions had been allowed to join the Big East? Would that one move have been enough to alter or even avoid altogether the gigantic conference realignment dominoes that started falling a few years later and are still crashing to this day?
To read Ryan McGee's full take on how the conferences could be different today if Penn State had joined the Big East, become an ESPN Insider today.