In 1984, George Orwell wrote that "nobody ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it." For the schools that make up college football's core conferences, that statement has always rung true.
Today's FBS landscape has never been more divided between the haves and the have-nots. Less prestigious Group of Five upstarts have been denied access to both the College Football Playoff and membership into the so-called Power 5, creating a murky situation where undefeated mid-majors are unable to prove their worth against the sport's crème de la crème.
However, to understand why there is such a divide in college football, one must look at the history of the Power 5 itself, and how decades of realignment and expansion have enabled CFB's blue bloods to gain even more dominance on the gridiron.
1990's: The decline of the SWC
In the 1980's, the once-powerful Southwest Conference had fallen on tough times. Over two-thirds of the SWC's nine schools had been placed on probation for NCAA recruiting violations. At the time, NCAA sanctions prohibited a school's games from being televised, a crippling financial blow to the conference.
The one non-Texas member who also happened to be sanction-free was Arkansas, perhaps the third-most powerful member after Texas and Texas A&M. In 1990, they decided to head to the Southeastern Conference along with South Carolina, where they boosted membership from ten to twelve schools split into two new divisions. The SEC then implemented 20Alabama