Nebraska AD Troy Dannen: 'I think the world is going to revolve around the Big Ten and SEC'

On3 imageby:Chandler Vessels03/26/24


New Nebraska athletic director Troy Dannen didn’t mince words when describing the power the Big Ten and SEC will have in college football. It’s not exactly a secret that the two leagues are poised to be the top dogs for the foreseeable future following the latest wave of conference realignment.

The SEC added historic programs Oklahoma and Texas, while the Big Ten brought in four new schools from the Pac-12, including defending runner up Washington. Dannen, who was hired last week, spoke on the disparity between the two conferences and the rest of the country at his introductory press conference Tuesday.

“I think the world is going to revolve around the Big Ten and the SEC,” he said. “I think we saw that with the CFP revenue distribution model that came out.”

Dannen is referring to a recent agreement on a six-year between the College Football Playoff and the 10 conferences that make up the FBS (plus Notre Dame). The deal is reportedly worth $7.8 billion as a whole, but the SEC and Big Ten are both slated to make around $8 million more per year than any other conference.

Furthermore, leaders in both conferences have lobbied for the Big Ten and SEC to receive automatic byes for the first round in talks of an expanded 14-team Playoff. It has also been suggested that the leagues would have two automatic bids compared to one for the other conferences.

These discussions go to show just how large the gap currently is among college football conferences. Teams in the Big Ten and SEC have won eight of the 10 College Football Playoff Championship games in its decade-long history. Clemson, which owns the other two titles, is already indicating that it no longer wants to be a member of the ACC along with Florida State.

The Tigers and Seminoles have both filed lawsuits against the ACC over large exit fees, indicating they want to leave the conference. No exit has been made at this point, and it’s unclear whether the Big Ten or SEC would welcome either program into their conference.

Still, Dannen’s comments ring true and Nebraska is in prime position to take advantage with its history. The Cornhuskers football program has five national championships in its history, but its most recent one came in 1997. Additionally, they haven’t been to a bowl game since 2016.

Still, there is hope as Nebraska prepares to enter its second season under Matt Rhule, who brought in a transfer class that ranks fourth in the Big Ten according to On3’s Transfer Portal Rankings. If the Huskers can start seeing improved results, they’re also primed to reap the benefits of being in the Big Ten for several years.