While conference realignment has dominated headlines the past few years, the process has been an ongoing one for most of the last quarter century. Dating back to the 1991-1992 college basketball season that saw Arkansas and South Carolina join the SEC, change has been a bit of a constant in conference affiliations.
For example, this statement from The Adovcate tells an amazing story: In the past 25 years, only 48 of the 128 schools that will play FBS football this year have not changed conference affiliations. For real fun, see how many of the 48 schools you can list.
While we have seen the demise of the Southwestern Conference and WAC, we have seen the creation of new conferences such as the Big 12, which now only has ten teams. Long time independents such as Penn State jumped into the conference fold, and Notre Dame switched allegiances to the ACC. The Big East still exists, but it does not have Syracuse or Pitt anymore. In fact, the Big East does not even play football at the FBS level now. Those teams left and created the American Athletic Conference.
Two conferences, the SEC and Big Ten now have 14 members each.
So with all of the change, it might be easy to forget which teams belong to which conferences, so here is a quick review (yes, there is a test at the end).
Atlantic Coast Conference:
Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest.
Additions: Louisville (from AAC), Notre Dame (all but football, but will play five ACC games a year)
Subtractions: Maryland (to the Big Ten)
Big Ten Conference:
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Additions: Maryland (From ACC), Rutgers (from AAC)
Big XII Conference:
Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia
Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Southern California, Utah, Washington, Washington State
Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
BYU, Army, Navy, Notre Dame (affiliated with ACC, independent in football only)
American Athletic Conference:
Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, UCF
Additions: ECU, Tulane, Tulsa (All from Conference USA)
Subtraction: Louisville (to ACC), Rutgers (to Big Ten)
Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP, UTSA, Charlotte (non-football until 2015)
Additions: Western Kentucky (from Sun Belt), Old Dominon
Subtractions: East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa (All to AAC)
Mid American Conference:
Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, Toledo, UMass (football only), Western Michigan
Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii (Football Only), Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming
Sun Belt Conference:
Arkansas State, Georgia State, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State, Troy
Additions: Appalachian State, Georgia Southern (Both from FCS), New Mexico State, Idaho (Both Football only, from Independents after WAC dropped football)
Subtractions: Western Kentucky (to Conference USA)
While many things such as media rights should slow the movement between conferences, at least in the Power Five where only the SEC schools have not signed such rights to their conference, things could stay quite fluid in the second-tier conferences for a while.
While none of these moves caused a direct impact on the SEC, with the new rules in place to play a Power Five conference foe each year starting in 2016, this gives fans an idea of where to look for future foes.